Skip to main content

Full text of "The lake of Menteith: its islands and vicinity, with historical accounts of the priory of Inchmahome and the earldom of Menteith;"

See other formats






The Lake of Menteith 



priory of 3ncbmabome 





Illustrated with Pen and Ink Drawings 
by Walter Bain. 






ADAMS, Wm., West Kilbride. 

AITKEN, Mrs. Isabella T., Philadelphia. 

ALEXANDER, W., Stirling. 

ALLAN, John, Stirling. 

ANDERSON, David S. B., Dunfermline. 

ANDERSON, J., M .A., Callander. 

ANDERSON, William, New Kilpatrick. 

ANDREW, Dr., Doune. 

ANGUS, Miss, Helensburgh. 

ANGUS, Robert, Old Cumnock, Ayrshire. 

ARNOT, James, M.A., Edinburgh. 

ASHER & Co., London. 

BALD, W., Edinburgh. 

BALLINGALL, D., Blair Drummond. 

BARCLAY-ALLARDICE, Robert, F.S.A.(Scot), Cornwall. 

BARTY, Dr., Dunblane. 

BAIN, James, Toronto. 

BAIRD, H., Auchenbowie. 

BAXENDINE, A., Edinburgh. 

BERRY, J., jun., Buchlyvie. 

BERRY, James Garrow, Cambus. 


BLAIR, A. Aikman, Edinburgh. 

BLAIR, Robert, Trossachs Hotel. 

BOWDITCH, Chas., Massachusetts, U.S.A. 

BRIDGES, James, Perth. 

BRISBANE, Thos., Stirling. 

BROWN, James, Stirling. 

BROWN, J. A. Harvie, Dunipace. 

BROWN, William, Edinburgh. 

BRUCE, James, Edinburgh. 


vi List of Subscribers. 

BRYCE, William, Edinburgh. 
BRYCE & MURRAY, Glasgow. 
BRYDEN, R. A., Glasgow. 
BUCHANAN, A-, Polmont. 
BUCHANAN, J. Hamilton, Edinburgh. 
BURDEN, John, New York. 

CAMERON, Miss, Stirling. 
CAMERON, A. C, LL.D., Paisley. 
CAMPBELL, J. W., Stirling. 
CAMPBELL, Bailie Finlay, Helensburgh. 
CAMPBELL, Jas. Alex,, Brechin. 
CAMPBELL, Mrs., Alexandria. 
CHERRY, Miss, Craigs. 
CHRISTIE, Geo., Stirling. 
CHRISTIE, James, Glasgow. 
CHRISTIE, Robert H., Dunblane. 
CHRYSTAL, David, Stirling. 
CLARK, James, Doune. 
COMBE, Miss Jessie, Glasgow. 
COOK, W. B., Stirling. 
CORNISH, J. E., Manchester. 
COWAN, Donald, Stirling. 
CRABBIE, Geo., Port of Menteith. 
CURROR, John G., Stirling. 


DiCKSON, Rev. J. G , Manse, Kippen. 
DlCKSON, P. T., Aberfoyle. 
DOUGHTY, Alex., Aberfoyle. 
DOUGLAS, Miss, Callander. 
DOUGLAS & FOULIS, Edinburgh. 
DOWGRAY, John, Lochgelly, Fifeshire. 
DRYSDALE, W., Stirling. 
DRYSDALE, Ex-Provost, Bridge of Allan. 
DUN, Alexander, Stirling. 
DUNCAN, Archibald, Newhouse. 

EASTON, Walter, Carronhall. 
ELLIOT, Andrew, Edinburgh. 
ERSKINE, H. D., of Cardross. 

List of Subscribers. vii 

FERGUSON, Daniel, Stirling. 

FERGUSON, Councillor Hugh, Stirling. 

FERGUSON, Miss, Stirling. 

FERGUSON, Rev. John, Aberdalgie. 

FERGUSON, John, Glasgow. 

FERGUSSON, Rev. R. Menzies, Bridge of Allan. 

FERRIES, Rev. George, D.D., Manse of Cluny, Aberdeenshire. 

FLEMING, Sir Sandford, K.C.M.G., Ottawa, Canada. 

FLEMING, D. Hay, LL.D., St. Andrews. 

FOLKARD, H. T., F.S.A., Wigan. 

FORRESTER, Robert, Glasgow. 

FORSYTH, George, Stirling. 

FOWLER, Major, Stirling. 

Fox, Chas. Henry, M.D-, Edinburgh. 

GALBRAITH, T. L., Stirling. 

GIBSON, James A., Stirling. 

GILLANDERS, John, Denny. 

GORDON, Alex., Stirling. 

GRAHAM, James L., Stirling. 

GRAHAM, John, Inverness. 

GRANT, Rev. A. T., Leven. 

GRANT, David, M.A., M.D., Melbourne. 

GRANT, John, Edinburgh. 

GRAY, James, Aberfeldy. 

GRAY, William, Doune. 

GRAY, Geo., Glasgow. 

GRAY-BUCHANAN, A. W., Polmont. 

HAMILTON, R., Port of Menteith. 

HARVEY, Wm., Stirling. 

HENDERSON, George., Stirling. 

HENDERSON, Hugh, Stirling. 

HENDERSON, Rev. W. T., New Kilpatrick, Glasgow. 

HOLMES, W. & R., Glasgow. 

HOWART, J. W., Stirling. 

HUNTER, James, Kippen. 

HUTCHESON, A., F.S.A., Broughty Ferry. 

INGE, Rev. John, Alford. 

viii List of Subscribers. 

JAMIESON, John, Stirling. 
JAMIESON, John, Portobello. 
JENKINS, Alexander, Stirling. 
JENKINS, John, Stirling. 
JOHNSTON, T. W. R., Stirling. 
JOHNSTON, Rev. J. J., Port of Menteith. 
JOHNSTONE, David, Edinburgh. 
JOYNSON, E. Walter, Aberfoyle. 

KIDSTON, R., F.G.S., Stirling. 

KIDSTON, Adrian M. M. G-, Helensburgh. 

KING, Councillor, Stirling. 

LAING, Alexander, Edinburgh. 
LANDER, T. E., Arngomery. 
LAWRIE, R. H., Edinburgh. 
LAWSON, Wm., Castleview, Stirling. 
LEITCH, J. M., London. 
LEE, Alex. H., Edinburgh. 
LEVY, Andrew, Edinburgh. 
LINDSAY, D., Stirling. 
LINKLATER, Miss, Callander. 
LIPPE, Robert, LL.D., Aberdeen. 
LITTLE, Robt , Kirkcaldy. 
LOVE, James, Falkirk. 
Low, Walter, Ballendrick, Perthshire. 
LOWSON, Geo., M.A., B.Sc., Stirling. 
LUMSDEN, James, Alexandria. 

MACALPINE, John, Ruskie. 
MACFARLANE, Charles, East Blackburn. 
MACGREGOR, Rev. A. O., Denny. 
MACGREGOR, John, Port of Menteith. 
MACKEITH, Alex., Glasgow. 
MACLAY, James, Glasgow. 
MACLEOD, M. C., Dundee. 
MACLEOD, N., Edinburgh. 
MACADAM, W. N., Edinburgh. 
MACADAM, Jas. H., F.S.A. (Scot.), London. 
MACDONALD, Dr. Angus, Edinburgh. 

List of Subscribers. ix 

MACFARLANE, Bailie, Stirling. 

MACKAY, D., Inverness. 

MACKAY W., Inverness. 

MACKAY, John, Glasgow. 

MACKAY, W. H., Port Salisbury, South Africa. 

MACKAY, James, North Dakota, U.S.A. 

MACKAY, John, Cardross. 

MACKEITH, J. Thornton, Ruskie. 

MACKENZIE, Mrs., Dunblane. 

MACKENZIE, James, Glasgow. 

MACKIE, James F., Stirling. 

MACKINLAY, R. A., Rothesay. 

MACKINTOSH, C. Fraser, LL.D., Inverness. 

MACLACHLAN, Archibald, Stirling. 

MACLEHOSE, James, & Sons, Glasgow. 

MACMILLAN, John, Edinburgh. 

MACNAUGHTON, Rev. Geo. D., B.D., Braco. 


MACPHERSON, James, Stirling. 

MAILER, James, Stirling. 

MAILER, Wm., Stirling. 

MAIR, James S., Aberfoyle. 

MARTIN, F. J., Edinburgh. 

MAXWELL, Mrs., Doune. 

MAY, George, Fintry. 

MELVEN, William, Glasgow. 


MENZIES, John, & Co., Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

MENZIES, Robert, Stirling. 

MILLER, John, Stirling. 

MILLER, John, Dunedin. 

MILLER, Wm., Pollokshields. 

MINNOCH, W. H., Stirling. 

MITCHELL, Rev. J. Gordon, Norrieston Manse. 

MONTEATH, J. Kippen. 

MOORE, Mrs. Alex., Port of Menteith. 

MOORHOUSE, J. Ernest, M.D., Stirling. 

MORRIS, David B., Stirling. 

MORRISON, Miss, Stirling. 

MORRISON, John, Aberdeen. 

List of Subscribers. 

MOVES, Alex., Stirling. 
MUNRO, John, Stirling. 
MURPHY, A. MacLean, Stirling. 
MURRAY, J. G., Stirling. 
MURRIE, Stewart, Stirling. 
M'DONALD, A. B., M. Inst. C.E., Glasgow. 
M'GEACHY & Co., Glasgow. 
M'LELLAN, Andrew, M.A., Liverpool. 

NEWARK LIBRARY, per G. E. Stechert, London. 
NIGHTINGALE, Miss, London. 

OLIPHANT, T. L. Kington, Auchterarder. 
ORMOND, Rev. D. D., F.S.A. (Scot), Stirling. 

PATERSON, Alex., Stirling. 
PATERSON, James R., Dalmuir. 
PATERSON, Rev. G. W., Aberfoyle. 
PATERSON, D., Thornhill, Dumfriesshire. 
PLATT, L. J., Stirling. 
PULLAR, L., Bridge of Allan. 

RAMSEY, Robert, Glasgow. 
RETTIE, R. G., Kirkcaldy. 
RICHARDSON, J. B., Pitgorno. 
RICHARDSON, James, Glasgow. 
ROBERTSON, Dr., Stirling. 
ROBERTSON, Dr., Bannockburn. 
ROBERTSON, W. J., Manchester. 
ROBERTSON, R., Glasgow. 
ROBERTSON, James, Menstrie. 
ROBERTSON, James, Bonnybridge. 
RODGERS, W. M., Stirling. 
RONALD, Ex-Bailie, Stirling. 
RONALD, James E., Stirling. 
RONALD, Thos., Bannockburn. 
Ross, David, M.A., B.Sc, LL.D. Glasgow. 

SALMOND, Professor S, D. F., Aberdeen. 
SAMUEL, John Smith, Glasgow. 
SANDEMAN, Ridley, Stirling. 

List of Subscribers. xi 

SCHILLING, Julius F., Stirling. 

SCONCE, Colonel, Edinburgh. 

SCOTT, Rev. W., Stirling. 

SCOTT, Robert, Montrose. 

SCOTT, Alexander, Stirling. 

SEMPILL, Chief-Constable, Newhouse. 

SHIRRA, Wm. L., Stirling. 

SLEE, Miss, London. 

SMALL, J. W., Stirling. 

SMITH, James Kemp, Stirling. 

SMITH, J. & Sons, Glasgow. 

SMITH, Rev. Frederick, Dunblane. 

SMITH, Robert, Dundee. 

SORLEY, Councillor Robert, Glasgow. 

SOTHERAN, Henry, & Co., London. 

STARK, Robert. Kirkcaldy. 

STEVEN, John, Glasgow. 

STEVENS, B. F., Trafalgar Square, London. 

STEVENSON, Rev. R., M.A., Gargunnock. 

STEVENSON, Robert, Kilwinning. 

STEWART, Walter, Edinburgh. 

STIRLING PUBLIC LIBRARY, per Robt. Whyte, Secy. 

STIRLING, C. C. Graham, Campsie Glen. 

STIRLING, J., Port of Menteith. 


SUMNER, E. R., Aberfoyle. . 

SWORD, James, Stirling. 

SYMON, J. H., Q.C., Adelaide. 

TENNENT, Robert, Dunipace. 

THE MITCHELL LIBRARY, per F. T. Barrett, Glasgow. 

THIN, James, Edinburgh. 

THOMSON, Miss E., Denny. 

THOMSON, Arthur H., Stenhousemuir. 

THOMSON, Alex., Edinburgh. ***. 

TODD, Charles H., Aberdeen. 

TOWNS, W., East Plean. 

WALKER, D. W., S.S.C., Edinburgh. 
WATT, John, M.A., Aberdeen. 

xii List of Subscribers. 

WEIR, Alexander M., Stirling. 
WILLIAMS, Rev. G., Thornhill. 
WILSON, Colonel, Bannockburn House. 
WILSON, Edward L., Bannockburn. 
WILSON, James, Birmingham. 
WOOD, Alexander, Saltcoats. 
WORDIE, Peter, Lenzie. 
WORDIE, John, Glasgow. 
WYLIE, Bailie, Stirling. 

YELLOWLEES, Rev. John, Larbert. 
YOUNG, D., Doune. 
YOUNGER, A., Cambus. 


THE beautiful Lake of Menteith, with the picturesque country that 
surrounds it, and the monastic and baronial ruins on its Islands, are 
familiar enough to the tourist and the visitor. The interesting 
histories connected with these places are not, however, so well known, 
as there is no easily accessible work in which they can be read with 
anything like fulness and accuracy. The materials lie scattered in 
Public Records and private charter chests, or are contained in rare 
or privately-printed books. To bring these materials together in 
something like a connected narrative, and generally to supply 
authentic information so far as it is at present attainable regarding 
the Hills and the Lake of Menteith, the Priory of Inchmahome, and 
the Castle of Inchtalla, is the aim of this volume. 

Two investigators of the present century have done much to 
elucidate the history of the Priory and of the Earldom of Menteith; 
but it can hardly be said that the work of either is available to the 
general reader. The Rev. W. M'Gregor Stirling's " Notes on Inch- 
mahome " published in 1812 has long been out of print, and it is 
now difficult to procure a copy ; while the late Sir William Fraser's 
elaborate " Red Book of Menteith " was a privately-printed work, 
and has thus never been readily accessible. 

Stirling has the credit of being the first to go beyond the hazy 
local traditions, and to collect materials for a history of the Priory 
obtained from the MSS. collections at Gartmore and other places in 
the neighbourhood. These materials, however, as they appear in his 
" Notes on Inchmahome," though authentic, are not very abundant. 

xiv Preface. 

But he continued his investigations after the publication of his book, 
and noted the results of these researches in manuscript additions, 
written on the margins of his own copy of his work. That copy, 
with the Manuscript Notes, is now in possession of H. D. Erskine, 
Esq. of Cardross, to whose courtesy the writer has been indebted for 
an opportunity of examining it. Whatever was new in these Notes 
will therefore be found embodied in the present narrative. The 
writer desires also to acknowledge his obligation to Mr. Erskine for 
giving access to the index and abstracts of the Cardross Charters 
of the greatest value for a history of the Priory as well as for his 
kind and valued aid in the examination of those ruins in which he 
takes so deep an interest. 

Sir William Eraser's exhaustive examination of the documents 
in the charter chests of Buchanan, Gartmore, &c., relating to the 
Earldom of Menteith, has made his " Red Book," in which the 
results of that examination are recorded, a storehouse of materials 
for all future investigators of that subject. Ample use has, in these 
pages, been made of Eraser's researches, as well as of the Minutes 
of Evidence in the Airth Peerage Cases, where charters and other 
documents will be found printed with admirable accuracy. The 
unsettled question of the Menteith succession has been purposely 

Sir William also added largely to the previously known history 
of the Priory. He printed in the " Red Book " a considerable 
number of charters relating to its affairs. Such of these charters as 
do not appear elsewhere, and to the originals of which access could 
not be had, have been accepted as he gives them ; but all the other 
authorities to which he refers have been re-examined, and new ones 
have been added. In this way, it has been found possible to correct 
a few inaccuracies, while some additional facts have been brought 
to light. 

A list of works that have been cited as authorities for statements 
made in this book, and of the various sources, printed and manuscript, 

Preface. xv 

from which information has been drawn, is appended. The most 
fruitful of the sources of new information have been the Chartularies 
of the Religious Houses of Scotland (the Chartulary of Dryburgh 
has, as was to be expected, been specially useful), the various Record 
Publications Acts of Parliament, Privy Council Records, Treasurers' 
Accounts, Exchequer Rolls, &c., &c. and, especially, the local 
Records of the Burgh of Stirling. Most important of all have been 
the Protocol Books of that burgh. An Abstract of these Protocols 
had been made for the use of the burgh, and was recently printed 
by the late Rev. A. W. Cornelius Hallen, M.A., of Alloa. Neither 
the print nor the Abstract are always perfectly accurate ; but the 
writer has fortunately been supplied with trustworthy transcripts of 
all pertinent Protocols by Mr. W. B. Cook, of Stirling, who has 
made careful abstracts of all these documents from the original MSS. 
And that is not the only service for which he has to acknowledge his 
obligation to that gentleman. In all matters of genealogy and family 
history he has been specially indebted to Mr. Cook, and in fact, 
through the whole course of the investigation, he has received from 
him ungrudging and valuable aid. 

Although several Priors have been added to those known to Sir 
William Fraser, there still remains an unfortunate gap in the list. 
Perhaps materials for filling that gap may some day come to light, 
but as yet the author has not been able to find them. He hopes, 
however, that as few errors as possible have been allowed to enter 
into what he has written. He has been as careful as he could to 
distinguish between what is merely probable and what may be 
regarded as certain, and to set down nothing as fact without some 
distinct and sufficient authority for it. 

The topographical accounts of the district, it may be added, 
have been written from a somewhat intimate acquaintance with it 
for many years. And as to the descriptions of the ruined buildings 
on the Islands which were also written from personal observation 
the author is pleased to find them confirmed, in all essential points, 



by the high professional authority of Messrs. M'Gibbon & Ross, 
authors of the Ecclesiastical and Baronial Architecture of Scotland, 
whom he desires to thank for their courtesy in consenting to the 
reproduction of their plans of Inchmahome and Talla. 

A. F. H. 


Anderson's (Robert, M.D.) Works of Smollett, 6th edition. 1820. 

Anderson's (James) Diplomata Scotiae. 

Antiquary, The Scottish, vol. xi., 1897 ; vol. xiii., 1899. Edin. 

Arundel MS. : Catalogue of British Museum MSS. Printed London, 1834. 

Armstrong's (R. A.) Gaelic Dictionary. London, 1825. 

Audsley's Popular Dictionary of Architecture. London, 1882. 

Aytoun's (W. E.) Ballads of Scotland. Edin., 1861. 

Balfour's (Sir James) Historical Works, edit. 1824. London. 
Baring-Gould's (Sabine) Lives of the Saints. 1872-7. 
Bell's (H. Glassford) Life of Mary Queen of Scots, 2nd edit. 1831. 
Bellenden's Translation of Boece's History and Chronicles of Scotland. 

Edin., 1821. 
Blaikie's (W. B.) Itinerary of Prince Charles Edward Stuart : Scottish History 

Society. Edin., 1897. 

Brown's (Dr. John) Horse Subsecivse, 2nd series. Edin., 1861. 
Buchan's (Earl of) Anonymous and Fugitive Essays. Edin., 1812. 
Buchanan (George), Opera Omnia, ed. Ruddiman. Edin., 1715. 
Buchanan's (of Auchmar) History of the Family of Buchanan. 1723. 
Burl's (Captain) Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland, edited 

by R. Jamieson. London, 1822. 

Calderwood's History of the Kirk of Scotland : Wodrow Society. Edin., 

Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, ed. by Sir Francis Palgrave. 

London, 1836. 

Chalmers' (George) Caledonia. London, 1807-10. 
Chalmers' (George) Life of Mary Queen of Scots. London, 1818. 
Chalmers' (George) Life of Thomas Ruddiman. London, 1794. 
Chambers' (Robert) Domestic Annals of Scotland. Edin., 1858-61. 
Chambers' (Robert) Picture of Scotland. Edin., 1827. 
Charters and Other Documents relating to the Royal Burgh of Stirling 

A.D. 1124-1705. Glasgow, 1884. 

xviii List of Authorities. 

Chronica de Mailros : Bannatyne Club. Edin., 1835. 
Chronicon de Lanercost, ed. by Stevenson. 1830. 
Churchyard's (Thomas) Chips concerning Scotland. London, 1817. 
Cuninghame-Graham's (R. B.) Notes on the District of Menteith. Edin., 

Dalrymple's (Father) Version of Leslie's History of Scotland : Scottish Text 

Society. Edin., 1884-5. 

Dargaud's (J. M.) Histoire de Marie Stuart. Paris, 1850. 
Dictionarium Scoto-Celticum : the Gaelic Dictionary of the Highland Society. 

Edin., 1828. 

Diurnal of Occurrents : Maitland Club. Edin., 1833. 
Dun's (P.) Summer at the Lake of Menteith. Glasgow, 1866. 

Erskine of Carnock, Journal of Hon. John, from 1682 to 1687 : Scottish 
History Society. Edin., 1873. 

Forbes's (A. P., Bishop of Brechin) Kalendars of Scottish Saints. Edin., 


Fordun and Bower : Historians of Scotland Series. Edin., 1879. 
Fordun's Chronicle of the Scottish Nation, ed. by Skene : Historians of 

Scotland, IV. Edin., 1872. 

Fosbrooke's (Thos. Dudley) British Monachism. London, 1817. 
Fountainhall's (Lord) Decisions of the Lords of Council and Session, &c. 

Edin., 1759-61. 

Fragmenta Scoto-Monastica. Edin., 1842. 
Fraser's (Sir William) The Chiefs of Colquhoun. Edin., 1869. 
Eraser's (Sir William) The Red Book of Menteith. Edin., 1880. 

Genealogical Magazine, July, 1897. 

Gordon's (Sir Robert) Genealogical History of the Earldom of Sutherland. 

Edin., 1813. 

Gordon's (Dr. J. F. S.) Monasticon. Glasgow, 1868. 
Graham's (Dr. Patrick) Sketches of Perthshire, 2nd edit. Edin., 1812. 
Graham's (of Duchray) Account of the Earl of Glencairn's Expedition. 

Edin., 1822. 
Graham's (Alexander of Duchray) Description of Parish of Port : Macfarlan 

Papers in Advocates' Library. 
Gwynne's Military Memoirs of the Great Civil War. Edin., 1822. 

Hay Fleming's (Dr. David) Mary Queen of Scots. London, 1897. 
Her Majesty Queen Victoria's More Leaves from the Journal of a Life in the 
Highlands. London, 1884. 

List of Authorities. 

Henry die Minfni ScMr William Wallace : Scottish Tert Society's edition. 

Tt*Kf t 1884-5. 

Hffl ItaUuBfc Gohn) Hntoryoff SoDtknd, new edit EdixL, 1897. 
HbMbnFs (Mugnct i Poems. 1811. 
Humtei*s Woods, Forests, and Estates of Perthshire. 1883. 

Inuofc (Cosmo) Sketches of ExityScnttidi Hktaxy. Eoax, 1861. 

Innes"s (Fattiaer Tlos.) Essay cm tfae Aaacksat Inhabitants off Scotland, ed, by 
QipK Edict, 1879. 

Instennnenflat l^MSr* Q*-*B""" RoJQs) : Bannatyne Club. EdiiL, 1 831. 
David) Memoirs of George Buchanan. Edition 1837. 

Jebhfe (SnBod) Dfe l^l et Rebus Geriis Macriae, &c. London, 1725. 

Javad"* (Andrew, FSJL) M*^^fc of Angus and M earns. Ediru, 1861. 

Johnston's (Rrr. J. R.) Pttace-Names off Scotland. Ediru, 1892. 

(Bidhop) Ouk^inr of lie Scottish Bishops. Edin^ 1705 ; and 
Spottewood^i editaam of same, painted at Ediru, 1824. 
KribacTs (WL S.) Hkbay of die Scotiisii HSgiQands. Edm., 1887. 


(Dki Jobnj Eodesasttaczi Eistorj of IreiandL Dublin, 3829^- 
fFicoc dc) UbvooiQCj ^fP- bv ^y*^otf LotDoon. i &66-S. 
Loficfk CBfainp) EEoflarie cff Scotland : BaMBtpne Ook Ediru, 1830. 

ftUMB 1*^ M !> ii^ ^L Amrtnpp mra Scotna 


QhiK EdirL, 1 847. 

ed. by Sbene. 1 877-89. 


" - - . " ' - - ~ J ^ A IL_, "*- tf~TL_3. TT^d_ _ C 1 ^ t> 

__ , _ i-;7 - _.. __ ~ _t .-. _ 'T r _ - . ____ .'. ~ . ___ " _-_. JL' __ . - J. ! 

fjanlijjAi. |Sr Onid) Worio% ed. lay f^mg. Kdini^ 1-871. 

Landsay^ (Robett of PiteoUtie) Efotorj of Scotland, ed. by DalzaEL Fxfrn, 

off tflae CP** 1 !^ T J "y^pr 1896. 

Domestic JvcbfiBdiBBe of 

Ecdesgabcal AaAiaxiBBe of Scrifllwrjd. 
liadkae s ((Qmiks)) rMflftp^ f^iaoes, and Pummt of Maty Queen of Scots. 
: : -- -.. 

dames) Grade fivam Gtoago* to ame of the aunt 

-- - ~ " * -HiiHiiir of Soooaad. GBHCDH^ ^797* 

xx List of Authorities. 

Macpherson's (David) Geographical Illustrations of Scottish History. Edin., 


Mai Hand's (William) History and Antiquities of Scotland. London, 1757. 
Major's (John) Historia Majoris Brittaniae. Edin., 1740. 
Malcolm's (David) Memoir of the House of Drummond. 1808. 
Manuscript Records of the Burgh, Kirk Session, and Presbytery of Stirling. 
Manuscript Protocol Books of the Burgh of Stirling. 
Marshall's (Dr. William) Historic Scenes in Perthshire. Edin., 1880. 
Maxwell's (Sir Herbert) Robert the Bruce. 1898. 
Millar's (A. H.) Castles and Mansions of Scotland. Edin., 1890. 
Minutes of Evidence in the Airth Peerage Cases. 1839 and 1841. 
Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguenis : Maitland Club. Glasgow, 1854. 

Napier's (Sheriff Mark) Memorials of Montrose : Maitland Club. Edin., 


New Statistical Account of Scotland. Edin., 1845. 
Nicolas' (Sir Harris) History of the Earldoms of Strathern, Monteith, and 

Airth. London, 1842. 
Nimmo's (Rev. W.) History of Stirlingshire, 2nd edit., by Rev. W. M. 

Stirling. Stirling, 1817. 

Patten's (W., Londoner) Expedicion into Scotlande. London, 1548. 
Pinkerton's (John) Enquiry into the History of Scotland. Edin., 1814. 
Pitcairn's (Robert, W.S.) Criminal Trials in Scotland. Edin., 1829. 

Ramsay's (John) Scotland and Scotsmen in the Eighteenth Century. Edin., 

Records of the Royal Burgh of Stirling (Extracts from), A.D. 1519-1665. 

Glasgow, 1887. 
Records of the Royal Burgh of Stirling (Extracts from), A.D. 1667-1752. 

Glasgow, 1889. 

Record Office Publications : 

Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. 

Acts of the Lords Auditors of Causes and Complaints (Acta Auditorum). 

Acts of the Lords of Council in Civil Causes (Acta Dominorum Concilii). 

Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland. 

Calendar of State Papers, James I., 1603-1625, edited by M. A. Everett- 

Calendar of State Papers relating to Scotland, edited by T. Thorpe. 

Documents and Records illustrating the History of Scotland, edited by 
Sir Francis Palgrave. 

Exchequer Rolls. 

Historical MSS. Commission's Reports. 

List of Authorities. xxi 

Record Office Publications (continued) 

Register of the Privy Council of Scotland. 
Register of the Great Seal. 

Reeves' (Bishop W.) Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Down, Connor, and 

Dromore. Dublin, 1847. 

Registrum de Dunfermlyn : Bannatyne Club. Edin., 1842. 
Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis, ed. C. Innes : Spalding Club. Edin., 


Registrum Episcopatus Brechinensis : Bannatyne Club. Edin., 1856. 
Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis: Maitland Club. Edin., 1843. 
Registrum Monasterii Sancte Marie de Cambuskenneth, ed. W. Fraser : 

Grampian Club. Edin., 1872. 

Robertson's (Colonel Alex.) Gaelic Topography of Scotland. Edin., 1866. 
Robertson's (E. W.) Scotland under her Early Kings. Edin., 1862. 
Robertson's (William) Index to Missing Charters. Edin., 1798. 
Rymer's (Thomas) Fcedera, &c. London, 1704-35. 

Scala Chronica (Sir Thomas Gray of Heton) : Maitland Club. Edin., 1836. 

Scotichronicon Fordun and Bower : ed. Goodall. Edin., 1747-59. 

Scott's (Alexander) Poems : Scottish Text Society's edition. Edin., 1896. 

Scott's (Rev. Hew) Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanse. Edin., 1868. 

Scott's (Sir Walter) Lady of the Lake, Rob Roy, Legend of Montrose, Tales 
of a Grandfather. Edit. 1892. 

Sibbald's (Sir Robert) History of the Sheriffdoms of Fife and Kinross. Cupar- 
Fife, 1803. 

Skene's (Dr. W. F.) Celtic Scotland, 2nd ed. Edin., 1886-90. 

Smith's (John Guthrie) Strathendrick and its Inhabitants. Glasgow, 1896. 

Spalding's (Commissary John) History of the Troubles' in Scotland : Banna- 
tyne Club. Edin., 1828-9. 

Spalding Club Miscellany. Aberdeen, 1842. 

Spottiswoode's (Archbishop) History of the Church of Scotland, 4th edition. 
London, 1677. 

Statistical Account of Scotland (Sinclair's). Edin., 1791-9. 

Stewart's (Duncan, M.A) Short Historical and Genealogical Account of the 
Royal Family of Scotland and of the Surname of Stewart. Edin., 1739. 

Stewart's (J. H. J. and Lieut.-Col. D.) The Stewarts of Appin. Edin., 1880. 

Stirling Natural History and Archaeological Society's Transactions, vol. xv. 

Stirling's (Rev. W. MacGregor) Notes on the Priory of Inchmahome. Edin., 

Strickland's (Miss A.) Lives of the Queens of Scotland. London, 1852. 

Theiner's (Augustus) Vetera Monumenta Hibernorum et Scotorum historiam 
illustrantia, &c. Rome, 1864. 

xxii List of Authorities. 

Transactions of Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, 4th series ; 
vols. xi. and xii. 1879-1880. 

Tytler's (P. Fraser) History of Scotland. Edin., 1864. 

Walsingham's (Thomas) Chronica, &c. London, 1867. 

Wishart's Memoirs of James, Marquis of Montrose. London, 1893. 

Wodrow's History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland from the 
Restauration to the Revolution. Edin., 1721. 

Wood's edition of Douglas's Peerage. 1813. 

Wyntoun's Origynale Cronykil of Scotland, ed. Laing : Historians of Scot- 
land. Edin., 1872. 





SECTION I. Extent of the district The Earldom The Stewartry 
The name Various derivations of Teith and Menteith A 
new one suggested Varied spellings of the word References 
by early writers Hector Boece The Caledonian forest and 
its white bulls The huntings in Menteith Buchanan 
Bishop Lesley The cheese of Menteith The murder of 
Duncan II. Not, as stated by Buchanan and others, in Men- 
teith Restricted sense of the word, ... ... ... ... i 

SECTION II. The hill country beside the Lake Ben-dhu and 
Ben-dearg masses contrasted Description of Ben-dearg 
View from the summit Lochan-falloch Craig o' Port 
Auchrig " Stone Avalanche " Loch and Castle Ruskie 
Pass of Glenny and Portend Burn Crockmelly Traditional 
battle in 1653 and its incidents M 'Queen's Pass The 
Horseman's Leap Historical accounts of this skirmish 
Duchray's narrative the Mercurius Politicus Colonel Kid 
alias Colonel Rid M'Gregor traditions The Tyeper's Path 
and Tyeper's Well Tobanareal These names explained 
Death of William, third Graham Earl there The Cairn of 
quartz, 13 


SECTION I. The Port and the Northern Shore The Port Other 
ferries Port made a burgh of barony The Cross The 
Law Tree St. Michael's Fair Church of Port Extracts 

xxiv Contents. 


from the Session records Ministers of Port from the Refor- 
mation The Church and Church-yard Lands of Port 
Prior's Meadow Portend and the Earls' pleasaunce Charles 
II. at Portend, 30 

SECTION II. The Western Shore Earls' stables Piper's House 
Piper's Strand Milling The Fair The Gallows' Hill The 
last execution The Claggans and the last wolf Macanrie 
and Auchveity, with the legend of the King's son and the 
herd-maiden Suggested interpretation of the names 
Arnchly Cup and ring marked stone The legend of 
Pharic M'Pharic Battle of Tillymoss or Gartalunane, ... 45 

SECTION III. The Southern Shore Arnmauch The legend of 
its formation Cnoc-nan-Bocan, or the bogle knowe Possibly 
an ancient barrow Gartur Cardross The " Black Colonel " 
in hiding on Ardmach Lochend Tom-a-mhoid The Loch 
of Gudy The Pictish town of Guidi, ... ... ... 52 

SECTION IV. The Eastern Shore Its appearance Chapel and 
burying-ground at Inchie Theft of "the roast fowls Red- 
nock The old Castle Menteiths and others of Rednock 
Grahams of Rednock Blairhoyle, sometime Leitchtown 
Why so called Claim of Grahams of Leitchtown to the 
Earldom of Menteith Rusky Clan battle (Menteiths and 
Drummonds) at Tar of Ruskie, 58 


The only lake in Scotland Lake a recent innovation Earlier 
names Description Dr. John Brown on the Lake Different 
points of view Extent and depth Feeders and outlet : 
Inchmahome Island of St. Colmoc Various forms of the 
name " Isle of my Rest " a misinterpretation Account of 
the island The Monastery gardens Nuns' Walk and Nuns' 
Hill Legend of the nun No nunnery Suggestion to 
account for the name Queen Mary's Tree, Garden, and 
Bower Large old trees Their description and measure- 
ment : Inchtalla Why so called Older forms of the word 
General description of the island Inch-cuan the Earls' 
kennels James the Sixth (First of England) and the Earl 
of Menteith's "earth dogges," 67 

Contents. xxv 



Ground plan Position of the Church The nave The entrances 
The bell-tower The north aisle The sacristy and vestry 
The east choir window Choir interior Entrance from the 
south South side of Church Windows The Chapter 
House Used as burial-place of later Earls of Menteith 
The Prior's Chamber or Queen Mary's bedroom The avenue 
to the vault Statues of the eighth Earl and his Countess, 
not erected The cloister The cells of the Canons The 
dormitory Refectory Garden Monuments in the choir 
That of Earl Walter Stewart and his Countess described 
Also monument of Sir John Drummond, erected by his 
widow St. Michael and St. Colmoc on the monument 
Other tombstones, 101 


1238 TO 1528. 

Early religious settlements on Inchmahome Who was Colman ? 
Coming of the Augustinians Possibly brought by the first 
Earl Murdach Founding of the Priory by Walter Comyn, 
Earl of Menteith, in 1238 Writ of Pope Gregory IX. 
Abstract of its provisions The Canons-Regular of the Order 
of St. Augustine Their dress The divisions and employ- 
ments of the conventual day Chapels and Churches belonging 
to the Priory of Inchmahome Early revenue according to 
Bagimont's Roll Prior Adam swears fealty to Edward I. 
Prior Maurice in 1305 Three visits of King Robert Bruce 
to Inchmahome in the time of Maurice Perhaps this 
Maurice, then Abbott of Inchaffray, who performed mass at 
Bannockburn Gift of Cardross by Sir Malcolm Drummond 
Prior Christinus Deforcement of the representative of the 
Sheriff of Perth Visit of Robert the High Steward Marriage 
of David II. His gift to the Priory Blank in the annals of 
the Priory Prior John Prior Thomas His difficulties and 
his supporters Deposed Prior Alexander and his leases 
Prior in Parliament Prior David His numerous litigations 
and their results Prior Andrew His leases Names of the 
Canons in his time Last of the ecclesiastical Priors, ... 130 

xxvi Contents. 



Commendator Robert Erskine His induction in 1529 Assumed 
identity with the Master of Erskine Previously rector of 
Glenbervy Afterwards Dean of Aberdeen Probably one of 
the Erskines of Dun Canons of Inchmahome in Com- 
mendator Robert's time George Buchanan's early connection 
with the Priory lands The leases of 1513 and 1531 John 
Erskine, Commendator of Inchmahome, Dryburgh, and 
Cambuskenneth Marriage of the Earl of Argyle at Inch- 
mahome Visit to the Priory of Mary Queen of Scots 
Imaginative writing regarding it Stories about her stay 
and education here examined Dargaud, Miss Strickland, 
Dr. John Brown, Glassford Bell, Mackie, Conaeus, &c. 
The facts as ascertained Dr. Hay Fleming's investigations 
and authorities Result of the discussion Two leases 
granted by John and the Chapter Commendator be- 
comes Lord Erskine, afterwards Earl of Mar and Regent 
of Scotland Resigns Commendatorship David Erskine 
becomes Commendator His parentage Bull of appoint- 
ment Commendator of Dryburgh Joins the reformers 
Dilapidation of Monastery revenues begins Tacks by the 
Prior and Chapter The " Prior's Manse " in Stirling 
David Erskine receives sasine of it from the Magistrates 
Its situation identified Occupied by George Buchanan 
The surviving Canons Chapter probably extinct before 1600 
Some properties and leases The Commendator and his 
" Thirds " His confiscation and exile Henry Stewart 
appointed Commendator Pension to Patrick Bathok 
Commendator David reponed Resides at and enlarges 
Cardross His interest in education Last lease in which 
names of Canons appear Demits his office Death Henry 
Erskine made Commendator His parentage Reason that 
has been assigned for his appointment to the office Portrait 
by Jameson Fiar of Cardross Death in 1628, 159 


Transference of the lands to the family of Lord Erskine begins 
Various complicated transactions Royal charter of the lord- 

Contents. xxvii 


ship and barony of Cardross granted to the Earl of Mar 
Ratified by Act of Parliament Names of the lands consti- 
tuting the property of the Priory at this time Purpose of 
the grant Traditional stories regarding the marriage of the 
Earl of Mar and Lady Margaret Stewart The Italian con- 
jurer and the lady's portrait Additional charters, with right 
of assignation Fee of the lordship assigned to Henry 
Erskine Visit of King James the First to Cardross David, 
son of Henry, becomes second Lord Cardross His house 
garrisoned by General Monck New charters Henry, third 
Lord Cardross His fines, imprisonment, and other persecu- 
tions House occupied by royal troops Unsuccessful attempt 
to found a colony in America Insolvency Cardross dis- 
poned to the Earl of Mar Dryburgh sold Joins the Prince 
of Orange in Holland Returns home with him in 1688 
Death in 1693 David, fourth Lord Cardross Becomes Earl 
of Buchan Dispones Cardross to his uncle, Colonel the 
Hon. John Erskine The Colonel tries to clear off the 
burdens on the property It falls, by judicial sale, to his 
son, John Erskine of Carnock His second son James was 
the first Mr. Erskine of Cardross and direct ancestor of 
the present proprietor, 193 



Inchtalla, residence of Malise, first Graham Earl of Menteith 
Probable period of erection of present buildings Moulded 
and carved stones from the Priory built into the walls 
Building on the court-yard plan The High House Its 
former heraldic devices The vaulted under rooms The 
upper storey Stair of access Indications of a defensive 
wooden hoarding on the south front The Kitchen The 
arched fire-place The oven The Tower, with its stair The 
buildings on the west side of the court-yard Their possible 
uses and arrangement The Hall House on the north 
Probably the most recent erection The Hall and its 
furniture in the time of the last Earl Inventory of chairs, 
candlesticks, &c. The rooms on the upper floor The East 
Chamber, hung with blue, and its furnishings The West 

xxviii Contents. 


or Green Chamber and its furnishings The Tower The 
Laigh Back Room Contents of the great chest My Lord's 
Chamber and its furnishings The Wardrobe The Brew-house 
on the east side of the court Its utensils The sleeping 
apartments over the Brew-house and in the " to-falls," with 
their furniture Indications of the manner of living in the 
Earl's house at the end of the seventeenth century Liquors 
Bread and baking Supplies of salt herrings Cooking 
utensils Dishes mostly of pewter Paucity of silver vessels 
accounted for Domestic crafts My Lord's wardrobe 
Female properties absent The last Countess and the frogs 
The dispersal of the property, and the neglect of the house 
since the death of the last Earl in 1694, ... ... ... 203 



The ancient Earldom Gilchrist Muretach Maurice senior and 
Maurice junior Their agreement Maurice at the corona- 
tion of Alexander II. His daughters Walter Comyn 
His connection with the national affairs Founds the Priory 
At the coronation of Alexander III. Seizes the young King 
and Queen at Kinross Rumours regarding the cause of his 
death Marriage of his widow Her attempts to secure the 
Earldom unsuccessful Walter Stewart obtains the Earldom 
Efforts of the Comyns to retain it The estates parted in 
two Sir Edmund Hastings receives the Comyn portion from 
Edward I. and assumes the style of Lord of Enchimchel- 
mock His brother, Sir John Hastings, receives the other 
portion Life and achievements of Walter Stewart As a 
crusader At the battle of Largs Voyage with the Princess 
Margaret to Norway One of Bruce's Commissioners, but 
swears fealty to Edward in 1292 Death, and burial at 
Inchmahome Earl Alexander Taken prisoner at Dunbar 
Released and takes the oath to Edward His sons hostages 
for him Remains faithful to the English King Earl Alan 
Fights in Flanders Taken prisoner at Methven Stripped 
of his estates Dies in captivity Earl Murdach A favourite 
of King Robert Bruce Killed in the battle of Dupplin 
Countess Mary Brought up at Rusky by her uncle, Sir 
John Menteith Marries Sir John Graham, who becomes 

Contents. xxix 


Earl of Menteith Gallantry of this Earl at Neville's Cross 
His capture, trial, and execution Their daughter, Lady 
Margaret Her four husbands Her last husband, Robert 
Stewart Robert becomes Earl of Menteith, Earl of Fife, 
and afterwards Duke of Albany, and Governor of Scotland 
His life and achievements The death of the Duke of 
Rothesay, and Albany's connection therewith Ancient and 
modern estimates of Albany's character Murdach, second 
Duke of Albany Appointed Governor Narrative of events 
in his life His arrest and execution by James I. Traditional 
statements regarding the place of his arrest Motives of the 
King in the extermination of the Albanies Forfeiture of 
the Earldom, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 216 



Sir John Menteith's birth and parentage An early supporter of 
Bruce Takes the side of Baliol, and is made prisoner at 
Dunbar Serves Edward in his French wars An " Adversary 
of the King" in 1301 Submits to Edward in 1304 In favour 
with Edward Keeper of Dumbarton Castle The Capture of 
Wallace The circumstances of the betrayal and Menteith's 
connection therewith discussed His rewards from the English 
King Goes over to Bruce Story of his attempted treachery 
to Bruce in Dumbarton Castle not proved His embassies and 
other employments thereafter Estimate of his character The 
hatred of his memory cherished in Scotland "Turning the 
bannock" as an insult to Menteiths, 253 


1427 TO 1598. 

Erection of the new Earldom and Stewartry Malise, first Earl 
His descent A hostage in England His son Alexander takes 
his place In favour with James III. At the battle of Sauchie 
His wives Gifts to Lady Jonet and his son, John Countess 
Mariota His family Alexander, second Earl Infeftment 

xxx Contents. 


Suppression of crimes " Band " with the Earl of Arran and 
others Redemption of lands Family William, third Earl 
Marriage and family The fight with the Appin Stewarts in 
which he lost his life Various accounts of it The traditional 
stories Sir Walter Scott's account The Appin version Date 
of the incident John, fourth Earl Active in State affairs 
Queen Mary's visit in his time Alleged journey to France 
Joins the Lords of the Congregation Fights with them at 
Leith Subscribes the Book of Discipline His widow and 
family William, fifth Earl Earldom during his minority 
At the Coronation of James VI. At the battle of Langside 
Marriage Political activities Feud between the Grahams and 
the Leckies John, sixth Earl Ward of the Crown His 
marriage Description for the Government in 1592 Quarrels 
and lawsuits Death, and family, 268 


William, seventh Earl Vicissitudes of his life Minority, infeft- 
ment, marriage Arrangement of his charters, redemption of 
lands, and other business of the Earldom Patronage of the 
Church of Aberfoyle His rise to political distinction and 
honours Royal pensions The King's promises and how they 
were kept His enemies among the Scottish nobles Claims 
the Earldom of Strathern Claim admitted and letters patent 
issued Scot of Scotstarvet's accusations Title of Strathern 
recalled That of Airth granted Accused of treason Found 
guilty His submission Stripped of his offices and pensions, 
banished from the Court, and confined to his own house 
Pecuniary ruin To some extent regains the Royal favour 
Refuses to sign the National Covenant Exerts himself in the 
cause of Charles I. Dispersal of his estates Lives at Inch- 
talla Disagreements with his Countess His curious accounts 
of her delinquencies His son, Lord Kilpont, murdered at 
Collace His family William, eighth and last Earl His 
poverty and eccentricities Petitions for payment of pensions 
His professed delight in Covenanter-hunting Curiosities of 
his correspondence Complaints of impecuniosity Correspon- 
dence with Graham of Claverhouse regarding the adoption of 
the latter, and with the Marquis of Montrose and Sir James 
Graham about the marriage of his niece and the succession 

Contents. xxxi 


to the Earldom Divorces his first wife and marries again 
How he practised economy Regulations for the management 
of and expenditure on his household Countess gets tired of 
his fussiness and leaves him A marriage contract drawn 
up Traditionary story of the " Roeskin Purse " Death 
and testament Disposition of his estates and personal 
property, 290 



Lord Kilpont, son of the seventh and father of the eighth Earl 
of Menteith His birth and marriage Acts as assistant 
justiciar of Menteith Captures a notorious robber Receives 
the King's thanks for his services in this matter and against 
the Covenanters Assembles the men of Menteith and the 
Lennox to watch the Irish levies of Montrose Goes over 
with this force to Montrose Murdered by Stewart of Ardvoir- 
lich at Collace Buried in the Chapter House at Inchmahome 
Varying accounts of the murder The story as told by 
Wishart, the Chaplain of Montrose Montrose's tribute to 
Kilpont The communication to Sir Walter Scott from a 
member of the Ardvoirlich family The story as told in the 
Acts of Parliament in a statement approved by Ardvoirlich 
himself, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 317 



Feud between the Menteiths and Drummonds in the fourteenth 
century Alleged and probable causes The battle of the 
clans at the Tar of Rusky Slaughter of the Menteith chiefs 
Interference of the King Terms of the arrangement of pacifi- 
cation The Beggar Earl of Menteith Relationship to the 
last Earl Appears at Holyrood and claims the title Claim 
disallowed by the House of Lords until further proof Never 
again attends the election of Scottish representative peers 
Sinks into poverty Becomes a " gangrel " Found dead in a 
field near Bonhill Account for his funeral Subsequent 

xxxii Contents. 


claimants of the Earldom Titles of Menteith and Airth still 
dormant The last Earl and the Grahams of Duchray Fracas 
at the Bridge of Aberfoyle Two local Legends : (I.) The 
Butler and the Witches (II.) Rival Long-bows Quaint mode 
of fishing for pike Royal visitors to the Lake and neighbour- 
hood Summary of royal visits previously referred to Bruce's 
sword at Cardross The Jameses in Menteith James V. and 
the King of Kippen Prince Charles Edward in Menteith 
His alleged visit to Cardross Queen Victoria and Princess 
Beatrice in Menteith Their two visits to the Lake Her 
Majesty's opinions of the scenery and the people, ... ... 323 


INDEX, 359 



1. Inchmahome from North Shore of Lake, 41 

2. Cup-marked Stone near Milling (from photograph by R. 

Kidston, F.G.S., &c.), ' ... 49 

3. View of the Lake from the South East, 56 

4. The Lake and Inchmahome from Portend, ... ... ... 63 

5. The Admiral's Point, 71 

6. The Nuns' Hill, 79 

7. Queen Mary's Tree, ... ... ... ... ... ... 83 

8. Queen Mary's Bower, 87 

9. Inchtalla, 94 

10. Inchcuan, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 97 

11. Plan or the Priory Buildings (from M 'Gibbon & Ross's 

Ecclesiastical Architecture), ... ... ... ... 102 

12. West Doorway of the Priory, ... ... ... ... ... 105 

13. The Aisle Arches,... ... ... ... ... ... ... 109 

14. The Chapter House Interior, ... ... ... ... ... 112 

15. The Chapter House from the East, ... ... ... ... 114 

1 6. The Vaulted Kitchen, Inchmahome, ... ... ... ... 119 

17. Ground Plan of Priory (from M'Gregor Stirling's Notes on 

Inchmahome), 122 

1 8. Recumbent Monument of Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, 

and his Countess, ... ... ... ... ... ... 125 

19. The Priors' Manse, otherwise called George Buchanan's 

House, in Stirling (from drawing by T. Allom), ... 184 

20. Plan of Buildings on Inchtalla (from M 'Gibbon & Ross's 

Domestic, &c., Architecture), 204 


21. Priory of Inchmahome, ... ... ... ... ... ... 131 

22. Sir Edmund Hastings, ... ... ... ... ... ... 226 

23. Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, ... ... ... ... 231 

24. Robert, Duke of Albany, ... ... ... ... ... 245 

xxxiv List of Illustrations. 

SEALS (Continued.) 

25. Malise, First Graham Earl of Menteith, ... ... ... 269 

26. Alexander, Second Graham Earl, ... ... ... ... 275 

27. William, Third Graham Earl, 278 

28. William, Seventh Earl, ... ... ... ... ... ... 291 


29. Commendator John Erskine, ... ... ... ... ... 170 

30. Commendator David Erskine, ... ... ... ... ... 179 

31. Commendator Henry Erskine, 192 

The Lake of Menteith. 


Topography of Menteith : with Special 
References to Places of Historical and 
Legendary Interest. 

"The varied realms of fair Menteith.* 


[ENTEITH in the most comprehensive sense in 
which the name was and is still employed 
may be defined approximately as the country 
drained by the river Teith and its tributaries, 
together with the western and northern portions of the 
watershed of the Forth as far down as its junction with 
the Teith. 1 

This extensive district, which measures about twenty- 
eight miles in length from west to east, with a maximum 
breadth of about fifteen miles, has for backbone the ridge 
mountainous in the west and decreasing in height towards 
the east which lies between the basins of Loch Katrine, 
Loch Achray and Loch Yennachar and the course of the 

1 Balquhidder, however, although in the drainage area of the Teith, was 
reckoned a portion of the district of Stratherne. 

2 The Lake of Menteith. 

Teith on the north, and Loch Ard and the river Forth on 
the south. From this central ridge Menteith extends 
northwards over the valley of the Teith, and on the south 
takes in a considerable portion of the vale of Forth. It 
comprises the modern parishes of Callander, Kilmadock, 
and Lecropt, with portions of Logie and Dunblane, all lying 
north of the central ridge ; and Aberfoyle, Port of Menteith, 
Kincardine, and part of Kippen, on its southern slopes. 1 

The territories over which the ancient Earls of Menteith 
had jurisdiction were, however, of still wider extent than even 
this ample region, including, as they did at various times, 
large tracts of country in Argyllshire and the island of Arran. 

The Stewartry of Menteith, on the other hand, was of 
smaller extent. It included that portion of the territories 
of the old earldom which, on the execution and confiscation 
of the Albanies, was seized by King James the First and 
formed into a royal lordship under this designation. It 
comprised the more easterly portions of the old territory and 
the valley of the Teith, with the Castle of Doune as the 
chief messuage; while only the western region, for the 
most part lying on the south side of the central ridge, was 
assigned to the new earldom. 

The name of the district evidently connects itself with 
that of the river which is one of its principal natural 
features. As a rule in local nomenclature, it is the rivers 
and watercourses which give their names to the surrounding 
countrysides, not the region-name which originates that of 

1 This district of Menteith, along with that of Stratherne, formed the old Celtic 
province of Fortrenn. The four provinces of ancient Alban were : (i) Stratherne 
and Menteith ; (2) Athole ; (3) Angus and Mearns; (4) Fife and Fothreve. 
Skene's Celtic Scotland, vol. i. p. 290 ; vol. iii. p. 133. 

The Lake of Mentelth. 3 

the river. As to the significance of the river-name Teith, 
however, etymologists have not yet reached agreement. 

The derivation of the word most generally given 
although not always absolutely accepted is that suggested 
originally by the Eev. Dr. Kobertson, the writer of the 
Old Statistical Account of the Parish of Callander (who, 
by the way, spells the name Teath an orthography pro- 
bably more correct than the now invariable Teith). He 
says the Avon Teath is " the warm river m deriving the 
word from the Gaelic te or teth, which means " hot." Of 
this appellative two explanations have been given. One 
applies the quality of warmth rather to the river-valley 
than to the waters of the stream. Fringed with woods 
and shut in, on north and south alike, by continuous hill- 
ranges, it is sheltered from the cold blasts which sweep 
the mountains, and thus affords a contrast to the cold 
uplands on either side so marked as to deserve the epithet 
of " warm." This explanation, besides being rather far- 
fetched, is contrary to the usual rule of deriving the 
name of the country from that of the river. The other 
explanation is that given by the Eev. Dr. Graham of 
Killearn in his " Perthshire Sketches." He writes the Gaelic 
name as Avon-Thaicli, and while distinctly stating that 
" the etymology is uncertain," he explains the derivation 
from Te or Teth by " the boiling appearance which it 
(the river) presents, on account of the rapidity of its current 
from Callander to Ochtertyre." 2 Within these limits the 
Teith is certainly a clear and rather rapid stream "swift " 

1 Old Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. xi., p. 574. 

2 Sketches of Perthshire, by the Rev. P. Graham, D.D., 1812 ; p. 64. 

4 The Lake of Menteith. 

is Sir Walter Scott's poetical epithet 1 but a " boiling 
appearance " is not its characteristic. In respect of the 
smoothness of its flow, its freedom from rushes and 
cataracts, it is distinctly in contrast with its own two 
head streams, and notably with the tumultuous water 
which rushes down the Pass of Leny from Loch Lubnaig. 

Other derivations are not wanting. One authority 2 says 
the name is probably from the Gaelic taic, which means 
" strength or vigour." But strength is a quality predicable 
of all large rivers, and is not peculiar to the Teith. Colonel 
Eobertson 3 finds in the word a reference to an old Celtic 
river-god, " whose name means ivater." Leaving the 
river-god whose existence does not admit of proof out 
of the question, it may be said that a root-word with an 
apparent resemblance to that of Teith is to be found in 
other river-names in Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall. But 
all this is extremely vague, and indicates no particular 
feature of this stream from which it might be supposed 
to derive a characteristic name. 

Such a characteristic quality, however, is pointed at 
in a derivation submitted it is believed for the first time 4 
by Dr. A. C. Cameron, a very competent Gaelic scholar. 
He says : " The Teith in Gaelic is Uisge-Theavich, that 
is, ' the quiet and pleasant water ' ; the root being teamli 

1 "Along thy banks, swift Teith ! they ride." Lady of the Lake, canto v. 
St. xviii. 

2 Johnston's Place Names of Scotland, 1892, p. 232. 

8 Robertson's Gaelic Topography of Scotland, p. 144. 

4 In a letter to the present writer. It may be said that when Dr. Cameron 
sent his explanation of Uisge-Theavich, he was not acquainted with the locality, 
and unaware of the character of the stream and its feeders. He merely interpreted 
the Gaelic name by which the river had been known to him from boyhood. 

The Lake of Menteith. 5 

(' quiet,' l pleasant,' as opposed to c rongh,' ' wild ') 
+ icli (= English termination ows)." Now, the character 
of the two streams which unite to form the Teith is 
sufficiently indicated by their names. That which comes 
from Loch Yennachar has the Gaelic name of Eas-gobhain 
"the smith's cascade"; while the Loch Lubnaig branch 
is known as the G-arbh-uisge, or "rough water." They 
are both the latter especially rude and brawling torrents. 
But the river formed by their union is of a totally different 
character. From the junction, where it assumes the name 
of Teith, it becomes still and placid ; it flows, or scarcely 
flows, in quiet deep pools, through the meadows of Callander. 
Dr. John Brown's characterisation of it as seen from 
Callander Bridge is as true as it is poetical, " lying diffuse 
and asleep, as if its heart were in the Highlands and it were 
loath to go." 1 To this smooth stream, the name of quiet 
and pleasant might well be given in contrast to the ivild 
and rough waters which unite to form it. The name thus 
given has adhered to the river throughout its course, and 
although below Callander its stream becomes more rapid, 
it nowhere merits the epithet of " boiling." There is not a 
cataract in its whole course. 

Thaich, or Taich, according to Dr. Graham, was a name 
applicable not only to the river, but to the whole of the 
district which is known to us as Menteith. He says : 
" It may be proper to remark that the name Menteith, by 
which the whole territory included between the Forth and 
the Teith, from their junction, a little above Stirling, to 
the western extremity of Loch Con, upon the confines of 

1 Horae Subsecivae, by John Brown, M.D., second series, 1861, p. 170. 

6 The Lake of Menteith. 

Buchanan, is denominated, is entirely unknown in the 
Gaelic; the district is uniformly called Taich." 1 The 
Kev. W. M'Gregor Stirling makes the same affirmation 
evidently on Dr. Graham's authority : " The name of 
Monteath " so he spells it " even in the present day 
is not known to the Gael, who call it Taich." 2 Others 
have repeated the statement. It is, however, too absolute. 
Gaelic -speaking people know and have long known the 
district by the name of Menteith, as well as by that of 
Taich or Taicht. 8 Taichia is the usual Latin form of the 
name. It occurs in a Patent under the Great Seal, dated 
31st July, 1631, whereby King Charles the First created 
William, seventh Earl of Menteith, Earl of Stratherne and 
Menteith. Throughout this document, the Earl is styled 
Comes Taichie lie Menieth.* But in all the earlier official 
documents it is Menteith in varied forms of spelling. 

The very earliest form in which the word occurs is 
Meneted, in which shape it appears, according to Innes, 
in a manuscript that dates in the latter part of the twelfth 
century. 5 In a charter, dated 1234, it appears as Mynteth 
and also Mynynteth, and as Meneteth in 1240. From the 

1 Graham's Sketches of Perthshire, p. 64. 

2 Notes on the Priory of Inchmahome, by the Rev. W. M'Gregor Stirling, 
p. 88, note. 

3 If Taich is not to be taken simply as the river name applied to the surrounding 
country, it may be, as suggested by Dr. Cameron, a compound of Teamh andfatc/ie, 
meaning the " pleasant country." Pleasant enough it is as compared with the wild 
region beyond, and attractive for the foray-loving Highlanders, who were wont to 
descend from their fastnesses to spoil its more fertile fields " the varied realms of 
fair Menteith." But it seems better to connect the name of the country with that 
of the river. 

4 Patent printed in the Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. 323. 

6 The passage referred to occurs in a manuscript which Innes attributes to 
Giraldus Cambrensis. This manuscript contains a description of Alban, said to 

The Lake of Menteith. 7 

twelfth to the end of the seventeenth century, the word 
occurs in written documents in over thirty different forms 
of spelling. 

A list of these will show the variety in which the old 
scribes indulged. The date of the first occurrence of each 
form is given. Many of them, of course, are repeated with 
greater or less frequency. 

Meneted (12th century), Manenthe and Manethe (1213), 
Mynynteth and Mynteth (1234), Meneteth (1240), Menteth 
(1250), Meneth (1253), Menetyef (1255), Menthet (1262), 
Menethe and Menetheht (1286), Mentheht (1290), Menethet, 
Menetheth, and Menetht (1329), Menetethe (1342), Menetoth 
(1354), Menetetht (1390), Montatht (1392), Mentethe (1403), 
Mentetht (1410), Menteith (1421), Monteth (1450), Men- 
teithe (1473), Menteitht (1501), Mentheth (1503), Mentehet 
(1508), Mentech (1512), Monteith (1513), Mentethyt (1597), 
Munteth (1597), Monteathe (1622), Montide (in a letter 
from Louis XIII. of France to the Earl of Menteith, 
1634), Montieth and Monteeth (English letters from the 
army of the Parliament 1653). l The spelling Monteath 
does not appear before 1724, when it was employed by 
Alexander Graham of Duchray in his description of the 
Parish of Port. 

Disregarding the early substitution of y, and the later and 
rare substitution of u and o for the e of the first syllable, and 

have been supplied by Andrew, Bishop of Caithness, whose death date was A.D. 
1 185. The phrase employed by the Bishop, speaking of the divisions of the country, 
is " pars etiam tertia est Stradearn cum Meneted." Innes's Essay on the Ancient 
Inhabitants of Scotland (Edin. 1879). Appendix No. I, p. 412. 

1 Others could be added, but the list is long enough for its purpose. All the 
names in it are taken from early charters, Acts of Parliament, Exchequer and other 
official documents. 

8 The Lake of Menteith. 

excluding the anomalous Manethe and Manenthe which 
appear in documents of Henry III. of England, and may 
therefore be set down as errors of ignorance on the part 
of the English scribe an analysis of these forms, taking 
account both of the spelling and the frequency of recurrence, 
seems to yield two, of which the others are but varieties of 
spelling. These are Meneteth and Menteth. The former 
is more frequent in the earlier writings, and therefore may 
perhaps be nearer the original word. 

Assuming that the last portion of the word represents 
Theavich or Teith whether the district or the river the 
origin of the first part may be found in one or other of the 
Gaelic words monadh (hill), moine (moor or moss), or muin 
(back). The hill-land, moorland, 'back-land of Taich would 
fitly enough designate the region. The indefinite sound of 
the vowel in the first syllable, indicated by the occasional 
change in spelling from e to y, u, o, and even a, and still 
surviving in the popular pronunciation, would also give 
countenance to any of the derivations suggested. Per- 
haps, however, we shall not be far wrong if we accept 
Monadh-Theavich as the most likely original of the word 
Menteith. 1 

The references to the district of Menteith by early 
Scottish writers are extremely scanty, and afford but little 
information regarding the appearance or character of the 
country. Hector Boece merely mentions it as lying to the 

1 This derivation receives support from the statement, on the authority of 
Macbain's Gaelic Dictionary, that the Cornish forms of monadh were menit and 
meneth, and the Welsh form was mynydat. The forms of the old Pictish Goidelic 
in use among the people by whom these early place-names were given may have 
been similar. 

The Lake of Menteith. 9 

west of Stirling, and as having been partly covered in more 
ancient times by that old Caledonian forest which gave so 
much trouble to the Eoman soldiers, and which sheltered 
the famous white bulls. Both bulls and forest had in his 
time all but disappeared. His description of those fierce 
inhabitants of the wood may be suspected of being mythical, 
but it is exceedingly graphic, and in the quaint Scots in 
which Bellenden's translation dresses it deserves quota- 
tion. After stating that "the wod of Calidon ran fra 
Striveling throw Menteith and Stratherne to Atholl and 
Lochquhabir," he proceeds : 

" In this wod wes sum time quhit bullis, with crisp and 
curland mane, like feirs lionis ; and, thoucht thay semit 
meik and tame in the remanent figure of thair bodyis, thay 
were mair wild than ony uther beistis, and had sic hatrent 
agains the societe and company of men, that thay come 
nevir in the woddis nor lesuris quhair thay fand ony feit or 
haind thairof ; and, mony dais eftir, thay eit nocht of the 
herbis that wer twichit or handillit be men. Thir bullis wer 
sa wild, that thay wer nevir tane but slicht and crafty 
laubour ; and sae impacient, that, eftir thair taking, thay 
deit for importable dolour. Als sone as ony man invadit 
thir bullis, thay ruschit with so terrible preis on him, that 
thay dang him to the eird; takand na feir of houndis, 
scharp lancis, nor uthir rnaist penitrive wappinis." 1 

Menteith appears always to have been a hunting dis- 
trict. It continued to be so in the times of the Stuart 
kings, who had a royal forest and hunting-hall in Glenfin- 

1 Bellenden's Translation of Boece's History and Chronicles of Scotland, edit. 
1821 : The Cosmographic, chap. x. 

10 The Lake of Menteith. 

lass, as well as huntings in the forest of Aberfoyle. The 
Chamberlain's Accounts contain numerous entries of 
expenses for building and repairing the hunting seats and 
maintaining the forests with their rangers and keepers. 
But there were no white bulls then to hunt. The staple 
game were deer and foxes, though Lesley makes mention 
of wolves as still existing in his time. 

Buchanan's account of the district is equally meagre 
with that of Boece, or rather more so. It amounts only 
to the statement that Menteith lies between the mountains 
of Strathearn and the Forth, and that it receives its name 
from the Teith, which runs through the midst of it. 1 

Bishop Lesley adopts Boece's description of the Cale- 
donian forest and its wild bulls, and adds that more ancient 
writers had affirmed the existence of bears and wolves in 
this great forest, stating that the bears were long before his 
time utterly extinct, although wolves were still to be found. 
Other points of interest he mentions : " Neist this (i.e. 
Stirling) westwarde lyes Monteith, nobilitat and mekle 
commendat throuch the name of sik cheise as nane fyner, 
quhairin, by uthir singular thingis that it hes, ane famous 
suerlie and kinglie castell, lykewyse ane certane monaster 
of midway rentis " (the original Latin is mediocrium red- 
dituum, " of moderate revenues ") "it conteines." 2 

The famous and kingly castle of course refers to Doune, 
and the monastery of moderate revenues is obviously Inch- 
mahome. These are now in ruins, but not more so than 

1 Buchanan's Opera Omnia a Ruddiman, 1715 ; vol. i. p. 10. 

2 Lesley's Historic of Scotland, translated by Father Dalrymple, Scottish Text 
Society's edition, 1885 ; vol. i. p. 28. 

The Lake of Menteith. 11 

the reputation of Menteith for its cheese. That appears 
to have utterly departed. Neverthless the note is of 
interest, as confirming what we know from other sources 
that Menteith was a comparatively wealthy district, whose 
herds of grazing cattle were a temptation too strong to be 
resisted by the hungry Highland clans that inhabited the 
mountains to the north and west. In the earlier times the 
Earls of Menteith would be responsible for guarding this 
valuable property ; and after a portion of their domain 
became the property of the Crown, the officers of the 
Stewartry had a kind of militia appointed to watch the 
Highland marauders. 1 

This may be a suitable place to notice an error that 
has found its way into all the local histories and into many 
of the general histories of Scotland, and for which Buchanan 
appears to be, in the first place, responsible. He makes 
Menteith the scene of the murder of Duncan II. in 1094. 2 
This prince, who dethroned the usurper Donald Bane, was 
treacherously slain by Maolpeder, Earl of Mearns, at the 
instigation, it is said, of Donald. Hector Boece does not 
venture to indicate the locality of the tragedy. He merely 
says that Duncan was killed "slepand in his bed, eftir he 
had roung ane yeir and ane half"; 3 but Buchanan who, 
like Boece, calls the murderer Macpender distinctly puts 
the scene of the occurrence in Menteith (Taichia). One is 
inclined to wonder what the thane of the Mearns was doing 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. ii. p. 487 : payment of 4 33 for watchmen " to watch 
thieves coming from Lome to Menteith." Other entries to the same effect. 

2 Buchanan's Opera, vol. i. book vii. p. 118. 

3 Bellenden's Boece, book xiii. chap. 16. 

12 The Lake of Menteith. 

in the region of Menteith. It seems not unlikely that 
Buchanan was led to his statement by a misapprehension 
of his authority. That authority appears to have been 
the Scotichronicon ^ which affirms that Duncan perished 
by the treachery of his uncle Donald and by the instru- 
mentality of one Malpedir, Earl of Mearns, at Monathethyn. 1 
Now, Monathethyn, and still more its MS. variants 
Monthechyn and Monathechin, are so very like Monadh- 
thaich, that there need be little wonder that a writer 
who was acquainted with Gaelic as Buchanan was should, 
without stopping to investigate, transcribe the word in 
Latin as Taichia. 

Maitland repeats the tale, and gives additional definite- 
ness to the scene by placing it "in the Castle of Menteith" 2 
wherever that may have been. Chalmers pointed out the 
proper locality of this murder as Monacliedin, now called 
Mondynes a place on the banks of the Bervie in Kincar- 
dineshire or Mearns; the exact spot being marked by a 
monolith of over 6 ft. in height above ground, which is 
said to have been set up to commemorate the event. 3 Not- 

1 Scotichronicon a Goodall, lib. v. cap. xxviii. : Qui cum per unum annum et 
sex menses regnasset, avunculi sui Dovenaldi dolo quern saepius bello vicerat, per 
adminiculum cujusdam comitis de Mernis^ nomine Malpetri^ Scotlice Malpeder^ 
apud Monathethyn caesus interiit, 

2 Maitland's History and Antiquities of Scotland, 1757, vol. i. p. 345. 

3 Chalmers' Caledonia, 1807, vol. i. p. 423. See also Robertson's Scotland 
under her Early Kings, vol. i. p. 158 ; and Skene's Celtic Scotland, vol. i, p. 438. 
Wyntoun (Origynale Cronykil of Scotland, edited by Laing, 1872, book vii. 
chap. iii. line 387) mentions the fact of the murder, but gives neither the name of 
the place nor of the murderer. Monachedin, however, appears as the name of the 
place in what is perhaps the earliest authority of all a list of the Kings of Scots 
and Picts in the Register of the Priory of St. Andrews, written A.D. 1251 : 
" Donekan Mac-Malcolm regnavit 6 mens. hoc interfecto a Malpeder Macloen 
comite de Mearns in Monachedin," See Innes' Essay on the Ancient Inhabitants 
of Scotland : Historians of Scotland, 1879, v l- viii. app. 5, p. 424. 

The Lake of Menteith. 13 

withstanding this correction, the error still persists and is 
found in some quite recent works. 1 

The name Menteith is still in use as a convenient 
geographical term, although the district has no longer a 
judicial or civil existence. When it had, the name was 
applicable to the whole of the country already described. 
While it is still employed in that wide sense, the local 
significance of the term is now frequently confined to the 
country lying more immediately around the Lake of Men- 
teith. As it is with this narrower region that the subject 
of this book is specially connected, it will be proper to give 
some account of it its topography, history and traditions 
before dealing in detail with the Lake and the Islands. 


"Many a tale, 

Traditionary, round the mountains hung, 
And many a legend peopling the dark woods." 

WHAT we have called the hilly backbone of the province 
of Menteith, after leaving the gap which makes a sort of 
break in its continuity at Aberfoyle, runs, at considerable 

1 Dun's Summer at the Lake of Menteith, 1866, p. 15 ; Keltie's History of the 
Scottish Highlands, 1887, vol. i. p. 36. 

14 The Lake of Menteilh. 

elevation, between Loch Vennachar and the Lake of Men- 
teith. It is divided into two distinct masses by the ravine 
of Glenny and the depression at the summit, over which 
passes the rough track between the lakes. These may be 
distinguished by the names of their principal summits, as 
the Ben-dhu (black mountain) and the Ben-dearg (red 
mountain) masses. The names indicate a natural and 
striking contrast in colour Ben Dhu bearing on its southern 
front a ridge of bare and dark-coloured rock, while Ben 
Dearg to the east shows ruddy-tinted rock and soil, and 
brown heath to its top. The dark front of Ben Dhu, 
cut into five or six portions by sharp notches on the 
top, retires at its eastern extremity towards the north, 
leaving room for the heathy slopes and moors of Mondhui. 
Back in hollows of this mountain mass towards the 
north and west, lie the fine Loch Drunkie of old times 
held by wild Macfarlanes and Macphersons and the 
solitary mountain tarn known as Loch Kheoidte ("the 
frozen lake "). 

