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present system of landlordism off the face of a country which it has brought to the verge of utter ruin.
HECTOR ROSE MACKENZIE.
(To be continued.)
ETYMOLOGY OF DUMBARTON.
DUMBARTON has always been said to mean the Fort of the Britons. George Chalmers ( Caledonia), Isaac Taylor (Words and Places), James A. Robertson (Gaelic Topography), and others, refer to this way of explaining the name, and do not suggest any other. Some years ago there occurred to me another explanation, which is now offered for the consideration of the reader. I have not seen it in print, and I have not heard it mentioned in conversation. I have gone past Dumbarton five times ; once I was in the town for an hour, but I had not time to visit the Rock. The Rock rises to the height of 206 feet. Towards the top it is cleft into two summits, of which one is higher than the other; it is somewhat like a mitre; the cleft begins about half way up the Rock, so that the gap or fissure measures about one hundred feet from its commencement to the top of the higher summit. The Gaelic bearn means a notch, a gap; the verb bearn is to notch ; bearnta is notched. Perhaps it was called Dunbearn, the Hill of the Notch, or Dunbearnta, the Notched Hill. . The houses which afterwards were built near its foot were called Dunbearntaton ; shortened and softened into Dunbarton. The hill gave its name to the town, and then the town gave its name to the hill. Before b the n was changed to m. The Celt has a very quick eye for natural objects, and looking at the pinnacle-shaped hill, cleft from above downwards for one hundred feet, leaving a gap which is, perhaps, fifty or sixty feet wide at the top, he could hardly avoid calling it Dun (hill), Bearnta (notched). Was the name given by Gaelic Celts or by Kymric Celts? On looking at Price's English-Welsh Dictionary (1857), I find that gap, or cleft, or notch, is not represented in Welsh by bearn or any word like it. Assuming that the name referred to the gap, it has been given by the Gaelic race. The usual readers of the Celtic Magazine are not likely to grumble at space being given to antiquarian matters, but perhaps some stranger may glance at this page and ask what is the use of troubling about things belonging to the long ago. I answer him in the words of Mr. Gladstone :-“It is a degradation to man to be reduced to the life of the present. He will never put forth his hopes, his views, and his efforts towards the future, with due effect and energy, unless, at the same time, he prizes, and holds fondly clasped to his heart, the recollections of the past. (Address to the Edinburgh Town Council, November, 1885, on handing over to their care the market cross, which he had rebuilt.) It is, perhaps, a little strange that they who named the hill did not call it Craig-bearnta. The word bearn is met with in Craigiebarns, a hill near Dunkeld ; also in Pyrenees. I do not wish to be thought very positive, but my private opinion is that Dumbarton has nothing to do with the Britons, but that it is the town near the hill with the cleft top. I apologise for making this note so long, but it is not every day that a person has the chance of pointing out a mistake that has been believed in for a thousand years, from the time of the venerable Bede even unto this day. Devonport, Devon.
THOMAS STRATTON, M.D. (Edin.)
THE CONFLICTS OF THE CLANS.
THE TROUBLES BETWEEN THE EARLS OF HUNTLY AND
WHILST the North of Scotland was thus in a combustion, the Spanish Blanks were discovered, and Mr. George Carr, Doctor of the Laws, was apprehended in the Isle of Cumbrae, and brought back to Edinburgh, 1592. Afterward, the year of God, 1594, the Popish Earls, Angus, Huntly, and Errol, were, at the earnest suit of the Queen of England's ambassador, forfeited at a Parliament held at Edinburgh the penult of May, 1594. Then was the King moved to make the Earl of Argyll, his Majesty's Lieutenant in the North of Scotland, to invade the Earls of Huntly and Errol. Argyll, being glad of this employment (having received money from the Queen of England for this purpose), makes great preparation for the journey, and addresses himself quickly forward; thinking thereby to have a good occasion to revenge his brotherin-law, the Earl of Moray's death; so on he went, with full assurance of a certain victory, accompanied with the Earl of Tullibardine, Sir Lachlan Maclean, and divers Islanders, Mackintosh, Grant, and Clan Gregor, Macneill of Barra, with all their friends and dependers, together with the whole surname of Campbell, with sundry others, whom either greediness of prey or malice against the Gordons, had thrust forward in that expedition; in all, above 10,000 men. And, coming through all the mountainous countries of that part of Scotland, they arrived at Ruthven of Badenoch, the 27th of September, the year 1594, which house they besieged, because it appertained to Huntly; but it was so well defended by the Clan Pherson (Huntly's servants) that Argyll was forced to give over the siege and to address himself towards the Lowlands; where the Lord Forbes, with his kin, the Frasers, the Dunbars, the Clan Kenzie, the Irvines, the Ogilvies,
the Leslies, the Munroes, and divers other surnames of the North, should have met him as the King's Lieutenant, and so join with his forces against Huntly.
Argyll came thus forward to Drummin, in Strathdown, and encamped hard thereby, the 2nd of October. Huntly and Errol, hearing of this great preparation made against them, lacked neither courage nor resolution; they assemble all such as would follow them and their fortune in this extremity. Errol came unto the Earl of Huntly to Strathbogie with 100 or 120 of resolute gentlemen; and so, having there joined with Huntly's forces, they march forward from thence to Carnburgh, and then to Achindown, with 1500 horsemen, the 3rd of October; parting from Achindown, Huntly sent Captain Thomas Carr and some of the family of Tillieboudie (Gordon), to spy the fields and view the enemy These gentlemen, meeting by chance with Argyll's spies, killed them all, except one whom they saved and examined, and by him understood that Argyll was at hand. This accident much encouraged the Earl of Huntly's men, taking this as a presage of an ensuing victory; whereupon Huntly and Errol do resolve to fight with Argyll before he should join with the Lord Forbes and the rest of his forces; so they march towards the enemy, who, by this time, was at Glenlivet, in the mountains of Strathavon.
