previous next

DUFFE.

AFTER the corps of Indulph was remooued vnto Colmekill and there buried, Dufie the sonne of K. Malcolme was crowned K. at Scone with all due solemnitie. In the beginning of his reigne, Cuiene the sonne of K. Indulph was proclaimed prince of Cumberland: immediatlie wherevpon the king transported ouer into the westerne lies, to set an order there for
The king went vnto the westerne Iles. certeine misdemeanors vsed by diuers robbers and pillers of the common people. At his arriuall amongst them he called the thanes of the lies afore him, commanding streightlie as they He purged the Iles. would auoid his displeasure, to purge their countries of such malefactors, whereby the husbandmen and other commons might liue in quiet, without vexation of such barrettors and idle persons as sought to liue onlie vpon other mens goods.

The thanes vpon this charge giuen them by the king, tooke no small number of the Barretors taken and put to death. offendors, partlie by publike authoritie, & partlie by lieng in wait for them where they supposed their haunt was to resort, the which being put to execution according to that they had merited, caused the residue of that kind of people either to get them ouer into Ireland, either else to Vagabounds compelled to learne an occupation. The nobles were discontented with the kings dooings. learne some manuall occupation wherewith to get their liuing, yea though they were neuer so great gentlemen borne. Howbeit the nobles with this extreme rigor shewed thus by the king against their linage, were much offended therwith, accounting it a great dishonor for such as were descended of noble parentage, to be constreined to get their liuing with the labor of their hands, which onlie apperteined to plowmen, and such other of the base degrée as were borne to trauell for the maintenance of the nobilitie, and to serue at their commandement by order of their birth, and in no wise after such sort to be made in maner equall with them in state and condition of life.

Furthermore, they murmured closelie amongest themselues, how the king was onlie become The occasion of murmuring of the nobilitie. friend to the commons & cleargie of his realme, hauing no respect to the nobilitie, but rather declared himselfe to be an vtter enimie thereof, so that he was vnwoorthie to haue the rule of the nobles and gentlemen, vnles he knew better what belonged to their degrée. This murmuring did spread not onelie among them in the lies, but also through all the other parts of his realme, so that they ceased not to speake verie euill of the gouernement of things. In The king fell sicke. the meane time the king fell into a languishing disease, not so gréeuous as strange, that none of his physicians could perceiue what to make of it. For there was séene in him no token, that either choler, melancholie, flegme, or any other vicious humor did any thing abound, whereby his bodie should be brought into such decaie and consumption (so as there remained vnneth anie thing vpon him saue skin and bone.)

And sithens it appeared manifestlie by all outward signes and tokens, that naturall moisture did nothing faile in the vitall spirits, his colour also was fresh and faire to behold, with such liuelines of looks, that moe was not to be wished for; he had also a temperat desire and appetite to his meate & drinke, but yet could he not sléepe in the night time by anie prouocations that could be deuised, but still fell into excéeding sweats, which by no means might be restreined. The physicians perceiuing all their medicines to want due effect, yet to put him in some comfort of helpe, declared to him that they would send for some cunning physicians into forreigne parts, who happilie being inured with such kind of diseases, should easilie cure him, namelie so soone as the spring of the yeare was once come, which of it selfe should helpe much therevnto.

Howbeit the king, though be had small hope of recouerie, yet had he still a diligent care The king being sicke, yet he regarded iustice to be executed. A rebellion practised. vnto the due administration of his lawes and good orders of his realme, deuising oft with his councell about the same. But when it was vnderstood into what a perillous sicknesse he was fallen, there were no small number, that contemning the authoritie of the magistrats, began to practise a rebellion. And amongst the chiefest were those of Murrey land, who slaieng sundrie of the kings officers, began to rage in most cruell wise against all such as were not consenting to their misordered tumult. The kings physicians forbad in anie wise, that the The rebellion was kept frō the kings knowledge. king should be aduertised of such businesse, for doubt of increasing his sicknes with trouble of mind about the same. But about that present time there was a murmuring amongst the people, how the king was vexed with no naturall sicknesse, but by sorcerie and magicall art, Witches in Fores. practised by a sort of witches dwelling in a towne of Murrey land, called Fores.

Wherevpon, albeit the author of this secret talke was not knowne: yet being brought to the kings eare, it caused him to send foorthwith certeine wittie persons thither, to inquire of Inquir ie was made. the truth. They that were thus sent, dissembling the cause of their iornie, were receiued in the darke of the night into the castell of Fores by the lieutenant of the same, called Donwald, who continuing faithfull to the king, had kept that castell against the rebels to the kings vse. Vnto him therefore these messengers declared the cause of their comming, requiring his aid for the accomplishment of the kings pleasure.

