AND after that, as soone as the solemnitie of the feast of Easter was finished, he came to
He is crowned at Scone togither with his wife.
Perth, and shortlie after to Scone, where he was crowned king, and his wife quéene, by duke
Mordo the gouernor, and Henrie bishop of saint Andrewes, the one and twentith day of Maie,
after the incarnation 1424. There came foorth of England with this Iames the first, diuerse English gentlemen, which remaining euer after in seruice with him, were aduanced to certeine lands,
possessions, and liuings in Scotland. Amongest whome (as one of the chiefest) was Andrew
Graie, who afterwards by the kings aid and good furtherance, got in mariage the daughter
and heire of Henrie Mortimer of Foulis, named Helen, and by that means came the lordship
of Foulis vnto the hands of the Graies, whose surname and posteritie continueth yet in
The surname of the Graies in Scotland.
Scotland, inuested with great lands and dignities, both in Gowrie and Angus.
King Iames after his coronation returned from Scone to Edenburgh, where he called
King Iames kéepeth an audit.
before him all those that bare anie authoritie in the administration of the common-wealth, during the time of the gouernors duke Robert and duke Mordo, namelie the chancellor, the
treasuror, the clearks of the register, the controller, the auditors, and receiuers, with all
other that had borne offices, or had anie thing to doo concerning the kings rents. At
length, when he perceiued by their accounts made, that the most part of all the lands, rents,
and reuenues perteining vnto the crowne, were wasted, bestowed, alienated, and transported by the two foresaid gouernors, vnto their friends and fautors, contrarie to all right or
good consideration (the customs of burrowes and good townes onlie excepted) he was not
well content herewith, though for the time he passed ouer his displeasure, in shewing outward.
lie no semblance, but as if he had liked all things well.
In the meane time, he aduisedlie perused all euidences, rols, and charters perteining to
A parlement at Edenburgh.
the crowne, and shortlie therevpon called a parlement at Edenburgh, in the which, by aduise
of the thrée estates, a generall tax was ordeined and granted, to be raised through the whole
A tax leuied.
realme; as twelue pence of the pound to be paied of all lands within Scotland, both spirituall and temporall; and foure pence for euerie cow, oxe, and horsse, to be paied for the
space of two yeares togither. This paiment was leuied the first yeare without anie trouble,
but the second yeare there rose such murmur and grudging amongst the poore commons
The commons grudge at paiments.
Bils of complaint exhibited against the sonnes of duke Mordo.
about the paiment thereof, that he remitted the residue that was behind, & tooke neuer
anie tax after of his subiects, vntill he maried his daughter with the Dolphin of France.
Amongst other bils put vp in this parlement, there was diuerse complaints exhibited by the
people, for sundrie oppressions vsed and doone by the sons of duke Mordo, and other great
peeres of the realme, before the kings returne into Scotland.
Wherevpon Walter Steward, one of the sons of the said duke Mordo, was arrested, and
Walter Steward put in prison.
sent to a castell situated vpon a rocke within the sea called the Basse, there to remaine in safe
kéeping. Also Malcolme Fleming of Cumernald, and Thomas Boid of Kilmarnoke, were
committed to ward in Dalkeith, but these two at the intercession of diuerse noble men were
pardoned and forgiuen of all offenses for an casie fine, with condition, that they should
satisfie all such persons as they had in anie wise wronged. In the foresaid parlement also,
The oth of K. Iames.
K. Iames tooke a solemne oth, to defend as well the liberties of his realme, as of the church,
during the course of his naturall life. The like oth by his example did all the residue
of the barons take at the same present time. Not long after, an other parlement was called
A parlement holden at Perth.
Duke Mordo with his sonne Alexander, and diuerse other péeres of the realme arrested.
and holden at Perth, in the which duke Mordo, with his sonne Alexander, were arrested and
committed to ward. So was also Archembald earle of Dowglasse, with his brother William
earle of Angus, George earle of March, Adam Hepborne of Hales, and manie other great
barons of Scotland, euerie of them being put in sundrie castels and srrenghs, to remaine there
in safe kéeping. Duke Mordo was sent to Carlaurocke, and his duchesse was put in Temptalloun.
In the yeare following, on the Holie rood daie, called the Inuention of the crosse, Iames
Steward the third sonne of duke Mordo mooued with great ire, for that his father and brethren
were holden in prison, came with a great power to the towne of Dunbreton, and burnt it,
The towne of Dunbreton burnt.
after he had slaine Iohn Steward of Dondonald, and two and thirtie other persons, which were
found in the same towne: but the king kindled in great displeasure for this attempt, pursued
this fames so fiercelie, that he was faine to flée into Ireland, where he afterwards deceassed.
[And Finelaw (which was sometime one of the order of the frier Dominicks) which fled with
Buchanan. lib. 10.
him into Ireland, & was author that the said Iames committed all these outrages, died there
also. Besides which, there fled into Ireland the wife of Walter, hir two sonnes, Andrew
and Alexander, with Arthure the bastard: who (in the end) returning home, was after by
Iames the third aduanced to great honors.] In the next yeare insuing, K. Iames called a
A parlement holden at Sterling.
Walter and Alexander the sonnes of duke Mordo beheaded.
Duke Mordo and Duncan Steward earle of Lennox beheaded.
parlement at Sterling, in the which he sitting with scepter, sword, and crowne in place of
iudgement, Walter Steward with his brother Alexander were condemned, and incontinentlie
were lead foorth to a place before the castell, and there beheaded.