The eastern or Ben-dearg section of the hills is what 
is usually designated specifically the Hills of Menteith. 
Though not entitled, from their height alone, to rank among 
first-class Scottish mountains, yet their appearance is in no 
small degree impressive. Seen from the south, they appear 
to rise with almost startling suddenness and steepness from 
the level of the lake. As the lake itself is but little above 
sea-level, and as there are no gradually rising foot-hills to 
diminish the apparent height, they have the full scenic 
advantage of their measured elevation. A dense wood of 
firs, which runs up a great portion of this steep southern 

The Lake of Menteith. 15 

face, but allows the bare, brown summits to show above, 
adds to the effect of the view of the hill from this side. 
When this outer wall has been scaled and the interior 
region is explored, the true mountainous characteristics 
are revealed. Boggy hollows, steep grassy or heath-clad 
slopes, stony or rocky crests, make up its general character. 
Although it affords grazing for sheep and cattle, cultivation 
has never existed, except around the skirts of the mass and 
up a few short and narrow openings. From of old it has 
been the haunt of wild beast and wild fowl, and if the 
wolves and boars, which legend affirms to have frequented 
its recesses, are now extinct, it is still tenanted by some 
of our wilder animals. The usual winged and four-footed 
game preserved for sport is, of course, abundant. The 
eagle is probably extinct, but falcons are said yet to breed 
in the cliffs of Auchyle. Foxes are numerous, and badgers, 
and possibly wild-cats, are still to be found. 

The heights of this region which comprises an area of 
several square miles arrange themselves in a rough way 
in three main portions. The most northerly, which rises 
from the shores of Loch Vennachar and the banks of Eas 
Gobhain, rises to its greatest elevation in Ben Gullipen 
(gailebhein great rough hill ?), 1344 feet in height. The 
central ridge, rising by a long ascent from the Pass of 
Glenny to the east till it attains its greatest height of 
1401 feet, is Ben Dearg, sometimes written Ben-dearig, and 
pronounced generally by natives of the district as " Ben- 
dhirack." The prospect from this summit is magnificent. 
Northwards rise the numberless peaks of the Grampians in 
confused array. Ben Ledi is close at hand, across Loch 

16 The Lake of Menteith. 

Vennachar, with Loch Lubnaig coiling round its eastern 
foot. Behind are Ben More and Stobinean, with the " Braes 
of Balquhidder." More to the right, Stuc-a-chroin, Ben 
Voirlich, and Uamvar, backed by Ben Chonzie, and the 
Comrie hills, are seen, with the peaks of the Atholl hills 
in the distance. Towards the left, the mountains on the 
borders of Perth and Argyll shires may be descried. West- 
wards, the eye takes in Ben Venue and Ben Lomond, 
through the opening notes Ben Arthur and the mountains 
at the head of Loch Long, and lingers on the waters of 
Loch Katrine and Loch Achray, and other lakes on which 
the shadows of these mountains lie. Looking south- 
wards, the prospect is of a totally different and beautifully 
contrasting kind. Instead of the billowy sea of mountain 
peaks which fills the view to the north, there is the fair 
Vale of Menteith, fertile and finely cultivated, adorned with 
woods and pleasure grounds, shut in on the south by the 
green hills of Fintry and the Lennox range, but open in 
all its length from the sources of the Forth to Stirling 
Castle. Still further to the east, the eye may travel along 
the slopes of the Ochils, and follow the carse of Stirling 
till it rests on the broad waters of the Firth, and, if the 
atmosphere be sufficiently clear, may mark the towers and 
hills of Edinburgh rising in the distance. And not the 
least charming feature in the scene close at hand, almost 
under foot, as it were, lies the Lake of Menteith, mirroring 
on its placid surface its wooded and ruin-covered islands. 
The view everywhere from Ben Dearg is brightened and 
beautified by the numerous lakes that fill the hollows of 
the mountains. More than a dozen of these are visible 

The Lake of Menteith. 17 

from the summit. 1 A very small one lies close at hand. 
This which is about half-a-mile in circumference is called 
by the very appropriate name of Lochan-falloch, or, the 
hidden little lake. It lies in a deep cleft on the north 
edge, about 300 feet beneath the summit, so concealed 
from outside view that not even the position in which it 
lies can be observed from anywhere below. 

The southern portion of the mountain mass about 1200 
feet in greatest height falls in a steep and straight, almost 
wall-like face to the shores of the lake. The transition 
from mountain to lowland is as sudden as the contrast is 
complete. This southern front is known by the names 
of Glenny and Auchyle Hills. In the New Statistical 
Account of the parish 2 it is called the Craig of Port. At 
Auchrig, on the east side of the hill, there is what the 
writer describes as a stone-avalanche. " The front of the 
mountain has more or less slid away from the main body, 
and in one place violently burst. Here conglomerated sand- 
stones (vulgarly called plum-pudding) of large dimensions 
and irregular shapes lie piled above each other in dizzy 
poise. The spectator from above can see glimpses of the 
wide extended vale beneath, through the apertures. Some 
of the rocks are richly festooned with ancient ivy. They 
are the favourite haunt of foxes, and often re-echo the 
mellow note of the fox-hound. A very large spring of 
water issues from their base, even in the driest season. 

1 Among them are Vennachar, Lubnaig, Drunkie, Achray, Katrine, Con, 
Ard, Menteith, with the smaller lochans, Falloch, Letter, Ruskie, Watston, Mac- 
anree, c. 

- Published in 1845. Account drawn up from notes supplied by Rev. W. 
M'Gregor Stirling. 

18 The Lake of Menteith. 

From this station, in a clear day, Arthur's Seat may be 
descried, having its base sunk behind a flat country, which, 
melted down by distance, somewhat resembles the ocean, 
and gives to that rock the appearance of the Bass or 
Ailsa." 1 

A locality of much historic interest lies also at the 
eastern termination of the hill. About 300 feet lower 
than the summit of Ben Dearg, and at almost the height 
of the moorland over which the road from Port of Menteith 
to Callander passes, lies the lonely little loch of Ruskie, 
with its island castle, now almost entirely gone, one of the 
seats of that Sir John Menteith whose connection with 
the betrayal of Wallace has caused his name and memory 
to be held in execration by his countrymen. This little 
lake, about a mile in circumference, occupies a secluded 
and, in ancient times, not easily accessible position. 
Tradition therefore avers that here Sir John, who had 
another residence called the Castle of Menteith somewhere 
in the vale below, 2 built himself a stronghold for the 
greater security which the troubled times and his own 
share in their events seemed to require. It may be pre- 
sumed, however, that the old Earls of Menteith had some 
sort of tower on the island before it came into the possession 
of Sir John. But, by whomsoever or for what purpose it 

1 Notes on Inchmahome, p. 70, New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. x., 
Parish of Port. 

2 This Castle of Menteith is reputed to have been the ancient stronghold of 
Rednock. It must be remembered that these statements regarding Sir John's 
castles rest on the authority of tradition alone. In no extant document is any 
mention made of his residence or residences. Both Rusky and Rednock belonged 
to the more ancient Earls of Menteith, and Sir John was a younger son of Earl 
Walter Stewart. 

The Lake of Menleith. 19 

was built, Eusky Castle can never have been anything but 
a small peel-tower. The 

" escutcheoned walls 
Of frowning Husky's ancient halls" 1 

had their existence only in the imagination of the poetess. 
There is no room on the island for any such spacious 
buildings as the lines seem to imply. A portion of the 
residential buildings, as well as the offices, may, however, 
have been on the shore, while the stronghold occupied the 
island. If that were so, all traces of them must have long 
ago disappeared ; although the eye of the local antiquarian 
can still discern on the shore the course on which the 
ancient chiefs were wont to train their horses. 2 

The centre of interest of the Menteith hills as it is 
their geographical centre is the deep and thickly-wooded 
defile which separates the Craig-dhu hills on the west from 
those of Craig-dearg on the east. This opening into the 
hills is cut by a rushing mountain stream, which rises about 
the summit of the col that connects the two mountain 
masses. The stream, known as the Burn of G-lenny, and 
in its lower part as Portend Burn, is the principal feeder 
of the Lake of Menteith. It tumbles down the steep 
hillsides over a succession of cataracts, and then pierces 
its way, in many places entirely concealed from sight, 
through clefts and chasms in the rock, which make passage 

1 Wallace, or the Field of Falkirk, by Miss Holford, canto v. sL 15. 

2 Dun's Summer at the Lake of Menteith, 1866, p. 24. For Sir John 
Menteith, see infra. Part of the stone-work of the old Castle is said to have 
been removed, about the beginning of the present century, for the purpose of 
building some houses at Blairhoyle. 

20 The Lake of Menteith. 

from one side to the other impossible. These dark and 
romantic chasms can best be seen by forcing a way up 
the rugged channel of the burn not an easy matter at 
any time, and possible only when the water is not in 
flood and are perhaps most striking in their appearance 
just before the stream has succeeded in escaping from its 
rocky entanglements to the alluvial flat, across which it 
quietly meanders to the lake. 

Towards the foot of the glen, and on the eastern side 
of it, a bold outpost of the hills detaches itself from the 
principal mass. This fine rounded knoll, clothed with 
bracken and grass to near the summit, which shows bare 
in contrast, and big enough to be reckoned a hill were 
it not for the greater elevation behind it, is named 
Crockmelly a name apparently made up of Cnoc (some- 
times written Crock) and maol, and therefore meaning "the 
bald or bare hill." Between Crockmelly and the stream 
are two places whose names are referred by local tradition 
to incidents in an affray which happened here in connection 
with the rising of the Earl of Glencairn in 1653. At that 
time Scotland was under the rule of the Commonwealth. 
But General Monk, who had over-run the country and held 
it with a firm hand, was called away to take command of 
the English fleet in the war that broke out with the Dutch. 
Taking advantage of his absence, the Earls of Glencairn 
and Balcarres endeavoured to raise the Highlands in the 
royal cause. Glencairn made his appearance in Menteith, 
where he was joined by Graham of Duchray with his men 
and some of the neighbouring clans. While these were 
encamped about Duchray and Lochard, the Governor of 

The Lake of Menteith. 21 

Stirling Castle marched to meet them, with a squadron 
of horse and about a regiment of foot a force apparently 
quite sufficient to deal with the rising, as the Grahams 
and their friends did not number quite three hundred 
men, all told. The English troops, however, were hemmed 
in at the pass of Aberfoyle, and driven back with con- 
siderable loss. 

It is with this historical affair that tradition connects 
the incidents at Glenny. While on the march to Aberfoyle, 
along the northern shore of the Lake of Menteith, and 
in the narrow passage between Crockmelly and the lake, 
the English force was suddenly attacked by a small party 
of the Grahams of Glenny, whom their laird had ambushed 
in the pass on the front of the hill and among the rocks 
and trees of the glen. The Grahams were too few in 
number to be able to stop the march of the enemy, but 
the fire from their ambush was so annoying that the 
English commander ordered his horse to charge up the 
hill, and clear the pass. It is said that one of the Graham 
party, called M'Queen, had signalized himself by the 
accuracy of his aim and the deadly effect of his fire. He 
was therefore made the object of special pursuit by the 
horsemen. He did not escape. He was overtaken, and 
cut down at a spot which thenceforth has borne the name 
of " M'Queen's Pass." 

Another native was more fortunate. Chased by a 
horseman right over the shoulder of the hill, he fled down 
the other side towards the glen of Portend, making for 
a place where, as described by the author of "Inchmahome," 
the rivulet has cut a deep and narrow chasm in the rock, 

22 The Lake of Menteith. 

the strata of which have a dip a little removed from the 
perpendicular, with the consequence that one of the sides 
projects in proportion as the other leans backwards. 1 
To this deep fissure the wily Graham led the pursuing 
trooper. And just in time he reached the rock overhanging 
the hidden chasm. The soldier was at his heels, and his 
arm already raised to cut him down, when Graham swerved 
to the side, and horse and rider, unable to check their 
impulse, went headlong over the precipice. Thus local 
tradition accounts for the name of the " Horseman's Book," 
by which the place is still known. 

The laird of Glenny, though unable to arrest the advance 
of the English, had yet time to warn Duchray of his 
approach, so that the latter was enabled to take up an 
advantageous position at the foot of Lochard. 

Such is the traditional account of the engagement at 
Glenny. Whether the details of the affair are accurately 
preserved or not, circumstances to be by and bye referred 
to seem to favour the belief that some such skirmish may 
have actually taken place here, although no mention is 
made of it in the detailed narrative of the events at 
Aberfoyle that has come down to us. This narrative, it 
may be stated, is attributed to John Graham of Duchray, 
himself the leader of the local clansmen, and may therefore 
be taken as authoritative in regard to the incidents of 

1 Notes on Inchmahome, p. 69. The following sentences complete the author's 
description of Portend Glen : " They (i.e., the sides of the glen) are both richly 
adorned with varied coppice, through which, from the noon-day twilight beneath, 
the sky is seen in glimpses. Huge moss-grown stones are scattered in wild 
and picturesque confusion ; and the din of the several rapids they form, by 
interrupting the course of the water, contributes to the romantic effect of this 
sequestered scene." 

The Lake of Menteith. 23 

the fight. It is titled " Account of the Earl of Glencairn's 
Expedition as Governor of His Majesty's Forces in the 
Highlands of Scotland in the years 1653 and 1654, by a 
Person who was an Eye and Ear Witness to Every 
Transaction." 1 

As Duchray and Aberfoyle are so nearly connected with 
Menteith, it may not be out of place here to give a brief 
abstract of the substance of this narrative. It states that 
the first to join Glencairn in his rising was the laird of 
Duchrie with forty footmen, followed immediately by the 
tutor of M'Gregor with eighty men. These assembled 
at Duchray, where they were joined by Lord Kenmure with 
forty horsemen from the west, Colonel Blackadder with 
thirty horse from Fife, and the laird of M'Naughton with 
twelve horsemen. In addition there were between sixty 
and eighty Lowland men, without horses, but well provided 
with arms, under Captain Hamilton, brother to the laird of 
Milnburn. The total force thus amounted to less than 
200 foot and 42 mounted men. The narrative then 
proceeds: " Colonel Kidd, governor of Stirling, being 
informed that the king's forces were come so near him, 
marched with the greatest part of his regiment of foot and 
a troop of horse, to a place called Aberfoile, within three 
miles of Lord Glencairn. His lordship having intelligence, 
did march with the small force he had to the pass of 
Aberfoile, and drew up his foot on both sides very advan- 
tageously : and the horse, which were commanded by Lord 

1 The "Account" is adjoined as an Appendix to the Military Memoirs 
of the Great Civil War, by John Gwynne. These two curious works were 
printed from the MSS., and published at Edinburgh in 1822. 

24 The Lake of Menteith. 

Kenmure, formed the wings. He gave orders for Captain 
Hamilton's cravats 1 and Deuchrie's men to receive the first 
charge, which they did very gallantly : and at the very 
first made the enemy retire. The general, perceiving this, 
commanded the Highland forces to pursue as also Lord 
Kenmure's horse : on this the enemy began to run in 
earnest : they lost about sixty men on the spot, and it 
was said about eighty in the pursuit : no prisoners were 
taken on either side." 2 

This account of Duchray's, it will be observed, makes no 
allusion to the afiair of Glenny, but in a letter to the 
Mercurius Politicus from the military correspondent in 
Scotland (dated at Dalkeith 3rd Sept., 1653) there is refer- 
ence to another slight skirmish, which seems to have 
occurred at some place in Menteith nearer to Stirling than 
Lochard is. "The Lords Lome and Kenmore are busy 
about the west of Stirlingshire ; and were, with about 260 
horse and foot, within seven miles of the garrison, fired at 
some of ours, and killed a horse out of the ambuscade. 
Colonel Kead is marched out against them, with three 
companies of his own regiment and three troops of horse." 
This may well enough refer to the ambuscade at Glenny. 
We may make some allowance for the geographical knowledge 
of the English correspondent, as well as for the course of 
local tradition which represents as a private affair of the 
Laird of Glenny what was really a reconnaissance of the 
Highland force. The Colonel commanding the English 
troops was apparently not with his men on the occasion. It 
was to punish the insult that he marched immediately after- 

1 Croats. * Military Memoirs of the Great Civil War, &c., p. 160. 

The Lake of Menteith. 25 

wards to Aberfoyle. Three days later the same correspondent 
writes as follows : " In my last I acquainted you with the 
Lord Lome and Kenmore's coming near to Stirling and 
Colonel Bead marching towards them : since which there 
hath been a little skirmish, wherein they killed us two horse, 
and wounded us about twenty men and some horses : but 
they were well requited. When the craggs could shelter 
them no longer, they left our men upon the plain ground. 
There appeared fifty of their foot and some horse : divers of 
their foot run along the hills, from hill to hill, flanking of 
our men, and gauling us upon our retreat, which occasioned 
our loss. Colonel Head yet lies in the field near Port, by 
the isle of Menteith, near which the engagement was.'* 
This is no doubt the English version of the engagement at 
Aberfoyle. The circumstance of the Highlanders running 
along the hillsides and harassing the retreat of the enemy is 
characteristic. The statement of the Parliamentary loss in 
killed and wounded, as might be expected, differs greatly 
from the estimate of Duchray. It is to be observed also that 
the Commander, whom Duchray calls Colonel Kidd, is here 
named Colonel Kead. The English writer must be credited 
with knowing the name of the Parliamentary officer. 
Duchray probably made the not unnatural error of taking 
Rid, which used to be the Scottish pronunciation of Bead, 
for Kidd, or it may be that the transcriber or printer of his 
manuscript mistook the letter B for K. It is certain that 
Kead Scottice Eid was the governor of Stirling at that 
time. In a minute of Town Council, of 18th July, 1653, he 
is styled, "Colonell Rid, governour of this burgh." 1 

Extracts from the Records of the Royal Burgh of Stirling, A.D. 1529-1666, p. 209. 

26 The Lake of Menteith. 

For some time longer the Highland troops remained in 
the district. The Mercurius Politicus notes, under date 
6th Nov., 1653, that the leaders still " lie about the island 
of Monteath with about 1000 foot and horse : about a third 
part of them want arms, instead whereof they have clubs " 
surely a sorry rabble wherewith to overturn the government 
of the Lord High Protector. On the 26th of November 
occurs this final note " To give you some account of our 
present posture, Kenmore is going northward : but has left 
his beagles under one John Graham of Docra, to steal horses 
and plunder the country." Thus contemptuously is the 
Laird of Duchray dismissed from the pages of the Mercurius 
Politicus. 1 As the letter is written from Stirling, it was 
probably penned while the writer was still suffering from the 
soreness of Read's defeat by Duchray at Aberfoyle. 

Down the pass of Glenny has swept many a Highland 
foray. By this track the predatory tribes of the wild 
mountain region beyond Loch Vennachar came down to 
harry the fertile region of Menteith and the Vale of Forth. 
The immediate neighbourhood especially, the domain of 
the Duke of Montrose, was the favourite scene of opera- 
tions of those expert blackmailers and cattle-lifters, Bob 
Roy and his kin. It is to be expected, therefore, that 
memories of M'Gregors, and MacFarlans, and other 
marauders, should linger in the glen. And so they did 
till recently; but the inhabitants have now become very 
few, and the population of the vale below has greatly 
changed, so that orally preserved tradition has now 
become scanty. The harvest of such tradition, however, 

1 Military Memoirs, c., Appendix pp. 199 to 214, passim. 

The Lake of Mentelth. 27 

has been already pretty well gathered, and the result has 
found a place in national as well as local literature. It 
is not intended to repeat any of these tales here : but 
whoever desires to read the story of the " bold outlaw," 
and the not less curious histories of his sons, will find 
an authentic account, together with a history of the clan 
in general, in Sir Walter Scott's Introduction to " Bob 
Eoy " : while the local legends of their exploits in Men- 
teith have been told, with imaginative embellishments, 
in Mr. P. Dun's " Summer at the Lake of Menteith." 

The old path leading up from the glen and over the 
ridge is still to be traced in the heath. It is known as 
the Cheepers or Tyepers path. At the top of the ridge it 
splits one track taking down the hill in a north-easterly 
direction to the east end of Loch Vennachar, while the 
other curves round towards the north and west, and leads 
between Lochs Drunkie and Vennachar to Loch Achray 
and the Trossachs. On the height of the pass is a spring 
known as the Tyepers Well. This name seems to be 
merely a bad corruption of the old Gaelic word tiobar 
(pronounced tibbar or tipper), meaning " a well," or more 
specifically, " a well on a height." The word therefore 
exactly describes this spring and its situation, and furnishes 
also the explanation of the Tyepers Path "the well road." 
This tiobar was most probably the spot where William, the 
third Earl of Menteith of the Graham line, was slain by 
Donald the Hammerer and his followers in or about the 
year 1544. 1 Writers who have mentioned this event have 
not been very definite in their localisation. Sir Walter 

1 The story is told in detail in the Life of that Earl, infra. 

28 The Lake of Menteith. 

Scott says that the Earl and his men went in pursuit of 
the Stewarts by the difficult and dangerous path which 
leads from the banks of the Loch of Monteith through the 
mountains to the side of Loch Katrine. " They came up 
with Donald's party in the gorge of the pass, near a rock 
called Craig-vad or the Wolf's Cliff." 1 Others name the 
place Tobanareal, which is said to be " a spring on the 
summit of the ridge which separates Menteith from 
Strathgartney, between Loch Katrine and the Lake of 
Menteith." 2 The ridge, up which the Stewarts were 
making their way towards their native Appin, when over- 
taken by the Grahams, is that which lies between the 
Lake of Menteith and Loch Vennachar although there 
is a track, as has been already noted, leading round the 
north side of the hill to Loch Katrine. Tobanareal is 
evidently a corruption of the original name. The first 
part no doubt is meant for Tobar. In the earliest men- 
tion both of the story and the place, the name is written 
Tipard'nerheil* And this leads us to the etymology of 
the name, which seems to be a slightly corrupted form of 
Tiobair-na-iorghuill, meaning "the fountain of the fray." 4 
If thia is correct, the name must have been given to 
commemorate the incident, and was perhaps that by 
which it was afterwards known to the Stewarts. If it 

1 Tales of a Grandfather, 1892, vol. i. p. 424. 

2 Eraser's Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. 311. 

3 History of the House of Stewart, by Duncan Stewart, M.A. This book was 
published in 1739, but must have been written previously to 1730, which was the 
date of the author's death. 

* In iorghuill the gh is silent, so that the word sounds as if written irrail. 
(Communication from PT, A, C. Cameron.) 

The Lake of Menteith. 


ever prevailed in the neighbourhood, it has long been 
lost, and the name has reverted to the more ancient and 
simple tobair, now degenerated into tyeper. 

In a hollow below this spring there is a cairn of white 
quartz stone, gathered evidently with some care and trouble, 
which one would like to be able to identify as the burial 
place of some of those who fell in the fray at Tipardnerheil : 
but the shepherds of Orlenny say that it marks the spot 
where a man was robbed and murdered when returning 
by the hill-track to Loch Vennachar-side from a fair at 



Around the Lake : Civil and Ecclesi- 
astical Notices of Port : Traditions of 
the Shores. 

"Green meadows and lake with green islands." 

" Not a feature of these hills 
Is in the mirror slighted." 

" Tradition's dubious light 
That hovers 'twixt the day and night." 


IT the north-west corner of the lake, and under 
the shadow of the hills, lies the village, or 
rather hamlet, of Port so called, no doubt 
(Gaelic poirt, " a ferry," also " a landing- 
place "), because it was the landing-place for the monks 
of Inchmahome in their communication with the church 
which they possessed there, or when visiting the lands of 
their domain. There were two other landing-places on the 
north side of the lake. One was on the lands of Portend, 
where the pleasure-grounds of the Earls of Menteith were 
situated. This afforded the shortest passage from the 
shore to the islands, and may have been the private ferry 
of the Earls of Inchtalla. A third, and perhaps more 
public port, was at the extreme north-west corner of the 

The Lake of Menteith. 31 

lake. At Gateside, as the place is called, there was long 
a ferry to the islands : there was the house of the boatman, 
who used also, down to recent times, to be the lessee of 
the fruit gardens on Inchmahome. 

The Port, although it gives name to the parish, was never 
anything but a very small village, and is now even smaller 
than it once was. The church, the manse, the inn, the 
schoolhouse, and a few cottages, make up the whole. 
Nevertheless, this small and secluded hamlet was erected 
into a burgh of barony by James the Third more than four 
hundred years ago. In a charter under the Great Seal, 1 
dated at Edinburgh on the 8th of February, 1466, that 
monarch, for the singular favour he bore to his beloved 
kinsman, Malise, Earl of Menteith, and for provision to 
be made .for himself and his lieges in the high land of 
Menteith, 2 during the season of the huntings and at other 
times, made the town of Porte, in Menteith and in the 
sheriffdom of Perth, a free burgh, to be had and held by 
the foresaid Malise, his successors, and the inhabitants 
thereof, in all time coming, as a pure and free burgh in 
barony, with all the usual liberties, privileges, and just 
pertinents. There was a well-known royal forest in Glen- 
finglas in the Stewartry of Menteith, the keepership of 
which was usually held by the captain of the castle of 
Doune ; but the royal huntsmen can scarcely be supposed 

1 This charter has been printed in full in the Red Book of Menteith, vol. ii. 
p. 297. 

2 Or, " at the head of Menteith " : the Latin words are, in summitate de 
Menteith. In the charter of James I., 1427, erecting certain lands into the earldom 
of Menteith, mention is made of the " foreste de baith le sidis de Lochcon." The 
situation of this forest might be very aptly described as "in summitate de Menteith 
at the head of Menteith. 

32 The Lake of Menteith. 

to have gone by way of the Port for the chase in Glen- 
finglas. There was, however, another forest for red deer, 
known as the forest of Menteith, which lay in the district 
of Aberfoyle. Whether this also was a royal forest is not 
quite clear; 1 but at any rate it lay within the bounds of 
the Earls of Menteith, and would be approached from 
Stirling by way of the lake. It is therefore most likely 
that it was to make provision for the royal comfort when 
hunting there that the King gave his beloved kinsman his 
free, if small, burgh in barony. 

The cross of the burgh is said to have been the trunk of 
an old hawthorn tree, which stood by the lake side, opposite 
the manse of Port, and was known as " the law tree." 
Around this tree an annual fair was held in the month of 
September, and called after St. Michael. A writer, how- 
ever, 2 who rests on the authority of oral tradition, asserts 
that up to the time of the last Earl of Menteith, in the 
end of the seventeenth century, St. Michael's fair was held 
on the farm of Milling, on the western shore of the lake. 
The fair is now discontinued. 

There was a church at Port long prior to the Beforma- 
tion. 3 It was one of four dependent on the Priory. The 

1 In the Exchequer Rolls (vol. vii. p. 614) there is noted a sum of 4 expended 
on repairs for the Hunting-lodge at Duchray in 1469 which seems to show that 
this also was a royal forest in the time of James III. From the same authority we 
learn that the keeper of the forest of Menteith in 1467 was one Donald Neyssoune 
(vol. vii. p. 485). The fermes of the lands of Duchray were in the hands of the 
king in 1461 (vol. vii. p. 69). 

2 Dun's Summer at the Lake of Menteith, p. 29. 

8 In the Protocol Book (John Graham's) of Stirling, there is registered the 
solemnization of the marriage, on the 2ist April, 1541, of Archibald, Earl of Argyle, 
and Margaret Graham, daughter of William, Earl of Menteith, at the church of 
Inchmahome, after parties had been proclaimed three times " apud ecclcsiam de 
Port et Dolarie." 

The Lake of Menteith. 33 

earlier records of the Kirk-Session, after the Keformation, 
have unfortunately been greatly mutilated, but of what 
remains, Mr. M'Gregor Stirling has printed several interest- 
ing extracts, 1 which throw some curious light on the manners 
and habits of the parishioners. 

In the Episcopalian period, one of the ministers was Mr. 
James Donaldson, who had been presented to the charge 
by Bishop Leighton of Dunblane. As was to be expected 
from a friend of Leighton, he set himself to improve the 
morals of the people, which appeared to stand greatly in 
need of reformation. The prevailing sin was drunkenness, 
aggravated by its commission on the Sabbath day. The 
people assembled at the Port, and betook themselves to the 
ale-houses instead of to the church. Some, after their visit 
to the ale-house, came in late to worship, and had to sit 
bareheaded before the minister. Others did not attend 
the afternoon service. Elders were appointed to search 
the ale-houses, and also to keep watch on the roads leading 
from the village so as to prevent people going away with- 
out attending afternoon service. When they did remain, 
however, it was found that they were too apt to proceed, 
after the service was over, to wash down their diet of 
divinity in the public-house. So that the Session (23rd 
Feb., 1668) " acted and ordained that no bear nor ell 
seller within the paroch, shall sell ell after sermon, except 
in case of necessitie, folk be thirstie ore fant, they drink 
a chapon of ell, or those that are sick, or those that are 
strangers." It may be suspected that some members of 
the Session were not themselves without sin in this 

1 Appendix viii. to Notes on Inchmahome. 

34 The Lake of Menteith. 

matter. At any rate, on 12th April, 1668, they thought 
proper to pass the following self-denying ordinance: 
" The Session also considering the necessitie of reforming 
their own lives and manners befor they endeavore any such 
thing amongst others, have ordained that none of their 
number shall, after both sermons endit, goe into any ell 
house except in case of real necessitie, or for searching, 
under the pain of twentie shilling Scots for the first tym, 
and thereafter for everie tym this is to be doubled toties 
quoties" But even this self-denial on the part of the 
elders, added to the discipline of the church, was found 
insufficient to repress " that old sin and scandall of this 
paroch of drinking the wholl Lord's day." So recourse was 
had to fining the ale-sellers if they sold to any but sick 
persons and strangers, and to these only as much as would 
quench their thirst a quantity which seems to have been 
limited to the regulation "chapon." Possibly, after that, 
" sickness " increased on Sundays at the Port. Unfortu- 
nately, we do not know to what extent Mr. Donaldson and 
his Session succeeded at length in repressing " the old sin " 
of the parish, because the records were carried off by Mr. 
Patrick Bell, his successor, and only partially recovered. 

For some time after the Eeformation the church of Port 
was served by readers. The name of William Streuling 
appears as reader in 1567, and Andrew Dougall was filling 
the office in 1574. Dougall was succeeded by William 
Stirling whether the same as the first-mentioned is not 
known. This Stirling was somewhat of a pluralist. He 
had been presented to the parsonage of Aberfoyle in 1571, 
and held at the same time the vicarage of Kilmadock, with 

The Lake of Menteith. 35 

a manse in Dunblane ; and to these offices was added the 
charge of Port in 1574. He was one of three nominated 
by the Privy Council in 1589 " for the maintenance of true 
religion in tl^e Stewartries of Stratherne and Menteith " : 
and shortly afterwards he was removed to Strageyth. 

The first regular minister of the parish bore also the 
name of William Stirling. He was a graduate of Glasgow, 
where he was laureated in 1585. His first charge was 
Kincardine, whence he was translated to Port in 1597. 
He held the cure till 1616. His successor was James 
Seytoun, A.M. laureated at Edinburgh, 29th July, 1603; 
became tutor in the family of Livingston of Dunipace, by 
whose influence he was admitted minister of Denny in 
November, 1607 ; translated to Logie in January, 1610, 
and finally to Port of Menteith in December, 1616. He 
died in 1638, when about fifty-five years of age. On the 
2nd of July, 1638, King Charles I. presented to the charge 
Thomas Henderson, A.M., who had been a student of 
Glasgow University, where he was laureated in 1626. 
Henderson died in April, 1664, at the age of fifty-eight, 
survived by his wife, Jean Setoun of Wester Spittaltoun, a 
son and three daughters. " The utencils of his house were 
estimat at x lib. : frie geir j c lib." He appears to have been, 
for the times, fairly well blessed with this world's goods. 

The next minister was James Donaldsone, A.M., already 
referred to. He had graduated at St. Andrews in 1660, 
was licensed by George, Bishop of Edinburgh, in 1666, 
and was presented by Kobert Leighton, Bishop of Dunblane, 
to the parish of Port, where he was inducted on the 15th 
of November, 1667. Donaldson was evidently an earnest 

36 The Lake of Menteith. 

and painstaking clergyman, and the parish enjoyed the 
benefit of his ministrations for fourteen years. In 1681 
he was translated to Dumbarton, where it is to be feared 
he did not enjoy the comfort and peace that had been 
his lot in the quiet vale of Menteith. The tide of popular 
fury was rising against the Episcopalian clergymen the 
" curates," as the populace called them and the revolu- 
tion of 1688 allowed the Presbyterians the freedom they 
had formerly been denied. In the "rabbling of the curates," 
no doubt some good men had to submit to ill-treatment 
along with the worthless creatures that had been in many 
cases intruded into the pulpits. Donaldson suffered with 
the rest. He was rabbled and deposed in 1690. 

On Donaldson's departure from Port, James Ramsay, 
who had succeeded Leighton in the Bishopric of Dunblane, 
presented his own son, Kobert Eamsay, A.M. The latter 
had graduated at Edinburgh in 1668, and had been licensed 
by Alexander, Bishop of Edinburgh, on 21st May, 1673. 
He was admitted to the parish of Port on the 25th of 
January, 1682, but remained only a few months in the 
parish, as he was translated to Prestonpans in September 
of the same year. He continued to exercise the office 
of the ministry in Prestonpans till the 10th of May, 1689, 
on which date he was deprived by the Committee of Estates 
for not reading and obeying their proclamation of the llth 
of April. He betook himself to the Canongate of Edinburgh, 
where he died in 1699, about fifty-one years of age. 

Next came Patrick Bell, who had studied at Glasgow, 
1678-1683. He was presented to the parish by Alexander 
Higgins of Craigforth, and admitted to the charge on the 

The Lake of Menteith. 37 

15th of May, 1683. He was the last of the Episcopalian 
clergymen. It was he who carried away, when he left 
the parish, the Session Eecords which were only recovered 
after many tedious delays and complicated legal proceedings, 
and in a very imperfect and fragmentary condition, by the 
Kirk-Session in 1706. Mr. Bell was deprived by the 
Privy Council, 3rd October, 1689, for not reading the 
Proclamation of the Estates, for refusing to pray for their 
Majesties King William and Queen Mary, and not observing 
the Thanksgiving. Shortly after, he was served heir, in 
succession to his elder brother, of the estate of Antermony, 
of which his father, Alexander Bell, had been proprietor. 
He married Annabelle, daughter of Stirling of Craigbarnet, 
and was the father of John Bell of Antermony, the author 
of a one-time famous book of Travels in Asia. 1 Arthur 
Forbes, who had studied at Glasgow, and was licensed by 
the United Presbytery of Stirling and Dunblane in 1696, 
was ordained minister of the parish, 10th February, 1697. 
It was by him and his Kirk- Session that the existing 
fragments of the earlier Eecords were recovered from Mr. 
Patrick Bell. He died in the summer of 1724. After 
an interval of two years, Forbes was succeeded by John 
Fergusson, a native of Cowal, and a student of Glasgow. 
He was called in August, 1725, but was not ordained 
till July of the following year. Mr. Fergusson was proprietor 
of the estate of Craigholl. He died 2nd October, 1768. 
The next minister of the parish was Eobert Stirling, who 
seems to have been a native of the district. He was 
licensed by the Presbytery of Dunblane on the 27th of 

1 Travels from St. Petersburgh to .Various Parts in Asia. 

38 The Lake of Menteith. 

July, 1762, and his first appointment was that of assistant 
to Mr James Oswald, minister of Methven. He was pre- 
sented to the parish of Port by the patron, David Erskine, 
W.S., and ordained 13th July, 1769. He completed thirty- 
two years of service in the parish, and died on the 23rd of 
July, 1801. Before his death, however, he had the assist- 
ance of his son, William M'Gregor Stirling, who was 
presented by James Erskine of Cardross, and ordained 
assistant and successor to his father on the 15th of August, 
1799. Mr. M'Gregor Stirling was a man of genial and 
kindly disposition, and of literary and artistic tastes. He 
was a zealous antiquarian, and set the first example of the 
careful and systematic study of the local records. All 
subsequent writers on the Priory and the Castle have been 
greatly indebted to his researches. His first important 
publication was entitled " Notes, Historical and Descrip- 
tive, on the Priory of Inchmahome ; with Introductory 
Verses, and an Appendix of Original Papers." 1 It is 
frequently referred to in this volume. In 1816 appeared 
his " Chart of British History, with a Memoir," and in 
1817 he edited a revised edition of "Nimmo's History of 
Stirlingshire " (first published in 1777), so enriched with 
additional matter as to make it practically a new and much 
more valuable work. " Papers illustrative of the Political 
Condition of the Highlands from 1689 to 1696" was printed 
by the Maitland Club in 1845. Mr. Stirling married a 
second time in 1823, and the circumstances of his 
marriage unfortunately led to a Presbyterial enquiry which 
resulted in a sentence of deposition. The sentence, how- 

1 Edinburgh, 1815 : William Blackwood. 

The Lake of Menteith. 39 

ever, was reversed by the Assembly of 1824, and arrange- 
ment was made for his retirement and the appointment 
of an assistant and successor. He withdrew to Edinburgh, 
where he busied himself in his favourite antiquarian and 
literary pursuits. He died of fever at Stockbridge on 
the 23rd of January, 1833, in the sixty-second year of his 
age. The assistant and successor appointed was William 
Wyllie, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Ayr. He was 
presented by David Erskine of Cardross, ordained 22nd 
September, 1825, and held the cure till his death on the 
5th of March, 1843. Mr. Wyllie was succeeded by the 
Eev. Allan Turner, D.D., who died in 1867. The 
successor of Dr. Turner, and present incumbent of the 
parish, is the Kev. James Johnston, M.A. 1 

The present Church of Port was erected on the site 
of its predecessor in 1878. It is in thirteenth century 
Gothic, simple in treatment, and with an elegant spire, 
which comes well into the landscape as seen from the 
lake or the islands. It succeeded a building erected in 
1771, near the beginning of the ministry of Mr. Robert 
Stirling. This, plain as it was, seems to have been con- 
sidered a very good specimen of church building at the 
time, as it was taken as the model of a new church at 
Drymen built in the following year. 2 The site is probably 
that of the earliest Church of Port. In the churchyard are 
several old and interesting tombstones, the old church bell 
suspended from a tree the new building has a chime of 

1 The authority for these facts regarding the ministers of the parish is, mainly, 
Scott's Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, vol. ii. pt. ii. 

2 Guthrie Smith's History of Strathendrick, p. 92. 

40 The Lake of Menteith. 

musical bells and the mausoleum of the Grahams of 
Gartmore, built on the west border of the enclosure, hard 
by the lake. 

The northern shore of the lake, westward from the Port, 
consists of a narrow strip of comparatively level land lying 
close under the steeply-rising hills. The lands of Port, 
as this was formerly called, are interesting, for several 
reasons. Here, about the middle, was the Prior's Meadow, 
which was no doubt a valuable possession of the monastery 
in olden times. In 1646, it was held in feu from the Priory 
by the Earl of Menteith. 1 On the Prior's Meadow is a 
small mound, which is supposed to be artificial, but the 
purpose of its construction is unknown. Tradition avers 
that it was formed with consecrated earth brought over 
from Ireland. In this tradition we may at least find, if 
nothing else, a recognition of the fact that Colman, who 
gave name to the island of Inchmahome, was an old Irish 
saint and bishop. 2 

Here, too, around Portend, was the pleasaunce of the 
Earls of Menteith. The surface of Inchtalla was barely 
large enough to carry the buildings which lodged the family; 
and, while they had the western portion of Inchmahome 
as garden ground, their more spacious pleasure grounds 
were on the northern shore of the lake. Kelics of this 
ancient use are to be seen about Portend in the great old 
trees oak, chestnut, walnut, sycamore, and others which 

x The monasterie and precincte with the yairdis and the Priouris medowe 
fewit to the Erll of Monteythe xx s. (Rental of the Feu-duties of Inchmahome 
October, 1646.) 

2 See tnfra, chap. v. 









The Lake of Menteith. 43 

still remain dotted over the fields and bordering the old 
avenue which led to Coldon and the landing-place from 
Inchtalla. Coldon or Cowdon is a small conical hill, 
set close to the margin of the lake, and covered with wood. 
From this circumstance the name is said to have been 
been derived Gaelic coille, " wood," and dun y " a hill- 
fort." There are vestiges of early fortification on its top 
and sides. 

On the 1st of May, 1493, Michael Dun, mair of the 
sheriff dom of Perth, gave sasine to Alexander, as heir of 
his grandfather Malise, the first Earl of Menteith, of the 
earldom and its pertinents, " ad ripam lacus de Inchma- 
homok prope le Coldone supra solum terrarum de Forth," 
by the delivery of earth and stone in the usual manner, 
" apud litus lacus de Inchmahomok, inter prescriptum 
lacum et le Coldone." 1 

At this shore of Coldon, it may be noted in passing, 
there is a fine echo the walls of the Priory of Inchma- 
home sending back the sound of words loudly spoken at 
the water's edge. 

Portend appears to have been the home farm as well 
as the pleasure ground of the ancient earls. Here the 
cows for the domestic supply of milk to the Castle were 
kept, as we learn from the instructions of the last earl to 
his wife " fyve kyne for the use of the house to be keiped 
in Portend." There was probably also a small mansion 
house, or superior farm-house, which received a royal 
visitor, in the person of Charles II., in the month of 
February, 1651. That sovereign, on the 10th of February, 

1 Instrument of Sasine printed in Red Book, vol. ii. p. 301. 

44 The Lake of Menteith. 

1651, ratified at Portend a warrant to William, Earl of 
Airth, for payment of a debt due to him by his Majesty's 
father of saintly memory, who had deprived the earl of his 
dignities of Stratherne and Menteith, and assigned him the 
new and obscure title of Airth. Charles was at that time 
engaged in the, as yet vain, attempt to recover the 
kingdom from the Commonwealth, and was anxious to 
keep his own and his father's friends attached to his cause. 
So he gave to the earl, who had suffered much for and at 
the hands of Charles I., this warrant for the payment of 
a sum of 1000 assigned to him by " our umquill father 
of ever blessed memorie," and for an annual pension of 
100 till the principal sum was paid in full and at one 
payment, adding, " we doe hereby promise on the word 
of ane prince to sie it faithfullie payed when ever we 
fynd occasione." 1 It is scarcely necessary to say that he 
never found occasion. Afterwards, when he had come to 
the throne, two warrants were issued for the payment of 
500 sterling to the earl's grandson, William, second 
Earl of Airth which also were never more than waste 
paper. 8 

Past Portend flows the burn which is the principal 
feeder of the lake ; and, on the other side of that stream, 
at the head of the fine north-western bay, is G-ateside, 
where was the cottage of the boatman, and what used 
to be the common or public ferry to the islands. 

1 Warrant printed in the Red Book of Menteith, vol. ii. p. 68. 

2 Warrants dated, I4th July, 1662, at Hampton Court ; and 2nd June, 1665, at 
Whitehall. For further information about the royal debts to the earl, see infra, 
chap. xi. 

The Lake of Menleith. 45 


THE country on this side of the lake is bare of trees, and 
not inviting in prospect, as it stretches away to the west- 
ward in moorish humps, diversified with bogs. But it has 
much to interest the historian and antiquarian. Close by 
the shore were the Earls' stables, occupying the south 
side of a promontory projecting into the lake, south from 
the farm house of Milling, and at the nearest point of land 
to the kennels of Inchcuan. Further round the shore 
was the place where dwelt another important feudal official 
the Earls' piper. Vestiges of the Piper's House still 
remain. And here is the curving gravel strand, more 
than half-a-mile in length, along which he used to strut 
in the early mornings, with his pipes in full blast, to 
waken the sleepers on Inchtalla with his stirring strains. 
Mellowed by their passage across half-a-mile of water, we 
can suppose that these strains fell upon the ears of the 
listeners not ungratefully. 

The farm of Milling has other interesting localities. 
As has been said, the Fair of St. Michael was formerly 
held here on the shore of the lake; and a little to the 
west is the bold knoll of the " Gallows Hill," full in view 
of Inchtalla, so that the earls could see the execution of 
the criminals whom their justice or injustice had con- 
demned. Tradition assigns the last execution on the 
Gallows Hill to the time of the last Earl of Menteith, 
who is said to have unjustly caused an innocent youth 
to be hanged on a charge of horse-stealing. That tradition, 

46 The Lake of Menteith. 

however, is unsupported by any tittle of ascertained fact, 
and the story, as told by the legend, represents that 
eccentric and hypochondriac nobleman in a character 
quite inconsistent with anything that is known of his 
real nature. A still more legendary interest attaches to 
the Claggans, where, it is affirmed in the locality, the 
last wolf in Scotland was killed. But that same state- 
ment is made of other places, so we must take it with 
the usual grain of salt. And so also must we take the 
interesting legend of Loch Macanree and Auchveity. 

This story bears all the marks of having been invented 
by the rustic imagination to account for the apparent 
meanings of the names. Macanree appears to be good 
enough Gaelic (Mac-an-righ) for " King's Son," and 
Auchveity seemed to be by interpretation " The field of 
Betty." The problem, therefore, was to bring these two 
persons together. And this is how it was solved. 

Once upon a time this country to the west of the 
lake was royal forest, wherein the King and his court 
used to enjoy the delights of the chase. One one occasion 
the King's son had gone out to the hunt and raised a 
fleet stag, which, instead of keeping to the hillside, rushed 
off to the low and boggy ground in the neighbourhood of 
the lake. The royal prince followed on, reckless of possible 
danger in the ardour of his chase, and rapidly outstripping 
his attendants, till his horse sunk deep in the bog beside 
the little lochan. The prince was in the utmost danger 
of being engulfed, horse and all, when a strapping herd- 
maiden, who was tending her cattle at the Shiels of 
Gartrenich, not far off, hastened to the rescue. She 

The Lake of Menteith. 47 

grasped the prince with her strong hands, plucked him 
from the tenacious mud, and set him on firm ground. In 
reward for this gallant deed, she received from the King 
the piece of land near which the feat was done, and which 
thenceforth was called from her own name, Auchveity, 
or Betty's field. The lochan also, to commemorate the 
circumstance, received its name of Loch Macanree 
the lake of the King's son. The legend is delightfully 
indefinite as to the time when this interesting incident 
occurred, and as to the particular prince who was the hero 
of it. 

As it has its origin, no doubt, in the attempt to 
account for a popular etymology, a little more philology 
may be pardoned. Auchveity may quite well be interpreted 
the field of the marsh a name quite characteristic of the 
place. As to Macanree the fact that in pronunciation 
the accent is invariably placed on the second syllable, with 
a suspicion of an indefinite vowel sound between the n 
and r, would lead us to look somewhere else than to 
Mac-an-righ for the origin of the word. It may possibly 
be found to be Magh-an-oraidh, i.e., " the field or plain 
of worship." This explanation may be supposed to receive 
confirmation from the fact that the site of the ancient 
Chapel of Arnchlay one of the chapels dependent on the 
Priory of Inchmahome is hard by. The larach or 
foundation-site of this old chapel is still to be seen. 

Near this is the curious and interesting stone called 
the Peace Stone for what reason so called is unknown. 
The stone was buried in a trench about the beginning of 
the present century, by the fanner on whose fields it lay, 

48 The Lake of Menteith. 

but is again exposed to the light of day. The local legend 
is that long ago a Gaelic seer whose name, Pharic 
M'Pharic, at any rate looks Celtic enough prophesied 
the burial of this stone by two brothers, who, for their 
impiety, would die childless, that the stone would by and 
bye rise to the surface, and then would be fought a great 
battle on Auchveity. The first part of the prophecy has 
been fulfilled the farmer brothers who buried the stone 
both died without issue, and the stone is again above the 
surface ; but the great battle has not yet come off. Apart 
from the legend, however, the stone is of great interest 
to archaeologists. It lies about half-a-mile south from the 
farm-house of Milling, at the boundary of the arable land. 
It is roughly circular on the surface, measuring about 
four feet in diameter. The surface is entirely covered with 
cup and ring marks twenty-two cups in all varying in 
size from an inch to two inches in diameter. The cups 
and rings are very symmetrically formed. Nearly in the 
centre is a fine one surrounded by four circular grooves. 
Others have incomplete triple and quadruple circles, with 
radial duct dividing them. There are other curious curves 
that sometimes interlace, and near the lower side of the 
stone are five or six cups with straight channels running 
out from them over the edge. The markings are much 
weather-worn, and the stone, of course, points to the work 
of a period long anterior to any of the ecclesiastical 
buildings in the neighbourhood. 1 

An historical battle site is the Moss of Talla or Tilly- 

1 Standing Stones, &c., by A. F. Hutchison, in Transactions of Stirling 
Natural History and Archaeological Society, vol. xv. 

The Lake of Menteith. 51 

moss, lying further to the west and not far from the river 
Forth. At this place, on the llth of October, 1489, the 
Earl of Lennox, with the force he had collected to avenge 
the death of James III., pitched his camp. He was on 
the way to Dumbarton Castle, which was being held for 
him by his son, Matthew Stewart, and Lord Lyle. On 
his approach to Stirling from the north, he found the 
passage of the Forth impossible, as the town was held in 
strong force by the friends of the young King, James IV. 
He therefore marched to the west on the north side of the 
river, intending to cross it near its source, and encamped 
at the Moss of Talla. The King and Lord Drummond 
were at Dunblane when word was brought them that 
Lennox was lying at Talla. The King immediately sent 
to Stirling for " culverins," hastily collected a small force, 
and with Lord Drummond rode out from Dunblane to 
attack the insurgents. They fell upon them in the dark- 
ness of the night and utterly routed them, driving them 
across the Forth to Gartalunane. 1 Lennox himself and 
the other principal conspirators were pardoned and taken 
into favour by the King. Only Thomas Galbraith, laird 
of Culcreuch, was executed as a traitor, and his lands 
bestowed on Adam Hepburn, brother of the Earl of 
Bothwell. Next day, the King rode back to Stirling, 
going by way of Kippen, at the church of which place 
he gave thanks for his success, and bestowed an angel 
(= 24 shillings) on the church as a thank-offering. 2 

1 Buchanan's History of Scotland, book xiii. chap. 5; Tytler's History, 1864, 
vol. ii. chap. v. p. 250. 

3 Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, p. 122. 

52 The Lake of Mentelth. 


THE ground to the south of the lake rises gradually from 
the shore to the height of land between the Lake and the 
Vale of Forth, and is, for the most part, heavily wooded. 
The long, curving, sandy bay on the south-west terminates 
about the middle of the lake in the promontory of Arnmaack, 
which runs out from the shore to within a short distance of 
Inchmahome, and divides the lake almost into two portions. 
This long peninsula is said by local tradition to have been 
the work of fairies. This is how the story is told by 
Mr. M'Gregor Stirling. " The Earls of Menteith," he 
says, "were possessed of what was called the 'red-book,' to 
open which was to be followed by something preternatural. 
One of them (whether from accident or design is a matter 
of doubt) unclasped the fatal volume, when lo ! the fairies 
appeared before him, demanding work. His lordship set 
them to make a road from the mainland to the islands. 
They began on the southern shore, and had made what is 
now called Arnmaack, a pleasing peninsula, tufted with a 
grove of Scotch firs of considerable height ; when the Earl, 
fearing either that they would become mutinous should 
they run out of work, or that they might, by completing 
their task, spoil the insular situation of his fastness, or 
both, bade them twist a rope of sand. They began the 
latter task without finishing the former, which still remains 
half done ; but finding their new employment too much for 
them, and covered with shame, they resolved to depart." 1 

1 Notes on Inchmahome, p. 81. 

The Lake of Menteith. 53 

It is added that the Earl, in commiseration of their shame 
arising from the impossible task he had set them, granted 
them a new dwelling-place on the north side of Ben Venue, 
and there they have dwelt since, in the well-known Coir- 

As this veracious story refers the construction of Arn- 
mack to one of the Earls of Menteith, it must have taken 
place well within the historical period. But history sooth 
to say makes no mention of the circumstance. In one 
respect the fairies showed good sense, that is, in constructing 
their passage-way to the islands from the south rather than 
from the north shore. The Coldon shore is the nearest 
point of the mainland to the islands ; but there the water 
is extremely deep, whereas on the south side it is com- 
paratively shallow. 

Arnmack seems to signify " the portion or field of the 
swine"; and, if this be its correct etymology, it may have 
been used as a preserve, in the woods of which were fed 
the herds of that useful domestic animal ; or, the name 
may contain a reference to the story of some ancient 
boar-hunt, now forgotten. 

The fancied abode of the supernaturals if, again, we 
are to give credence to etymology was further east on the 
same side of the lake. More than half-way from Arnmack 
to the south-east angle of the lake is another and smaller, 
though very conspicuous promontory, clothed with ancient 
trees, and known by the name of Cnoc-nan-bocan, which, 
being interpreted, means "the knowe of the bogles." This 
knoll has all the appearance of an ancient " barrow." It 
has never been examined. Should it turn out, on explora- 

54 The Lake of Menteith. 

tion, to be a sepulchral mound, the name which has so 
long clung to it would receive a sufficient explanation. 1 

Southwards from Arnmack lies Gartur, originally the 
property of the monastery of Inchmahome, and now again 
belonging to the estate of Cardross, but for some time 
occupied by a branch of the Graham family, in whom was 
said to be the succession by heirs-male to the earldom of 
Menteith. The last male representative of this line died 
in 1818. All the south side of the lake is occupied by the 
lands and woods of Cardross, once the dominical lands of 
the Priory of Inchmahome, and ever since the time of the 
Commendators held by members of the family of Erskine. 
Cardross itself is a stately old mansion, containing many 
interesting relics, and the estate and its owners have 
been closely associated with many important events in the 
history of the country. But it would be going too far 
afield to refer to these here, although something may be 
said regarding them in a later portion of this book. It is 
enough to point out one or two interesting localities in 
the more immediate neighbourhood of the lake. 

To return for a little to Arnmack, it may be pointed 
out that in the " Journal of the Hon. John Erskine of 
Carnock, from 1683 to 1687," 2 it is called Ardmach, which 
seems to mean " the high field " a designation of which 
it is difficult to see the propriety. This Mr. Erskine 

1 A mound on the estate of Craigengelt, in the parish of St. Ninians, which 
was popularly known as "The Ghaist Knowe," was dug into in 1838, and dis- 
covered to be a barrow, with sepultures of the bronze age. 

2 The Journal of the Black Colonel was printed by the Scottish History Society 
in 1893, fr m th e original MSS. in the possession of H. D. Erskine, Esquire of 
Cardross. It is of great interest, and valuable as a contribution to the history of 
the times of persecution. 











The Lake of Menteith. 57 

the "Black Colonel," as he was called was zealous in 
the cause of civil and religious liberty at that time, and 
suffered persecution in consequence. In the summer of 
1684, he was in hiding in the neighbourhood of Cardross, 
and found shelter in the woods of Ardmach, where he slept 
o' nights " among the fairn." While here he seems to 
have been in friendly communication with the last Earl 
of Menteith ; so that that nobleman can scarcely have been 
the ferocious persecutor of the Covenanters that, in his 
letters to Graham of Claverhouse, he makes himself out to 
be. Perhaps he made an exception in the case of a friend, or 
it may have been that he merely put on his airs of severity 
to recommend himself to the powers that then were. 1 

At the south-eastern extremity of the lake lies the 
pleasant mansion-house of Lochend a place frequently 
mentioned in the early writs of the Priory. Here the late 
genial and gallant Admiral Erskine, so long the Member 
of Parliament for the County of Stirling, used to dwell. 
The house and grounds afford most charming views of the 
lake. The wide expanse of water is backed by the bold 
hills of Glenny on the north ; while to the westward the 
middle distance is broken by the peninsula of Arnmack, 
running out as if to meet the graceful wood and ruin- 
covered islands ; and Ben Lomond rears his lofty cone in 
the background of the view. 

Southwards from Lochend, half-way up the rising ground 
behind, is a locality whose name carries us back to very 
early times. This is the Tom-a-mhoid, or "moot-hill" 
the place where the open-air courts and other meetings 

1 See tnfra, chap. xi. 

58 The Lake of Menteith. 

were held, and local justice administered. As an occa- 
sionally necessary adjunct to this administration of justice, 
there is or was an aged ash-tree, which tradition pointed 
out as that on whose boughs malefactors, in the olden 
times, were " justified." 

At Lochend the lake is drained by the water of Goodie, 
which a little below its efflux from the lake, used to spread 
out into a shallow lake called the Loch of Goodie (Gude, 
Gudy, Gwdy, Gwidi). 1 An attempt has been made to claim 
for some position on this stream or lake the site of the 
ancient Pictish town of Guidi, referred to by the venerable 
Bede. 2 Wherever that much-disputed site may have been 
Inchkeith, Inchcolm, Inchgarvy, Edinburgh, Queensferry, 
Camelon, or elsewhere the vale of Goodie has nothing to 
answer to the circumstances of Bede's description, except 
the possibly accidental resemblance in the name. 3 


THE whole of this side is beautifully wooded, and diversified 
with green and bosky knolls. The waters of the lake curve 

'In grants by the Dowager Queen Margaret to her brother-in-law, James 
Stewart, of the captaincy of Doune Castle, &c., dated at Stirling ist and 8th 
September, 1528, mention is made of the "fischeing of the lowis (lochs) and 
stankis of Lugnock (Lubnaig), Loch Banacher (Vennachar), and Gude." (Red 
Book of Menteith, ii. 385, 387.) 

2 New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. x. p. iipo. This account of the 
Parish of Port of Menteith is said to have been "principally drawn up from an 
account written by a late incumbent, the Rev. W. M'Gregor Stirling." 

3 Bede's words (Lib. i. cap. 12) are : "Orientalis (sinus) habet in medio sui 
urbem Guidi ; occidentalis supra se, hoc est ad dexteram sui, habet urbem 

The Lake of Menteith. 59 

in and out, forming pretty little bays whose gravelly shores 
are overhung with trees. The road to the Port winds 
along the margin, and affords most pleasing glimpses of 
the lake and its wooded islands. Not far from the exit 
of the Goodie is a fine tree-clad promontory jutting out 
boldly into the deep waters, near which is said to have 
stood the old Chapel of Inchy, another of the dependent 
chapels of Inchmahome. No fragment of this ancient 
chapel is now left, but it is traditionally said to have its 
site at or near the place which is now the garden of the 
farm-house of Inchie. A Chapel- well to the east of this 
attested its existence. The promontory is reputed to have 
been the burying-ground connected with the chapel. 

The most general local tradition affirms that it was in 
a house at Inchie where that wedding feast was laid out 
which was devoured by the hungry followers of Donald 
the Hammerer the cause of the engagement on the 
hills of Menteith, in which William, the third Graham 
earl, lost his life. But another tradition, perhaps equally 
entitled to credit, says that the depredation was committed 
at the office houses of the Earl's stables, on the opposite 
side of the lake : while a third, but less likely, traditional 
statement has it that the roasted fowls were carried off 
from the house of Talla itself. 1 

On the eastern shore of the lake is the fine estate of Bed- 
nock, with what has been a strong old castle now in ruins. 2 

Alcluith." Alcluith is easily identified with Dumbarton, but the site of Guidi 
has not yet been finally determined. 

1 See chap. x. 

2 This castle is said to have been built by George Graham, the first Graham 
of Rednock. 

60 The Lake of Menteith. 

Kednook was long in the possession of the early earls 
of Menteith or cadets of their family. In 1213, on the 
death of Murdach, the second known earl, the succession 
was disputed by his two sons, both named Maurice 
a quarrel which was settled by the intervention of King 
William (the Lion). The arrangement agreed to provided 
the earldom to the younger brother, while the elder 
Maurice was to hold of the King, for life, certain lands, 
among which is mentioned the town of Eadenoche. 1 After 
the death of this Maurice, Eednock reverted to the earldom. 
The lands and Castle of Eednock are said traditionally to 
have been the property of Sir John Menteith of Euskie. 
Although this does not admit of documentary proof, it is 
not unlikely, for Sir John, as a younger son of Walter 
Stewart, the fifth Earl of Menteith, may have been in 
possession of this property, which at that time formed part 
of the earldom. 

When the new earldom was formed in 1427, Rednock 
was not included in it. It was part of the lands annexed 
to the Crown as the Stewartry of Menteith. It was still 
held, however, under the Crown, by families of the name 
of Menteith, who regularly paid their feu-firms to the royal 
Chamberlains of the Stewartry, as we learn from regular 
entries in the Exchequer Eolls. It appears from these 
records to have been divided into two portions. One of 
these was held by a John of Menteith in 1456. 2 It is 
difficult to make out the identity of this John. He can- 

1 Insptximus of this agreement by Henry the Third, dated 2oth September, 
1261, in the Record Office printed in the Red Book, ii. 214. 
1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. vi. p. 278. 

The Lake of Menteith. 61 

not have been in the direct line of the Ruskie descent, as 
that terminated in two female heirs much about this time. 
Walter, one of the Ruskie Menteiths slain by the Drum- 
monds in the clan-battle at Tar of Ruskie previous to 1360, 
left a son at that time under age. This may have been 
the Walter of Menteith who, in 1403, witnessed a charter 
of Robert of Rusky : l and John may have been a son or 
grandson of this Walter. John of Menteith was condemned 
to death and escheated in 1457. 8 

In 1473, King James the Third granted to James of 
Menteith for the service he had done in killing the King's 
rebel, Patrick Stewart, the ten pound lands of Rednok, to 
"bruke and joiss the saide landis heretablye in feuferme."* 
The Exchequer Rolls show that the ferms for these lands 
continued to be paid by successors of this family of Men- 
teith, down to some time in the sixteenth century. 

Another portion of the lands of Rednock were set in 
assedation in 1480 to John Menteith and Jonet Drummond 
his spouse, and a third and smaller portion to one Gilchrist 
M'Kessone. These Menteiths and M'Kessons continued 
to hold of the Crown till 1499. In that year James the 
Fourth made a grant to Sir Patrick Hume of Polwarth of 
the lands of Argaty and Lundy, and also of the 3 6s. 8d. 
lands of Rednock, otherwise called Inchanach, set to Patrick 
Menteth (son of John), and the 33s. 4d. lands of Red- 
nock, set to Gilchrist Mackesson in reward for the services 
he had rendered the King in his wars. 4 In 1582, these 

1 Charter in Red Book, voL ii. p. 272. * Exchequer Rolls, vol. vi. p. 356. 
8 Printed in the Red Book, voL ii. p. 300, from original at Rednock. 
* Exchequer Rolls, vol. xi. p. 161. 

62 The Lake of Menteith. 

lands are mentioned as still pertaining to Patrick Hume 
of Argaty and Kednock ; but in 1584, David Hume of 
Argaty was executed and his lands confiscated, for com- 
municating with the banished Commendator, David 
Erskine, and his friends. 1 

In 1515, William Edmonston, the keeper of Doune 
Castle, received sasine of the lands of Eednock. 8 Archi- 
bald Edmonston of Eednock appears in the Kolls in 1566. 3 
He was one of the tenants of the Stewartry who com- 
plained, on the 17th of January, 1566, of the conduct of 
the steward in insisting on lifting the rents of their lands, 
which had been spoiled and utterly wasted by the Clan- 
gregor and other lawless persons. 4 

Eednock is found, in 1584, in the possession of George 
Graham, second son of John, fourth Earl of Menteith, 
who was known as the " tutor of Menteith " from the 
circumstance that he was legal guardian to his nephew 
the sixth earl during his minority. This George is said 
by Sir William Eraser to have been the ancestor of the 
Grahams of Eednock. Mr. Graham Easton, however, 
affirms that George was not of Eednock, but of Easter 
Eednock only the real Eednock being one Gilbert, who 
was the ancestor of the Grahams of Leitchtown. 5 He is 

1 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 672 : Pitcairns' Criminal 
Trials, vol. i. pt. iii. p. 136. In the latter work, the '' dome " is given as follows : 
" the said David suld be tane to ane gippet, at the croce of Edinburghe, and thair 
hangit, quarterit and drawin ; and all his landis, takis, stedingis, rowmis, posses- 
sionis and guidis, to be eschete to the Kingis use.' 1 

2 Libri Responsionum for 1515 ; Exchequer Rolls, vol. xiii. p. 579. 
8 Ibid, vol. xiv. p. 334. 

4 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. i. p. 418. 
6 Genealogical Magazine for June, 1897, pp. 73 and 79. 

n i -pf i'l .... * 

', >4 ! iBl : wf' \3 : 
' :> 'UB'l 1 v '' 1 '- \f- != ^f r 

^' (Imt* ? 1 s ^*f' 

./ s|\l| 

< v y 


s , 









The Lake of Menteith. 65 

designed or designs himself " George Graham of Bednock, 
tutor of Menteith," in a document of date 1684. 1 His 
elder son James had charters of confirmation from the 
King (James VI.) of Easter Bednock in 1584 and 1598. 
James was succeeded by his brother John, whose daughter 
Marion married John Graham of Duchray, and thus Bed- 
nock came into the possession of that family, whose 
descendants have possessed it since. 

Contiguous to Bednock, on the east, is Blairhoyle. 
This name is a reversion to the most ancient designation 
of the lands Blairquhoille. Judging from the name, it 
must have been covered with woods in the early times. 
It was in possession of the Crown as part of the Stewartry 
till 1517, when James the Fifth granted it to John Leech, 
a member of an old Perthshire family. John's father, 
Finlay Leitch, had fallen at Flodden, and it was probably 
to mark his appreciation of the loyalty of the father that 
the King gave the property to his son. John Leitch was 
succeeded by a son of the same name, whose only daughter 
carried the estate to her husband, Bobert M'Gibbon. 
Baron M'Gibbon, as he was called, again had an only 
daughter. She married one Patrick Graham, and their 
descendants, in regular succession, held the estate till 
about twenty years ago, when the then James Graham 
of Leitchtown sold it to A. H. Lee, Esquire. Mr. Lee 
changed the name of Leitchtown to the older and more 
euphonious style of Blairhoyle. 

For this branch of the family of Graham a claim has 
been maintained to the dormant earldom of Menteith. 

1 Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. 321. 

66 The Lake of Menteith. 

Mr. Walter Malise Graham Easton who traces his own 
descent from the Leitchtown Grahams has published 
elaborate pedigrees to prove his contention that George 
Marshall Graham, of Toronto, Canada, eldest son of James 
of Leitchtown, is now " de jure fifteenth Earl of Menteith 
and ninth Earl of Airth." 1 This thorny question is not 
for the pages of a book like this. It must be left to the 
experts in genealogy. 

North from Eednock and Blairhoyle is Euskie. To 
the lake and island Castle of Euakie reference has already 
been made. But there is another spot of some historic 
interest yet to be referred to. This is the Tar (Gaelic 
tor a small hill) of Euskie, where the famous clan battle 
between Drummonds and Menteiths in which three 
brothers of Sir Alexander Menteith of Euskie were slain 
was fought, about the middle of the fourteenth century. 
Some account of this fight and its consequences will be 
found in a subsequent chapter. 2 

1 Genealogical Magazine, June 1897, pp. 74, et seqq. 2 Chap, xii., infrd. 



The Lake and the Islands : A Chapter 
of Description. 

" Meek loveliness is round thee spread, 
A softness still and holy." 

" Islands that together lie 
As quietly as spots of sky 

Among the evening clouds." 

" My dear Lord, Labe has made me in love with the Yles 
of Menteith. He says the greatest things in the world 
of it." Graham of Claver/touse. 

IT has often been said that the Lake of Menteith 
is the only lake in Scotland. The substitution 
of the English word lake for the more Scottish 
loch is, however, of quite recent origin, and is 
due not to local but to literary influences. This change was 
the more easily effected, because even Loch of Menteith 
used by Sir Walter Scott and others was so comparatively 
recent that it had not had time to take firm hold before 
it was displaced by the more Anglified form, Lake of Men- 

The oldest documents in which the name of the lake 
occurs are in Latin, and in these it is called Lacus de 

68 The Lake of Menteith. 

Inchmahomok (1485 l and 1493 2 ). The first occurrence of 
the name in the vernacular is in the rental of the feu- 
duties of Inchmahome, in 1646, in which are included the 
" locJie of InchemaJmmmoe and fischeing thairoff." 8 In 
Timothy Font's Map of the Province of Lennox printed 
at Amsterdam 1654 it appears as Loch Inche mahumo ; 
and so, also, it is written in several other seventeenth 
century maps. 

Graham of Duchray (1724 4 ) is the first writer to call it 
Loch of Monteatli. As Loch it appears in the old Historical 
Account of the Parish (1799). Dr. Graham uses both Loch 
and Lake in his Sketches of Perthshire (1812), and varies 
these with Lake of Inschemachame and Inchmahave in 
his Account of the Natural History of the district ; 5 while 
the New Statistical Account (1845) reverts to Lake of 
Inchmahome. During this century the country people of 
the surrounding district were in the habit of speaking of 
it as the Loch o' Port, and by that name it is still known 
to the older among them. 

The transference of the name of Menteith to the Loch 
of Inchmahome has no doubt been the chief reason for the 
limitation that has grown up in the territorial significance 
of the former word, by which it has been diminished of its 

1 Grant by Earl Malise, 8th December, 1485, to his son John of the lake of 
Inchmahomok. Red Book, i. 297. 

* Sasine of Earl Alexander, 6th May, 1493. Red Book, ii. 302 and 303. 
8 Printed in Red Book, ii. 368. 

Description of Parish of Port, by Alexander Graham, Esq. of Duchray 
(Macfarlarlan Papers in the Advocates' Library) quoted in Notes on Inchmahome, 
Appendix ix. 

6 Appendix x. to Notes on Inchmahome. 

The Lake of Menteith. 69 

ancient amplitude, and is now generally restricted to the 
vicinity of the lake. 

The lake lies beneath the Ben-dearg portion of the 
Hills of Menteith, and so close to them that only a narrow 
strip of meadow land intervenes between the northern 
margin and the foot of the steeply rising hill. Although 
the surface of its waters is only some 55 feet above the 
sea level, and not more than five or six feet above the 
level of the Carse of Forth, yet the ground all around 
rises more or less gradually on all sides from the shore, 
so that the lake occupies a cup-like depression of con- 
siderable depth. These rising banks, clothed on the east 
and south with luxuriant woods, which shelter it from 
storms and screen it from the view in those directions, 
give it that air of retirement and seclusion which is its 
chief and most charming characteristic. The idea of 
peacefulness thus suggested is intensified by the strength 
of the mountain mass that shuts it in on the north. But 
though generally calm and at rest, it can put on a scowl 
occasionally. When stormy blasts from the west blow 
across the bleak moorlands and strike its waters into foam, 
the lake looks angry enough. The prevailing sentiment 
of the scene, however, is that which has been so finely 
interpreted by the late Dr. John Brown : " Set in its 
woods, with its magical shadows 1 and soft gleams, there 
is a loveliness, a gentleness and peace about it more like 
' lone St. Mary's Lake,' or Derwent Water, than of any 

1 This fine phrase has much to answer for. "The magical shadows" have 
been written to death by all the writers of "gush" who have since essayed to 
describe the scene. 