The souldiers, which laie there in garrison, had an inkling that there was some such matter The matter appeareth to be true. in hand as was talked of amongst the people; by reason that one of them kept as concubine a yoong woman, which was daughter to one of the witches as his paramour, who told him the whole maner vsed by hir mother & other hir companions, with their intent also, which was to make awaie the king. The souldier hauing learned this of his lemman, told the same to his fellowes, who made report to Donwald, and hée shewed it to the kings messengers, and therewith sent for the yoong damosell which the souldier kept, as then being within the castell, and A witches daughter is examined. The witches are found out. caused hir vpon streict examination to confesse the whole matter as she had séene and knew. Wherevpon learning by hir confession in what house in the towne it was where they wrought their mischiefous mysterie, he sent foorth souldiers about the middest of the night, who breaking into the house, found one of the witches rosting vpon a woodden broch an image of An image of wax rosting at the fire. wax at the fier, resembling in each feature the kings person, made and deuised (as is to be thought) by craft and art of the diuell: an other of them sat reciting certeine words of inchantment, and still basted the image with a certeine liquor verie busilie.

The souldiers finding them occupied in this wise, tooke them togither with the image, and The witches were examined. led them into the castell, where being streictlie examined for what purpose they went about such manner of inchantment, they answered, to the end to make away the king: for as the The whole matter is confessed. image did waste afore the fire, so did the bodie of the king breake foorth in sweat. And as for the words of the inchantment, they serued to keepe him still waking from sléepe, so that as the wax euer melted, so did the kings flesh: by the which meanes it should haue come to passe, that when the wax was once cleane consumed, the death of the king should immediatlie The nobles of the countrie set the witches on work. The witches were burnt. follow. So were they taught by euill spirits, and hired to worke the feat by the nobles of Murrey land. The standers by, that heard such an abhominable tale told by these witches, streightwaies brake the image, and caused the witches (according as they had well deserued) to bée burnt to death.

It was said, that the king at the verie same time that these things were a dooing within the The king is restored to health. castell of Fores, was deliuered of his languor, and slept that night without anie sweat breaking foorth vpon him at all, & the next daie being restored to his strength, was able to doo anie maner of thing that lay in man to doo, as though he had not béene sicke before anie thing at all. But howsoeuer it came to passe, truth it is, that when he was restored to his perfect The king with an armie pursued the rebels. health, he gathered a power of men, & with the same went into Murrey land against the rebels there, and chasing them from thence, he pursued them into Rosse, and from Rosse into Cathnesse, where apprehending them, he brought them backe vnto Fores, and there caused The rebels are executed. them to be hanged vp, on gallows and gibets.

Amongest them there were also certeine yoong gentlemen, right beautifull and goodlie personages, being neere of kin vnto Donwald capteine of the castell, and had béene persuaded to be partakers with the other rebels, more through the fraudulent counsell of diuerse wicked persons, than of their owne accord: wherevpon the foresaid Donwald lamenting their case, Captein Donwald craued pardon for them but not granted. made earnest labor and sute to the king to haue begged their pardon; but hauing a plaine deniall, he conceiued such an inward malice towards the king (though he shewed it not outwardlie at the first) that the same continued still boiling in his stomach, and ceased not, till through setting on of his wife, and in reuenge of such vnthankefulnesse, hée found meanes to Donwald conceiued hatred against the king. murther the king within the foresaid castell of Fores where he vsed to soiourne. For the king being in that countrie, was accustomed to lie most commonlie within the same castell, hauing a speciall trust in Donwald, as a man whom he neuer suspected.

But Donwald, not forgetting the reproch which his linage had susteined by the execution of those his kinsmen, whome the king for a spectacle to the people had caused to be hanged, could not but shew manifest tokens of great griefe at home amongst his familie: which his wife perceiuing, ceassed not to trauell with him, till she vnderstood what the cause was of his displeasure. Which at length when she had learned by his owne relation, she as one that Donwalds wife counselled him to murther the king. bare no lesse malice in hir heart towards the king, for the like cause on hir behalfe, than hir husband did for his friends, counselled him (sith the king oftentimes vsed to lodge in his house without anie gard about him, other than the garrison of the castell, which was wholie at his commandement) to make him awaie, and shewed him the meanes wherby he might soonest accomplish it.

