previous next

KENNETH.

AFTER that the bodie of king Culene was once conueied vnto Colmekill, and there buried amongst his elders, the nobles and great péeres assembled togither at Scone, where they proclaimed Kenneth the sonne of Malcolme the first, and brother vnto Duffe, king of the realme. In the beginning of his reigne, he had inough to doo to reduce the people from
Ill life is reformed. their wild and sauage kind of life (into the which they were fallen through the negligent gouernment of his predecessor) vnto their former trade of ciuill demeanor. For the nature of the Scotishmen is, that first the nobles, and then all the residue of the people transforme themselues to the vsage of their prince: therefore did Kenneth in his owne trade of liuing King Kenneth was of a vertuous liuing. shew an example of chastitie, sobrietie, liberalitie, and modestie, misusing himselfe in no kind of vice, but refraining himselfe from the same. He banished all such kind of persons as might prouoke either him or other vnto anie lewd or wanton pleasures. He mainteined amitie He loued strangers. aswell with strangers as with his owne people, punishing most rigoroushe all such as sought to mooue sedition by anie manner of meanes. He tooke busie care in causing the people He abhorred slouth. to auoid sloth, and to applie themselues in honest exercises, iudging (as the truth is) that to be the waie to aduance the common-wealth from decaie to a flourishing state.

Thus when he had somewhat reformed the misorders of his subiects, he indeuored He did punish offendors. himselfe by all meanes he could deuise to punish offendors against the lawes and wholesome ordinances of the realme, and to purge all his dominions of théeues, robbers, and other such as went about to disquiet common peace. At Lanerke, a towne in Kile, was a sessions A session kept at Lainrike, or Lanerke. appointed to be kept for execution of iustice, where certeine offendors were summoned to appéere. But at their comming thither, perceiuing that such manifest proofes would be brought against them of such crimes as they had committed, that they were not able to excuse the same, through persuasion of diuerse noble men vnto whom they were of kin, they fled secretlie their waies, some into the westerne lies, and some into other places, where The giltie ran awaie. they thought most expedient for safegard of their liues. The king perceiuing that through the disloiall meanes of the lords his purpose was so hindered, that he might not minister iustice, according to the institution of his lawes, he dissembled his wrath for a time, and The king dissembled with these dooings. The king went to visit saint Ninian. The king consulted how to call the transgressors vnto iudgement. licenced euerie man to depart to their houses, his traine onelie excepted. Then went he into Galloway to visit saint Ninian for performance of his vow, which he had made so to doo. Héere he inuented (by conference which he had with some of his priuie councell) a deuise, whereby he might fetch againe the offendors vnto iudgement: but this was kept close till the yéere following, for doubt least if those lords which bare them good will had come to anie inkling thereof, they would by vttering it haue disappointed his purpose.

at length, after a yeere was passed, he appointed all the lords and nobles of his realme to assemble at Scone, as though it had béene to haue communed about some weightie affaires An assemblie had at Scone. touching the state of the realme. The night then before they should come togither into the councell-chamber, he caused by some of his faithfull ministers, a sort of armed men to be Armed men laid in wait. laid close in a secret place, with commandement giuen to their capteine, that in no wise he should stirre with his band till the next day that all the lords were assembled togither, and then without delaie to execute that which should be giuen him in commandement. On the morrow after the nobles comming togither into the councell-chamber, they had no The king and lords sitting, the armed men step foorth. sooner taken their places, euerie one according to his degrée about the king, but that the armed men before mentioned, came rushing into the house, placing themselues round about them that were set, according to the order prescribed by former appointment. The lords with this present sight being much amazed, beheld one an other, but durst not speake a woord. Then the king perceiuing their feare, began to declare vnto them the whole cause The king putteth the lords out of doubt. An oration made by the king. A rehearsall of all enormities. of his calling them to councell at that time, and why he had appointed those armed men to be there attendant. The effect of his oration there made vnto them was, that he had not caused those armed men to come into the chamber for anie harme ment towards anie of their persons, but onelie for the publike preseruation of the realme. For so much as they knew, there was one kind of people much noisome to the common-wealth, being confederate as it were togither by one consent to exercise all sorts of mischiefe and oppression against the poore people, as to rob, spoile, and take from them all that they had, to rauish their wiues, maids, & daughters, and some times to burne their houses: the which licentious libertie in such wicked persons, through want of due punishment in the daies of king Cuiene, what danger it had brought vnto the whole state of the Scotish common-wealth, there was none but might well vnderstand.

