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NOTE A. Thy rugged halls, Artornish! rung.- P. 21. THE ruins of the Castle of Artornish are situated upon a pro-, montory, on the Morven, or mainland side of the Sound of Mull, a name given to the deep arm of the sea, which divides that island from the continent. The situation is wild and romantic in the highest degree, having on the one hand a high and precipitous chain of rocks overhanging the sea, and on the other the narrow entrance to the beautiful salt-water lake, called Loch Alline, which is in many places finely fringed with copsewood. The ruins of Artornish are not now very considerable, and consist chiefly of the remains of an old keep, or tower, with fragments of outward defences. But, in former days, it was a place of great consequence, being one of the principal strongholds which the Lords of the Isles, during the period of their stormy independence, possessed upon the mainland of Argyleshire. Here they assembled what popular tradition calls their parliaments, meaning, I suppose, their cour pléniere, or assembly of feudal and patriarchal vassals and dependants. From this Castle of Artornish, upon the 19th day of October, 1461, John de Yle, designing himself Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles, granted, in the style of an independent sovereign, a commission to his trusty and wellbeloved cousins, Ronald of the Isles, and Duncan, Arch-Dean of the Isles, for empowering them to enter into a treaty with the most excellent Prince Edward, by the grace of God, King of France and England, and Lord of Ireland. Edward IV., on his part, named Laurence, Bishop of Durham, the Earl of Worcester, the Prior of St. John's, Lord Wenlock, and Mr. Robert Stillington, keeper of the privy seal, his deputies and commissioners, to confer with those named by the Lord of the Isles. The conference terminated in a treaty, by which the Lord of the Isles
agreed to become a vassal to the crown of England, and to assist Edward IV. and James Earl of Douglas, then in banishment, in subduing the realm of Scotland.
The first article provides, that John de Isle, Earl of Ross, with his son Donald Balloch, and his grandson John de Isle, with all their subjects, men, people, and inhabitants, become vassals and liegemen to Edward IV. of England, and assist him in his wars in Scotland or Ireland; and then follow the allowances to be made to the Lord of the Isles, in recompense of his military service, and the provisions for dividing such conquests as their united arms should make upon the mainland of Scotland among the confederates. These appear such curious illustrations of the period, that they are here subjoined :
“ Item, The seid John Erle of Rosse shall, from the seid fest of Whittesontyde next comyng, yerely, during his lyf, have and take, for fees and wages in tyme of peas, of the seid most high and Christien prince c. mark sterlyng of Englysh money; and in tyme of werre, as long as he shall entende with his myght and power in the said werres, in manner and fourm abovesaid, he shall have wages of cc. lb. sterlyng of English money yearly; and after the rate of the tyme that he shall be occupied in the seid werres.
“ Item, The seid Donald shall, from the seid feste of Whittesontyde, have and take, during his lyf, yerly, in tyme of peas, for his fees and wages, xx l. sterlyng of Englysh money; and, when he shall be occupied and intend to the werre, with his myght and power, and in manner and fourme aboveseid, he shall have and take, for his wages yearly, xl I. sterlynge of Englysh money; or for the rate of the tyme of werre
“ Item, The seid John, sonn and heire apparant of the said Donald, shall have and take, yerely, from the seid fest, for his fees and wages, in the tyme of peas, x l. sterlynge of Englysh money; and for tyme of werre, and his intendyng thereto, in manner and fourme aboveseid, he shall have, for his fees and wages, yearly xx l. sterlynge of English money ; or after the rate of the tyme that he shall be occupied in the werre: And the seid John, th’ Erle Donald and John, and eche of them, shall have good and sufficiaunt paiment of the seid fees and wages, as wel for tyme of peas as of werre, accordyng to thees articules
and appoyntements. Item, it is appointed, accorded, conc juded, and finally determined, that, if it be so that hereafter the seid reaume of Scotlande, or the more part thereof, be conquered, subdued, and brought to the obeissance of the seid most high and Christien prince, and his heires, or successoures, of the seid Lionell, in fourme aboveseid descendyng, be the assistance, helpe, and aide of the seid John Erle of Rosse, and Donald, and of James Erle of Douglas, then, the seid fees and wages for the tyme of peas cessying, the same erles and Donald shall have, by the graunte of the same most Christien prince, all the possessions of the seid reaume beyonde Scottishe see, they to be departed equally betwix them: eche of them, his heires and successours, to hold his parte of the seid most Christien prince, his heires and successours, for evermore, in right of his croune of England, by homage and feaute to be done therefore.