70 The Lake of Menteith. 

of its sister lochs. It is lovely rather than beautiful, 
and is a sort of gentle prelude, in the minor key, to the 
coming glories and intenser charms of Loch Ard and the 

true Highlands beyond On the unruffled 

water lie several islets, plump with rich foliage, brooding 
like great birds of calm. You somehow think of them as 
on, not in the lake, or like clouds lying in a nether sky 
'like ships waiting for the wind.'" 1 

This tender little sketch of the scene has been taken 
from the Port. That is the usual point of view; and, 
indeed, the prospect, either from this, or from any point 
on the eastern shore, is charming. But it may be doubted 
if it presents the lake to the best advantage. The entire 
western portion, with its shapely bays, is cut off from 
sight. To see the whole expanse of water at one view, 
let the spectator look at it from the top of Coldon Hill, 
on the north shore opposite Inchmahome, or climb to the 
summit of the knoll on the hill of Glenny, just above 
the farm-house at Portend. These positions both afford 
very complete and delightful views of the lake. But a 
still finer, perhaps with more of the picturesque, if less 
of the bird's-eye is to be had from the Aberfoyle road, 
where it reaches the height above the farm-house of 
Milling, about a mile to the west of the lake. This is 
probably the best point from which to look at the lake. 
The prospect is wider and opener than from the Port ; it 
has less of that feeling of formality which is inseparable 
from a bird's-eye view; at the same time, it partially 

1 Horae Subsecivae, by John Brown, M.D., second series, p. 170. (Edin., 










The Lake of Menteith. 73 

conceals the rather bare and weak portions of the western 
shore, and places the finely wood-fringed southern and 
eastern sides full in sight, while the islands seem to group 
themselves in the most effective way. 

The lake is approximately circular in outline, with the 
long promontory of Arnmawk breaking the line of con- 
tinuity of the southern shore. It is between five and six 
miles in circumference, with a maximum length of about 
a mile and a half from east to west, and a mile from north 
to south. Generally shallow, in some places it is abruptly 
deep. Towards the eastern side, after a few yards of 
shallow water at the shore, it sinks at once to a depth 
of 46 feet. In the south-western bay, between Inchtalla 
and the southern shore, it is about the same depth. But 
greater depths are reached in the northern parts of the 
lake. Soundings opposite Gateside, in the north-west bay, 
give 63 feet of water, and between Inchrnahome and the 
landing-place at Coldon the maximum depth of 88 feet 
is attained. 1 

^The principal feeder of the lake is the Portend Burn, 
which enters at the north-west corner. Some smaller 
rills also add their little tributes to its waters. At a gap 
in the encircling rim of rising ground, at the south-western 
extremity, the superfluous waters are carried oS. by the 
Goodie, which winds its slow way through the fields and 
mosses of the Carse for nearly nine miles, till it joins 
the Forth in the neighbourhood of Gargunnock. 

Some description of the appearance and natural features 

1 These depths are taken from soundings made for the Rev. W. M'Gregor 
Stirling in 1815. 

74 The Lake of Menteith. 

of the islands in the lake will be necessary, before dealing 
in detail with their ruined buildings, and the history of 
those who reared and inhabited them. 

Inchmahome, the largest of them, lies nearly in the 
middle of the lake. It takes its name from St. Colman 
or Colmoc, to whom its earliest Church would therefore 
appear to have been dedicated. 1 Colmoc is a diminutive 
form of Colman. The kindly Celts had a habit of adding 
this affectionate diminutive oc, and also prefixing the 
endearing ma or mo (" my ") to the names of their well- 
beloved saints. So Innis Macolmoc, the original of the 
island name, means the island of my dear (little) Colman. 2 
It is very nearly in this form in which it is written in 
what is perhaps 8 the earliest extant document wherein 
it is mentioned, the Papal Instrument of 1238, which 
authorised the foundation of the monastery. There it is 
called Inchmaquhomok. For a century after that the 
name appears only in the Gallicised or Latinized forms 
of Isle de St. Colmock, Insula Sancti Colmoci, and Insula 
Beati Colmoci all attesting the understood meaning of 
the word. The Gaelic word reappears in documents first 
as Inchemecolmoc and Inchemacholmock, and then, by a 
gradual process of softening, through Inchmaquhomok, 
Inchmahomock, Inchmaquholmo, Inchmaquhomo, Inch- 

1 See infra, chap. v. 

2 Compare the name of a parish not far oftKilmaronock, the cell or 
church of my dear little Ronan. 

3 This qualification is necessary, because there is a reference in the Char- 
tulary of Cambuskenneth (pp. 160, 161), assignable to the year 1210, to a persona 
Macholem, whom Sir William Eraser and others agree to accept as parson of 
Inchmahome. But may the reference in this case not be to St. Colme's Inch 
in the Firth of Forth rather than to St. Colman's Isle in Menteith? 

The Lake of Menteith. 75 

mahomo, and Inchmahummo, reaches its present form of 

It is noticeable that the form Inchmachame, which 
Mr. M'Gregor Stirling adopts, and to which he gives the 
poetical meaning of " Isle of my Best," does not occur 
till 1610. 1 There need be little doubt that it is a mere 
corruption, more Scotico, of the ancient pronunciation. 
The attenuation of the broad o into the indefinite Scottish 
sound of a is too common to stand in need of illustration. 
In this connection, moreover, the intermediate form, Inch- 
mahummo, is instructive. It is almost a pity to disturb 
an interpretation which has given occasion to so many 
pretty and poetical imaginations. But M'Gregor Stirling 
is entirely responsible for this version of the name, and 
on no more definite ground than the circumstance that 
he found the spelling Inchmacliame in the Charter of 
James VI., and probably that Inchmahame was the local 
pronunciation in his day. From this he jumps to the 
conclusion that " Insche-ma-chame, or Innis-mo-thamb, 
1 Isle of my Rest,' was probably the name in pagan times," 
and accounts " for the subsequent change to Inchmahome, 
or Inchmahomo, by supposing it a Latinized and monkish 
corruption of the original Gaelic." 2 The Gaelic Insche- 
machamhe, however, would be pronounced as if written 
Inchmachave, and so we find Dr. Graham, who was a good 
Gaelic scholar, and who seemed to adopt M'Gregor Stirling's 
version of the name, actually writing it. 3 

The following are the various forms in which the name 

1 In a Charter of James VI. 

' Notes on Incbmahome, p ; 119. 3 Ibid Appendix x. p. 189. 

76 The Lake of Menteith. 

appears in charters and other documents, with the dates of 
the earliest occurrence of each : 

Insula de Inchmaquhomok (Deed of Foundation), 1238; 
Isle de St. Colmock (Prynne's Collections III., 653 
referred to by Spottiswoode), 1296; Isle de Saint Colmoth 
(Eagman Eoll, p. 117), 1296; Insula Sancti Colmoci 
(Charter of Earl Alan), 1305 ; Inchemecolmoc (Letter of 
Malise of Stratherne), 1306 ; Insula Beati Colmoci (Charter 
of David II.), c. 1340; Insula Sancti Colmaci (Writ of 
Robert the High Steward), 1358; Inchemacholmock (Ex- 
chequer Rolls), 1358; Inchmaquholmok (Acta Concilii), 
1478 ; Inchmaquholmo (Acts of Parliament), 1481 ; Inch- 
mahomok (Register of the Great Seal), 1489; Inchmaholmo 
(Acta Concilii), 1490 ; Inchemahomo (Lease by Prior 
Andrew), 1526; Inchmoquhomok (Writ of Earl Alexander), 
1534 ; Inchemaquhomo (Discharge by Queen Mary), 1548 ; 
Inchmahomo (Lease by Commendator John), 1548 ; Inche- 
mahomok (Charter of Commendator David), 1562; Insche- 
machame (Charter of James VI.), 1610; Inchemahummoe 
(Rental of the Feuduties), 1646; Inchmahumo (Pont's 
Map), 1654. Of these, Inchmahomok and Inchmahomo 
are far the most common from the sixteenth century 
onwards. The final syllable seems to have been retained 
in the pronunciation till last century. Graham of Duchray, 
in 1724, still uses Inchmahomo. 

There can be no doubt whatever that insula sancti 
Colmoci was the interpretation of the name in the earliest 
times to which written evidence extends. 

Mr. M'Gregor Stirling himself eventually gave up his 
cherished derivation from Innis-mo-thamb, and with it, of 

The Lake of Menteith. 77 

course, the noetical interpretation " Isle of my Rest." In a 
manuscript addition to his " Notes on Inchmahome" (p. 32) 
he says, " This etymology (Innis-mo-thamb) must give way 
to Isle of St. Columba, or St. Cholmoc. A saint of the 
name of Columba, and whose birth was English and noble, 
is mentioned by Fordun as having been buried at Dunblane 
about the year 1000 A.D. (Scotichronicon, sub anno 1295)." 
He is probably wrong about the particular saint who gave 
name to the isle ; but at any rate he admits that his former 
derivation and interpretation of the island name cannot be 

The island is about five acres in extent ; generally level 
in the eastern portion, but rising into pleasant knolls 
towards the south and west. With its fine old trees, 
through which the ruins of the priory buildings are partially 
seen, it makes a very attractive picture as seen from the 
shore of the lake. It is divided into two nearly equal 
portions by a road or avenue, running north and south, 
fenced on either side by a stone wall, and showing beside 
the western wall some remnants of a row of ancient trees 
by which it seems to have been bordered. This appears 
to have been a common road or piece of neutral ground, 
separating the gardens and other grounds of the monastery 
on the east from those of the Earls of Menteith, which 
lay on the west side that nearest to their castle on 

The gardens of the monastery and of the island gener- 
ally continued to be cultivated for profit till well on to 
the middle of the present century. In Mr. M'Gregor 
Stirling's time, they were held in lease, he tells us, by 

78 The Lake of Menteith. 

one Alexander M'Curtain, who is said to have been "a 
lineal descendant of the hereditary gardeners of the Earls of 
Menteith." 1 The fruits grown were gooseberries, cherries, 
plums, pears, apples, Spanish filberts, &c. ; the filbert being 
" the long, red, thin-shelled variety, of which the kernel 
is much admired." These gardens, however, were after- 
wards allowed to go to utter ruin, and became a mere 
tangled wilderness. Although, about twenty years ago, 
the grounds were cleared and fenced, and the wilderness 
brought into better order, it is to be feared that most of 
the old fruit trees are now dead or non-productive. But 
should the visitor chance to be on the island in the spring- 
time, his eye will be delighted by the luxuriant growth of 
fine daffodils, which literally cover the meadows as if with 
a carpet of gold. 

The mutual road already referred to has traditionally 
acquired the name of "The Nuns' Walk"; and at the 
southern extremity of it is a sunny eminence called "The 
Nuns' Hill." These names may be of comparatively 
recent origin. Neither of them, at any rate, has any 
warrant in historical fact, for there were no nuns on 
Inchmahome. However, a local legend is not wanting to 
account for the name at least of the Nuns' Hill. This, in 
brief, is how the story is told. A nun of Cambuskenneth 
unfortunately for this detail in the story, there was no 
nunnery at Cambuskenneth either had fallen in love with 
a son of one of the earls of Menteith, and he with her ; 

1 John M'Keurtane seems to have been a sort of Chamberlain to the earl at 
the end of the I7th century, for it was to him that " The just accompt of my Lord's 
Close and Stockings, taken at the Isle on the 2oth of December, 1692," was 
delivered. Appendix vi. to Notes on Inchmahome. 

1 f 








The Lake of Menteith. 81 

and the two had set a tryst to meet on a certain evening 
at this particular spot on the island shore. Before the day 
of tryst, however, the young lord was fatally wounded in 
a clan fight on the hill of Glenny. In his dying moments 
he confided to his confessor the story of his love for the 
nun, and the time and place of the proposed meeting. 
When the hour of tryst arrived, the holy father arrayed 
himself in such hahiJiments as might give him a general 
resemblance to the appearance of the dead youth, and 
hied him to the shore. Then as the maiden stepped from 
the boat, which had borne her across the lake, to receive, 
as she imagined, the warm embrace of her expectant lover, 
she was seized by the monk and hurled back into the 
water. The other members of the holy fraternity must 
have known of the plot of their zealous brother, or have 
been informed of the deed when it was done ; for the 
story goes on to tell that next day they recovered the 
body of the hapless nun from the waters of the lake, and 
buried it in an upright posture on the hill. Why they 
should have thought it necessary to do so is not quite 
clear. Anyhow, a large stone near the top of the hill 
used to be pointed to as marking the place of this inter- 
ment. The stone is not now to be seen. 

If the names Nuns' Walk and Nuns' Hill are, however, 
of ancient date, a suggestion may be here offered to account 
for them. In the usual conventual arrangements, the hour 
of dinner was twelve o'clock. After that, the monks were 
set free for recreation until the bell rang for Nones about 
two o'clock or later. This recreation usually took the form 
of walking about the gardens and precincts of the monas- 

82 The Lake of Menteith. 

tery when the weather was fine, and, in winter or bad 
weather, sitting round the Kefectory fire, talking, disputing, 
or telling stories. May we not suppose then that, at this 
time of the day, the monks were in the habit of taking 
their recreative stroll under the shadow of the great trees 
which bordered this pleasant path, or of sunning them- 
selves on the green knoll which terminated it on the 
south? This might give origin to the names of Nones 
(now corrupted into Nuns) Walk and Nones Hill. 

There are in the grounds of the Priory and in the 
Earls' Gardens several memorials of the brief visit of the 
young Queen Mary to the island after the Battle of Pinkie. 
A fine old sycamore, standing near the west doorway of 
the Priory ruins, is known as " Queen Mary's Plane." The 
reason why it has been so called is not known. Tradition 
does not venture to say that it was planted by the Queen 
as is alleged regarding other Queen Mary trees in various 
parts of the country but it may have been planted, or 
perhaps merely named, in commemoration of her visit. 
This tree is easily distinguishable by its bright red and 
scaly bark. It measures about 80 feet in height, and 
girths 14 feet at one foot from the ground, and 11 feet 
9 inches at the height of five feet ; and it is still in 
vigorous health. 1 

1 The number of sycamores to which Queen Mary's name is attached is 
remarkable. There are, for example, a Queen Mary's Plane at Scone Palace, 
another near Craigmillar Castle, and one on the island of Loch Leven, all of 
which she is said to have planted. Whether she really did so or not, it seems 
to be certain that the fashion of planting sycamores in gardens and pleasure 
grounds was introduced into Scotland from France by the Queen and her 
entourage. Previously, the tree if it existed at all in Scotland was extremely 
rare there. 

Queen flary's Tree. 

The Lake of Menleith. 85 

The other memorials are Queen Mary's Garden and 
Tree, and Queen Mary's Bower. The garden is a square 
enclosure, measuring about 30 yards on each side, and 
surrounded with a stone wall. There are also the ruins 
of a small building at the north-west corner. In the 
centre of this enclosed space is an old box-wood tree, 
planted tradition affirms by the hands of the young 
Queen herself. The tree, which is yet flourishing, is about 
20 feet in height, and the trunk measures 3 feet 2 inches 
in circumference. Some filberts and other old fruit trees 
still survive within the garden walls. 

Outside, and to the west of the wall, on an eminence 
which slopes to the lake shore, is situated the Bower. 
This is a small oval plot, some 18 feet by 12, and about 
33 yards in circumference, now enclosed with a paling. 
In the centre is a thorn-tree, and round about the narrow 
walk runs a double row of box-wood, now grown to a 
considerable height. This box-wood, it must be said, 
is not that which originally or, at any rate, formerly 
adorned the Bower. The plundering propensities of 
visitors, or (shall we rather say ?) their affectionate desire 
to carry away with them a relic of the childhood of 
the unhappy Queen, had caused it almost to disappear, 
when, between thirty and forty years ago, the Bower was 
replanted from the gardens of Cardross. The plants, 
however, with which this was done, had been reared from 
cuttings taken from the original box-wood of the Bower. 

There has been a good deal of imaginative writing 
on the connection of the child-Queen with this quaint 
survival from the ancient gardens of the Earls of Menteith. 

86 The Lake of Menteith. 

Some will have it that the Bower was designed by the 
youthful Queen herself, and planted by her own little 
hands. Others, less daring, have restricted their fancy to 
the belief that it was here that she and her Maries were 
wont to disport and amuse themselves with their child- 
gardening. "What is this?" asks Dr. John Brown. "It 
is plainly the child- Queen' s Garden, with her little walk, 
and its rows of box-wood, left to themselves for three 
hundred years. Yes, without doubt, * here is that first 
garden of her simpleness.' Fancy the little, lovely, royal 
child, with her four Maries, her playfellows, her child 
maids of honour, with their little hands and feet, and their 
innocent and happy eyes, pattering about that garden all 
that time ago, laughing, and running, and gardening as 
only children do and can. As is well known, Mary was 
placed by her mother in this Isle of Best before sailing 
from the Clyde for France. There is something 'that tirls 
the heartstrings a' to the life ' in standing and looking on 
this unmistakable living relic of that strange and pathetic 
old time. Were we Mr. Tennyson, we would write an 
Idyll of that child-Queen, in that garden of hers, eating 
her bread and honey getting her teaching from the holy 
men, the monks of old, and running off in wild mirth to 
her garden and her flowers, all unconscious of the black, 
lowering thunder-cloud on Ben Lomond's shoulder." 1 

This is very beautiful, and imagination delights to 
follow the writer in his fancies of those happy days of 
childhood. One would not willingly spoil the charming 
picture. We may safely enough believe that the infant 

1 Horse Subsecivae, by John Brown, M.D., second series, p. 172. 

The Lake of Menteith. 89 

Queen did once on a time toddle about these old-world 
gardens, and as we look at the Bower, imagination is 
justified in conjuring up her figure on the quaint little 
pathway. But the place can neither have been made 
by her nor for her. She was brought too hurriedly to 
the island to permit the construction of a little garden 
expressly for her use; and as she was but a baby, four 
years and nine months old, her own little hands were not 
yet fit for making bowers or even for much playing at 
gardening. Neither, it is to be hoped, were "the holy men" 
so cruel as to set her to lessons at that tender age. And, 
it must be added further, that she was not more than 
three weeks altogether on the island, and that at a season 
of the year not generally the most propitious for flower- 
gardening in this climate. 1 

The chief natural glory of Inchmahome is in its fine 
old trees chestnuts, walnuts, and sycamores, of great size 
and age, besides oak, ash, hazel, thorn, and other trees. 
That some, at any rate, of the largest of these ancient 
trees were planted by the monks may be surmised from 
two circumstances. In the first place they are of those 
kinds not indigenous to the country which were most 
favoured by the monkish arboriculturists; and, in the second 
place, they have evidently been arranged in lines to suit 
the walls and gateways of the building. As the visitor 
steps ashore at the little landing-place, he will observe a 
number of " felled specimens of chestnuts of immense size, 
whose bark-stripped trunks and hollow butts serve as fire- 

1 For Mary's stay at Inchmahome, see infra, chap. vi. On the shore, below 
" the Bower," there is an excellent echo given back by the ruins on Inchtalla. 

90 The Lake of Menteith. 

places for the pic-nics of tourists." These were felled 
nearly half - a - century ago. But there are others still 
standing in more or less healthy condition. These were 
carefully examined some years ago for the Highland and 
Agricultural Society of Scotland, by an expert in forestry, 
from whose reports the following particulars are taken. 2 

There has evidently, says this authority, been a line of 
large walnut trees and Spanish chestnuts extending across 
the garden ground at the western gate of the Priory. Im- 
mediately outside of this gateway stood two "sentinel" trees 
a fine old walnut to the right, and a chestnut as its com- 
panion to the left. The measurements of the walnut are 
given as 80 feet in height, 10 feet in girth at one foot from 
the ground, 8 feet 1 inch at three feet, and 8 feet at six 
feet high. The chestnut is described as having a good bole, 
but decaying ; and its dimensions are given as 85 feet in 
height, 19 feet 10 inches at one foot, 16 feet 10 inches at 
three feet, and 16 feet 6 inches at six feet from the ground. 
Of the two trees thus reported on in 1879, the walnut, which 
in the report was said to be decaying and oozing a good 
deal near the root, has entirely disappeared cut down and 
removed some years ago and the chestnut is now a mere 
fragmentary ruin. Opposite these sentinels stands the 
sycamore already mentioned as Queen Mary's Tree. 

Eunning south, along the west side of the Nuns' Walk, 
is a line of three great chestnuts. The first was reported 

'Reports on Old and Remarkable Trees of Scotland, by Robert Hutchison 
of Carlowrie : Transactions of Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 
fourth series, vols. xi. and xii. These trees were carefully re-measured for the 
purposes of this work in October, 1898, and it is these revised measurements that 
are given in the text. 

The Lake of Menteith. 91 

by Mr. Hutchison to be " decaying " when he examined 
it. It still stands, but the measurements are not so great 
as those he gives. It rises to a height of about 70 feet, 
with a stem which measures nearly 14 feet at one foot, 

13 feet at three feet, and 12 feet 4 inches at six feet from 
the ground. The next is the picturesque tree known as 
the "antlered chestnut." The top has suffered injury, 
and the bare branches projecting above the foliage, and 
resembling the horns of deer, give it the appearance that 
is known as "stag-headed." Though stated in the report 
to be "much decayed," it still retains its vigour, and, in 
fact, appears to be in very good health. It has slightly 
increased in size since 1879. Its dimensions now are 
height, about 80 feet ; bole, 25 feet ; girth at one foot 
from the ground, 20 feet 6 inches ; at three feet, 20 feet ; 
and at six feet, 17 feet. The third tree not mentioned 
in the report has a bole of 20 feet, a circumference of 
16 feet 7 inches at one foot from the ground, and of 

14 feet 6 inches at the height of five feet. It is in 
vigorous health. The largest oak tree on the island is 
on the Nuns' Hill. Its dimensions are not remarkable. 
At one foot from the ground it girths 13 feet, and at five 
feet 11 feet 8 inches. Other varieties of wood there are 
in abundance, hazels, ashes, larches, elder trees, some 
pines, and two Wellingtonias recently planted. The last 
named somehow strike one as not being quite in keeping 
with the feeling of the place. 

The whole island now belongs to the Duke of Montrose, 
to whose ancestor it passed by the will of William, the 
eighth and last Earl of Menteith. Of old only the western 

92 The Lake of Menteith. 

half belonged to the earls the eastern part being the 
property of the Priory, and, therefore, subsequently of the 
lairds of Cardross, to whom the Priory, with its possessions, 
passed after the extinction of the monasteries. In 1646 1 
the " monasterie and preoincte with the yairdis" were 
held in feu from David, second Lord of Cardross, by 
William, seventh Earl of Menteith and first of Airth, and 
they must have passed, at a later date, into his possession 
in some way that has not been certainly ascertained. 

Immediately to the west of Inchmahome, separated 
from it by a narrow channel, lies the island now called 
Inchtalla, although throughout the seventeenth century, 
when it was the residence of the later Graham Earls of 
Menteith, it was designated by its proprietors always simply 
" The Isle " (Ysle, 1642 ; Yle, 1646 ; Isle, 1679 ; The Isle, 
1692 ; The Isle of Menteith, 1694 ; Isle of Monteath, 1724.) 
Talla, or Tulla, as it is printed in Stobie's Map of Perth- 
shire, is a recurrence to an older name, which therefore 
appears never to have been lost. It is first met with in 
writing in the Stirling Protocol Books, under date 23rd 
October, 1476, in the shape of Inchtolloch. 1 In the Eegis- 
trum Magni Sigilli, in 1485, the form is practically the 
same Inchtulloche. In 1494 it appears with Eilan substi- 
tuted for Inch and the termination softened, Ellantallo. 
Throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries this name 
is retained, with, of course, the usual licenses in spelling. 2 

1 Rental of the Feuduties of Inchmahome. 

1 This interesting document is quoted infra, chap. x. 

2 The varied forms in the order of date are, Inchtolloche, Inchtulloche, 
Illintulaich, Ellantallo, Ylyntullo, Ilyntullocht, Ilantullo, Yll Intulla, Tulla, Talla ; 
then come Isle, Earl's Isle, and Isle of Menteith. 

- : > > 

The Lake of Menteith. 95 

As to the interpretation of the name, Inch and Eilan 
are, of course, the same in meaning, both signifying 
" island." Tulloch is the usual form in which the Gaelic 
tulachy a "mound" or "knoll," is represented in place- 
names. But that derivation is inapplicable here. Tallach, 
however, is the adjective form from talla, a " hall " or 
" great house." In the Highland Society's Gaelic 
Dictionary, tallach is translated " aulis instructus ; ad 
aulam pertinens." It is, therefore, a very appropriate 
epithet for this island, which was literally covered with the 
" halls " of the earls. This derivation, besides giving a 
satisfactory explanation of the name, accounts for the ch 
in the older forms of the word. We may conclude then 
that Inchtalla means " the island of the halls," or more 
simply "the castle-island." 

Inchtalla is of an oval or rather egg shape, broadest in 
the north, and tapering to a point at the southern end. It 
must have afforded a fairly secure, if rather confined, retreat 
for its turbulent lords in the olden times. It was crowded 
with buildings a small central court being the only 
uncovered bit of ground on the island. In consequence the 
earls' gardens, for use as well as for pleasure, had to find 
room on the neighbouring island of Inchmahome, while the 
park and pleasaunce was on the north shore of the lake, 
where was the shortest passage from the mainland to 
Inchtalla. But though the buildings were thus crowded 
there could have been no want of air with the open lake all 
round. So close were they to the water that the strong 
winds, which occasionally blow from the west, must have 
dashed the spray against the walls. This is perhaps the 

96 The Lake of Menteith. 

explanation of the curious fact that the windows on the 
ground floor of the buildings looking to the west are so 
small and so few. 

The island had become a dense jungle of natural wood, 
which not only covered the margins and filled up the 
central court, but invaded the interior of the ruined 
buildings. Seedling trees had grown up everywhere on the 
walls and in the areas of the old castle. These not only 
impeded entrance and rendered it difficult to get any view 
of the interiors, but by their continued growth were 
gradually loosening the stones and mortar, and accelerating 
the period of complete overthrow. Last autumn (1898) 
Mr. Erskine of Cardross caused this mischievous growth to 
be cleared away. It is now, therefore, again possible to 
obtain some idea of what these ancient buildings may have 
appeared, and it is to be hoped that the process of rapid 
decay may be for some time longer arrested. In a 
subsequent chapter an attempt will be made to describe 
them in detail and so far as materials for the purpose are 
available to identify the various chambers and their uses. 

Not far from the western shore of the lake lies the third 
and smallest of the islands. It is called Inchcuan, or "Dog 
Island," because it is supposed to have been used for the 
kennels of the earls' hunting dogs. If that were so, the 
kennels could not have been on a very extensive scale, as 
the islet is a tiny one, only a few yards in circumference. 
There seems, however, to be some ground for believing that 
at the time when Talla was an inhabited house or, at any 
rate, when it was built the surface of the lake was at a 
somewhat lower level than now, for a corner of the south- 

The Lake of Menteith. 99 

west building on that island now overhangs the water, so 
that the area of Inchcuan may have been rather larger then 
than it now is. But at the most it can never have 
been anything but a very small patch of ground quite 
insufficient, one would think, for the kennels of a lordly 
establishment. And there is reason to believe that fox- 
hunting on the hills of Menteith was a favourite sport with 
the earls. William, the seventh earl, had a special breed of 
terriers, whose reputation had reached the ears of King 
James the Sixth long before their master had become a 
famous politician, or was anything but a Scottish nobleman, 
employing a good deal of his time, as is likely, in the field 
sports of the country. On the 17th of August, 1617, the 
King wrote from Houghton Tower to the Earl of Mar, then 
Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, in the following terms : 
" These are moste earnestlie to require you, as yee will do 
us moste acceptable service and procure our exceeding 
greate contentment to searche oute and sende unto us two 
couple of excellent terrieres or earth dogges, which are both 
stoute and good fox killers, and will stay long in the 
grounde. Wee are crediblie enformed that the Earle of 
Monteth hath good of that kinde, who wee are sure wilbe 
glade to gratifie us with them." 1 His Majesty, we doubt 

1 Letter printed in Red Book, vol. i. p. 335. Original in charter chest of the 
Earl of Mar and Kellie. King James perhaps got his information about the Earl 
of Menteith's terriers when he was staying with his friend, the Earl of Mar, at 
Cardross. Mar himself, at a later date, had to go further afield for "earth-doggs." 
On the 5th of November, 1631, he wrote to the Laird of Glenorchy, from Stirling, 
saying that he was to be resident in that town a good part of the winter, and that 
bis greatest sport was likely to be fox-hunting. " Thairfor," he says, " I will ernestly 
intrett you to send me with this berar a couppill of good earth doggs." And he 
adds in a postscript" Quhat ye send me latt itt be good altho itt should be bott 
on." Innes's Sketches of Early Scottish History, 1861 : Appendix, p. 514. 


The Lake of Menteith. 

not, got his two couple of Menteith earth-dogs, and we 
trust had exceeding great contentment therewith. The 
Earl's pack, however, could not well have been all 
accommodated on Inchcuan. It may be that the island 
was only occasionally used perhaps as an infirmary for 
sick dogs or a place of detention for obstreperous animals 
while the usual kennels were at the stables on the western 
shore of the lake, just opposite Inchcuan. No vestige of 
these stables now remains, but the little promontory, on 
and beside which they were clustered, still bears the name 
of " the stable ground." 



The Ruins of the Priory on Inchmahome. 

"Rising from those lofty groves 
Behold a ruin hoary." 

" Buried midst the wreck of things which were 
There lie interred the more illustrious dead." 

" All is silent now : silent the bell, 
That, heard from yonder ivied turret high, 
Warned the cowled brother from his midnight cell ; 
Silent the vesper chant the litany, 
Responsive to the organ ; scattered lie 
The wrecks of the proud pile, mid arches grey." 

N the north side of the Island of Inchmahome, 
a few yards from the little landing-place, and 
standing on ground rising slightly from the 
level of the lake shore, are the ruins of the 
Priory. It was not one of the great ecclesiastical founda- 
tions of the country, but merely so to speak a family 
priory, and does not exhibit any imposing building or 
ornamentation. Still, with all its simplicity of style, the 
Church has been a not inelegant specimen of Gothic 
architecture, and standing on its island site, with its 
lofty tower, it must have showed to great effect across 
the surrounding waters. 


Plan of the Priory Church and Buildings. 

C By permission^ from M* Gibbon &* Ross's Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland.) 

The Lake of Menteith. 103 

The Church stands, as is usual, due east and west. It 
measures in all about a hundred and fifty feet in length 
by thirty-five feet in breadth, and consists of a nave with 
aisle on the north, and a choir. The nave is seventy-five 
feet in length, and of unequal width contracting from over 
twenty-seven feet at the west end to less than twenty-four 
feet at the east. It is entered by two doors. One of these is 
at the south-west angle of the Church, and over this there 
has evidently, from the marks on the wall above and at the 
sides, been a stone-built porch or, as Mr. M'Gregor Stirling 
calls it, a quadrangle. The main door is in the western wall. 
This great doorway has been a really fine example of 
early English Gothic. Although wasted by the unavoid- 
able decay of centuries, it is still sufficiently entire to 
afford an idea of its original elegance. The width of the 
arched entrance is just half the height, six feet in the 
one case and twelve in the other. The breadth of the 
carved and clustered pillar work which surrounds the 
opening is six feet. The shafts, with their moulded caps 
and bases, have been wrought with great care, and notwith- 
standing the centuries that have passed since they were 
cut, are still wonderfully entire. On either side of this 
doorway are two shallow recesses, with double Gothic 
archings supported on pillars of very graceful construction. 
The spandrils between the upper arches are ornamented 
with recessed quatrefoil and trefoil decorations. A former 
writer on the Priory 1 says that there used to be "five 
images " on the wall above the doorway. Nothing of the 
kind is now to be seen. It must be added that it is hard 

1 Dun's Summer at the Lake of Menteith, p. 8. 

104 The Lake of Menteith. 

to believe that there ever was any such sculptured work 
in this position. The bottom of the great west window 
appears to have come down so near to the top of the 
arching of the gateway as to leave no room for it. That 
window itself has now fallen down, with the whole upper part 
of the gable in which it was placed. Traces of it, however, 
may still be observed from the interior of the Church, and 
these show that it had a breadth of about fifteen feet. 

At the north-west corner of the Church is a square tower 
rising to the height of four storeys. This is known as the 
Bell Tower. It is twelve feet square, inside measurement, 
and has walls of nearly three feet in thickness. Not a 
vestige of the stair by which the upper storeys must have 
been reached is now in existence; so that the fine view 
which some former writers have spoken of as obtainable 
from the Bellman's window 1 must be taken on their credit. 
There are now no means of reaching this window high up in 
the west side of the tower. The ground portion of the Bell 
Tower is said to have been used for the incarceration of 
evil-doers by the last Earls of Menteith. The tower does 
not seem to have been part of the Church as originally 
designed and built, but an addition made at some later 
perhaps not much later period. This is inferred from 
the circumstances that it is built outside of and has 
covered up one of the four fine arches that separated the 
nave from the aisle on the north. 2 To the shelter thus 

1 Among others, Sir W. Fraser (Red Book i. 509), long before whose time 
access to this window was quite impossible. 

2 Perhaps it may be more correct to say that the Church buildings from the 
first included a tower at this corner, which at a later period, was. rebuilt and 









The Lake of Menteith. 107 

afforded we may trace the preservation of the two west- 
most of these arches till the present time. The other 
two fell rather more than a century ago. 1 Judging from 
the fragmentary remains of the arches, they must have 
been in excellent taste and of cunning workmanship, and 
a great adornment of the Church. 

Marks of ragling on the east side of the Bell Tower 
still show where the roof of the aisle terminated on the 
west, and the foundations of the outer wall and buttresses 
were disclosed by the excavations of Admiral Erskine. A 
considerable part of the north wall to the east of the 
arches is still pretty well preserved. It shows three 
clerestory windows, one single and two with double lights, 
of plain design. Outside of this wall has been another 
building, apparently divided into two chambers. The 
corbels on the wall show where the roof of this building had 
joined the Church ; and the base mouldings, which the 
excavations showed were carried round it, indicate that it 
was a portion of the original design, and not a mere lean-to 
addition afterwards made. This Mr. M'Gregor Stirling 
has called the Chapter House, but this identification can- 
not be regarded as correct. The Chapter House was 
more likely, according to the usual arrangements of 
monasteries, to have been adjacent to the cloisters, and 
near the residence of the prior and canons. If that were 
the case here, we shall have to look for it on the south 

divided into storeys. This is the opinion of Messrs. M'Gibbon & Ross, founded on 
the appearance of the base course of the tower. (Ecclesiastical Architecture of 
Scotland, vol. ii. p. 177.) 

J The New Statistical Account, published in 1845, says that these arches 
fell about fifty years previous to that time. 

108 The Lake of Menteith. 

side of the Church. The building now in question was 
most probably the sacristy and vestiarium or vestry, from 
which the officiating priests entered the choir. The door 
of entrance still remains, nearly opposite where the High 
Altar must have stood. This sacristy building or aisle did 
not extend to the extreme east end of the wall. It left space 
for a long two-light window coming down into the lower 
storey and helping to light the choir. Neither this window 
nor the other three in this portion show any ornamentation. 
Though well-proportioned, they are all severely plain. 

The great choir-window is in the east gable of the 
Church. This gable with the exception of its flanking 
buttresses, which are much decayed is still comparatively 
entire. The window has been a very fine one, with 
beautiful pointed arches. It is in five divisions, of which 
the central one is eighteen inches, and the others each 
twelve inches in width. The tracery, if there had been 
any, is gone ; and the whole has been built up with 
rubble work at what time is not now known, but 
certainly previous to the present century. 

The interior of the choir which measures sixty-six feet 
in length by twenty-three feet eight inches in breadth like 
that of the nave, has been stripped of almost all its original 
adornments. There still remain, on the south side, a sedile 
or stall and two ambries, which are now used to preserve some 
fragments of carved stones that have been found in the ruins. 
Here, also, is the Piscina or sink into which the celebrating 
priests emptied the water in which they had washed their 
hands, and by which all consecrated waste stuff was carried 
away. The choir is now pretty well filled with graves 

Arches of the Aisle. 

The Lake of Menteith. Ill 

and tombstones of deceased Grahams, Drummonds, and 
others. Some of these are noteworthy, and deserve a 
more detailed description. This is reserved till the rest 
of the buildings have been described. 

The south side of the Church is in a very dilapidated 
condition. It looks as if it had suffered from violence as 
well as from natural decay. The choir portion of it has 
been best preserved. In the centre of this is an arched 
doorway, by which the monks entered from the Chapter 
House and their dwellings on the south. Between this 
door and the east corner are two windows which have 
been separated by a buttress. They both reach from the 
top of the wall to the level of the doorway arch. The 
first has two lights and the other one only. Both are 
well designed, and bear evidences of fine workmanship. 
On the other side of the door are also two windows, but 
smaller, and now much injured. A moulded projection or 
string runs along the face of the wall at the base of these 
windows. All the nave portion of the south wall is very 
much ruined. It appears, however, to have been blank 
with the exception, perhaps, of the higher part, in which 
there were no doubt windows for the admission of light 
into the nave. Along this were the cloisters of the original 
building. They have long ago disappeared, but the corbels 
for the roof are still visible. 

A building to the south of the Church, towards the 
eastern end, usually known as the Vault, deserves some 
attention. The common statement regarding it is that it 
was run up hurriedly in 1644, to receive the remains, of 
Lord Kilpont, who was murdered by Stewart of Ardvoirlich 


The Lake of Menteith. 

in Montrose's camp at Collace. 1 But this seems very 
unlikely, for several reasons. The house bears no trace 
of having been "run up hurriedly." It is as good a bit 

of building as any of the rest, and appears to be equally 
old. If it is in better preservation, that appears to be 

*New Statistical Account. 

/ - 

.<? ..;--{ 

- - ,->' 


; / 



' '. : VAi-' t rf* " '11 1 ? ! " '' ' ' * 

The Chapter House, Inchmahome. 

The Lake of Menteith. 115 

due to the fact that it has been built on and over a very 
strong semi-circular vaulting which has kept the structure 
together. It is of two storeys, and burial vaults are not 
generally so constructed especially when built extempore, 
as this one is said to have been. The under storey is 
lighted by a very good three-arched window giving an 
amount of light that could hardly be considered necessary 
for a mere tomb. The vaulting of the interior has been very 
carefully constructed ; and round the wall runs a bench of 
stone. These indications seem to mark it out as the ancient 
Chapter House of the Priory. It measures twenty-four by 
fifteen feet not a very large chamber, but quite sufficient 
to accommodate the Chapter of Inchmahome. The stone 
floor and central bench would of course be removed when, 
at some period subsequent to the Keformation, this Chapter 
House began to be used as a burying-place for the Earls 
of Menteith. That it was so used scarcely admits of 
doubt. Sir William Fraser who does not, however, give 
his authority for the statement says that the body of 
Lord Kilpont was interred in the Chapter House of the 
Priory, " the burying-place of the family." 1 Here, perhaps, 
also Lord Kilpont's father, the seventh earl, was buried: and 
the inference from the will of the last earl makes it almost 
certain that his remains were here interred. 

The room over the Chapter House is lighted by a 
window of two arches in the east. It had a door in the 
west end, which appears to have been reached by a stair, 
which can yet be traced, coming up from the Frateries 
on the ground floor to the south. This pleasant apart- 

J Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. 398. 

116 The Lake of Menteith. 

ment was probably the Prior's Chamber. It was close to 
and most likely in connection with the apartments of the 
canons, which seem to have occupied the second storey 
of the long building running to the south, over the vaulted 
kitchens yet to be seen. This chamber goes by the name 
of "Queen Mary's Bedroom," because it is alleged that 
the little Queen slept there during her stay on the island. 
The tradition is not unlikely to be well founded. There 
was no resident prior at the time. The Prior's Chamber, 
however, was no doubt the pleasantest and best room in 
the monastery, and as such, would be given up to the use 
of the young Queen ; while her personal attendants and 
retinue could be lodged close beside her in the apartments 
of the canons. 

Eunning out from the door of the Chapter House are two 
parallel stone walls, enclosing an approach, and terminating 
on the west in a stone-built gateway. The time of the 
building of these long walls and gateway is not in doubt. 
The last Earl of Menteith died, without issue, in 1694, and 
left his personal estate to his nephew, Sir John Graham 
of Gartmore, with the following instructions : 

" As also that Sir John shall be obliged to cause an 
exquisite and cunning mason to erect two statues of fine 
hewn stone, at length from head to foot, whereof one for 
ourself, and the other for our dearest spouse, Dame 
Catherine Bruce, now deceased, upon the west gable of 
our burying-place, in the caster isle, 1 and make an entry 
from the said burial-place near to the east end of the 

'Inchmahome is generally about this time designated "the easier isle," in 
contradistinction to Inchtalla, "the wester isle." 

The Lake of Menteith. 117 

gravel walk, with a stone dyke on each side, and a fine 
entry of hewn work upon the west end thereof, bearing 
our name and arms, and our said spouse's." 1 

The gravel walk referred to is that which leads from 
the landing-place on Inchmahome from the wester isle 
across the Menteith portion of the grounds to the Nuns' 
Walk. This walk is still distinctly traceable beneath the 
turf with which it is now covered. 2 As it came out on 
the dividing road somewhat to the south of the straight 
line from the Chapter House door, that accounts for the 
awkward angle the approach thus constructed makes with 
the line of the Priory buildings. It has cut obliquely 
through portions of the cloister, and of what M'Gregor 
Stirling supposes to have been the dormitory of the 
monastery. The parallel walls and the gateway have 
been built, and the niched stones on the " entry," designed 
for bearing the names and arms of the deceased Earl and 
his wife, are in their places ; but the stones are blank 
they bear neither names nor arms, and apparently have 
never done so. Whether the " exquisite and cunning 
mason " was ever commissioned to execute the two statues, 
there is no evidence to show, beyond a statement of Mr. 
M'Gregor Stirling's 8 to the effect that he had been told 

1 The testament was dated 2oth October, 1693, and recorded nth December, 
1694. It is quoted by M'Gregor Stirling (Notes on Inchmahome, p. 94), from 
Wood's Edition of Douglas's Peerage. 

8 In Wood's Douglas's Peerage the words are "gravel walk," but in the Disposi- 
tion as printed in the Airth Peerage Minutes of Evidence (1839) they appear as 
" gavel wall." The latter is probably the correct reading, as " gravel " is not a 
Scotch word. It is difficult, however, to understand what is meant by the east end 
of the gable wall, unless it be intended merely to indicate that the " burial-place " 
was near the east end of the Church. 

8 Notes on Inchmahome, p. 94. 

118 The Lake of Menteith. 

by the proprietor of G-artmore in his time that among the 
Menteith papers preserved at Gartmore was a receipt for 
the price of cutting two figures in stone to be placed in 
Inchmahome. There are certainly no statues now at the 
west gable of the Chapter House, or " burial-place," as it 
then was, and we have not heard of any fragments of 
what might once have been statues having ever been 
found there. 

The remaining monastic buildings on the south side of 
the Church are in a state of great dilapidation, and any 
attempt at identifying their uses must be to a large extent 
conjectural. They seem to have been arranged in the 
shape of the letter L. The long narrow limb about a 
hundred feet in length running due south from the 
Chapter House, has lost its upper storey. But the ground 
floor at least, the southmost part easily identifies itself. 
It was the great kitchen of the monastery. Portions of 
the vaulting of this kitchen yet remain, and the great 
fire-place and chimney are entire. The upper storey we 
have supposed to have been occupied by the canons as 
their private rooms. It was to these chambers or cells 
that they were in the habit of retiring between the hours 
of nones and vespers, to read or write, or otherwise employ 
themselves. This is the building which goes by the 
traditional name of the Nunnery. That is an obvious 
misnomer. Graham of Duchray was, no doubt, right 
when he called it "the dwellings of the Churchmen." 

Of the wing running westwards from the northern 
portion of this long building, only some fragments of 
wall remain. In this Mr. M'Gregor Stirling has placed 





The Lake of Menteith. 121 

the Dormitory and the Kefectory. Perhaps in his time 
there were indications, not now to be seen, which led him 
to this identification. We can advance nothing either to 
support or contradict it beyond this, that there has 
evidently been an entrance or perhaps two from the 
kitchen into what he supposes to have been the Kefectory. 
The Dormitory he places on the north side. The upper 
(northern) wall of it has been entirely removed to make 
way for the last earl's " approach " to the family burial- 
place. The west wall also has disappeared. 1 In the south 
wall is an entrance into the Refectory, and in the south- 
east corner another, which may have led either to the 
kitchen or to the apartments above. The Refectory has 
lost entirely its west and south walls. Of the two doors 
in the eastern wall, one seems to have led directly to the 
kitchen, and the other opens on the foot of the stairs 
which led up to the Prior's Chamber and the apartments 
on the second storey. The vegetable garden is placed to the 
south of the Refectory, but there were most probably exten- 
sive gardens on the east side of the buildings as well. 

The choir of the Church including a space of nearly 
seventy feet in length by over twenty-three feet in breadth 
is the last resting-place of Stewarts and Grahams of 
the family of the Earls of Menteith and its branches, and 
of Drummonds, a family related to the earlier earls, and 
closely connected with the district and the Priory. 

1 It may be doubted whether there ever was a dormitory building on the north 
side of the refectory. More likely the whole space between the north wall of the 
refectory and the south wall of the Church was taken up by the cloisters and the 
cloister-gaith ; while the dormitory was in the upper storey of the building, 
approached by the staircase, a portion of which is still to be seen near the entrance 
to the kitchen. 


1815. .- .._, 
P . Q 

j Chapter Hotwe ; 

4 Arches X fatten. : To-nibston* 

Clrurch. arul | Clwrir j | <rf' | 
^t? JK J? 

The above plan is reproduced, by permission, from the work of the Rev. IV. 
McGregor Stirling. Since it was made, excavations conducted by the late Admiral 
Erskine have shown more accurately the foundations of the aisle and other buildings 
on the north side of the Church. In other respects, also, it is not perfectly accurate, 
but it is extremely interesting as the first attempt to delineate the ground plan of 
the buildings, and will serve to illustrate the references to Mr Stirling's remarks 
in the preceding pages. 

The Lake of Menteith. 123 

The most striking monument is that near the centre 
of the choir, supposed to occupy the space in front of 
where the High Altar once stood. It is believed to com- 
memorate Walter, the first Stewart Earl of Menteith, and 
his Countess Mary, who was the younger daughter of 
Maurice, the last earl of the original line of Menteith. 
Earl Walter Stewart died in 1294 or 1295, his Countess 
having predeceased him. The more ancient earls are said 
to have had their place of sepulture in the Church of 
Kippen. But in the year 1286, Earl Walter, along with 
his son, Alexander, and his daughter-in-law, Matilda, gave 
that Church to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth, in order 
to obtain a burial-place in the Abbey. He was not, 
however, buried at Cambuskenneth, but beside his wife 
in the choir of Inchmahome. 

The monument represents a knight and lady lying side 
by side, their heads supported by cushions, and their feet 
resting on lions (or dogs). The knight has his right arm 
round the lady's shoulder, and his left is laid across her 
waist, while the lady's left arm lovingly encircles the neck 
of her lord. The lady is clad in a long flowing garment, 
the folds of which are beautifully sculptured. Her head 
is covered with an ample cloth falling down behind the 
neck and shoulders. The knight wears a suit of armour, 
covered with a surcoat. The round helmet which he 
wears on his head is encircled by something like a coronet 
or chaplet. The large triangular shield borne on the 
knight's left shoulder has for armorial bearings the well- 
known fess cheque, in three tracts, of the Stewarts, with a 
label of five points, which latter, as heraldic writers tell us, 

124 The Lake of Menteith. 

is a mark of cadency. Walter Stewart was the second 
son of the High Steward of Scotland. A seal of his, 
appended to a document, dated 1292, preserved in the 
Public Eecord Office, shows exactly the same armorial 
bearings, with the legend, 8. Wcdteri Senescalli Comt de 
Menetet. This coat of arms clearly establishes the identity 
of the knightly effigy. Walter Stewart was the only Earl 
of Menteith who bore the Stewart arms in this simple 
form. A seal of his son, Alexander, the sixth earl, has 
the three bars wavy representing the arms of the old 
Menteith line (his mother's) surmounted by the fess 
cheque. Earl Walter does not appear to have assumed the 
armorial bearings of the earldom of Menteith. 

The figure is cross-legged thus indicating a crusader, 
or at any rate, one who had vowed a crusade. For it 
was not necessary for one to have actually gone on 
crusade te entitle him to have his effigy represented 
in this sacred and symbolic attitude. It was enough if 
he had vowed. A substitute could be provided, or a 
dispensation could be obtained for a suitable sum. But 
it appears that Walter Stewart did really go crusading, 
though it is doubtful whether he reached the Holy Land. 
Along with his brother Alexander, the High Steward, and 
other Scottish knights, he joined the crusade led by Louis 
the Ninth of France (St. Louis). These Scottish knights 
Walter among them are said to have fought valiantly, 
and to have rendered valuable service to the Most Christian 
King in his Holy War in Egypt in the years 1248 and 1249. 

The monument is seven feet in length, and the figures 
in very high relief. They have suffered a good deal of 

The Lake of Menteith. 



mutilation. The left arm of the knight has been broken 
off from the shoulder to the wrist, leaving only the gloved 
hand resting on the lady's waist. His left leg and foot 
have also suffered damage ; and from the lady's right arm, 
which is bent across her chest, the hand has been rudely 
broken off. Whether this damage has been wanton or 
accidental is unknown, but one may be thankful to find the 
monument still so well preserved after fully six centuries 
of existence, and especially after an exposure of at least 

Monument of Walter. Stewart, Carl of Menteith, and his Countess Mary. 

two hundred years to the elements. This exposure 
without protection to the weather has done more 
than actual violence to destroy the finer traits of the 
sculpture. These were gradually getting worn away more 
or less rapidly. But some years ago, Mr. Erskine of 
Cardross caused a canopy to be erected over the stone. 
This gives it protection from the rain, and may be expected 
to retard it is to be hoped for a long time the inevitable 
progress of decay. 

126 The Lake of Menteith. 

Another very ancient and interesting stone is that which 
marks the last resting-place of Sir John Drummond said 
to have been a liberal benefactor of the Priory of Inch- 
mahome who died about the year 1300 A.D., and was 
interred near the High Altar. Deeply cut on the surface 
of this stone, which is still in fair preservation, is a figure 
of Sir John. The features of the face are now rather 
worn, but they can still be made out, and somehow give 
one the impression that they have been meant for a likeness 
of the original. The figure is clad in chain armour, bears 
in the right hand a long spear, and carries on the left 
arm a shield with the three bars wavy the well-known 
armorial bearings of the Drummonds, which they seem 
to have adopted from their superiors, the old Menteiths, 
and which this Sir John is said to have been the first 
Drummond to carry. On the head is a high conical 
covering terminating in a cross. The chest is crossed by 
belts which pass round the back of the neck. The waist 
also is girded by a broad belt, and from this are suspended 
two objects, one of which may be a dagger or knife, 
although it is not easy to make out what they may have 
originally represented. A long sword, depending from a 
hook or catch about the middle of the body, hangs to the 
left side. Beneath the feet, on which the spurs are plainly 
visible, are two lions, placed back to back, and connected 
by their intertwined tails. The lions underfoot, as well 
as the cross on the apex of the head-dress, are common 
enough Christian symbols. 

In the vacant spaces on either side of the head of this 
effigy are two smaller figures. That on the right seems 

The Lake of Menteith. 127 

to represent St. Colmoc in his bishop's robes. He holds 
a well-defined pastoral staff in the left hand, while the 
right, with two fingers held up, is raised in the attitude 
of benediction. The figure on the other side represents 
Saint Michael, winged, and carrying spear and shield. The 
two holy men stand upon a dragon St. Michael on the 
body, near the shoulder, and St. Colmoc on the tail. 

A legend, in raised lettering, runs round the border of 
the stone on three sides. It has possibly run on to the 
fourth side the top of the stone also, but the border 
has scaled off at that part. What remains reads as 


has been suggested, the reading where the blank occurs 
should be VIDUA UT, the translation will be : " John 
of Drummond, son of Malcolm of Drummond, his widow, 
that she may release their souls from the penalty and the 
sting." If the legend was continued on the fourth side 
of the stone, it probably went on to say what the widow 
had done to release her soul and her husband's or is it 
the souls of her husband and his father? the eorum may 
be taken either way from the pains of purgatory. Perhaps 
this was nothing more than interment in this place ; for 
proximity to the High Altar in burial was supposed to 
ensure for the dead a safe and speedy passage to glory. 

Sir William Fraser affirms that it was this Sir John 
Drummond or his father who gifted the lands of Cardross 
to the Priory of Inchmahome. 1 He gives tradition, however, 
as his only authority. Mr. M'Gregor Stirling, on the other 

1 Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. xli. 

128 The Lake of Menteith. 

hand, on the authority of Malcolm's " History of the House 
of Drummond," names Sir Malcolm, the son and successor 
of Sir John, as the generous donor. 1 Malcolm's authority 
is perhaps not very great, but at any rate a reason for Sir 
Malcolm's generosity is given as a thank-offering, namely, 
for his release from captivity in England, and an evidence 
of gratitude for the lands with which he had been endowed 
by King Eobert the Bruce after the successful issue of the 
battle of Bannockburn. The Sir John here commemorated 
is said, in the " New Statistical Account," to have been a 
son-in-law of Earl Walter Stewart and his Countess, near 
whose monument (already described) in the Choir of Inch- 
mahome his remains repose. 

It may be regarded as a probable inference from the 
occurrence of St. Michael along with St Colmoc on this 
monumental stone taken in conjunction with the existence 
of St. Michael's Fair at the Port that there may have 
been a joint dedication of the Church to St. Michael and 
to Colmoc, the eponymous saint of the island. 

A third old stone in the choir has the Graham arms cut 
in bas-relief, with the four letters very distinct, G. D. E. D. 
Were it not for the Graham arms, one would be tempted 
to read these as the initials of two members of the Drum- 
mond family. As it is, they have been ingeniously con- 
jectured to represent the words GLOEIA DEO ESTO DATA Let 
glory be given to God. 

The numerous other tombstones in the choir have less 
architectural and historical interest. They commemorate 
Grahams of every branch of the family of Menteith 

* Stirling's Notes on Inchmahome, p. 44. 

The Lake of Menteith. 129 

on the left, Grahams of Gartur, Eednock, Leitchtown, 
Pheddal, and Soyock ; on the right, Grahams of Gartmore, 
Glenny, and Mondhui. On the north wall appears, most 
appropriately, a tablet to the memory of Admiral Erskine, 
who loved the old place so well, and did so much to preserve 
the remains and to prevent the whole precincts from falling 
into absolute ruin. 



The Priory of Inchmahome under its 
early Priors, 1238 to 1528. 

" I am, said he, ane Channoun regulare, 

And of my brether Pryour principall : 
My quhyte rocket my clene lyfe doith declare, 
The black bene of the death memoriall." 

Testament of tJie Papyngo. 

"Arrayed in habit black and amis thin, 
Like to an holy monck, the service to begin." 

Faery Queen. 

HAT there was a religious settlement on the 
island of Inchmahome at a very early period 
is obvious from the name which has carried 
down through the ages the memory of the 
saint in whose honour it was founded. In the multitude 
of Colmans in the hagiology, 1 it would be impossible if 
we had no other indication of his identity to determine 
which particular saint of the name was the eponymus of 
the island. One naturally thinks first of that St. Colman, 
disciple of St. Columba, who became Bishop of Lindisfarne 
in Northumberland, but returned to lona in 664 A.D., in 

1 Baring-Gould (Lives of the Saints) says, " there were ninety-five St. Colmans 
in the Martyrology of Donegal alone, besides numerous other Irish saints of the 

The Lake of Menteith. 131 

consequence of being worsted by Wilfrid in the dispute 
regarding the observance of Easter. 1 Another Scottish 
St. Colmack, said to have been Bishop of Orkney, circa 
1000, is mentioned by Innes. 2 But it is to neither of 

Seal of the Priory oi Inchmahome. 3 

these, but to an Irish saint, that the name of the island 
is due, if we are to accept the authority of the early 

1 Scotichronicon a Goodall, vol. i. p. 154. 

2 Innes, quoted in Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. i. p. 321, note. The day of this 
St. Colmack is given as the 6th of June. 

3 In the upper compartment of the seal is represented the Virgin Mother 
crowned, and seated, holding a lily in her right hand. On her left knee sits the 
infant Jesus, also crowned, with right hand upraised and two fingers lifted, in the 
attitude of benediction, and holding a globe in His left hand. In the lower com- 
partment, under a Gothic arch, stands a figure in the vestments of a Bishop, 
probably intended to represent St. Colman, holding the pastoral staff in his left 
hand, and lifting the right with the outstretched forefingers in the act of blessing. 
The legend is S. Commune de Insula Sancti Colmoci. 


132 T he Lake of Menteilh. 

ecclesiastical chroniclers. The ' * Breviary of Aberdeen ' ' gives 
the honour to St. Colmoc (i.e., Colman with the honourable 
suffix -og or -oc), Bishop of Dromore, County Down, 
Ireland. He is said to have been of a noble Scotic family, 
to have been born about 500 A.D., and to have founded 
the Monastery of Dromore, where he died and was buried. 
His day was the 6th of June. It is added that the 
Monastery of Inchemaholmock, in the diocese of Dunblane, 
was solemnly dedicated to him. 1 Lanigan gives many 
particulars of his birth and education from the Irish 
ecclesiastical annalists, stating that he was of a Dalriadian 
family, and therefore a native of the territory in which 
his see was situated, but giving his day as the 7th of 
June. 2 How he came to be honoured in Menteith is not 
explained, but possibly the reverence for his name may 
have been introduced into the west of Scotland by 
his kinsfolk, the Dalriadic Scots. The "Martyrology 
of Aberdeen " in opposition to the statement of the 
"Breviary" and the Irish annalists affirms that he was 
buried at " Inchmacome, where there was in after times 
a Monastery of Canons -Eegular of the Order of St. 
Augustine." By the "Martyrology of Aengus" he is 
called Mocholmog 3 of Drummor in Iveagh of Ulidia. 
It would appear, therefore, that it is to this "Irish Pict" 
as Skene calls him that the honour of giving name 

1 Breviary of Aberdeen, foil. ci. cii. quoted in Bishop Forbes' Kalendars of 
Scottish Saints, 1872, p. 304. 

2 Lanigan's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1829, vol. i. p. 432. 

3 This form of the name has been explained above, p. 74. It brings us very near 
to the most ancient form of the island name. 

The Lake of Menteith. 133 

to the first religious settlement on the island must be 
attributed. 1 

It is reasonable to infer from the only evidence that 
is still attainable that the early Culdee settlement on the 
island was under the charge of the see of Dunblane. The 
Culdee church at Dunblane dates back to the beginning 
of the seventh century, and it became a Eoman see about 
1160. 2 Whether the island church was Eomanized at the 
same time, or earlier or later, it is impossible to tell. But 
that there was a Catholic parson there in 1210 seems likely 
from a reference in the Chartulary of Cambuskenneth. 8 A 
charter of the Abbey, of about that date, is witnessed by, 
among others, Malcolm, parson of the island of Macholem 
(Molcolmo persona de insula Macholem). If Sir William 
Eraser is right in his identification of Macholem with 
Inchmahome, then there is proof sufficient that there was 
a Koman church here at that period ; and that the parson 
was under the direction of the Bishop of Dunblane is 
inferred from the language of the Papal Instrument to be 
afterwards referred to in implement of which the Priory 
was erected. 

The coming of the Augustinian monks to the island 
is variously dated by the older writers. In fact, so obscure 
is the early history of the settlement that it used to be 

1 For full accounts of the life and miracles of St. Colman, consult Lanigan's 
Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1829, vol. i. pp. 432 etseqq. ; Reeves' Ecclesiastical 
Antiquities of Down, &c., 1847, pp. 104, note, 304, 311, 379 ; Forbes' Kalendars of 
Scottish Saints, 1872, pp. 304 et seq. ; Skene's Celtic Scotland, vol. ii. p. 32. 

1 Keith's Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops. 

3 Chartulary of Cambuskenneth, pp. 160, 161. This charter makes a gift by 
the Bishop, William of Dunblane, of the church of Kincardine in free alms to the 
Abbey of Cambuskenneth. 

134 The Lake of Menteith. 

supposed that Inchmahome and Isle of St. Colmoc were 
different places. 1 Archbishop Spottiswoode affirms that 
the Priory of St. Colmoc's Isle in Menteith was founded 
by King Edgar. That must have been prior to 1107 the 
year of Edgar's death. But, if we are to trust Keith, or 
rather John Spottiswoode, there were no Augustinians in 
Scotland at that date. He says 2 " The Canons-Begulars 
of St. Augustine were first brought into Scotland by 
Atelwholphus, Prior of St. Oswald of Nostel in Yorkshire, 
and afterwards Bishop of Carlisle ; who established them 
at Scone, in the year 1114, at the desire of King Alexander 
I." An earlier authority to the same effect is Fordun : 
" Scone was founded by Alexander the Fierce, who made 
it over to the governance of Canons-regular, called from 
the church at St. Oswald at Nostle (Nastlay, near Ponte- 
fract), and of the others after them who should serve God, 
until the end of the world." 3 John Spottiswoode further 
asserts that Inchmahome was an Abbey founded of old for 
canons of Cambuskenneth. 4 And Cambuskenneth we 
know was not founded till 1147. Spottiswoode also notes 5 

1 See Spottiswoode's History of the Church of Scotland (4th ed.), vol. i. ; 
compare app. p. 14 with p. 17 ; Keith's Catalogue of Scottish Bishops, with 
Account by John Spottiswoode of the Religious Houses in Scotland at the time 
of the Reformation, p. 391. ; Maitland's History and Antiquities of Scotland, 
vol. i. pp. 255 and 259. It should be said, however, that John Spottiswoode 
writes "Although this place (Inchmahome) be mentioned in most of our old 
lists of religious houses as a distinct monastery from that of Insula St. Colmoci, 
yet I am apt to believe they are one and the same." (Page 239 of Account of 
Religious Houses). 

2 Keith's Catalogue, &c., p. 385. 

3 Fordun's Chronicle, book v. chap, xxviii. ; Skene's edition, vol. ii. p. 218. 
See also Liber Ecclesie de Scon (Maitland Club, 1843). 

4 Keith's Catalogue, &c., p. 319. * Ibid. 

The Lake of Menteith. 135 

that the Priory Insulae Sancti Colmoci was said to have 
been founded by Murdach, Earl of Menteith, killed at the 
battle of Dupplin in 1332 ; although he adds that the name 
of Prior Adam is found in the list of those who swore fealty 
to Edward I. in 1296. Maitland also states that the Priory 
of the Isle " was founded by Murdach, Earl of Menteith, 
for Augustine monks," 1 but he gives no date. The 
authority relied upon by both is no doubt the Scoti- 
chronicon, in which it is distinctly stated that the 
Augustinian monks were settled in the island by Murdach, 
Earl of Menteith. 2 Now, the Earl who fell at Dupplin was 
not the only one of that name. There was an earlier 
Murdach, who held the earldom from about 1180 to 1213 ; 
and it is neither impossible nor unlikely that he may have 
brought the Augustinians to the island. He was the 
father-in-law of the ascertained builder of the Priory, and 
it is no great assumption to suppose that the latter may 
have had in view the pious object of continuing the work 
of his father-in-law. 

Whoever it may have been that was responsible for 
introducing the Augustinians to the island, the date of the 
erection of the buildings, the ruins of which still give 
distinction and interest to the place, and the name of the 
builder, are not now in doubt. These facts were settled 
by an authoritative document which was first published 
by the Rev. W. M'Gregor Stirling in his " Notes on Inch- 

1 Maitland's History and Antiquities of Scotland (1757), vol. i. p. 255. 

a "Insufa Sancti Colmoci, ordinis Augustini, in Menteth; cujus fundator 
Murdacus, comes ejusdem." Fordun's Scotichronicon, continuation by Bower 
(GoodalFs edition), vol. ii. p. 539. 

136 The Lake of Menteith. 

mahome" (1817). l This writ informs us that the Bishop 
of Dunblane 2 had appealed to the Pope regarding the 
dilapidation of his church (which seems to have been in 
a really lamentable condition) and the appropriation of its 
revenues by secular persons ; and it may be inferred from 
the terms of the agreement come to that the Earls of 
Menteith and their vassals were responsible for a good 
deal of the spoliation of the bishopric. 3 In response to 
this appeal, the Pope (Gregory IX.) issued a Mandate 
at Vitervi, 10th of June, 1237 to William, Bishop of 
Glasgow and Galfred (Geoffrey), Bishop of Dunkeld, 
directing them to enquire into the case and adopt suitable 
remedial measures. In pursuance of this mandate, the 
two Bishops held an investigation. The Bishop of Dun- 

1 This document was brought under Mr. Stirling's notice by Mr. Thomas 
Thomson, Deputy-Register of Scotland, and was printed in full, in the original 
Latin, in Appendix i. to the Notes, pp. 113-116. The original of this writ, it 
seems, cannot now be found in the General Register Office (Eraser's Red Book, 
vol. ii. p. 329, note) but its existence had been known before it was again 
brought to light in 1815. Mr. David Erskine, W.S., brother of the then laird 
of Cardross, in a letter to Captain (afterwards General) Hutton, dated 5th Sep- 
tember, 1789, mentioned that he had in his possession an old paper entitled 
" The double of the apointment betwix the Bishop of Dunblain and the Pryor of 
Inchmahomo, Drawine out of the Auld Register." (Fragmenta Scoto-monastica, 
Edinburgh, 1842, app. p. 3). And in the Inventory of his Writs which was drawn 
up by William, seventh Earl of Menteith, about 1622, the first item set down is 
"ane apointment betwix Waltor Cuming, Erie of Monteith, and the Bishops of 
Dunkell and Dunblane, be the direction of the Pope, quhair the said Earlle gives 
libertie to the churchmen to build ane abbasie within his Ille of Inchmahome, of 
the dait 1238." (Red Book, ut supra). This may have been the original of which 
Mr. Erskme's " double " was a copy, or they may both have been copies ; but at 
any rate they show that while the name of the builder of the Priory was quite 
unknown to the Scottish ecclesiastical historians, the information was in the hands 
of the families who were most immediately connected with the place. 

1 He is not named in the writ ; but Clement was the Bishop at that time. 

8 This letter of Pope Gregory IX. to the Bishops of Glasgow and Dunkeld is 
to be found also in Vetera Monumenta Hibernorum et Scotorum Historiam 
Illustrantia, &c. (Rome, 1864), no. xci. p. 35. 

The Lake of Menteith. 137 

blane and Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, appeared 
before them; and, having stated their respective cases, 
they submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the 
Bishops and their Court. The result was an agreement, 
accepted by both parties, of which the following were the 
principal provisions. The Bishop was to renounce all 
right claimed, or that might be claimed, by the Church 
of Dunblane, to revenues derived from the churches of 
the earldom of Menteith, in which the Earl had the right 
of patronage, and to desist from all complaints against 
him. The Earl was authorised " to build a House for 
Religious Men of the Order of St. Augustine in the Island 
of Inchmaquhomok, without impediment or opposition from 
the said Bishop or his successors." To these religious men 
were assigned, "in pure and perpetual alms, the churches 
of Lany and of the said Island, with all the liberties and 
easements belonging to the said churches," reserving his 
episcopal rights to the Bishop. The Bishop was not to be 
allowed to make perpetual vicars in these two churches, 
but to accept proper chaplains presented to him, who 
should be responsible to him " in spiritual and episcopal 
matters." The Earl, again, was to assign the church of 
Kippen for a perpetual canonry in the church of Dunblane, 
reserving to himself and his successors the right of presen- 
tation to the canonry, and to give over to the Bishop 
whatever right he held in the church of Callander. 

The instrument recording this agreement is dated at 
Perth on " the octave of John the Baptist," i.e., the 16th 
of June, 1238 ; and we may assume that the building of 
the Priory was begun as soon as possible thereafter. 

138 The Lake of Menteith. 

It is clear, from the terms of the writ, that there was 
already in the island of Inchmahome a church, over which 
the Bishop of Dunblane had Episcopal rights. At the 
same time the words " Domum virorum religiosorum ordinis 
sancti Augustini in Insula de InchmaquhomoJc construere," 
do not make it quite clear whether there was already a 
body of Canons-Eegular in the island, for whom merely a 
house was now to be built, or whether house and canons 
were to be placed there together. But perhaps it is not 
straining inference too much if we deduce from the 
reference to impediment and contradiction (sine impedimenta 
vel contradictione dicti episcopi) on the part of the Bishop 
of Dunblane, a supposition that the Augustinians were in 
the island, and that opposition had been offered by the 
bishop either to their organisation or to the building of a 
house for them. If the Priory was connected with the 
Abbey of Cambuskenneth, he may have been inclined to 
regard it as an intrusion into his diocese. 

The Augustinian Order of Monks was much favoured 
by the pious Scottish kings of the family of Canmore. Over 
a dozen communities of this Order had been established, 
in various parts of Scotland, by Alexander L, David I., 
and their nobles, previous to the erection of the Priory 
of Inchmahome. They had the designation of Canons- 
Eegular from the circumstance that they were not, like 
other monks, confined to their monasteries, but might take 
charge of parish churches and discharge ecclesiastical 
functions wherever they might happen to be placed. The 
canonical dress, according to Spottiswoode (apud Keith) 
was a white robe, with a rochet (rochetum) of fine linen 

The Lake of Menteith. 139 

above the gown, and in the church a surplice (superpellicium) 
and an almuce (lanutium), formerly worn on the shoulders, 
thereafter on the left arm, hanging as far down as the 
ground. This almuce was of a fine black or grey skin, 
brought from foreign countries, and frequently lined with 
ermine, and serves to this day to distinguish the Canons- 
Eegulars from the other religious Orders. 1 In this 
picturesque dress, then, we may conceive the canons of 
Inchmahome conducting the services in the Priory. When 
not so engaged the surplice and almuce were laid aside, 
and they appeared simply in their white tunic with gown 
of fine linen, over which was worn a black cloak with a 
hood covering the head, neck, and shoulders. So Sir 
David Lindsay makes the magpie in its black and white 
colours the ornithological representative of the Canons- 
Eegular. 2 

The day in the convent was laid out in several divisions, 
marked off by the hours of prayer. These were (1) Matins 
and Lauds, at midnight ; (2) Prime, about 6 A.M. ; (3) Tierce, 
about 9 A.M. ; (4) Sext, about noon ; (5) Nones, about 
2 P.M. ; (6) Vespers, 4 P.M. or later ; (7) Compline, 7 P.M. 

1 Keith's Catalogue, &c., p. 393. The following extract from Commissary 
Spalding's account of Charles I. at Holyrood in 1633 may be compared with the 
ahove description of the dress of the Canons-Regular : " On Sunday, 23rd June, 
the King heard John Bishop of Murray teach in his rochet, which is a white linen 
or lawn drawn on above his coat, above the whilk his black gown was put on, and 
his arms through the gown sleeves, and above the gown sleeves is also white linen 
or lawn drawn on shapen like a sleeve. This is the weed of Archbishops and 
Bishops, and wears no surplice, but churchmen of inferior degree, in time of service, 
wears the samen, which is above their cloaths, a side (i.e., long) linen cloth over 
body and arms like to a sack." Spalding's History, of the Troubles in Scotland, 
p. 18. 

* Lindsay's Testament and Complaynt of our Soverane Lordis Papyngo ; 
lines 654-657. 