For sith it was so, that the lords and other high estates liued by the trauell of the commons, then if the same commons should in anie wise decaie, the lords and such other high estates could in no wise prosper: for if the labourer through iniurie of the robber were forced to giue ouer his labour; where should the lord or gentleman haue wherevpon to liue? So that those which robbed the husbandman, robbed also the lord and gentleman and they that sought to mainteine such loitering persons as vsed to rob the poore man, went about the destruction both of king, lord, and gentleman; yea and finallie of the vniuersart state of the whole common-wealth. Therfore he that loued the common-wealth, would not séeke onelie to defend the commons from such iniuries as théeues and robers dailie offered them; but also would helpe to sée iust execution doone vpon the same théeues and robbers, according to the laudable lawes and customes of the land. "The last yeare (said he) you your selues remember (I thinke) how I purposed by your helpe and counsell to haue procéeded by order of the lawes against all enimies and perturbers of the peace. At Lainrike was the day appointed for them to haue appeared, but there was not one of Lainrike, or Lanerke. them that would come in, but contemptuouslie disobeieng our commandement kept them awaie, by whose counsell I know not. But I haue béene informed by some how diuers of you fauoring those rebels, by reason they were of your linage, were of counsell with them, in withdrawing themselues so from iudgement.

"The often sending of messengers betwixt them and you, well néere persuaded vs to thinke that this report was true. But yet notwithstanding, I haue put away all such sinister suspicion out of my head, wishing you (as I trust you be) void of all such dissimulation. And now I require you, not as fautors of the rebelles, but as defendors of the common-wealth, though happilie somewhat slacke heretofore in discharge of your dueties, to shew your selues such in helping to apprehend the offendors, as that the world may perceiue you to haue made full satisfaction for your fault and error, if before in you there were anie." In the end he was plaine with them, and told them flatlie that they should assure themselues to haue those armed men which they saw there present, to be continuallie attendant about them, till he might haue all the rebelles at commandement.

The lords hauing heard the kings spéech, and perceiuing what his meaning was, first partlie excused themselues so well as they might of their cloked dissimulation, and then The lords gentle submission, with a large promise. falling downe vpon their knées afore him, besought him to put away all displeasure out of his mind, and clearelie to pardon them, if in anie wise they had offended his maiestie, promising that they would with all diligence and faithfulnesse accomplish his desire, in causing the offendors to be brought in vnto iudgement: and till the time that this were brought to passe, they were well contented to remaine in such place where he should appoint them to abide. The councell then being broken vp, the king with those lords passing ouer the The king went to Bertha. riuer of Taie, went vnto Bertha, which towne during the kings abode in the same, was streictlie kept with watch and ward, that no creature might enter or go foorth without knowledge of the officers appointed by the king to take héed therevnto. If anie idle person Roges punished. were espied abroad in the stréets, streightwaies the sergeants would haue him to ward.

The nobles remained in the kings house, or in other lodgings to them assigned, procuring by their friends and ministers to haue such offendors as vsed to rob and spoile the Iniurious men brought vnto Bertha. husbandman, apprehended and brought to the king to Bertha, there to receiue iudgement & punishment according to their merits: for so they perceiued they must néeds worke, if they minded the safegard of their owne liues. Hereof it followed also, that within short space after, there were brought vnto Bertha to the number néere hand of fiue hundred such idle A great number of vagabonds were iudged to die. loiterers as vsed to liue by spoile and pillage, manie of them being descended of famous houses: all which companie being condemned for their offenses to die, were hanged vp on gibbets about the towne, and commandement giuen by the king, that their bodies should not be taken downe, but there to hang still to giue example to other, what the end was of all such as by wrongfull means sought to liue idelie by other mens labours.

The rebelles being thus executed, king Kenneth licenced the lords to depart to their owne The lords haue licence to depart. houses, exhorting them to remember their duties towards the common-wealth, and to studie for preseruation of peace and quietnesse according to their vocation. After this, the realme continued in quietnesse without anie forraine or inward trouble for the space of certeine yeares following, and had remained in the same state still, if the Danes had not made a new The Danes séeke for to reuenge old losses. The Danes take the sea to go into Albion. inuasion, who being sore greeued in their hearts for such displeasures as they had susteined in Albion, determined now with great assurance to reuenge the same. Wherevpon gathering an huge multitude of men togither, they were imbarked in vessels prouided for them; and sailing foorth, they purposed to take land vpon the next coast of Albion where they should chance to arriue; & being once on land, to destroie all before them, except where the people should submit & yeeld themselues vnto them. This nauie being once got abroad, within short time arriued at that point of land in Angus, which is called the red Braies, or The Danes arriue at the red head, or red Braies in Angus. red head, not far from the place where the abbie of Abirbroth, or Abirbrothoke was afterward founded.

