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benefited by any additional territory, into the surrender of which a neighbour had been harassed, and again suffered with their lord all the calami. ties of invasion, they were inflamed with the same feelings and devoted by passion to his service *.
The inhabitants of the isles were still more savage than their neighbours on the mountains t;
* The story we shall give relating to the Isles will prove this. But, indeed, when one party frequently burnt, destroyed, and murdered indiscriminately; all must have felt. Spottiswoode, p. 390.
+ The following account, from Spottiswoode, p. 348, of a feud in 1586, presents a horrid picture. M‘Koneil and M‘Lain, two of the principal men, were connected by marriage; M*Koneil having married the other's sister. M‘Lain having been educated on the Continent, had learnt some civility and good manners, which procured him the respect of his neighbours, and the enyy and rancorous hatred of M‘Koneil, who, after many petty quarrels, laid a snare for his life. He proposed a visit to M‘Lain, and that the latter should accompany him to his own country. MʻLain cheerfully received him, but de. clined to give an answer about accompanying him.
M‘Koueil visited him, and remained four or five days with every token of amity, and then entreated the other's company home, saying, that he would leave his eldest son and a brother-german pledges for his safety. Overcome with importunity, MʻLain consented, but declined the pledges, lest he should seem to distrust him; he took with him, however, forty-five of his kindred and servants. When they arrived at Kintyre, they were welcomed with liberal feasting, according to that peo ple's custom. But at night, after they had retired to rest in a separate house, M`Koneil beset the house, and called forth the other to drink. To this he replied, that they had already drunk too much, and that it was now time to rest. But it is my will, said the other, that you rise and come forth. M‘Lain began to suspect treachery. He, however, dresse ed himself with his men, and opened the door, when, perceiving a comą pany in arms, and M‘Koneil with his sword drawn, he asked what the matter was, and if he intended to break faith? “ No faith,” said the other. “I gave none, and must now have an account of you aud your friends for the wrongs I have received.” M‘Lain had taken his nephew, a little child, to bed with him, and being put to defence, kept
and James, who seems to have considered his subjects as peculiarly his property as the live stock in his parks, and who was anxious for the improvement of part of the territory over which he had been appointed chief magistrate, proposed extermination as the only means of introducing refinement, and therefore made gifts of the territory to certain individuals, with power to execute his purpose. But the project ended in the discomfiture of the invaders.
Prior to the union of the crowns, .the borders Borders. were in a pastoral state ; the inhabitants a species of freebooters, of depraved habits, ever prepared to make incursions into the sister kingdom, and not unfrequently disposed to plunder their own countrymen, by whom they were beheld with dis
the child on his left shoulder, by way of a targe. The child cried to his uncle for mercy, and M-Koneil, moved at the sight of his own child in such peril, promised to spare MʻLain's life, provided he would surrender his
weapons, and become a prisoner. The other was fain to comply, and was conducted under a guard to another house. His followers, with the exception of two, whom M‘Koneil refused to spare, surrendered on similar terms. The two defended themselves so dexterously, that the house was obliged to be fired; and they were consumed in it. Notwithstanding the promise, however, the rest were all beheaded next day in M‘Lain's sight; and an accident,the falling of M‘Koneil from his horse and breaking his leg—was the only cause for prolonging MʻLain's life. The king, hearing of this, sent a herald with orders to deliver M‘Lain; but still he was detained, and only got his liberty on the most humiliating terms. This he no sooner acquired, than, in defiance of the treaty—notwithstanding all the civility he had learned on the Continent-he fell upon M`Koneil's bounds, burning, and killing man, woman, and child. See further as to the state of the isles, Spot. p. 278. 390. 411. 415, 416. 519.-King James's Works.
may *. Their habits calculated them for promptitude in resisting an enemy; and, as their flocks and herds could easily be removed to a distance, invasion failed to spread the terror, or to inflict the ca. lamities, which it occasions to a well cultivated district. The people of the respective countries had been much harassed by the licentiousness of the borderers, and the harmony between the kingdoms often interrupted-as, therefore, the pretexts for their military habits were, on the union, removed, the king used his power to curb their lawless lives, and, in a short time, the fields began to be cultivated and the manners to change t.
*“In the month of Julie," (anno 1530,)“ the king went with ane armie of 8000 men to Easdale,” (Eskdale,)“ to apprehend and punish thieves.”_" John Armstrong, a notable thief, who had compelled the English to pay black mail, and was terrible in those parts to the Lord Maxwell himself” (the warden, I believe,) “ when he was coming to the king, enticed by some courtiers, bot without a safe conduct, he was intercepted by fifty horsemen lying in ane ambush, and brought to the king as if he had been apprehendit by them against his will, he and a great number of his companie were hanged.” Calderw. Mem. vol. i. p. 80. See Buch. Hist. 1. xiii. c. 39. Calderwood has done little more than translate from Buchanan.
Johnston, p. 55. for some account of the Borderers, Nicolson's Border Laws. Spottiswoode, 272. 305, 306. 402. 413, 414. 434. 448. Leslie.
+ On the accession James assumed the title of king of Great Brie tain, and ordered all the fortresses on the borders to be demolished. Spot. p. 486.
State of Ireland.
Though Ireland was all nominally subjected to the English throne so early as the time of Henry II., it was only by the great exertions of Elizabeth towards the close of her reign, that James was, in the beginning of his, enabled to establish the authority of the crown in every quarter of that island.
At the first invasion by the English, the Irish approximated to the lowest stage of barbarism, and the measures of the invaders, far from being calculated to diffuse civilization, obstructed improvement, and, if possible, reduced the inhabi. tants to still greater mental degradation. They were divided into small septs; and powerful English adventurers having obtained from the crown grants of extensive tracts for the purpose of colonization, drove a divided people before them, and occupied the soil. The septs that were thus expelled from their habitations in vain sought an asylum in the more inaccessible parts of the country, since hostile septs, to which they were as invaders, opposed their inroads. The new settlements were, therefore, in a great measure attend
ed with extermination, and, in process of time, the natives every where perceived, that, unless they expelled, or at least kept down the English settlers, they should be dispossessed of the soil. Large seigniories, which were granted from time to time to great English favourites, augmented the hostility. These could not have been taken advantage of without a general extermination of the natives, which was impracticable ; but enough was done to annoy them and spread universal ter
At some periods the great lords in the English settlements, wishing to render themselves independent of the crown, began to form alliances with the natives; but the intercourse, instead of civilizing them, led to a degeneration of the settlers. To prevent this degeneracy and falling off from their allegiance, tyrannical laws prohibited intercourse under the pains of treason, and, consequently, augmented the bitter hatred of the aboriginal inhabitants, who thus perceived themselves treated as if not entitled to the privileges of humanity. The settlers and the natives were, there. fore, in continual hostility of the most rancorous description. Colonies were, in various quarters, from time to time attempted, but the chief settlement was of the pale, which comprised the counties of Dublin, Meath, Lowth, Kildare, &c.
The natives, in the meantime, retained their own laws and usages, with the various relations of peace and war, within their different septs. Murder was, as in all barbarous countries, punishable only by fine ; but the state of property evinced