On the morrow after, duke Mordo himselfe, and Duncan Steward earle of Lennox were
conuicted of high treason, and beheaded before the castell in semblable manner. [It is a
constant fame (saith Buchanan) though I find it not written in any place, that the king sent
the heads of the father, husband, & children, to Isabell the wife of his coosine germane, to
trie whether she being a fierce woman, would (as it iustlie happened) by distemperance of
griefe discouer the secrets of hir mind. But she (notwithstanding all which grieuous and
vnlooked for spectacles) did not inordinatlie burst out into anie bitter words, but onlie said;
If the faults be true which are laid against them, the king hath doone but right and iustice vnto them.) Thus by the attaindor of duke Mordo and his sonnes, the earldome of
Fife, Menteith, and Lennox came into the kings hands. The residue of the lords and barons
remaining as then in prison, and abiding the kings pleasure, were sore afraid, when they heard
what rigorous iustice had béene executed on duke Morde and his sonnes: notwithstanding,
within 12 moneths after they were all set at libertie, and receiued into the kings fauor, on promise of their Ioiall demeanor & dutifull obedience euer after to be shewed, during their naturall liues.
* The parlement being ended, Iohn Mountgomerie, & Humfreie Cunningham were sent
Buchanan. lib. 10.
by the king to the castell of Louchleuine, which was kept against him by the run agat Iames
Steward, whom in short time they forced to surrender the said castell. Not long after, Iohn
Steward of Dernleie (who was maister of the Scotish garrison of horssemen in France, the rest
of the former capteins being consumed) came into Scotland with the bishop of Reims, as ambassador in the name of Charls, to renew the old league betwéene the two nations, and to conclude matrimonie betweene Lewes the sonne of the said Charles the seuenth, and Margaret
the daughter of K. Iames, both being yet verie yoong. Which thing so dispatched, in the
next yeare being the (1426) he determined (hauing pacified all Scotland betwene the
mounteins of Granzeben) to subdue the further parts beyond it also. Wherefore to begin the same,
he commanded the castell of Inuernesse (set in a conuenient place in the furthest borders of
Murrey) to be repared. Whither when he came two yeares after, to sit in iudgement vpon
misdemeanors of the inhabitants, and to suppresse their robberies, he called before him the
chiefe of all the families of that countrie, especiallie such as being accompanied with great
traines, were woont to fetch preies from their next borders, did set tribute on the quieter sort,
and did compell the common people to minister sustenance to those idle loiterers; of which
capteins, some had a thousand, some two thousand, & some far manie more redie at their call
to obeie their commandement; with which they ceassed not to kéepe the good in danger
vnto them for feare of hurt, and made the euill (amongest whome they were assured of refuge
& defense) the bolder to commit all kind of wickednesse. Which persons when the king
had gotten in, and drawen to come before him, partlie by flatteries, and partlie by threats; he
committed about fortie of their leaders to seuerall prisons: whose euill being throughlie
knowen, he hanged two notable fellows amongst them called Alexander Macror and Iohn
Macarcture; at what time also he beheded Iames Campbell (for the murther of Iohn of the
Iles) a man déerelie beloued of his people. The rest which remained (being of the common
sort) they likewise dispersed into diners prisons, whereof some were after executed, and some
were permitted freelie to depart to their owne. The capteins of the factions thus slaine (or for
the most part restreined in prison) the inferior sort durst not attempt anie thing, being destitute
of leaders. Wherevpon the king calling them before him, did giue them a louing admonition to embrace iustice, because there was no surer or certeine hope of safetie in anie thing,
than in the innocencie of life, the which if they would determine to doo, they should alwaies
find him readie to honor and reward them; if not, they might learne by the examples of others
what they should hope to receiue themselues.)
In the yeere next following, which was after the incarnation 1427, Alexander lord of the
Alexander lord of the Iles arrested.
He is set at libertie.
The towne of Inuernes burnt.
Iles was arrested by the king at Inuernes, for that he was accused to be a succorer & mainteiner of théeues & robbers in the countrie: but forsomuch as he promised in time comming
to reforme his former misdemeanors, he was pardoned and set at libertie; wherof insued great
trouble immediatlie after. For shortlie vpō his deliuerance, he gathered a power of wicked
scapethrifts, and with the same comming into Inuernes, burnt the towne, and besieged the
castell, inforcing with all diligence to win the same, till he was aduertised that the king was
comming towards him with a great power, wherevpon he fled incontinentlie to the Iles. Finallie hauing knowledge that a great number of people lay dailie in wait to take him, that
they might present him to the kings hands, he came disguised in poore araie to the Ilolie rood
Alexander of the Iles commeth to the king and asketh pardon.
house, and there finding the king on Easter daie deuoutlie in the church at his praiers, he fell
downe on his knees before him, and besought him of grace, for his sake that rose as that day
from death vnto life.
At request of the quéene, the king pardoned him of life; but he appointed William Dowglasse earle of Angus to haue the custodie of him, and that within the castell of Temptallon,
that no trouble should rise by his meanes thereafter. His mother Eufemie daughter to Walter sometime earle of Rosse, was also committed to ward in saint Colmes inch; bicause it was
knowne that she sollicited hir sonne to rebell (in maner as is aforesaid) against the king. Not
long after, Donald Ballocht, brother to the said lord Alexander of the Iles, came with a great
Donald Ballocht inuadeth Lochquhaber.
power of men into Lochquhaber. The earles of Mar and Cathnes came with such number
of their people as they could raise, to defend the countrie against the inuasion of those Ilandmen, and fought with the said Donald at Inuerlochtie, where the erle of Cathnes was slaine,
The earle of Cathnes slain.