Here the Danish fléet first casting anchor, their capteins fell in consultation what they were best to doo. Some of them were of this opinion, that it was not most expedient for them to land in that place, but rather to passe from thence into England; for at the The Danes consult to go into England. Scotishmens hands being poore, and yet a fierce and hardie nation, there was small good to be got, being thereto accustomed to giue more ouerthrowes than they commonlie receiued. Againe, the soile of that countrie was but barren, and in manner ouergrowen with woods (as it was in déed in those daies) with few townes & small habitations, and those so poore, that no man knowing the same, would vouchsafe to fight for anie possession of them: wherein contrariwise England (that part namelie which lieth towards the south) was so fruitfull of corne and cattell, so rich of mines, and replenished with so manie notable cities and townes inhabited with men of great wealth and substance, that few were to be found comparable thereto. So that the matter being well considered, they could not doo better, than to saile into Kent, where they might be sure of rich spoile, without anie great resistance. Other there were that held how that this iournie was attempted by the counsell of their They consult for to saile into Kent. They onelie sought reuenge. superiors, onelie to reuenge such iniuries as the Danish nation had receiued at the hands of the Scotishmen, and not to atteine riches or anie dominion.

The Scots also being a cruell people, & readie to fight in defense of other mens possessions (as in the warres of Northumberland it well appeared) would suerlie be readie to come to the aid of the Englishmen into Kent, euen so soone as it was knowen that the Danes were on land in those parts: so that by this means they should be constreined to haue to doo both with the Scotishmen and Englishmen, if they first went into Kent: where if they set on land here in Scotland, they should incounter but onelie with the Scots. Therefore, the best were according to their first determination, to land amongest the Scots, sith chance had Some thought best to land in Scotland. brought them vnto those coasts; adding that when they had somewhat abated the arrogant presumption of their enimies there, then might they passe more safelie into England, after a luckie beginning of fier and sword, to proceed against their aduersaries in those parties as fortune should lead them. This deuise was allowed of the greatest number, being glad to get beside the water. Wherevpon the mariners (vpon commandement giuen) drew with their ships into the mouth of the riuer called Eske, the which in those daies washed on the walles of a towne in Angus called then Celurke, but now Mountros. Here the Danes taking land, put the The Danes doo land at Mountros. Mountros taken, and all within was slaine. inhabitants of the countrie thereabouts in great feare, so that with all spéed for their safegard they got them into Mountros: but the towne being quickelie assailed of the Danes, was taken, put to the sacke, and after raced, castell and all to the bare ground, not one liuing creature being left aliue of all such as were found within the same.

From thence the armie of the Danes passed through Angus vnto the riuer of Taie, all the The Danes come to the riuer of Taie. King Kenneth gathered a great armie. people of the countries by which they marched fléeing afore them. King Kenneth at the same time laie at Sterling, where hearing of these gréeuous newes, he determined foorthwith to raise his people, & to go against his enimies. The assemblie of the Scotish armie was appointed to be at the place where the riuer of Erne falleth into the riuer of Taie. Here when they were come togither in great numbers at the day appointed, the day next following word was brought to the king, that the Danes hauing passed ouer Taie, were come before the towne of They laie siege before Bertha. Bertha, and had laid siege to the same. Then without further delaie, he raised with the whole armie, and marched streight towards his enimies, comming that night vnto Loncart a village not far distant from the riuer of Taie, famous euer after, by reason of the battell fought then néere vnto the same. The Danes hearing that the Scots were come, detracted no time, but foorthwith prepared to giue battell.