140 The Lake of Menteith. 

All the monks, with the exception of the sick and those 
who had dispensations of relief from the duty, rose for 
Matins and Lauds, after which they returned to bed till 
Prime. After Prime the Chapter was held. This meeting 
took place in a room specially designed for its purpose. 
The Chapter House was beside the cloisters, and during the 
meeting the cloisters were not allowed to be entered, so 
that what was going on in the Chapter House might not 
be overheard. It had a row of stone benches round the 
wall, with a reading desk, and a bench where culprits stood 
in the centre. There was a higher seat for the Abbot or 
Prior, and a crucifix. In the Chapter prayers for deceased 
benefactors were said, misdemeanours investigated and 
offenders punished by suitable discipline, and other con- 
ventual business arranged. For some time after the business 
of the Chapter had been completed, a period of silence 
and meditation was observed. Then the monks were 
dismissed to the cloisters till Sext in some Orders this 
period was given to study, in others to manual labour. 
The dinner-hour was at noon. At this meal one of the 
brethren read aloud, while the others kept silence and 
listened. After dinner until the hour of Nones was the 
period for recreation, when the monks rambled about the 
grounds or otherwise amused themselves. When the Nones 
prayers had been said, music was practised for a while. 
Those who obtained permission from the Superior were 
allowed to go beyond the precincts of the monastery. The 
brothers who did not go out retired to their private 
chambers or " cells," to read or write or practise some 
manual occupation, or in some cases possibly merely to 

The Lake of Menteith. 141 

lounge away the time till Vespers. All were required to be 
inside the walls to sing Compline after supper. Then they 
withdrew to the dormitories, and were in bed by 8 P.M. 1 

The usual number of monks to a Prior was ten; and 
this judging from the signatories to the deeds of the 
Chapter at the time when it may be reckoned to have 
been complete was the number at Inchmahome. 

The Priory had several chapels attached to it one at 
Inchie, on the east shore of the lake, where the name 
of Chapel-lands still survives, the sole relic of the past ; 
a second at Arnchly, about a mile to the west of the lake ; 
a third at Chapel-larach (i.e., chapel site or foundation), 
not far from Gartmore ; and a fourth at Boquhapple (House 
of the Chapel), near Thornhill. Besides these, the churches 
of Leny, Port, and Kilmadock with its six dependent 
chapels, were under the charge of the Priory. 2 A fourth 
church that of Lintrethen in Forfarshire belonged to 
it at the time the lands of the Priory were secularised 
by Act of Parliament (9th July, 1606) . 8 


No Chartulary is known to exist. Only a few charters 
and other documents relating to the Priory have been 
preserved. It is not, therefore, possible to present a 
continuous history of the House from its foundation to its 
decay, but all the properly vouched facts that have been 

1 This account of the conventual day is taken from Frosbrooke's British 
Monachism, 1817, sub initio ; and Gordon's Monasticon, p. 8. 

'Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, vol. ii. pp. 724, 737. 

3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. iv., under date. Lintrethin was 
in the gift of the Prior, at least as early as 1477. See infra. 

142 The Lake of Menteith. 

gathered regarding it will be set forth. The name of its 
earliest Prior is nowhere mentioned, nor for more than a 
quarter of a century after its erection does the name of the 
Priory occur in any extant document yet known. The 
earliest reference is in what was known in Scotland as 
Bagimont's Koll. Pope Gregory the Tenth sent to 
Scotland an emissary, by name Magister Boyamundus 
de Vitia, to collect the tenths of all ecclesiastical benefices 
for the Holy Land. In the account of his collections, 
rendered in 1275, appears the item, " De Priorie sancti 
Colmoti, 9 marc. 13 sol. 1 den," 1 that is to say, the tithe 
received from the prior amounted to 9 merks or 6 13s Id, 
from which we can readily estimate the total income of the 
Priory at that early period of its existence. 2 The next 
historical reference to the Priory twenty years later 
gives us the name of the Prior who then held office. It 
occurs in the Eagman Bolls, 3 where, among those who 
swore fealty to Edward the First of England, at Berwick, 
on the 21st of August, 1296, appears the name of " Adam, 
Prioure de lie de Seint Colmoth," who took the oath for 
himself and his convent. 


The probable successor of Adam was Maurice, as his 
name appears (along with that of Sir John Menteith and 
others), as witness to a charter of Alan, seventh Earl of 

1 Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, no. cclxiv. p. 115. (The tithe of the Abbey 
of Catnbuskenneth was at the same time 10 8s nd). 

a At this time Scots money was of equal value with English. It was not till 
well on in the reign of David II. that the deterioration in value began. 

3 Ragman Rolls, 117. 

The Lake of Menteith. 143 

Menteith, which has been assigned by Sir William Fraser 
to the year 1305. In this charter he is designed " domino 
Mauricio, Priore de Insula Sancti Colmoci." 1 It seems to 
have been in the time of Prior Maurice that King Kobert 
the Bruce made his three recorded visits to Inchmahome. 
He was here for the first time, so far as we know, at a very 
critical period of his life, just after his coronation at Scone, 
which took place on the 29th of March, 1306. Alan, Earl of 
Menteith, was one of his supporters, and to the quiet island 
in his domain came the King after his coronation, perhaps 
to meet his friends and consider his future course. The 
fact that he was on the island at that time is ascertained 
from a petition presented to Edward I. by Malise, Earl of 
Strathern, who, after the battle of Methven, had been made 
prisoner and sent to England. He affirmed that he had 
always been loyal to the English King, and, although 
admitting that he had on one occasion done homage to 
Bruce, he said that it was done only on compulsion and in 
fear of his life. He narrated how, deceived by a safe- 
conduct, he had been seized by the Earl of Athole and 
some others, and by them carried to " Inchemecolmoch," 
where Bruce then was. On refusing to do homage as he 
had twice before refused Sir Robert Boyd advised Bruce 
to behead him and grant his lands away, whereupon the 
Earl was so frightened that he did their will, and they let 
him go. 2 

The second occasion on which Bruce is known to have 

1 Original in Gleneagles charter-chest : printed in the Red Book of Menteith, 
vol. ii. p. 223. 

3 This Petition is printed in Documents and Records illustrating the History 
of Scotland, edited by Sir Francis Palgrave (1837), pp. 319 and clix. 

144 The Lake of Menteith. 

been at Inchmahome was in the autumn of 1308. By that 
time he had fought his romantic battles in Galloway, 
cleared the northern parts of his kingdom of the English 
enemy, and chastised his old enemy, John of Lorn, in the 
fastnesses of the West Highlands. On his way to Perth 
from this last expedition he halted at Inchmahome, 
probably to rest and give thanks for his victories. The fact 
is instructed by a charter of Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, to 
Sir John of Luss, which the King confirmed on the 28th of 
September, 1308, " apud Insulam Sancti Colmoci." 1 

The third visit of King Eobert to the Priory cannot 
have been made for any reason of the concealment or 
security the place might afford, for it occurred after his 
power was well assured and his claim to the throne had 
been admitted by the people and the estates of the realm. 
Bather it seems to indicate that he had some liking for this 
sequestered retreat as a haven of rest from his warlike toils 
and the cares of government, and possibly also that he had 
acquired an affection for its Prior, Maurice. We hear no 
more of this Maurice as Prior of Inchmahome, but is it 
unreasonable to suggest that he may have been the same 
who, as Abbot of Inchaffray, blessed the Scottish army at 
the battle of Bannockburn ? If that were he, then we 
know that he was advanced to still higher rank in the 
Church. He was promoted to the see of his own diocese of 
Dunblane in 1319. 2 The Abbot of Inchaffray, in 1314, was 

1 The original charter is preserved at Rossdhu, and was printed in Eraser's 
The Chiefs of Colquhoun, vol. ii. p. 276. 

3 Liber Insulae Missarum (Bannatyne Club, 1847), p. xiv. Appointment ratified 
by Pope John XXII. in March, 1822. Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, pp. 341-3. 

The Lake of Menteith. 145 

evidently a much trusted ecclesiastical friend of the King, 
and if it could be proved that he was the same man as the 
Prior of Inchmahome in 1310, it would give an additional 
interest to the King's visit at that time, and would also 
account for Maurice's preferment in the Church. From 
his retreat at Inchmahome King Kobert issued a writ 
confiscating the property of one John de Pollox, who had 
adhered to the enemy and plotted treason, and bestowing 
on the Convent and Abbot of Arbroath everything belonging 
to the traitor that might be found within their lands and 
tenements. This writ, which is dated " apud Insulam 
Sancti Golmoci, on the 15th day of April, in the year of 
grace 1310 and the fifth year of our reign," was first 
published by the Kev. W. M'Gregor Stirling from the 
Eegistrum de Aberbrothock. 1 


Shortly after Bannockburn, the Priory received a great 
addition to its possessions. Sir Malcolm Drummond if 
we are to credit the historian of that house 2 bestowed 
the estate of Cardross on the Convent of Inchmahome, in 
the year 1316, probably, it has been conjectured, as " a 
proof of pious gratitude for the donor's release from (a 
long) captivity." 3 For Malcolm had been taken prisoner 
by the English in 1301, and was not set free till after the 

1 Notes on Inchmahome, app. ii. p. 117: e Registro de Aberbrothock, fol. 
xxiii. The copy was supplied to Mr. Stirling from the Panmure documents by 
General Hutton. The Chartulary of Arbroath has since been published by the 
Bannatyne Club. 

* Malcolm's History of the House of Drummond, app. 

3 Notes on Inchmahome, p. 44. 

146 The Lake of Menteith. 

battle of Bannockburn. 1 He was a son of the Sir John 
Drummond who died in 1300, and was buried in the choir 
of the Priory, his mother being a daughter of Walter 
Stewart, Earl of Menteith. 2 If we are right in conjecturing 
that Prior Maurice may have been translated to Inchaffray 
prior to the battle of Bannockburn, this donation could 
not have been given in his time. And indeed this is con- 
firmed by the fact that a charter by Earl Alan 3 was 
witnessed by " domino Christine, Priore de Insula Sancti 
Colmoci." The charter is undated, but as Alan was sent 
as a prisoner to England after the battle of Methven in 
1306, 4 and did not return, he must have died there prior 
to the general delivery of prisoners which followed the 
victory at Bannockburn. 

Prior Christin is next found witnessing a charter of 
Earl Murdach (1318-1332) to Walter, son of Sir John of 
Menteith, of the lands of Thorn and Lanarkins, with fish- 
ings on the Teith. This charter also is without date, but 
it must, of course, have been granted not later than 1332. 5 
It is quite possible that Prior Christin was the hero of 
the next incident recorded in the history of the Priory, 

1 Sir Malcolm must have been regarded as rather a notable captive, for 
Chalmers informs us that on the 25th of July, 1301, Edward offered oblations at 
the shrine of St. Kentigern in the Cathedral Church of Glasgow " for the good 
news of Sir Malcolm de Drummond, Knight, a Scot, being taken prisoner by Sir 
John Segrave." Caledonia, vol. i. p. 667. 

2 MS. addition to Notes on Inchmahome, p. 44. 

* Of the lands of Rusky, to William de Rusky : Fragmenta Scoto-Monastica 
(1842), app. p. ix. 

4 Palgrave's Documents and Records, &c., p. 353. 

'Fragmenta Scoto-Monastica, app. p. ix. Sir William Fraser, who has 
printed this charter in the Red Book, vol. ii. p. 225, from the original in the 
charter-chest at Blair Drummond, dates it circa 1330. 

The Lake of Menteith. 147 

but as no name is mentioned in the record, it may have 
been a successor. Anyhow, the Exchequer Bolls let us 
know that, in the year 1358, the Prior of Inchemacolmock 
was accused of deforcing the representative of the Sheriff 
of Perth. 1 It would be interesting to have the whole story 
of the violence offered to the minion of the law by this 
holy prior, but the record gives no detailed information. 2 

In the same year that this happened there was resident 
at Inchmahome one who was destined some years later to 
become the King of Scotland. This was Eobert the High 
Steward, the grandson of King Eobert Bruce, who had 
just been been 'created Earl of Strathern by David II., 
and afterwards, in 1371, ascended the throne as Kobert the 
Second. As overlord to the granter he gave his assent to 
the gift of certain lands, " apud Insulam Sancti Colmaci," 
on the 12th of November, 1358. 3 The Steward was to 
make a still closer connection with the district, as his son 
Eobert, the famous Duke of Albany of a later period, in 
J361 married the Lady Margaret Graham, and through that 
matrimonial alliance became the tenth Earl of Menteith. 

By some writers the Priory is said to have witnessed 
a royal marriage in 1363, namely, the marriage of King 
David II. with Margaret Logy. The bride certainly had 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. i. p. 558. 

Perhaps it was in connection with the collection by this time grown some- 
what difficult of the ransom for King David II. In consequence of this difficulty, 
David had been permitted by the Pope to levy, for a space of three years, a tenth 
of all the ecclesiastical benefices in Scotland. But the King, not content with 
that, compelled the churches, in addition to their tenth, to contribute in the same 
proportion as the barons and free tenants of the crown, for their lands and 
temporalities. Fordun. 

3 Liber Insulae Missarum, p. xlv. 

148 The Lake of Menteith. 

a local connection, for she was the daughter of Malcolm 
of Drummond, the benefactor of the Priory, and the widow 
of Sir John Logie of Logie and Strathgartney. 1 But it 
was not at Inchmahome that the marriage was celebrated. 
The mistake has arisen from confounding the name of 
the place as given by Fordun, 2 Inchmurdach or Inchmachac, 
with Inchmahome. Inchmurdach, however, appears to 
have been a seat of the Bishops of St. Andrews, though 
its precise locality is unknown. 8 

Another donation fell to the Priory about this time. 
That was a grant by David II. of seven hundred shillings 
sterling to be paid to the prior annually the name of the 
prior at the time is not stated out of the proceeds of 
the Sheriff offices of Fife and Perth. 4 The grant, however, 
was recalled in 1367, at the time when the most strenuous 
efforts were being made to retrieve the dilapidation of the 
revenues of the Crown. 

From this time onwards, for about a century, there is 
a blank in the annals of the Priory. Of the ecclesiastics 
who ruled its affairs during that period, not a name 
survives, nor is any document known to be extant that 
so much as mentions the existence of the place. It is 
to " The Acts of the Lords of Council in Civil Causes," 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. ii., introd., pp. Iv. et seq. 
* Scotichronicon a Goodall (Lib. xiv. cap. xxxiv.), vol. ii. p. 379. 
'Geographical Illustrations of Scottish History, by David Macpherson (1798), 
sub voce. 

4 Robertson's Index of Missing Chatters (1798), p. 51, No. 22 : " To the Prior 
of Inchmahome of ane annual of 700 s. sterling furth of the Sheriffs offices of 
Fyfe and Perth." Mr. M'Gregor Stirling, on the authority of a MS. Index of 
Charters he had seen, puts the grant at one hundred shillings sterling. Notes 
on Inchmahome, p. 119. 

The Lake of Menteith. 149 

" The Acts of the Lords Auditors of Causes and Com- 
plaints," and, especially, the " Protocol Books of the 
Burgh of Stirling," that the next information regarding 
the Priory of Inchmahome is due. 1 It is to be hoped 
that the disappearance of the Priory for so long from the 
public records may be owing to the circumstance that the 
priors of that time were men of peace, and that the convent 
was undisturbed in any of its rights and possessions. And 
it may be further observed that this blank period is about 
co-extensive with the possession of the earldom of Men- 
teith by the Albanies, whose powerful influence may have 
availed to keep the monastery quiet and secure ; while 
the fact that their usual places of residence were in other 
parts of the country may explain the absence of the name 
of Inchmahome from the records of their public trans- 


It is significant of the local disturbances that must 
have accompanied the fall of the Albanies, that the first 
notices of the monastery that occur thereafter point to 
disputes regarding the priorate. A Prior John was in 
office apparently about the middle of the fifteenth century. 
How long he held the position is not known ; but he had 
to face a rival claimant for the Priory. This rival makes 
his first appearance so far as is known to us in the 

1 The record of The Acts of the Lords of Council in Civil Causes (Ada 
Dominorum Concilii) extends from 1478 to 1495 ; The Acts of the Lords 
Auditors of Causes and Complaints (Acta Auditorum Concilii) cover the 
period from 1466 to 1494 ; and the entries in The Protocol Books of the 
Burgh of Stirling begin in 1460. 

150 The Lake of Menteith. 

Muniments of the University of Glasgow, where he is noted 
as one of the persons who were incorporated with that 
University in the rectorship of Master William Arthurle, 
anno 1469 : " Thomas prior insule Sancti Colmoci ordinis 
Sancti Augustini." 1 But John claimed to be the rightful 
holder of the dignity. In the Stirling Protocol Book there is 
an entry, under date 6th of November, 1472, which informs 
us that in a Consistorial Court held in the Cathedral Church 
of Dunblane, George of Abirnethe, Provost of the Collegiate 
Church of Dumbertane, appeared as procurator for John, 
Prior of the monastery of Inchmahomok, anent certain 
sums due by the tenants of the said monastery and 
William of Edmonstoune of Duntreth, asserted procurator 
of Sir Thomas Dog, Prior of the said monastery. 2 Dene 
Thomas had thus the powerful backing of the Steward 
of the Lordship of Menteith, and appears for a time to 
have prevailed. Whether Prior John had died as seems 
likely or had been otherwise got rid of, there is no means 
of knowing; but the right of Prior Thomas seems to have 
been unchallenged for several years. His name appears 
as witness in Protocol entries of date 15th December, 
1476 ; 8 27th October, 1477 ; 4 and 19th December, 1477. 5 
On the 14th December, 1477, " Thomas, Prior of Inchma- 
home," presented John Edmonston, M.A., to the vicarage 
of the Parish Church of Luntrethyn, and on the same 
day he took instruments that William Edmonston of 

1 Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis (Maitland Club, 1854), vol. ii. p. 76. 

2 Abstract of the Protocol Book of the Burgh of Stirling, 1896, p. 13, No. 63. 
* Ibid, p. 32. */&#, p. 35. 

6 Ibid, p. 36. Prior Thomas' name as witness to these deeds has been 
supplied from the MS. Protocols by Mr. W. B. Cook. 

The Lake of Menteith. 151 

Duntreth had promised to defend the honour of the said 
Prior. 1 This looks to trouble. The fact is, there was 
another claimant of the priorate in the person of Sir 
Alexander Ruch, who ultimately prevailed in the Ecclesi- 
astical Courts, and the usurpation of Prior Thomas came 
to an end immediately after the transactions referred to. 


In an Act of the Lords of Council, 2 dated 22nd March, 
1478, they gave decree "in an action and cause persewit 
be Dene David Ruch, as procurator for Dene Alexander 
Ruck, Prior of InchmaquholmoJc," against Matthew 
Forester, 8 burgess of Stirling, for wrongously intermitting 
with the teinds of Eow. Forester, it seems, had got a 
lease of these teinds from Prior Thomas, but the Lords 
decided that the tack was of no avail to him, " because 
the Priory of Inchmaquhomock was opteinit and wounyn 
fra the said dene Thomas dog be two, sentence definitive 
in the Court of Rome befor that he maid the said tak to 
the said Mathow." He was therefore ordered to restore 
the teinds, or the value of them, to the Prior or his pro- 
curator. After the right to the teinds of Row had been 
thus vindicated, it is satisfactory to learn that an amicable 
arrangement was come to between the litigants. Procurator 
David Ruch agreed to discharge all claims against Matthew 
Forester, and to let him the teinds on the same terms on 

1 Abstract of the Protocol Book of the Burgh of Stirling, 1896, p. 36, No. 193. 
-Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 24. 

3 Matthew Forrester was Provost of Stirling in 1470-1, and again in 1478-9. 
Extracts from Stirling Records, vol. i. pp. 272, 273. 

152 The Lake of Menteith. 

which he had held them from Sir Thomas Dog. Moreover, 
for the good deeds done to the Convent by the said 
Matthew, it was resolved to pay him the sum of forty 
marks twenty in money, and the other twenty in the 
form of a grant of teinds free of rent for one year. 

This Prior Alexander is evidently the same as appears 
in the printed Fragments of Stirling Protocols as Sir 
Alexander Ruth most probably from an error on the part 
of the transcriber. The forms of the letters c and t in 
the old writing are very easy to be mistaken, the one for 
the other. And Euch (now spelled Rough) is a good 
Scotch name ; whereas Euth is, if not unknown, at least 
uncommon in Scotland. The reference in this Protocol 
entry is also to tithes belonging to the Priory. It is 
dated 29th April, 1479, and the abstract sets forth that 
" Mr John Euth, vicar of Garreoch, and Sir David Euth, 
monk of Dunfermlyne, procurator for Sir Alexander Euth, 
Prior of the Isle of St. Colmoc, of Dunblane diocese, con- 
fessed them paid by Sir James Ogilvy of Ernby, knight, 
of the sum of 30 Scots, for lease of the tiend sheaves 
of the Parish Church of Leuchris, for two terms bypast 
and one term to come." 1 Here Dene David again appears 
as procurator for the Prior, in conjunction with John Euch, 
who had attained the degree of Master. We may conclude 
that in all likelihood they were brothers, or perhaps 
nephews, of Prior Alexander. 

In the sederunt of the Parliament which met on the 

1 Extracts from Stirling Records, 1519-1666, app. i. p. 264. The Abstract 
of Protocols, which has been printed since the publication of the " Extracts," 
gives the name as Rucht, thus confirming the Act of Parliament. 

The Lake of Menteith. 153 

13th April, 1481, l in order to concert measures for putting 
the country in a posture of defence against the " auld 
enemy," appears a Prior of Inchinahome ( Prior e de Inclima- 
quholmo), along with the Earl of Menteith. Considering 
the closeness of the date, this was most probably Prior 
Alexander. But as the name is not mentioned in the 
record, room is left for the possibility that it may have 
been his successor, whose name appears to have been 


Prior David was certainly in office in 1483, for he is 
mentioned in the Protocols on the 8th of June of that 
year as requiring from one Duncan Forestar, burgess of 
Stirling, a certain some of money from the goods of the 
Prior then in Forestar's hands. 2 In his time, litigation 
regarding the revenues and possessions of the monastery 
was continued, and became rather intricate. The first 
of these lawsuits was decided by the Lords of Council 
on the 18th of March, 1490. 8 The opponent of the Prior 
in this case was John Haldane of Gleneagles. Haldane 
had married (1460) Agnes, the heiress of the Menteiths of 
Eusky, and had thus acquired an interest in lands in the 
district. 4 The dispute was about the teinds of the kirks 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 134. 

'Duncan Forestare was Provost of Stirling in 1477-8, 1479-81, 1487-90. 
Extracts from Records of the Burgh of Stirling, 1619-1666, app. ii. p. 273. 

*Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 184. 

* John Haldane and his spouse had before this afforded much employment 
to the Law Courts : see various entries in the Protocol Books of Stirling from 
1476 onwards. Extracts from Stirling Records, vol. i. app. i. pp. 256, 260, 261, 
262, 264. 

154 The Lake of Menteith. 

of Leny and Kilmadook. The Prior claimed, in name 
of these teinds, thirteen chalders of meal, which Haldane 
affirmed he had already paid to Henry, 1 Abbot of Cambus- 
kenneth, factor for the Prior of Inchmahome with the 
exception of five chalders and thirteen bolls, which the 
Abbot had assigned to Dene Gilbert Buchanan, a canon 
of Inchmahome, who was in charge of the Church of 
Leny. Haldane's contention was upheld by the Court. 
He was ordained to pay the proportion assigned to the 
parson of Leny, and discharged of what was already paid, 
for which the Prior, if he thought proper, might have 
recourse against the Abbot, his factor. 

The next action was in defence of the property of the 
monastery. On the 20th of June, 1491, the Prior and 
Convent complained against Kobert Buchanan of Leny for 
purchasing the King's letter to eject the above-mentioned 
Dene Gilbert Buchanan from part of the lands of Leny, 
lying beside the church, of which they alleged they had 
long been in possession. The Lords decided that the King's 
letter had been improperly procured, and was of no effect, 
and that Dene Gilbert and the Convent were to remain 
in possession until, at any rate, the case was settled in 
the next Justice-ayre to be held at Stirling. 2 

Before this case was settled, a dispute arose with John 

1 Abbot Henry of Cambuskenneth appears to have been himself rather a 
litigious person. He had a long dispute with the community of Stirling con- 
cerning their respective rights to fishings in the Forth. Stirling Charters and 
other Records, 1124-1705, p. 54, &c. 

*Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 201. Dean Gilbert Buchanan, vicar of Leny and 
canon of Inchmahome, was the sixth son of Andrew Buchanan, second laird of 
Leny, and uncle of the above-mentioned Robert, who was the fourth laird, 

The Lake of Menteith. 155 

Lord Drummond, who was bailie on some of the Priory 
lands. He claimed the rents of certain lands which had 
been assigned to him as his bailie-fee, and this claim the 
Convent resisted. It would appear that he was receiving 
more from the tithes of these lands than the Prior and 
Convent thought he was entitled to, and to get even 
with him, they let a portion of them to John Haldane 
of Gleneagles. Thus the quarrel first came before the 
Lords Auditors, on the 5th of May, 1491, l as a complaint 
by John Haldane against John Lord Drummond, for with- 
holding from him the tithes of Collouth, Borrowbanks, 
Lochfield, Wat Dog's toune, Wat Smith's toune, and the 
Spittals all in the parish of Kilrnadock which he had 
received in assedation from David, Prior of Inchmaholmo, 
for three years, the value of these tithes being equal to 
one chalder of meal and two bolls of here yearly. It was 
found that Haldane had no claim, as Lord Drummond held 
these teinds in his fee for nineteen years, and his grant 
preceded the tack to Haldane. 

Driven thus into the open, the Prior next took action 
directly against Lord Drummond himself. The feeling 
became very bitter, if we may draw such a conclusion 
from the fact that on the 19th of January, 1492, the Prior 
of Inchmaholmo, in presence of the Lords of Council, took 
instruments that Lord Drummond produced an instrument 
in the form of excommunication upon the said Prior and 
Convent. 2 What that meant or how it was procured is not 
easy to say, but it certainly has a serious look about it. 

Auditorum Concilii, p. 147. 2 Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 226. 

156 The Lake of Menteith. 

On the 25th of January, 1492, the dispute came before 
the Lords of Council 1 in the form of an " action of the 
Prior and Convent of Inchmaquholmo against John Lord 
Drummond, for the wrangous uptaking of the teinds and 
frottis (fruits) of their lands of the Lochfield, the Banks, 
Calquhollat, the twa Collatts, and the Spittale tounis of 
the last year bygane " amounting to five chalders of meal 
and a chalder of bere. 2 The bailie-fee of Lord Drummond, 
it appears, was four chalders of meal, and in payment of 
it the Prior and Convent, by letters under their common 
seal, had assigned to him these teinds, which were sup- 
posed to be of the same value. Lord Drummond, however, 
by careful management, or by a stricter exaction of the 
dues, had increased the value of the teinds to the amount 
above stated. The Convent now wished to recall the grant. 
But the Lords decided that Lord Drummond had " done 
na wrang," but they added that when the teinds of these 
places amounted to more than the value of his fee of 
baliary, he should pay the surplus to the Convent. 

Once more Prior David appears before the Lords 
Auditors, when, on the 21st June, 1493, he "granted that 
he had in fermance and keeping Dene Patrick Menteth, 
channone of the said place (Inchmahome) as ordinary to 
him, quhare apone Maister David Menteth, allegeand him 
procurator for the said Dene Patrick, askit a not and of 
the privilege of law." 8 

1 Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 265. 

* The names of these places and others before mentioned are interesting as 
showing some of the possessions of the monastery at that time. 
8 Acta Auditorum Concilii, p. 181. 

The Lake of Menteith. 157 

With that case this litigious Prior disappears from the 
public records. Whether he died shortly after, or, tired 
of his legal encounters, thenceforth cultivated a meeker 
spirit, there is no means of knowing. We do not meet 
with the name of a successor till 1526. 


This successor, whose name is Andrew, may have been 
in office for a good many years previous to 1526. From 
the fact that he held office for less than three years after 
that date, we may be justified in assuming that it was so. 
But even on the supposition that the transaction in which 
Andrew is introduced to us was at or near the beginning of 
his priorate, the length of time between that and the last 
recorded lawsuit of Prior David, does not make it impossible 
that the latter may have lived to be succeeded by the 
former. In all the circumstances, therefore, it is likely 
that there is no break here in the continuity of the 
Priors, and that Andrew was the immediate successor of 

On the 16th of April, 1526, " Andro, be the permissioun 
of God, Prior of Inchemahomo, with full consent and assent 
of all our Convent cheptourlie gadderit, granted a lease to 
1 Andro Stewart and Elezabetht Maistertoun his spous ' of 
the lands of Drumlanniklocht, with twenty shillings' worth 
of the lands of Arniclerycht, in their barony of Cardross, 
for the term of nineteen years, at an annual rent of fifty 
shillings, 'gud and usuall mony of Scotland.'" 1 This 

1 Lease printed in the Red Book of Menteith, vol. ii. p. 329, from the original 
in H.M. General Register House, Edinburgh. 

158 The Lake of Menteith. 

lease, to which the common seal of the Chapter was 
" affixit and hungyn," is signed by the Prior and ten 
canons presumably the whole Chapter. Their names 
are as follows : 







Prior Andrew must have died in 1528, or very early 
in 1529. He was the last of the strictly ecclesiastical 
priors. On his death the Priory was given in commendam, 
and the list of the Commendators is complete. They were 
all but one members of the same family, and that one held 
his office for so short a time that the family possession 
of the Erskines can hardly be said to have been interrupted. 



The Priory under Commendators 
1529 to 1628. 

" For holy offices I have a time : a time 
To think upon the part of business which 
I bear i' the State." 


the first of the Commen- 
dator-Priors, is dated by Sir William Fraser 
1531-1547. 1 The first of these dates is certainly 
wrong: the second is probably also incorrect. 
The same writer further assumes that this Commendator 
was that Eobert, Master of Erskine, who fell on the field 
of Pinkie-cleuch in 1547, and who was said to have been 
beloved of the Queen Dowager, Mary of Lorraine. 2 The 

1 Red Book, vol. i. p. 522. Eraser's authority is the Fragmenta Scoto- 
Monastica, app. p. viii. The statement founded on is contained in a letter from 
David Erskine, W.S., to Captain Hutton. All that the writer says, however, is 
merely that Robert was Commendator in September 1331, 

2 " In that same battel," says John Knox, "was slayne the Maister of Erskin, 
deirlie belovit of the Quein ; for quhome sche maid grit Lamentatioun and bure 
his deythe mony Dayis in Mynd." Knox's History of the Reformation, edit. 1732, 
p. 79. See also the poem of Alexander Scott, entitled " Lament of the Maister 
of Erskyn," which depicts a lover's feelings on parting with his mistress in a state 
of uncertainty whether they shall ever meet again, and is believed to have been 
written with reference to the last parting of Erskine and the Queen Dowager. 
The Poems of Alexander Scott (Scottish Text Society, ed. 1896), p. 51. 

160 The Lake of Menteith. 

ground for this assumption appears to be that there is no 
extant record in which John Erskine, the second Com- 
mendator, is mentioned as such, until the visit of the young 
Queen Mary to the island; and, as that was immediately 
after the death of Eobert, it is inferred that John stepped 
at once into an office which had been, up till that time, 
held by his brother. It must be noted, however and this 
Sir William Eraser himself observes that, while several 
writs are extant in which Eobert, Master of Erskine, is 
mentioned, there is not one in which he is at the same 
time designated Prior of Inchmahome. 1 

The assumption of identity with the Master of Erskine 
cannot be held as anything more than a guess, and indeed 
there is ground for believing that it is an incorrect one. 
The Eobert Erskine who became Commendator of Inch- 
mahome was previously rector of Glenbervy in the Mearns, 
and received his appointment to Inchmahome early in the 
year 1529. In one of the Protocol Books of Stirling the 
following record of his induction is found under date 15th 
of March of that year : 

" Eobert, rector of Gilbervy and perpetual Commendator 
of the Priory of the Isle of St. Colmoc, of Dunblane diocese, 
holding in his hands certain Apostolic letters or bulls [of 
Clement the Seventh] , past to the presence of Mr. Eobert 

l On the 2oth of May, 1536, King James V. granted to Robert, Master of 
Erskine, and his wife, Margaret Graham, the lands of the barony of Kelle, which 
his father, John Lord Erskine, had resigned perhaps as a marriage provision 
for his son. (Reg. Mag. Sig., vol. iii., No. 1584, p. 353). Again, on the 23rd 
February, 1541-2, the King granted him, for himself and his heirs, a charter of 
the lands of Schirgartane, Drumb de Kippan, and Arnebeg, with the mill of the 
same. These lands were in the neighbourhood of the Priory possessions ; but 
in this charter, as in the former, he is designated only Master of Erskine. (Reg. 
Mag. Sig., vol. iii., No. 2602, p. 598.) 

The Lake of Menleith. 161 

Graham, vicar of Drurnmond (Drymen), and required him 
to put the said letters to due execution, who, receiving 
them with the reverence that became them, past to the 
high altar of the church of the said Priory, and gave 
institution and investiture of the said Priory and monastery 
thereof, with fruits, rents, prevents and emoluments, lands, 
baronies, &c., by delivery of a silver chalice gilt, missal 
book, and sacred ornaments of the said high altar, as use 
is, to the said Eobert Erskine, rector of Gilbervy, and 
invested him in possession thereof; in presence of Alex- 
ander, Earl of Menteith, &C." 1 

The question, therefore, is, who was this Master Bobert 
Erskine, rector of Glenbervy? It is scarcely likely that 
the Master of Erskine the eldest son and heir-apparent 
of an illustrious noble would have held so small an 
ecclesiastical benefice as this rural parsonage. But beyond 
this general consideration, and the fact that the Master of 
Erskine is never in any writ styled Prior of Inchmahome, 
we have some independent information regarding the rector 
of Glenbervy. He is met with frequently in the Public 
Eecords, and almost invariably in the company of Sir 
Thomas Erskine of Haltoun, lord of Brechin, who became 
Secretary to King James the Fifth in 1524. 

The first occurrence of his name is in the Register of 
the Great Seal, when he witnesses a deed executed on 
the 31st of March, 1525, and confirmed by the King on 
the 30th of April following other two witnesses being 
Master Thomas Erskine de Haltoun and George Arrot 

'Extracts from Stirling Burgh Records, vol. ii. p. 265. 

162 The Lake of Menteith. 

de eodem. 1 The next document is still more conclusive 
of his near relation to Sir Thomas of Haltoun and the 
family of Dun to which Sir Thomas belonged. It is 
quoted by Mr. A. H. Millar, apparently from the family 
papers preserved at Dun House. " In 1526," he says, 
u an instrument of sasine was executed in favour of the 
Provost and Canons of St. Salvator's College, St. Andrews, 
on precept of John Erskine of Dun, who was represented 
by ' the noble lady Margarete, Countess of Buchquhan, 
the venerable Mr. Robert Erskine, rector of Glenbervy, 
and that honourable man Richard Mailuil de Baldouy.'" 2 
This John Erskine of Dun was the afterwards famous 
Superintendent. He was at this time in his seventeenth 
year. Sir Thomas Erskine of Haltoun was his uncle and 
legal tutor. The Countess of Buchan was his mother, 
and she is here associated with the parson of Glenbervy 
as one of the youth's representatives in a way that seems 
to argue near relationship. The Melvilles we know were 
neighbours and close friends of the family. 

The most common names in the Erskine family appear 
to have been John, Robert, Thomas, and Alexander. John 
Erskine of Dun, who fell at Flodden, is said to have had 
several sons the exact number is not by any genealogical 
writer stated. Two of these, John and Alexander, were 
slain along with their father in the battle ; Thomas of 

'Reg. Mag. Sig., No. 306, p. 306. In the print of this deed Master Robert's 
name is given as rs/ya.n apparent mistake for Erskine. Arrot was held in 
vassalage of the lordship of Brechin, and lies in that parish. The Arrots were 
superseded in the possession of their property by the Erskines of Dun. (Jervise's 
Memorials of Angus and Mearns, vol. ii. p. 60.) 

2 Millar's Castles and Mansions of Scotland, 1890, p. 348. 

The Lake of Menteith. 163 

Haltoun, the King's Secretary, was a third ; and if there 
was a fourth son, his name is likely to have been Kobert, 
and we are at liberty to conjecture that he may have been 
this very rector of Glenbervy. At any rate, his close 
connection with the family of Dun, and with Sir Thomas 
Erskine in particular, is made clear by the association of 
the two names in no fewer than eight deeds recorded under 
the Great Seal between 1541 and 1544. 1 In these deeds 
it is to be observed that he is not styled Prior of Inch- 
mahome, but Dean of Aberdeen, and that continued to be 
his designation to the end of his life. In July, 1547, he 
was instructed by the Bishop of Aberdeen to receive, in 
his capacity as head of the Chapter, a new canon; 2 and 
in an inventory of the ornaments of the altar of St. 
Maurice, made in 1549, occurs the following note of a 
gift made by him " cum duobus antependiis, quorum 
unum ex dono venerabilis viri magistri Roberti Ersleyne, 
decani Aberdonensis moderni." 3 In 1552, he subscribes an 
assedation made by the Bishop as decanus Aberdonensis. 4 
He still, however, held his old rectory, for he appears in 
the Kegister of Brechin as " Prebendary of Glenbervy " 
in 1556. 5 On the eve of the KeformatioD, the Chapter of 
the Cathedral of Aberdeen directed a memorial of advice 
to the Bishop, making certain recommendations of reforms 
which they thought might avail to stay or avert the 

*Reg. Mag. Sig., vol. Hi., No. 2430, p. 556 (anno 1541) ; No. 2347, p. 536 
(1541); No. 2432, p. 557 (1541); No. 2433, p. 557 (1541); No. 2439, p. 558 
(1541) ; No. 2678, p. 618 (1542) ; No. 2973, p. 296 (1543) ; No. 3050, p. 74 (1544). 

2 Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis (Spalding Club, 1845), vol. ii. p. 318. 

* Ibid) vol. ii. p. 199. *Ibid, vol. i. p. 456. 

6 Registrum Episcopatus Brechinensis (Bannatyne Club, 1856), vol. ii. p. 204. 

164 The Lake of Mentellh. 

storm which they clearly saw was approaching. The first 
signature to this important document dated 5th January, 
1558 is that of Eobert Erskyne, "decanus Aberdonensis." 1 
Not improbably it was drawn up by Erskine himself ; and 
the fact that it has been preserved among the collections 
at the House of Dun may be another proof of his near 
relationship to that family. 2 His name is last met with in 
the Brechin Register in April, 1585, where he is spoken 
of as quondam Master Eobert Erskine, Dean of Aberdeen, 
from which we may conclude that he was dead before 
that time. 8 

The inference from these facts seems to be this, that 
the Lord Erskine to whom James the Fifth is said to 
have given the patronage of the Priory of Inchmahome, 
put the rector of Glenbervy into the Commendatorship 
to keep the place warm for his third son, John, who as 
a younger son, with two elder brothers between him and 
the succession to his father was being educated for the 
Church; and that, when John Erskine was ripe for the 
position, Eobert retired in his favour, or was superseded, 
and probably received the Deanery of Aberdeen in com- 

1 Reg. Epis. Aberd., vol. i. p. Ixi. 

8 Jervise states distinctly that Robert Erskine, rector of Glenbervy, "belonged 
to the family of Dun" (Memorials of Angus and Mearns, vol. i., p. 147). He adds 
that he held in addition the provostry of the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, 
near Edinburgh, and was also apparently Dean of Aberdeen. The latter part of 
this statement is sufficiently proved by the references to the Records given above. 
Another document may be quoted in which Robert Erskine is brought into con- 
nection with Dun. This is a lease of the fruits of the parsonage and vicarage of 
Arbuthnott for three years by Wilzem Rynd, parson of Arbuthnott, and Robert 
Erskine, Dean of Aberdeen, in favour of John Erskine of Dun. The lease is 
dated at Brechin, 23rd April, 1552, and is in the Dun collection. (Historical 
Manuscripts Commission, Fifth Report, p. 640). 

* Regist. Episc. Brech., vol. ii. p. 348. 

The Lake of Menteith. 165 

pensation for the loss of Inchmahome. This would date 
Eobert's tenure of the office from 1529 to about 1540 or 

There are but few indications of what was going on 
at the Priory during the time of this Commendator. Of 
the canons who witnessed the lease already referred to as 
granted by Prior Andrew, 1 one is mentioned as witness to 
a precept of sasine by Alexander, Earl of Menteith, to 
William, Master of Menteith, and Margaret Mowbry, his 
spouse, of certain lands specified. The precept was dated 
" at Inchmaquhomok, 5th May, 1533, before Walter 
Graham, the earl's son, John Hutoun, Canon professed of 
the said monastery, and others " : sasine recorded on 16th 
and 17th July, 1533. 2 Two others, John Youngman and 
James Thomsoun, witnessed a deed of Earl Alexander, 
on the 21st of August, 1534, in the court of the monastery 
of St. Colmoc, on the island called Inchmoquhomok. 3 

A statement regarding George Buchanan's connection 
with Cardross in the time of Commendator Eobert Erskine, 
made originally by Dr. Eobert Anderson, is only partially 
correct. As it refers to the foremost literary Scotchman 
of his time, and has been repeated with several aggrava- 
tions by Mr. M'Gregor Stirling and Sir William Fraser, 
it may be of interest to examine it. Anderson, in the 
"Life of Smollett," which takes up the first volume of his 
edition (first published in 1796) of that author's works, 
after stating that Buchanan was born at Moss in the 
parish of Killearn, goes on to say that " having lost his 

p. 157. * Extracts from Stirling Records, vol. i. app. i. p. 268. 
3 Eraser's Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. 523. 

166 The Lake of Menteith. 

parents in infancy " (his father only ; his mother long 
survived), " he was educated by James Heriot, his maternal 
uncle. It is not generally known that his family was bred 
on a lease of two farms hard by Cardross, granted by 
Robert Erskine, Commendator of Dryburgh and Inchma- 
home, to Agnes Heriot and her sons Patrick, Alexander, 
and George Buchanan, in 1631." * Dr. David Irving, 
whose " Memoirs of George Buchanan" were first published 
in 1807, makes the same statement expressly on Ander- 
son's authority : " In the year 1531, a lease of two farms 
near Cardross was granted by Eobert Erskine, Commen- 
dator of Dryburgh and Inchmahome, to Agnes Heriot and 
three of her sons, Patrick, Alexander, and George." 2 
M'Gregor Stirling quotes Anderson, but gives the date 
as 1581. 3 Sir William Eraser follows, and although he 
puts Anderson's date (1531) in brackets, he seems to take 
M'Gregor Stirling's 1581 as correct, for he adds in a note 
that Eobert "is evidently a mistake for David, the writer 
being misled by the wrong year." 4 David certainly was 
Commendator in 1581, but by that time Agnes Heriot was 
far away from any region where leases are granted, and 
her son, George Buchanan, was very near the end of his 
earthly tenure. He died in 1582. Notwithstanding this 
dreadful confusion of date, Stirling thinks it was to his 
early connection with Cardross and the Erskines that 
Buchanan was probably indebted for the positions he 

1 Works of Smollett, ed. by Robert Anderson, M.D., 6th edit., 1820, p. 10, note. 
" living's Memoirs of George Buchanan, ed. 1837, p. 4. 
* Notes on the Priory of Inchmahome, p. 59. 
4 Red Book, vol. i. p. 522, note. 

The Lake of Menteith. 167 

subsequently held as professional scholar to Queen Mary, 
and tutor to her son, James the Sixth ; while Eraser 
introduces the quotation from the "Life of Smollett" with 
the remark, " this Commendator (Robert) has received 
from the biographer of the great scholar the credit of 
having materially assisted in the education of Buchanan 
and his family." Dr. Irving, who appears to be referred 
to, does not and neither does Dr. Anderson make any 
such remark. He could not have done so in the face of 
his own dates. In 1531 the date of the lease referred to 
George Buchanan was twenty -five years of age; he had 
been, for some years before that date, a professor in the 
College of St. Barbe at Paris, and at that very time was 
engaged as tutor to the Earl of Cassilis. Anderson merely 
says that the family was bred on a lease at Cardross. 
But notwithstanding the errors which the later writers 
have introduced into the account, Anderson's statement 
is, so far as it goes, correct enough. He does not seem, 
however, to have been aware that part of Buchanan's 
infancy really was spent at Cardross. The lease of 1531 
was merely a renewal of one previously existing. George's 
name appears on the later lease with the prefix of Maister 
he was then a graduate ; and he certainly was not living 
at Cardross at that time. Whether he ever revisited it 
we have no information to show. The original lease was 
granted in 1513, 1 long before Commendator Eobert's time, 

1 These leases are in the possession of H. D. Erskine, Esq., of Cardross. 
In the earlier lease the principal farm is called Gartladerland, alias Hill: in 
the renewal, Oflferone of Gartladernick. This, with the Mill of Arnprior, consti- 
tuted the farm of the Buchanans. Gartladernick appears to be the same place as, 
in a charter by Commendator David to John Lord Erskine ($th August, 1562), 

168 The Lake of Menteith. 

and the name of George although he was then a child 
of only seven years of age appears on it, along with 
those of his mother and brothers. There is thus every 
probability that the childhood of Buchanan, until he went 
to Paris in 1520, that is, from his seventh to his fourteenth 
year, was spent at Hill of Cardross. It is quite possible, 
therefore, that he may have received at least part of his 
early education in some school under the superintendence 
of the monks of Inchmahome perhaps at Port, where 
there was a Church. Biographers in general say that 
he was educated in the schools of Killearn and Dumbarton. 
But there is no reputable authority for the statement. 
Killearn was unlikely, after the removal to Cardross, and 
for a more advanced school, Stirling was more accessible 
than Dumbarton. He himself gives no information on 
the subject. In the somewhat meagre autobiography 
written two years before his death, he merely says that 
he was brought up in scholia patriis in the schools of 
his country until, at the age of fourteen, he was sent to 
Paris by his uncle, James Heriot. 1 It was to Cardross, 
no doubt, that he returned, broken down in health, in 
1522, and here, after this short campaign in England with 
the French auxiliaries, he spent the winter of 1523 confined 
to his bed. Hither, also, he might occasionally come when 
studying at St. Andrews. But he left for the Continent 

is denominated Gartcledeny terrarum de Gartcledeny cum molendino de Arne- 
priour. The name appears now to be lost, but the alias Hill survives in Hilltown 
of Cardross. In the Rental of the Feu-duties of Inchmahome October, 1646 : 
Retour by David Lord Cardross, appears the item" The landis off Gartle- 
denye, alias Hiltoun." 

Buchanan! Opera a Ruddiman, vol. i. p. i. 

The Lake of Menteith. 169 

in the summer of 1525, and there is nothing to indicate 
that he ever saw the place again. 

In the passages quoted from Anderson and Irving, 
Eobert Erskine is styled Commendator of Dryburgh as 
well as Inchmahome. But that is a mistake. The Com- 
mendator of Dryburgh in 1531 was James Stewart. 1 
Thomas Erskine, however who may have been the im- 
mediately younger brother of Eobert, and who became 
Master of Erskine on the death of the latter at Pinkie 
was made Commendator of that Abbey in 1541 : 2 and 
from his time onwards, the Abbey was held, almost with- 
out interruption, by members of the same Erskine family. 


Eobert Erskine was succeeded in the Commendatorship 
of Inchmahome by John, the third son of John, fourth 
Lord Erskine. He seems also to have succeeded Thomas 
in the Abbey of Dryburgh in 1548 ; 8 and along with 
these two ecclesiastical offices, he held also that of Com- 
mendator of the Abbey of Cambuskenneth. By the death 
of his brother Thomas, he became Master of Erskine in 
1551, and in the year following succeeded his father as 
fifth Lord Erskine. Afterwards as Earl of Mar created 

1 Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh, Bannatyne Club ed., 1847, p. xxii. 

* Ibid, p. xxii. In Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, Nos. 1057 and 1059, p. 612, 
are two letters from James V. asking Pope Paul III. to sanction the appointment 
as Commendator of Dryburgh of Thomas Erskine, who is described as a member 
of an illustrious family, and odolescentem nobilem, animi et corporis -viribus 
pollentem, qualities very necessary for the defence of a place so exposed to 
incursions from across the borders. And, indeed, Thomas had his troubles 
with the English marauders, who plundered and burned his Abbey in 1544. 

'Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh, p. xxiv. 

170 The Lake of Mentelth. 

in 1565 and Kegent of the Kingdom, he made a great 
figure in the politics of the country. It is not, however, 
the purpose of this history to follow his distinguished 
career in statesmanship, but merely to note the facts of 
his connection with Inchmahome. 

It has already been mentioned that he was educated 
in his youth for the Church, so that he may be said to 
have had a professional training for his pluralities. He 
held the office of Cominendator till 1555 three years after 
he had become Lord Erskine when he resigned it to his 
nephew David. 

Signature of Cominendator JohnlErsklne. 

In 1541 the Priory was the scene of the marriage of 
Margaret Grahame, daughter of William, Earl of Menteith, 
to Archibald, Earl of Argyle, which, according to the Stirling 
Protocol Book, was solemnized at the church of Inchma- 
home on the 21st of April of that year, after proclamation 
three times made at the churches of Port and Dollar 
(? apud Ecclesiam de Port et Dolarie), the celebrant 
being Sir John Youngman, canon of Inchmahome. 1 

But by far the most interesting incident in the history 
of the Priory during the time it was held by John Erskine 
if not the most interesting in the whole of its history 

1 Red Book, vol. i. p. 523. 

The Lake of Menteith. 171 

was the residence, for a short period, within its walls of 
the youthful Mary, Queen of Scots. 

At the time of the battle of Pinkie (10th September, 
1547), Mary was in Stirling Castle, under the guardianship 
of Lords Erskine and Livingston, who had been entrusted 
with "the keiping of our Sovrane Ladies persoun, in 
cumpany with the Quenis Grace hir moder," rather more 
than two years previously. 1 After that disastrous battle, 
Stirling was no longer deemed a safe residence for the 
royal child, and she was removed to the island of Inch- 
mahome. This was done most probably on the suggestion 
of her devoted " keeper," Lord Erskine, that she might be 
surrounded and protected by his own family and friends. 
Otherwise, it is not quite easy to see why Inchmahome 
should have been reckoned a more secure refuge than the 
Castle of Stirling. Hill Burton endeavours to explain it 
by saying " The place selected as of greater security was 
a flat island called Inchmahome, in the Lake of Monteith, 
half-way between Stirling and the Highlands. From such 
a spot no enemy could be assailed as from a fortress ; yet, 
on the principle of the lake-dwellings of older ages, it 
was deemed less assailable than a fortress on land or an 
island approachable by sea." 2 But, indeed, it could have 
offered only a slight resistance to any army that would 
have been thought strong enough to assault the fortress 
of Stirling. Lord Erskine, as responsible for the safe 
keeping of the infant Queen, most probably brought her 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 463. Register of the Privy 
Council, vol. i. p. n. 

2 Hill Burton's History of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 275. 

172 The Lake of Menteith. 

here that she might be free from the discomfort and danger 
of a possible siege of Stirling, and at the same time within 
easy reach of the Highland hills, into whose fastnesses 
she could readily be conveyed from her island retreat. 

Much fable of a romantic and poetical kind has gathered 
round Mary's residence on Inchmahome. Imagination 
has revelled in pictures of the youthful Queen wandering 
among the island groves with her four little Maries, 
romping on the shores of the lake, planting bowers, or 
diligently conning her lessons in the Prior's lodging. An 
eloquent French writer, 1 who seems to think that she 
frequented Inchmahome during the whole period of her 
residence at Stirling, attributes to the open-air and hardy 
upbringing she there received her health and glowing 
colour, her well -developed yet slender and supple waist 
(taille svelte et souple) so much admired, and that " peasant 
appetite " which afterwards at the court of Henry II. 
required to be kept in check. He describes her as rising 
at daybreak and rushing out, scarcely dressed, to run 
merrily over the gravel paths, the heath, and the rocks; 
then, recalled with difficulty to the chateau, applying herself 
listlessly to her English and French lessons, to be by- 
and-bye thrown aside for music and dancing, which she 
pursued with such passionate ardour that it was necessary 
to use authority to detach her from them. She was 
delighted with the singing of ancient ballads, the recital 
of the old national legends, and the varied strains of the 
pibroch. She made a charming picture at this Monastery 
of Inch-Mahome, " with her snood of rose satin, her plaid 

^istoire de Marie Stuart, par J. M. Dargaud, Paris, 1850; vol. i. p. 31. 

The Lake of Menteith. 173 

of black silk fastened with a golden clasp, with the arms 
of Lorraine and of Scotland." Even at this early age 
she had the gift of charming every heart. She was adored 
by her governors, her officers, her women, her teachers, and 
all who chanced to come into contact with her, citizens 
or gentlemen, tradesmen of the Lowlands, fishere, and 

Miss Strickland follows, in some details, the imaginative 
Frenchman, but is more careful to restrict the period of 
Mary's stay on the island to " several months," during 
which time " she pursued her studies quietly and steadily 
with her four Maries in the cloister shades of Inchma- 
home." 1 She was there taught, says Miss Strickland, in 
addition to French, which was literally her mother tongue, 
history, geography, Latin, tapestry work, and embroidery. 
Dr. John Brown, in his charming paper, " Queen Mary's 
Child Garden," 2 employs the infant Queen in tending 
the plots in the curious little enclosure on the island 
known as Queen Mary's Bower. 8 Chalmers, who is Miss 
Strickland's authority for the length of time Mary spent 
at Inchmahome, says she remained there until she was 
taken to Dumbarton in February of 1548. 4 

Sheriff Glassford Bell affirms that she was upwards of 
two years on the island; 5 and in this he is followed by 
Charles Mackie, who asserts that here "the young Queen 

1 Strickland's Lives of the Queens of Scotland, 1852, vol. iii. p. 20, 
"Horae Subsecivse, 2nd series, 1861, p. 172. 

3 See supra, p. 87. 

4 Chalmers' Life of Mary, 1818, vol. i. p. 5. Miss Strickland refers to 
Chalmers' Caledonia. 

8 Life of Mary Queen of Scots, by Henry Glassford Bell, 2nd ed., 1831, p. 44- 

174 The Lake of Menteith. 

experienced for two years the most unalloyed tranquillity 
which she enjoyed during her eventful life " and then goes 
on to imagine all the delights of that happy time. 1 

But it is not only these comparatively recent writers 
who have allowed their imagination to attribute much of 
Mary's accomplishments to her residence at Inchmahome : 
older authors have done the same. An early Life, written 
in Latin, states that she was taken to the island specially 
for the purpose of her education, which was conducted by 
her mother with peculiar strictness; that there her mind 
was cultivated with the principles of the Catholic faith 
and many suitable accomplishments ; that her time was 
wholly taken up with study no room being left for idle- 
ness or useless amusements ; and that to instruction in her 
native language, in which even then she was proficient, 
were added Latin and French and the rudiments of Italian 
and Spanish. 2 

Now, the real facts of the case are unfortunately against 
all these suppositions. The little Queen was only four 
years and nine months old when she was conveyed to 
Inchmahome, and her stay there was limited to about 
three weeks a period too short to permit of much practice 
in gardening, and altogether inadequate for the acquire- 
ment of Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, and the other 
accomplishments mentioned, even if she had been of an 

l The Castles, Palaces, and Prisons of Mary Queen of Scots, by Charles 
Mackie, 1853, p. 95. 

2 De Vita et Rebus Gestis Mariae, &c., a Samuele Jebb, 1725, vol. ii. p. 13. 
The writer of the Latin Life is described as Georgius Conaeus, a Scotsman, of the 
Order of Friars Preachers, legate of the Roman Pontiff to the most serene Queen 
of England, Henrietta Maria. 

The Lake of Mentelth. 175 

age fit for studying them. Besides, although she was 
attended by her nurse and her governess as well as by 
her mother and certain Lords of Council it may well be 
supposed that it was too agitated a time to admit of much 
attention being paid to lessons. 

That the short space of three weeks was the whole 
time spent by Mary at Inchmahome has been proved by 
Dr. Hay Fleming in his recent careful and accurate 
biography of the Queen. 1 The authorities on which he 
relies are indisputable, and are here indicated. First of 
all, the statement of Bishop Lesley is distinct and definite. 
He says : " During the tyme of the Inglismennis byding 
at Leith the Governour being in Striveling, be the counsell 
of the Quene Dowarier, the Erlis of Angus, Argyle, Kothes, 
Cassillis and utheris lordis, caused suddantlie convoye the 
Quene to the yle and abbay of Inchemahomo within the 
countrey of Menteith, quhair she was keped with the Quene 
hir moder, be the Lordis Erskyn and Levingstoun her 
keparis, till the Inglismen was departed furth of Scotland, 
and than returned to Striveling."* Now, the Englishmen 
were at Leith from the llth to the 18th of September, 
1547, and they crossed the Tweed on their return home 
on the 29th of the same month. 8 It has generally been 
believed that the Queen was taken directly to Dumbarton 
from the island of Inchmahome ; but Lesley's statements, 

1 Hay Fleming's Mary Queen of Scots, 1897, vol. i. p. 12 and notes a 
work of thorough research and extreme accuracy. 

2 Lesley's Historic of Scotland (Bannatyne Club ed.), p. zoo. 

3 " My Lordes Grace (i.e. Somerset) this morening (Thursday, 29th Septem- 
ber) soon after vii of the clok was passed over the Twede here." Expedicion in 
Scotlande, &c., by W. Patten, Londoner, p. 94. 

176 The Lake of Menteith. 

both regarding the time of her coming and as to her 
returning to Stirling, are confirmed by official documents. 
The Discharge granted to her " keepers," Lords Erskine 
and Livingston, tells us that she was taken to Inchinahome 
" in the monethe of September last bypast, sone eftir the 
feild of Pynkyne Clewiche." 1 That she went back to 
Stirling is proved by a letter in the State-Paper Office 
Lord Grey to the Duke of Somerset dated 22nd February, 
1548, in which Grey informs the Protector that he has 
learned that the Queen has been removed from Stirling to 
Dumbarton. 2 Thus the utmost limits of the time that 
Mary could have spent at Inchmahome are from the llth 
of September to the end of the month. 

The only other transactions in connection with the Con- 
vent during the period of John Erskine's commendatorship, 
of which a record has been preserved, are two leases. The 
first, dated 29th of July, 1548, grants a nineteen years' 
tack of the lands of Lochend, extending to forty shillings' 
worth in the rental of the Priory " of old extent " to 
Alexander Menteith in Polmont mill and his four sons. 
It is subscribed by the Commendator, the sub-Prior Dene 
James Bradfute, and seven other members of the Chapter 
Dene Jhone Huten, Dene James Bad, Dene Johen 
Youngar, Dene Adam Peblis, Dene Thomas M'Lellen, 
Dene Adam Cristesone. Dene Jhonne Mont. 8 

It is interesting to compare these names with those 

1 This Discharge, granted on the 2Oth July, 1548, is preserved in Lord 
Elphinstone's charter-chest, and has been printed in the Red Book, vol. ii. 
PP- 331-3- 

a Thorpe's Calendar of State Papers relating to Scotland, p. 79, No. 49. 

3 Preserved at Cardross. Printed in the Red Book, vol. ii. pp. 333-5. 

The Lake of Menteith. 177 

attached to the lease granted by Prior Andrew in 1526. 1 
The Chapter has changed but little since that time. In 
addition to the Prior, Duncan Pringle and James Thom- 
son have disappeared from the list, and instead of John 
Youngman there is John Youngar, which may possibly be 
the same person with name differently written. With 
these exceptions the names of the Chapter are the same 
as those of twenty -two years before. No new name has 
been added. The monks of Inchmahome apparently enjoyed 
good health and long life. 

The second lease is mentioned in a manuscript addition 
by Mr. M'Gregor Stirling to his " Notes on Inchmahome," 
as having been found by him in an old collection of writs, 
made by Laurence Mercer of Meikleour in 1612. 2 It is a 
tack granted by John Erskine, Commendator of the Abbacie 
of Inchmahomo and the Convent u chapterly gaddered," 
to William Sinclair of The Banks, of the lands of the 
Banks of Cragannet, &c., dated at the Abbey of Inchma- 
homo, 25th of April, 1555. The seal of the Convent is 
appended, and the tack is subscribed by the Commendator, 
Den James Bradfut, sub-Prior, Den Adam Peblis, Den 
Thomas M'Clellan, Den Adam Cirstesone, and Den Jhone 
Monet. Three of the former canons John Hutton, James 
Bad, and John Youngar have now dropped from the list, 
and no new name has been added to it. 

John Erskine had succeeded to the title of Lord Erskine 
on the death of his father in 1552, but continued to hold 

1 See suflra, p. 158. 

'He adds "This curious collection, consisting of fifty-three folio leaves 
closely written, is now (5th June, 1818) in the possession of Sir John M'Gregor 
Murray, Bart." 

178 The Lake of Menteith. 

the office of Commendator for three years beyond that 
time. In 1565, on the occasion of the marriage of Queen 
Mary with Darnley, he was made Earl of Mar. Next 
year, the infant Prince James was committed to his charge. 
On the 6th of September, 1571, he was chosen Kegent of 
the Kingdom in succession to the murdered Begent Lennox. 
But he did not long hold that high office ; he died at 
Stirling on the 28th of October, 1572. According to Sir 
William Drury, he was " one of the best nature in Scotland, 
and wholly given to quietness and peace." 1 


In 1555, Lord Erskine as his title then was trans- 
ferred the ecclesiastical benefices he then held to his 
nephew David, the natural son of his elder brother Kobert. 
Thus David Erskine became Commendator of Dryburgh and 
of Inchmahome, as well as Archdean of Brechin. As he lived 
for fifty-six years after, he must have been comparatively 
young at this time. The bull of Pope Paul IV. appointing 
him Commendator-Prior of Inchmahome for life is dated 
10th of January, 1555; and he took the oath and was 
formally inducted in the beginning of the following year. 
A second bull, dated 17th of July, 1556, gave him the 
authority of the Pope for holding the Abbey of Dryburgh 
in commendam, along with the Priorate of Inchmahome. 2 
In these documents, the Priorate is styled " of the 

1 Letter from Drury to Lord Burghley, I4th September, 1571, in the State- 
Paper Office ; quoted by Tytler in the History of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 342, note. 
(Ed. 1864). 

2 These papal writs are preserved in the charter-chest of the Earl of Mar and 
Kellie, and have been printed in the Red Book, vol. ii. pp. 335-349. 

The Lake of Menteith. 179 

monastery of the island of Saint Colmocius of Inchma- 
homo," and David Erskine is described as " a venerable 
man, Sir David Erskine, Clerk of the Diocese of St. 
Andrews." From this description it is permissible to 
infer that he had been trained for the Church. He is 
characterised by Father Hay as "an exceeding modest, 
honest, and shame-faced man." 1 

Signature of Commendator David Erskine. 

Although he took the oath requiring obedience to the 
Pope and the defence of the Church against heretics and 
schismatics, he did not long remain bound by it. The 
Eeformation, then in progress, was consummated in 1560, 
and David Erskine, in common with the family of which 
he was a member, cast in his lot with the reformers. In 
his time, therefore, began the dilapidation of the revenues 
of the Convent, by which his relatives, and especially his 
uncle, the Earl of Mar, greatly profited. Sir William 
Fraser has suggested that, when Lord Erskine resigned 
the office of Prior to his nephew, it was on the under- 
standing that he should obtain the grants of Priory lands 
which were eventually assigned to him. 

Whether there was any understanding of that kind or 
not, the Commendator, on the 8th of August, 1562, granted 
two deeds by which the lands of Borland, called the 
dominical lands or Mains of Cardross, and the office of 

1 Quoted in Introduction to Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh, p. xxvii. 

180 The Lake of Menteith. 

bailie of the barony of Cardross, and of all other lands 
belonging to the Convent, with the feu-farms and duties 
of certain lands in the barony, were assigned to his Lord- 
ship. 1 The office of bailie belonged heritably to James 
Erskine of Little Sauchie, the uncle of John Lord Erskine, 
but he was induced to resign it to the Commendator in 
favour of his nephew. On the 31st of December of the 
same year, the Commendator and Convents of Dryburgh 
and Inchmahome granted Lord Erskine a yearly pension 
of five hundred merks, in recompense of his many good 
deeds and his protection of their interests in the troublous 
times, and in consideration of the expenses he had incurred 
in their service. The proportion of this pension payable 
by Inchmahome was to come out of the fruits of the kirk 
of Lintrethin and the lands of Borland, both belonging to 
the Convent. 

Earlier in the year 1562, two tacks had been granted, 
which are interesting as giving the names of the then 
existing Chapter. The first, dated 16th of January, is a 
tack by the Commendator, with consent of the Convent, 
in favour of Allan Oliphant, his servitor, of the teinds 
of Newton of Doune and Wester Eow. It is signed by 
the Commendator, the sub-Prior Den Thomas Maclellan, 
Den James Bradfut, Den Eobert Schortus, Den Alane 
Baxter, Den Vellem Stirleng, and Den Johin Baxter. 2 Of 

1 Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. 529. The names of these lands are 
interesting Arnprior, Cardene, Kepe, Wester and Easter Poldoir, Gartcledeny 
with Mill of Arnprior, Arnevicar, Gartours Over and Nether, Lochend, Mill of 
Cardross, Ardenclericht, Drummanikloche, Blairsessenoche, Ballingrew, Hornahic, 
Waird of Guddy with the astricted multures of said lands, and the lands of 
Boirland, called the dominical lands of Cardross. 

2 Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh, p. xxvi. Original of tack at Cardross. 

The Lake of Mentelth. 181 

these, only Bradfut and Maclellan have survived from 
the Chapter of 1555. The other document was found 
by M'Gregor Stirling among the Mercer writs already 
referred to. 1 It is a lease of three glebes in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Kirk of Leny, "infra prioratum monasterii 
sancti Colmoci Dunblanen diocesis vocatum vulgo Inchma- 
homock," 2 and is signed by David, the Commendator, Mr 
Alexander Drysdail, vicar of Lany, and Denes James 
Bradfut, Kobert Short, John Baxter, and Thomas M'Clellan. 
These names are identical with those of the subscribers of 
the previous tack, except that Allan Baxter and William 
Stirling do not now appear. William Stirling, however 
or another of the same name appears in connection with 
documents of later date. This lease purports to bear the 
seals of the monastery and the vicar of Leny, " appended 
at the said monastery and burgh of Stirling, 2nd February, 
1562." From this Mr. Stirling infers that "the Convent 
had moved to Stirling before the 2nd of February, 1562, 
a circumstance which renders it not improbable that the 
church and refectory had been attacked by the populace 
at the Keformation about two years before." 3 That the 
Priory possessed a house in the burgh of Stirling is certain. 
In the Act of 1606, erecting the temporal lordship of 
Cardross, in the enumeration of the properties of the 
Priory is included " the Prior's Manse or Tenement, with 
the yaird and pertinentis thairof, in Stirling." 4 The 
" Kental of the Feu-duties of Inchmahome, 1696," also 
mentions " ane tenement off land in the town of Striviling 

1 See supra, p. 177. *MS. addition to Notes on Inchmahome. 
3 Ibid. * Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. iv. p. 343. 

182 The Lake of Menteith. 

and yarde callit the Priouris Manse." 1 At the same time, 
it is not very probable that the Chapter had moved to 
Stirling because of the destruction of their buildings on 
Inchmahome. The documents issued by them in the later 
months of the year were subscribed at the island. The 
explanation seems rather to be that while the seal of the 
Convent was appended at Inchmahome, that of the vicar 
of Leny, for some reason of convenience, was "to-hung" 
at Stirling. 

It is satisfactory to be able to add further that, through 
the researches of Mr. W. B. Cook of Stirling, the site of 
this old Prior's Manse has now been definitely ascertained. 2 
He has found in the Protocol Book of Eobert Eamsay, 
under date 1st February, 1568-9, a registered deed, of 
which the following is an abstract : 

" John Lechman, one of the bailies of Stirling, by 
command of the provost and other bailies, proceeded to 
that tenement of houses and stables, with garden and 
pertinents, lying in the Castle Wynd on the south side of 
the same, between the late Malcolm Kinross's tenement 
on the south, the late John Kinloch's tenement on the 
west, and the said Wynd on the north and east, and 
there gave sasine of same to David Erskine, Commendator 
of Dryburgh and Inchmahome : reddendo t 40 shillings per 
annum to the treasurer of the burgh." 

1 In the second edition of Nimmo's History of Stirlingshire, vol. i. p. 378, 
the editor (M'Gregor Stirling) says" In a retour of David, second Lord of 
Cardross, we find that the lordship and barony of Cardross comprehended, 
amongst other things, the mansion of the Priory of Inchmahome in the borough 
of Stirling. We cannot pretend to point out even the probable site." 

* Mr. Cook's intimate acquaintance with the old protocols and sasines of the 
burgh makes him the highest authority on the situations of old houses in Stirling. 

Manse of the Prior o! Inchmahome (George Buchanan's House), 
in the Castle Wynd of Stirling. 

The Lake of Menteith. 185 

Mr. Cook supposes that while the Commendator was 
already in possession of the manse by virtue of his office, 
legal sasine had been delayed by reason generally of the 
troubles of the time, and specially because of the disputes 
between the Town Council and the Erskines, which had 
arisen from the seizure by the latter of the mills that had 
belonged to the Dominican friars and were claimed by the 
town. He has traced the history of this tenement, with 
the neighbouring properties, through sasines and titles, 
down to the present time ; and he identifies it with an old 
house, with turreted chamber in the front, that used to 
be known, at a later period, as George Buchanan's House. 
It stood on the left hand side of the Castle Wynd as 
one goes towards the Castle nearly opposite to the house 
of the Abbot of Cambuskenneth. This old house was 
taken down in 1835, but its appearance is preserved in a 
drawing, which is here reproduced. It is rather ornate in 
style, and certainly picturesque. Its apparent size and 
its possession of stables which in a deed of 1702 are 
described as then in ruins (nunc vasto seu demolito) 
prove its importance as a town-house. Considering the 
position that the Commendator held in the upbringing 
of the King as one of the four friends of the House of 
Erskine, who in turns were to be always with the King 
and attend to his education, it is not difficult to understand 
how the Prior's Manse or a portion of it should have 
been assigned as a residence to his Majesty's preceptor. 
Neither is it to be wondered at that the house should 
have come down to later times with the name of its most 
distinguished inhabitant attached to it, rather than that 

186 The Lake of Mentelth. 

of the Priory which had been abolished and forgotten. 
Here Buchanan dwelt for about ten years (1570-1580). 
The circumstance makes another interesting link in his 
connection with Cardross and the Priory of Inchmahome. 
Canons Allan Baxter and Robert Short have dropped 
out of the Chapter in the latter half of 1562, and William 
Stirling has come in. Stirling was probably the last 
addition to the canons of Inchmahome. M'Lellan, who 
made his first appearance as signatory to a deed of Prior 
Andrew in 1526, is not found after 12th August, 1562. 
Bradfute, John Baxter, and Stirling are co-signatories to 
deeds of 1573 and 1583 ; and the last lease granted by 
Commendator David Erskine and the Convent " togidder 
convenit " is in 1587, and bears only two names in addition 
to his own those of Dene James Bredfute and Dene 
Wellem Sterleng. These appear to have been the last of 
the old monks of Inchmahome. Whether they continued 
to hold by the old religion, or, like their Commendator, 
became Protestants, cannot be said. There was a William 
Stirling who was Reader in the Church of Port up to 
1589, but beyond the name there is nothing to identify him 
with the ere while canon of Inchmahome. The venerable 
sub-Prior could not have long survived this last appearance 
of his name. He must then have been a very aged man, 
for as the first occurrence of his name as a member of 
the Chapter was in 1526 he had over sixty years of 
service behind him. In a lease granted by David Erskine, 
as Commendator of Dryburgh, in the year 1600, he explains 
that all the members of that Convent were then deceased; 1 

1 Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh, p. xxix. 