Donald Ballocht returneth with victorie & spoile into the Iles.
The clans of the Iles submit théselues to the king.
and the earle of Mar discomfited. Herewith did Donald returne with victorie, and a great
preie of goods and riches into the Iles. The king sore mooued with the newes hereof, came
with a great armie vnto Dunstafage, purposing with all speed to passe into the Iles. The
clans and other chiefe men of the said Iles aduertised hereof, came to Dunstafage, and submitted themselues vnto the king, excusing their offense, for that (as they alledged) the said
Donald had constreined them against their willes, to passe with him in the last iournie.
All those clans vpon this their excuse, were admitted to the kings fauour, and sworne to pursue the said Donald vnto death.
Shortlie herevpon, this Donald fled into Ireland, where he was slaine, and his head sent
Donald flieth into Ireland.
His head is sent as a present to the king.
Thrée hundred of Donalds complices hanged.
Pardons granted by the gouernor are void.
by one Odo a great lord of Ireland (in whose countrie he lurked) as a present to the king that
laie as then at Sterling. There were also thrée hundred of his adherents taken, and by the
kings commandement hanged for their offenses within thrée wéekes space, after his first flieng
into Ireland. This trouble being thus quieted, king Iames passed through all the bounds
of his realme, to punish all offenders and misruled persons, which in anie wise wrenged
and oppressed the poore people. He allowed no pardon granted afore by the gouernor, alledging the same to be expired by his death. For he thought indéed it stood neither with the
pleasure of God, nor wealth of the realme, that so manie slaughters, reiffes, and oppressions,
as had beene doone afore in the countrie, should remaine vnpunished through fault of iustice.
Thrée thousand offendors put to death within two yéeres space.
It is said that within the first two yeeres of his reigne, there were thrée thousand persons
executed by death, for sundrie old crimes and offenses.
And though such extreme iustice might haue bene thought sufficient to giue example to
other to reforme their naughtie vsages, yet one Angus Duffe of Stratherne nothing afraid
thereof, came with a companie of theeues and robbers, and tooke a great preie of goods out
of the countrie of Murrey and Cathnes: for recouerie wherof, one Angus Murrey followed
with a great power, and ouertaking the said Angus Duffe neere to Strachnauerne, fiercelie
assailed him. Who with like manhood made stout resistance, by reason whereof there insued
such a cruell fight betwixt the parties, that there remained in the end but onelie twelue
A cruell fight.
persons aliue, & those so wounded, that they were scarse able to returne home to their houses,
and liued but a few daies after. About the same time, there was also another notable theefe
Makdonald Ros a notable robber.
He shod a widow.
named Makdonald Rosse, which grew with spoiles and robberies to great riches. This wicked oppressor shod a woman with horsse shooes, bicause she said she would go to the king,
and reueale his wicked dooings. As soone as she was whole, and recouered of hir wounds,
she went vnto the king, and declared the cruelties doone vnto hir by that vngratious person
Makdonald. *The king (who before had heard the same of others, and had gotten
Makdonald in prison, determining to sée due punishment for that wicked fact) comforted the sillie
woman, promising hir shortlie to behold a iust reuenge thereof. Wherevpon Makdonald
being brought out of prison with twelue of his companions, the king commanded that they
(by the talion law of Moses that yéeldeth an eie for an eie, and a tooth for a tooth, and by the
example of Phalaris, who burnt him first in the bull that was the author thereof for others)
should likewise be shod with iron horsseshooes, in that sort as they before had serued the woman, and then to bee caried three daies togither about the citie for a spectacle to the people,
to feare to attempt such extraordinarie wickednesse; making proclamation that euerie one
might sée this new kind of punishment. After which, at length (doubting if he liued he
would not ceasse to commit the like, or else reuenge the same) he chopped off Makdonalds
head, & caused his twelue fellowes and partakers to be hanged in the high waies.)
In the third yeere after, which was from the incarnation 1430, on the eleuenth daie of
The quéene deliuered of two sonnes at one birth.
Fiftie knights dubbed.
October, Iane the quéene of Scots was deliuered of two sonnes at one birth, Alexander and
Iames. The first deceassed in his infancie. The other succéeded after his fathers deceasse in
the kingdome, & was named Iames the second. At the baptisme of these two infants,
there were fiftie knights made. Amongst the which, and first of all other, was William the
sonne of Archembald Dowglas, that succéeded his father in the earledome of Dowglas. His
father the said Archembald Dowglas, somewhat before this time, or (as other authors say) in
Archembald earle of Dowglas arrested and put in prison.
King Iames desirous to purge his realme of vnrulie persons.
the yéere next insuing, was arrested by the kings commandement, and put in ward, remaining
so a long time, till at length by supplication of the quéene, and other péeres of the realme, the
king pardoned him [with Iohn Kennedie] of all offenses, and set both them and Alexander
earle of Rosse at libertie. King Iames in this sort did what in him lay to bring the realme
of Scotland in such quiet tranquillitie, that (in purging the same of all offendors, and such
as liued by reiffe and robbing passengers by the high waies might trauell without dread of
anie euill disposed persons to molest them.