Kenneth as soone as the sunne was vp, beholding the Danes at hand, quickelie brought his King Kenneth set his men in aray. armie into order. Then requiring them earnestlie to shew their manhood, he promiseth to reease them of all tributs and paiments due to the kings cofers for the space of fiue yeares next insuing: and besides that he offered the summe of ten pounds, or else lands so much woorth in value to euerie one of his armie, that should bring him the head of a Dane. He willed them The king exhorted the Scots vnto valiantnesse. therefore to fight manfullie, and to remember there was no place to atteine mercie; for either must they trie it out by dint of swoord, or else if they fled, in the end to looke for present death at the enimies hands, who would not ceasse till time they had found them foorth, into what place so euer they resorted for refuge, if they chanced to be vanquished. The Scots being not a little incouraged by the kings words, kept their order of battell according as they were appointed, still looking when the onset should be giuen. Malcolme Duffe prince of The order of the Scotish battell aray. The Danes had the aduantage of a little mounteine. Cumberland led the right wing of the Scots; and Duncane lieutenant of Atholl the left: King Kenneth himselfe gouerned the battell. The enimies on the other part had taken their ground at the foot of a little mounteine right afore against the Scotish campe. Thus both the armies stood readie ranged in the field, beholding either other a good space, till at length the Scots desirous of battell, and doubting least the Danes would not come foorth to anie euen ground, aduanced forward with somewhat more hast than the case required, beginning the The Scots begin the battell. battell with shot, and throwing of darts right freshlie.

The Danes being backed with the mounteine, were constreined to leaue the same, and with all spéed to come forward vpon their enimies, that by ioining they might auoid the danger of the Scotishmens arrowes and darts: by this meanes therefore they came to hand strokes, in maner before the signe was giuen on either part to the battell. The fight was cruell on both sides: and nothing hindered the Scots so much, as going about to cut off the heads of the Danes, euer as they might ouercome them. Which maner being noted of the Danes, and perceiuing that there was no hope of life but in victorie, they rushed foorth with such violence vpon their aduersaries, that first the right, and then after the left wing of the Scots, was The two wings of the Scots fled. constreined to retire and flée backe, the middle-ward stoutly yet kéeping their ground: but the same stood in such danger, being now left naked on the sides, that the victorie must néeds haue remained with the Danes, had not a renewer of the battell come in time, by the appointment (as is to be thought) of almightie God.

For as it chanced, there was in the next field at the same time an husbandman, with two of his sons busie about his worke, named Haie, a man strong and stiffe in making and shape of Haie with his two sonnes. bodie, but indued with a valiant courage. This Haie beholding the king with the most part of the nobles, fighting with great valiancie in the middle ward, now destitute of the wings, and in great danger to be oppressed by the great violence of his enimies, caught a plow-beame in his hand, and with the same exhorting his sonnes to doo the like, hasted towards the battell, there to die rather amongest other in defense of his countrie, than to remaine aliue after the discomfiture in miserable thraldome and bondage of the cruell and most vnmercifull enimies. There was néere to the place of the battell, a long lane fensed on the sides with ditches and walles made of turfe, through the which the Scots which fled were beaten downe by the enimies on heapes.

Here Haie with his sonnes, supposing they might best staie the flight, placed themselues Haie staied the Scots frō running away. ouerthwart the lane, beat them backe whome they met fleeing, and spared neither friend nor fo: but downe they went all such as came within their reach, wherewith diuerse hardie personages cried vnto their fellowes to returne backe vnto the battell, for there was a new power of Scotishmen come to their succours, by whose aid the victorie might be easilie obteined of The Scots were driuen to their battell againe. their most cruell aduersaries the Danes: therefore might they choose whether they would be slaine of their owne fellowes comming to their aid, or to returne againe to fight with the enimies. The Danes being here staied in the lane by the great valiancie of the father and the The Danes fled towards their fellowes in great disorder. sonnes, thought verely there had béene some great succors of Scots come to the aid of their king, and therevpon ceassing from further pursute, fled backe in great disorder vnto the other of their fellowes fighting with the middle ward of the Scots.

The Scots also that before was chased, being incouraged herewith, pursued the Danes vnto the place of the battell right fiercelie. Wherevpon Kenneth perceiuing his people to be thus K. Kenneth called vpō his men to remember their duties. recomforted, and his enimies partlie abashed, called vpon his men to remember their duties, and now sith their aduersaries hearts began (as they might perceiue) to faint, he willed them to follow vpon them manfully, which if they did, he assured them that the victorie vndoubtedlie should be theirs. The Scots incouraged with the kings words, laid about them so earnestlie, that in the end the Danes were constreined to forsake the field, and the Scots egerlie The Danes forsake the fields. pursuing in the chase, made great slaughter of them as they fled. This victorie turned highlie to the praise of the Scotish nobilitie, the which fighting in the middle ward, bare still the brunt of the battell, continuing manfullie therein euen to the end. But Haie, who in such wise (as is before mentioned) staied them that fled, causing them to returne againe to the field, deserued immortall fame and commendation: for by this meanes chieflie was the victorie atchiued. And therefore on the morrow after, when the spoile of the field and of the enimies The spoile is diuided. campe (which they had left void) shuld be diuided, the chiefest part was bestowed on him and his two sonnes, by consent of all the multitude; the residue being diuided amongst the souldiers and men of warre, according to the ancient custome vsed amongst this nation.