Donwald thus being the more kindled in wrath by the words of his wife, determined to The womans euill counsell is followed. follow hir aduise in the execution of so heinous an act. Whervpon deuising with himselfe for a while, which way hée might best accomplish his curssed intent, at length gat opportunitie, and sped his purpose as followeth. It chanced that the king vpon the daie before he purposed to depart foorth of the castell, was long in his oratorie at his praiers, and there continued till it was late in the night. At the last, comming foorth, he called such afore him as had faithfullie serued him in pursute and apprehension of the rebels, and giuing them heartie thanks, he bestowed sundrie honorable gifts amongst them, of the which number Donwald The king rewarded his friends. The king went to bed. His chamberleins went to banketting. was one, as he that had béene euer accounted a most faithfull seruant to the king.

At length, hauing talked with them a long time, he got him into his priuie chamber, onelie with two of his chamberlains, who hauing brought him to bed, came foorth againe, and then fell to banketting with Donwald and his wife, who had prepared diuerse delicate dishes, and sundrie sorts of drinks for their reare supper or collation, wherat they sate vp so long, till they had charged their stomachs with such full gorges, that their heads were no sooner got to the pillow, but asléepe they were so fast, that a man might haue remooued the chamber ouer them, sooner than to haue awaked them out of their droonken sleepe.

Then Donwald, though he abhorred the act greatlie in heart, yet through instigation of his wife hee called foure of his seruants vnto him (whome he had made priuie to his wicked intent before, and framed to his purpose with large gifts) and now declaring vnto them, after what sort they should worke the feat, they gladlie obeied his instructions, & spéedilie going about the murther, they enter the chamber (in which the king laie) a little before cocks The suborned seruants cut the kings throte. crow, where they secretlie cut his throte as he lay sléeping, without anie buskling at all: and immediatlie by a posterne gate they caried foorth the dead bodie into the fields, and throwing it vpon an horsse there prouided readie for that purpose, they conuey it vnto a place, about two miles distant from the castell, where they staied, and gat certeine labourers to helpe them to turne the course of a little riuer running through the fields there, and digging a déepe hole in the chanell, they burie the bodie in the same, ramming it vp with stones and grauell so The king his buriall. closelie, that setting the water in the right course againe, no man could perceiue that anie thing had béene newlie digged there. This they did by order appointed them by Donwald as is reported, for that the bodie should not be found, & by bléeding (when Donwald should be present) declare him to be guiltie of the murther. ¶ For such an opinion men haue, that the dead corps of anie man being slaine, will bléed abundantlie if the murtherer be present. But for what consideration soeuer they buried him there, they had no sooner finished the worke, The poore laborers are slaine. but that they slue them whose helpe they vsed herein, and streightwaies therevpon fled into Orknie.

Donwald, about the time that the murther was in dooing, got him amongst them that kept Donwald kept himselfe amongst the watchmen. the watch, and so continued in companie with them all the residue of the night. But in the morning when the noise was raised in the kings chamber how the king was slaine, his bodie conueied awaie, and the bed all beraied with bloud; he with the watch ran thither, as Donwald a verie dissembler. though he had knowne nothing of the matter, and breaking into the chamber, and finding cakes of bloud in the bed, and on the floore about the sides of it, he foorthwith slue the chamberleins, as guiltie of that heinous murther, and then like a mad man running to and fro, he ransacked euerie corner within the castell, as though it had béene to haue seene if he might haue found either the bodie, or anie of the murtherers hid in anie priuie place: but at length comming to the posterne gate, and finding it open, he burdened the chamberleins whome he had slaine, with all the fault, they hauing the keies of the gates committed to their kéeping all the night, and therefore it could not be otherwise (said he) but that they were of counsell in the committing of that most detestable murther.

Finallie, such was his ouer earnest diligence in the seuere inquisition and triall of the Some wiser than other. The matter suspected. offendors héerein, that some of the lords began to mislike the matter, and to smell foorth shrewd tokens, that he should not be altogither cleare himselfe. But for so much as they were in that countrie, where he had the whole rule, what by reason of his friends and authoritie togither, they doubted to vtter what they thought, till time and place should better serue therevnto, and héerevpon got them awaie euerie man to his home. For the space of six Prodigious weather. moneths togither, after this heinous murther thus committed, there appéered no sunne by day, nor moone by night in anie part of the realme, but still was the skie couered with continuall clouds, and sometimes such outragious winds arose, with lightenings and tempests, that the people were in great feare of present destruction.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: