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DURSTUS.

AFTER him succéeded his sonne the forenamed Durstus, farre differing from his noble father in all vertuous demeanour, as he that was altogither giuen to banketting and excessiue drunkennesse. Such of the nobles as his father had in high reuerence he made light account of; accepting onelie those that of their wicked deuises could find out new kinds of voluptuous pleasures, through whose persuasions some of his peeres he confined, some he spoiled
Wicked councellors. of all their substance & inheritance, other he put to death without iust cause or anie kind of lawfull means. Furthermore he forsooke the companie of his lawfull wife Agasia, causing hir to be forced and abused by diuers vile persons in most villanous maner.

With these and the semblable inordinat practises he procured the indignation of his people A conspiracie. so far forth against him, that those of the westerne Iles with them of Cantire, Lorne, Argile, and Rosse, conspired togither in the reformation of such disorders as were dailie vsed in the administration of iustice, by the wicked suggestion of euill disposed councellors, against whome they pretended to make their war, and not against their king. There were also so manie that fauoured them in this quarell, and so few that leaned to the king to aid him against them, A craftie and cloked dissimulation. that he was constreined to dissemble with them for a time, in promising not onelie to remoue from him such as they would appoint, but also to be ordered in all things according as they should thinke good. And to put them in beléefe that he ment as he spake, he committed some such councellors as he had about him vnto ward, and other some (of whome he little passed) he sent vnto them as prisoners, to receiue such punishment by death or otherwise, as they should thinke conuenient.

He furrther also in presence of Doro the gouernour of Cantire, sent to him for that purpose, sware in solemne wise afore the image of Diena, to performe all such promises and couenants as Craftie dissimulation. he was agréed vpon, and had made vnto the conspirators. With which cloked dissimulation they being deceiued, came without suspect of further guile unto Beregonium, where at their first comming he was readie to receiue them (as séemed by his feined countenance) with gladsome hart and most friendlie meaning; but they were no sooner entred the castell, but that a A cruell murther. number of armed men appointed for the purpose fell vpon them, and slue them all without mercie.

This heinous act being once signified abroad in their countries amongst their friends and kinsfolke, caused a new commotion, so that within a few daies after, manie thousands of men in A new tumult. King Durstus besieged. furious rage came before the castell, and besieged the king most straightlie therein. Who perceiuing himselfe in such danger as he knew not well how to escape, came forth with such companie as he had about him, and incountring with his enimies, was straightwaies beaten Durstus is slaine. downe among them, and so at once lost there both kingdome and life in the ninth yeare of his reigne. Durstus being thus dispatched, his children doubting the indignation of the people conceiued against them for their fathers fault, to auoid the perill fled ouer into Ireland, and immediatlie the nobles of the realme assembled themselues togither for the choosing of a new king, in no wise minding to haue any of Durstus his race to reigne ouer them, least they would séeke by some means to reuenge his death: howbeit at length when they were at point to haue fallen at variance in susteining of contrarie opinions about the election of their prince, through a wittie oration made by Coranus gouernour of Argile, who alledged manie weightie reasons for the auoiding of sedition, they all agréed to commit the frée election vnto the same Coranus, promising firmelie to accept whomsoeuer he should name. Herevpon Coranus consulting a little with the péeres of the realme, named one Ewin the vncles sonne of Durstus, Ewin is chosen king. who as then remained in Pictland, whither he had withdrawen himselfe in Durstus his daies, being banished the realmeby him, for that he could not awaie with his corrupt maners. This election was acceptable to all estats, for that thereby the administration of the kingdome continued in the line of their former kings.

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