The king hauing thus vanquished his enimies, as he should enter into Bertha, caused costlie robes to be offered vnto Haie and his sonnes, that, being richlie clad, they might be the Haie refused costlie garments. The king came to Bertha. more honoured of the people: but Haie refusing to change his apparell, was contented to go with the king in his old garments whither it pleased him to appoint. So entring with the kinginto Bertha, he was receiued with little lesse honor than the king himselfe, all the people running foorth to behold him, whome they heard to haue so valiantlie restored the battell, when the field was in maner lost without hope of all recouerie. At his entring into the towne he bare on his shoulder the plow-beame, more honourable to him than anie sword or battell axe might haue béene to anie the most valiant warrior. Thus Haie being honored of all estates Haie is made one of the nobilitie. within certeine daies after, at a councell holden at Scone, it was ordeined, that both he and his posteritie should be accepted amongst the number of the chiefest nobles and péeres of the realme, being rewarded (besides monie and other great gifts) with ilands and reuenues, such He had reuenues assigned to him. as he should choose sufficient for the maintenance of their estates.

It is said, that by the counsell of his sonnes, who knew the fruitfulnes of the soile, he did aske so much ground in those parts where the riuer of Taie runs by the towne of Arrole Haie his request. ouer against Fife, as a falcon would flie ouer at one flight. Which request being freelie granted of the king, the place was appointed at Inschire for the falcon to be cast off: the which taking hir flight from thence, neuer lighted till shée came to a great stone néere a village called The falcon mesured Haie his lands out. Rosse, not passing foure miles from Dundée. By which meanes all that countrie which lieth betwixt Inschire aforesaid, and the said stone (being almost six miles in length, and foure in breadth) felt vnto Haie and his sons. The name of the stone also being called the falcons stone to this daie, dooth cause the thing better to be beléeued, and well néere all the foresaid ground still continueth in the possession of the Haies euen vnto this day. Besides this, to the further honoring of his name, the king gaue him armes thrée scutchons gules in a field of siluer, Haie had armes giuen him. a plowbeame added therevnto, which he vsed in stead of a battell axe, when he fought so valiantlie in defense of his owne countrie. Thus had the Haies their beginning of nobilitie, whose house hath atteined vnto great estimation of honor, and hath béene decorated with the office of the constableship of Scotland, by the bounteous beneuolence of kings that succéeded. These things happened in the first yéere of king Kenneth.

In the residue of the time that he reigned, though there chanced no great businesse by forren enimies, yet by ciuill sedition the state of the realme was woonderfullie disquieted. First a companie of Kerns of the westerne lies inuading Rosse, to the intent to haue fetched a Ciuill wars in Scotland. bootie, were met withall by the waie and ouerthrowne by the inhabitants of that countrie. After this sturre, another followed, farre more dangerous to the whole state of the An other commotion in Mernes by Cruthlint. commonwelth raised by one Cruthlint, one of the chiefest lords of the Mernes, who was sonne vnto a certeine ladie named Fenella, the daughter of one Cruthneth, that was gouernor of that part of Angus which lieth betwixt the two riuers, the one called Southeske, and the other Northeske. So it chanced, that on a time Cruthlint came vnto the castell of Delbogin to sée his Cruthlint went to sée his grandfather. Two of his seruants were slaine. grandfather, the said Cruthneth as then lieng in the same : where vpon light occasion a fraie was begun amongst the seruingmen, in the which two of Cruthlints seruants fortuned to be slaine. Which iniurie when Cruthlint declared by waie of complaint vnto his grandfather, he was so slenderlie heard, and answered in such reprochfull wise, as though he himselfe had bin the author of the busines, so that Cruthneths seruants perceiuing how little he was regarded of their maister, fell vpon him and beat him, that not without danger of life he brake foorth They set vpon Cruthlint also. of their hands, and hardlie escaped away.

In his returne homewards, he came to his mother Fenella, where she lay within the castell of Fethircarne the chiefest fortresse of all the Mernes. Where being incensed through his Cruthlint was instigated to reuenge. mothers instigation, being a woman of a furious nature, he attempted foorth with to be reuenged of the iniurie receiued : so that assembling a number of his friends and kinsfolks so secredie as he might togither, with a band of the inhabitants of the Mernes, he enereth into Angus, and comming vnto the castell of Deibogin in the night season, was suffered to enter by the He killed all them that were in the castell. kéepers of the gate, nothing suspecting anie treason in the world, by reason wherof was Cruthneth suddenlie oppressed, the house sacked and raced, not one that was found within the same being left aliue. The spoile also was diuided by Cruthlint amongst them which came with him. The next day likewise he forraied the countrie all there abouts, returning home The countrie is forraied. with a great bootie.

They of Angus prouoked herewith, rested not long; but assembling themselues togither They of Mernes requite their iniuries. inuaded the countrie of Merns, where making great slaughter on each side, they left the countrie void almost both of men and cattell. Thus did the people of those two countries pursue the warre one against another a certeine time, with dailie incursions and wastings of either others countries, in such cruell wise, that it was thought the one of them must néeds shortlie come to vtter destruction, if spéedie remedie were not the sooner prouided. The king The king made a proclamation by an herald. being informed of this mischiefe and great trouble, which was fallen out through sedition amongst those his subiects, hée made proclamation by an herald, that those of Angus and Mernes, whom he vnderstood to be culpable, should appeare within fifteene daies after at The culpable should appeare at Scone. Scone, there to make answer afore appointed iudges, to such things as might be laid to their charge, vpon paine of death to euerie one that made default. When the day of appearance came, there were but few that did appeare.

The most part of them doubting to be punished for their offenses with Cruthlint their The faultie men ran away. capteine, fled out of Mernes, taking with them their wiues, and their children, and all their goods, The king being sore mooued herewith, perceiued how readie the Scotish people were by The K. was sore offended therewith. nature vnto rebellion, when they were gentlie vsed: and againe how they obeied the magistrates best when they were restreined from their wild outragious dooings by due punishment and execution of iustice. He considered therefore that if he did not cause those seditious rebels The K. minded to punish the disobedient rebels. which had thus disobeied his commandements to be punished according to the order of the lawes, he should haue the whole realme shortlie disquieted with ciuill warre and open rebeilion. Wherevpon with all spéed he caused earnest pursute to be made after Cruthlint, and Crutblint taken with manie more. the residue of the offendors, the which at length being taken in Lochquhabir, were brought vnto a castell in Gowrie called Dounsinnam, where after iudgement pronounced against them, Cruthlint first, and then other the chiefest stirrers on either side were put to execution. The He is executed with certeine others. commons, for that it was thought they followed their superiors against their willes, were pardoned and licenced to depart to their houses.

For this equitie shewed in ministring iustice by the king, he was greatlie praised, loued, and The K. was worthily commended for his iustice. dread of all his subiects; so that great quietnesse followed in the state of the common-wealth, greatlie to the aduancement thereof, and so continued till the 22 yéere of this Kenneths reigne. At what time the blind loue he bare to his owne issue, caused him to procure a K. Kenneth poisoned his cousin Malcolme. detestable fact, in making away one of his néerest kinsmen. This was Malcolme the sonne of king Duffe, created in the beginning of Kenneths reigne prince of Cumberland, by reason wherof he ought to haue succéeded in ruie of the kingdome after Kenneths death. Whereat the same Kenneth gréeuing not a little, for that thereby his sonnes should be kept from inioieng the crowne, found meanes to poison him. But though the physicians vnderstanding The K. was not suspected of this fact. by such euident signes as appeared in his bodie, that he was poisoned indéed, yet such was the opinion which men had of the kings honor and integritie, that no suspicion at all was conceiued that it should be his deed.