“ Item, If so be that, by th' aide and assistence of the seid James Erle of Douglas, the saide reaume Scotlande be conquered and subdued as above, then he shall have, enjoie, and inherite all his own possessions, landes, and inheritance, on this syde the Scottish see; that is to saye, betwixt the seid Scottishe see and Englande, such he hath rejoiced and be possessed of before this;
there to holde them of the seid most high and Christien prince, his heires, and successours, as is abovesaid, for evermore, in right of the coroune of Englonde, as weel the seid Erle of Douglas, as his heires and successours, by homage and feaute to be done therefore.” — RYMER's Fædera Conventiones Literæ et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica, fol. vol. v., 1741.
Such was the treaty of Artornish; but it does not appear that the allies ever made any very active effort to realize their ambitious designs. It will serve to show both the power of these reguli, and their independence upon the crown of Scotland.
It is only farther necessary to say of the Castle of Artornisu, that it is almost opposite to the Bay of Aros, in the Island of Mull, where there was another castle, the occasional residency of the Lord of the Isles.
Note B. Mingarry sternly placed, O'erawes the woodland and the waste. - P. 27. The Castle of Mingarry is situated on the sea-coast of the district of Ardnamurchan. The ruins, which are tolerably entire, are surrounded by a very high wall, forming a kind of polygon, for the purpose of adapting itself to the projecting angles of a precipice overhanging the sea, on which the castle stands. It was anciently the residence of the Mac-lans, a clan of Mac-Don. alds, descended from Ian, or John, a grandson of Angus Og, Lord of the Isles. The last time that Mingarry was of military importance, occurs in the celebrated Leabhar dearg, or Red-book of Clanronald, a MS. renowned in the Ossianic controversy. Allaster Mac-Donald, commonly called Colquitto, who commanded the Irish auxiliaries, sent over by the Earl of Antrim during the great civil war to the assistance of Montrose, began his enterprise in 1644, by taking the castles of Kinloch-Alline, and Mingarry, the last of which made considerable resistance, as might, from the strength of the situation, be expected. In the meanwhile, Allaster Mac-Donald's ships, which had brought him over, were attacked in Loch Eisord, in Skye, by an armament sent round by the covenanting parliament, and his own vessel was taken. This circumstance is said chiefly to have induced him to continue in Scotland, where there seemed little prospect of raising an army in behalf of the king. He had no sooner moved eastward to join Montrose, a junction which he effected in the braes of Athole, than the Marquis of Argyle besieged the castle of Mingarry, but without success. Among other warriors and chiefs whom Argyle summoned to his camp to assist upon this occasion, was John of Moidart, the Captain of Clanronald. Clanronald appeared; but, far from yielding effectual resistance to Argyle, he took the opportunity of being in arms to lay waste the district of Sunart, then belonging to the adherents of Argyle, and sent part of the spoil to relieve the Castle of Mingarry. Thus the castle was maintained until relieved by Allaster MacDonald (Colquitto), who had been detached for the purpose by Montrose. These particulars are hardly worth mentioning, were they not connected with the memorable successes of Montrose, related by an eyewitness, and hitherto unknown to Scottish historians.
Lord of the Isles. — P. 28.
The representative of this independent principality, for such it seems to have been, though acknowledging occasionally the preeminence of the Scottish crown, was, at the period of the poem, Angus, called Angus Og; but the name has been, euphonie gratia, exchanged for that of Ronald, which frequently occurs in the genealogy. Angus was a protector of Robert Bruce, whom he received in his Castle of Dunnaverty, during the time of his greatest distress. As I shall be equally liable to censure for attempting to decide a controversy which has long existed between three distinguished chieftains of this family, who have long disputed the representation of the Lord of the Isles, or for leaving a question of such importance altogether untouched, I choose, in the first place, to give such information as I have been able to derive from Highland genealogists, and which, for those who have patience to investigate such subjects, really contains some curious information concerning the history of the Isles. In the second place, I shall offer a few remarks upon the rules of succession at that period, without pretending to decide their bearing upon the question at issue, which must depend upon evidence which I have had no opportunity to examine.
“Angus Og,” says an ancient manuscript translated from the Gaelic, “son of Angus Mor, son of Donald, son of Ronald, son of Somerled, high chief and superior Lord of Innisgall, (or the Isles of the Gael, the general name given to the Hebrides,) he married a daughter of Cunbui, namely, Cathan; she was mother to John, son of Angus, and with her came an unusual portion from Ireland, viz. twenty-four clans, of whom twenty-four families in Scotland are descended. Angus had another son, namely, young John Fraoch, whose descendants are called Clan-Ean of Glencoe, and the M'Donalds of Fraoch. This Angus Og died in Isla, where his body was interred. His son John succeeded to the inheritance of Innisgall. He had good descendants, namely, three sons procreate of Ann, daughter of Rodric, high chief of Lorn, and one daughter, Mary, married to John Maclean, Laird of Duart, and Lauchlan, his brother, Laird of Coll; she was
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