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We need not dwell on the vic- place. Between the parties there was tory that followed the raising of many a goodly passage of arms, and the banner, and the war-cry of many a man thrown to the earth; " Douglas! Douglas !" And we “
many taken and rescued again. Sir
Archibald Douglas was a mighty need not wonder that such
knight, and much feared by his eneepisode should have inspired a mies. When near the English he deathless lay which
the lighted down on foot, wielding a heart more than a trumpet.
long sword with a blade two ells in On the death of Earl James length. Too heavy for any other the title and estates went, as
man to lift easily, this weapon was we have seen, to Archibald, the.
for him light enough, and with it he
gave such strokes that whosoever he grim Lord of Galloway, a natural hit went to the earth, and not the son of the Good Sir James. Of hardiest of the English could withArchibald it is recorded that he stand his strokes." refused the title of Duke · when that dignity was first introduced into Scotland; "and when the We may note, in passing, that heralds cried out to him, Schir this great physical strength was Duk, Schir Duk,' he replied, say. as much a characteristic of the ing, • Schir Drake, Schir Drake,' Black Douglases as personal braand would accept only the title very, and this endowment contribof Earl."1 Both by marriage and uted in no small degree to the acquisition the Douglas domains maintenance of their feudal supeincreased largely under Archibald. riority. It was as Warden of the Marches Contemporary with Archibald and Justiciar on the Borders that was another renowned Douglas, his most notable achievements Sir William of Nithsdale, who won were performed; and “Black Lord high military honours in Prussia, Archibald's battle-laws" formed a and who, according to Godscroft, code of weighty authority in the was created Duke of Spruce ever-recurring collisions on the (Prusse) and Prince of Danskin Border line. The description (Dantzic). It is worthy of note which Froissart gives of 'him that the Douglas prestige thus in the famous contest with Sir worthily established in Prussia Thomas Musgrave is
no doubt five hundred years ago, is still substantially accurate, although maintained ; for only a few months the historian has apparently fallen ago a gentleman of the name was into some
confusion as to the enrolled among the Prussian nobles details.
as Freiherr von Douglas, on his making good his connection with
the house of Angus, for his ser“There began,” he says, “a fierce
vices in the Franco-German war. encounter; archers began to shoot, and men-at-arms began to stir. The
Next to Archibald the Grim Scotch were so numerous that the came Archibald, Duke of Touraine, archers could not take heed in every and fourth Earl of Douglas, whose
1 The point of the joke lies in the Scottish pronunciation of “duck,” which is “duke.” Thus the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, when examined before the House of Lords in connection with the Porteous Mob, incurred the indignation of the Duke of Newcastle, and was like to have been committed for contempt of the peers, by describing the piece with which Captain Porteous fired, “as just such a gun as ye would shoot dukes and fools with” (ducks and fowls).
career was not so uniformly suc- which has always associated the cessful as those of most of his pre- Douglas and Albany pillar in St decessors. He was taken prisoner Giles's Church, Edinburgh, with the at Homildon, and shared in the murder of Rothsay. The coincirebellion which the old enemy of dence of the Douglas and Albany his house, Hotspur, raised against arms appearing conjointly on a Henry IV. He is the Douglas pillar Mr Fraser explains by pointof whom Shakespeare gives us a ing to the fact that both these not very happy or probable por- noblemen had contributed to the traiture. With Sir Archibald repair of the church. This, howthe Warden he divides the claim ever, does not go far enough to to the uncomplimentary title of shake our belief in the votive • Tineman." In him we first character of the pillar, which is, notice the exaggerated form which however, quite consistent a taste for feudal magnificence and with Mr Fraser's theory of the display was beginning to assume innocence of both Douglas and among the Douglases, and which Albany. They required a special was amply gratified by the pomp Act of Parliament' to clear their which he was enabled to assume fame in the popular estimation; when installed as Duke of Tou- and it is quite possible that, raine. But the French honours though conscious of their innoof the family were not destined cence, they may have felt that to last long. Duke Archibald's public sentiment demanded some death in the unfortunate battle expiatory act at their hands, as of Verneuil, which was unques- it was by their counsels to the tionably lost by his indecisive King that Rothsay had been sent generalship, ended the substantial into confinement. benefits of the French duchy; The history of the latter lords and though his two immediate of the Black line is largely successors bore the empty style checkered by tragedies and misand arms of Dukes of Touraine, fortune. The Douglases were now no French dignity was destined to to pay the penalties of the lofty remain in the house of Douglas, as position into which their talents in that of Lennox or Hamilton, to and ambition had raised them. commemorate the Ancient League When the crown was worn by a between Scotland and France. captive, a minor, or a fainéant, This Archibald is the Earl who, it was completely eclipsed by the along with Albany, is inculpated Douglas coronet; even a strong in the murder of the Duke of and resolute king, such as James I. Rothsay, although Sir
Sir Walter proved to be after his release, could Scott, by an anachronism surely only maintain his authority by intentional, to secure the introduc- evading possible collisions with the tion of the “Grim" personality of Douglases, and a great proportion the elder Archibald, has made the of the Scottish nobles were confather figure in the “Fair Maid of nected either by blood or alliance Perth.' We need not reopen here with the head of the house. The the problem of Rothsay's murder, pride which had all along distinif murder there was, which Mr guished the Douglas character, culFraser denies. He seems to us, minated in William, the sixth Earl, however, to be unnecessarily icon- with an assumption of state and a oclastic in rejecting the tradition display of power intolerable in any subject, and excusable only on ac- in fighting and intriguing against count of his youth. Mr Fraser it; and the result was that his softens down the allegations of his- life was only spared by the King's tory regarding Earl William's pre- clemency on condition that he tensions, but enough still remains, should bury himself and his line even on his own showing, to satisfy in the Abbey of Lindores. There us that those to whom the destinies is a tradition mentioned by Godof Scotland were committed, were scroft, and apparently accepted justified in making a bold effort to by Mr Fraser, that james III., curb the Douglas power. His train when hard pressed by the rewas never less than a thousand or bellion of his
of his son, sought the two thousand horsemen; he dubbed cloistered Earl, and offered the knights with his own sword; his restoration of his dignities and family councils rivalled the Royal honours if he would put himself at Parliaments by the number and the head of the Royal forces. “ 'The importance of those who attended reply of Douglas was sad and sarthem; and when he sent proxies castic : Sir, you have kept me and to France to do homage for the fief your black coffer in Stirling too of Touraine, which he did not hold, long.
Neither of us can do you it was with all the importance and any good.'” Much more of the state that befitted an embassy from Douglas spirit than the last lord a crowned head. The assassination was his wise, “ The Fair Maid of --for no other term is admissible- Galloway," who had previously been of the Earl and his still more youth- married to William, the eighth ful brother in Edinburgh Castle was Earl, and who is credited with a foul deed; but if the plea of state having stimulated a pride which necessity can condone it, it is sup- already required no spur to urge it portable by many arguments. The on. Mr Fraser rejects the legend murder of the eighth Earl in Stir- that this lady had her arm shot off ling Castle, by the hand of James by the huge cannon which the II., was not less justifiable on the Royal troops brought to the siege grounds of the aggravated hostility of Thrieve, and proudly concealed which the Douglases were
now her mutilation that the enemy manifesting towards the Crown; might not enjoy the triumph. Anbut the plot, if plot there was, was other Douglas heroine, that Kathestill more treacherously conceived rine who barred with her bare arm than in the previous crime, for the the door against the assassins of Earl had come to Court on James's James I., must also, we presume, own safe-conduct. Yet in a rebel- be relegated to the regions of rolion headed by two such powerful mance, for Mr Fraser takes nobles as Douglas and Crawford, notice of her bravery. the Crown would have been placed With the death of the ninth in such extremity as to give James Earl the representation of the a plea of self-preservation to justify Douglas family passed to the house his act. These two tragedies fol- of Angus, which descended from lowing so closely upon each other, George, a younger son of the first shattered the power of the Black Earl of Douglas, who married the Douglases. James, the ninth and Stewart heiress of Mar and Angus. last Earl, could never make head The fourth Earl of Angus, on the against the Crown, although the forfeiture of his chief, received a greater part of his career was passed grant of Douglasdale in 1457.