The Lake of Menteith. 187 

and that probably was also the case of Inchmahome at the 
same or an earlier period. 

The Commendator was one of the " four friends of the 
House of Erskine " who were appointed by the Parliament 
of November, 1572, to assist the Countess Dowager and 
the young Earl of Mar in the charge of James VI. 1 Two 
of these were always to be with the King in the Castle 
of Stirling, to look to his personal comfort and the manage- 
ment of his household. It was perhaps in pursuance of 
this duty that David Erskine was in Stirling Castle on 
the 7th of September, 1573, when he granted a lease of 
the lands of the Camp of Ardoch to William Sinclair of 
the Camp and Elizabeth Striveling, his spouse. This lease 
reveals the curious fact that the Chapel, which had been 
built within the old Roman Camp, and the Camp itself, 
belonged to the Priory. How and when it came into this 
possession is as yet unknown. The tack is granted with 
consent of the Convent chapterly gathered, and bears the 
signatures of James Braidfut, William Stirling, and John 
Baxter. One of the witnesses is David Hume of Argaty, 
who afterwards (in 1584) suffered death for communicating 
with his friend the Commendator, when the latter was in 
exile. 2 

At this time the Commendator was in difficulty about 
his Thirds. These Thirds were the proportion of their 
revenues which, after the Beformation, the holders of the 

*Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 8r. 

2 Laurence Mercer's Writs, as quoted in the MS. of M'Gregor Stirling. The 
Camp, at a later date, was called Raith, and also Chapel-lands (Retour of Sir 
William Stirling, Bart, 1670) ; in the Old Statistical Account it is called Chapel 
Hill. MS. addition to Notes on Inchmahome. 

188 The Lake of Menteith. 

old benefices were ordained by Act of Parliament to pay 
for the support of the Protestant ministry. 1 They had not 
been well paid ; and, by Acts of 1567, the collection of 
them was put into the hands of the ministers themselves. 2 
David Erskine had never been asked for the Thirds of his 
benefices (Abbey of Dryburgh, Priory of Inchmahome, 
Archdeanery of Brechin) during the time of Queen Mary ; 
and up till 1573, as he set forth in his petition, he had 
been " owerlukit and not pressit with payment thairof." 
Relying on this immunity he had spent not only the 
whole revenues of his benefices, but other large sums on 
his own credit, which made it impossible for him to pay 
the great amount now demanded as arrears. He therefore 
petitioned the General Assembly for a remission, affirming 
that though he had the titles of the benefices, he had 
"litill of the profeit thairof." 8 The Privy Council, on the 
20th of March, 1574, granted him a discharge of all the 
dues up to 1573, and relaxed him of horning. 4 

David Erskine was made a member of the Privy Council 
in 1579, although he had previously been a frequent 
attender at meetings of that body as a Councillor Extra- 
ordinary appointed by the King. In 1583 a lease of the 
teind sheaves, fruits, rents, profits, emoluments, and duties 
of the parsonage of the Kirk of Leny was given to James 
Seton of Tullibody and his son John, for the sum of 
eighty merks yearly. The deed was granted at Cardross, 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ii. pp. 81 and 607. 
*Ibid t vol. iii. pp. 24 and 37. 

8 This is likely enough to have been true. The greater part of the " profeit 
thairof" doubtless went to the Earl of Mar. 

4 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 347. 

The Lake of Menteith. 189 

and the co-signatories with the Commendator were James 
Bradfut, sub-Prior, Dene Wellem Steruiling, and Dene 
Johin Baxter. 1 But his lease-granting was now destined 
to suffer interruption for a time. Trouble was brewing 
for the House of Erskine. For their share in the raid of 
Kuthven in 1582, and in the confused and troubled pro- 
ceedings which followed that event, the Erskines were 
obliged to flee from the country ; and on the 21st of 
August, 1584, Parliament found them guilty of treason, 
and declared their estates and offices confiscated. 2 


The Commendator's post did not remain unoccupied. 
Two days after the confiscation of David Erskine, King 
James the Sixth gave the Priory of Inchmahome for life 
to Henry Stewart, 3 the second son of James Lord Doune, 
and brother of the " bonnie Earl of Moray." No docu- 
ment signed by Henry Stewart as Commendator seems 
to be extant ; but, on the 4th of June, 1585, the King 
himself ratified a grant, formerly made by Commendator 
David, in favour of Patrick Bathok, of a yearly pension 
of nine merks out of the lands of Gartavertyne in the 
Stewartry of Menteith. And, in this ratification, David 
is designed " sumtyme Commendator of Dryburght and 
Inchmahom." 4 

1 Printed in the Red Book, vol. ii. p. 364, from the original in the charter- 
chest of the Earl of Mar and Kellie. 

Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 344. 

3 Registrum Magni Sigilli, Lib. xxxvi. No. 10. 

4 Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh, p. xxviii. Original at Cardross. 

190 The Lake of Menteith. 


The absence of the Erskines was not of long continu- 
ance. In 1585, the banished lords returned to Scotland, 
and succeeded in depriving Arran of his power. An Act 
of Parliament was passed in December, 1 reversing the 
sentences of forfeiture. David Erskine was consequently 
reponed in his offices. After this, till the end of his life, 
he seems to have resided at Cardross. He possibly 
enlarged the old house for his residence, as his initials, 
with those of his wife, are cut on it. All the remaining 
leases granted by him whether as Commendator of Dry- 
burgh or of Inchmahome are dated thence. He showed 
his interest in education by granting, on the 4th of March, 
1586, a tack of the teinds of Wester Lanark to Mr. Duncan 
Neven, schoolmaster at Dunblane, " for teaching of the 
youth." 2 The last lease signed by the remanent members 
of the Convent was granted on the 20th of April, 1587, 
in consideration of " certane sowmes of money, gratitudes, 
guid deidis and pleasouris thankfullie payit and done to 
us be oure weilbelovit cousing Michaell Elphingstoun, 
servitoure domestik to oure soverane lord," to the said 
Michael of the teind sheaves of Gartincaber, Wester 
Spittiltoune, Murdochstoun, Ballintoun, M'Corranestoun, 
in the parish of Kilmadock, for his lifetime and nineteen 
years thereafter, at a rent of nine pounds, six shillings 
and eightpence. The lease is signed by David, Commen- 
dator of Inchmahomo, Dene James Bredfut, and Dene 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 383. 

8 Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh, p. xxviii. Copy, authenticated by Neven in 
1617, said to be in possession of the Earl of Mar and Kellie. 

The Lake of Menteith. 191 

Wellem Sterleng. 1 Later leases one of them on the day 
before his demission of office, 30th May, 1608 in con- 
nection with the lands of the Abbey of Dryburgh are 
extant; 2 but this is the last of his recorded transactions 
with the property of Inchmahome. He lived for three 
years after his demission, dying at Cardross on the 28th 
of May, 1611. He left a widow, named Margaret Haldane, 
and known as Lady Cardross and Lady Dryburgh, 8 whom, 
in his will, he earnestly recommended to the protecting 
care of the Earl of Mar. It appears that he had a son 
whose name was James, and who must have predeceased 
his father, as no mention is made of him in the will. 


By this time the Chapter of Inchmahome was extinct, 
the " monastery and superstitions thereof " had been 
abolished, and the church lands annexed to the Crown. 4 
The history of the Priory might therefore be said to 
terminate with David Erskine. But, by the grace of King 
James the Sixth, there was still another Commendator 
appointed to enjoy the revenues of Dryburgh and Inchma- 
home. This was Henry Erskine, the second son of John, 
second Earl of Mar, by his marriage with Lady Mary 
Stewart, daughter of the first Duke of Lennox. Both the 
father and mother of the new Commendator were high in 
the favour and friendship of the King. The Earl of Mar 
had been educated along with King James under the rigorous 

1 Printed in the Red Book, vol. ii. pp. 365-7, from the original in the charter- 
chest of the Earl of Mar and Kellie. 

2 Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh, pp. 316 and 319. * Ibid, p. xxix. 
4 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. iv. p. 345. 

192 The Lake of Menteilh. 

rule of George Buchanan, was his early playfellow the 
" Jock Sclaitis " of his familiar letters and for a while his 
Governor; while Lady Mary was the daughter of Esme 
Stewart, the King's cousin and prime favourite. It was 
to make provision for this younger son of the Mar family 
that David Erskine was induced to resign his offices into 
the hands of his Majesty. Immediately thereafter, on the 
31st of May, 1608, the King granted a deed providing the 
Abbey of Dryburgh and the Priory of Inchmahome to 
Henry Erskine for his lifetime, along with a seat and vote 
in Parliament. For twenty years he continued to enjoy 
the fruits of these estates, but of course all pretence of 
ecclesiastical function had ceased. Henry Erskine was 
simply a country gentleman of an unusually good type, 
it may be hoped who attended to his own affairs and faith- 
fully discharged his Parliamentary duties. His portrait 
by Jameson exhibits a remarkably sweet and pleasant 
countenance. If he were as good as he looks, everything 
must have gone well and pleasantly with the tenants of 
the old kirk lands in his time. In 1617, the Earl of Mar 
assigned the lordship and peerage of Cardross which had 
been erected a temporal barony in his favour in 1604 to 
his son Henry Erskine in fee. Hence he was known as 
the Fiar of Cardross. He did not, however, enjoy the 
dignity of the peerage, as he died in 1628, predeceasing 
his father by about six years. 

^ -^ 

Signature Of Commendator Henry Erskine. 

The Lake of Menteith. 193 



THE transference of the lands of the Priory to the House 
of Erskine began in 1562, when Commendator David, with 
the assent of the Convent, assigned (8th August, 1562) to 
John Lord Erskine and his heirs-male, the lands of Boir- 
land, commonly called the dominical lands of Cardross, 1 
as also the bailieship of their barony of Cardross, and of 
all other lands belonging to them, with the feu-farms and 
duties of certain lands specified as his bailie-fee. 2 This 
was the beginning of many complicated transactions in 
connection with the Priory lands between the Convent 
and members of the Erskine family. For example, the 
Stirling Protocol Books 8 contain notice of a charter granted 
by the Earl of Mar to Commendator David Erskine, of 
Shirgarton, Drums of Kippen, and Arnbeg, under date 
19th March, 1571-2 ; and on the same day, a charter 
granted by John Master of Mar, with consent of John 
Earl of Mar, his father, to David the Commendator, of 
Bordland, called the dominical lands of Cardross, and 

It is rather difficult to follow these various transactions 
and explain their significance ; but the next great step in 

lu Tolas et integras terras nostras de Boirland, vulgo nuncupatas terras 
dominicales de Cardross." 

8 See supra, p. 180. 

3 Protocol Book of Robert Ramsay, 1566-1573: extracts furnished by Mr 
W. B. Cook, Stirling. 

194 The Lake of Menteith. 

the alienation of the ecclesiastical lands is clear enough. 
This was accomplished by a charter which King James 
the Sixth granted to John, second Earl of Mar, on the 
27th of March, 1604, assigning to him the lordship and 
barony of Cardross. Infeftment followed, and the charter 
was ratified in a Parliament held at Perth on the 9th of 
July, 1606. 1 By an Act of this Parliament, the Abbacies 
of Dryburgh and Cambuskenneth, and the Priory of 
Inchmahome, were erected into a temporal lordship in 
favour of the Earl of Mar. The Act, after reciting the 
good deeds of the earl and his father their care of the 
upbringing and education of the King, and their various 
labours for the good of the State and declaring that 
the said " monasteries and superstitiounis had now been 
abolishit, and the kirklandis of the samin now annexifc to 
his Hienes Crowne," ratifies, approves, and confirms the 
charter of 1604, dissolves these lands from the Act of 
Annexation to the Crown, and suppresses, abolishes, and 
extinguishes for ever the said Abbeys and Priory. The 
properties of the Priory are enumerated as follows : The 
place and mansion of Inchmahomo, the lands and barony 
of Cardross, viz., Arnprior, East Garden, Kepe, West 
Polder, East Polder, Gairtledernick, and Hilltoun mylne, 
Mill of Arnprior, lands of Arnevicar, Clerkum, Garturs 
Over and Nether, Lochend, Mill of Cardross, Ardinclerich, 
Drummanikcloch, Blaircessnock, Ballingrew, Hornehaick, 
Ward of Gudie, Bordland or Mains, the loch and isles of 
Inchmahomo with salmon fishings in the Forth and Gudie, 
Priors Meadow, Armavak, kirklands of Port and Leny, the 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. iv. p. 344. 

The Lake of Menteith. 195 

Prior's Manse or tenement with the yaird and pertinents 
thereof in Stirling, house and yard in Dumbarton, Kow, 
the Kirkis of Kilmadock, Port, Leny, and Lintrethin, 
pertaining to Inchmahome. These lands " estimat to 
100 land of auld extent " are declared secular land, 
free from ecclesiastical burdens, and the Manor-place of 
Cardross is ordained to be the principal messuage thereof. 

It has already been mentioned that the purpose of these 
grants to the Earl of Mar is generally stated to have been 
to enable him to make provision for his younger sons by 
his second wife, Lady Mary Stewart. His son by the first 
wife was, of course, destined to succeed his father as Earl 
of Mar. The eldest son of Lady Mary became Earl of 
Buchan by his marriage with the heiress of that earldom. 
The Countess is said, by the family tradition, to have 
complained to the King that her younger sons, Henry and 
Alexander, were unprovided for, and the King promised to 
look after their interests. This he did by granting to the 
Earl of Mar the lordship of Cardross, with the right of 
assignation to any of his heirs-male. 1 

The curious story related by David Earl of Buchan 
regarding the marriage of the Earl of Mar and Lady Mary 
Stewart will bear repetition. " Mar," he says, " as was 
the superstitious custom of the times, had listened to the 
nonsense of an Italian conjurer, who showed him a limning 
of a lady whom he said Mar's future sweetheart and wife 
resembled; and Mar thought he observed these features 
in the lovely daughter of Lennox. He had heard she was 
destined by the King for another, and wrote a plaintive 

1 Alexander Erskine received the benefice of Cambuskenneth in 1608. 

196 The Lake of Menteith. 

letter to James, saying that his health had even begun to 
suffer from the fear of disappointment. The King visited 
Mar, his old class-fellow, and said, ' Ye shanna dee, Jock, 
for ony lass in a' the land.' The King accordingly secured 
for Mar the object of his attachment, Lady Mary Stewart, 
second daughter of Esme, Duke of Lennox, the King's 
kinsman." 1 This story is, at any rate, characteristic of the 
homely humour of King James the Sixth. 

Whether the meeting with the Italian conjurer was prior 
to his first marriage, or after it, does not appear from the 
narrative. But that it was subsequent to the death of his 
first wife may be inferred from the circumstances, and from 
a pendant to the story which M'Gregor Stirling relates on 
the authority of the then Countess of Buchan. Mar, it 
seems, had obtained from the Italian the portrait of the 
lady, and kept it in his residence at Alloa Tower. When 
he first saw the Lady Mary Stewart at Stirling, it is said 
and was struck by her resemblance to the carefully cherished 
picture, he sent a servant to Alloa to fetch it for a more 
careful comparison. Unfortunately, however, the servant, 
by awkward handling, let the picture fall on the muddy 
road. Anxious to conceal his carelessness, he tried to 
clean off the mud, with the result that he succeeded only 
in obliterating the features of the portrait. But, adds the 
narrator, " it was a consolation to the love-sick peer that 
the loss of the picture was supplied by the possession of 
the fair original." 2 

x Earl of Buchan's Anonymous and Fugitive Essays, 1812, vol. i. pp. 288, 
et seq. 

2 Notes on Inchmahome, p. 60. 

The Lake of Menteith. 197 

On the 30th of May, 1608, David Erskine, Commendator 
of Dryburgh and Inchmahome, resigned his benefices into 
the hands of the King, and so, at the same time, did Adam 
Brskine, the Commendator of Cambuskeimeth. Next day, 
at Greenwich, a royal charter gave the first to Henry, and 
the second to Alexander, the two younger sons of the Earl 
of Mar. A charter was granted, dated at Greenwich, 10th 
June, 1610, by King James, whereby the Earl of Mar, his 
heirs-male, assigns, and successors were made free lords 
and barons of Cardross, with the title and dignity and a 
right to sit and vote in Parliament ; and another followed 
on the 10th April, 1615, to the same effect. Next the 
Earl, by a charter dated at Holyrood, 31st January, 1617, 
and confirmed by the King on the 13th of March the 
same year, assigned the fie of the barony and lordship of 
Cardross reserving his life-rent to his son Henry. 

It was in the summer of this year that Cardross 
welcomed a royal visitor. King James the Sixth, impelled 
by "a natural and salmon-like affection," revisited his 
native land, where he was regaled, much to his satisfaction, 
with addresses of welcome at all the principal towns, and 
had opportunities of showing off his learning and wit and 
dialectic skill in the conferences and disputations of the 
most learned professors of the Scottish Universities. Mind- 
ful of his old school-fellow and friend, he paid him a visit at 
Cardross. Great preparations were made for his reception. 
The old tower, the most ancient part of the building, had 
probably served for the residence of the Commendators, 
although it is said to have been considerably enlarged by 
Commendator David in 1598. But on this occasion the 

198 The Lake of Menteith. 

Earl of Mar made a large and splendid addition to the 
house for the express purpose of entertaining the King 
with a magnificence worthy of his royal state. 

Henry Erskine, Commendator of Dryburgh and Inch- 
mahome, with a seat in Parliament, and Fiar of Cardross 
by the charter of his father, did not attain the dignity of 
the peerage, as he died in 1628, during his father's life-time. 
His son and heir was David, a child of eighteen months at 
the time of his father's death. He was served heir to the 
estates on the llth of January, 1637. His grandfather, 
before his death, had granted a charter conferring on him 
the peerage of Cardross, and this charter was ratified by 
an Act of Parliament at Edinburgh, 17th November, 1641. 1 
Thus David is known as the second Lord Cardross. 

In Lord David's time Cardross was garrisoned by the 
troops of the Commonwealth. It was from the house of 
Cardross that General Monck addressed his letter of 17th 
May, 1654, to the Earl of Airth, ordering him to cut down 
the woods of Milton and Glegait in Aberfoyle, "that soe 
they may nott any longer bee a harbour or shelter for loose, 
idle, and desperate persons." 2 Possibly this occupation of 
his house by the Parliamentary forces may have been 
intended as some sort of punishment for Lord Cardross's 
political opinions and actions. He had protested against 
the delivery of Charles I. to the Parliamentary army, and 
he had joined the " Engagement " of the Duke of Hamilton 
in 1648. In consequence of this latter performance of his 
he was fined in ^1000, and debarred from taking his seat 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. v. p. 547. 
8 Letter printed in Red Book, vol. ii. p. 158. 

The Lake of Menteith. 199 

in the Parliament of 1649. David had a new charter of 
Cardross in 1664, and died in 1671. 

The house of Cardross may have suffered somewhat 
from its Parliamentary garrison, although it is not likely 
that there was any oppression of the tenantry or much 
damage done to the estate. The same, however, cannot 
be said regarding its next occupancy by the Government 
troops, during the time of the religious persecutions in 
Scotland that marked the reign of Charles the Second. 

Henry, the third Lord Cardross, was a steadfast 
Presbyterian and Covenanter, and in consequence suffered 
severely, in person and property, at the hands of the 
unprincipled gang who then ruled Scottish affairs. A full 
account of the persecutions to which he was subjected is 
given by Wodrow. 1 They began in 1674 with a fine of 
5000 for listening to his own chaplain preaching in his 
own house of Cardross. He paid 1000 of this fine, and 
made efforts to procure a remission of the remainder ; but 
this was refused, and he was ordered to be imprisoned for 
four years in Edinburgh Castle. A party of guards, under 
one Sir Mungo Murray, were sent to occupy Cardross. 
They grossly ill-treated his lady, broke open his repositories, 
and did much damage to the house, which had been recently 
repaired and refurnished. While he was in prison, his lady 
had had a child baptized at Cardross. On the ground that 
the rite of baptism had been performed by a clergyman 
who was not the minister of the parish, Lord Cardross was 
again fined. He was only released from prison in 1679 
on giving a bond for the amount of his fines. He then 

1 Wodrow's Sufferings of the Church of Scotland, 1721, vol. ii. p. 122, et passim. 

200 The Lake of Menteith. 

went to London in the hope of obtaining redress, but was 
repulsed with something more than insult. Despairing of 
further relief at home, he set sail for America, where he 
endeavoured to found a colony in Carolina. Misfortune 
pursued him here also, for his colony was attacked and 
destroyed by the Spaniards. As a consequence of his 
accumulated fines and other misfortunes he became 
insolvent, and the property of Cardross had to be given 
up to others in security for his debts. 

That portion of the Lordship of Cardross called the 
" Abbacie of Dryburgh " had been sold by him to Sir 
Patrick Scott, younger of Ancrum, 1 in 1682; so that the 
estate was now again reduced pretty much to the original 
Priory lands. But somewhat better times were coming. 
He left America, and proceeding to Holland, entered the 
service of William of Orange. He accompanied that prince 
to England in 1688, and was instrumental in raising a 
regiment of dragoons in 1689. With these dragoons he 
did good service in the war with the Highland partizans 
of the exiled King. 2 Under William III., he enjoyed a 
few years of peace and comparative prosperity ; but his 
numerous troubles and hardships had undermined his con- 
stitution, and he died at Edinburgh on the 21st of May, 
1693, in the forty-fourth year of his age. 

Two years before his death, the house of Cardross was 
again garrisoned by soldiers, but this time in a friendly 
way. On the 2nd June, 169J, the Privy Council granted 

1 Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh, p. xxxiii. The "disposition and rental," 
dated 24th June, 1682, are at Cardross. 

8 Hill Burton's History of Scotland, ed. 1897, vol. vii. p. 388. 

The Lake of Menteith. 201 

warrant to Sir Thomas Livingston, Commander-in-Chief, 
to send forces to defend the house of Cardross against the 
Highland rebels. 

Henry's eldest son David succeeded his father in the 
Lordship of Cardross. In 1695 he became Earl of Buchan, 
and the peerage of Cardross has since that time remained 
with that earldom. The lands of Cardross the ancient 
property of the Priory of Inchmahome had been disponed 
by Lord Henry, in 1683, to the Earl of Mar and others, 
for behoof of his creditors. Colonel the Hon. John Erskine 
the " Black Colonel " a younger brother of Lord Henry, 
set himself to clear off the burdens on the property, and 
succeeded so far that, in 1699, David, Earl of Buchan, 
disponed to him the estate of Cardross. Apparently all 
the bonds had not been redeemed, for in 1739 the Colonel 
began a litigation with his nephew the Earl, which had 
not been settled at the death of the former in 1743. The 
process was continued by his son and heir, John Erskine 
of Carnock, the well-known Professor of Scots Law in the 
University of Edinburgh, and author of " The Institutes 
of the Laws of Scotland"; and on the 25th of July, 1746, 
decree was given in his favour, and he was adjudged 
purchaser of the estate of Cardross. His eldest son, John 
Erskine, D.D., succeeded him in Carnock, while the estate 
of Cardross went to the second son, James Erskine, in 
1768. From James Erskine, Cardross has descended in 
regular succession of the same family to the present pro- 
prietor, Henry David Erskine. The estate is now of 
greater extent than the lands held by the old Priory. 
Additions have been made by successive lairds. The 


The Lake of Menteith. 

property, also, has been greatly improved and adorned 
by several of them by none more so than the present 
highly esteemed proprietor. At the same time some small 
parts of the original lands such as the ancient Priory 
itself, with its demesne on the island of Inchmahome 
have left the estate, it is not very well known how. 



The Castle of Inchtalla : the old House 
and its Furnishings. 

" I looked and saw between us and the sun 
A building on an island, 
With floating water-lilies, broad and bright." 

" Here desolation holds her dreary court." 

[LMOST the whole surface of the island, Inch- 
talla, is covered with the ruins of the old 
Castle buildings and their central court-yard. 
The date of erection of these is not men- 
tioned in any extant writing, and can therefore only be 
inferred from the character of the buildings themselves. 
It is known that the principal residence of some of the 
earlier Earls of Menteith was Doune Castle. But after 
the extermination of the Albany family, and when a portion 
of their old domain had been erected into a new earldom 
in favour of Malise, formerly Earl of Strathern, by James 
I., in 1427, the Castle of Doune was retained by the King. 
Malise therefore as is shown by his writs dated from the 
place made Inchtalla his chief seat ; and if, as has been 
with probability conjectured, there was already a keep or 
strong building of some sort on the island, it is equally 
probable that Malise considerably enlarged it, or even 
rebuilt it, in order to make it a suitable residence. 





Plan of the Buildings on Inchtalla. 

(By permission, from M* Gibbon and Ross's Castellated and Domestic 
Architecture of Scotland.) 

The Lake of Mentelth. 205 

Whether any portion of the building, which must have 
existed in his time, is to be found among the present ruins, 
is doubtful. The character and style of most of what 
remains point rather to a seventeenth century origin. 
Stones are to be found in the walls which must have come 
from the ecclesiastical buildings on the neighbouring island, 
and these appear to show that the erection could not have 
been earlier than the period of the Keformation. Some of 
these stones are to be found even in what is admittedly 
the oldest portion of the ruins that at the south end of 
the island. In the tower-like building at the west end of 
the High House, for example, there has evidently been a 
stair leading to rooms above the kitchen ; and the interior 
wall of this tower still retains some carved corbels, which 
have evidently been taken from the monastic buildings. 
The moulded side of one of the small windows in the 
kitchen wall is the mullion of a Gothic window, which 
also has obviously been abstracted from the Priory. It 
is possible, of course, that these Gothic fragments may 
have been inserted when repairs or additions were being 
made to the old house. If that be so, the High House, 
still standing as a ruin, may have been built at some more 
or less remote period prior to the Reformation. But the 
general arrangement of the buildings, the thickness of the 
walls, and the style of the work, no less than the circum- 
stance that much of the materials seems to have been taken 
from the Priory, all indicate the seventeenth century as the 
period of erection of most of the buildings. 

The plan is the common one of that period of a central 
court-yard surrounded by houses. But it must be added 

206 The Lake of Menteith. 

that this design is so loosely developed as to favour the 
idea that the buildings had not all been erected at the 
same time. The Hall, which makes the north side of the 
square, is evidently the most recent portion. It had 
apparently been built when the High House was either 
decaying or not considered sufficiently large or dignified 
for the family use; and may have been erected by the 
great Earl William (the seventh earl) when in the full flow 
of his prosperity. This suggestion as well as the infer- 
ence from architectural characteristics regarding the period 
of erection of the buildings receives a certain amount of 
confirmation from a document in the State-Paper Office 
giving an account of " The Present State of the Nobility in 
Scotland : July 1st, 1592." In that paper the then earl, John, 
the sixth of the Graham line, and immediate predecessor 
of William, is noted as having his residence at Kylbride. 1 

The High House at the south end of the island was 
so called because it used to be loftier than the Hall at the 
north end. It has now lost something of its height, and 
is, in fact, greatly dilapidated. It is said to have formerly 
had heraldic devices over the doorway, which Mr. M'Gregor 
Stirling says had in his time been " partly abstracted." 
He adds "From one of these devices, where the crest, 
representing (as is believed) an eagle coupe, is above a 
shield, the charge of which is not legible, it would appear 
that the oldest building was erected after the introduction 
of the first-mentioned emblem into armorial bearings." 2 

1 State-Paper Office MS. printed in Tytler's History of Scotland, Proofs and 
Illustrations to vol. iv., No. xxiii. 

2 Notes on Inchmahome, p. 74. 

The Lake of Menteith. 207 

Mr. Stirling thus speaks as if he had himself seen this 
heraldic stone. The statement must be left as it stands 
on his authority. There is now no vestige of heraldic 
device of any sort. 

The lower apartment of this house measures thirty-six 
feet eight inches in length, with a breadth of fourteen feet 
eight inches. It has a vaulted roof. The space is divided 
into two rooms. The upper floor is also in two divisions. 
Access was had to these apartments by a stair portions of 
which remain inside a tower on the north side jutting into 
the court-yard. These were probably the family rooms when 
this house was inhabited. They are lighted by four open- 
ings in the south wall. The outside of this wall is 
peculiarly interesting. There are indications that it once 
had a kind of hanging gallery or wooden hoarding, 1 such 
as were sometimes used as a means of defence when the 
place was attacked, and perhaps also, in more peaceful 
times, as a place for enjoying the air and the prospect. 
About eight feet from the ground, and just under the 
openings in the wall already mentioned, are still to be seen 
the corbels on which the joists that supported the hoarding 
rested, as well as the " put-log " holes in which the ends 
of these joists were inserted; while the corbels for the 
wall-plate of the roof are also visible on the wall above 

1 A hoarding of this kind, called a Bretess (Fr. Brethhe) " was usually con- 
structed over a gateway or portion of a wall liable to be attacked ; it was of 
sufficient dimensions to hold several archers or cross-bowmen, and projected 
from the wall so as to allow openings to be made in its floor, through which 
stones or burning materials could be let fall on the heads of the besiegers. The 
sides of the bretess were provided with shutters or loops, for the discharge of 
arrows or bolts." Audsley's Dictionary of Architecture, vol. iii. p. 257. The 
brethhe at Talla Castle must have been a mere architectural survival 

208 The Lake of Menteith. 

the windows. Still higher, a projecting stone band or table 
runs along the wall intended to protect the roof of the 
hoarding at its junction with the wall from the rain-drip. 
Of the four openings, the two in the centre were probably 
windows. The other two were obviously doorways leading 
out to the platform of the hoarding. They were closed 
with doors opening outwards, as is shown by the checks 
in the rybats. Traces of a similar hoarding are discernible 
on the west side of the Hall. 1 

On the west end of the High House is the Kitchen 
about twenty-five feet in length by ten feet in breadth. This 
includes a large arched fire-place at the south end, which 
measures nine feet nine inches by six feet six inches. 
Through a narrow opening in the wall, the kitchen and 
fire-place communicate with the oven built outside. 
Another opening leads into the ground floor of the High 
House. There are two very small windows only about 
ten inches square in the kitchen, looking to the west. 
Overhead a square tower seems to have risen to a con- 
siderable height. The remains of a circular stair in this 
tower have already been referred to. 

Northwards from the kitchen, in a line parallel to the 
shore of the lake, runs a long building, about eighty feet in 
length, which was possibly appropriated to the household 
servants and other attendants on the earls. Only the 
wall on the side next the lake, and fragments on the north 
and south ends, are now standing. This wall has been 
peculiarly destitute of lighting. There are only two small 

1 See M'Gibbon & Ross's Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scot- 
land, vol. iv. p. 288. 

The Lake of Menteith. 209 

windows in it both in the southmost portion. Each of 
these seems to have lighted a separate room, and, judging 
from their positions, there may have been two other apart- 
ments in the length of the entire block. 

On the north side of the court-yard stood, and still 
stands, the Hall, evidently the most recent of all the 
buildings on the island. It consists of an oblong house of 
about sixty feet in length by thirty feet in width, and two 
storeys high, with a square tower at the north-west angle. 
Over the doorway, which is towards the east end of the 
south wall, is a stone which appears to have had armorial 
bearings, but these are not now decipherable. The ground 
floor is one undivided room, with a great fire-place in the 
west end. It measures fifty-five feet in length, and is 
twenty-three feet four inches wide, and in the days of 
its inhabitation must have been a fine and imposing 
apartment. Fortunately, we are able to obtain a clear 
idea of the appearance of this room, and indeed, of the 
arrangement and furnishing of the whole House, in the time 
of the last earl. An inventory of the "haill Household 
Stufie and Plenishing," taken on the 22nd of May, 1694, 
and preserved among the Menteith papers at Gartmore, 
has been printed by Mr. M'Gregor Stirling. 1 

The Hall as this lower floor of the house was specially 
named was draped with green drugget hangings, dependent 
from gilt rods. It had also two window curtains, a pair of 
virginals, my Lord and my Lady's portraits with green 
hangings before them, a large table, a folding table, and a 

1 Notes on Inchmahome, appendix vi. p. 159. 

210 The Lake of Menteilh. 

house clock with case. No mention is made of chairs in 
the furniture of the Hall, but a separate inventory is given 
of the chairs belonging to the house, in addition to those 
that are mentioned in connection with the various bedrooms. 
They numbered eighteen new red leather chairs, of which 
two were armed, and fourteen old leather chairs. Besides 
these, there were eighteen fine carpet chairs two of them 
armed and ten old carpet chairs. For lighting the Hall 
and the other rooms, the house had fourteen brass candle- 
sticks, old and new, and as necessary adjuncts to these, 
two pairs of brass snuffers with their pans, besides two 
pairs which were broken, and also two pairs of snuffers 
made of iron; and no doubt for the great Hall and on 
great occasions two silver candlesticks, with snuffers, plate 
and chains of the same metal. 

On the floor above the Hall were two bedrooms, entrance 
to which appears to have been obtained from behind. These 
were called respectively the East and the West Chambers. 
The furnishings of the East Chamber were mostly in blue, 
and those of the West in green. Moreover, the furniture 
of the former seems to indicate that it was meant for ladies' 
use, while that of the other seems rather to point to male 
occupancy. In the East Chamber according to the 
inventory, hung with blue was a standing bed with blue 
damask knot hangings lined with orange, having the pand 
of gimp silk, eight cane chairs two of them being arm- 
chairs a dozen of flowered satin cushions, two white 
window curtains, a looking-glass with olive wood frame, 
a fir table, two " standers," a blue damask table-cloth, and 
a coffer. In the West Chamber, hung with green drugget, 

The Lake of Menteith. 211 

were a large standing bed with green drugget hangings, 
lined with white and fringed on the inside, a glass with a 
black frame, two white crepe window curtains, with a large 
oak chest, a smaller chest, and a little table with a green 

The square tower at the north-west had an entrance 
from the Hall. The ground floor of this tower was called 
" the laigh back-room." It had hangings of stamped blue 
cloth, two trunks covered with leather, two dressing boxes, 
one of olive, the other of sweet (fragrant) wood, and a large 
chest. This chest held a considerable quantity of holland 
and linen sheets, six large dornick table-cloths, eleven 
dozen new dornick serviettes, and four dozen towels. 

A turnpike stair on the west side of the tower led to 
the upper rooms. That on the second storey was my 
Lord's Chamber. It contained a standing bed, with gold 
knops, hangings of stamped cloth, and pand of gimp silk 
with white linings and pand within. The whole room was 
hung with stamped cloth similar to that of the bed hangings. 
The rest of the furniture consisted of a chest of shotles 
(drawers), two cabinets one of larger, another of smaller 
size with shotles, a little table with a drawer, a looking- 
glass with a black " brissel " frame. 1 

Above my Lord's Chamber was the Wardrobe, which 
also served, as occasion required, for a bedroom. It held 
an old standing bed, two trunks, and four chests. 

On the east side of the court-yard was the Brew-house, 
furnished with all the apparatus and utensils necessary for 

1 Brissel, *>., Brazil wood the bright-red coloured wood which gave name 
to the country that produces it. This may have been dark through age, or stained. 

212 The Lake of Menteith. 

brewing ale, and apparently cider, for the use of my Lord 
and his household. For, besides a masking fat, wort 
stands, and other apparatus for the manufacture of ale, 
it had a " syder press and trough." To eke out the 
somewhat limited accommodation of the mansion-house, 
the upper part of the Brew-house was utilized for sleeping 
room. This large chamber which, from the warmth of 
the Brew-house underneath, must have been very comfort- 
able in the cold season, though the odour, when the 
" browst " was on, must have been a trifle heavy was 
hung with green cloth, and had two beds. One of these 
beds had hangings of " red scarlet " cloth, and the other 
of green stuff, and they had each rods and pands " conforme." 
Besides these there were a red scarlet resting-chair, a little 
table with a red table-cloth, and, for use in emergencies 
probably, a wooden folding bed. Built on to the ends of 
the Brew-house were " to-falls," and these, too, were 
appropriated as bed-chambers, and held between them three 
beds two of them hung with red cloth, and the third 
with brown drugget. 

With the buildings thus described crowded round the 
central court, there was no vacant ground to spare for 
other purposes, so that, as has been elsewhere stated, the 
gardens had to find room on the neighbouring island of 
Inchmahome, while the earls' pleasaunce was on the north 
shore and their stables on the west shore of the lake. 
But, though closely set, the buildings were airy enough, 
with the open water all round. In fact, the strong winds 
which often blow over the lake especially from the west 
must have occasionally sent the spray well over them, 

The Lake of Menteith. 213 

and this may have been the reason why the windows to 
the west are so few and small. 

Some of the items in the inventory enable us to obtain 
glimpses of the mode of living in this island mansion at 
the time. Ale and cider would appear to have been the 
more common household drinks; while, for the heads of 
the family and guests, there were also brandy, sack, and 
wine for the consumption of which liquors the earl had 
eighteen glasses. Meal girnels, flour kits, and baking 
tubs point to the supplies of daily bread. The large 
number of herring barrels shows that salt fish of that 
description was a considerable item in the daily menu ; 
and the spits, branders, dripping-pans, frying-pans, ladles, 
and flesh-crooks tell their tale of more generous living. 
The vessels were mostly of pewter. When the seventh 
earl was disgraced by Charles I., and denied the payment 
of the pensions and other moneys to which he was entitled, 
he had to part with almost all his lands, and finally with 
his silver plate. This went to the laird of Keir in 1645 
to satisfy a claim he had as security for the earl in 
certain of his transactions. 1 Neither Earl William nor 
his successor were ever in a pecuniary condition to replace 
this plate. The very short list of "silver work" that 
appears in the inventory must therefore have been the 
poor remains that had been left in 1645. The most 
important piece in this small collection is that mentioned 
first and specially as " ane large basone and lawer of 
silver." It would be interesting if we could believe that 
this was "the Mazer" gifted by the first Earl Malise to 

1 Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. 388. 

214 The Lake of Menteith. 

his spouse, and transmitted from one generation to another 
as a family heirloom. 1 No doubt the silver vessels such 
as they were were reserved for special and great occasions 
in the castle. 

Domestic crafts are represented by the " two little 
wheels, ane chack reel, four pair of tow cards, two pair 
of wool cards, and ane haire-cloath," as well as by the 
quantities of " new-made linning, harne, and dornick " 
among the stores. My Lord's personal wardrobe is set 
out in full detail his coats of Spanish cloth, of velvet, 
and of scarlet and grey cloth; his vests of velvet and 
flowered silk ; his Highland coats ; his doublets, belts, and 
bandelier; bis grey worsted and snuS-coloured, black and 
pearl-coloured stockings ; and his two pairs of breeches 
of grey cloth, one pair of which was new. There were 
also saddles for my Lord and my Lady the former 
embroidered, the latter of velvet ; three pairs of pistols 
one pair with iron stocks ; an unusually large stock of 
night-caps ; and, last of all, two house Bibles " ane 
large and ane less." 

The very small proportion of female properties in the 
inventory besides the saddle, the only other thing 
mentioned is a skirt and a hood, " which was my Lady's " 
is accounted for by the circumstance that the earl died 
a widower, his last wife for he was twice married Lady 
Katherine Bruce, having predeceased him in 1692. At 
her death, she left her own money, her gold watch, rings, 
bodily ornaments, and other trinkets to various relatives, 
so that little belonging to her was left in the house. Her 

1 See infra, chap. x. 

The Lake of Menteith. 215 

Ladyship, moreover, was not much in love with her island 
home. Her rest was said to have been broken and her 
nervous system upset by the croaking of the frogs that 
persisted in holding their nightly concerts under the 
window of her chamber. Whether that were the case or 
not, it is certain that for some time she left her husband 
alone in the castle and went to reside in Edinburgh, and 
my Lord had much curious manoeuvring to get her to 
return. 1 

The whole inventory does not give a very exalted idea 
of the wealth of this, the last Earl of Menteith, or of 
the grandeur of the castle in which he dwelt. It was 
taken on the 22nd of May, 1694 ; and, in September of 
that year, the Earl died. His household gear and other 
personal estate was left by him to his nephew, Sir John 
Graham of Gartmore, while what was left of the property 
of the old earldom now reduced to narrow dimensions 
went to the Marquis of Montrose. The house of Talla 
has not been inhabited since, but has been left for over 
two hundred years to neglect and decay. There is little 
wonder, therefore, that it should have become the utter 
ruin it now is. All over the island, around the roofless 
walls, and inside them too, has sprung up a dense natural 
wood, which, in its summer foliage, all but conceals the 
ruins from outside view. 

1 See infra, chap. xi. 



The earlier Earldom of Menteitb : 
Menteith, Comyn, and Stewart Earls, 
previous to 1425. 

" How forcy chieftains, in many bloody stours, 
Most valiantly won landis and honours, 
And for their virtue called noblemen." 

" Old, unhappy, far-off things, 
And battles long ago." 

" The knights' bones are dust 
And their good swords rust." 

(HE ancient Province of Menteith and Stratherne 
had doubtless its Mormaers, but no mention of 
any of them has been preserved. The old 
Celtic title of Mormaer passed into that of Earl 
(Comes) in the time of Alexander the First, that is, about 
the beginning of the twelfth century; and the first reference 
to an " Erl of Meneteth " appears in a statute of David I. 
(1124-1153), Alexander's brother and successor. 1 The name 
of this earl is not given. It may have been either Gilchrist 
the first whose name has come down to us or an 
unknown predecessor. From this statute, as well as from a 
later one of William the Lion (1165-1214), it is known that 
these old Earls of Menteith had jurisdiction in the districts 
of Cowal and Kintyre. 2 

1 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 603. 2 Ibid, vol. i. p. 372. 

The Lake of Menteith. 217 


Earl Gilchrist is a mere shadow on the page of history. 
Nothing is known of him beyond the name and that only 
from its occurrence as witness to certain royal charters. In 
1164, he witnessed a charter granted by Malcolm IV. to the 
Abbey of Scone, 2 and again he was witness to a deed 
whereby William the Lion made a grant of the burgh of 
Glasgow to Jocelin, the Bishop of that place, somewhere 
between 1175 and 1178. 8 Sir William Fraser has put the 
date of Gilchrist as from about 1150 to about 1180. 


His successor Earl Muretach or Murdach is equally 
shadowy. He is known as having witnessed an agreement 
between the Prior and Canons of St. Andrews and the 
Culdees there in 1199 or 1200. 4 He was certainly dead 
by 1213, as in that year there was a quarrel about the 
succession. His tenure of the earldom may therefore be 
reckoned as extending from 1180 to 1212 or 1213. 


After Muretach, the earldom was held in succession by 
two brothers, both named Maurice. The elder could have 
been in possession, if at all, only for a short time, as his 
claim was immediately challenged by the younger brother. 

1 An Earl Murdach is said to have been mentioned in the Cartulary of 
Dunfermline as living in the reign of David I. That is not the case. The 
mistake may have arisen from confusion with Murdach, the successor of Gilchrist 

8 Liber Ecclesie de Scon, p. 8. 

3 Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis, vol. L p. 36. 

4 Registrum Prioratus Sancti Andree, p. 318. 

218 The Lake of Menteith. 

The fact that the brothers bore the same name would seem 
to indicate that they were sons of Muretach by different 
mothers, and that the illegitimacy of the elder was the 
ground on which the earldom was claimed by the younger. 
But the documents leave us in the dark as to this. What 
we do know is that Maurice junior laid claim to the earldom 
" sicut jus et hereditatem suam" and that his right was 
acknowledged by the King (William II.), to whom the 
matters in dispute had been referred, while the elder brother 
was compensated by certain lands he was to hold in bailiary 
of the King, and which were to revert to the earldom on 
the death of the holder. 1 The agreement is dated at 
Edinburgh, 6th December, 1213. 2 

Maurice was one of the seven earls who, along with 
William Malvoisin, Bishop of St. Andrews, on the morning 
after the death of King William (5th December, 1214), 
carried the young Prince Alexander to Scone, and had him 
crowned and enthroned there on the 10th of the same 
month. 3 That he was Sheriff of Stirling we learn from the 
Chartulary of Cambuskenneth. 4 He held the earldom for 
about seventeen years, dying probably in 1230. He left 
two daughters the elder, Isabella, married to Walter 

1 These lands included the two towns (villae) of Muyline and Radenoche, and 
the lands of Turn (Thorn), Cattlyne, Brathuly, and Cambuswelhe. There were 
other lands he was to receive for the marriage portion of his daughters. Presum- 
ably^these did not revert, with the others, to the earldom. 

* This agreement is quoted in the Inspeximus granted by Henry III. of 
England, 2oth September, 1261, to Isabella, Countess of Menteith, and her 
husband, John Russel : printed in the Red Book, vol. ii. p. 314. 

3 Fordun Gesta Annalia xxix. Vol. i. of Skene's edition, p. 280. The seven 
earls were Fife, Stratherne, Athol, Angus, Menteith, Buchan, and Lothian 
(D unbar). See also Balfour's Annals, i. 38. 

4 Chartulary of Cambuskenneth, ed. by Fraser, p. 176. 

The Lake of Menteith. 219 

Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, and the younger, Mary, who 
was the wife of Walter Stewart, third son of the High 
Steward of Scotland. With these two ladies may be said 
to have begun the many remarkable vicissitudes to which 
the Earldom of Menteith has, in the course of time, been 


The Lady Isabella, the elder of Maurice's daughters, 
was married to Walter Comyn probably in January, 1231, 
and her husband at once assumed the style and dignity 
of Earl of Menteith. He was the second son, by the first 
marriage, of William Comyn, who had, by his second 
marriage, become Earl of Buchan. Walter Comyn was 
much older than his wife, and had, previous to his marriage, 
risen to high distinction in the affairs of the kingdom. 
The frequent appearance of his name as a witness to 
royal charters shows that he was frequently in the train 
of King William the Lion and Alexander the Second. 1 
He became Lord of Badenoch about 1229. 

Under the designation of Earl of Menteith, he rapidly 
rose to a position of influence in the management of 
Scottish affairs. The English King, Henry III., was 

a He witnessed several charters by King William between 1211 and 1214 
(Chartulary of Arbroath, &c.) In 1220 he accompanied Alexander II. when he 
went to York to make arrangements with Henry III. for marrying his daughter 
Joanna, and the agreement in the case was signed by Comyn, ijth June of that 
year (Red Book, vol. i. p. 14). Sir William Fraser says that in a document of 
date 1225, he is styled Cleticus domini rent's, or Lord Clerk Register. However, 
in the two charters granted one at Kincardin, i8th August, 1226, and the other 
at Edinburgh, 2oth July, 1227 by Alexander II. to the burgesses of Stirling, he 
is named (as witness) simply Walter Comyn. (See Charters and other Docu- 
ments relating to Stirling, pp. 9 and n). 

220 The Lake of Menteith. 

endeavouring, by every means in his power, to reduce the 
kingdom of Scotland to a condition of vassalage, and there 
was a considerable party among the Scottish nobility that 
favoured the English interest. The Earl of Menteith as 
since the death of his father, the Earl of Buchan, in 
1233 the head of the powerful Comyn family, and a 
man distinguished by his ability both in the council and 
in the field of battle, was regarded as the leader of the 
patriotic party. He made the Comyn family for years 
the dominating factor in Scottish politics. On the death 
of Alexander II. (on the 8th of July, 1249), he acted 
promptly and successfully in the national cause. When 
the assembly of the nobles met at Scone for the purpose 
of crowning the youthful Alexander III., Alan Durward, 
the Justiciary, and others in the English interests 
endeavoured to prevent or delay the ceremony. They 
represented that the day fixed for the purpose was an 
unlucky one, and that the King could not be crowned 
without being previously knighted. But Menteith strongly 
urged the danger of delay as King Henry was known to 
be intriguing with the Pope to procure an interdict against 
the coronation on the ground that Alexander was his 
vassal and could not be crowned without his permission. 
He therefore proposed that the Bishop of St. Andrews 
should both knight and crown the young King. His 
advice was taken ; and David de Bernham, the Bishop of 
St. Andrews, girded the boy with the belt of knighthood 
and the sword of State, and formally crowned him King 
of Scotland. 1 Shortly after this Menteith was appointed 

1 Fordun (ed. Skene), vol. i. pp. 293-4 (isth July, 1249). 

The Lake of Menteith. 221 

one of the guardians of the King, and for some years he 
appears to have been in pretty constant attendance on 
the royal person, as is shown by the various royal deeds 
to which he was witness. 

In 1255 the Durward faction, supported by the influence 
of the English King, gained a temporary supremacy, took 
possession of the young King and Queen, and removed 
the regents and councillors. A deed was drawn up at 
Koxburgh which virtually gave to King Henry the entire 
management of the Scottish King and Scottish affairs. 
To this the Earl of Menteith refused to affix his seal, and 
in this refusal he was backed by the Bishop of Glasgow 
and the Bishop-elect of St. Andrews. 1 The Earl's party 
was the popular one, and the feeling against the English 
continued to grow. Gamelin, Bishop-elect of St. Andrews, 
succeeded in obtaining from the Pope a sentence of 
excommunication against the royal counsellors. Taking 
advantage of these favourable circumstances, Menteith 
ventured on the bold stroke of seizing the King and Queen 
at Kinross 28th October, 1257 and conveying them to 
Stirling. The English 2 faction was scattered, and Durward 
again took refuge in England. The next important step 
was to enter into a treaty with the Welsh (dated 18th 
March, 1258), who were at that time engaged in a struggle 
with Henry. But not long afterwards a compromise was 
concluded, in the arrangement of which the Earl bore 
a principal part. And thus, after a long struggle, he 

1 Tytler's History of Scotland (ed. 1867), vol. i. p. 6 ; Chronicle of Melrose, 
p. 181 ; Scotichronicon a Goodall, lib. x. cap. ix. ; Wyntoun, bk. vii. chap. x. 
8 Ty tier's History, i. p. 7. 

222 The Lake of Menteith. 

succeeded in freeing his country for a time, at least 
from the interference of the English monarchs. 

He did not long survive this national service. He 
died unexpectedly although he was now an old man 
in November, 1258. In England, the report was that 
his death was caused by a fall from his horse ; while in 
Scotland, it was rumoured, and generally believed, that 
he was poisoned by his Countess, who had conceived an 
attachment for an Englishman named John Eussell, whom 
she married almost immediately after the Earl's death. 

Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, was undoubtedly the 
foremost Scotsman of his time able, energetic, courageous, 
and faithful to his country's independence. He appears 
to have been a great builder as, in addition to the Priory 
of Inchmahome, which he founded in 1238, he built, in 
1244, the great Castle of Hermitage in Liddesdale, 1 and 
that of Dalswinton, or Comyn's Castle, in Galloway. He 
left no son to take his place his son Henry having pre- 
deceased him and his daughter Isabella was disinherited 
so far as the earldom was concerned along with her 
mother. The place of his burial is unknown. It may 
have been in the Priory which he had founded, although 
no evidence to that effect has been preserved, and the 
conduct of his Countess makes even the supposition 

Isabella of Menteith, who had brought the earldom to 
Walter Comyn, was probably, as has been said before, 

1 So says Sir W. Fraser, but by others the builder of this the second Her- 
mitage Castle is said to have been Nicholas de Soulis. See M'Gibbon & Ross's 
Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, i. p. 524. 

The Lake of Menteith. 223 

much younger than her husband, although, as she had 
been his wife for twenty-seven years, she could not have 
been very young at the time of his death. The accusation 
of poisoning him was not proved, but her hasty marriage 
to Sir John Kussell naturally gave rise to much suspicion 
and indignation. It may have added to this indignation 
that probably some of the Scottish nobles had hoped them- 
selves to receive the hand of the well-dowered Countess of 
Menteith. At any rate she and her second husband were 
thrown into prison and deprived of the estates. When 
ultimately set at liberty they left the kingdom and retired 
to England. There she made several attempts to recover 
the earldom of which she had been despoiled, by appealing 
first (1262) to Henry III. of England, who could do 
nothing more than inspect her writs 1 and certify them to 
be authentic her late husband had effectually prevented 
the authority of Henry from running in Scotland and 
next to the Pope, Urban IV. The Pope's interference was 
resented by the King, Alexander III., and notwithstanding 
the fact that the country was laid under a papal interdict, 
it came to nought. The Countess never regained her 
dignities or estates, nor did she return to Scotland. She is 
supposed to have died about 1273. Who the John Eussell 
whom she married was, has never been clearly ascertained. 
He has been called 2 " ignoble," but incorrectly. In the 
Pope's letter committing the affair of Countess Isabella to 
certain Scottish Bishops for judgment, 8 he is styled " a 

1 It is from these Inspeximus that we have the account of the dispute 
between the two Earls Maurice and its settlement. 

2 By Boece and Buchanan. 

3 Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, No. 237, p. 93. 

224 The Lake of Menteith. 

noble man, John Eussell, of the diocese of Ely." Most 
of those who have written of him content themselves with 
calling him " an obscure Englishman " ; and obscure in 
the sense of unknown, he certainly is. One writer had 
dubbed him " a futile Englishman." The epithet has a 
kind of vague vigour about it, but does not seem to mean 
anything in particular. In fact, whatever has been written 
regarding his origin is of the nature of more or less 
plausible conjecture; and almost all that can be conjectured 
on the subject will be found in Sir William Eraser's "Ked 
Book of Menteith." 1 


On the death of Earl Walter Comyn and the confis- 
cation of the Countess Isabella, the earldom passed to a 
member of the noble House of Stewart. Lady Mary, the 
younger daughter of Earl Maurice, had been married to 
Walter Stewart, third son of Walter the High Steward of 
Scotland, and to her and her husband the earldom was 
adjudged, notwithstanding the efforts of the Comyns to 
retain it in their family. Eirst of all, Sir John Comyn, 
younger brother of the deceased Earl of Menteith, forced 
the Countess Isabella, when she was in prison after the 
death of her husband, to renounce in his favour. On the 
ground of this renunciation he set up a claim to the 
earldom, but it was rejected. The next claim was 
made on behalf of William Comyn, Lord of Kirkintilloch, 
the son of this Sir John. William had married Isabella, 
the only daughter of the late earl, and on the death of 

l Red Book, vol. i. pp. 44 and 45. 

The Lake of Menteith. 225 

her mother, the elder Isabella, in 1273, a claim was 
advanced to the earldom on her behalf and that of her 
husband. Proceedings in support of this claim were 
instituted at York, but to no effect, as King Alexander 
would not permit an action affecting dignities and estates 
in his kingdom to be prosecuted in England or anywhere 
else furth of Scotland. The Comyns, however, did not yet 
give up their pretensions, till in 1285 a final settlement 
was made by the King and Parliament assembled at 
Scone. The result, a division of the earldom between the 
parties, seems to have been acquiesced in by both. It 
is thus stated by Wyntoun: 

The Kyng than of his counsale 

Made this delyverans thare fynale ; 

That erldume to be delt in twa 

Partis, and the tane of tha 

Wyth the chemys assygnyd he 

Til Walter Stwart : the lave to be 

Made als gud in all profyt ; 

Schyre Willame Comyn till have that quyt 

Till hald it in fre barony 

Besyd the erldume all quytly.' 

That is to say, that while Sir William Comyn received half 
of the great estates belonging to the earldom, Walter Stewart 
retained the other half, with the chemys , i.e., the chief 
messuage or castle, and the dignity of Earl of Menteith. 

Sir William Comyn died, without issue, in 1291; and 
Edward I. of England, who was at that time paramount 
in Scotland, directed the marriage of the widow to Sir 
Edmund Hastings in 1293. The Comyn portion of the 
estates of the earldom therefore now passed to the posses- 

1 Wyntoun, ed. Macpherson, vol. i. p. 397. 

226 The Lake of Menteilh. 

sion of this English knight. Sir Edmund was one of those 
who signed the famous letter sent by the earls and barons 
of England to Pope Boniface in 1301. The legend on his 
seal affixed to that document is " 8. Edmundi Hasting 
Comitatu Menetei" and his designation is " Dominus de 
EnchimchelmoJcy" which evidently means Lord of Inchma- 
colmok or Inchmahome. 1 

Seal of Sir Edmund Hastings, Lord of Inchmahome. 

It is a curious fact that not long after this the other 
portion of the earldom, then held by Alan, son and suc- 

1 We may perhaps gather from this designation that the lake and its islands 
were in that half of the earldom which had been given to his wife, the Lady 
Isabella Comyn and her first husband. If that were so, the Castle of Inchtalla 
could not have been the chemys at the time. Possibly it may have been at 
Doune although the erection of the present Castle there is generally assigned 
to a later period. 

The Lake of Menteith. 22? 

cessor of Walter Stewart, was taken from him by Edward 
(in 1306) and granted to Sir John Hastings, the elder 
brother of Sir Edmund. At that time, therefore, the whole 
lands of the earldom were held by these two brothers. But 
Edward apparently did not grant the title of Earl of 
Menteith to either possibly to avoid displeasing either 
the one or the other. The dates of the death of Lady 
Isabella Comyn and her husband are not known. He is 
known to have been alive in 1314, but no doubt he and 
his brother had been cleared out of Menteith before that. 
King Eobert was at Inchmahome in 1310, and it is not 
likely that the Hastings family were there at the time. 
With Isabella, all connection of the Comyns with the 
earldom of Menteith ceased. 

To return now to the earldom under Walter Stewart, 
known to his contemporaries as Ballochj or Bulloch (i.e., 
The Freckled). He was a personage of distinction before 
he came to be Earl of Menteith. After that, his position 
gave him still greater prominence and influence, and he 
took an ample share in the affairs of the kingdom. Although 
the Stewarts belonged to the English faction as opposed 
to the patriotic party headed by the late Earl of Menteith 
and the Comyns, the new Earl during his long life did 
much good service to his country. In valour and wisdom, 
and, indeed, in genuine patriotism, he was a worthy suc- 
cessor of the distinguished man who preceded him in his 
title. In his earlier life (1248-9), his brother Alexander 
and he had gone a-crusading, at least as far as Egypt, 
where they greatly distinguished themselves, with Louis 
the Ninth (Saint Louis) of France. Hence the crusader 

228 The Lake of Menteith. 

attitude of his effigy in the choir of the Priory of Inchma- 
home. Whether he bestowed benefactions on that religious 
house is not known ; there is no evidence to show it ; but 
documents are extant which prove his liberality to other 
churches, especially those of Kilwinning and Paisley. 

He bore a prominent part in the battle of Largs, 2nd 
October, 1263, where his brother Alexander, the High 
Steward, who was in chief command under the King, was 
slain. Besides his actual share in the fighting, the Earl 
of Menteith was at the time Sheriff of Ayr, and as a duty 
of this office, had the charge of all the arrangements for 
defending the coast and watching the movements of the 
enemy. 1 After the successful issue of that battle, he was 
one of the nobles sent by the King to reduce to subjection 
the chieftains of the Western Isles a task which was 
successfully accomplished. It was after this, in 1273, that 
he had the contest with the Comyn family for the earldom, 
the result of which has been already given. 

He was one of the witnesses to the marriage contract 
between the Princess Margaret of Scotland and King Eric 
of Norway, settled at Eoxburgh on the 25th of July, 1281, 
and gave his oath to see the deed faithfully carried out. 
Along with his Countess, he was of the company that 
attended the Princess to Norway in order to take part in 
the nuptial celebrations and witness the coronation. The 
expedition left Scotland on the morning of the 12th of 
August, and reached Norway on the evening of the 14th, 

1 The nature of these arrangements may be learned from the claim of expenses 
made by the Earl in connection therewith, as set down in the Exchequer Rolls, 
vol. i. p. 5. 

The Lake of Menteith. 

so that the old ballad appears to be perfectly accurate on 
this point 

They hoisted their sails on a Monday morn, 

Wi' a' the haste they may ; 
And they hae landed in Norroway 

Upon the Wodensday. 1 

When the ceremonies they had gone to witness were 
concluded, the Earl and the Countess Mary, with the 
most of the Scottish nobles, returned home in safety ; but 
a second ship, conveying the Scottish ecclesiastics who 
had taken part in the ceremony, and others, never reached 
Scotland. She went down, with all on board, probably 
in the neighbourhood of one of the Orkney Islands. 2 It 
is this tragic event that is the subject of the ballad just 
quoted one of the oldest and finest ballads in the Scottish 

The Earl was again present at the Council held at 
Scone on the 5th of February, 1283, and appended his 
seal to the declaration subscribed by the nobles that, in the 
event of the death of King Alexander without further issue, 
the Maiden of Norway would be accepted as sovereign of 
the realm. 3 Alexander died without further issue on the 
16th of March, 1285, and his grand-daughter, then about 
three years of age, became his successor. Meantime, those 
Scottish nobles who, from affinity or otherwise, thought 

1 Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens. See Aytoun's Ballads of Scotland, vol. i. p. 5. 

2 Professor Aytoun, in his introduction to the ballad, says that " in the little 
island of Papa Stronsay, one of the Orcadian group, lying over against Norway, 
there is a large grave or tumulus, which has been known to the inhabitants, 
from time immemorial, as 'The Grave of Sir Patrick Spens.'" Ballads of 
Scotland, i. 2. 

3 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, i. 424. 

230 The Lake of Menteith. 

they might be able to put in a claim for the crown should 
anything happen to the young Queen, began to prepare 
for such a possible contingency by forming parties for their 
support. The Earl of Menteith adhered to the party of 
the Bruces, and, along with other relatives, entered into 
a bond of mutual defence at Turnberry Castle in 1286. 1 

After the death of the Maid of Norway in 1290, he 
continued to take part in the negotiations regarding the 
succession. He was one of Brace's Commissioners. On 
the 13th of June, 1292, he took the oath of fealty to 
Edward I. of England; but, while he tacitly acquiesced 
in Edward's decision in favour of Baliol he could scarcely 
do otherwise he seems privately to have been still for 
Bruce. He did not live, however, to give the latter 
effective help in his efforts to reach the throne. He died 
in the latter part of 1294, or in 1295. 

He survived his wife, who had brought him the earldom, 
by several years. The Countess Mary was certainly dead 
before 1290, the date of his charter to the monastery of 
Kil winning, in which he makes certain grants " pro salute 
anime mee et domine Marie quondam sponse mee, comitisse 
de Menetheht." 2 And it is probable that she died before 
1286, when he gave the Church of Kippen 3 to the Abbey 
of Cambuskenneth, in order to obtain a burial-place in 
the Abbey, as his daughter-in-law, Matilda, not his wife, 
is mentioned as concurring in that grant. He was not, 

1 Printed in the Red Book, vol. ii. p. 219. 
*Red Book of Menteith, vol. ii. p. 220. 

3 The tradition is that the earlier Earls of Menteith had their burial-place 
in Kippen. The Stewarts, of course, were buried in their Abbey of Paisley. 

The Lake of Menteith. 


however, buried in Cambuskenneth. He rests, with his 
Countess Mary, near the high altar of the Priory of 
Inchmahome. The fine monument, which there preserves 
their memory, is elsewhere described. 1 

Earl Walter had two sons Alexander his successor, 
and the notorious Sir John Menteith of Eusky, whose 
career forms the subject of a separate notice. 2 

Seal of Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteitb. 


Alexander, the elder son and successor of Walter 
Stewart, seems, as well as his brother Sir John, to have 
dropped the surname of Stewart and recurred to that of 
Menteith. He lived in very troubled times, and his tenure 
of the earldom was short. He must have been of age 
in 1286, when he was a signatory of the agreement at 
Turnberry. Along with his father, he swore fealty to 
Edward at Norham in 1291. Immediately after his 
accession he threw himself into the midst of the exciting 

^ee supra, chap. iv. p. 123. *See chapter ix. 

232 The Lake of Menteith. 

events of the time. In the battle of Dunbar (1296), where 
he fought on the Scottish side, he was taken prisoner, 
and sent to the Tower of London. 1 But his confinement 
extended over only two or three months. Bruce and the 
Earl of Dunbar both of them parties to the agreement 
of Turnberry were then in favour with Edward ; and it 
was perhaps to their friendly influence that his speedy 
release and restoration to his estates were due. On the 
28th of August, 1296, at Berwick, he again took the oath 
to Edward, signing a document in which he acknowledged 
that he had received from the said King of England his 
earldom and its pertinents, together with its other vassalages, 
to hold at his pleasure ; and swearing on the Holy Gospels, 
for himself and his heirs, to serve the said King well and 
loyally against all mortals. 2 Two of his sons, Alan and 
Peter, were left as hostages in the hands of the English 
King. Alexander was in England in the summer of 1297; 
but it is certain that he returned to Scotland before the 
battle of Stirling Bridge. 3 If he were at that battle at 
all and there is no evidence that he was he can scarcely 
have been in the ranks of the Scottish patriots, because, 
just after it, on the 26th September, 1297, a letter was 
addressed to him by Edward, thanking him for his fidelity, 
and requesting him to co-operate with the new Governor, 
Brian Fitz-Alan. 4 Nothing more is certainly known of 
Earl Alexander. He must have been dead before 1306, 
because Alan is mentioned as Earl in that year. By his 

1 Historical Documents relating to Scotland, vol. ii. p. 19. 

2 Ragman Rolls, p. 120. 

'Historical Documents relating to Scotland, ii. 175. 4 Rotuli Scotia?, p. 50. 

The Lake of Menteith. 233 

wife Matilda whose name only is known from the deed 
granting the Church of Kippen to Cambuskenneth he 
had four sons, Alan, his successor, Peter, Murdach who 
succeeded Alan and Alexander. Where he died and 
where he was buried are alike unknown, though the con- 
jecture is permissible that his Countess and he may have 
been interred in the burial-place which they had provided 
in Cambuskenneth Abbey. 


The career of Earl Alan was short and unfortunate. 
It has been already stated that he and his brother Peter 
became hostages for the fidelity of their father to King 
Edward. They went with that King to the wars in 
Flanders in 1297, fitted out for the campaign at the royal 
expense. 1 Ifc is possible that Peter was slain in this 
campaign; at any rate he is not again heard of. Alan 
succeeded to the earldom probably in 1303 or 1304. 
Duncan, Earl of Fife, made an entail of his earldom in 
favour of Alan; 2 but the latter, with his usual bad luck, 
never obtained possession. When Kobert Bruce resolved 
to vindicate by force of arms his right to the Scottish 
crown, Alan supported his cause. In the fight at Methven 
Wood (1306) he was captured and sent as a prisoner to 
England, assigned to the keeping of Sir John Hastings. 
King Edward stripped him of his earldom and estates, and 
as has already been stated bestowed the latter on 
Hastings. Alan never returned to Scotland. He is sup- 
accounts of the Keeper of the King's Wardrobe, 1296-7: Historical 
Documents, vol. ii. p. 138, et seqq. 

2 Red Book of Menteith, vol. ii. p. 257. 

234 The Lake of Menteith. 

posed to have died in captivity. With his death the 
earldom of Menteith might be said to have ceased to 
exist. But the fact is the Scots never recognised the 
usurpation of Hastings. Alan left a daughter Mary, and 
she was regarded as the heiress and made a ward of the 
Crown. When Bruce succeeded in freeing the country 
from the English domination, the brothers Hastings were 
of course turned out of Menteith, and the two divisions 
of the earldom were re-united. Sir John Menteith of 
Husky became guardian of the consolidated earldom on 
behalf of the Countess Mary. By a family arrangement, 
however, the earldom was for a time transferred to Mur- 
dach, the third brother of the late Earl Alan, on the 
condition that it should revert to his niece on her marriage, 
or in the case of his own death without male issue. 1 


Murdach first appears under the style of Earl of 
Menteith as witness to a deed of King Robert in 1318. 
He received numerous gifts in lands and money 2 from 
that King, from which it may be inferred that he was 
regarded as a faithful subject. He continued this faithful 
service to Robert's son and successor, David II. He was 
distinguished by his gallant conduct at the battle of Dup- 
plin, 12th April, 1332, when the Scottish regent, Earl of 
Mar, was disastrously defeated by Edward Baliol. This 

: That Murdach was meant to be only a temporary earl is shown by the 
fact that at the time he was enjoying the style and dignity of Earl, Sir John 
Menteith in the subscription of the letter from the Scottish barons to the 
Pope in 1320 still styles himself guardian of the earldom. Acts of Parliament 
of Scotland, vol. i. p. 474. 

2 Exchequer Rolls, vol. i. p. 178, et passim (year 1329). 

The Lake of Menteith. 235 

was the last of his fights. He fell on the field of battle. 1 
His wife was probably the Alice, Countess of Menteith, 
who appears for several years later as a pensioner on the 
bounty of Edward III. As the arrangement which had 
been made with her husband threw her out of the pos- 
session of the earldom, she perhaps went to England and 
came under allegiance to Edward in the hope that, if he 
recovered the country, she would regain possession of the 
estate ; and no doubt Edward also expected that in that 
case the advances he made to her would be repaid. 


The earldom now reverted to the Lady Mary, the only 
child of Earl Alan. She had been brought up by her 
grand-uncle, Sir John Menteith of Eusky, and seems to 
have formed an enduring regard for that family. She was 
now about twenty-six years of age, and for the safety of 
her possessions in the disturbed state of the country it was 
necessary that she should have a husband to guard and 
protect them. Accordingly, she married in 1333 a gallant 
knight called Sir John Graham. The precise family of 
Grahams to which he belonged is uncertain, but he is 
supposed to have been a younger son of Sir Patrick Graham 
of Kincardine who was killed at Dunbar in 1296. If that 
were so, he must have been a man of mature years in 
1333. As he was related to his wife "in the fourth 
degree of consanguinity," a papal dispensation had to be 
procured in order to legitimate the marriage already con- 

1 Wyntoun's Cronykil (edited by Laing), vol. ii. p. 388 ; Fordun (ed. Skene), 
vol. i. p. 354 ; and other authorities (Walsingham, Lanercost, Liber Pluscardensis). 

236 The Lake of Menteith. 

tracted. Accordingly, a dispensation for the celebration 
of a new marriage was issued by Pope John XXIV. at 
Avignon on 1st May, 1334. 1 Sir John, in right of his wife, 
assumed the title of Earl of Menteith. He was one of 
the most distinguished soldiers of the time. In 1346, he 
went with King David II. on that invasion of England 
which resulted so disastrously. Had Menteith's advice 
been taken, the battle of Neville's Cross might have had 
a different issue. He entreated the King to allow him to 
charge the English archers in flank. " Give me but one 
hundred horse," he said, " and I will disperse them all." 
If David had but remembered the success of a similar 
movement in the battle of Bannockburn, he should have 
granted the request. But he refused. Menteith then 
attacked the archers at the head of his own followers. 
But they were too few to effect his purpose. His horse 
was shot under him, and with difficulty he was able to 
rejoin the main body. 2 The battle resulted in the slaughter 
of a great number of the Scottish soldiers, the capture of 
the King himself and many of his nobles the Earl of 
Menteith among them. He was sent to the Tower of 

1 Theinei J s Vetera Monumenta, No. 515, p. 262 ; the marriage appears to 
have been already contracted. 

'The incident is thus described by Wyntoun : 

Than gud Schyre Jhone the Grame can Bay 
To the Kyng, "Gettis me, but ma, 
Ane hundyre on hors wyth me to ga, 
And all yhone archerys skayle sail I : 
8wa sail we fecht mare sykkerly." 
Thus spak he, bot he mycht get nane. 
His horse in hy than has he tane, 
And liyin allane amang thame rade, 
And rwdly rwme about him made. 
Qwhen ho a quhille had prekyd thare, 
And sum off thame had gert sow Bare, 
He to the battaylis rade agayne. 
Sa fell it, thai hU hors hea slayne. 

Wyntoun's Cronykil (ed. Laing), ii. p. 475. 