*Hauing thus with diligence suppressed the robberies (practised through all parts of his
Buchan. li. 10.
realme) he forgot not to looke into small offenses which were secretlie doone, and of lesse
danger; determining to take awaie all euill customes which had continued in the realme. For
custome, being an other nature, dooth bring to passe, that a common error (by manie ages
continued) maketh a perfect law, and therefore (& bicause the inferior iudges would the better administer iustice, if they had persons of high authoritie that might punish their false sentences) he chose forth speciall persons of the better sort (commended for their wisedome, grauitie, and holinesse of life) and made them iustices, whome he sent all ouer the realme,
giuing them full authoritie to heare and determine all quarels and sutes (if anie were brought
vnto them) whereof the ordinarie iudges either (for feare) durst not or (for hatred or fauor)
would not, or (for strength of others) could not giue anie perfect iudgement.)
He caused also the bailiffes and prouosts of good townes, to see that iust measures were vsed
An ordinance for measures.
by all manner of buiers and sellers, and none to be occupied, but such as were signed with the
note & marke of the said bailiffes or prouosts. Moreouer, he repared and fortified the castels
Castels repared and munited.
Priuileges granted to the vniuersitie of S. Andrews.
and fortresses of his realme, and stuffed them with such ordinance and munition as was thought
expedient. He granted also sundrie priuileges and great liberties to the vniuersitie of saint
Andrews, to the high aduancement thereof, and was oftentimes himselfe present at their disputations, taking great pleasure therein. Such as were knowne to be learned men, and were
presented to him by the vniuersitie, he preferred to great benefices and other ecclesiasticall
liuings, still as the same chanced to be vacant. [Hauing for that cause made a law in the
Lesleus lib. 7. pag. 274.
said vniuersitie, that none should inioy the roome of a canon in anie cathedrall church, vnles
he were a batcheller of diuinitie, or at least of the canon law.] By which meanes all maner of vertue and good learning increased dailie through the realme during his time, and namelie musike was had in great price, which he appointed to be vsed in churches with organs, the
Organs brought into Scotland.
which before his time were not much knowne amongst the Scotishmen.
Much what about the same time, there was a parlement holden at Perth, in the which
A parlement at Perth.
Henrie Wardlaw bishop of S. Andrews, in name of all the three estates there assembled,
made a long and right pithie oration to this effect: that "Where by the high policie and prudent
Bishop Wardlaw inueieth against superfluous fare.
diligence of the kings maiestie there present, iustice, and all due administration of lawes and
good ordinances were so reuiued, that nothing séemed to be ouerpassed, that might aduance
to the profit and commoditie of the common-wealth; yet was there one wicked vsage crept in
of late, increasing so fast, that if speedie remedie were not had in time, all those commodities
brought into the realme by his comming, should be of small auaile, and that was, such superfluous riot in banketting chéere, and numbers of costlie dishes, as were then taken vp and
vsed after the English fashion, both to the great hinderance of mans health, and also to the
vnprofitable wasting of their goods and substance. If the laudable temperance vsed amongest
the Scotishmen in old time were well considered, nothing might appeare more contrarie and
repugnant thereto, than that new kind of gluttonie then vsed, by receiuing more excesse of
meats and drinks than sufficeth to the nourishment of nature, through prouocation of such
deintie and delicate dishes, confectioned sawces, and deuised potions, as were now brought in
amongst them. As for such gentlemen as the king had brought with him foorth of England,
they were woorthie in déed to be cherished and had in high fauour; neither was this abuse
to be so greatlie imputed vnto them, considering it was appropriate to their nation. But the
Scotishmen themselues were chieflie to be blamed, that had so quicklie yéelded to so great an
inconuenience, the enormitie whereof appeared by the sundrie vices that followed of the same,
Vices following delicate fare.
as excesse, sensuall lust, slouth, reiffe, and wasting of goods. For if temperance be the nourisher of all vertue, then must the contrarie, that is to say, intemperance, be the bringer foorth
and prouoker of all vice. If it might therefore please the kings highnesee, to shew his accustomed wisedome and prouidence in repressing this abuse of costlie fare, so much damagable to his people, he should doo the thing that was meritorious before God, and no lesse profitable and necessarie for the publike weale of all his subiects."
By these and manie other the like persuasions, bishop Wardlaw vsed to dissuade the king
and his people from all superfluous courses of delicate dishes and surfetting bankets.
Order taken for suppressing of costlie fare.
Vse of baked meates in Scotland when it began.
The gréedie appetite of gluttons neuer satisfied.
Insomuch that euen then there was order taken, that fewer dishes and more spare diet should
be vsed through the realme, licencing gentlemen onelie, and that on festiuall daies, to be serued
with pies, the vse of them not being knowne in Scotland till that season. Neuerthelesse, such
intemperance is risen in processe of time following, that the gréedie appetite of gluttons
in this age may be satisfied with no competent féeding, till their bellies be so stuffed with
immoderate gorinandise, that they maie scarse fetch breath, through which their noisome surfetting, they fall dailie into sundrie strange and lothsome kinds of diseases, being
oftentimes killed by the same in their flourishing youth, as by dailie experience plainlie appeareth.
In the same yéere the seuenteenth day of Iune, was a terrible eclipse of the sunne, at three
A terrible eclipse.
of the clocke at after noone, the day being darkened ouer head for the space of one halfe
houre togither, as though it had béene night, and therevpon it was called the blacke houre.