had previously received a charter and Darnley. At the most, he of Tantallon, the command of succeeds in minimising, not in rewhich had greatly strengthened futing, Morton's connection with the powers of the Earls of the these crimes; and even accepting, other race. But though the Earls as far as possible, the extenuating. of Angus occupied a position in view of his character put forth in the kingdom scarcely inferior to these pages, we still carry away their Black kinsmen, they were, the impression of the Regent as taking them as a whole, a much a man evil in his generation, in less distinguished race. “ Bell-the- whom the arrogance and force of Cat" is the most prominent per- the medieval baron is evolving sonage in their line. On the poetic into the subtlety and craft of the character which Scott has por- statesman of the Renaissance—a trayed in Marmion' of this war- survival in one sense, an embryo rior, Mr Fraser has thrown some in another. important side lights. To most The eleventh Earl of Angus, of of those who know him as “ Bell- the troubled times of the Covethe-Cat,” the ancient Earl, who nant, became the first Marquis of
Douglas. But the Douglases had
. " Leaned his large and wrinkled hand
now ceased to exercise that influ. Upon the huge and sweeping brand, Which wont of yore in battle fray
ence in Scotland which had beHis foemen's limbs to shred away,
longed to their ancestors. New As wood-knise lops the sapling spray,” men, whose statesmanship
more in accord with the shifting the representative of brute force character of the times, passed and feudal power, it will be in- them unopposed in the race for formation that the Earl of Angus power; their feudal strength was was no mean adept in statecraft, of less importance in the new era ; and showed much diplomacy in and their native pride kept them steering his own course through for the most part aloof from Court the troubled times of James III. and political intrigues. HenceFrom the record Mr Fraser gives forth it is among the cadets of us of him, we are inclined to the family, who had their own think that he must have possessed way to push in the world, that we much of the politic wisdom which are chietly able to distinguish evicharacterised his great - grandson, dences of the old Douglas ability. the Regent Morton. Of Morton Of the sons of the first Marquis, himself Mr Fraser gives only a two made their mark :
one brief outline, as the Regent was Colonel of the Scots Guard in the only in the collateral line of Angus, service of France; and the other, and we would have been glad to the first Earl of Selkirk, who was have had his memoir treated with created Duke of Hamilton for life the same minuteness as has been -he had married the Duchess--as bestowed upon those of several one of the statesmen of the RevoDouglases of much less historical lution, which he was largely instruimportance. It is evident, how- mental in effecting in Scotland. ever, that Mr Fraser is disposed to Another son was the Earl of Dumtake a more lenient view of the barton, who followed James VII. guilt which Morton had, according into exile, and died in the French to other historians, incurred in con- service. nection with the murders of Rizzio In the time of the second Mar
quis, the affairs of the Douglas afterwards second Duke of Bucproperty became greatly compli- cleuch—drew the Duke of Dougcated under bad management; and las into a duel with the latter ; and the chief record of his life is the lady herself, misled by the the struggles on the part of his silly counsels of her French goverfriends and advisers to ward off ness, sought to fly from her sorimpending ruin. During both rows by retiring to France dismarquisates the Douglas family guised in men's clothes, whither had been constantly protesting for the Duke followed and brought the ancient precedence due in Par- her back. Some years after her liament and at Court to their return, the Duke became involved, family; and on the passing of the on his sister's account, in a quarAct of Union, a protest was made rel, which had a much more unin the name of Archibald, the third fortunate termination. Mr Fraser Marquis, who had lately been cre- thus briefly refers to the matated Duke of Douglas, “that the ter :treaty should not prejudice his honours and privileges of the first
“In 1725 a tragedy occurs which
considerably vote in Parliament, carrying the mainder of the Duke's life.
This was crown, and leading the van in the death of Captain John Ker, a natbattle ; " and the protest was con- ural son of Lord Mark Ker, a young firmed by an Act before the final man of whom his Grace was very fond, dissolution of the Scots Parlia- and who was then staying at Douglas
Castle. ment. Archibald was the first and have been so variously related, that it
The particulars of the tragedy last Duke of his name. There is impossible to
ascertain the exact must have been something omin- details; but there
no doubt ous in the acceptance of a title that the young man fell by the Duke's which had been declined by both own hand, while they were fencing or
otherwise. A few days afterwards Douglas and Angus when at the the Duke
Edinburgh and height of their power, at a time sailed for Holland.” when their descendant was
in reduced, if not decaying, circum- Wodrow's • Analecta' is the stances.
authority which Mr Fraser quotes Mr Fraser does not devote much for the account he has adopted ; space to the Duke of Douglas, and but we see no reason to reject the his memoir treats that nobleman version current at the time, supwith more reserve than frankness. ported as it is by very circumAll that Duke Archibald seems to stantial details. The Duke's pride have had in common with his an- had taken suspicion at an attachcestors was their pride, revengeful- ment between Captain Ker and his ness, and handsome form. He was sister; and Lady Jane, to speak ignorant, uneducated, and enor- with all due respect of one whose mously vain of his position and de. misfortunes merit our sympathy, scent. He seems, however, to have certainly did not limit her affecbeen devotedly attached to his tions within the exclusive bounds sister Lady Jane, whose beauty which had been observed by her and sweetness attracted many ad- ancestress the Fair Maid of Galmirers, and whom he watched over loway. His Grace had accord. with jealous care. The breaking ingly subjected both of them to off of a marriage-contract between close surveillance, and had observed Lady Jane and Lord Dalkeith-- Ker, on the night before his de