The Lake of Menteith. 237 

London. Orders arrived from Edward III., who was then 
at Calais, that the Earls of Menteith and Fife should 
be tried for treason. Instructions were also sent for the 
finding of the Court. Of course, a trial of this kind could 
have but one ending. The two earls were convicted, 
and condemned to be drawn, hanged, beheaded, and 
quartered, their heads to be placed on London Bridge, 
and the fragments of their bodies to be sent to York, 
Newcastle, Berwick, and Carlisle, there to hang in chains 
as a terror to the enemies of the King. The Earl of Fife, 
however, as a blood relation of the King, was spared; 
but in the case of Menteith no item in the horrible details 
of the brutal sentence was omitted. So, in the beginning 
of March, 1347, died this gallant soldier. 

His widowed Countess remained in her island home, 
fully occupied with the composition of the family feuds 
that were raging in the neighbourhood, 1 and with the 
matrimonial alliances of her daughter. This daughter, 
Lady Margaret, was the only child of her marriage with 
Sir John Graham, and was born in 1334. As the heiress 
of an ancient and powerful earldom, she was no doubt a 
very interesting personage to the Scottish nobles of the 
time. She was, in fact, early and often married. The 
Popes Clement YI. and Innocent VI. had a good deal 
of business to do for her no fewer than five papal dis- 
pensations having been granted for her four marriages. 

The first of these marriages took place in 1348, when 
Lady Margaret had reached the age of fourteen years. 
Her husband was Sir John Moray, Lord of BothweU, son 

chap. xii. 

238 The Lake of Menteith. 

of the brave and patriotic Sir Andrew Moray, who had 
been regent of Scotland in the minority of David II. Sir 
John lived but three years after his marriage, and died 
without issue. The Lady Margaret's widowhood was of 
short duration. An ardent wooer appeared in the person 
of Thomas, Earl of Mar, who, within six months after the 
death of Moray, obtained from Pope Clement VI. a dis- 
pensation for his union with the widow. 1 The document 
went astray, but the impatient Mar married without it, 
and then applied for a dispensation to have the union 
properly legalised. This was granted by Pope Innocent VI. 
in 1354. 2 But Mar's ardour did not endure. Scarcely 
had the papal dispensation arrived when he divorced his 
young wife " at the instigation of the devil " (instigante 
diabolo), says Fordun. 8 The Earl was the last male 
of his line, and was anxious for an heir; as no heir 
appeared, he got rid of his wife and married another 
to be disappointed again, it may be added, and go to his 
grave without issue. The divorced wife still little more 
than twenty years of age returned to her mother and 
the solitudes of Menteith. The Countess Mary was then 
endeavouring, by every means in her power, to settle the 
bloody feud between the Menteiths and the Drummonds. 
With this end in view, she persuaded her daughter to 
marry the chief of the rival family, John Drummond of 
Concraig. This third husband was a man of much more 
mature years than his wife; for his daughter Annabella 
was already married to John Stewart, afterwards King 

*At Avignon, I5th August, 1352. Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, No. 601, p. 300. 
2 At Avignon, 29th May, 1354. 'Fordun a Laing, vol. i. p. 317. 

The Lake of Menteith. 239 

Robert III. 1 The marriage took place in 1359, but it 
was discovered to be irregular, and a dispensation had to 
be obtained. This was granted by Innocent VI., in 1360, 
on the condition that the transgressors should erect and 
endow an altar in the Cathedral of Dunblane. As in this 
dispensation 2 Margaret is styled Countess of Menteith, it 
is not unlikely that her mother, in order the more strongly 
to commend the marriage to Drummond, demitted the 
earldom in favour of her daughter. 8 Not very long after 
this dispensation was received, John Drummond died he 
does not seem to have taken the title of Earl of Menteith 
and next year (1361) we find the Countess Margaret 
married for the fourth time. She was now twenty-six or 
twenty-seven years of age, and her matrimonial vicissitudes 
were at an end. 


The fourth husband was Robert Stewart, the third son 
of the Earl of Stratherne who became afterwards Robert 
II. This apparently was a marriage of political convenience, 
arranged between the parents. Not only, however, were the 
parties themselves connected by blood, but their relation- 

1 Drummond was doubly related to royalty, for besides being the father of 
Queen Annabella, he was the brother of Margaret Logic, the second wife of 
David II. 

2 Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, 640. The dispensation is dated i8th April, 
1360. The marriage had taken place previously. 

3 In a charter granting the lands of Aberfoyle to John Drummond, the Lady 
Margaret is designed " Margaret of Moray, Countess of Menteith." Charter 
confirmed by David II. at Scone, I2th November, 1361. Printed in Red Book, 
vol. ii. p. 246. 

240 The Lake of Menteith. 

ship was much complicated by the previous marriages of 
the Countess, so that application had again to be made to 
the Pope. Once more the dispensation was granted, 1 and 
the grantees were ordered to found a chapel to the honour 
of God in the city or diocese of Dunblane, and endow it 
with an annuity of twelve marks of silver. On his marriage 
Sir Eobert Stewart took the style of Lord of Menteith; 
and at the accession of his father to the throne (1370), he 
was created Earl of Menteith. The Countess Margaret 
lived to see her husband add the earldom of Fife to that 
of Menteith. She did not, however, survive to see him 
reach the higher dignity of Duke of Albany. She is 
supposed to have died about 1380. 

The earldom of Menteith had now come back again to 
the Stewart family. Kobert Stewart was the most famous 
man who had ever held the dignity; but he is better 
known to history by the titles of Earl of Fife and Duke 
of Albany than by that of Earl of Menteith. His life and 
achievements, moreover, belong rather to the history of 
Scotland in general than to his special connection with 
the district of Menteith, and need not here be narrated in 
detail. We do not hear of his residing at Inchtalla, 
although there are letters and deeds of his which are 
dated from the Castle of Doune, which seems to have 
been the principal messuage of the earldom during his 
time, as it perhaps was in the case of some of the earlier 
earls. The Castle of Falkland, however, was most fre- 
quently his place of residence. 

1 Dated 9th December, 136'!. Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, No. 645, 
P- 317. 

The Lake of Menteith. 241 

He was born in 1339 or 1340, and was therefore about 
five years younger than his wife. Of his life previous to 
his marriage in 1361, nothing is known. In the Exchequer 
EolJs of 1364, he is designed simply Eobert Stewart of 
Menteith. 1 As Lord of Menteith, he appeared in Parlia- 
ments held in 1367, 1368, and 1369. 2 His father was 
crowned at Scone as King Robert the Second on the 26th 
of March, 1371. That he was then created Earl of 
Menteith is inferred from the fact that, among the nobles 
who next day performed homage to the King, he is found 
under that designation. Why he had not assumed the 
title on his marriage with the Countess as others had 
done in similar circumstances is not clear; although it 
has been suggested that it might have been because of 
the jealousy with which David regarded the High Steward 
and his family. 

Very soon after assuming the title, he added to his 
dignities and possessions the ancient earldom of Fife. 
Isabella, the widowed and childless Countess of Fife, 
entered into an agreement with him to the effect that, 
if he aided her to recover the earldom which she had been 
compelled to part with to others, she would resign it into 
the hands of the King for a regrant to be made to the 
Earl. In the indenture, which is dated 30th March, 1371, 3 
the Countess recognised the Earl as her lawful heir, both 
by reason of the entail made by her father in favour of 
AJan, Earl of Menteith, the grandfather of the Countess 

1 Exchequei Rolls, vol. ii. p. 166. 

2 Acts of Parliaments of Scotland, i. pp. 501-507. 

'This indenture is printed in Sibbald's Histoiy of Fife. 

242 The Lake of Menteith. 

Margaret, and also because of the entail made by herself 
and her late husband, Walter Stewart, brother of the Earl 
of Menteith, in favour of the latter. That this agreement 
was carried out is shown by the fact of his witnessing a 
charter at Scone, 6th March, 1372, as Earl of Fife and 
Menteith. On the 4th of December, 1371, he had witnessed 
a royal confirmation at Dundonald as Earl of Menteith 
simply, so that the additional dignity must have been 
acquired between these dates. Fife, as the older dignity, 
thenceforth takes precedence of Menteith ; and by the first 
title alone, in fact, he is generally known. 

He was made keeper of the Castle of Stirling in 1373, 
and during his forty-seven years' tenure of that office he 
considerably strengthened the Castle. 1 In the same year, 
by a Grand Council of Parliament held at Scone, it was 
ordained that, failing John, Earl of Carrick, eldest son of 
King Robert, the succession to the throne should devolve 
on the second surviving son, the Earl of Fife and Menteith. 2 
During the succeeding years Earl Robert was much with 
his father, who had great confidence in his business 
ability and activity. He received in consequence many 
grants of lands in various parts of the country, and other 
favours. He was made High Chamberlain of Scotland 
in 1382, and held the office till 1408, when he gave it over 
to his second son, the Earl of Buchan. His wife, the 
Lady Margaret Graham, must have died about 1383, and 
thereafter he married Muriella, daughter of Sir William 

1 Among other additions to the Castle, we learn from the Exchequer Rolls 
(iv. p. 164) that he built a chapel there. 

* Acts of Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i . p. 549. 

The Lake of Menteith. 243 

Keith, Marischal of Scotland. 1 Towards the end of 1388, 
the King, feeling the infirmity of age, and knowing 
that his eldest son and heir apparent was physically dis- 
abled, submitted to his Council 2 a proposal that the Earl 
of Fife should be made Guardian of the Kingdom. And 
this was agreed to. When John, Earl of Carrick, ascended 
the throne, in 1390, as Eobert III., the Earl of Fife still 
retained this position until at any rate 1392 ; that was 
the year in which the payment of his salary as Guardian 

At a meeting of Parliament at Scone on the 28th of 
April, 1398, the Earl of Fife and Menteith was created 
by the King Duke of Albany, and at the same time his 
nephew, Prince David, Earl of Carrick and Athole, was 
created Duke of Rothesay. This is the first appearance of 
the title of Duke in the Scottish peerage. The ceremonies 
which took place at the investiture were on an elaborate 
and splendid scale. They are said 3 to have occupied fifteen 
days. Next year the Duke of Rothesay was appointed 
Lieutenant of the Kingdom for three years, with a Council 
of Advice, at the head of which was the Duke of Albany. 
The conduct of Rothesay in that position was such that 
the King, at the close of the period of office, wrote to 
Albany to have him arrested. This was done, and Rothesay 
was confined in the Castle of Falkland, where he died of 

1 Among the Stirling Charters is one granted by Robert, Duke of Albany, 
Earl of Fife and Menteith, and Governor of the Kingdom of Scotland, to St 
Michael's Chapel " for the salvation of the souls of Margaret and Muriel, his 
wives." It is dated 26th June, 1407, and witnessed by (among others) Robert, 
son of Murdach, and grandson of the Duke. 

2 Held at Edinburgh, ist December, 1388. 3 Liber Pluscardensis, p. 332. 


244 The Lake of Menteith. 

dysentery on the 26th of March, 1402. Pity for the 
untimely fate of the young Prince roused suspicions in 
the minds of the people, and a rumour got about that he 
had been starved to death by the instructions of his uncle 
Albany. These rumours in course of time crystallised 
into the well-known story related with circumstantial details 
by Bower. 1 At the request probably of Albany and the 
Earl of Douglas, brother-in-law of Kothesay who were both 
implicated in the suspicion of foul play an investigation 
was made by Parliament in 1402, with the result that the 
two nobles were pronounced innocent of the charge, and 
the Prince was declared to have died from natural causes. 2 
This is likely enough to have been really the case, but the 
popular mind was never quite disabused of its suspicions. 
After the expiry of the Lieutenancy of the Duke of 
Eothesay, and apparently before his death, Albany was 
appointed Governor of the Kealm under the King. When 
Kobert the Third, wasted with grief for the fate of Prince 
David, and heart-broken by the captivity of his only sur- 
viving son, the Prince James who had been made prisoner 
by the English King, Henry IV., during a time of truce 
sank under his misfortunes, and died on the 4th of April, 
1406, Albany was chosen by the Estates 8 Governor of the 
Kingdom. This office he held till his death in 1420. 4 

1 Scotichronicon, ii. p. 431. 2 Acts of Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 582. 

3 In a meeting held at Perth in June. Wyntoun, bk. ix. ch. 26. 

4 Albany had a salary of ;iooo as Governor (Exchequer Rolls, iv. pp. 152, 
189, et passim}, and an annuity of 200 merks as Keeper of Stirling Castle (Ibid y 
PP- 39 et alia). The resources of the earldom of Fife and Menteith have been 
estimated at ^1200, and the whole income of the Regent at ^2500 exclusive of 
certain allowances. See Introduction to the fourth volume of the Exchequer 
Rolls series by George Burnett, Lyon King at Arms. 

The Lake of Menteith. 


*. ^m^ 

Official Seal of Robert Duke of Albany. 

This is not the place to narrate the events of that 
period. It is enough to say that, on the whole, he ruled 
well and wisely, and that the country enjoyed a measure 
of peace and made consequent progress during his govern- 
ment. All the time the Scottish Prince and for a great 
portion of the time the Duke's own son, Murdach, also 

246 The Lake of Menteith. 

was a prisoner in England. It has been asserted that 
Albany made little effort for the release of his nephew, 
willing rather to leave him a prisoner so as to gratify his 
own ambition of ruling. But official documents show 
that throughout the whole long period of the captivity 
negotiations for the release of the Prince seldom ceased, 
although the English Kings, while plausible enough in 
their communications with the Scottish Governor, resolutely 
stuck to their prize. There are not wanting indications, 
however, that the Prince himself was not convinced of 
the sincerity of his uncle's desires for his release, and 
this may have been one of the causes of his otherwise 
inexplicable severity to the family of Albany when he 
did return to his kingdom. 

Bower states that Albany died on the 30th of September, 
1419, but the correct date must be put a year later. 
The Exchequer accounts show that he was alive in July, 
1420, 1 and he granted a charter at Falkland on the 4th 
August of the same year. 2 He was thus over eighty years 
of age at his death. He was buried in Dunfermline Abbey. 
His widow, the Duchess Muriella, survived till 1449 the 
Exchequer Bolls show that a pension of 66 13s 4d 
annually was paid to her from 1428 to 1449. 3 He had a 
family of four sons and six daughters. Murdach, the 
eldest of his family and the only son of Countess Margaret, 
succeeded his father. John, the eldest son of Muriella, 
was that gallant Earl of Buchan, the Constable of France, 
who was slain at Yerneuil, 18th August, 1424. The third 

'Exchequer Rolls, iv. p. 310. 2 Reg. Ma?. Sig. lib. iii-> No. 81. 
8 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. ; accounts for those years. 

The Lake of Menteith. 247 

son, Andrew, died in 1413. Kobert, the fourth son, is 
known to have been alive in 1431. 

It was recently the fashion among Scottish historians 
to decry the character of the Duke of Albany. He has 
been spoken of as cowardly, crafty, cruel, cold-blooded, 
unscrupulous, and selfishly ambitious. The earlier historians, 
Bower and Wyntoun, 1 on the other hand, refer to him in 
terms of the highest praise. As these historians, although 
contemporary in their lives with Albany, wrote after his 
death, they could have been under no temptation to colour 
their estimates in his favour. Kather, considering the 
conduct of James I. and his obvious ill-feeling towards 
his uncle's family, they might have been expected to say 
as little in his praise as they possibly could. Their 
testimony, in the circumstances, must be held therefore 
as strongly in his favour. 


Kobert Stewart was succeeded in his dignities by his 
eldest son, Murdach, who thus became the second Duke of 
Albany, as well as Earl of Fife and of Menteith. Murdach 
was the son of Lady Margaret, and was born probably in 
1362. In 1389 he was appointed, by Eobert III., Justiciar 
of Scotland north of the Forth. 2 In one of the documents 
issued in his justiciarship, he is designed Lord of Apthane, 8 

1 Scotichronicon, lib. xv. c. 37. Wyntoun (Cronykil, lib. ix. c. 26) calls him 
" a mirror of honour and of honesty." 

'Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 557. 

8 He received the Abthania of Dull or rather ^136 as an equivalent for its 
revenues from his father. Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv., Introd. 

248 The Lake of Menteith. 

but, in most of them, his style is Lord Kinclevin, and that 
was generally his title during his father's lifetime. 1 In 
pursuance of a treaty made between his father and Duncan, 
Earl of Lennox, at Inchmurrin in Lochlomond (17th Feb- 
ruary, 1392), he married Isabella, the eldest daughter and 
heir of Lennox. 2 

He was taken prisoner by the English in the battle of 
Homildon, 14th September, 1402, and underwent a long 
captivity in England. Notwithstanding repeated embassies 
and negotiations for bis release, he did not receive his free- 
dom till the year 1416, when he was exchanged for the 
young Earl of Northumberland, who had been long held 
prisoner in Scotland. 8 

After his return he was appointed lieutenant to his 
father the Governor, and when the latter died in 1420, 
he succeeded him in his high office. It is more than 
likely that he was appointed to the office by Parliament, 
but there is no extant documentary evidence to that effect. 4 
He was fifty -eight years of age when he assumed the 
Governorship in succession to his father, and, if we are to 
credit the statement of the contemporary historian Bower, 
he did not hold the reins with the same firm hand as his 
predecessor. 5 He was troubled also, it appears, by the 
disobedience and turbulence of his sons. But his tenure 

1 A charter of Robert Duke of Albany, granting an annual rent to the chaplain 
of St. Michael's Chapel in the Castle of Stirling (dated at Perth, 26th June, 1407), 
is witnessed by " Robert Steward, eldest son of our dearest son and heir, Murdach 
Steward, Knight? But this was during Murdach's captivity in England. See 
Stirling Charters, p. 29. 

'Eraser's The Lennox, vol. ii. p. 43. 3 Rotuli Scotiae, p. 214. 
4 He succeeded his father also as Keeper of Stirling Castle, and drew the 
allowance for that office 200 merks. Exchequer Rolls, iv. 338, c. 
6 Scotichronicon (Goodall), ii. 467. 

The Lake of Menteith. 249 

of the government was not destined to be long. Negotia- 
tions were resumed for the release of King James, and, 
after many delays, resulted at last in the return of the 
King in the beginning of the year 1424. 

One of the first acts of the King, on arriving at Edin- 
burgh in April of that year, was to arrest Sir Walter 
Stewart, the eldest surviving son of Duke Murdach, and 
to send him prisoner to the Bass. 1 Two other barons were 
arrested at the same time. For what reason these arrests 
were made is not by any one stated. 

At the coronation of the King and Queen at Scone, on 
the 21st of May, 1424, the King was placed in the royal 
chair by Duke Murdach, in virtue of the ancient privilege 
of the Earls of Fife ; and at the same time his son, Alex- 
ander Stewart, received the honour of knighthood from 
the King. 2 This did not look as if James was bent on the 
destruction of the House of Albany. But the storm soon 
burst. Later in the year the Ear] of Lennox, Albany's 
father-in-law, was seized and committed to prison. And 
in the month of March next year, while a meeting of the 
Estates was being held at Perth, the King ordered the 
arrest of Duke Murdach himself, 3 his secretary, and his son 
Alexander, the recently made knight. Only one of Albany's 
family, his second surviving son James, eluded the King, 
and after several exciting adventures, found refuge in 
England, and finally in Ireland. 4 The Duke's castles of 

'Walter Stewart was arrested on the I3th of May, 1424. Scotichronicon, 
lib. xvi. c. 9; Exchequer Rolls, iv. 386. 

'Fordun a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 482. 8 On the I4th March, 1425. 

4 A safe conduct to Ireland was granted to James Stewart by Henry VI., 
loth May, 1429. Rotuli Scotise, ii. p. 265. 

250 The Lake of Menteith. 

Falkland and Doune were seized. In the latter was found 
the Duchess Isabella, who was sent, with the other 
prisoners, to St. Andrews Castle. Afterwards she was 
transferred to Tantallon Castle, while her husband was sent 
to Caerlaverock, where he was confined in a portion of 
the castle known thereafter as Murdach's Tower. 

The local traditions differ as to the scene of Duke 
Murdach's capture. One places it at a spot still called 
by the name of Murdach's Ford, on the old road between 
Doune and Dunblane, where a small stream is crossed by 
the road, not far from the farm of Anchors Cross, and 
about a mile from the town of Dunblane ; while a 
second legend affirms that he was taken from his castle 
on Dundochill, a small island in Loch Ard. 1 Both tradi- 
tions are probably in error. He and the others appear 
to have been seized while attending the Parliament at 

After these arrests the Parliament was adjourned, to 
meet again at Stirling on the 18th of May. The first of the 
captives to be brought to trial was Walter Stewart, who 
was convicted and executed on the 24th of the month. 
Next day witnessed the trial, conviction, and execution of 
the Duke of Albany, his son, Sir Alexander Stewart, and 
his father-in-law, the Earl of Lennox. Five persons of 
subordinate rank, who had been engaged with James 
Stewart in his attack on Dumbarton Castle, were, at the 

'The foundations of a strong building, locally called Murdach's Castle, can 
still be traced on this island, and the people of the district say that it was built 
by this Duke of Albany as a residence. It seems too small, however, for that 
purpose ; but it may have been a hunting seat or tower of refuge for some of 
the earlier Earls of Menteith. There were earlier Murdachs among them. 

The Lake of Menteith. 251 

same time, put to death with horrible tortures. 1 The 
execution of the Albanies took place on what is known as 
the Heading Hill, the northernmost spur of the ridge that 
runs out from the Castle rock of Stirling. From here, as 
Sir Walter Scott has said, the Duke might see the towers 
of the Castle of Doune, in which he had been wont to 
live in princely state. 2 The bodies of the unfortunate 
victims of the royal severity were interred in the Church 
of the Dominican Friars, on the south side of the great 

The nature of the charges made against the Albanies 
has not been preserved. Walter Stewart is stated in the 
Scotichronicon 3 to have been indicted for robbery (de 
roborea), but in what instance or instances is not stated. 
It is obvious that James had resolved on the extermination 
of the family, but why must remain an unsolved problem. 
Certain expressions in recently published letters of his lead 
us to think that he did not believe the late Duke of Albany 
had done all he might have done to obtain his restoration, 

1 According to the Scotichronicon (vol. ii. p. 483), they were torn to pieces 
by horses, and the mutilated fragments of their bodies suspended on gibbets. 

2 According to Sir Walter Scott, the name of Gowlan Hills as he calls the 
knolls to the north of the Castle originated in the lamentation (Scottice, gowling) 
made by the populace and onlookers at the time of this execution. This 
popular etymology, however, must be taken with caution. The Scottish people 
have never at any time been demonstrative in the expression of their griefs ; and 
at that period scenes of cruelty were not so uncommon as to have been likely to 
move them to tears and lamentation. If Gowlan was the original in use before 
any local records that have been preserved, it perhaps represents the Gaelic 
" guallan " (i.e., shoulder), a word which aptly enough designates the topographical 
relation of the hills to the Castle rock. But the name of the hills in the Burgh 
Records is invariably written Gowane (or Go-vane) the form still in common use 
never Gowlan. Against this can only be set the monkish monies dolorum, and the 
occurrence of Gowlan once, at least, in the Kirk Session Records of the seven- 
teenth century. 

'Cupar MS. quoted in Fordun (Goodall), vol. ii. p. 483, note. 

252 The Lake of Menteith. 

and he may have cherished a suspicion that the family had 
purposed to supplant him on the throne. Or the popular 
opinion of the time, as expressed in a contemporary account 
of the murder of James I., quoted by Pinkerton, 1 may not 
be far from the truth " the people ymagynd that the Kyng 
did rather that vigorious execucion upon the Lordes of his 
kyne, for the covetise of thare possessions and goodes, thane 
for any other rightfull cause, althofe he fonde colourabill 
wais to serve his entent yn the contrarye." 

Murdach and his sons were men of tall stature 2 and 
splendid presence, and the Earl of Lennox was a venerable 
man of eighty years of age. Moreover, the Duke had been 
an easy-going ruler, and was popular with all classes, while 
his son Walter was a general favourite. Among the people, 
therefore, their fate was greatly lamented ; and, if the King 
imagined that, by this instance of inflexible severity, he would 
strike terror into the hearts of the haughty and turbulent 
nobles, his hopes were disappointed. He succeeded only in 
inspiring some of them with a spirit of hatred and revenge, 
which issued some years later in his own assassination (1436). 

The possessions of the Duke of Albany were forfeited, and 
the earldoms of Fife and Menteith now came into the hands 
of the King. Of the sons of the Duke, Eobert, the eldest, 
had died without issue before 1421, Walter and Alexander 
perished with their father in 1425, and James, surnamed 
More, was outlawed, and died in Ireland in 1451. His daugh- 
ter, Isabella, married Sir Walter Buchanan of Buchanan. 

1 Pinkerton's History, vol. i., appendix, p. 453. 

2 Homines giganteae staturae. Fordun (Goodall) ii. p. 483. 



Sir John Menteith and the Capture 
of Sir William Wallace. 

"The fause Menteith." 
" Rycht suth it is, a martyr was Wallace." 

[E JOHN MENTEITH was the second son of 
Walter Stewart (Bulloch), who had married 
Mary, the younger daughter of Maurice, the 
third known Earl of Menteith, and in right of 
his wife, had succeeded to the earldom. 1 Sir John, 
therefore, though he is always known as Menteith, or de 
Menteith, was by birth a Stewart of the family from which 
came the Kings of Scotland. The date of his birth may 
be placed some time between 1260 and 1265. He had, at 
any rate, arrived at manhood in 1286, when he was a party 
to a bond entered into by the Earl of Dunbar and his sons, 
Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith, and his sons (Alexander 
and JoJm), Kobert Bruce, Lord of Annandale, and his sons, 
and other noblemen, to adhere to the party of Kichard de 
Burgh, Earl of Ulster, and Sir Thomas de Clare. This 
bond, which was entered into a few months after the 

a See supra, p. 224. 

254 The Lake of Menteilh. 

death of Alexander III., was in effect an agreement to 
support the claim of Bruce to the throne. 1 

When Baliol attempted to throw off the yoke of Edward, 
Sir John of Menteith was one of his supporters. He and 
his elder brother Alexander who had by this time become 
Earl of Menteith were in the Scottish army that was 
routed at Dunbar on the 28th of April, 1296, and were 
both made prisoners on that occasion. 2 He remained in 
captivity in England first at Nottingham, afterwards at 
Winchilsea for over a year, but he secured his liberation 
and the restoration of his lands in Scotland by agreeing 
to serve King Edward in his French wars. The expedition, 
on which he bound himself to serve, sailed for France on 
the 22nd August, 1297, and returned in March, 1298. The 
probability is that after having fulfilled the conditions of 
his liberation by serving on this expedition, he returned as 
soon as possible to Scotland; but there is no authentic 
evidence by which his movements at this time can be traced. 

On reaching his native land, he did not long remain 
faithful to the interests of the English King. The statement 
that he accompanied Wallace and Sir John Graham on a 
punitive expedition against the men of Galloway in the 
month of August, 1298, rests on the authority of the 
Relationes Arnaldi Blair? But we have the more certain 

1 It is dated at Turnberry, Carrick, 2oth September, 1286. Hist. Doc. Scot., 
vol. i. p. 22. 

2 Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, vol. ii. No. 742. 

* These Relationes consist of extracts from the Scotichronicon. The particular 
passage referred to here is not found in the edition of Fordun and Bower's work 
published cura Goodall, but it is supposed to have been part of one of the two 
missing chapters in book xi., the writer of which book was Bower, not Fordun. See 
also Balfour's Annals, vol. i. p. 84, where the same statement regarding Menteith 
is made. 

The Lake of Menteith. 255 

authority of the public documents that he was at this time 
and later a member of the patriotic party opposed to the 
supremacy of Edward. In a communication to Edward, 
of date October, 1301, he is designated " The adversary 
of the King." 1 And the King's adversary he continued 
for some time longer to be. 

The next glimpse we have of him in the historic scene 
may be regarded as characteristic both of his own disposition 
and of his attitude towards the troubles of his country. 
In September, 1303, he made his appearance at Berwick, 
along with Sir Alexander Meyners, to negotiate a truce 
with the English. But when he saw the state of destitution 
to which the Irish troops serving in the English army were 
reduced, he refused to proceed with the negotiations, 
thinking, no doubt, that starvation would soon drive them 
from the country. He was evidently willing to be on the 
patriotic side so long as it appeared to have any chance 
of success. These chances of success, however, geemed 
to disappear when the army of the Eegent Comyn was 
defeated by Edward on the banks of the Forth at Stirling 
in December, 1303. The result of this defeat was the 
submission of the whole of the Scottish nobles and barons 
to the English King, save only two. Wallace and Sir 

1 Calendar of Doc., vol. ii. p. 437, No. 1255. This seems to give some 
confirmation to the statement of Blind Harry that Menteith, some time after the 
battle of Stirling, joined the party of Wallace. Harry's authority especially in 
regard to dates is not to be implicitly trusted, unless confirmed from other 
evidences ; but his words if we may venture to quote a writer whom Lord Hailes 
said everybody refers to but no one ventures to quote are as follows : 

" Schir Jhon Menteth was than off Aran lord, 
Till Wallace come, and maid a playne record : 
With witnes thar be his ayth he him band, 
Lanta to kep to Wallace and to Scotland." 
Schir William Wallace, by Henry the Minstrel, Scottish Text Society Edition, book riL, 1200. 

256 The Lake of Menteith. 

Simon Fraser alone held out ; but the latter was compelled 
at length to give way, and Wallace was left alone, irrecon- 
cilable, and marked for death by his implacable enemy. 

Menteith was, of course, one of the barons who gave 
in their submission to Edward, and he seems to have 
been speedily taken into favour by that monarch. Within 
three months of his submission he was formally entrusted 
with the custody of the Castle, town, and Sheriffdom of 
Dumbarton. The grant, which is dated at St. Andrews, 
20th March, 1304, 1 was probably a renewal, under the 
authority of the English King, of offices formerly held by 
him in the Scottish interest. 

And now we come to the event in the life of Sir John 
Menteith which has lived in the memory of his countrymen 
while all his other doings have been forgotten, and which 
whether it was after all an evil but necessary consequence 
of the office he held rather than the result of a covetous 
and treacherous character has branded him as the repre- 
sentative traitor in the estimation of the Scottish people, 
and left his name to be execrated by them from that 
time to the present. 

So determined was King Edward on the capture of 
Wallace that he not only set a price upon the head of 
the patriot, but issued the most stringent orders to the 
captains of his forces and the Governors of the Castles 
and towns to be constantly on the watch to seize him. 
He even made this capture a condition of the restitution 
of their estates to the barons who had given in their 
submission to his will; so that not only Menteith but 

x Hist. Doc. Scot, vol. ii. p. 474. 

The Lake of Menteith. 257 

many others were interested in the capture of the hero. 1 
Besides all this, he offered bribes to certain persons to 
undertake the enterprise. Kalph de Haliburton, one of the 
prisoners taken from Stirling Castle on the fall of that 
fortress, was sent to Scotland, under the charge of Sir John 
Mowbray, with instructions to search for Wallace and 
effect his capture. It is not clear what share, if any, these 
two had in the event. Neither is it quite certain who 
it was that actually discovered the hiding-place of Wallace 
and betrayed him to Menteith. Blind Harry attributes the 
treachery to a young man, a relative of Sir John, and 
engaged by the latter for the purpose. 2 Langtoft 8 says 
that a servant, to whom he gives the name of " Jack Short," 
was the traitor, and that, acting on his information, 
Menteith came and seized Wallace when in bed. The 
popular imagination, as represented by the minstrel, has 
added numerous romantic incidents, that all tend to deepen 
the stain of the treachery. These need not be mentioned 
here. They are in want of confirmation. So also is the 
statement made by other Scottish writers that Wallace 
finally surrendered to Sir John only on a promise that he 
was to be secretly set at liberty, and that it was necessary 
to submit to being made a prisoner temporarily that his 
life might be saved from the overwhelming English force 
by which he was surrounded. It is not necessary to believe 
all these things. But, after all, the fact remains, proved 
by historical evidence, that it was Menteith who was 

1 Palgrave's Historical Documents relating to Scotland, p. 276. 

2 " His syster son." Schir William Wallace, &c., xi. 950. 
'Langtoft Chron., p. 329. 

258 The Lake of Menteith. 

responsible for the capture of the hero, and also that 
treachery of some sort whether directly arranged by him 
or not was employed in the capture. The most trustworthy 
historians, both English and Scottish, who wrote most 
shortly after the event, leave no doubt of this. 1 It is no 
less certain that he was rewarded by the English King 
for his share in this business. In a memorandum of the 
English Council, quoted in Palgrave's Historical Docu- 
ments, 2 mention is made of 40 marks "to be given to 
the valet who spied out William Waleys," of 60 marks 
to be divided among others who were present, and " a 
hundred livres for John of Menteth." And he had other 
rewards. He was chosen a Scottish Commissioner by 
Edward, and was accordingly one of the ten Scottish 
representatives who met in the Union Parliament at 
Westminster in September, 1305. He was made one of 
the Council of the Royal Guardian of Scotland (Sir John 
de Bretagne), 8 and he was continued in the office of Sheriff 
and keeper of the Castle of Dumbarton. In 1306, Edward 
still further marked his high satisfaction with his conduct 
by giving him the ward of the Castle and Sheriffdom for 
life ; and in June of the same year he conferred on him 
the earldom of Lennox. 4 

Next year, after the death of Edward I., we find his 
son and successor, Edward II., communicating with 

1 Chronicle of Lanercost ; Wyntoun's Cronykil ; Fordun and Bower's 
Scotichronicon ; The Arundel MS. ; The Scala Chronica, &c. The words 
of Fordun are quite distinct : " In the year 1305 William Wallace was craftily 
and treacherously (fraudulenter et proditionaliter) taken by John of Menteith, 
who handed him over to the King of England." Historians of Scotland : Fordun, 
ed. Skene, vol. ii. p. 332. 

2 Palgrave's Hist. Doc., p. 295. * Ibid^ p. 305. 4 /&'</, p. 293. 

The Lake of Menteith. 259 

Menteith as Earl of Lennox, and " one of his faithful in 
Scotland." 1 This faith, however, he did not long retain. 
The fortunes of Eobert Bruce were rising, and Sir John 
went over to his side. His name is found among those 
attached to the answer sent by the Scottish nobles, who 
acknowledged Bruce as their King, to the message in which 
the King of France recognised his sovereignty. This letter 
was drawn up at St. Andrews, 16th March, 1308. 2 There- 
after he seems to have been as much in the confidence 
of Bruce as he had formerly been in that of the English 
Kings. He had now, however, to drop his claim to the 
earldom of Lennox, for Malcolm, the real Earl, was one 
of King Robert's most intimate friends. Possibly his tenure 
of the earldom had been but a shadow ; at any rate, he 
does not appear to have made any difficulty in surrendering 
it. He seems even to have been on friendly terms with 
Earl Malcolm. In the year 1309 he was one of the Com- 
missioners appointed on behalf of King Robert to treat for 
a peace with the Earl of Ulster, the English Commissioner. 
From this time to his death there are but few notices 
of Menteith in the records. The story of his attempted 
treachery to Robert Bruce in the Castle of Dumbarton, 
narrated by Bower, 8 and more circumstantially by Buch- 
anan, is probably mere legend. He was pardoned by the 
King, says Buchanan, on condition that he should take 
his place in the front of the battle at Bannockburn, and 

1 Rymer's Foedera, ii. 22. 

2 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. i. p. 289. 

8 Scotichronicon, lib. xii. cap. 16 and 17. These two chapters are omitted 
from some of the MSS. ; but are to be found in those of Cupar, Perth, and 


260 The Lake of Menteilh. 

there await the issue. " There," says the historian, " the 
man, otherwise treacherous, served the King faithfully, 
and behaved with so much bravery, that by his exertions 
that day he not only procured pardon for his former deeds, 
but even an ample reward for his conduct." 1 It will be 
observed that in this story Buchanan makes it a condition 
of Sir John's pardon that he should take his place in the 
Scottish ranks at Bannockburn. The inference therefore 
is that the date of the treachery of Dumbarton was 
immediately or, at the most, shortly before that battle. 
But it has been shown that Menteith was in favour with 
Bruce some years previous to the fight at Bannockburn. 
An entry in the Chartulary of Dunfermline shows that he 
was with King Eobert in the neighbourhood of Stirling in 
November of 1313, seven months before the battle. 2 That 
Menteith fought at Bannockburn is likely enough, although 
there is no certain evidence to that effect. That he was 
much engaged thereafter in public affairs and much in the 
confidence of his sovereign, is manifest from the little we 
do know of his later life. He is said on somewhat 
doubtful authority to have accompanied Edward Bruce 
on his expedition to Ireland in 1315. If that were so, 
he did not remain till the end of that unfortunate adven- 
ture, for in 1316 he was sent, along with Sir Thomas 
Eandolph, on a special mission to Ireland. 8 He was one 

1 Aikman's Translation of Buchanan's History, vol. i. p. 428. 

2 Sir John Menteith was witness to a charter of King Robert, dated at 
Cambuskenneth, I4th November, 1313, by which the King granted to the Church 
of Dunfermline the Church of Kinross and Chapel of Orwell. Registrum de 

8 Rhymer's Fcedera, ii. 302. 

The Lake of Menteith. 261 

of the Scottish barons who subscribed the famous Memorial 
to the Pope, dated at Aberbrothock, 6th April, 1320, in 
which they vindicated the right of their country to inde- 
pendence, and declared their resolution to maintain it. 1 
He signs this letter in the style of Guardian of the earldom 
of Menteith. Although Murdach was at this time earl, he 
was holding the title only temporarily with the consent of 
the Lady Mary, daughter of the late Earl Alan, who was 
under the guardianship of her father's uncle, Sir John 
Menteith. The latest public act of his of which we have 
any notice was in 1323, when, in company with Kandolph, 
Earl of Moray, the Bishop of St. Andrews, and Sir Kobert 
Lauder, he went to Newcastle and negotiated a truce for 
thirteen years with the English King. 2 He probably did 
not long survive this last national service. He certainly 
died before King Kobert. 8 

Sir John Menteith, besides possessing the lands of 
Kusky, seems also to have inherited as his portion of his 
father's earldom, the lands of Arran and Knapdale. He 
had two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Sir 
John, is styled Lord of Arran and Knapdale, and so is 
his son also a Sir John. With the third John, the direct 
line of descent ended. Eusky was inherited by the second 
son, Sir Walter. The direct Eusky line of descent termi- 
nated in the fourth generation in two heiresses Agnes 
Menteith, who married, 1460 or 1461, John Haldane of 

1 Fordun a Goodall, vol. ii. p. 277 ; and Anderson's Diplomata Scotiae, where 
a facsimile of the document is given, plate li. ; Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, 
vol. i. p. 291. 

2 Rymer's Foedera, ii. 521 ; Acts of Parliaments of Scotland, i. 479. 

'Robertson's Index to Missing Charters, p. 18. 

262 The Lake of Menteith. 

Gleneagles, and Elizabeth, who married, much about the 
same time, John Napier of Merchiston. Between these 
the estates of Husky were divided. Collateral branches 
of the family are descended from John, the second son of 
Sir Walter Menteith of Rusky. 

Sir John Menteith was obviously an able man of affairs, 
and, not less clearly, a valiant soldier. If his steady 
patriotism is not so evident, it can at the least be said 
that in this respect he was only a fair representative of 
the Scottish nobility of that period, whose allegiance seems 
to have varied with what they considered their personal 
interests. Unfortunately, however, for his reputation with 
posterity, it was into his hands that the national hero was 
betrayed; and, when we consider the passionate devotion 
of the Scottish people to the memory of Wallace, there 
is scarcely room for wonder that the name of Menteith 
should have come down in the traditions of the country 
as that of the greatest traitor in the national history 
(immanis proditor). He had certainly once fought on 
the same side with Wallace in the national wars, and 
there is therefore no inherent improbability in the state- 
ment made by Scottish writers that he was acquainted 
and even friendly with the hero. It is not, however, 
necessary to believe that they were on the terms of close 
intimacy implied in the repeated statement of Blind Harry 
that Wallace had been Menteith's "gossip," 1 i.e., the god- 

1 " Schyr Jhon Mtnteth Wallace his ffostop was." 

Henry the Minstrel, xi. 795. 
" Ticyt befor he had his gossop been." 

Ibid, viii. 1598. 

" For cowatice, Menteth, apon fals wys 
Betraysit Wallace, at was his gossop tieyi." 

Ibid, li. 847-8. 

The Lake of Menteith. 263 

father of one or more of his children : even although Blind 
Harry is, in this instance, supported by the authority of 
John Major a historian who is careful to guard himself 
against being supposed to give unlimited credit to Henry's 
writings. Major affirms that the greatest intimacy was 
supposed to exist between Wallace and Menteith, 1 and 
distinctly says that Wallace had been godfather to Men- 
teith's two children. The statement therefore may be 
taken, not as a gratuitous invention of the blind minstrel, 
but as the common belief. There is no nearly con- 
temporary evidence, however, in proof. It may have 
been merely one of those figments by which the popular 
imagination endeavoured to deepen the baseness of the 
treachery. 2 

The popular feeling of later times against Menteith fails 
to take into account the character, morally and politically, 
of the period in which and the men among whom he lived. 
He does not appear to have been worse than the other 
Scottish nobles of the time. They took oaths and broke 
them with the same facility. Their country was little to 
them ; their own interests were everything. They were all 
equally bound by Edward, as a condition of their personal 
safety and security of their estates, to hunt down the 
outlawed patriot, and it need not be doubted that the most 
of them would have been glad enough to commend them- 
selves to the favour of Edward by the capture. Neither 
must it be forgotten that, for the time, Menteith was an 

1 Ipsi Vallaceo putatus amicissimus. Major, De Gestis Scotorum, lib. iv. 
ch. 15. 

8 The fact that Menteith hadlwo sons may be held as accounting for, although 
it does not justify the belief, or prove the statement 

264 The Lake of Menteith. 

English officer, in the pay of the English King however 
little that may say for his patriotism. But to him and 
not to any of the others who were engaged in the search 
it fell to apprehend Wallace, and that under circumstances 
in which treachery (whether directly concocted by him or 
not) was undoubtedly involved, and his memory has had 
to bear the odium. That his conduct was not reckoned 
unpardonable, or even disgraceful, by his fellows at the time 
is evident however curious it may seem to us now from 
the way in which he was received into favour by King 
Kobert the Bruce. Under that King he did good service 
to his country, as the notes regarding his later career, 
which have been given above, will show. Blind Harry has 
been accused of originating the feeling of abhorence with 
which Menteith has so long been regarded by his country- 
men. But that is not so. He had been denounced by 
Scottish, and even English, writers before the time of the 
Minstrel. In fact, the latter is the only early Scottish 
writer who exhibits any feeling of tenderness for Menteith. 
He represents him as not entirely lost to honour. In the 
interview with Sir Aymer de Yallance, he makes Sir John 
say that it would be a " foul outrage " to sell the patriot, 
and he represents him as consenting to effect his capture 
only on the assurance that the life of Wallace would be 
spared and his person kept in safety. 1 

The popular estimate of the character of Menteith, and 
the detestation of the treachery which Jed to the capture 
of Wallace, was formed long before Blind Harry's time. 
For example, the persistent tradition of the district is that 

1 See book xi . 809, et seqq. 

The Lake of Menteith. 265 

when the Drummonds attacked the Menteiths at the Tar 
of Husky, 1 and slew three of their chiefs, they were urged 
by the desire to avenge the perfidy of Sir John on his 
descendants, and eager to exterminate the whole hated 
race. That may not have been the real reason of the 
attack, but the tradition is a very old one older possibly 
than Blind Harry, who was not born till more than a 
century after the fight of Eusky. 

There is a curious legend, referred to by Sir Walter 
Scott, regarding the signal that was made for setting on 
Wallace as he sat or lay in the cottage at Eobroyston in 
fancied security, and all unwitting of treachery. It 
affirms that when arrangements had been completed for 
surrounding the cottage with the soldiers of Menteith, 
the domestic traitor Jack Short, Menteith's nephew, or 
whoever he was was to watch the time when the hero 
was quite off his guard and had laid aside his arms, 
and then to give a silent signal to his confederates by 
turning upside down a loaf which had been laid on the 
table. There must, by this account, have been more than 
one traitor within the hut, or the operation must have 
been watched from the outside, through the door or the 

The story is not a very likely one in itself, and is not 
found in any reputable author not even in Blind Harry. 
In fact, the Minstrel's account represents the traitor, 
Menteith's nephew, as waiting till Wallace and his faithful 
friend, Kerle, were fast asleep, and then going out to 
inform his uncle of the fact. The circumstance, however, 

1 For this fight and its consequences see t'n/ro, chap. xii. 

266 The Lake of Menteith. 

that the traitor is represented as a " cuk " (cook), may 
have given some countenance to the tradition, or even 
originated it. Purely legendary as it is, the story long 
continued to live, and nowhere more vigorously than in 
the country of the Menteiths, where it was employed by 
jealous neighbours as a means of annoying those of the 

Sir Walter says that " in after times it was reckoned 
ill-breeding to turn a loaf in that manner, if there was a 
person named Menteith in company ; since it was as 
much as to remind him that his namesake had betrayed 
Sir William Wallace, the champion of Scotland." 1 To 
" whummle the bannock " as the performance was called 
in the vernacular before a Menteith was regarded as 
offering him a deadly insult. Till not so very long ago, 
it used to be resorted to when the intention was, either 
in joke or seriously, to irritate a person of that name 
sometimes with unpleasant results to the practical joker. 
A local writer of about forty years since 2 asserts that 
even in his own time he had known a fiery Menteith take 
signal vengeance on one who had dared to " whummle the 
bannock " before him. 

The tradition is now dead in the country of the Men- 
teiths. The stranger may " whummle the bannock " 
even in the presence of a Menteith, should he happen to 
meet one, for the name is now rare in their old country 
without any fear of consequences. The action will not 
likely be regarded as having any significance whatever. 

1 Scott's Tales of a Grandfather, second series, chap, vii., sub fintm. 
a Dun's Summer at the Lake of Menteith, p. 26. 

The Lake of Menteith. 267 

It must be added, however, that the feeling of hatred 
against Sir John Menteith has not yet been eradicated 
from the heart of the Scottish people. It will probably 
continue to exist as long as the memory of Wallace is 
cherished by his countrymen. 

Sir John's Castle of Husky has already been noticed. 
Tradition avers that he died there, and was buried in the 
Priory of Inchmahome ; but no stone marks the place of 
his interment. There is no evidence in support of the 
statement, unless we regard the fact that his father was 
buried there as rendering it not unlikely. 



The First Six Earls of Menteith of 
the Name of Graham: 1427-1597. 

"The gallant Grahams." 

" A race renowned of old, 
Whose war-cry oft has waked the battle-swell, 

Since first distinguished in the onset bold, 
Wild sounding when the Roman rampart fell." 

FTEE the death of Murdach, Duke of Albany, 
the earldom of Menteith was in possession of 
the Crown till 1427, when it was granted by 
James I. to Malise Graham, in compensation 
for the earldom of Strathern, of which he had some time 
previously been deprived by the King on the ground that 
it was a male fief. The new earldom of Menteith did not, 
however, comprise the whole of the ancient possessions. 
James I. reserved to the Crown the eastern part of the 
old earldom, with its messuage of Doune Castle, and thus 
formed what was called the Stewartry of Menteith. The 
charter of erection of the new earldom dated at Edinburgh, 
6th September, 1427 enumerates the lands included in 
it. These may be said generally to extend from the lake 

The Lake of Menteith. 


of Menteith westwards. 1 As the Castle of Doune, along 
with the eastern lands, thus became the property of the 
Crown, Inohtalla became the residence of the earls, and 
the Lake of Menteith and its Islands were more closely 
connected with these Graham earls than with their pre- 
decessors. There they resided for more than two centuries 
and a half, great men in their own country-side, and gallant 
fighters all of them, although not with one or two notable 
exceptions conspicuous in the history of the country. 


Seal of Malise Graham, First Earl of Menteith. 

Malise Graham was related to the royal family on both 
sides of his descent. His father, Sir Patrick Graham, son 

1 The lands of Craynis Easter and Craynis Wester, Craguthy Easter and 
Wester, lands of Glass werde, Drumlaen, Ladarde, Blareboyane, Gartnerthynach, 
Blareruscanys, Foreste of Baith the Sidis of Lochcon, lands of Blaretuchane and 
of Marduffy, of Culyngarth, Frisefleware, Rose with the Cragmuk, Inchere, 
Gartinhagel, Bobfresle, Bovento, Downans and Baleth, Tereochane, Drumboy, 
Crancafy, Achray, Glassel and Cravaneculy, Savnach, Brigend, Lonanys and 
Garquhat, Drumanust, Schanghil, Ernetly and Monybrachys, Gartmulne and 
Ernomul, Ernecomy, Achmore, the Porte and the Insche with their pertinents. 
No mention is made of any castle or dwelling, so that the buildings on Inchtalla 
were probably not in use if they existed at this time. (Charter printed in Red 
Book of Menteith, voL ii. p. 293). 

270 The Lake of Menteith. 

Sir Patrick Graham of Kincardine, by Egidia, niece of 
Eobert II., married the Princess Euphemia, daughter of 
David, Earl Palatine of Strathern, eldest son of Eobert's 
second marriage. Malise was therefore a great-grandson 
of King Eobert the Second. He was but a youth when 
he was denuded of the earldom of Strathern by the King, 
and he could scarcely have reached his majority when he 
received the grant of the new earldom of Menteith. There 
is ground for believing that even after recieving the 
earldom he did not for some years, at any rate, enjoy 
the revenues. Within two months in November, 1427 
he was sent to England as one of the hostages in security 
for the payment of the King's ransom. And the Exchequer 
Eolls show that the rents of the earldom were in the hands 
of the King up till 1434 1 at least. In England Malise 
remained for a quarter of a century, and married there. 
He obtained his release, 17th June, 1453, only on the 
condition that his eldest son, Alexander, should take his 
place as hostage. Alexander accordingly went to England, 
and never came back from his exile. 

Earl Malise, after his return, was a fairly regular attender 
at meetings of Parliament, but was never very prominent 
in their business. 2 He seems to have been a favourite with 
James III., who, on the 8th of February, 1466, granted 
him a charter erecting the town of Port into a burgh of 
barony, " for the singular favour which we bear towards 

1 Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv. pp. 530, 560, 589, &c. These accounts give the 
names of the various camerarii of Menteith, from Patrick Don in 1431 onwards. 

* He was present in the Parliament of 1455 when the Douglasses were declared 
traitors by John II. ; and he appended his seal to the instrument of forfeiture. 
Acts of Parliament, ii. 75, &c. 

The Lake of Menteith. 271 

our beloved cousin Malise, Earl of Menteith, and for making 
provision for ourselves and our lieges, in the highland of 
Menteith, in the time of the huntings and at other times." 1 
There were royal forests and hunting lodges both at Glen- 
finlas and at Duchray, 2 and it was while making their way 
to the latter forest especially that the royal hunting parties 
would require accommodation at Port of Menteith. He 
remained faithful to James III. in the rebellion which led 
to the death of that King and the establishment of his son, 
James IV., on the throne. Old as he was, he raised his 
men and went to the assistance of his King, and, in the 
battle of Sauchie, held the command of the men of Stirling- 
shire and the West, who formed the rear division of the 
royal army. 3 He did not long survive the King dying 
probably in 1490, after holding the earldom for more than 
sixty years. 

He was twice married. About the identity of both wives 
there is considerable dubiety. The first wife was married 
in England, and was therefore most likely an English lady. 
By some writers she has been called Anne Vere, daughter 
of the Earl of Oxford, or Jana Kochford. Mr. Graham 
Easton names her " Lady Jana de Vere, daughter of 
Aubrey, tenth Earl of Oxford." 4 In the Protocol Books 

1 Charter printed in Red Book, ii. p. 297. 

* In the Exchequer Rolls are notes of sums paid for building a hall and 
chambers at Glenfinlas in 1459 (vi. p. 579), and for repairing the hunting lodge 
at Duchray in 1469 (vii. p. 614) The fermes of the lands of Duchray were assigned 
to the King in 1461 (vii. p. 62). Donald Neyssoune was the royal forester of 
Menteith in 1467 (vii. p. 485). 

'Balfour's Annals, i. 213; Tytler's History of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 239; and 
other Scottish Histories. 

4 See Graham, Earl of Menteith, by Walter M. Graham Easton, in the 
Genealogical Magazine for June, 1897. 

272 The Lake of Menteith. 

of Stirling, she is certainly called, and by Earl Malise 
himself, Lady Jonet which may or may not be (as Mr. 
Graham Easton suggests) a Scotch corruption of the English 
Jana. Besides this determination of the lady's name, the 
transactions recorded in the Protocols are otherwise so 
interesting, that the passage may be quoted in full: 
" 23rd October, 1476. Malize, earl of Menteth, sound in 
mind and body, out of natural affection, and considering 
the manifold services and most tender good deeds done 
to him in youth and age by his dearest spouse, Lady Jonet, 
Countess of Menteith, in the realms of England and Scot- 
land, gave and bestowed to her for her life-time a silver-gilt 
horn gilded on the surface with gold, a dish called le Masar, 
a silver cup, a missal book, with other things suitable for 
celebrating mass ; nine silver spoons and a silver salt-fat, 
gilt on the top, having a beryl stone (lapidem birraneum) 
set in the middle, acquired by his own conquest and 
industry, from him and his heirs to the said Lady Jonet, 
and that by placing a gold ring on her finger. 

"Done in the chamber of the said earl, in the isle of 
Inchtolloch, the second hour after noon. 

" The same day, the said earl bestowed all and sundry 
the foresaid jewels on John Graham, his son natural, for 
his good deeds and services, also giving him sasine of a 
carucate of land called le Ahyr in the burgh in barony of 
Port and Shire of Perth." 1 

Although the Earl here speaks of his old age, he married 
again after the death of Lady Jonet. At the time of his 
death, the name of his Countess was Marion or Mariota 

Extracts fiom Stirling Burgh Records, 1519-1666, appendix, p. 260. 

The Lake of Menteith. 273 

supposed to have been a Campbell of Glenorchy. She 
was no doubt much younger than her husband. She 
married again shortly after his death. In 1491 she was 
the wife of John of Drummond. 1 

By his two wives the Earl had five sons and one 
daughter. The eldest son, Alexander, who had taken his 
father's place as a hostage in England, died there previous 
to 1471, without issue. 

The second son of Earl Malise is said by Sir William 
Eraser to have been John, whom he designates without 
authority Master of Menteith or Lord Kilpont. 2 He is 
followed by Mr. W. M. Graham Easton, who, however, 
simply designs John as "of Kilbride." 8 Both genealogists 
appear to be wrong. Sir William Eraser puts the death 
of John as before 1478, because in an instrument of sasine 
in that year, Patrick Graham is described as son and heir 
of Earl Malise ; while Mr. Graham Easton dates the death 
as before 19th April, 1471, so as to suit the circumstance 
apparently unknown to Eraser that, in a Stirling Pro- 
tocol of that date, Patrick is styled " son and heir of Malise, 
Earl of Menteith." 4 The fact, however, is that in the 
Exchequer Eolls, " John le Graham, son of Malise, Earl 
of Menteith," is found receiving a certain annual " fee," in 
virtue of letters under the King's privy seal, from 1467 to 
1473. 5 The inference seems clear that since Patrick is 
designated " son and heir," within the limits of these years, 

*Acta Auditorum, p. 154. 'Red Book, vol. i. p. 296. 

3 Genealogical Magazine for June, 1897, p. 71. 

4 Stirling Protocol Book, 1469-84 (Abstract, p. 5). 

6 Exchequer Rolls, voL vii., pp. 486, 574, 624; and viii., 70, 172, 

274 The Lake of Menteith. 

he must have been senior to John. 1 Patrick Graham prede- 
ceased his father, but left two sons, Alexander and Henry, the 
former of whom succeeded his grandfather in the earldom. 

John, whom we must therefore call the third son of 
Earl Malise, is designed " of Kilbride," of which property 
he received a charter under the great seal in 1469. He 
has come down in tradition as "John of the Bright Sword." 
It must be added that in the tradition he is usually called 
the second son of the Earl of Menteith. This may well 
enough be explained by the circumstance that Alexander, 
the Earl's eldest son, from his long captivity and death 
in England, could hardly have been well-remembered in 
Menteith ; and also that the proud title John bore is 
always connected with him as of Kilbride, and possibly 
when he received that estate certainly very shortly after 
Alexander was dead, and John was the second surviving 
son of the Earl. The traditional epithet indicates that he 
must have been a warrior of renown, but none of the 
special exploits which gave him the title have come down 
to us. There is a further tradition that he was the ancestor 
and founder of the Grahams of Netherby and other families 
of Border Grahams. 2 This tradition has not been verified. 

1 The question of the seniority of Patrick and John has been fully and ably 
discussed in an article on " John Graham of Kilbride," signed B., in the Scottish 
Antiquary, vol. xi., No. 43, p. 108. To this article the reader is referred. 

*" John Graeme, second son of Malise, Earl of Menteith, commonly surnamed 
John with the Bright Sword, upon some displeasure arisen against him at Court, 
retired with many of his clan and kindred into the English Borders, in the reign of 
King Henry the Fourth " Henry IV. was dead before John Graham was born 
" where they seated themselves, and many of their posterity have continued there 
ever since." Introduction to the History of Cumberland, quoted by Sir Walter 
Scott in Notes to the Lay of the Last Minstrel. There appear, however, to 
have been Graemes on the Borders before the time of " Bright Sword." 

The Lake of Menteith. 


It awaits further genealogical investigation. The date of 
John le Graham's death is uncertain. He seems to have 
been alive in 1478, and it is not unlikely that he survived 
several years beyond that time. 1 

Lady Euphame Graham, the daughter of Earl Malise, 
married Sir William Stewart of Dalswinton. 

By the Countess Mariota the Earl had two sons, John 
and Walter, who had charters of lands from their father; 
but they do not concern the present narrative. 


Seal of Alexander, Earl of Menteith. 

Alexander Graham, grandson of Earl Malise, was infeft 
in the earldom in 1493. The "malis" had been a in the 
kingis handis the space of thre yheris." 2 The cause of 
delay in infeftment is not stated, but it must have arisen 

1 Stirling Protocol of 7th March, 1477 ; Instrument of Sasine, 8th October, 
1478. Red Book, vol. i. p. 302. John of Kilbride appears to be the John of the 
protocol of 1476, quoted above. Although described there as "son natural," it 
does not seem to be a necessary inference that he was illegitimate. It would have 
been an extraordinary almost indecent proceeding on the part of the Earl, to 
conjoin an illegitimate son with his Countess in the disposal of his jewels. 

2 Precept of sasine from William, Lord Ruthven, Sheriff of Perth ; printed in 
the Red Book, vol. ii. p. 302. 


276 The Lake of Menteith. 

either from the part the last Earl took with James III., or 
because Alexander was under age. On the 6th of May, 
1493, Michael Dun, bailie of the Sheriff of Perth, came "to 
the shore of the lake of Inchmahomok, near the Coldon, on 
the ground of the lands of Forth," and there, by giving 
earth and stone, in the usual manner, invested Alexander 
Graham in the possession of the earldom of Menteith. The 
particular spot where the investiture took place is described 
as "at the shore of the lake of Inchmahomok, between the 
said lake and the Coldone," and the time as the twelfth 
hour at noon or thereabout. 

Earl Alexander was a member of the King's Council 
which sat at Stirling, 25th August, 1495 j 1 and the records 
of the Scottish Parliament show that he attended a meeting 
of that body on the 10th of July, 1525. 2 A bond which he 
and other noblemen and gentlemen of Perthshire entered 
into at Perth, 27th May, 1501, with King James IV., 
wherein they engaged to do their utmost to suppress crime 
within their bounds, and bring the criminals to justice, 
gives indication of the disturbed state of the country and 
the prevalence of lawlessness at the time, as well as the 
methods by which that energetic King was endeavouring 
to restore order. The nobles, however, were still forming 
parties among themselves, and providing for their own 
interests in the old way of "bands" for mutual defence 
and support. Such a bond was entered into at Edin- 
burgh, 20th November, 1503, between Alexander, Earl 
of Menteith, and James, Earl of Arran, Lord Hamilton, 

*Acta Dominorum Concilii, p. 385. 

"Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, ii. 292. 

The Lake of Menteith. 

the instrument bearing to be written in " the court of 
the monastery of St. Colmoc, in the island called Inch- 
maquhomok." 1 

It was in Alexander's time that the first perpetual 
Commendator made his appearance at Inchmahome. The 
Earl himself was present at the ceremony of institution, 
15th March, 1529. 2 

The large family of the late Earl Malise had rendered 
it necessary to grant charters of lands in the earldom to 
his younger sons for their support. It was the policy of 
Alexander to redeem these lands ; and we find a transaction 
of this sort recorded in the Stirling Protocol Books, under 
dates 15th and 16th July, 1533. This was the sasine of 
William, the eldest son of Alexander, and his spouse, 
Margaret Mowbray, in the lands of Miltoun and Kirktoun 
of Aberfoyle, and sundry others mentioned, which had been 
lawfully redeemed from Walter Graham, the youngest son 
of the deceased Earl. 3 

Earl Alexander had married Margaret, daughter of 
Walter Buchanan of Buchanan. Of his two sons, William, 
the elder, succeeded him. The younger is said to have 
been the ancestor of the Grahams of Gartur. In the sasine 
above referred to, he is simply called Walter Graham, the 
Earl's son. The Earl died in 1536 or 1537. 4 

1 Red Book of Menteith, vol. ii. pp. 303 and 306. 

1 Extracts from Records of Stirling, vol. i. p. 266. 

8 Ibid, vol. i. p. 268. 

4 The Macgregor raiders were troublesome in the time of Earl Alexander. On 
1 5th November, 1533, the "robbers of the clan Gregor" were put to the horn for 
stealing forty cows from him and his son William, Master of Menteith. Pitcairn's 
Criminal Trials, i. 164*. 

278 The Lake of Menteith. 


Seal of William Graham, Third Earl of Menteith. 

The infeftment of William Graham, third Earl of his 
line, took place on the lands of Ernchome, on the shore 
of the lake of Inchmahome, on the 16th of May, 1537. 

While still Master of Menteith and Lord Kilpont, he 
had married, in 1521, Margaret, daughter of John Moubray 
of Barnbougle. His family by this lady consisted of five 
sons and two daughters. One of these daughters, Margaret 
Graham, became the second wife of Archibald, fourth Earl 
of Argyle. The marriage was solemnized at the Church 
of Inchmahome on the 21st of April, 1541 the celebrant 
being John Youngman, Canon of the Monastery. 1 The 
other, Christian by name, was married to Sir William 
Livingstone of Kilsyth. 2 Of the sons, John, the eldest, 

1 Stirling Protocol Books under date. 

2 Both Sir William Fraser and Mr Graham Easton make Christian Graham, 
wife of Sir William Livingstone, a daughter of John, the fourth Earl. But it does 
not seem possible that Earl John could have had a daughter of marriageable age 
in 1553 (his eldest son and successor was not of age for at least fifteen years later), 
previous to which time both writers agree in saying Lady Christian was married. 
All doubt on the point is removed by a clause in the will of Robert Graham of 

The Lake of Menteith. 279 

succeeded his father in the earldom. The others held 
various lands within the earldom, which need not here 
be enumerated. But it may be mentioned that it was 
through one of these sons, Eobert, that G-artmore came 
into possession of the family. 1 This property belonged to 
one Alexander Makauly of Erngobil, who, on the 23rd of 
May, 1547, granted Kobert Graham a charter of the two 
merk land of Gartmore charter granted at Inchmahome, 
and witnessed by James Bad, Canon of the Monastery ; 
and on the 3rd May, 1554, a charter of sale of the twelve 
merk land of Gartmore was granted by Walter Macaulay 
to the same Kobert Graham. 2 

Beyond various business transactions in lands, little is 
known of the life of Earl William. But his death, which 
took place in circumstances in which comedy and tragedy 
are intermingled, has kept his memory alive in the tra- 
ditionary lore of the district. It is almost needless to say 
that the story, as narrated by local tradition, assumes 
different forms, and that these forms vary both as to the 
names of the combatants and the cause of the quarrel in 
which the Earl fell. One story makes the victim, not the 

Gartmore (second son of William, the third Earl), in which he bequeaths " six ky 
and a bull or forty merks in hir choise" to his sister Cristane, Lady Kilsyth. 
Moreover, the inventory of Robert's daughter, Margaret Graham, was given up 
by Lady Kilsyth, her father's sister. 

1 Sir William Fraser makes Robert the third son. Mr Graham Easton says 
he was the second. Their names were John, Andrew, Robert, Gilbert, and Walter. 
Mr Graham Easton makes Andrew the youngest of the family. 

2 On the death of Gilbert Graham of Gartmore, the last laird of his line, without 
issue, in 1634, his sister Agnes succeeded. She had been previously married to 
John Alexander, a younger son of the first Earl of Stirling, her petition for service 
as her brother's heir bearing that it was made with the consent of her husband. 
Gartmore was sold in in 1644 to William Graham of Folder, who was made a 
baronet in 1665. 

280 The Lake of Menteith. 

Earl himself, but one of his sons. 1 According to this 
account, the Hurrays of Athole had come down on a foray 
into the realms of Menteith, and were intercepted and 
driven up the Pass of Glenny by the Grahams, led by 
a younger son of the Earl, when, at the summit of the 
Pass, an Athole man, from his concealment behind a tree, 
mortally wounded the young Graham as he was rushing 
past in the pursuit. Another version sends the men of 
Athole to the Isle on a friendly visit. The Earl happened 
to be out at the time, but his dinner was cooked and 
waiting his return. The Hurrays, probably thinking it a 
good joke, gathered up the roasted fowls destined for his 
dinner, and took their departure. Soon the Earl arrived, 
and, learning what had occurred, set off in eager and 
angry pursuit up the slopes of Hondhui. The leader of 
the Hurrays turned in a friendly way, no doubt intending 
to explain the joke, and, as he saw the Earl fitting an 
arrow to his bow, he shouted out as he handled his own : 
" Over me and over you." " No," cried the incensed Earl, 
"in me and in you." And in him it was, for the Hurray's 
arrow pierced his heart. His men, however, drove the 
enemy over the hill, and returned with their dying master 
to the Isle. 

In commemoration and in proof of this story, it is 
pointed out that the Grahams of Glenny and Hondhui 
were long known to the countryside as "Hen Grahams." 
And in this connection a veracious local legend tells the 
following gruesome tale. Once on a time a Graham and 

J It is certain, however, from authentic documents, that all the Earl's sons 
survived their father. 

The Lake of Menteith. 281 

a Macgregor had a quarrel on the hillside above the lake. 
Angry words were bandied, and the Macgregor's vocabulary 
of abuse being exhausted, he bethought him of the oppro- 
brious epithet, and was just about to give it utterance, when 
the Graham, divining his intention, whipped out his sword, 
and smote off his opponent's head so swiftly that he cut 
off the words along with it, and " Hen Graham " escaped 
from the lips of the severed head as it rolled down the 

When we turn from these local legends to more trust- 
worthy accounts, we find that it was not the Hurrays of 
Athole, but the Stewarts of Appin, led by the famous 
Donald nan Ord (Donald of the Hammers) who were 
responsible for the Earl's death. In an account of the 
family of Invernahyle, in a MS. communicated by Sir 
Walter Scott to Jamieson's edition of Captain Burt's 
Letters, the story is told in the following terms : 

11 One time, as returning from Stirlingshire, on passing 
through Menteith, his (i.e., the Hammerer's) party called 
at a house where a wedding dinner was preparing for a 
party, at which the Earl of Menteith was to be present; 
but, not caring for this, they stepped in and ate up the 
whole that was intended for the wedding party. Upon 
the Earl's arriving with the marriage people, he was so 
enraged at the affront put upon his clan, that he instantly 
pursued Donald, and soon came up with him. One of the 
Earl's men called out ironically, 

'Stewartich chui nan t' Apan, 
A cheiradhich glass air a chal.' 

282 The Lake of Menteith. 

One of Donald's men, with great coolness, drawing an 
arrow out of his quiver, replied 

' Ma tha 'nt Apan againn mar dhucha, 
'S du dhuinn gun tarruin sin farsid'; 1 

i.e., ' If Appin is our country, we would draw thee (thy 
neck) wert thou there' ; and with this took his aim at the 
Menteith man, and shot him through the heart. A bloody 
engagement then ensued, in which the Earl and nearly 
the whole of his followers were killed, and Donald the 
Hammerer escaped with only a single attendant, through 
the night coming on." 2 

In "The Stewarts of Appin" 3 the story is told in 
substantially the same way, but as might be expected 

1 These Gaelic couplets appear to be incorrectly given, and badly spelt. The 
first may be translatable thus : 

" You Stewart black from Appin, 
You tinker sallow upon kail." 

The " tinker," of course, was meant as a hit at the upbringing of Donald in the 
smithy. The second couplet may be translated : 

" If the Appin be ours as a country, 
'Tis black for us (or, possibly, it is necessary for us) to draw a shaft. " 

In Sir Walter's own version of the affray, as given in the account of Donald the 
Hammerer (Tales of a Grandfather, vol. i. p. 424, edit. 1892) the taunt of the 
Graham appears thus in English : 

" They're brave gallants these Appin men, 
To twist the neck of cock and hen." 

And Donald replied : 

" And if we be of Appin's line, 
We'll twist a goose's neck in thine." 

And he states that Donald escaped with a single follower. 

2 Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland, &c., edited by R. 
Jamieson, vol i. Introduction, p. xxiii. Sir Walter Scott adds, in a note: "As 
the quarrel began on account of the poultry devoured by the Highlanders, which 
they plundered from the earl's offices, situated on the side of the Port" Sir 
Walter must mean the lake " of Menteith, to accommodate his castle in the 
adjacent island, the name of Gramoch an gerig, or Grames of the hens, was fixed on 
the family of the Grames of Menteith." 

'The Stewarts of Appin, by John H. J. Stewart and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Duncan Stewart (Edinburgh, 1880), p. 168. 

The Lake of Menteith. 283 

with a colour rather more in favour of the Stewarts. They 
are represented, not as on a marauding expedition to the low- 
lands, but as returning from the battlefield of Pinkiecleuch. 
It is not denied that they ate the wedding dinner, but they 
were travel- worn and hungry ; and when the Grahams over- 
took them on the hill, they insulted them in a way the 
Stewart blood could not stand. 1 Finally, it is asserted that, 
in the conflict which followed, while the Earl of Menteith 
and most of his men were slain, " the Appin men marched 
off in triumph, the pipers playing the Stewarts' march." 

The earliest version of the tale unless Sir Walter's 
Invernahyle MS. be of older date is that given very 
shortly by Duncan Stewart, which must have been written 
before 1730, as that is the date of the author's death. He 
says simply : " This Donald of Innernahail commanded a 
party of men at the battle of Pinkie ; and in his return was 
attacked by the Earl of Menteith, in resentment of a little 
malverse some of Stewart's men had been guilty of in their 
march, when the Earl and some few of his friends and 
followers were killed." 2 

1 One of the Grahams taunted them thus : 

" Yellow-haired Stewarts of smartest deeds, 
Who could grab at the kail in your sorest needs." 

To which a Stewart replied : 

" If smartness in deeds is ours by descent, 
Then I draw and to pierce you this arrow is sent." 