At the next Lammas, the king raised an armie, & came with the same to Roxburgh,
besieging the castell for the space of fiftéene daies togither. He had in this armie (as the report went) the number of two hundred thousand men, accounting cariage men & all other
An huge armie.
such as followed the campe: yet notwithstanding all this huge multitude, hauing wasted
his powder and other munition, before hée could doo anie great hurt to his enimies, he was
constreined to raise his field, and leaue the castell in the Englishmens hands as he found it.
After this king Iames perceiuing how the knowledge of handicrafts and manuall occupations
Men of occupation brought into Scotlād to instruct the Scotishmen therein.
Idlenesse the root of all mischiefe.
Paule Craw burnt.
Lesleus lib. 7. pag. 275.
was decaied in Scotland, through continuall exercise of wars, since the daies of Alexander
the third, to the further aduancement of the common-wealth, and that his subiects might
haue occasion to auoid slouth and idlenesse (the root of all mischiefe) he brought a great
number of cunning craftesmen out of Germanie, France, and other parties, to instruct his
people in their arts and faculties.
Not long after, one Paule Craw a Bohemian borne, was burnt at saint Andrews, for
preaching and setting foorth the doctrine of Iohn Hus, & Iohn Wikcliffe. Iohn Fogo being one of them that helped chieflie to condemne him, was made (for his great and earnest
diligence therein shewed) abbat of Melrosse. [After which, the said king Iames began
to take vpon him the person of a priuate man, sundrie times associating himselfe to the
companie of others (but especiallie of the merchants) in changed apparell, according to
the state of such persons with whom he would companie, to the end he might thereby
learne what men did say and iudge of him, and so vnderstand what was to be corrected in
the gouernement of the common-wealth.] About the same time was the abbeie of
The abbeie of Charturar moonks built besides Perth by K. Iames.
The lord Scroope ambassador into Scotland.
The offer of the Englishmen to haue the Scots to ioine with them in leage.
Charturar moonks founded besides Perth, by king Iames, with great cost and magnificence.
Also the lord Scroope and other associats with him, came in ambassage from Henrie the
sixt, king of England. The effect of whose message was, to haue the ancient league betwixt the Scots and Frenchmen dissolued, promising that if the councell of Scotland would
consent thereto, and ioine in leage with the Englishmen; that both the towne and castell
of Berwike, with all the lands lieng betwixt Twéed and the Recrosse (as the Scots write)
should be deliuered into the Scotishmens hands. King Iames hauing small credit in such
faire promises, perceiued the same to tend onlie to this end, that the league betwixt the
Frenchmen and Scots might be once clearelie broken, and then to vse the matter as occasion
should serue their turne. This matter therefore being proponed before the councell, it was
concluded, that in no wise the said league betwixt the Frenchmen and Scots should be dissolued, and so therevpon the English ambassadors were dispatched without more talke concerning that matter.
In the same yéere, that is to say, 1433, the king caused George Dunbar erle of March,
George erle of March arested and put in ward.
sonne to that earle which rebelled against his father king Robert the third, to be arested and
put in safe keeping within the castell of Edenburgh. He sent also the earle of Angus with
his chancellor William Creichton, and Adam Hepborne of Hales to the castell of Dunbar,
deliuering them letters signed with his hand, and directed to the kéepers of the said castell,
that they shuld deliuer vp the house immediatlie vpon sight of those letters vnto the bringers
of the same. The kéepers durst not disobeie his commandement, but suffered them to
enter according to their commission. Within twelue moneths after, a parlement was held
A parlement at Perth.
The earle of March disherited.
at Perth, where the foresaid George earle of March was disherited of all his lands and
liuings for his fathers offense committed against king Robert the third. Thus the house
of the Dunbars lost the earledome of March, wherein the same had flourished so manie
yéeres togither, to the great defense and safegard of the realme of Scotland on that side,
against both ciuill and foreine enimies.
The king yet mooued with some pitie toward so noble a linage, within short time after
The earldome of Buchquhan giuen to George Dunbar.
gaue the earldome of Buchquhan to the said George; and after the kings deceasse, the
lords of the councell thinking the same too little, assigned foorth to him and his son Patrike,
the summe of foure hundred marks yéerelie, to be receiued out of a parcell of his owne
ancient inheritance of the earledome of March, to inioy the same till Iames the second came
to full age. In the yéere 1435, Alexander Steward earle of Mar departed out of this life.
The death of Alexander Steward erle of Mar.
This Alexander was a bastard sonne of the earle of Buchquhan, that was one of the sonnes
of king Robert the second. He was a man of right singular prowesse, and in his youth
following the warres, was with Philip duke of Burgognie at the siege of Liege, or Luike,
where he bare himselfe so manfullie, that few wan the like honor at that iournie. Not
long after, to his high aduancement, he got in mariage the ladie Iacoba countesse of Holland: notwithstanding, he continued but a while with hir, being forced to forgo hir companie, either for that she had another husband, or else for that the inhabitants would not
suffer a stranger to reigne ouer them.