The Earl of Argyll, understanding that Huntly was at hand, who (as he believed) durst not show his countenance against such an army, he was somewhat astonished, and would gladly have delayed the battle until he had met with the Lord Forbes; but, perceiving them to draw near, and trusting to his great number, he began to order his battle, and to encourage his people with the hope of prey, and the enemy's small forces to resist them. He gave the commandment and leading of his vanguard to Sir Lachlan Maclean and to Achinbreck, which did consist of 4000 men, whereof 2000 men were hagbutters, Argyll himself and Tullibardine followed with all the rest of the army. The Earl of Errol and Sir Patrick Gordon of Achindown, accompanied with the Laird of Gight, Bonnietoun Wood, and Captain Carr, led the Earl of Huntly's vanguard, which consisted of 300 gentlemen ; Huntly followed them with the rest of his company,
having the Laird of Cluny (Gordon), upon his right hand, and Abergeldie upon the left hand; and, as he began to march forward, he encouraged his men, shewing them that there was no remedy, but either to obtain the victory, or to die with their weapons in their hands, in defence of whatsoever they held dearest in this world. Argyll, his army being all footmen, and assailed, had the advantage of the ground; for they were arrayed in battle upon the top of a steep, rough, and craggy mountain, at the descent whereof the ground was foggy, mossy, and full of peatpots, exceeding dangerous for horse. Huntly's forces consisted all in horsemen, and were constrained to ride first through the mossy ground at the foot of the hill, and then to ride up against that heathy, rough mountain, to pursue the enemy, who did there attend them. Before that Errol and Achindown gave the first charge, Huntly caused Captain Andrew Grey (now Colonel of the English and Scottish in Bohemia) to shoot three field-pieces of ordnance at the enemy, which bred a confused tumult among them, by the slaughter of MacNeill of Barra, an Islander, and one of the most valiant men of that party. Huntly's vanguard, seeing the enemy disordered, presently gave the charge; the Earl of Errol, with the most part of the vanguard, turned their sides towards the enemy, and so went a little about, directly towards Argyll, leaving Maclean and the vanguard upon their left hand, being forced thereto by the steepness of the hill, and the thick shot of the enemy; but Achindown, with the rest of his company, did gallop up against the hill towards Maclean ; so that Achindown himself was the first man that invaded the enemy, and the first that was slain by them, having lost himself by his too much forwardness. The fight was cruel and furious for a while. Achindown's servants and followers, perceiving their master fall, raged among their enemies, as if they had resolved to revenge his death, and to accompany him in dying. Maclean, again playing the part of a good commander, compassed Huntly's vanguard, and enclosed them betwixt him and Argyll, having engaged themselves so far that now there was no hope of retreat; so that they were in danger to be all cut to pieces, if Huntly had not come speedily to their support, where he was in great danger of his life, his horse being slain under him ; but being presently horsed again
by Invermarkie, he rushed in among the enemies. Thus the battle was again renewed with great fury, and continued two hours. In end, Argyll with his main battle began to decline, and then to flee apace, leaving Maclean still fighting in the field; who, seeing himself thus destitute of succours, and his men either fled or slain, retired in good order with the small company he had about him, and saved himself by flight; having behaved himself in the battle, not only like a good commander, but also like a valiant soldier. Huntly and his horsemen followed the chase beyond the brook of Aldchonlihan, killing the enemies, till the steepness of the next mountains did stay them, being inaccessible for horse
Argyll's ensign was found in the place of battle, and brought back with them to Strathbogie. The Earl of Argyll lost in this battle his two cousins, Archibald Campbell of Lochnell, and his brother, James Campbell, with divers of Achinbreck's friends, MacNeill of Barra, and 700 common soldiers. Neither was the victory very pleasing to the Earl of Huntly, for, besides that the Earl of Errol, the Laird of Gight, and the most part of all his company were hurt and wounded, Sir Patrick Gordon of Achindown, his uncle, a wise, valiant, and resolute knight, with 14 others, were there slain. All their hurt men were carried that night to Achindown, where most part of them stayed until they were recovered. This battle was fought on Thursday, the 3rd day of October, 1594.
The Lord Forbes, the lairds of Buchan and Drum, assembled all their friends and followers, with intention to join with Argyll ; but, hearing of his overthrow, they conclude to join with the Dunbars, and the rest of the forces coming from the provinces of Moray and Ross, and so to invade the Gordons when they came from the battle, thinking it now an easy matter to overthrow them, and to revenge old quarrels. To this effect the whole surname of Forbes, with most part of the Leslies and the Irvines, met at Druminour (the Lord Forbes's dwelling) and so went on, thinking to overtake Argyll, and to cause him return and renew the battle against the Gordons and their partakers; but, as they marched forward, a gentleman called Irvine was killed with the shot of a pistol, in the dark of the night, hard by the Lord Forbes, the author of which shot was never yet known until this day; for