The Homeric way in which the representatives of the Grahams and the 
Stewarts in this clan fight taunt each other in epigrammatic verses need not be 
taken as invalidating the substantial truth of the story. No doubt, the earliest 
forms of it were arranged by the bards of the clans, and certainly the allusions to 
the "kail" and the "hens" were very unlikely to have been invented without a 
basis of fact. We know that Donald of the Hammers himself was a noted 
improvisator^ and was in the habit of launching stinging epigrams at his oppo- 
nents in the field and the council. 

2 A Short Historical and Genealogical Account of the Royal Family of Scotland 
and of the Surname of Stewart, by Duncan Stewart, M.A. (Edin., 1739), p. 196. 

284 The Lake of Menteilh. 

Duncan Stewart and the authors of " The Appin 
Stewarts " are both wrong regarding the date of the 
incident. 1 Whatever the Stewarts were doing in Menteith 
at the time, they could not be returning from the battle of 
Pinkie. That battle was fought in September, 1547, when 
John Graham, the son of William, was Earl of Menteith. 
The death of Earl William must be dated in 1543, or, at 
the latest, early in 1544. 


John Graham succeeded his father in 1544, although 
he was not infeft in the earldom till the 26th of May, 1547. 
He at once began to take an active part in the affairs of 
that troubled time. He was present at the Convention 
held at Stirling on the 3rd of June, 1544, which suspended 
the Earl of Arran and transferred the regency to the 
Queen-mother. He signed the agreement then drawn up 
as "John Erie of Mentieth." 2 Between that date and his 
infeftment he attended several meetings of Privy Council. 3 
It was in his time that the island of Inchmahome afforded 
a refuge to the young Queen Mary. 4 But the statement 
made by Sir William Eraser, 5 and repeated by Mr. Graham 
Easton, 6 that he accompanied the young Queen Mary to 
France as one of her guardians, seems to be erroneous. 

1 For the scene of the occurrence see supra, p. 27. 

* Document in the State-Paper Office, first published by Tytler. History of 
Scotland, vol. ii., notes and illustrations, Y. 

3 Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. i. pp. 22, 60. 

4 See page 171. 5 Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. 318. 
9 Genealogical Magazine for June, 1897, p. 78. 

The Lake of Menteith. 285 

Lords Erskine and Livingston were the guardians of the 
Queen. Besides, the date given by both writers August, 
1550 is manifestly wrong. The young Queen left Dum- 
barton for France in the end of July, 1548. 1 In September, 
1550, however, 2 the Queen-mother, Mary of Lorraine, left 
Scotland on a visit to France, and the Earl of Menteith 
may have been one of her large retinue. 8 If so, he probably 
returned to Scotland with her in the following year, as 
he was present with her at a meeting of Privy Council at 
Stirling on 20th March, 1552. He was certainly one of 
her active partisans for several years, sitting in various 
Parliaments ; and, apparently in reward for his activity and 
fidelity, he received (16th August, 1554) a commission as 
Justiciar of the earldom and stewartry of Menteith. 

In 1559 his political attitude was changed. He joicted 
the Lords of the Congregation at Perth, and was in their 
army when that town was surrendered to them in June, 
1559. 4 Thenceforth he steadily adhered to the Protestant 
party. He was one of their leaders at the siege of Leith. 
He sat in the Parliament of 1560 which established the 
Keformation. 5 He was one of the twenty-four members 
nominated by the same Parliament, out of whom the 
Council of Twelve was to be chosen. 6 And although he 
was not one of the elect Twelve, yet he was certainly 

1 Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 47 ; and numerous other authorities. 
Lesley's Historic of Scotland (Scottish Text Society), vol. ii. p. 335. 

3 The writer has not been able to find any evidence to this effect Sir 
William Fraser gives no authority for his statement. 

4 Calderwood's History of the Kirk of Scotland, i. p. 476. 
6 Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, ii. p. 525. 
Tytler's History of Scotland (ed. 1864), vol. iii. p. 132. 

286 The Lake of Menteith. 

present at one at least of the meetings of the Privy 
Council. 1 He subscribed the first Book of Discipline. 2 
Calderwood notes his presence in the General Assembly 
in June, 1564 ; 3 but he must have died very soon there- 

He left a widow, Marion Seton, daughter of Lord 
Seton, who was subsequently married to John, tenth Earl 
of Sutherland, and along with her husband was poisoned 
in July, 1567, at Helmsdale, by Isabel Sinclair, wife of 
Gilbert Gordon of Gartay. 4 By the Countess Marion he 
had two sons William, his successor, and George, said 
to be the ancestor of the Grahams of Kednoch and one 
daughter, Lady Mary, married to John Buchanan of 


William Graham was not of age at his father's death, 
and the earldom was in the hands of the Crown for upwards 
of seven years. His infeftment did not take place till the 
20th of November, 1571. 6 But Earl William, like his 
father, was a precocious politician, and was busy with 
affairs of State before he attained his majority. He was 
one of the Commissioners of Parliament who received the 
demission of Queen Mary, 6 and he attended the Coronation 
of James VI. at Stirling, 29th July, 1567. 7 He took part 

1 Acts of the Privy Council of Scotland, i. p. 192. 

* Calderwood's History, &c., ii. p. 50. z Ibid, p. 282. 

4 Gordon's Genealogical History of the Earldom of Sutherland, i. p. 146. 

6 Red Book, vol. i. p. 325. 

'Signed at Lochleven, 24th July, 1567. 

7 In the Parish Church, Knox preaching the sermon. Register of Privy 
Council of Scotland, i. 537, 541. 

The Lake of Menteith. 287 

in the battle of Langside (13th May, 1568) l with the 
Eegent Moray, and attended many meetings of Privy 
Council and Parliament held thereafter. 2 He married, in 
1571, Margaret Douglas, daughter of Sir James Douglas 
of Drumlanrig and widow of Edward, Lord Crichton of 
Sanquhar. After the death of Regent Moray, he continued 
to enjoy the favour of the Regents Mar and Morton, and 
was a member of the Council of the latter. And when 
King James had assumed the royal authority, he was 
appointed one of the Councillors Extraordinary. 8 

During this Earl's time one of those local feuds, which 
were unhappily so common in Scotland, broke out between 
the Grahams of Menteith and their neighbours the Leckies, 
on the south side of the Forth. What the original cause 
may have been is not known. It is said in the records of 
the affair 4 to have been " licht and slendir." But the 
quarrel increased in intensity till several persons on both 
sides of it had lost their lives, and the Privy Council had 
to intervene. An attempted arrangement resulted only in 
a further outbreak of violence ; and finally, the Earl of 
Menteith and Walter Lecky of Lecky were summoned to 
appear before the Council. This was on the 23rd of May, 
1577. In February, 1578, Hugh, Earl of Eglinton, and 
George Buchanan of Buchanan became sureties for the Earl, 
under a penalty of 5000, that he would appear before 
the Council on the 1st of April following and bind himself, 

1 Calderwood, vol. ii. p. 415. *lbid t Hi. p. 119. 

'Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. iii. pp. 4, 47, 48, 56, 84, 115, 
119, &c. Register of Privy Council, vol. iv. pp. 24, 27, 97, 320. 

4 Register of Privy Council of Scotland, ii. pp. 612, 672, 729. 

288 The Lake of Menteith. 

his servants and dependants, to keep the peace and observe 
good order in the country. But the Earl was now John, 
a mere child, and the unruly Grahams and Leckies did not 
at once bury the hatchet. For at least five years longer 
the quarrel went on, and again made its appearance in 
court in the beginning of 1593, when it is to be hoped it 
was finally settled. 1 

Earl William died in 1577, leaving two young sons, 
John and George, and a daughter, Lady Helen. 


John Graham could scarcely have been more than five 
years of age at his father's death, and he was in minority 
for the greater portion of his tenure of the earldom. He 
was placed, as a ward of the Crown, under the guardianship 
of his uncle, George Graham of Eednoch, who was conse- 
quently known to legal and family documents as the Tutor 
of Menteith. In October, 1587, in virtue of a dispensation 
obtained from the King (James VI.), he was infeft in the 
earldom, although not yet fifteen years of age. In the 
same month, with consent of his curators, he entered into 
a marriage contract with Mary Campbell, sister of Duncan 
Campbell of Glenorchy, who brought him a dowry of eight 
thousand merks. In a MS. in the State-Paper Office, 
noting " the Present State of the Nobility in Scotland," 

1 Pitcaim's Criminal Trials, i. 282 : 23 January, 1 592-3, John, Earl of Men- 
teith, finds John Blair of that ilk, John Graham of Knockdolean, and Robert 
Graham of Thornick cautioners in 10,000 merks that " he sail in nawayis invade 
or persew Walter Lekky of that ilk, his kin, &c., in the deadlie feid standing betwix" 
them. And Walter Lekky finds John Murray of Polmaise his surety in 3000 merks. 

The Lake of Menteith. 289 

and dated 1st July, 1592, 1 the condition of this Earl is 
described as follows : Earl of Menteith : surname, Graham : 
religion, young : of nineteen years : his mother, daughter 
to the old Laird of Drumlanrig: married to Glenorchy's 
daughter : house, Kylbride. 2 He was not distinguished in 
the history of the times, and little is known of his private 
life, beyond accounts of lawsuits with his mother and 
quarrels with his relations. 

He died in December, 1598, leaving one son, William, 
and a daughter, Christian, who married Sir John Black- 
adder, of Tulliallan, a Nova Scotian Baronet. 

1 Printed in Tytler's History of Scotland, proofs and illustrations to vol. iv., 
No. xxiii. 

2 The fact that Earl John's house was Kilbryde Castle may indicate that by 
this time the old castle of Inchtalla had fallen into decay, and may be held as 
countenancing the supposition advanced in the chapter (vii. p. 205) on the 
existing ruins, that these represent buildings of seventeenth century origin, 
which were probably either erected wholly of new, or very largely rebuilt, by 
William the seventh Earl, son and successor of Earl John. 



The Last Two Graham Earls of 
Menteith, 1598-1694. 

" Wha climbs too high, perforce, his feet mon fail." 

" Base Fortune, now I see that in thy wheel 
There is a point, to which when men aspire 
They tumble headlong down. That point I touched." 


ILLIAM, the seventh of the Graham Earls of 
Menteith, was, both from the length of his 
tenure of the earldom and the nature of his 
public services, the most distinguished of his 
line. His long life was not without its vicissitudes. After 
his entry on public life, he rose rapidly to the highest 
place in the councils of his country and the esteem of his 
sovereign, and still more suddenly he fell from his high 
estate. Deprived of his only son by the dagger of an 
assassin, stripped of titles and harassed by creditors, he 
spent his old age in poverty and distress. 

He was born probably in 1588, 1 and was thus the third 

l S'ir Harris Nicolas History of the Earldoms of Strathern and Menteith, 
p. 29 says he was born in 1589, but Sir William Fraser gives reasons to show 
that the date must be placed earlier. 

The Lake of Menteith. 


minor who, in succession, had inherited the earldom. The 
wardship was given to his mother, along with James and 
George Elphinstone, and after passing through the hands 
of George Balfour, came to Sir Colin Campbell of Lundie, 
his mother's second husband. 1 He was infeft in the earldom 
in August, 1610. In 1612, he married Lady Agnes Gray, 

Seal of William Graham, Seventh Earl of Menteith. 

daughter of Patrick, Lord Gray. The marriage settlements 
gave rise to some litigation with his mother, but this was 
amicably arranged, and the mother whose second husband 
was by this time dead renounced all claims on the estate 
in consideration of an annuity of seven hundred merks. 

'Ward given to his mother and the Elphinstones in 1598; in 1600 disponed 
to George Balfour, who in turn transferred it to Lundie. 

292 The Lake of Menteith. 

The young Earl had decided talents for business ; and 
these he exhibited at the outset of his career in two ways. 
First of all he undertook the task of arranging and making 
inventories of the contents of his charter chest in the 
island of Talla. This business he did not quite complete, 
as certain memoranda appended to the inventories show. 
"Twa hundreth evident es not inventored" were in "ane 
meikle greit quhyt buist within the chartour-kist." The 
original charter of the earldom with "twa uther greit 
evidentis" were in "ane little coffer bandet with brass, 
and the key of the same hanging at it," an<J a "little 
kist" contained all the discharges, while there was "the 
number of ane hundreth and fyftie evidentes lying louss 
in the charter-kist of the lordschippe of Kilpont, quhilk 
is not inventored." 1 In the next place, he set himself 
to redeem the lands which had been alienated from the 
earldom and were now in the possession of others, and in 
this he was very successful. An instance of his care for 
the moral and spiritual welfare of the district was his 
purchase of the patronage of the Church of Aberfoyle from 
the Bishop of Dunblane, and the presentation of a minister 
(John Cragingelt, A.M., 1621). There was a nominal 
parson of Aberfoyle at the time, but he was a pluralist 
and non-resident, 2 so that in the words of the Bishop's 
Kesignation "that desolate congregation of Aberfule 
presentlie hes great necessitie of ane pastor, quhair never 

1 Inventory in the charter-chest of the Duke of Montrose : printed in the 
Red Book, vol. i. p. 333. 

2 Mr. William Stirling, who had been presented to the parsonage of Aberfoyle, 
27th August, 1571, had also the vicarage of Kilmadock and a manse in Dunblane, 
and to these, in 1574, was added the cure of the Parish of Port. Fasti Eccl. 
Scot, vol. ii. p. 718. 

The Lake of Menteith. 293 

in no man's memorie leving thair wes ony resident minister 
to preatche the word of God, nor minister his holie sacra- 
mentis, quhairthrow the maist pairt of the paroschinneris 
thairof remanes in great blindness and ignorance." 1 In 
return for the right of patronage, the Earl added 100 
(Scots) yearly to the stipend, besides giving the teinds of 
Boquhapple and Drumlean, and securing the manse and 
glebe to the use of the minister. 

His first transaction with King James appears to 
have been in connection with the affair of the " earth- 
dogges " elsewhere referred to, 2 and from that King he 
received his first public appointment, when, on the 15th 
of February, 1621, he was made Justiciar "within his 
hail boundis of the erledome of Menteithe, for the 
speace of ane yeir allanerlie," for the suppression of 
the crimes of theft and " pykrie," which had become too 
common in the district. In that year also he attended 
his first Parliament. 3 But it was under Charles I. that 
he rose to high distinction in the political affairs of the 
kingdom. On the 27th of December, 1626, he was 
appointed by the King a member of the Privy Council of 
Scotland and a Commissioner of Exchequer. On 21st 
February, 1628, he was installed President of the Privy 
Council in succession to the Earl of Montrose deceased; 
and in 1631 he was made President for life. Also in 1628 
(llth of July) he had received the additional appointment 
of Justice-General for Scotland. This dignity, which had 
formerly been hereditary in the Earl of Argyll, was con- 

1 Red Book, vol. ii. p. 320. 

2 See suprc^ p. 99. s Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, voL iv. p. 593. 

294 The Lake of Menteith. 

ferred on the Earl of Menteith for one year; but the 
commission was renewed in the following year, and he 
continued to hold the office till 1633. In 1630, he was 
further honoured by being made a member of the Privy 
Council of England. 

Earl William was now about the summit of his power, 
trusted by the King, and undoubtedly the most influential 
man in His Majesty's kingdom of Scotland. But he was 
laying the foundations of future difficulties for himself. 
The expenses of frequent journeys to London on the public 
business, and the general expenditure which his great 
position necessarily involved, together if we are to believe 
the Earl himself with the extravagances and unbusiness- 
like stupidities of his Countess, were getting him steadily 
into debt, which afterwards was the cause of the greatest 
misery to him, and eventually obliged him to alienate 
great portions of the property of the earldom. He was 
the recipient, certainly, of numerous promises and pensions 
from the King, but the promises like most of those of 
Charles were not often fulfilled, and the pensions were 
seldom, if ever, paid. The list of these visionary gifts is 
a curious one. In 1628 he was granted a pension of 500 
a year for life, to be paid out of the Exchequer of Scotland. 
In the following year, the King issued a warrant for a gift 
of 5000 sterling to the Earl, and also instructed the Earl 
of Mar, Lord Treasurer of Scotland, to pay him 500, 
because he had " furnished roabes for the Judges of our 
Circuite Courts, and sent out his deputies in that our 
service upon his own charge." Again, in 1630, on the 
Earl's resignation of his claim to the lands of the earldom 

The Lake of Menteith. 295 

of Strathern, the King granted a precept to the Lord High 
Treasurer, the Earl of Morton, for payment to him of 
3000 sterling. In the beginning of 1631, the Lord High 
Treasurer was ordered to pay him the sum of 8000, and 
again, in the end of the year, 15,000. This seems to 
imply that the previously promised sums had not been 
paid, and were now included in this gross sum of 15,000. 
But none of this reached him. When the Earl's misfortunes 
had overtaken him, he wrote to the King reminding him 
that the expenses he had incurred in his service had never 
been repaid, and beseeching him either to satisfy his 
creditors or suffer him to leave Scotland. The King 
proposed to give him for the satisfaction of urgent creditors 
132,000 merks, and until that sum was paid 500 yearly; 
also, to buy his house near Holyrood for 18,000 merks, 
and to give 30,000 merks for the Countess's pension of 
500. None of these sums were paid. In 1641 again 
the King acknowledged a debt of 5000 to the Earl, and 
instructed the Lords of the Treasury to give him a lease of 
the free rents of the lordships of Fife and Menteith, 
calculated to amount to 700 a year, until the debt should 
be paid. The Treasury, however, did not obey the royal 
command, and on the 18th of March, 1643, the King again 
issued a warrant to the Treasury for a payment of 7000 
out of the revenues of the customs. This, too, was 
disregarded ; and no further effort was made by Charles I. 
to pay his debts to the Earl of Airth. 1 It is scarcely to 
be wondered at. His subjects were getting more and 

1 The documents instructing these facts are all either printed or referred to in 
the Red Book of Menteith. 

296 The Lake of Menteith. 

more beyond his control, and his very life was now in 

Throughout the whole of this wretched pecuniary 
business one can see that the King was not without a 
sense of the good service that had been rendered him by 
the Earl of Menteith, and was not untouched by feeling 
for the calamities that had overtaken him. It is also 
obvious that the Earl had numerous and not too scrupulous 
enemies among the nobles and the official class in Scot- 
land. One wonders, however, at the King's impotence in 
the control of the government of his northern kingdom. 
His usual obstinacy seems to have deserted him. It 
was not an instance of the duplicity for which he has 
often been blamed. The Scottish Treasury calmly dis- 
regarded all his precepts and warrants, all his orders and 

Charles II., while at Portend, on the shore of the Lake 
of Menteith, in the year 1651, acknowledged the royal 
indebtedness to the Earl. He wrote that he had seen the 
warrant of his " umquill father of ever blessed memorie " 
for the principal sum of 7000 sterling and 700 yearly 
till that principal was paid, and added, we " doe heirby 
promise on the word off ane prince to sie it faithfullie 
payed when ever we find occasione." Occasion was so 
long in arising that the word of a prince was forgotten. 
The Earl survived till the Kestoration, but died not long 
after, without an opportunity of jogging the royal memory. 
His grandson and successor tried it, but his faith in the 
word of princes, if he had any, was also doomed to dis- 
appointment. In the petition which he presented to the 

The Lake of Menteith. 297 

King in 1661 he put the amount of the debt due to his 
grandsire at upwards of 50,000. 

Let us return to the Earl at the height of his prosperity, 
and note the causes of his downfall. An Act had been passed 
by James VI., in 1617, allowing those who might desire 
to make claims to heritable estates a period of thirteen years 
in which to investigate and make up their claims. Taking 
advantage of this Act, Menteith laid claim to the earldom 
of Strathern, from which his ancestor Malise had been 
ejected by James I. The lands which had been annexed 
to the Crown he renounced in favour of the King, as he 
did his right to the earldom, " provyding thir presentis 
nor noe clause thairof prejudge me and my foirsaidis of 
our right and dignitie of bluide perteining to us as aires 
of lyne to the said umqhile David, Erie of Stratherne." 
In consequence of this renunciation, and to mark his 
satisfaction therewith, the King was pleased to issue a 
patent, dated 31st July, 1631, ratifying and approving to 
Earl William of Menteith and his heirs-male the title of 
Earl of Strathern. While Strathern renounced all claim 
to those lands of the earldom which had been annexed 
to the Crown, he prosecuted his claims to the others 
with sufficient success to make enemies of those who thus 
either were deprived or feared they might be deprived of 
their possessions. Besides the properties acquired through 
these claims, he also made about this time considerable 
additions to his estates by purchase. The barony of Drum- 
mond or Drymen was acquired from the Earl of Perth 
in 1631. In 1632 he bought the lands, with the tower 
and fortalice, of Airth from the Earl of Linlithgow, and 

298 The Lake of Menteith. 

a royal charter re-erected these lands into a new barony 
of Airth. 

Now it was that his troubles began. His enemies of 
whom the ablest, if not the highest in rank and position, 
was Sir John Scot of Scotstarvet saw in his assumption 
of the title of Earl of Strathern a means of his overthrow. 
They had a statement drawn up and presented to the King 
in which they insinuated that, if the Earl was recognised 
as the legitimate heir of succession to Prince David, there 
might be danger to the present royal family : they affirmed 
that to restore the earldom of Strathern to the successors 
of Malise Graham was an insult to the memory of James 
I., and would justify the murder of that monarch by Sir 
Eobert Graham, the Tutor of Malise ; that the revenues 
of the Crown would be prejudiced and many honest gentle- 
men ruined in their estates by the separation of the earldom 
from the Crown ; and that James VI. had refused to grant 
the title even, much more the earldom, to any subject, on 
the ground, as he said, that he had no more for the blood 
and slaughter of King James the First. 1 To add to the 
force of these and other insinuations, the King was also 
informed that the Earl had made it a boast that "he had 
the reddest blood in Scotland." By these accusations it 
is evident that the suspicions of the King were aroused, 
but he was as yet unwilling to give up his friend. He is 
reported to have said that "it was a sore matter that 
he could not love a man but they pulled him out of 
his arms." However, he recalled the title of Strathern, 

1 Sir John Scot's True Relation (Sir Harris Nicolas's History of the 
Earldoms of Strathern and Menteith, app. p. xxviii.) 

The Lake of Menteith. 299 

and reduced all the documents in connection with the 
grant. To make some compensation he granted a patent 
for the creation of a new earldom, that of Airth, 
which was therefore (21st January, 1633) conferred on 
Menteith. 1 

But his enemies were not satisfied. They desired his 
complete ruin, and to that end accused him of treasonable 
language which they affirmed had been used by him. On 
the 1st of May, 1633, a Commission was appointed by the 
King to examine these charges and, in particular, as to 
a statement alleged to have been made by Airth that "he 
should have been King of Scotland, and that he had as 
good as or a better right to the crown than the King 
himself." The Earl, in an interesting letter to the King, 2 
absolutely denied having used this language "words which 
I protest to God I never spoke." The same letter also 
gives indication that the vultures were already gathering 
for their prey, for he informs His Majesty that he was the 
" subject of obloquy of the whole kingdom, and his creditors 
had already served inhibitions against him as if he were a 
bankrupt." The King arrived at Holyrood on the 15th of 
June, 1633; and the Commission for trying the case met 
on the 10th of July following. Airth, while steadfastly 
denying that he had ever uttered any such words, submitted 
himself absolutely to the King's pleasure. The Com- 
mission found the charge proven. Then the Earl, at the 

1 The earldom of Menteith was annexed to the new creation of Airth, 
with the precedence due to the Earls of Menteith by virtqe of the charter of 

* In the charter-chest of the Duke of Montrose : printed in the Red Book 
of Menteith, i. 369. 

300 The Lake of Menteith. 

suggestion of Traquair, signed the following submission to 
the King : 

SIB, Having examined myself from my infancie, I 
cannot, upon my soule, remember that ever I spok those 
words as ar conteined in Sir James Skeene his paper, zit 
finding by the depositiones of persones of qualitie to zour 
Majestie that sum such words may have escaped me as in 
law may bring my lyf and fortune in zour Majestie' s 
reverence, I will not stand outt, bot as guiltie, in all 
humilitie submitt my self at your Majestie 's feett. 

AlBTHE. 1 

At Halliruid Hous, the 15 Julij, 1633. 

The King's decision was declared on the 8th of November. 
The Earl had to give up his posts as President of the Privy 
Council and Justice-General, together with his pension of 
500, and everything else that had been granted to him by 
the King ; and he was ordered to be confined to his own 
house and the bounds thereof. 

He retired to Airth, and his creditors immediately began 
to swoop down on him. He wrote to the King informing 
him that he had had to sell one barony and mortgage 
another, and that those friends to whom he had given his 
lands in security had obtained a decree before the Lords 
of Session, and were now taking possession, so that he 
would be denuded of them at Whitsunday. He had the 
right of reversion at the following Martinmas, but, if the 
debts were not paid then, all was gone, and he was a land- 
less noble. He entreated His Majesty to satisfy these 

1 Original at Traquair : printed in Red Book of Menteith, i. 376. 

The Lake of Menteith. 301 

cautioners ; or, if not, to give him leave to retire from the 
kingdom to some place " where he might live and die 
obscurely and not see the fall of his house." 1 The King 
promised, and issued warrants, which seem, as usual, to 
have been neglected. It is, perhaps, to this first dis- 
appointment that another pathetic letter 2 to the King refers, 
in which he again begs permission to go out of the country, 
" that I sie not," he says, " such miserie, not having bene 
bred that way." After all, means were found to pacify 
some of the Earl's creditors, and stave off final ruin. 

After his treatment by the King, it is rather wonderful 
that the Earl of Airth continued faithful to his cause. Yet 
he not only did so, but so exerted himself as to some extent 
to regain the royal favour. In 1636, the King sent him a 
letter of thanks for his services in capturing a Highland 
freebooter called John Dhu Koy Macgregor a brother of 
Gilderoy in securing whom a near kinsman of the Earl 
had been slain. 3 In 1637, his confinement to the bounds 
of his own earldom came to a close, by the King's com- 
mand, and in a letter dated 17th March, 1638, a London 
correspondent, who signs himself Jo. Wishart, congratulates 
him on his restoration to the royal favour, which he com- 
pares to a " resurrectione frome the grave." 4 This year 
1638 was that in which the opposition to the King's 
measure in Scotland rose to its height, culminating in 
the signing of the National Covenant. The Earl steadily 

1 Letter written from Airth, dated 3rd April, 1634. 

"Preserved among the Menteith Papers at Gartmore, and printed in full 
in Notes on Inchmahome, p. 151. 

3 Letter printed in Red Book, H. 58. 

4 From the Gartmore Papers : printed in Notes on Inchmahome, p. 141. 

302 The Lake of Menteilh. 

discountenanced this movement so far as his influence 
extended and he and his son, Lord Kilpont, were severally 
thanked for their conduct at the time, and informed that 
His Majesty would acknowledge their affection to his 
service in a real manner when occasion should offer. 1 

As symptomatic of his growing favour with the King, 
he was, in 1639, again appointed a member of the Privy 
Council, and was requested to attend His Majesty's Com- 
missioner the King seemed to think the latter required 
to be watched as one of the Council, at the meeting of 
the Assembly and the Parliament to be held that year. 
Of the proceedings at these meetings he sent a confidential 
account to the King, and was afterwards instructed to 
repair in person to Hampton Court for conference and to 
learn His Majesty's further pleasure. When the Covenan- 
ting war broke out, the Earl of Airth and his son were, of 
course, for the King. They were made Lieutenants of 
Stirlingshire for raising men for the royal army ; and they 
executed their commission with much vigour. Lord 
Kilpont served with distinction under Montrose, but his 
career was cut short by his assassination, in Montrose's 
camp at Collace, by his kinsman and retainer, James 
Stewart of Ardvoirlich. 

Meanwhile, the Earl's pecuniary embarrassments con- 
tinued. The lands of Airth had been apprised from him 
in 1638. Mondhui was wadset in 1641 to Walter Graham 
of Glenny on a letter of reversion which was afterwards 
(in 1652) renounced. Kilbride was disposed of in 1643; and 
his silver-plate went to satisfy the claims of the Laird of 

1 Printed in Red Book, ii. 59. 

The Lake of Menteith. 303 

Keir in 1645. He was now pretty well plucked. During 
the supremacy of the Commonwealth he could not look 
for assistance. In fact, the poor remains of his posses- 
sions seem to have suffered further dilapidation at that 
time. His house of Airth was made a garrison by Crom- 
well's troops. 1 General Monck, from Cardross, 17th May, 
1654, ordered him to cut down the woods of Milton and 
Glassart in Aberfoyle parish, as being " great shelters to 
the rebells and mossers." In August of the same year, 
the parish was burned and wasted by the English army, 
cultivation was utterly ruined for the time, and the houses 
destroyed. The house of Drymen, also, with its furniture, 
was burned. 2 

He lived to see the restoration of Charles II. to the 
throne, but not much more. He was alive and staying 
at Inchtalla where he seems to have spent the most of 
his later life on the 1st of January, 1661, for that is the 
date of a letter addressed to him by his son-in-law, Sir 
John Campbell of Glenorchy, who had come to pay his 
father-in-law a New Year visit, and to consult him about 
his affairs, but could not get access to the island on account 
of the ice. Next month his grandson is mentioned as 
second Earl of Airth and Menteith. 3 

The Countess survived him. Their domestic life had its 
disagreements, some of which are most amusingly told not 

1 Act of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. vi. p. 687. 

2 Petition presented to Parliament in 1663 by William, second Earl of Airth. 
Acts of Parliaments of Scotland, vol. vii., app. p. 100. 

3 This is the statement of Sir William Fraser (Red Book, vol. i. p. 390) ; but a 
letter is extant, written to him by his grandson, then still Lord Kilpont, on the I3th 
April, 1661. 

304 The Lake of Menteith. 

the less amusingly, perhaps, because the Earl is in down- 
right earnest about it all in a manuscript written by his 
own hand. 1 He speaks of her Ladyship as " my divelish 
wyf," "this wofull wyfe of myne," "that wicked woman," 
and, with bitter irony, "this wyse woman of myne," "my 
prudent wyfe," "my goode wyfe," and tells a sad tale of 
her lamentable ongoings, which were bringing debt and 
ruin upon him. She had, without her husband's know- 
ledge, bought from her " false uncle," the Earl of Carrick, 
his pension of 9000 merks yearly from the Exchequer, for 
which she agreed to pay him the sum of 7000 merks a 
year, Lords Forrester and Tulliallan becoming securities 
for the payment. The payment fell into arrears, and the 
Earl of Carrick " put hard at the Lord Forrester, intended 
a process against him, and took infeftment of his lands 
of Corstorphine." To relieve Forrester the Earl had to 
pay, "in layed doune money," 42,000 merks. "This," he 
cries out, " wes one of my divelish wyf hir wys actes, fortie 
two thousand mks., 42,000 merks ! " Next, when again 
the Earl was in London, his "prudent wyfe" married her 
second daughter, Margaret, to Lord Garlics, eldest son of 
the Earl of Galloway, giving in tocher 27,000 merks, for 
which sum again she gave some of her husband's friends 
as cautioners ; and before the " said doghter went home 
to her awin, she was four thousand merks more;" but 
in his indictment of his wife, the Earl as they do in the 
law courts restricts the total sum to "threttie thousand 
merks." All this money, he says, was as much lost to 

Printed in the Notes on Inchmahome, app. iv. p. 145-150, from papers at 

The Lake of Menteith. 305 

him as if it had been cast into the sea. The Earl of 
Galloway was nearly related to him, their estates were far 
apart, the children of the married couple had died, and 
for the sum given as tocher he might have married three 
of his daughters to barons in his neighbourhood, any one 
of whom would have been more useful to him than the 
Earl of Galloway. In the third place, she wanted him 
to buy a house in Edinburgh, instead of paying rent for 
the little house he dwelt in there "besyde the Churchyaird, 
pertaining to one Kidderfoord." He refused, notwithstand- 
ing her protestation that it would serve as a house for 
the lands of Kinpont. After that, however, in some 
transactions with the Earl of Linlithgow, he bought from 
that nobleman a house at the back of Holyrood Abbey, 
paying for it 8500 merks, " and it wes no ill pennieworth, 
for it wes worth the money." But no sooner had he 
gone again to London than his wife set all manner of 
tradesmen to re-edify the house, so that he calculates 
that it cost him in all 25,000 merks, but he "will only 
sett doune heir 20,000 merks." And after all, when he 
had to leave Edinburgh, he disponed the house to his 
son James, and within two years it took fire and was 
totally burned. This calamity could scarcely be laid to 
the blame of the Countess, but he cries in his vexation, 
" so becam of everie thing that the unhappie woman, my 
wyfe, hade hir hand intoo." The speculations of the 
Countess had now cost her husband, according to his 
reckoning, 92,000 merks. " Bot," he says, "this is nothing 
to that which will follow heireefter." This was a business 
venture in coal and salt. The Earl had a coal heuch and 

306 The Lake of Menteith. 

six salt-pans at Airth, which were let on a nine years' 
lease to William Livingstone, " ane very honest man," at 
a yearly rent of 2500 merks in money and a supply of 
coals estimated at 500 merks to the house of Airth. 
The Countess had been persuaded by " sum unhappie 
bodies " that she could make 6000 merks a year out of 
the works if they were in her own hands. Her lord, 
however, refused to break the lease, which had still some 
years to run, as Livingstone was a good tenant and paid 
regularly. " So shee parted in ane greate snuffe, and shee 
tooke ane uther way to worke." She harassed Livingstone, 
and withdrew the tenants and workmen from his service, 
so that he came to the Earl and, " with tears in his 
eyes," offered to surrender the lease on any terms his 
Lordship might think just. Out of pity he gave him 
4500 merks. The Countess then went to work with great 
energy, sunk great and deep " sumps," erected a water 
mill and a horse mill, and built two new salt-pans, all at 
great cost, and all without her husband's authority. We 
are given to understand that this, like the other business 
speculations of the energetic lady, came to sad grief; but 
the amount of deficit which her husband had to make 
good is not mentioned, as the Earl's narrative of his 
wife's delinquencies has been interrupted, and breaks off 

The Earl of Airth had a large family six sons and 
four daughters. The eldest son, John, Lord Kilpont, 
was killed at Collace, 6th September, 1644. The second 
son, Sir James, became Governor of Drogheda, and had a 
daughter, Helen, who was much in evidence in connection 

The Lake of Menteith. 307 

with the negotiations for settling the earldom in the time 
of its last holder. Eobert, Patrick, and Charles are known 
only by name. Archibald was a country gentleman, and 
a douce elder in Port of Menteith Parish Church. Of the 
daughters, Mary was married to Sir John Campbell of 
Glenorchy, Margaret was the young lady disposed of by her 
managing mother to Lord Garlies, Anne became the wife of 
Sir Mungo Murray of Blebo, and Jean is only a name. 

William, the eldest child and only son of Lord Kilpont, 
succeeded his grandfather in the earldom. 


This Earl, who held the title for thirty-three years, 
gives one the impression of eccentricity ; although it must 
be admitted he had a rather hard time of it. All his life 
he had to struggle with comparative poverty and general 
ill-health. His domestic relations were not happy : he 
divorced his first wife, and had difficulties with the second. 
He had no children by either; and was greatly worried by 
questions of the succession. A large portion of his time 
was spent in dunning the King and endeavouring to obtain 
payment of the arrears of pensions and other debts due 
to his grandfather ; and it is to be hoped he found some 
pleasure in this pursuit, for profit of it he had none. The 
only pleasurable bit of excitement that came into his life 
was when he hunted the Covenanters in his neighbourhood. 
He professed that he enjoyed this rejoicing with special 
delight over the capture of one Arthur Dugall, an obstinate 

Covenanter of Kippen, " who was the verie first man that 

308 The Lake of Menteith. 

did harbor and reseat the horrid murderis of the lat Arch- 
bishop of St. Androws." 1 He lamented that he had 
narrowly missed Hackstoun and Balfour, who happened 
to be at the same conventicle at which Dugall was taken. 
He wished, with all his soul, that he had " one sure bout " 
of them, so that he might more fully prove his affection 
to His Majesty's service. " I doubt not," he wrote, " to 
put them in a verie great fear, all betwixt Dumbarton and 
Stirling, and sail put them from thes disorderly mittings, 
for on all occassions I'll hazard my life for the royall 
interest." For his encouragement in this laudable frame 
of mind, the valiant Earl received the acknowledgments 
of the Privy Council, and a message from the King, that 
he would show him the royal favour " upon a fitt occasion." 
It is scarcely necessary to say that the fit occasion never 
came. In 1681, his friend and relative, Claverhouse, also 
wrote him from London, complimenting him on having 
" taken his trade off his hand," and having become " the 
terror of the godly." "I begin to think it tyme for me," 
he added, " to set a work again, for I am emulous of your 
reputation." In all of which phraseology one can detect 
something like a sneer, or, at least, a smile, at the valetudin- 
arian Earl and his man-hunts in the wilds of Kippen. 

A good deal of the Earl's correspondence has been 
preserved, and it is both interesting and amusing. He 
strews his page especially when he is labouring under 
excitement with irrelevant whiches in the most lavish way. 

1 The correspondence of the Earl on this and other subjects is in the 
charter-chest of the Duke of Montrose, and has been printed in the Red Book 
of Menteith, from which the quotations heie given are taken. 

The Lake of Menteith. 309 

Here is an instance in a letter to his uncle, Sir James 
Graham " Let him know if he wold be welcum, wich for 
my sak at least ye will admit of a visit from himself wich 
will be soon as you ar pleased to return a favorable ansyre 
to me in his behalf; wich my Lord Marquis of Montrose 
has wreatten a letter to you on his behalf." Sairey Gamp 
could not have bettered that. 

Much of this correspondence deals with what was his 
most pressing business all his life through the attempt 
to raise money for his immediate needs, and to satisfy 
his ever-pressing creditors. Writing to the Earl of Wemyss, 
from The Isle, on the 18th November, 1667, he declares 
that he is " warpt in a laberinth of almost a never ending 
truble," and not the least trouble is that he cannot make 
his Lordship payment of his claim against him. " What 
I sal doe this year," he goes on to say, " the Lord knows, 
for I know not. Both myself, land, woods, ky and horses, 
I lay all befor your Lordship, doe as it seemeth good in 
your eyes, for on everie syde I am perplext by to pressing 
credditors, and in consenc this terme of Martimis they 
wil get no monyes tho' they should tak my life." 

A letter written from "the He," 27th June, 1681, to 
James, third Marquis of Montroge, furnishes an instance 
not without its ridiculous side of his continued impe- 
cuniosity. He had resolved to " ride the Parliament " 
at Edinburgh next month, and was determined to make 
as brave a show as his rank required. He was to have 
four footmen in livery footmen were probably cheap in 
Menteith at that time but he had no suitable robes for 
himself. Those that had belonged to his grandfather had 

310 The Lake of Menteith. 

been destroyed in the English time, and he had never 
been able to procure new ones. He therefore earnestly 
besought the Marquis to obtain for him from some earl 
the loan of his earl's robes, foot-mantle, velvet coats, and 
other things necessary for his appearance in proper Par- 
liamentary outfit. He promised to use them only for one 
day, and to keep them carefully so that none of them 
should be spoiled. With a touch of vanity he added, 
" the last tyme when I reid the Parliment, I cearied the 
secepter," and, as if it would be taken as a guarantee of 
his honesty, he reminded the Marquis that on that occasion 
he "head the lene of the deces'd Earle of Lowdian's 
robes." He further asked " the lene of a peacable horse," 
as it seems he was troubled with gouty affections both in 
his hands and feet. He did attend the meeting of Par- 
liament, so it is to be assumed that he succeeded in 
getting "the lene" of an earl's robes and a sufficiently 
peaceable horse. 

Another interesting section of the Earl's correspondence 
concerns the succession to the earldom. He had no 
children. The nearest heir was his uncle, Sir James 
Graham, who resided in Ireland, and was now an old 
man. 1 This Sir James had one unmarried daughter, named 
Helen ; and it is around this young lady that all the 
correspondence circles. The well-known John Graham 
of Claverhouse offered himself to the Earl to be adopted as 

1 Sir James Graham, second son of William, the seventh Earl, married 
Margaret Erskine, daughter of the Earl of Buchan, and had by her one daughter, 
Marion, who was married to Walter Graham of Gartur. By his second wife, 
Isabella, daughter of the Bishop of Armagh, he had a daughter named Helen 
or Eleanor. 

The Lake of Menteith. 311 

his son and to be married to Helen Graham. The letter in 
which he makes this offer is extremely interesting, clever, 
and plausible. He tells how Julius Caesar had no occasion 
to regret his want of issue, because in his adopted son 
(Augustus) he secured a faithful friend and a wise successor, 
neither of which he could have promised himself by having 
children of his own, " for nobody knows whether they begit 
wyse men or fooles, besids that the tays of gratitud and 
friendship ar stronger in generous mynds than those of 
natur." "I may say," he adds, "without vanity, that I 
will doe your family no dishonor, seing there is nobody you 
could mak choyse of has toyld so much for honor as I 
have don, thogh it has been my misfortun to atteen but a 
small shear." His proposal was that the Earl should settle 
the succession on Helen Graham and her heirs, that she 
should then be married to himself, and in this way, as 
he pointed out, the earldom would be preserved in the 
family of Graham. He had seen the young lady, and pro- 
fessed the greatest devotion. He protested that it was not 
for the expected honour she was to receive that he desired 
to gain her hand : he would take her " in her smoak." 

The Earl was willing to agree to this arrangement, but 
Sir James and his wife we are not informed of the feelings 
of the young lady were not. An arrangement was then 
made with the Marquis of Montrose, by which the earldom 
of Airth and Menteith was to be provided to the Marquis 
on condition of his marrying Helen Graham and securing 
the Earl in a life annuity of 150. This proposal was well 
received by Sir James and his lady and by the fair Helen 
herself; and all seemed to be in good train for success 

312 The Lake of Menteith. 

wh*en the Marquis, proving faithless, went off and married 

Meantime the charter conveying the lands and honour 
of the earldom of Menteith to the Marquis of Montrose 
had received the signature of the King. Sir James 
Graham made representations to his Majesty, with the 
result that the portions concerning the peerages and the 
lands of Airth were cancelled, and the gift was restricted 
to the lands of the earldom of Menteith only. Thus it 
happens that the estates of the ancient earldom or rather, 
the small portion of them then left are now in the pos- 
session of the Duke of Montrose, while the titles are in 
the air, waiting for the advent of a claimant who shall 
prove himself an undoubted representative of the family. 
The Earl was, after all this, urged by Claverhouse to recall 
the disposition to Montrose, and to make him his heir, 
and again recommend him to Sir James Graham, who, he 
hinted, would not now be averse to accept him as a son- 
in-law. Miss Graham, however, was given in marriage to 
Captain Eawdon, heir apparent of the Earl of Conway. 

The disposition of the estate was never recalled, although 
the Earl, after a letter received from his uncle in 1683 in 
which it is plainly stated that there had been a combination 
between Montrose and Claverhouse to overreach the poor 
old man resolved to visit the Court next year and submit 
the whole affair to the King. But, the Marquis of Mon- 
trose having died in April, 1684, he was dissuaded by John, 
Master of Stair, from going to Court at the time. Stair's 
letter to the Earl is somewhat contemptuous in tone as 
if he were dealing with a crank with whom it was difficult 

The Lake of Menteith. 313 

to have patience. It lets us know the curious fact that 
Menteith, who was now fifty years of age possibly in the 
hope of yet having a natural successor to his titles had 
married a second wife, and that before the divorce from 
the first had been completed. The letter does not spare 
the Earl : " I shall never believ yow have bein so ill 
advysed as to have entred into another mariage till this 
was dissolved, if it be possible. I must say it's hard to 
determin whither yow hav bein more industrious to preserv 
or destroy yourself : only I am convinct they do not thriv 
that medle with yow." 

In all the marriage and succession correspondence, 
Claverhouse proves himself a very clever writer. He 
shows much ingenuity in his ways of putting things, and 
his style is not only clear and vigorous, but even graceful. 
It contrasts with the obscure and fumbling manner of the 
Earl. The latter generally confines himself to not very 
clear statements of business ; but in one letter addressed 
to the Marquis of Montrose after the latter had got married 
not to Helen Graham he attempts a poetical compli- 
ment, thus : " Be pleased to present my verrye humble 
servise to my speciall good Ladey, to whom I heave sent 
some chimes " no doubt from the fruit gardens at Inch- 
mahome : it was the 27th of June, old style " to kiss hir 
fair handis, who blushes that they are not worthe to present 
themselves to so vertious and excelant a Ladey." But he 
does not often break out in that way. And, after all, he 
does not come out of the affair worst. He was honest, and 
his intentions were good ; but he wanted adroitness and 
possibly suppleness. The Marquis of Montrose appears 

314 The Lake of Menteith. 

but little in the correspondence. Sir James Graham's 
letters show him a clear-headed man of business. 

The Earl's first wife was Anna Hewes to judge by the 
name, an Englishwoman but really nothing is known 
regarding her. The decree of divorce is dated 19th July, 
1694, but it would appear that even before it was issued 
he had, greatly daring, married again. 1 The second 
wife was Katherine Bruce, daughter of Thomas Bruce 
of Blairhall. In the Earl's circumstances it was praise- 
worthy, and even necessary, to practise economy ; and 
he set about it in his usual fussy way. He drew up a 
paper in which he minutely specified the quantities of 
provisions and materials and sums of money that were 
to be allowed annually to my Lady for the maintenance 
of the house. This document shows that there must 
have been a fairly numerous household on the island at 
the time, and is of interest as indicating the sort of fare 
on which they lived. He allows four score bolls of good 
oatmeal "quhilk is to be layed in the old girnell in the 
Isle, and my Ladie to keep the keye of it," and three 
score bolls of bear to be made into malt, " in my Lord's 
oune kill at the stables." Cheese must have been a 
favourite article of diet, as forty stones of it are allowed, 
" whairof ten stone Glaschyle cheese." The Glassachoil 

1 The Earl charged his wife with infidelity one of the co-respondents, it may 
be noted, was the novelist Fielding and the lady replied with a similar charge 
against her husband, a plea of connivance, and an allegation of bigamy on account 
of his marriage with Catherine Bruce while legal proceedings were still pending. 
The whole wretched history of the case and the curious manipulation of legal forms 
by which the bigamy charge of which the Earl really was guilty was evaded and 
finally departed from, may be found in the law reports. (Fountainhall's Decisions, 
pp. 248-308). 

The Lake of Menteith. 315 

cheese was perhaps a superior brand, reserved for the 
family circle. Butter was not in such common use 
only ten stones of good salt butter being required. For 
fish, two thousand herrings were allowed, and all the fishes 
" that can be had in the loches and waters there." Her 
ladyship might also supplement the allowance of meat with 
"all the veneson and wyld foule that can be gotten." 
The allowance of eggs was a hundred dozen, " or else six 
pounds Scots theirfor." That works out at ten for a 
penny sterling eggs were cheap in those days. Four 
stots, ten quarters old, were to supply the fresh meat, and 
eight fat kyne and oxen for "mairts"; besides "all the 
reek hens, poultrie, and capones in the bounds of Menteith 
and Drummond." The milk for the house was to be sup- 
plied by five new-calved cows to be kept on Portend, and 
one good cow in the Easter Isle (Inchmahome) both 
summer and winter. My Lady was to have three hundred 
merks (16 13s. 4d. sterling) for her clothes and purse, 
and four hundred merks " for whyte bread, flour, sheugar, 
spycerie and aquavite, brandi, reasins, plume demis and 
soap " a modest sum, surely, for such a miscellaneous 
catalogue of luxuries. All this, and much more set down 
at length in the agreement was formally subscribed by 
my Lord and my Lady, before witnesses, at the Isle of 
Menteith, on the 1st of January, 1685. 

It is not surprising that the Countess soon got tired of 
this over management, and went off to Edinburgh. The 
story was that she could not stand the croaking of the 
frogs outside her chamber window, but the probability is 
that it was the croaker within who was the chief cause 

316 The Lake of Menteith. 

of her flight. At Edinburgh she remained, evincing no 
disposition to return, until the Earl got alarmed, and com- 
missioned his man of business there to tempt her back 
with promises and agreements. In this he was successful. 
A marriage contract there had been none before was 
drawn up, and signed by the parties on 16th and 18th 
March, 1687. This contract contains a clause very charac- 
teristic of the Earl. After providing the estates to the 
eldest son should there be a son of the marriage, it 
gives 20,000 merks to the daughters if there should be 
daughters indicating at the same time that these 20,000 
merks existed as yet mainly or only in the imagination, 
and depended for their materialisation on the " freugall 
and verteows leiving " of the Earl and his Countess. The 
lady undertakes to reside in the Isle with her husband, 
and when his lordship is absent, to stay at home at their 
ordinary place of residence. By these arrangements, the 
domestic harmony was restored, although the Earl, not- 
withstanding all manner of frugal and virtuous living, 
remained all his life hard up, and found it anything but 
easy to maintain his household. 1 

x The impecuniosity of the Earl is indicated in the traditionary story of 
" Malise Graham and the Roe-skin Purse." As told by M'Gregor Stirling it 
runs thus : " The last Earl of Monteath being obliged, for the reason already 
mentioned (*.<?., debt) to retire to the asylum for debtors, the Abbey of Holyrood, 
applied to one of his vassals, and his kinsman and namesake, Malise Graham, 
of Glassart, on the southern shore ol Loch Catherine, for such a supply of money, 
or such security, as might relieve him. Faithful to the call of his liege lord, 
Malise instantly quitted his home, dressed like a plain Highlander of those days, 
travelling alone, and on foot. Arriving at the Earl's lodging, he knocked for 
admittance, when a well-dressed person opening the door, and commiserating his 
apparent poverty, tendered him a small piece of money. Malise was in the act 
of thankfully receiving it, when his master, advancing, perceived him, and chid 
him for doing a thing which, done by his pecuniary friend, might tend to shake 

The Lake of Menteith. 317 

The Lady Katherine died early in the year 1692. Two 
years later in September, 1694 the Earl himself passed 
from his troubles. His estate had already been disposed 
of to the Marquis of Montrose. His personal property 
it was not much, or valuable 1 he left to his nephew, Sir 
John Graham of Gartmore, on condition that he paid 
certain debts and legacies, provided for the decent burial 
of the Earl, and erected a monument for him and his 
Countess. To what extent his wishes were obeyed is stated 
elsewhere. 2 



JOHN, LORD KILPONT, was born in or about 1613. When 
his father held the title of Earl of Strathern, he married 
Lady Mary Keith, eldest daughter of the Earl Marischal, 
receiving with her a dowry of ^30,000 Scots, while the 
lady was infeft in the baronies of Kilbride and Kilpont, 

his credit more than ever. The Highlander, making his appropriate obeisance, 
but with the utmost nonchalance, took from his bosom a purse, and handing it to his 
lordship, addressed him in the following words, originally in Gaelic, but now 
translated : ' Here, my lord, see and clear your way with that. As for the 
gentleman who had the generosity to hand me the halfpenny, I would have no 
objection to accept of every halfpenny he had.' The story declares that his 
lordship's necessity was completely relieved, and that he instantly returned 
with his faithful vassal to his castle in the Loch of Monteath." Notes on 
Inchmahome, p. 12. 

1 See the inventory and details of his personal possessions, chap. vii. 
pp. 209-215. 

2 See chap. iv. pp. 116-118, 

318 The Lake of Menteith. 

and received an annuity of 1000 merks out of the barony 
of Drummond. The contract is dated llth April, 1632, and 
the marriage took place in the course of that year. Lord 
Kilpont acted as his father's assistant in the justiciarship 
of Menteith, and in that capacity was instrumental in 
bringing to justice the noted robber, John Dhu Macgregor. 
For this service he was thanked by the King in 1636. 
He also received a letter of thanks in 1639 for his steady 
adherence to the King's interest as against the Covenanters. 

In 1644 the Committee of Estates authorized him to 
assemble the men of Menteith, Lennox, and Keir, in order 
to guard the passages to Perth against the Irish levies 
who were on their march from the west. With this force, 
amounting to about 400 men, he was posted at the hill of 
Buchanty, in Glenalmond, when he was met by Montrose 
at the head of the Irish and Highland troops, and so far 
from resisting, he went over to him with the whole body 
of troops under his command. 

The battle of Tibbermuir was fought on the 1st of 
September. After a rest of a few days in Perth, Montrose 
crossed the Tay on the 5th of September, and pitched his 
camp at Collace. That night he gave an entertainment 
to his officers to celebrate the victory at Tibbermuir. After 
the banquet a quarrel of some sort arose between Kilpont 
and his intimate friend, James Stewart of Ardvoirlich, who 
had shared his tent and his bed, which ended in Stewart 
stabbing his friend with his dagger and escaping from the 
camp. The murderer fled to the Covenanting army, 
where he was received by Argyll, and promoted ultimately 
to the rank of Major. The body of Lord Kilpont was 

The Lake of Menteith. 319 

conveyed to Menteith and interred in the Chapter House 
of the Priory of Inchmahome. 1 Lady Kilpont was so 
affected by the death of her husband that she lost her 
reason. A bitter feud which lasted long between the 
Grahams of Menteith and their friends and the Stewarts 
of Lochearnside was another consequence. Kilpont's son 
was a boy of about ten years of age at the time of his 
father's death, but he never forgot the circumstances. At 
the very earliest opportunity he had, that is, immediately 
after the Eestoration in 1660, he tried to open the question 
of his father's murder by a petition to the King. After 
his accession to the earldom, he addressed the King again 
on the subject. Neither of these petitions had any effect. 
But the Earl continued to cherish his feeling of resentment, 
and as late as 1681, in a letter to the Marquis of Montrose, 
he refers to one Eobert Stewart, who had purchased Stra- 
gartney, as "the treterous son of that cruell murderer of 
my faither, who was his Lord and Master." 2 

The motive of Ardvoirlich in this slaughter of his friend 
is obscure, and the accounts are somewhat conflicting. The 
sources of information in regard to it are three. First, there 
is the story as told by Wishart, the Chaplain of Montrose. 
This was the version that was before Sir Walter Scott 
when he wrote the Legend of Montrose, and it of course 
reports the incident from the Boyalist point of view. Next 
there is the account handed down in the Ardvoirlich family, 
and sent by one of the members of that family to Sir 
Walter, who published it in a postscript to his story. 

1 See chap. iv. p. in. 

* Letter in the Red Book of Menteith, ii., p. 192. 

320 The Lake of Menteilh. 

That, as might be expected, puts the action of Stewart in 
a distinctly more favourable light. And, in the third place, 
there is the statement of the circumstances in the Act of 
Parliament which ratified the pardon for the deed previously 
granted by the Privy Council, which if it may not be 
held as an absolutely impartial statement may at least be 
taken as putting the case in a light that was not regarded 
as unfavourable to Ardvoirlich. 

Wishart accuses Ardvoirlich, whom he calls " a base 
slave," of a plot to murder Montrose. He endeavoured to 
draw Kilpont into the plot, and when the latter expressed 
his detestation of the villainy, he stabbed him with many 
wounds before he had time to put himself on his guard; 
then killing a sentinel, he escaped in the darkness. He 
adds " Some say the traitor was hired by the Covenanters 
to do this ; others, only that he was promised a reward 
if he did it " the distinction seems rather a fine one. 
" However it was, this is most certain, that he is very 
high in their favour unto this very day ; and that Argyle 
immediately advanced him, though he was no soldier, to 
great commands in his army." And he concludes with a 
touching account of Montrose's tribute to his dead friend 
" Montrose was very much troubled with the loss of that 
nobleman, his dear friend, and one that had deserved very 
well both from the King and himself ; a man famous for 
arts, and arms, and honesty ; being a good philosopher, a 
good divine, a good lawyer, a good soldier, a good subject, 
and a good man. Embracing the breathless body again 
and again, with sighs and tears he delivers it to his 
sorrowful friends and servants, to be carried to his parents 

The Lake of Menteith. 321 

to receive its funeral obsequies, as became the splendour 
of that honourable family." 1 

The family account is to the effect that Stewart was 
not a subordinate of Kilpont, but in an independent 
command ; and through his intimacy with Kilpont he had 
induced the latter to join the royalist cause. The Irish 
levies, when coming from the west under the command 
of Colkitto, had plundered the lands of Ardvoirlich, and 
of this Stewart complained to Montrose, but obtained no 
redress. He then challenged Colkitto, and Montrose, on 
the information and advice of Kilpont, it is said, put both 
under arrest and then patched up a sort of reconciliation. 
But Stewart was far from being satisfied; and after the 
banquet, when the friends had returned to their tent, he 
broke out into fierce reproaches against both Kilpont and 
Montrose. Kilpont replied also in high words. From 
words they went to blows, and Stewart, who was a man 
of great strength, slew Kilpont on the spot. He fled after 
the deed and, for his own safety, was obliged to throw 
himself into the hands of the Covenanters. 2 This account 
frees Ardvoirlich from the accusation of treachery to 
Montrose, though it represents him as a man of violent 

The Act of Parliament narrates that John, Lord Kilpont, 
being employed in the public service against James Graham, 
then Earl of Montrose, the Irish rebels and their associates, 
did treacherously and treasonably join himself and induce 

1 Wishart's Commentaries on the Wars of Montrose, quoted by Sheriff Napier 
in his Memoirs of Montrose, ii. 446. 

2 Legend of Montrose, Postscript to Introduction (edit. 1829). 

322 The Lake of Menteith. 

400 others under his command to join the said rebels ; that 
Stewart and some of his friends, repenting of their error, 
resolved to forsake their wicked company, and imparted 
this resolution to Kilpont, who endeavoured, " out of his 
malignant dispositione," to prevent them, and fell a 
struggling with the said James, who, for his own relief, 
was forced to kill him, along with two Irish rebels who 
resisted his escape ; and that then, with his son and friends, 
he came straight to the Marquis of Argyle and offered 
their services to the country. 1 

The particulars in this narrative would in all probability 
be supplied by James Stewart himself, and they seem, in 
every point, to contradict the family tradition. No mention 
is made of the plot to murder Montrose ascribed to him 
by Wishart, but in other respects the account of that writer 
is confirmed. He tried, according to this statement 
approved by himself, to make Kilpont false to the cause 
of the Eoyalists, and killed him when he did not succeed. 
It is quite possible that the statement may be not 
altogether ingenuous, as he might suppose that his zeal 
for the Covenant would be likely to condone the offence 
of killing one of its enemies. But if not accepted as it is, 
the plot to assassinate Montrose must still stand on a 
footing of at least equal authority with the grievance 
against Colkitto as the cause of the quarrel which ended 
so fatally. 

'Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, vol. vi. pt. i. p. 359 (ist March, 1645). 



Some Miscellaneous Matters of Greater 
or Less Interest. 

" Old, unhappy, far-off things, 
And battles long ago." 

" O gentle reader, you will find 
A tale in everything." 


" In their baronial feuds and single fields, 
What deeds of prowess unrecorded died ! " 

[BOUT the middle of the fourteenth century a 
deadly feud arose between the Menteiths and 
the Drummonds. The origin of this feud is 
obscure. A local tradition has come down to 
the effect that it arose from the hatred the patriotic 
Drummonds bore to the family of the man who had 
treacherously captured Wallace and handed him over to 
the English King, and that it was their fixed deter- 
mination to wipe out for ever the whole kin and 

name of Menteith. That is a quite incredible story 

324 The Lake of Menteith. 

although one can well enough conceive how it might 
commend itself to the popular mind, and even be con- 
nived at by the Drummonds as giving a fairly plausible 
excuse for their acts of violence. The quarrel, no 
doubt, originated in a more vulgar, but unfortunately 
usual cause in Scotland the mutual jealousies of two 
neighbouring families anxious for supremacy. The im- 
mediate occasion of the outbreak was the slaughter of 
Brice Drummond of Boquhapple, a cousin of John of 
Drummond, in 1330. The contention then rose to its 
height till at last a fierce clan battle was fought at 
the Tor or Tar of Kusky, about a mile north-east of 
the Lake of Menteith. In this fight three sons of 
Sir Walter Menteith 1 of Eusky, named Walter, Malcolm, 
and William, were slain. The Campbells of Argyle 
were also involved in this quarrel in alliance with the 
Menteiths. The battle of the Tar, so far from ending 
the quarrel, only increased the enmity of the clans, 
and reprisals and bloodshed devastated the countryside. 
At last the King (David II.) found it necessary to inter- 
pose his royal authority in the interests of humanity and 

An agreement was accordingly made on Sunday, 17th 
May, 1360, " upon the banks of the river Forth, near 
Stirling, in presence of Sir Eobert of Erskyne and Sir 
Hugh of Eglinton, justiciars of Scotland, and of Sir Patrick 
Grahame, and many other noblemen and upright gentle- 

1 Sir Walter Menteith was the second son of Sir John, the captor of Wallace. 
He succeeded his father in Rusky, while his elder brother John was Lord of 
Arran and Knapdale. 

The Lake of Menteith. 32 

men." 1 In compensation for the slaughter of the three 
Menteiths and other injuries done to them and their 
adherents, John of Drummond agreed to give up the lands 
of Rosneath in the earldom of Lennox to Sir Alexander 
Menteith of Rusky, the eldest son of Sir Walter, and his 
heirs. These lands, it may be said, had not been long 
in Drummond's possession. They had been given to him 
by the Countess Mary of Menteith, when she was arranging 
a marriage between him and her daughter Margaret, greatly 
with a view to staying the existing feuds between the 
families. This gift and the marriage were both prior to 
the agreement here recorded. The lands of Rosneath, 
therefore, now came back to a branch of the family of 
their former possessors. Drummond also bound himself 
and his friends to leave the Menteiths unmolested for the 

On the other hand, the Menteiths pledged themselves 
to faithfully observe the agreement, to live henceforth at 
peace with Drummond, and to aid him against the 
Campbells of Argyle, should these rise up against him. 
And both parties, " embracing each other sincerely with 
affection, bound themselves to others with the constancy 
of a solid mind, as if dissension had never prevailed between 

Then the principal parties to the treaty John of 
Drummond, Maurice Drummond, and Walter of Moray, 
on the one part, and John and Alexander of Menteith, and 

1 The original of this agreement is pieserved in Drummond Castle. A 
copy (with translation by Mr. George Home) was printed by M'Gregor Stirling 
in his Notes on Inchmahome : Appendix iii., pp. 121 et seqq. 

826 The Lake of Mentelth. 

Walter of Buchanan, on the other part gave their oaths 
by touching the holy Evangels. To make security still 
more secure, the High Steward of Scotland, as the principal 
relation of both parties, and other related nobles, solemnly 
ratified the treaty, and promised that, if it were infringed 
(which God forbid !), they would proceed against the party 
guilty of such infringement. 

A final clause was added to the effect that if the 
Menteiths should compass the death of John of Drum- 
mond, or any of his adherents, or should not oppose any 
one who did so, the lands of Rosneath should return to 
Drummond. The latter part of this clause has probably 
reference to Gillespie Campbell and his son Colin, who 
had previously aided the Menteiths against Drummond, 
and whom the former professed themselves unable to 
bind. Their hostility to Drummond was, however, bought 
off by the Countess Mary, who persuaded them to 
acquiesce in the agreement by a gift of her lands of 
Kilmun and other considerable grants of land in her 
barony of Cowal. 

By these means the peace was assured, and friendship 
and good neighbourhood was maintained between the 
families. The lands of Eosneath never returned to the 
Drummonds. They remained with the Menteiths till, in 
1455, they were annexed to the Crown. 1 Since 1489 they 
have been the property of the family of Argyle. 

x The Menteith possession of Arran had also by this time terminated. John 
of Menteith, Lord of Arran, died in or before 1387. And in that year, Janet Keith 
or Erskine, who had become the representative of the family, resigned Arran to 
the Crown in exchange for an annuity of ^100 from the burgh fermes and fishings 
of Aberdeen. Exchequer Rolls vol. vi. p. xcvi. 

The Lake of Menteith. 327 


"A blessing on his head, 
And, long as he can wander, let him breathe 
The freshness of the valleys, let his blood 
Struggle with frosty air and bitter snows ; 
And let the chartered winds that sweep the heath 
Beat his grey locks against his withered face." 

"And in a mendicant behold a Thane." 

The person who bore the name of the " beggar Earl " 
was not so called in any metaphorical sort of way, or 
because of his comparative poverty, but in sad and literal 
fact. He was actually and really a beggar for many years, 
wandering about the country living on the alms of the 

When the eighth Earl of Menteith died in 1694, he 
left nothing behind him but an empty title. The Marquis 
of Montrose had his estates what had been left of them ; 
and Sir John Graham of Gartmore had his personal pro- 
perty burdened with the payment of his debts, which not 
improbably were in excess of the value of the legacy. In 
these circumstances it is little wonder that candidates for 
the dignity of the earldom were slow in making their 
appearance. For fifty years no one was found to put in 
a public claim to the title. 

But on the 12th of October, 1744, when the Scottish 
peers were assembled at Holyrood to make one of their 
elections of Eepresentatives to the House of Lords, as the 
roll was being called, they were surprised to see a young 
man rise and answer to the name of Earl of Menteith 
a call which had elicited no response for the last half- 

328 The Lake of Menteith. 

century. On the name being called, says the official record, 
" compeared William Graham, who answered thereto, and 
being asked to describe himself because that title had been 
for some time in abeyance and disuse of any person taking 
it up, he answered that he was a student of medicine in 
Edinburgh, and was executor confirmed to the last Earl, 
as would appear from an extract of the testament lying in 
his process before the Lords of Council and Session." 1 He 
therefore claimed to take the oath and declaration quali- 
fying him to take part in the election. 

There is no doubt about his pedigree ; although whether 
it entitled him to the dignity of Earl of Menteith is another 
question. He was the direct descendant of Lady Elizabeth 
Graham, one of the three daughters of that Lord Kilpont 
who fell at Collace, and sister of the last Earl William. 
This Lady Elizabeth had married, in December, 1633, 
William (afterwards Sir William) Graham of Gartmore ; 
and to them were born a son, Sir John, and a daughter, 
Mary. Mary Graham married James Hodge of Gladsmuir, 
advocate, and had a daughter, also named Mary. When 
Sir John Graham of Gartmore died in 1708 without issue, 
Mary Hodge was served next and lawful heir to her uncle, 
and was confirmed executrix dative to him in 1713. She 
married, in 1708, her cousin, William Graham, who was 
a younger son of Walter Graham of Gallangad. Of this 
marriage the claimant of the earldom was the second son. 
His elder brother, James, had died in the beginning of the 
year 1740. Although there is ground to believe that James 

1 Minutes of Evidence before Committee for Privileges in Petition of Robert 
Barclay-Allardice, p. 88. 

The Lake of Menteith. 329 

regarded himself as the representative of the Earls of 
Menteith, he is not known to have taken any steps to 
assert his claim. That claim was now taken up by his 
brother and heir ; and hence the appearance which so 
startled the Scottish peers at Holyrood in 1744. 1 

William Graham resembled the last known Earl in two 
respects. He appears to have been somewhat eccentric, 
and he was always in want of money. On the death of 
his elder brother who died without issue he had been 
confirmed executor to Sir John Graham of Gartmore, his 
grand-uncle ; but, on the 24th of May, 1740, he renounced 
his interest in Gartmore to Nicol Graham, for the sum of 
one thousand merks wherewith to purchase "chirurgical 
instruments and utencils and phisicall and chirurgical 
books," and to maintain himself withal during his study 
for his profession. 2 

The step he now took was a most unfortunate one 
for himself. It seems to have utterly unsettled him, 
and rendered him unfit for work of any kind and dis- 
inclined to earn his own livelihood. Instead of becoming 
as he might have become a fairly respectable medical 
practitioner, he sank into the half-crazed mendicant he 
eventually became, claiming always his shadowy rank in 
the midst of beggary. 

For a period of seventeen years he continued to present 
himself at the occasional meetings for the election of peers. 

1 These facts regarding the descent of the beggar Earl are taken from the 
Minutes of Evidence in the peerage case formerly referred to, and may be found 
in the print thereof, pp. 33-130. 

8 Printed Evidence, p. 83. 

330 The Lake of Menteith. 

He attended and voted at the meetings held in October, 
1744; August, 1747; March, 1749; July, 1752; November, 
1752; and 5th May, 1761. 1 

Then the House of Lords took notice of his case, and 
summoned him to appear before a meeting of the Committee 
for Privileges on the 1st of March, 1762, to show by what 
authority and on what grounds he took upon himself the 
title. That meeting he did not attend. Probably he had 
no means to take him to London, and no one to assist, and 
certainly his own conviction of his rank could not have 
been made stronger by any favourable decision of the 
House of Lords. The result of his failure to attend was 
an order issued by the Lords on the following day, pro- 
hibiting him from using the title until his claim should 
be properly examined and duly allowed. 2 

He did not desist, however, from calling himself by the 
name he fancied he had a right to ; but he went to no more 
meetings of peers thenceforth. Indeed, it is said that 
whenever such a meeting approached, he fled in disgust 
from the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, and betook himself 
to the country. His claim never, during his lifetime, was 
examined or allowed. He made no further effort ; but he 
clung to the empty title, with feeble obstinacy, to the 
very last. Without a profession and without means, 
nothing was left for him but the beggar's wallet, and for 
several years he wandered about the country, subsisting 
on the contributions of old friends and neighbours. For 
he preferred to work the district around his native place 

'Printed Evidence, pp. 88-90. 2 Ibid, pp. 90, 91. 

The Lake of Menteith. 331 

of Gallangad, where many must have known him and had 
a kindly feeling for the poor and demented old man. A 
witness at the peerage trial, who remembered having fre- 
quently, in his boyhood, seen him on his rounds, describes 
him as " a little man a little clean man, that went about 
through the country. He never saw him act wrong or 
anyone act wrong to him. He was just a man asking 
charity. He went into farm houses and asked victuals, 
what they would give him, and into gentlemen's houses." 1 

It was in this district that he came to his melancholy 
end. When on one of his journeys in the summer of 1783, 
in the parish of Bonhill, he would appear to have become 
faint and left the road to lie down in a field. There, 
on the morning of the 30th of June, his body was found 
lying some twenty or thirty yards from the roadside by 
some workmen who were passing on their way to Bonhill. 
Thus died a beggar's death by the roadside one who 
whether he was entitled to be Earl of Menteith or not 
had, at any rate, the blood of the royal family of Scotland 
in his veins. 

The body was carried to the parish church, and buried 
by the parish authorities. The " beggar Earl " was, how- 
ever, saved the last indignity of a pauper's funeral, for the 
family of his sister, who had married an exciseman of the 
name of Bogle, paid the expenses incurred in his burial, 
amounting in all to 3 5s. 6d. The account rendered, 
apparently by the session clerk, who had managed the 
arrangements for the interment, was found in the reposi- 

1 Printed Evidence, p. 143. 

332 The Lake of Menteith. 

tories of Mrs. Bogle, the wife of the " Earl's " nephew, 
and is sufficiently curious to deserve reproduction. 1 

Acct. of the Expence of William Graham Earle of MonteatKs 
founrill, Jully th. ist, 1783. 

To a coffin and mounting by John M'Allaster, ... ^o 18 o 

To creaps and dressing by Thos. M'Bean, o 14 o 

To two women dressing th. corps when brought to th. 

church, 026 

Accot. to John Alexander. 