After his returne into Scotland, he sent messengers into Holland, requiring to haue the
Warres betwixt the earle of Mar & the Hollanders.
issues and profits of such lands as were due vnto him in right of the said countesse his wife;
but receiuing nought saue a froward answer, hée prouided him of ships, and made sore
warres on the Hollanders by sea: first being put to the woorse; but at length he tooke
a number of their ships laden with merchandize, as they were returning homewards from
Dantzicke. The mariners were drowned, and the ships burnt. Through which losse the
Hollanders being sore abashed, fell to a composition with him, and tooke truce with the
Truce twixt the Scots & Hollanders for tearme of 100 yéeres.
Scots for an hundred yéeres. This earle of Mar so long as he liued had the gouernance
of the north parts of Scotland vnder king Iames the first, for he was a right prudent person,
as well in warlike enterprises, as in ciuill administration. Hée brought foorth of Hungarie
sundrie great horsses and mares for generation, that by such meanes the countrie might be
Good mares brought out of Hungarie into Scotland for brood.
prouided of great horsses of their owne race, where till that time there was none bred
within Scotland, but small nags, more méet to serue for iournieng hacknies, than for anie
seruice in the warres.
Not long before this time, there came an ambassage from the king of Denmarke to king
Ambassadors out of Denmarke.
Iames, requiring him to make paiment of such yéerelie tribute as was due to the said king
of Denmarke, being also king of Norwaie for the westerne Iles, according to the promise
and agreement made by Alexander sometime king of Scotland, the third of that name, vnto
his predecessor Magnus, at that time king of Norwaie. The ambassadors that came with
this message were honorablie receiued, and in like sort interteined by king Iames, who at
their departure gaue to them sundrie rich gifts, and appointed sir William Creichton to go
Sir William Creichton sent into Denmarke.
Peace and amitie betwixt Scotland and Denmarke.
Ambassadors foorth of France.
The old league renewed betwixt France and Scotland.
The Dolphin marieth Margaret daughter to king Iames.
with them into Denmarke, ambassador frō him, to the king there, who vsed himselfe so
sagelie in this businesse which he thus went about, that renewing the old league betwixt the
two realmes of Denmarke and Scotland, stedfast peace and assured amitie without anie more
adoo therof insued. Much about the same time, there came ambassadors from the French
king, Charles the seuenth, not onelie desiring to haue the old league betwixt France and
Scotland to be ratified at that present by a new confirmation, but also to confirme the same
with better assurance. Margaret eldest daughter to king Iames, at request of the said king
Charles, was giuen in mariage vnto Lewes the Dolphin, and eldest sonne to the said king
Manie great lords of Scotland were appointed to haue the conueiance of hir into France,
and great prouision of ships made for that voiage, because the king was aduertised that the
Englishmen had a fléet abroad on the seas, to take hir if they might méet with hir by the
Englishmen lie in wait for the Scotish fléet.
waie. But as the hap fell, it chanced the same time, as the Scotish ships should passe, there
appéered on the coast of England, a great fleet of Spaniards, which the Englishmen
The Englishmen incounter a fléet of Spaniards.
supposing to be the Scots, they came vpon them with foure score vessels of one and other,
thinking verelie to haue had their wished preie, euen according to their expectation: but
being receiued with as hot a storme as they brought, they quicklie vnderstood how they
were in a wrong box, and so shrewdlie amazed (as Hector Boetius saith) they susteined
great losse both in men and ships, and in the meane time the Scotish nauie passed by quietlie
without damage, incountering not one ship by the waie that sought to impeach their passage.
There went 140 ladies and gentlewomen foorth of Scotland, to attend this ladie Margaret
The arriuall of the ladie Margaret of Scotland in France.
Henrie Persie inuadeth Scotland.
into France, amongest which number there were fiue of hir owne sisters.
In the meane time, whilest such things were a dooing, Henrie Persie of Northumberland
inuaded Scotland with foure thousand men, not being knowen whether he had commission
so to doo from the king of England, or that he made that enterprise of himselfe. William
Dowglasse earle of Angus, to resist this inuasion, gathered a power of chosen men, amongest
whome were Adam Hepborne of Hales, Alexander Ramseie of Dalehouse, and Alexander
Elphingston, with others. The earle of Angus being thus associat, met the Persie at
The battell of Piperden fought betwixt Henrie Persie and the earle of Angus.
The Scots get the victorie.
The number of Englishmen slaine.
Piperden, where a sore battell was foughten betwixt them, with great slaughter on both sides;
but at length the victorie fell to the Scots, though there were slaine togither with Alexander
Elphingston, two hundred gentlemen and commons of Scotland: and of the English part
there died Henrie of Cliddesdale, Iohn Ogill, and Richard Persie, with fifteene hundred
other of gentlemen and commons, of the which gentlemen, fortie were knights. There
were taken also and brought home by the Scots as prisoners, to the number of foure
Shortlie heerevpon, king Iames raised a mightie armie, and besieged the castell of Rocksburgh, but when he had almost brought his purpose so néere to passe, that those within
began to fall to communication, for the rendering of the place, the quéene came to the
campe in great haste vnto him, signifieng that there was a conspiracie begun against him,
so that if he tooke not the better héed, he was in great danger to fall into the hands of those
that sought his life. The king doubting the matter, raised his siege and returned home to
The king informed of a conspiracie made against him, raiseth his siege.
The earle of Atholl heard of the conspiracie.
prouide the better for his owne suertie, but that preuailed little: for Walter Steward earle of
Atholl, and head of the whole conspiracie, pretending euer a right to the crowne, by reason
that he was procreat by king Robert the second on his first wife, procured his nephue
Robert Steward, and his coosine Robert Graham, to slea the king by one meane or other,
which finallie they accomplished in this wise. This Robert Graham, for diuerse wicked
acts before committed, contrarie to the lawes and ordinances of the realme, was driuen to
an outlawrie, so that if he were taken, he looked for nothing but present death, and therefore hated the king most deadlie. And though by the quéenes diligence both his and other
of the conspirators purposes were now disappointed, hauing contriued to dispatch the king
at the siege of Rocksburgh; yet forsomuch as their names were not knowne, they hoped
still to find occasion to atchiue their detestable intention, sith they were no more mistrusted
than the others.
Héerevpon the said Steward and Graham came one euening to the blacke friers of Perth,
Robert Steward and Robert Graham murtherers of the king.
where the king as then was lodged, and by licence of the porters comming into the house,
entered vp into the gallerie before the kings chamber doore, minding to haue staied there
till one of the kings seruants that was priuie to their diuelish purpose should come, by whose
helpe they were promised to haue entrie into the chamber. But before the comming of this
Iudas like traitor, an other of the kings seruants named Walter Straiton came foorth of the
chamber doore to haue fetched wine for the king: but being aduised of these two traitors
standing there at the doore, either of them hauing a long swoord girded to him, he stept
backe, and cried, Treason: but yer he could get within the doore to haue made it fast, they
Walter Straiton is slaine.
leapt vnto him, and slue him there outright.
Whilest this was a dooing, not without great noise & rumbling, a yoong virgin named
Katharine Dowglasse (that was after maried to Alexander Louell of Bolunnie) got to the
doore, and shut it: but because the barre was awaie that should haue made it fast, she
thrust hir arme in the place where the bar should haue passed: she was but yoong, and
hir bones not strong, but rather tender as a gristle, and therefore hir arme was soone crasht
in sunder, and the doore broken vp by force. Herewith entering the chamber, they slue
The murtherers enter the kings chamber, and slea the king.
such of the seruants as made defense, and then the king himselfe with manie cruell and
deadlie wounds [at 28 seuerall blowes.] The quéene was also hurt as she was about to
saue hir husband. Patrike Dunbar, brother to George sometime earle of March, was left
The quéene is hurt.
Patrike Dunbar wounded and left for dead in the kings defense.
Iames the first murthered.
for dead on the floore, by reason of such wounds as he receiued in the kings defense, dooing
most manfullie his vttermost deuoire to haue preserued him from the murtherers hands.
Thus was Iames the first murthered the 21 day of Februarie, the 44 yéere of his age, the
13 of his reigne, and from the incarnation of Christ 1436. His bodie was buried in the
house of the Chartarars at Perth which he founded in his life time, but had not as yet
* Of this Iames I find written in his singular commendation, that he was for proportion
of bodie of the middle stature, with broad shoulders, hauing the other parts also answering
therevnto, as they neither séemed monstruous big to be woondered at, nor extreme small
to be scoffed at; but caried the maiestie of a person, whome Aeneas Syluius (expressing
His stature and forme of bodie.
Lesleus lib. 7. cap. 271.
the most excellent conformitie of members in this our king) dooth terme to be squared or
of euen proportion, as the parts of a quadrangle or iust square doo answer ech other, so
that nature séemeth not to haue framed a creature more apt or excellent than he, either
for shape of bodie, or for kinglie maiestie. He did manie times imbrace iustice more
streictlie and seuerelie, than well became a king, which ought to be called (and so in truth
to be) the father and nourisher of the common wealth. For he séemed so exactlie to
measure all things by the rule of iustice, that he is said (within the space of thrée yeeres)
to haue executed thrée thousand persons for their committed offenses. Although this may
rather séeme to be a slander (than otherwise) grounded vpon no foundation, since all
things séemed to haue béene performed by him in respect of sincere zeale of iustice,
whereof this may be a sufficient argument, that he was of so mild and swéet nature, that
we read not of anie of our princes that did more reuerentlie imbrace peace at home amongst
his subiects, or more willinglie conclude the same abroad with strangers. What shall I
say of his wisedome, which in manie and the greatest affaires did so manifestlie appéere,
that the kings of other nations did ioine in league and friendship with him? Of which
wisedome, and of other his vertues (although he obteined part by the benefit of nature)
he got the greatest summe by the learning & instruction which he purchased in England,
when he was prisoner: at what time he was by the commandement of Henrie the king
most diligentlie instructed. For he was there by the kings beneuolence so well trained
in all sciences and gentlemanlie actiuitie, with the diligence of good schoolemaisters, that
it is not easie to iudge what science he best vnderstood: for beside that he had skill in
all kinds of musike (but most excellent in plaieng on the harpe) he was so good an orator,
that nothing might be more artificiall than that which he spake: againe, he was a rare poet,
in which he séemed not so much cunning by art, as furthered by nature, which is sufficientlie prooued by verses of diuerse kinds (at this day remaining) composed by him (in
Buchan. also saith he wrote Latine verses with such good grace, as the rudenesse of that age permitted.
Scotish méeter) with that singular art, as he is thought fullie to equall the sharpenesse,
grauitie, and wisedome of the ancient poets.