To brandie, 080 

To whiskie .048 

To bread 026 

To whiskie when th. corpse was found, 034 

To th. bellman, brandie and beer, 006 

To diner for a man and woman, and horse hay, ... o i 6 

To a shirt, 050 

To th. mor. cloath, 040 

To bell and grave digging, o i 6 

3 5 ~<> 
Bonhill, August th. 2oth, 

then received th. above in full, 


John Bogle, the exciseman who had married William 
Graham's sister Mary, was anxious to set up a claim to 
the dormant earldom for his family ; but his only son, John, 
a miniature painter in London, was lukewarm. After the 
death of the latter, his sister, Mary Bogle, made some 
pretensions to the succession. But the claim of the Bogles 
was never adjudicated upon, and with the death of Miss 
Mary Bogle, the line of Lady Elizabeth Graham became 

1 Printed Evidence, p. 145. 

The Lake of Menteith. 333 


The descendants of the other sister of the eighth Earl 
Lady Mary Graham afterwards put in claims to the 
earldom. Kobert Barclay -Allardice, of Ury and Allardice, 
descended from Lady Mary, who it was averred was the 
elder sister of Lady Elizabeth, preferred his claim to the 
title of Earl of Airth in 1834, and again to the earldoms of 
Strathern and Menteith, as well as that of Airth, in 1840. 
Voluminous evidence was taken in this suit, and it is from 
the minutes of that evidence that the particulars given 
above are derived. 

In May, 1838, Sir William Scott of Ancrum petitioned 
for the dignities of Airth and Menteith as the heir of line of 
Walter Graham of Gallangad, and lineal representative of 
Sir John Graham of Kilbride, son of Malise, first Earl 
of Menteith. The petition was referred to the House 
of Lords, but no measures were taken to follow it up, 
and Sir William was understood to have abandoned his 

In 1839, still another claimant appeared for the earldom 
of Airth. This was Mrs. Mary Eleanor Bishop, wife of 
Nicholas Donnithorne Bishop, of Cross Deep Lodge, 
Twickenham, in the County of Middlesex. She presented 
a petition to the House of Lords on the 22nd of July, 1839, 
in which she stated that while she had no desire to assert 
her own right to the dignity, she was anxious to protect the 
interest of her grandson, James Bogle Denton Graham 
Matthews, the infant son of her daughter and only child. 
The petition was referred to the Lords' Committees for 

334 The Lake of Menteith. 

Privileges. The claim was founded on the Bogle descent 
of the petitioner, but on investigation it turned out to 
be a bogus one. It was asserted that Mrs. Bogle, 
the " beggar Earl's " sister, left a son Andrew Bogle, 
who was father of James Andrew Bogle, father of Mrs. 
Bishop. It was proved, however, that Mrs. Mary Bogle 
had no son called Andrew, and that all her descendants 
were extinct. 1 

In 1870, the Barclay-Allardice claim was renewed by 
the daughter and heiress of the previous claimant. Opposi- 
tion was offered by William Cunningham Bontine of 
Gartmore, who maintained that the title of Earl of Menteith 
was transmissible only to heirs-male, and claimed it, there- 
fore, in right of male descent from Malise Graham, the 
first Earl. Neither of these claims has yet had final 

As has been mentioned already, Mr. Graham Easton 
has tried to make out that the right to the dignities belongs 
to the family of Grahams of Leitchtown, but no formal 
claim to them has been made on their behalf, and Mr. 
Easton' s opinions are strongly controverted by other expert 
genealogists, who seem rather to favour the claims of 
Gartmore. The Barclay-Allardice claim assumed that the 
dignities were descendible through females, while the others 
proceed on the understanding which, having regard to the 
charter of Earl Malise, seems really to be the case that 
they were limited to heirs-male. 

1 Sir Harris Nicolas's History of the Earldoms of Strathern, Monteith, and 
Airtb, 1842, p. 178. 

The Lake of Menteith. 335 


The account of the incident now to be narrated is taken 
from the records of the Privy Council. It illustrates the 
difficulty of serving legal writs on the Highland borders at 
that period. Among the neighbours with whom William, 
the eighth Earl, had debts and disagreements, was John 
Graham, laird of Duchray. The Earl had procured " letters 
of caption " against Duchray and his son, Thomas Graham, 
but for some time he found it impossible to put these into 
execution. No sheriff-officer was willing to enter Duchray 
Castle with his writs. At length, what seemed to be a 
favourable opportunity presented itself. 

The younger Graham was to have a child baptised at the 
Kirk of Aberfoyle on the 13th of February, 1671, and it 
seemed to the Earl that, not only the father of the child, but 
old Duchray and the whole family would be likely enough 
to be present at the interesting ceremony. He resolved, 
therefore, to seize the opportunity for serving his letters of 
caption. Having collected a number of his friends and 
servants, and taking with them the messenger-at-arms, 
Alexander Muschet, he intercepted the christening party at 
the Bridge of Aberfoyle. Duchray seems to have had 
warning of the intentions of the Earl, for, in addition to the 
ministers and elders of Aberfoyle and the indispensable 
baby, he had with him a strong party of his friends and 
tenants, all well armed. Muschet and his attendants 
advanced to execute the writ, the Earl with his armed 
followers remaining at some little distance behind. But 

336 The Lake of Menteith. 

when the messenger informed Duchray that he must 
consider himself his prisoner, the latter defied him to lay 
hand upon him, and, taking from his pocket a paper which 
he alleged was a protection from the King, he shouted, 
"What wad ye dar? This is all your master!" The 
baby was set down on the ground, and the Duchray men, 
with swords, guns, and pistols, fell fiercely on Muschet and 
his satellites, and, threatening loudly that they would slay 
half of them and drown the rest in the Forth, drove them 
back upon the Earl and his friends. The latter at first gave 
way, but quickly rallied, and a stubborn fight ensued. The 
Earl himself narrowly escaped the bullets of the assailants, 
and several of his servants were wounded, one of them 
by name Robert M'Earlane having two of his fingers shot 
away. At last his party was fairly driven from the field, 
and turned in full flight to Inchtalla. After this little 
interruption of the ceremonies of the day, it is to be hoped 
that the Duchray Grahams completed the celebration of the 
christening in a peaceful and Christian frame of spirit. 

Duchray's "protection," as it turned out, was no pro- 
tection at all against his apprehension for a debt, but a 
document bearing reference to quite another matter his 
removal from certain lands. Nevertheless, it may have 
served his purpose at the time by giving a certain air of 
legal authority to his resistance of the officer. His own 
followers were not likely to require any such pretext ; they 
were probably indifferent enough to any legal authority 
whatever. But it may have imposed upon the minister and 
elders, who, it is to be hoped, were spectators merely, and 
not participants in the combat. 

The Lake of Menteith. 337 

The Earl, foiled in this attempt at force, had again 
recourse to the law, and this time with greater success. 
Duchray was imprisoned in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, and 
only released on giving sufficient caution that he would 
keep the peace towards the Earl of Airth and his tenants. 


This legendary tale was taken down by the Eev. W. 
M'Gregor Stirling from the narration of the Rev. Dr. 
Macfarlane of Drymen. One of the Earls of Menteith 
which one, the tale does not condescend to say was 
entertaining a company of his friends in the halls of 
Inchtalla, when it was found that the supply of liquor was 
running out. Late though it was, he summoned his butler 
and ordered him to set off at once for Stirling, procure the 
necessary supply, and be back as early as possible next day. 
The butler immediately took his cask, and, unmooring the 
boat, proceeded to row himself to the shore. As he neared 
it he observed two "honest women" among the reeds at 
the margin. Watching them, he saw each cut a bulrush 
for herself, then crying the one to the other, " Hae wi' 
you, Marion Bowie ! " and " Hae wi' ye, Elspa Hardie ! " 
they mounted their bulrushes, and immediately rose sailing 
into the air. 1 The butler, seized with a sudden impulse, 

1 According to the testimony of the witches themselves in the Criminal 
Trials, " Horse and hattock ! " was the usual exclamation when they mounted 
their bulrushes or broomsticks and rode off on their nocturnal journeys through 
the air ; but there is no reason why " Hae wi' ye " should not have been equally 

338 The Lake of Menteith. 

also cut a bulrush, and shouting " Hae wi' ye ! " found 
himself flying at lightning speed through the realms of 
space. Together they descended in the palace of the King 
of France, where, being invisible, they enjoyed themselves in 
their several ways. The butler, in some mysterious manner, 
never let go his cask ; and finding himself in the royal 
cellar, he replenished it with the choicest wine. But that 
was not all. In case the truth of the marvellous story of 
adventure he had to tell might be doubted, he resolved to 
carry off a memento of his visit, and so laid hands on the 
King's own drinking cup of silver. Then, with the cup 
and barrel, getting astride of his bulrush again, another 
" Hae wi' ye ! " brought him back to the servants' hall at 
Inchtalla, where he was found by the Earl in the morning 
sound asleep beside his barrel. The Earl, thinking that 
he had drunk too much and neglected his message, awoke 
him and began to reproach him with his dereliction of duty, 
when the butler, begging his lordship's pardon, informed 
him that he had got the wine, and much better wine than 
could be found in the burgh of Stirling. Then he told 
the whole story of his adventure, and in confirmation, not 
only pointed to the full cask, but handed over the valuable 
silver cup he had brought with him. The Earl believed, 
or affected to believe, the story, and that day entertained 
his guests with a wine the quality of which astonished 
them ail. The silver cup, with the fleur de Us and the 
royal arms of France, also graced the board. 

The legend does not put anything like a date to this 
wonderful story ; but witches had a high time of it in 
Scotland for a long period, and they were specially rampant 

The Lake of Metiteith. 339 

in the time of the wise and learned James the Sixth. Had 
the adventure happened in the reign of that monarch, and 
reached his Majesty's ears, it would have been no joke for 
the butler and the two " honest women." And where were 
the minister and Kirk Session of Port ? Or was it that 
the Earl was so grateful to them for having been the means 
of getting him out of the difficulty with his guests, that 
he saved them from the rebukes and punishments of the 
civil and ecclesiastical authorities ? 

While the story is purely imaginary, it is quite possible 
that there may have been two reputed witches at one time 
in the district answering to the names of Marion Bowie 
and Elspeth Hardie, from whose reputation it originated. 
But these names are not to be found in any of the 
numerous accounts of trials for witchcraft. If the names, 
like the story, are pure invention, it must be said that they 
are well imagined. Elspa Hardie and Marion Bowie have 
the distinct flavour of witchery about them. 


This story, at any rate, deals with two real persons 
William, the eccentric last Earl of Menteith, and James 
Finlayson, a well-known writer or law-agent of Stirling in 
the latter portion of the seventeenth and beginning of the 
eighteenth centuries. The two seem to have been on 
friendly terms. They had some likings in common : both 
were inclined to be bon-vivants, and were fond of a good 
story. Finlayson was a reputed adept in the use of the 
long-bow. No one could more cleverly cap an extraordinary 

340 The Lake of Menteith. 

tale by one still more extraordinary. The Earl, too, had 
ambitions in that direction, and was anxious to get the 
better of his friend. So he bent his wits to the invention 
of a tale that would make Finlayson confess himself 
vanquished. On the occasion of the writer's next visit to 
Talla, the Earl enquired if he had ever heard of the wonder- 
ful sailing cherry tree. Finlayson said he had not, and 
desired to be told about it. He was then gravely informed 
that a goose had swallowed a cherry stone, that the seed 
had germinated and grown inside the bird, and that the 
goose went paddling about the lake with a full-grown 
cherry tree springing from her mouth, " which tree," added 
the veracious Earl, " can be seen at the present time bear- 
ing a full crop of ripe cherries." The visitor was duly 
impressed with this marvel, and owned that it would be 
hard to beat. Then he asked his chuckling lordship if he 
had ever heard of the famous shot that was made by one 
of Cromwell's artillerymen, when they were in garrison in 
the Castle of Airth. " No," said the Earl, interested at 
once in what happened in the old house from which he 
derived his title, "how was it?" "The man fired his 
cannon in the direction of Stirling Castle, on the battle- 
ment of which was a trumpeter, with his instrument at 
his lips, in the act of blowing defiance to Cromwell and 
all his host. The ball went straight to this mark, and 
lodged in the mouth of the trumpet." "And was the 
man killed? " asked the unsuspecting Earl. " No, indeed," 
said Finlayson, " he simply drew in his breath, and blew 
out the ball with such force that it travelled all the way 
back to Airth and killed the artilleryman who had fired it." 

The Lake of Menteith. 341 

It is a tall story in every point of view. Airth is a 
good many miles distant from Stirling. In this contest 
of wits, as it has come down to us, Finlayson is always 
called the Town Clerk of Stirling. But he could not have 
been Town Clerk at the time of the encounter. He did 
not become so till after the Earl's death in 1694 ; although 
he had previously been associated with the actual clerk 
in some special pieces of business. However, he was well 
known in Stirling and neighbourhood, then and afterwards, 
as Clerk Finlayson. 


The Lake of Menteith abounds with pike which afford 
exciting sport to the angler with rod and line. If we are 
to believe an author who wrote a century ago, the farmers 
in the neighbourhood, when they wanted fish as relish to 
their usual fare, used to resort to a rather curious method 
of obtaining them in something like wholesale quantities, 
so to speak. They employed for the purpose of the capture 
their farm-yard geese. The manner in which the fishing 
is described seems to indicate that it was a kind of holiday 
sport, or engaged in at set times and with the consent 
and combination of the dwellers around the lake. But it 
will be best to let the writer tell his own tale in his own 
words. " The manner of catching this fish here," he says, 
" is somewhat novel and diverting. On the islands a num- 
ber of geese are collected from the farmers who occupy the 
surrounding banks of the lake. After baited lines of two 
or three feet in length are attached to the legs of these 

342 The Lake of Menteith. 

animals, they are driven into the water. Steering naturally 
homeward, in different directions, the bait is soon swallowed. 
A violent and often tedious struggle ensues; in which, 
however, the geese at length prevail, though often much 
exhausted before they reach the shore." 1 

It is to be inferred that the owners of the geese would 
claim the fish landed by their respective birds. After 
1694, at any rate, there was no lord of the manor resident 
on the islands, who could organise such fishing tourna- 
ments or lay claim to the spoils. Yet the author speaks 
as if this method of catching pike was common, and still 
practised in his time. In fact, his language encourages 
the inference that he had himself been an eye-witness to 
such a scene as he describes. On the other hand, Mr. 
M'G-regor Stirling, whose " Notes on Inchmahome " was 
published just eighteen years later than M'Nayr's "Guide," 
and who was himself a native of the lake -shore, affirms 
that he had never seen and, until he read M'Nayr's state- 
ment, never even heard of this method of fishing. Other 
natives of the district, of whom he made enquiry, reckoned 
it " fabulous." 

Mr. Stirling, however, afterwards had the fortune to 
meet with an old G-lasgow lady, brought up in her girlhood 
at Lochend, who distinctly remembered a diversion of the 
kind, and had herself taken part in it. From her state- 
ment it is quite clear that about the middle or the earlier 
part of the eighteenth century a sport resembling that 

1 A Guide from Glasgow to some of the most remarkable Scenes in the High- 
lands of Scotland, &c., by James M'Nayr, Glasgow, 1797, p. 55. 

The Lake of Menteith. 343 

described by M'Nayr was occasionally practised by the 
family at Lochend. 1 It seems, however, to have been 
nothing more than a " merry diversion," possibly devised 
merely as a good joke by the young folks at Lochend, and 
certainly practised purely for amusement. It never could 
have been a common method of fishing, or it would have 
been remembered among the " farmers of the surrounding 
banks," of whom M'Nayr speaks. He cannot himself 
have seen it in the form in which he describes the process. 
He may have heard some account of the merry doings at 
Lochend, and misunderstood or misrepresented them as 
the usual mode of pike fishing in the lake. The touches 
about the neighbouring farmers collecting their geese, and 
the birds making their way in different directions across 
the lake to their own homes thus ensuring that the whole 
water was fished are probably due to a lively imagination. 
This same quality of imagination is not absent from 
M'Gregor Stirling's own account of the sport as it was 
described to him by Mrs. Kowan the lady who was his 
authority. His description of the pike-and-goose fight is 
quite Homeric. It deserves quotation. 

" A line, with a baited hook, was tied to the leg of a 
goose, which, thus accoutred, was made to swim in water 
of a proper depth. A boat containing a party, male and 
female, lord and lady fair, escorted this formidable knight- 
errant. By and by he falls in with an adventure. A 
marauding pike, taking hold of the bait, puts his mettle 
to the test. A combat ensues, in which, by a display on 
the part of both the contending heroes of much strength 

1 Then the property of the Campbells ; now belonging to Cardross. 

344 The Lake of Menteith. 

and agility, the sympathetic hopes and fears of the anxious 
on-lookers are alternately called into lively exercise, until, 
at length, the long-necked, loud-shouting, feather-cinctured, 
web-footed champion, vanquishing his wide-mouthed, sharp- 
toothed, far-darting, scale-armed foe, drags him a prisoner 
in triumph." 1 


The more important of the royal visits to the lake and 
district have been referred to and discussed at greater or 
less length in the course of the preceding narrative, but it 
may be advisable to sum up these here, and to add some 
others of which, as yet, no notice has been taken. 

The statement that King Duncan II. was slain in 
the Castle of Menteith in 1094 has been shown to be 
erroneous. Another statement made by popular, writers 2 
that King Edgar, who reigned from 1098 to 1107, resided 
frequently at Inchmahome, has no authority whatever to 
vouch for it. 

We are on more certain ground when we come to the 
time of King Robert the Bruce. Three visits of that 
monarch to the Priory of Inchmahome in 1306, 1308, 
and 1310 have already been mentioned, 3 and it is not 
unlikely that he may have been there oftener. There is 
a local tradition current that he slept in Cardross, the 
manor-house of Inchmahome, on the night before the 

1 Stirling's Notes on Inchmahome, p. 68. 

2 Dun's Summer at the Lake of Menteith, p. 15 ; Marshall's Historic Scenes 
in Perthshire, 1880, p. 382 ; and others. 

3 See supra, chap. v. pp. 143-145. 

The Lake of Menteith. 345 

Battle of Bannockburn. 1 If taken quite literally, the story 
is impossible. Bannockburn was fought on Monday, the 
24th of June, 1314. The two nights preceding that day 
were spent by Bruce on the field of the battle, and pre- 
viously to that, he had been with his army at the Torwood, 
awaiting the approach of the English. Some time earlier, 
however, a visit from the King was not impossible, 
as he seems to have been resident mostly, during the 
assembling of his army, in the neighbourhood of Stirling 
living, it is believed, chiefly in the Castle of Clackmannan. 8 
But there is no record of any such visit. 

It is right to add that a most interesting relic of the 
Bruce has long been carefully preserved at Cardross. 
This is a mighty sword reputed to have belonged to the 
hero-king, and said to have been left by him at Cardross 
on the occasion of one of his visits to his friend the 
Prior of Inchmahome although why he should either 
have forgotten his sword or left it as a present to the 
Prior is not clearly accounted for. There can be no doubt, 
however, either of the antiquity or of the formidable 
character of this weapon. The total length of it is 6 feet 
2J inches, while the blade alone measures 4 feet 7 inches ; 
and it is no less than ten Ibs. in weight. It was certainly 
no ordinary man that could skilfully wield a weapon like 
this. Whether the sword was left by the King on one 
of his ascertained visits to the Priory previous to the 
battle of Bannockburn, or at some later period of his life, 

1 Dun, p. 127; Hunter's Woods, Forests, and Estates of Perthshire, 1883, 
p. 296. 

'Sir Herbert Maxwell's Robert the Bruce, 1897, p. 193. 

346 The Lake of Menteith. 

the tradition does not say. The Cardross where he died 
was, of course, not Cardross in Menteith, but the place 
of the same name in Dumbartonshire, on the shore of 
the Firth of Clyde. 

David II., the son of Eobert Bruce, was a benefactor 
of the Priory, but there is no distinct evidence to show 
that he ever visited the place. The story of his marrying 
Margaret Logy at Inchmahome has been shown to be a 
mistake. David's successor, Eobert II., was certainly 
living at Inchmahome in 1358, but he was at that time 
High Steward ; he had not yet reached the throne. 

From the time of the forfeiture of the Albanies, the 
Castle of Doune, in Menteith, became a royal residence, 
occasionally occupied by the monarchs of the Stuart line 
from James the First onwards. Doune Castle, with the 
lordship of Menteith, formed part of the dowry of the 
queens of James the Second, James the Third, and James 
the Fourth successively. The Castle was conveniently 
situated for the royal huntsmen enjoying their sport in the 
forests alike of Glenfinglas and Menteith. Many a time, 
no doubt, the monks of Inchmahome and the dwellers on 
Talla saw the royal cavalcade passing along the lake shores 
on its way to the forests of Duchray and Lochcon. The 
Chamberlains' Accounts 1 include sums for the maintenance 
of the Castle and its officials in the time of James the 
First, but there is no evidence to show that he went a 
hunting in the neighbourhood. He had possibly too much 
of sterner work to do in reducing his turbulent nobles to 

Exchequer Rolls, vol. iv., pp. 279-280; Chamberlain Rolls, vol. iii., pp. 

The Lake of Menteith. 347 

order to leave him much time to spare for that amuse- 
ment ; and, indeed, Glenfinglas, at any rate, was no. 
afforested in his time. But it is certain that he and his 
family occasionally sojourned in the Castle of Doune. 
That they were there with the infant Prince James in 1431 
is attested by an entry in the Exchequer Eolls. 1 After this 
young prince had become King (James II.), and had 
reached the period of his vigorous manhood, we learn 
on the same authority 2 that he recreated himself with 
hunting in Menteith in the intervals of his struggles with 
the power of the Douglases. Indeed, it was he that 
afforested Glenfinglas in 1454, and built the Hunt Hall 
there in 1458. 8 

The erection of the burgh of barony of Port in favour of 
the Earl Malise, in 1466, proves that James the Third had 
experienced the hospitality of the Earl at that place, and 
expected often to be there again. John le Graham was 
made keeper of the forest, and the Earl would no doubt 
aid his son in looking after the royal convenience and 

On a dark night in October, 1489, James the Fourth 
galloped past the lake on his ride from Dunblane to Talla 
Moss and Gartalunane. Even had it been broad day, and 
James had been disposed to halt, it is not likely that 
the old Earl could have had any desire for a visit from 
his young King at that time. He was too recently from 
the field of Sauchie, where he had backed, with all the 

'Exchequer Rolls, voL iv. p. 529. 

*Ibid, vol v. pp. 595i 6 77 J vol. vi. pp. 284, 640. ' Ibid, voL v. p. 676. 

348 The Lake of Menteith. 

forces of Menteith, his unfortunate sovereign, James the 
Third. That, however, may have been forgiven, as the 
men of Menteith had obeyed the muster for the siege of 
Dumbarton Castle in 1489. But the King did not stay to 
visit the Earl or his fortalice. He was hurrying on to 
take the enemy by surprise. Neither did he disturb him 
on the following day, as he returned to Stirling, apparently 
by way of Buchlyvie and Kippen. James the Fourth was 
certainly at Doune Castle in April, 1490, 1 but he did not 
on that occasion seemingly advance further up the vale of 
Menteith. He was, however, hunting in Menteith in July, 
1492, and again in May, 1496. 2 After his death, Queen 
Margaret was frequently at her dower house of Doune. 

King James the Fifth, like the others of his line, was 
a keen hunter, and probably enjoyed the chase in the forests 
of Menteith. But the only recorded instance of his having 
been on or in the immediate neighbourhood of the Priory 
lands is that visit of his to Arnprior a place whose name 
bears witness to its early connection with Inchmahome 
narrated by Buchanan of Auchmar, 8 and retold in his 
interesting style by Sir Walter Scott. 4 

" Once upon a time," says Scott, "when the Court was 
feasting in Stirling, the King sent for some venison from 
the neighbouring hills. The deer was killed, and put on 
horses' backs to be transported to Stirling. Unluckily, 
they had to pass the Castle gates of Arnpryor, belonging to 

1 Lord High Treasurer's Accounts, p. 133. * Ibid, pp. 198, 200, 274. 

3 Buchanan's History of the Family of Buchanan, 1723, p. 60. 

4 Scott's Tales of a Grandfather, First Series, chap, xxvij, 

The Lake of Menteith. 349 

the chief of the Buchanans, who chanced to have a con- 
siderable number of guests with him. It was late, and the 
company were rather short of victuals, though they had 
more than enough of liquor. The chief, seeing so much 
fat venison passing his very door, seized on it ; and to the 
expostulations of the keepers, who told him that it belonged 
to King James, he answered insolently that if James was 
King in Scotland, he, Buchanan, was King in Kippen ; 
being the name of the district in which the Castle of 
Arnpryor lay. On hearing what had happened, the King 
got on horseback, and rode instantly from Stirling to 
Buchanan's house, where he found a strong fierce-looking 
Highlander, with an axe on his shoulder, standing sentinel 
at the door. This grim warder refused the King admit- 
tance, saying that the laird of Arnpryor was at dinner, and 
would not be disturbed. ( Yet go up to the company, my 
good friend,' said the King, 'and tell him that the Goodman 
of Ballengeich is come to feast with the King of Kippen.' 
The porter went grumbling into the house, and told his 
master that there was a fellow with a red beard at the 
gate who called himself the Goodman of Ballengeich, who 
said he was come to dine with the King of Kippen. As 
soon as Buchanan heard these words, he knew that the 
King was come in person, and hastened down to kneel 
at James's feet, and to ask forgiveness for his insolent 
behaviour. But the King, who only meant to give him a 
fright, forgave him freely, and, going into his castle, feasted 
on his own venison, which Buchanan had intercepted. 
Buchanan of Arnpryor was ever afterwards called the King 
of Kippen." 

350 The Lake of Menteith. 

Queen Mary resided occasionally at Doune Castle. The 
rooms she is said to have occupied when there, in the west 
tower of the Castle, still bear her name. Whether she 
ever revisited the peaceful Isle of Inchmahome, where she 
spent a brief period of her infancy, has not been ascer- 
tained. 1 Perhaps she had pretty well forgotten that early 
episode in her life. Had she stayed on the island so long 
as has been generally supposed, or enjoyed so much happi- 
ness there as imaginative writers have feigned, one might 
suppose that, in the less happy circumstances of her maturer 
life, she would have been tempted at least when living in 
the neighbourhood to revisit the scene of her childish 
felicity. But there is no indication that such was ever 
the case. 

James the Sixth is said to have been frequently at 
Doune, 2 and his visit to Cardross is a matter of constant 
tradition. Whether this visit was paid before he ascended 
the throne of England, or on the occasion of his return to 
his native land in 1617, is not in any account definitely 

One recent writer affirms that Charles I. " took his poor 
dejeune " at Milling Farm on what authority the present 
writer does not know. 8 But that Charles II. halted at 
Portend in February, 1651, is certain, and the letter he 
addressed from that place to William, seventh Earl of 
Menteith, is still extant. 4 

'For a full account of Mary's residence at Inchmahome, see chapter vi. 
pp. 170-176. 

2 Red Book of Menteith, vol. i. p. 481. 

3 Notes on the District of Menteith by R. B. Cunninghame Graham (1895), P- 4- 

chapter xi. p. 296. 

The Lake of Menteith. 361 

No other royal personages found their way to Menteith, 
until Prince Charles Edward Stuart made his appearance in 
the neighbourhood in " the forty-five." There is a local 
tradition to the effect that he either stayed for a night, or, 
at any rate, halted for refreshment at the Ferry Inn of 
Cardross, on his way to visit Buchanan of Arnprior. 1 But 
this tradition finds no support in the authentic annals of 
the expedition. On the 12th of September, Prince Charles 
marched from Dunblane to Doune, where he was entertained 
at Newton House, and " pree'd the mou' " of Miss Kobina 
(or Clementina) Edmondston. On the following day he 
crossed the Forth by the Ford of Frew (or Boquhan, as it is 
called in some of the records), below Kippen, and proceeded 
to Leckie House, where he remained for the night. Again, 
on his return from the raid into England, he crossed the 
river by the same ford, on the 1st of September, 1746, and 
rode straight to Drummond Castle, leaving his troops 
quartered in Doune, Dunblane, and the neighbouring 
villages. These were the only occasions on which he was 
in the neighbourhood, and on neither was there time or 
opportunity for a visit to Cardross and Arnprior.' 

The most recent royal visitors to Menteith have been 
our present gracious Queen Victoria and her daughter, the 
Princess Beatrice. In the autumn of 1869, they spent a 
" quiet and cosy " fortnight at Invertrossachs the ancient 
Drunky lying on the north side of the Menteith Hills, 

1 Dun's Summer at the Lake of Menteith, pp. iioand 128 ; Marshall's Historic 
Scenes in Perthshire, p. 389 ; and other writers. 

2 Blaikie's Itinerary of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Scottish History 
Society), 1897, pp. 13 and 38. 

352 The Lake of Menteith. 

above Loch Vennachar. During their stay the royal party 
twice visited the Lake. These were private visits, without 
ceremony or formality, and the royalties were not disturbed 
by crowds of curious sightseers. The first journey was 
made on the 2nd of September. After passing the little 
Loch of Eusky and Eednock Castle, they " came," says the 
Queen's Journal, "upon the Loch of Menteith (the only 
loch in Scotland which is ever called lake.) It reminds one 
very much of Loch Kinnord, near Ballater, and very low 
blue and pink hills rise in the distance." They drove down 
the eastern side of the lake, past the gate of Eednock 
House, and Her Majesty made special note of " the very 
fine large trees in the park." 

The second visit was on the 8th of the same month, 
when the drive was along the north shore of the lake, on the 
way to Aberfoyle and Loch Ard with the " intenser 
charms " of which region the Queen seems to have been 
much delighted. " Here " after passing Aberfoyle she 
says, " the splendid scenery begins. . . We came upon 
Lochard, and a lovelier picture could not be seen. Ben 
Lomond, blue and yellow, rose above the lower hills, which 
were pink and purple with heather, and an isthmus of green 
trees in front dividing it from the rest of the loch. . . 
Certainly one of the most lovely drives I can remember, 
along Loch Ard, a fine long loch, with trees of all kinds 
overhanging the road, heather making all pink ; bracken, 
rocks, high hills of such fine shape, and trees growing up 
them as in Switzerland. . . Altogether the whole drive 
was lovely. . . This solitude, the romance and wild 
loveliness of everything here, the absence of hotels and 

The Lake of Menteith. 


beggars, the independent, simple people, who all speak 
Gaelic here, all make Scotland the proudest, finest country 
in the world. Then there is that beautiful heather, which 
you cannot see elsewhere. I prefer it greatly to Switzer- 
land, magnificent and glorious as the scenery of that 
country is." 1 

With this royal appreciation of the scenery of Menteith, 
and of the humble dwellers therein, one may be well 
content to leave the subject. 

1 More Leaves from Our Life in the Highlands, pp. 122, 123. 


Page 3, line 22 For Killearn, read Aberfoyk. 

Page 9, note For Cosmographic, read Cosmographie, 

Page 29, line 3 For tobair, read tiobair. 

Ibid, line 5 For stone, read stones. 

Page 30, second line from foot For of, read to Inchtalla. 

Page 89 In opposition to the opinion generally held that some at least of 
the very aged trees on Inchmahome may have been planted by the 
inhabitants of the Priory, there is a statement by one of the M 'Curtain 
family reported in Ramsay's " Scotland and Scotsmen in the Eighteenth 
Century," vol. ii. p. 128, note: "John M'Courton, whose predecessors 
for four generations have been gardeners in the Isle of Menteith, says 
it is a tradition in their family that the first of them who came to the 
Earl of Menteith's service, soon after the Restoration, planted the 
whole trees that are now in the island there being then only a few 
to the south of the Priory, which have long ago been cut down." 

Page 141 Leny remained an independent parish for some time after the 
Reformation. From 1567 to 1585 it was supplied by a reader named 
Salomon Buchanane possibly a member or connection of the family 
that had supplied so many of the pre-Reformation vicars. But, because 
of the insufficiency of its revenues for the support of a minister, the 
parish was suppressed in January, 1615, and united to those of Cal- 
lander and Port. (Fasti Eccl. Scot.) 

Page 156 The bailieship of Inchmahome held by John, Lord Drummond, 
in 1492, is found some years later in possession of Alexander Drum- 
mond of Carnock, by whom it was disponed, previous to 3ist December, 
1530, to James Erskine (of Little Sauchie). This fact is instructed by 
an entry in the Protocol Book of John Graham, where Erskine protests 
that a certain arrangement made between Drummond and Sir John 
Stirling of Keir should not prejudice his right and interest in the office 

356 Notes and Corrections. 

of bailiary of Inchmahome "and that because the said Alexander 
Drummond has disponed the said office of bailiary, with the profits of 
the same, to the said James Erskine." The protest was taken before 
witnesses in the Chapter of the place of the Friars Minors, situated 
within the burgh of Stirling, on the 3ist December, 1530. The bailiary 
remained with Erskine of Little Sauchie till it was resigned in favour 
of John, Lord Erskine, in 1562 (see page 180). 

Page 1 66 M'Gregor Stirling, in his edition of Nimmo's History of Stirling- 
shire, gives the date of the (second) Buchanan lease correctly as 1531. 
The 1581 of the Notes on Inchmahome may therefore have been a 
misprint merely, but it seems to have misled Sir William Fraser. 

Page 1 68 The Autobiography of Buchanan here referred is the short 
tractate printed in his collected works under the heading, Georgii 
Buchanani Vita ab ipso scripta biennio ante mortem. George Chalmers 
(in his Life of Ruddiman) strenuously maintains that this Vita was not 
written by Buchanan himself, but by Peter Young, his coadjutor in 
the tutorship of the King. He admits, however, that Young obtained 
his information from Buchanan. 

Page 170 The reading of the Protocol on this page is taken from the 
transcription of Sir William Fraser as printed in the Red Book. In 
the Manuscript Protocol Book which was not available at the time of 
writing the reading is found to be apud ecdesias de Port et Dolare 
which makes the matter quite clear. Port was the parish of the young 
lady, and Dollar that of the Earl of Argyle. 

Page 179 David Erskine, Commendator of Dryburgh and Inchmahome 
sat in the Parliament which met at Edinburgh, ist August, 1560, and 
effected the Reformation settlement (Acts of Parliaments of Scotland, 
vol. ii. p. 525). In a Parliament of James VI. at Edinburgh, 28th 
August, 1571, he was appointed member of a Commission for treating 
with the Queen of England (vol. iii. p. 64). On i7th September, 1571, 
at Stirling, he was chosen to be of the Privy Council (Ibid t p. 69) ; 
and he was in the sederunt at Edinburgh, 24th December, 1572 (Ibid, 
P- 77)- 

Page 1 86 Den Thomas M l Lellan. On 22nd December, 1559, Sir Thomas 
Maknellan, Canon of Inchmahomok, as lawful heir of Sir William 
Litstar, Chaplain (who was also Town Clerk of Stirling), resigned an 
annual rent from a house in the burgh in favour of Agnes Nicoll, relict 
of William Forrester. (Ramsay's Protocol Book, 1556-63.) 

Notes and Corrections. 357 

Page 1 86 The statement that Robert Short dropped out of the list of 
members of the Convent in 1562 must now be altered. Among the 
Laing Charters published since this portion of the text was printed 
is one, dated at Stirling Castle, 25th July, 1573, in which Commendator 
David, with consent of the Convent of Inchmahome, granted to George 
Graham of Blaircessnoch and his heirs a tack for two terms of nineteen 
years each of the teind sheaves of Garturs Over and Nether, Blaircess- 
noch, Ballemannoch, Easter Dullatur, Nether Glenny, and others, for 
a yearly rent of ^6 135 4d. The tack is signed by the Commendator 
and by Robert Schortus, John Baxter, James Bradfut, and William 
Stirvling. Short was therefore alive in July, 1573. His name does 
not appear on the deed of 7th September of the same year. (Laing 
Charters, No. 88 1, p. 221.) 

Page 191 The same collection contains another lease of the same subjects, 
granted apparently on the expiry of the former one by Commendator 
David to Jasper Graham of Blaircessnoch. It is signed by the Com- 
mendator alone, and is dated at Cardross, 6th November, 1610. That 
was after David had demitted, and the Priory had been given to Henry 
Erskine. It appears, therefore, that David continued not only to reside 
at Cardross, but to manage the estate of Inchmahome till his death, 
which took place six months after the date of this deed. (Laing 
Charters, No. 1591, p. 386.) 


ABBBDBBN, Robert Erskine, Dean of. 


Breviary of, 132. 
Aberfoyle, Forest, 10, 14. 
Skirmish at, 23-6. 
Patronage of Church and Settlement 

of Minister, 292. 
Fracas at the Bridge, 335-7. 
Abirnethe, George of, Procurator of 

Prior John, 150. 
Abthane, Lord of, 247. 
Account for Beggar Earl's burial, 332. 
Achray, Loch, 1, 16, 269, note. 
Achmore, 269, note. 
Adam, Prior, 141 ; Swears fealty to 

Edward I., 142. 
Agreement between Menteiths and 

Drummonds, 324-6. 
Airth, William, first Earl of, 299-307. 
William, second Earl of, 307-17. 
Castle of, garrisoned by Cromwell, 


Earldom of, created, 299. 
Lands apprised, 302. 
Tower and Fortalice acquired by 

Earl of Strathern, 297. 
Salt-pans and coal-pits, 306. 
Aisle of the Priory Church, 104. 
Albanies, 2, 243-52. 

Duke Robert, 243; Governor of 
Scotland, 244; estimates of his 
character, 247. 

Duke Murdach, 247 ; Governor, 247 ; 
made prisoner, 248; place of his 
arrest, 250 ; execution, 252. 
Akyr, le, 272. 

Alan, Earl of Menteitb, 143, 146, 226, 
233-4; earldom of Fife entailed 
in bis favour, 233 ; captured at 
Methven, 233. 

Alexander, Earl of Menteith, captured 
at Dunbar, 232 ; swears fealty to 
Edward, 232 ; eons left in England 
as hostages, 232. 

Alexander, second Graham Earl, 275-277. 
Anderson's (Robert) Statement* Regard- 
ing George Buchanan, 165-7. 
Andrew, Prior, 157, 158, 177. 
Approach to Vault, 116. 
Ard, Loch, 1, 70, 354. 
Ardenclericht, 180, 194. 
Ardmach see Arnmaitk. 
Ardocb, Camp and Chapel, 187. 
Ardvoirlich, Stewart of, 318-22. 
Argyle, Earl of, hereditary Justice 
General, 293. 

Archibald, Earl of, 170. 
Arnbeg, 193. 
Arnchly, 47, 141. 
Arnevicar, 180, 194. 
Arniclerycht, 157. 
Arnmawk, 73. 

Traditional story, 52. 

Colonel Erskine in hiding at, 64, 


Arnprior, Mill of, 180, 194. 
Arran and Knapdale, 261. 

Earl of, band with Earl of Menteitb, 


Arrot of Arrot, George, 162. 
Arthuile, Master William. 150. 
Auchveity, Tradition of, 46. 
Auchyle, Cliffs of, 15, 17. 
Augustinians (Canons Regular), settle- 
ments in Scone, Cambuskennetb, 
Inchmahome, 133-4. 

Dress, 138-9. 

BAD, Dene James, 158, 176, 177, 279. 

Baleth, 269, note. 

Balfour, George, 291. 

Ballingrew, 180, 193, 191 

Ballintoun, 190. 

Balloch (Bulloch), 227. i 

Balquhidder, Braes of, 16. 

Banished Lords, the. 190. 

Banks, Lands of, 156. 

Bannock, Whummle the, 265. 



Bannockburn, Sir John Menteith at, 


Eobert Bruce at, 34. 
Barclay-Allardice claim to the earldoms, 


Bathok, Patrick, 189. 
Baxter, Dene Alan, 180. 

Dene John, 180, 181, 186, 187, 189. 
Bede, The Venerable, 58 and note, 
Beggar Earl, the, 327-32. 
Bell, John of Antermony, 37. 

Patrick, minister of Port, 34, 36. 
H. Glassford, on Queen Mary at 

Inchmahome, 143-5. 
Bellenden, 9. 
Bell-tower, 104. 
Ben-dhu, Ben-dearg, 14, 15 ; Ben Arthur, 

Ben Chonzie, Ben Gullipen, Ben 

Ledi, Ben Lomond, Ben Venue, 

Ben Voirlich, 16. 

Bishop of Glasgow, William, 136. 
Dunkeld, Galfred, 136. 
Dunblane, Clement, 136, note, 138. 
Bishop, Mrs, claims earldom for her 

grandson, 353. 
Blaircessnock, 180, 194. 
Blairhoyle or Leitchtown, 65. 
Blareboyane, 269, note. 
Blaretuchane, 269, note. 
Blareuscanys, 269, note. 
Blind Harry's story of the Capture of 

Wallace, 257. 
Bobfresle, 269, note. 
Boece, Hector, 8, 11. 
Bogle family, the, 331-2. 
Band to support the claim of Bruce, 253. 
Boquhapple, Chapel of, 141. 
Borland, 179, 193, 194. 
Borrow-banks, 155. 
Bovento, 269, note. 
Bowie, Marion, witch, 337. 
Bradfute, Dene James, Sub-Prior, 158, 

176, 177, 180, 181, 186, 187, 189, 

Bretagne, Sir John de, Guardian of 

Scotland, 256. 
Breteches or Hoards, traces of at Talla, 


Brew-house of Talla, 211. 
Brigend, 269, note. 
Bright Sword, John with the, 274. 
Brown, Dr John, on the Teith, 6 ; the 

Lake, 69; Queen Mary's Bower, 

86 ; the Queen at Inchmahome, 173. 

Bruce, Lord of Annandale, 253. 

Edward, Irish Expedition, 260. 
Dame Catherine, wife of last Earl 

of Menteith, 116, 314-7. 
King Eobert, his visits to Inchma- 
home, 153-5, 344; his sword at 
Ciirdross, 345-6. 

Buchan, David, Earl of, 195, 201. 
Buchanan, George, of Buchanan, 287. 
Dene Gilbert., 154. 
Margaret, wife of Earl Alexander, 


Eobert, of Leny, 154. 
George, his account of Menteith, 10, 
11 ; his connection with Cardross, 
165-9; his house in Castle Wynd, 
Stirling, the Prior's Manse, 185-6. 
Burgh, Richard de, Earl of Ulster, 253. 
Burial-vault on Inchmahome, 111, 114-6. 
Butler and the Witches, the story of 
the, 337-9. 

CALEDONIAN Forest, 9, 10. 

Callauder, 2. 

Calquhollat, 156. 

Cambuskenneth, resigned by Adam 

Ersldne, 197. 
Campbells of Argyle in alliance with 

Menteiths, 324. 
Campbell, Sir Colin of Lundie, 291. 

Duncan of Glenorchy, 288. 

Gillespie and Colin, 326. 

Sir John of Glenorchy, 303, 307. 

Mary, wife of Earl John, 206. 
Cardross Estate and Mansion, 54. 

Mains of, 179, 180. 

Bailie of Barony, 157, 180, 193. 

Mill of, 180, 194. 

Lordship of, 192, 194, 197. 

Manor Place, 195. 

Eesidence of Commendatprs, 190. 

House Enlarged by David Erskine, 
by Earl of Mar, 197 ; occupied by 
General Monck, 199, and by 
Eoyalist troops, 197, 200. 

Lord David, 198. 

Lord Henry, his persecutions, 199. 

David, fourth Lord, 201. 

Lady, 191. 

Carrick, Earl of, 304. 
Chapel-larach, 141. 
Chapels dependent on Priory, 32, 47, 

59, 141. 
Chapter House, 107, 115. 



Charles I. and Earl of Airtb, 293-302; 
at Holyrood, 299 ; at Milling, 350. 
Charles II. al Portend, 44, 350 ; acknow- 
ledges his father's debts to the 
Earl, 296. 

Charles, Prince, in Meuteith, 351. 
Charter-chest at Talla, 292. 
Cheese of Menteith, 10. 
Choir of Church, 108 ; Monuments in, 121. 
Christin, Prior, 145-9. 
Churches belonging to Priory, 141. 
Claimants of the Earldom, 333-4. 
Clare, Sir Thomas de, 253. 
Clement, Bishop of Dunblane, 136, note. 
Clerkum, 194. 
Cloisters, 111. 
Cnoc-nan-bocan, 53. 
Coldon, 43, 276. 
Colkitto, 321. 
Collatts, 156. 
Collouth, 155. 

Colman (Colmoc), 40, 74, 76, 130-2. 
Commendators Robert Erskine, 159-69. 

John Erskine, 169-78. 

David Erskine, 178-91. 

Henry Stewart, 189. 

Henry Erskine, 191-2. 
Comrie, hills of, 16. 

Comyn, Walter, Earl of Menteith, builds 
the Priory, 137-8; sketch of big 
career, 219-224. 

Regent, defeated at Stirling, 255. 
Con, Loch, 5. 

Forest of, 269, note. 
Conaeus, Georgius, his Life of Queen 

Mary, 174. 
Conjurer, story of Earl of Mar and 

the, 195. 

Conventual day, 139. 
Countess of Airth, her unfortunate 

speculations, 303-6. 
Countess Mary of Menteith, 325. 
Covenant, signing of the National, 301. 
Cragannet, Banks of, 177. 
Cragingelt, Rev. John, 292. 
Craguthy, Easter and Wester, 269, note. 
Craig of Port, 17. 
Crancafy, 269, note. 
Cravaneculy, 269, note. 
Craynes, Easter and Wester, 269, note. 
Crichton, Lord, of Sanquhar, 287. 
Cristisone, Dene Adam, 158, 176, 177. 
Crockmelly, 20. 
Cross at Port, 32. 

Culdee Cb arches at Dunblane and 

Inchmahome, 133. 
Culyngarth, 269, note. 
Cup-marked stone at Milling, 47-8. 
Cunningham-Bontine claims Earldom 


DABOAUD, J. M. Childhood of Queen 

Mary, 172-3. 
David II. Grant to Priory, 148; marriage 

to Margaret Logy. 147, 346. 
David, Lord Cardross, 198. 
David, Prior, 153-7. 

Deforcement of the Sheriff of Perth, 147. 
Dog, Sir Thomas, Prior, 150 : deposed, 161. 
Domestic arrangements of last Earl of 

Menteith, 314. 

Domestic crafts at Talla, 214. 
Donald the Hammerer at Tobanareal, 

Donaldson, Rev. James, minister of 

Port, 33, 35-6. 

Doorway of the Priory, 103. 
Dormitory, 118, 121. 
Dougall, Andrew, reader at Port, 34. 
Dougia*, Earl of, tried for death of 
Rothesay, 241. 

Margaret, wife of Earl William, 287. 
Doune Castle. 2, 346-8, 350. 
Downans, 269, note. 
Drinking on Sundays, 33-4. 
Dromore, Colman, Bishop of, 132. 
Drumannet, 269, note. 
Drum boy, 269, note. 
Drumlaen, 269, note. 
Drummaniklocbt, 157, 180, 194. 
Drummond, Brice of Boquhapple, 324. 

John of Concraig, 238. 

John, 324-6. 

Sir John, monument, 126, 146. 

John, Lord, disputes with Prior, 155. 

Lord, at Tillymoss, 51. 

Sir Malcolm, 128; gift to the 
Priory, 145. 

Maurice, 325. 

Barony of (Drymen), 297. 
Drummonds and Menteith?, fend, 323-6. 
Drury, Sir William, letter to Lord 

Burghley, 178. 
Dryburgh Abbev, 191, 192, 197, 200. 

Lady, 191, 194. 

Drymen, House of, burned, 303. 
Drysdail, Mr. Alexander, vicar of Lany, 



Duchray, Graham of, 65. 

Glencairn's Rising, 20, 23. 

Quarrel with Earl of Menteith, 335-7. 

Forest of, 271. 

Dugall, Arth ur, a Kippen Covenanter, 307. 
Dumbarton, 195. 

Castle and Sheriffdom, 256, 258. 

Alleged Treachery of Menteith, 259. 
Dun, Erskine of, 162, 164. 
Dun, Michael, gives infeftment to Earl 

Alexander, 276. 
Dunbar, Earl of, 253. 
Duncan II., murder of, 11, 344. 
Dupplin, battle of, 235. 

EARLDOM of Menteith, divided between 
Stewart and Comyn, 225 ; confis- 
cated by James I., 252 ; erected of 
new, 268. 

Earls of Menteith see Menteith. 
Earls' Residences, 203 ; Stables, 45. 
Earth-dogs Earl of Menteith's, 99. 

Laird of Glenorchy's, 99, note. 
Eas-gobhain, 5, 16. 
Easter Isle, 116, note. 
Edgar, King, 134, 344. 
Edmonstone, John, M.A., 150. 
William and Archibald, 62. 
William of Duntreath, 150. 
Edward I. of England, and Capture of 

Wallace, 263. 

Eglinton, Hugh, Earl of, 287. 
Elphicstone, Michael, 190. 

James and George, 291. 
Eric, King of Norway Marriage to 

Princess Margaret, 229. 
Ernchome, 277. 
Ernecomy, 269, note. 
Ernetly, 269, note. 
Erngobil, 279. 
Ernoml, 269, note. 
Erskines of Cardross, 201. 
Erskine, Admiral, 57. 

David, Concmendator, 62, 178-191. 

Henry, Commendator, 191-192. 

Fiar of Cardross, 198. 

Henry David, of Cardross, 201. 

Hon. John ( th e Black Colonel), 57,201. 

John of Dun, 162, 164. 

John, Commendator, 165, 169-178; 

Master of E. 

Lord E., Earl of Mar, Regent, 169- 
170 ; receives pension from Inch- 
mahome and Dryburgh, 180. 

Erskine, John, D.D., of Carnock, 201. 
John of Carnock obtains Cardross, 

James of Little Sauchy, Bailie of 

Cardross. 180. 

James, first Erskine of Cardross, 201. 
Lord, Queen Mary's keeper, 171. 
Robert, Rector of Glenbervy, Com- 
mendator of Inchmahome, Dean 

of Aberdeen, 159-169. 
Robert, Master of Erskine, identified 

by Fraser with the Commendator, 

Thomas, Commendator of Dryburgh, 

169 and note. 
Sir Thomas of Halton, 161, 162, 163. 

FAIR, St. Michael's, 32. 

Ferguson, Rev. John, minister of Port, 37. 

Ferries to Inchmahome and Inchtalla, 30. 

Feuds Grahams and Leckies, 287-8. 
Menteiths and Drummonds, 323-6. 

Fiar of Cardross, 198. 

Fife, Earldom of, 133, 240. 

Finlayson, James, Town Clerk of Stir- 
ling, 339-40. 

Fintry Hills, 16. 

Forbes, Rev. Arthur, minister of Port, 37. 

Forester, Duncan, 153. 

William teinds of Row, 151. 

Forests, Royal, in Aberfoyle and Glen- 
finglas, 9, 31. 

Forrester, Lord, 304. 

Fraser, Sir Symon, 256. 

Frisefleware, 269, note. 

Furnishings of House of Talla, 309. 

GALBRAITH, Thomas, 51. 
Galfrid, Bishop of Dunkeld, 136. 
Galloway, Earl of, 304. 

Expedition of Wallace to, 254. 
Gallows Hill, 45. 
Garbh-uisge, 5. 
Garden, 194. 
Gardens of the Monastery and of the 

Earls, 77, 78. 
Garlies, Lord, 304, 307. 
Garquhat, 269, note. 
Gartalunane, 51, 347. 
Gartavertyne, 189. 
Gartincaber, 190. 
Gartinhagel, 269, note. 
Gartladerland, Gartladernick, Gartcle- 

deny, 167, 194, note. 



Gartmore, 278. 
Gartmulne, 269, note. 
Gartnerthynach, 269, note. 
Gartur, 64. 

Over and Nether, 180, 194. 
Gateside Ferry, 31, 44. 
Gateway of the Burial Place, 117. 
Gilchrist, Earl, 217. 
Glasgow, William, Bishop of, 136. 
Glassachoile-Cheese, 314. 
Glassart and Milton Woods cut down, 


Glassel, 269, note. 
Glasswerde, Lands of, 269, note. 
Glenbervy, Rector of vide Robert 


Glencairn, Earl of, his Rising, 20. 
Glenfinglas, Forest of, 10, 31, 271. 
Glenny, Skirmish at, 22. 

The Pass and its Traditions, 26. 
Glenorchy's Earth-dogs, 99, note. 
Goodie, Gudy, Guidi Loch and Water, 


Ward of, 180, 194. 
Bede's Pictish town, 68. 
Goose with the cherry tree, 340. 
Goose and pike fight, 343. 
Graham, Rev. Dr., of Aberfoyle, 3, 5, 75. 
Grahams of Duchray Alexander, 7, 118. 
John, his quarrel with the Earl of 

Airth, 335-7. 

Thomas, younger of, 335. 
Graham, Alexander, son of Earl Malise, 

Anne, wife of Sir Mungo Murray, 


Archibald, 307. 
Charles, 307. 

Christian, wife of Sir W. Living- 
stone, 278 and note. 
Christian, wife of Sir John Black- 
adder, 289. 
George, of Rednock, 62; tutor of 

Menteitb, 288. 
Euphame, 275. 
Helen, daughter of Sir James, 306, 


Sir James, Governor of Dundalk,306; 
negotiations for marriage of his 
daughter and succession to the 
earldom, 310-12. 
Jean, 307. 

Sir John, of Gartmore, 116, 328. 
Sir John, Earl of Menteitb, 235-7. 

Graham, John with the Bright Sword. 

John of Claverhouss Compliments 
Earl of Airth, 308; proposes to 
marry Helen Graham, 310 ; corres- 
pondence with the Earl, 312. 

Margaret, 170. 

Margaret, married to Earl of Argyle, 

Margaret, wife of Lord Garlies, 307. 

Mary, wife of Sir John Campbell of 
Glenorchy, 307. 

Nicol, 329. 

Patrick, son of Earl Malise, 273. 

Patrick, son of seventh Earl, 307. 

Robert, vicar of Drummond, 160. 

Robert, son of seventh Earl, 307. 

Robert of Gartmore, 278. 

Walter, son of Earl Alexander, 165. 

Walter of Gartur, 277. 

Walter of Gallangad. 328. 

Walter of Glenny, 302. 

William of Gartmore, 328. 

William, the Beggar Earl, 327-32. 
Grahams of the Borders, 274. 

Feud with the Leckies, 287. 

Earls of Menteith vid* Menteith. 
Gray, Lady Agnes, wife of William, 

seventh Earl, 291. 
Gregor, Robbers of Clan, 277, note. 
Grey, Lord, 176. 

HALDANK, John of Gleneagles Trans- 
actions with Teinds of Leny and 
Eilmadock, 163, 154, 165. 
Margaret, widow of Commendator 

David, 191. 
of Gleneagles, 261. 

Haliburton, Ralph de, engaged in search 
for Wallace, 267. 

Hall of Talla, 209-11. 

Hammerer, Donald the, incursion into 
Menteith and tight with the 
Grahams, 27, 59, 281-4. 

Hardie, Elspet, witch, 337. 

Hastings, Sir Edmund, obtains Comyn 

portion of Earldom, 226. 
Sir John, obtains Stewart part of 
Earldom, 227. 

Henderson, Rev. Thomas, minister of 
Port, 35. 

Henry III. of England, & 

Henry, Abbot of Cambuskennetb, factor 
for Prior of Inchmahome, 164. 



Henry the Minstrel Wallace and Men- 

teith, 263 et segg. 
Hewes, Anna, wife of last Earl her 

divorce, 314. 

High House of Talla, 205-8. 
Hills of Menteith, 14 et segg. 
Hilltown of Cardross, 167, 194. 
Hoardings or Bretecbes, traces of, at 

Talla, 207-8. 

Hodge, James of Gladsmuir Mary, 328. 
Holyrood, meeting of Peers in 1744, 


Hornahic, 180, 194. 
Horseman's Rock, 22. 
Hume, Sir Patrick of Argaty, 61. 

David, 62, 187. 
Hutchison, Robert of Carlowrie report 

on trees on Inchmahome, 90. 
Hutton, Canon John, 158, 165, 176, 177. 

INCH-CUAN, Dog Isle, 99, 100. 
Inchere, 269, note. 
Inchie, Chapel at, 59, 141. 
Inchmahome origin, meaning, and 

various forms of name, 74-6. 
Description of Island, 77-92. 
Priory, site and description; 101-129. 
Writ of foundation of Monastery, 


Inchmurdach, 148. 
Insche, 269, note. 
Inventories, furnishings of Talla House, 

209 et segg. 

Earl William's (seventh Earl), Char- 
ters, 292. 

Irving, Dr. David, statement regarding 
George Buchanan at Cardross, 166. 
Isabella, Countess of Menteith, marriage 
to Sir John Russell and subse- 
quent history, 222. 
the younger, wife of Sir John 

Comyn, 224. 
Isle of my Rest a misinterpretation, 75. 

JAMES I., 2 ; prisoner, 244 ; negotiations 
for release, 246 ; coronation, 249; 
arrests and executes the Albanies, 
249-50 ; death, 252 ; at Doune, 347. 

James II., 347. 

James III. Makes Port a burgh of 
barony, 31, 270, 347. 

James IV., at Tillymoss, 51, 347; at 
Doune, 348. 

James V., story of the King of Kippen, 

James VI., letter about terriers, 99; 

coronation, 286 ; Earl of Mar's 

marriage, 196 ; visit to Cardross, 

197, 350. 
Jebb, Samuel his History of Queen 

Mary, 174. 
Jonet, Lady, wife of Earl Malise, 271 ; 

her husband's gift, 272. 
John, Prior, and his rival, Thomas, 


Johnston, Rev. J. J., minister of Port, 39. 
Justiciar of Menteith, appointment of, 


KATHERINE, Lady, her bequests, 214. 

Katrine, Loch, 1, 16. 

Keir, Laird of, 303. 

Keith, Lady May, wife of Lord Kilpont, 


Kepe, 194. 

Kidd, Colonel, at Glenny, 23. 
Kilbryde, John of, 274; house, 206; 

house sold, 302. 
Kilmadock, 2. 

Parish of, 190, 155. 
Church and chapels, 141, 195. 
Teinds, 154. 

Kilpont, Lord burial place, 111, 115; 
thanked by Charles I., 302; death, 
306, 317-22. 
Kincardine, 2. 

Kinloch, John tenement, 182. 
Kinross, Malcolm tenement in Castle 

Wynd, Stirling, 182. 
Kippen, 2. 

James IV. at, 51. 
Church of, 123. 
Drums of, 193. 
King of, 348-9. 
Kirktoun of Aberfoyle, 277. 
Kitchen of the Monastery, 118 ; of 
Talla, 208. 

LADARDE, 269, note. 

Lanark (Lanrick), 190. 

Langside, battle of, 286. 

Langtof t, story of the capture of Wallace, 


Largs, battle of, 228. 
Lauder, Sir Robert, 261. 
Law-tree at Port of Menteith, 32. 
Leckies feud with the Grahams, 287-8. 



Lennox, Earldom of, given to Sir John 

Menteitb, 268. 
Leny, Teinds of, 154. 
Kirklunds of, 194. 
Kirk of, 195. 

Lenchris, Church of, 152. 
Linlitbgow, Earl of, 297, 305. 
Livingston, William, and the Countess 

of Airth,306. 

Lochcon, Forest of, 269, note. 
y, Sir John, 148. 
Margaret, married to David II., 


Lonanys, 269, note. 
Lord of Menteith Walter Stewart, 240. 

MACANKEB, Loch, tradition regarding, 

Macaulay of Erngabil and Gartmore, 

M'Corranestoun, 190. 

M'Curtains, hereditary gardeners, 78. 

M'Gibbon of Blairhoyle, 65. 

M'Gregor, brother of Gilderoy, cap- 
tured, 801. 

M'Kessons in Rednock, 61. 

Mackie, Charles Queen Mary at Inch- 
mahome, 174. 

Maclellan, Dene Thomas, 158, 176, 177, 
180, 181. 

M'Nayr's Guide mode of fishing, 342-3. 

M 'Queen's Pass, 21. 

Maiden of Norway, 229. 

Maistertoun, Elizabeth, lease to, 157. 

Major, John -Intimacy of Wallace and 
Menteith, 263. 

Malcolm, Parson of Insula Macholem, 

Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, 144. 

Malise, Earl of Stratherne, 143. 

Manse of the Priors in Stirling, 195. 

Maolpeder, Macpender, 11. 

Mar, John, Earl of, marriage and family, 

Thomas, Earl of, 238. 

Mardufiy, lands of, 269, note. 

Margaret, Princess Marriage and coro- 
nation, 228-9. 
Lady, her four marriages, 237-9. 

Mariota, second wife of Earl Malise, 

Marriage Contract of last Earl, 31 B. 

Martyrologies of Aberdeen and Angus, 

Mary, daughter of Earl Maurice and 

wife of Walter Stewart marriage, 

224; death, 230; monument, 123. 

132, 231. 

Mary of Lorraine. Queen Dowager of 

James V., 159. 
Mary, Countess of Menteitb, marries 

Sir John Graham, 235. 
Masar, le, 213, 272. 

Matilda, wife of Earl Alexander, 123. 
Maurice, Prior, receives Robert Bruce 

at Inchmahome, 143. 
Maurice, senior and junior Earls. 


Meikleour Writs, 177, 181. 
Memorial of Scottish Nobles to Pope. 

Menteith District, earldom, stewartry, 

1-3, 13. 
Derivation, meaning, and varied 

forms of the name, 6-8. 
References by early writers, 9-18. 
Hills and their traditions, 13-29. 
Vale of, 16. 
Huntings in, 9, 10. 
Lake of, 67-100. 

Lands of later earldom of, 268-9. 
Residences of Earls of, 216. 
Mprmaere, 216. 
Menteith Earls early Earls : Gilchri-t, 


Muretach, 217. 
Maurices, 217-9. 
Walter Comyn, 212-24. 
Walter Stewart, 224-31. 
Alexander, 231-3. 
Alan, 233-4. 
Murdach, 234-5. 
Sir John Graham, 235-7. 
Countess Mary, 237-9. 
Robert Stewart Earl of Fife, Duke 

of Albany, 237-47. 
Murdach, Duke of Albany, 247-63. 
Graham Earls Malise, 268-75. 
Alexander, 275-7. 
William, 278-84. 
John, 284-6. 
William, 286-8. 
John, 288-9. 
William, Earl of Strathern, Earl 

of Airth, 290-307. 
William, Earl of Airtb, 307-17. 
Menteith, Alexander, of Rusky. 324-325. 
Alexander in Polmont Mill, 176. 



Menteith, Agnes, co-heiress of Husky, 

Maister David, 156. 

Elizabeth, co-heiress of Husky, 262. 

John of Menteith, 60. 

John in Red nock, 61. 

Sir John, 253-67. 

James, 61. 

Malcolm, of Husky, 324-5. 

Dene Patrick, 156. 

Walter, son of Sir John, 146. 

Walter, of Husky, 325. 

William, Master of Menteith, 166. 

William, of Husky, 325. 

Lord of (Robert Stewart), 240-1. 

Menteiths of Rednock, 18, 60. 

Menteitbs and Drummonds, 323-6. 
Mercer, Laurence of Meikleour, 177. 
Mercuriua Politicus, extracts from, 24, 


Meyners, Sir Alexander, 255. 
Michael, Fair of St., 32, 45, 128. 
Milling, Fair, 32, 45. 

Cup-marked stone, 47-8. 
Milton of Aberfoyle, lands of, 277. 
Monacbedin, Mondynes, 12 and note. 
Mondbui, lands of, wadset, 302. 
Mont, Dene John, 158, 176, 177. 
Montrose, Earl, 293. 

Marquis, 311 et seqq. 
Monuments in Choir of Church Earl 
Walter and Lady, 123. 

Sir John Drummond, 126. 

Others, 128-9. 
Monybrachys, 269 note. 
Moray Sir John, 238. 

Walter of, 325. 

Moss, birthplace of Buchanan, 165. 
Mowbray, Sir John, sent to take Wal- 
lace, 256. 

Margaret, wife of William, Master 
and Earl of Menteith, 165, 277-8. 
Murdach, Earl, 234-5. 
Murdochstoun, 190. 
Muretach, Earl, 217. 
Muriella, wife of Duke of Albany, 242. 
Murray, Sir Mungo, 199, 307. 
Muschett, Alexander, messenger-at- 

arms, 335. 
My Lord's Chamber, 211. 

NAPIBR of Merchiston, 262. 
Neven, Duncan, schoolmaster of Dun- 
blane, 190. 

Neville's Cross, battle of, 236. 
Newcastle, truce of, 261. 
Newton of Doune, 180. 
Nobles, Scottish, in the War of Inde- 
pendence, 264. 
Nomenclature, local, 2. 
Nunnery, 118. 
Nuns' Walk and Nuns' Hill, 78, 81. 


Ramsay, John of, 355. 
Ogilvy, Sir James, of Ernby, 152. 
Oliphant, Allan, 180. 

PABLIAMBNT, riding the, 309. 

Peace Stone, 47. 

Peblis, Dene Adam, 158, 176, 177. 

Pensions and promises of Charles I., 


Perth, Sheriff of, representatives de- 
forced by Prior, 147. 

Earl of, 297. 

Piper's House and Strand, 45. 
Plate of Earl William claimed by Keir, 


Polder, West and East, 194. 
Pollox, John de, confiscated, 145. 
Popes Gregory IX., 136. 

Gregory, X., 142. 

Paul III., 169, note. 

Paul IV., 178. 

Clement VI., 238. 

Innocent VI., 238-9. 
Port of Menteith, 2, 30. 

Made a burgh, 31, 270. 

Church, 32, 39, 170, 195. 

Kirk Session Records, 33-4. 

Ministers from Reformation, 34-9. 

Lands of, 40, 43, 141, 269 notes. 

Kirklands, 194. 

Portend.30,40; Charles II. at, 43; burn, 19. 
Princess Margaret, marriage and coro- 
nation of, 228-9. 

Princess Beatrice in Menteith, 352-3. 
Pringle, Dene Duncan, 158, 177. 
Priors of Inchmahome Adam, 141. 

Maurice, 142-5. 

Christin, 145-9. 

John, 149. 

Thomas Dog (Doig), 149-50. 

Alexander Ruch (Rough), 151-3. 

David, 163-7. 

Andrew, 157-8. 

Disputes regarding Priorate, 150-1. 



Priors' Chamber, 116. 
Priors' Manse in Stirling, 181-6. 
Priors' Meadow, 40, 194. 
Priory Valuation by Bagimont's Roll, 

Church described, 103-29. 

Marriage of Earl of Argyle at, 170. 

QUEEN, Mary, of Scots Memorials at 
Inchraahome, 82-9 ; residence 
there, 170-6 ; bed-chamber at the 
Monastery, 116; chamber at Doune 
Castle, 350; demission, 286. 
Mary of Lorraine, 159; at Doune, 350. 
Victoria visit to Menteith, 352-3. 

RAMSAY, Robert, minister of Port, 36. 

Robert, notary, Stirling, 182. 
Randolph, Earl of Moray, 261. 
Read, Colonel, at Aberfoyle and Glenny, 


Rednock Castle, 59 ; estate, 60-5. 
Refectory of Monastery, 121. 
Robert II., 147, 346. 
Robert III., 243, 244. 
Robertson, Rev. Dr., of Callander 
Derivation of Teith, 3. 

Colonel, 4. 

Rose with the Cragmuk, 269, note. 
Rosneath, 325. 
Rothesay, Duke of, 243-4. 
Row Wester, 180 ; teinds of, 151, 197. 
Ruch, Sir Alexander, Prior, 151-3. 

David, Procurator for Prior, 151. 

John. Vicar of Garioch, 152. 
Ruskie, 251, 257. 

Loch, 18. 

Castle, 18, 19. 

Fight at Tar, 61, 66, 265, 324. 
Russell, Sir John, husband of Countess 
Isabella, 223-4. 

SACBISTY of Church, 107. 
St. Andrews, 259. 

Bishop of, 261. 

St. Colman (Colmock), 74, 76, 128, 130. 
St. Michael, effigy on monument, 128. 
Savnach, 269, note. 
Schanghill, 269, note. 
Schort, Dene Robert, 180, 181. 
Scot, Sir John, of Scotstarvet True 

Relation, 298. 
Scott, Sir Walter, 4, 28, 257, 265, 281, 

319, 348. 

Scott, Sir William, of Ancrum, claims 

earldom, 333. 

Seal of the Priory, 131, note. 
Session Records, lost and recovered, 33, 

Seton, James, of Tullibody, 188. 

Marion, widow of Earl John, 286. 
Seytoun, Rev. James, minister of Port, 


Shirgarton, 193. 
Short, Jack, Wallace's man, 256. 
Silverplate, Earl of Airth's, 302. 
Sinclair, William, of the Banks, 177. 

William, of the Camp, 187. 
Somerset, Duke of, 176. 
Spittals, 155. 
Spittaltoun, 156. 
Stables, Earl's, 45. 
Stair, Master of Letter to Earl of Airth, 


Stewarts of Appin, 281-4. 
Stewart Earls vide Menteith. 
Stewart, Alexander, son of Duke Mur- 

dach, 249, 250. 
Andro, lease to, 157. 
Henry, Commendator, 189. 
Isabella, daughter of Duke of Albany, 

James, son of Duke Murdach, 249. 

James, of Ard voirlich death of Lord 

Kilpont, 316-22. 

Lady Mary, Countess of Mar, 195. 
Prince Charles Edward in Menteith, 


Robert, the High Steward, 147. 
Walter, son of Duke Murdach, 249, 


Sir William, of Dalswinton, 275. 
Stirling Town, 195; Prior's manse in, 


Elizabeth, 187. 
Robert, minister of Port, 37. 
William, minister of Port, 35. 
William, reader, 34. 
Dene William, Canon of Inchma- 

home, 180, 186, 187, 189, 190. 
Rev. W. Macgregor, minister of Port, 
38 ; his works, 38 ; his interpreta- 
tion of Inchmahome, 75, 77 ; refer- 
ence to his Notes, oflwm. 
Strathern, Earldom of, 297, 298. 
Strickland, Miss, on Queen Mary at 
Inchmahome, 173. 



TALL A, the Island, 92-6. 

The buildings on, 202-13. 

Household arrangements at, in time 

of last Earl, 314-16. 

Tar of Kusky, 61, 66, 261, 265, 267, 324. 
Teith, the river and. the name, 3-5. 
Tereochane, 269, note, 
Thaich, district, 56. 
Thirds, the Commendator's, 187-8. 
Thorn and Lanarkins, 146. 
Thomson, Canon James, 158, 165, 177. 
Tibbermuir, Battle of, 318. 
Tilly Moss (Talla), battle, 51, 347. 
Tobanareal, Tipardnerheil, name and site, 

Cairn at, 29. 

Earl William's death at, 27. 

Legendary and historical accounts 

of the fight, 279-84. 
Tom-a-mhoid, 57. 
Trees on Inchmahome, 89. 
Trumpeter of Stirling, story of the, 340. 
Tulliallan, Lord, 304. 
Turnberry Castle, 253. 
Turner, Eev. Dr., minister of Port, 39. 
Tyeper's path, 27. 

UAM-VAK, 16. 
Ulster, Earl of, 259. 

VAULT, the, 111, 114-5. 
Vennachar, 1, 16. 
Visitors, royal, 344-53. 

WALLACE Expedition into Galloway, 

254; capture, 256-8. 

Wardrobe of Talla, 211 ; of last Earl, 213. 
Wat Dog's town, 155. 
Wat Smith's town, 155. 
Wemyss, Earl of, 309. 
Whummle the bannock, 265. 
Will of last Earl, 215. 
Wishart, chaplain of Montrose Account 

of Kilpont's death, 319-20. 
John, correspondent of Earl of Airth, 


Witches in Menteith, 337-9. 
Wylie, William, minister of Port, 39. 

YLE, 92. 

Youngar, Dene John, 176, 177. 
Youngman, Canon John, 158, 165, 170, 
177, 278. 

from which it was borrowed. 

FFB 1 5 169& 

UE 2 WKS m 

nifl DAT /RE 


AR 1 1 199. 



A 000 994 292 1