It is strange that I saie, and far beyond the diligence of the princes of our time, yea and
almost beyond the opinion of men: but yet most true and confirmed by the testimonie of
them which knew him well: and therefore to be written to his perpetuall praise. He did
so exactlie in mind and memorie comprehend the depth of diuinitie and law, that therein he
excelled manie, & in his time gaue not place to anie: to conclude, there was nothing wherein
the commendation of wit consisted, or wherein anie shew of the liberall arts appeared, that he
would not with great diligence applie his indeuor for the knowledge thereof, yea and that
sometime to all mechanicall or handie-craft labors which were méet for a free man, which
he is said most studiouslie to haue followed. But in the end, iudging it ouer base for
kinglie maiestie to be exercised in these meane & inferior knowledges, he caused artificers
of all sorts to be brought out of England, Flanders, and other nations, which should instruct our people therein; for by that means he persuaded himselfe he should in the end
calme the rough maners of his nation, and that with these mild arts they would also receiue
a mild and swéete condition of life & maners. Wherefore I may well say; O most happie
common-wealth which was gouerned by so woorthie a prince: & may iustlie exclame; O
you most fierce and wicked rebels, that would by murther take away such an honor, beautie,
and piller of the common-wealth. Now, besides manie other things by him doone, I will
here (being better late than neuer) set downe this (not touched before) which is, that he
was not onlie a beautie to his countrie, in prouiding for his people to liue at quiet within
doores; but he also sought for the defense of his realme against his enimies without doores:
by artillerie, and other necessaries required for the warres. For the inuention of guns
hapning about his time, or not much before; he caused certeine péeces of artillerie to be
made beyond the seas in Flanders, of which, there was one most especiall and great peece
called the Lion, on the circumference whereof were these verses ingrauen, testifieng the
antiquitie in like maner of the same:
Illustri Iacobo Scotorum principi digno,
Regi magnifico, dum fulmine castra reduco,
Factus sum subito, nuncupor ergo Leo.)
The nobles and peeres of the realme right sorowfull for the death of this Iames, assembled togither, and made such earnest & diligent search for the traitors before mentioned,
The search made for the traitors.
that at the length they were apprehended and brought to Edenburgh, where they were
executed on this maner. The earle of Atholl, which was not onelie principall in practise of
this treason concerning the kings death, but also in times past was chiefe of counsell with
Robert duke of Albanie, in making away of Dauid the kings eldest brother, and after the
kings returne foorth of England did most earnestlie solicit him to put duke Mordo to death,
with all other of his linage, trusting that when they were dispatched, he should find means
to rid the king also, and his children out of the way, & so at length atteine to the crowne without anie obstacle. This earle (I say) was first stripped of all his clothes, saue onelie his
shirt; and then was an instrument of wood, made like to the drawer of a well, set fast in
The execution of the erle of Atholl.
a cart with a frame: at the end of which instrument, was the earle fastened and bound, and
so caried about the towne, sometime hoised on high, that the people might sée him aloft in
the aire, and sometime let fall againe with a swaie downe vpon the pauement.
After this, being brought to an open place, where most resort of people was, they crowned
him with an hot iron, for that (as was said) a witch had told him, that before his death he
The prophesie of a witch.
should be crowned openlie in sight of the people. Through whose illusion being deceiued,
he liued vnder vaine hope to atteine the crowne, directing all his imaginations to compasse
the means thereto. Thus was he serued on the first day. On the second day, he was
drawen with his complices laid on hurdels, round about the towne at an horsse taile. The
third day, his bellie was ript, and his bowels were taken foorth, and throwne into the fire
flickering before his eies, & then was his heart pulled foorth of his bodie, and throwne
likewise into the fire: and last of all, his head was cut off, and his bodie diuided into foure
His nephue Robert Steward was not altogither so cruellie executed. But Robert
Robert Steward executed.
The ordering of Robert Grahams execution.
Graham, for that it was knowne that he slue the king with his owne hands, was put into a cart,
the hand that did the déed being fastened to a paire of gallows, which were raised vp in
the said cart; and then were thrée persons appointed to thrust him through in all parts of
his bodie with hot irons, beginning first in those places where it was thought no hastie death
would thereof insue, as in the legs, armes, thighes, & shoulders. And thus was he caried
through euerie stréet of the towne, and tormented in most miserable wise, and at length had
his bellie ript, and was bowelled and quartered as the other were before. Christopher
Clawn also, and other that were of counsell in the conspiracie, were put to most shamefull
kinds of deaths, as they had iustlie deserued, few or none lamenting their case. [Touching
Lesleus lib. 7. pag. 279.
whose death, and the reuenge thereof, it is reported, that Aeneas Syluius (being then
ambassador in Scotland for pope Eugenius the fourth to the said king Iames, considering the
cruelnesse of such a wicked fact, with the spéedie reuenge therefore executed by the nobilitie) should say, that he much doubted, whether he ought with greater praise to commend
them which reuenged the kings death, than by sharper sentence punish those that had committed such parricide.] In the daies of king Iames the first, sundrie strange and monstrous
Pigs with heads like to Dogs, A calfe with a head like a colt.
A blasing star.
A great frost.
Ale and wine sold by the pound weight.
A sword séene in the aire.
things chanced in Scotland. At Perth there was a sow that brought foorth a litter of pigs
with heads like vnto dogs. A cow also brought foorth a calfe, hauing a head like a colt.
In the haruest before the kings death, a blasing star was seene with long streaming beams.
And in the winter following, the frost was so vehement, that ale and wine were sold by
pound weight, and then melted against the fire. A sword was seene gliding vp and downe
in the aire, to the no lesse dread than woonder of the people.