The cloked loue also which he had shewed toward him at all times, and so sudden commandement giuen by him vpon the first newes of his death, that his funerais should be The poisoning of Malcolme is brought into suspicion. celebrated in euerie church and chappell for his soule; and againe, the teares which he shed for him, in all places where anie mention chanced to be made of the losse which the realme had susteined by the death of so worthie a prince, made men nothing mistrustfull of the matter, till at length some of the nobles perceiuing the outward sorow (which he made) to passe the true griefe of the heart, began to gather some suspicion, that all was not well: but yet bicause no certeintie appeared, they kept their thoughts to themselues. About the same time came Ambassadors came from K. Edward. ambassadors foorth of England from king Edward the sonne of Edgar (which after through treason of his stepmother Essuclda, was made a martryr) requiring that sith Malcolme the prince of Cumberland was deceassed, it might please the king with the states of the realme to choose some other in his place, who dooing his homage vnto the king of England, according as it He required a new prince to be elected. was couenanted by the league, might be a meane to confirme the same league betwixt the two nations for the auoiding of all occasions of breach thereof that otherwise happilie might insue.

Kenneth at the same time held a councell at Scone, where hauing heard the requèst of these. The K. heard a fit message for his purpose. ambassadors, in presence of all his nobles, he answered that he was glad to vnderstand that king Edward was so carefull for maintenance of loue and amitie betwixt his subiects and the Scotishmen, according to the articles of the ancient league in times past concluded betwixt them, the ratification whereof for his part he likewise most earnestlie desired, and therefore in rendering most heartie thanks vnto him for his gentle aduertisement, he purposed by the aduise of his nobles, and the other estates of his realme as then there assembled, to elect a new prince of Cumberland, without anie further delaie; and therevpon required the ambassador to be present on the morrow, to heare what he was whom the nobles should name to be preferred vnto that dignitie. The ambassadors herevpon departing foorth of the councell chamber, were conueied to their lodging by diuerse of the nobilitie that were appointed to kéepe them companie.

Then Kenneth with a long oration went about to persuade the péeres, and other the estates The king requested that the crowne might come by inheritance. of the realme there (as I said) assembled, to alter the custome and ancient order vsed by their elders in choosing of him that should succéed in the gouernance of the realme, after the deceasse of him that was in possession. He vsed so manie reasons as was possible for him to deuise in that behalfe, thereby to induce them to his purpose, which was-to haue an act established for the crowne to go by succession, onelie to this end, that one of his sonnes might inioy the A fit oration for his purpose. same immediatlie after his deceasse. He declared also what discommodities, seditions, and great inconueniences had growne, in that the crowne had gone in times past by election: for though it was ordeined at the first that it should so doo, vpon a good intent and great He had roome inough to walke in, to gather proofes & reasons to persuade this matter, it being good of it selfe. consideration, yet in processe of time proofe and experience had shewed, that more hinderance happened vnto the common-wealth thereby (beside the danger euer insuing incidentlie vnto such issue as the king left behind him) than profit, if the sundrie murthers, occasions of ciuill discord, and other wicked practises were throughlie weied and considered, the summe whereof he recited from point to point, and so in the end with great instance besought them, that so pernicious a custome might be abolished and taken away, to the great benefit of the whole state of the realme, speciallie sith in all realmes commonlie the order was, that the sonne should without anie contradiction succéed the father in the heritage of the crowne and kinglie estate.

The king had no sooner made an end of his long oration, which he handled after the The peeres of the realme did willinglie grant to his request. pithiest sort hée could, but that diuerse of the noble men which were there amongst other, being made priuie to the matter aforehand, motioned meanes to haue Malcolme the son of Kenneth created prince of Cumberland, that he might so haue an entrance to the crowne after the deceasse of his father. This motion by and by was in manie of their mouthes, which Kenneth perceiuing, he required of the most ancient peeres whome they would name to be prince of Cumberland, that there might be a meane to ratifie and confirme the league betwixt the Scots and Englishmen, Constantine the sonne of king Cullin, and Grime the nephue of king Duffe by his brother Mogall: howbeit by the force of the former law they might by good reason haue looked to haue had the preferment themselues.

But yet perceiuing it was in vaine to denie that which would be had by violence (although The herald required Cōstantine his voice first. Constantine his saieng. they should neuer so much stand against it) being first demanded of the herald what they thought, they answerd (notwithstanding against their minds indéed) that the king might order all things as should stand with his pleasure, appointing whom he thought most méet to bée prince of Cumberland, and to abrogate the ancient law of creating the kings, in deuising new ordinances for the same, as should séeme vnto him and those of his councell most requisite and necessarie. The multitude then following their sentence, cried with lowd and vndiscréet The multitude wel pleased, crie Malcolme. voices, to haue Malcolme the sonne of king Kenneth created prince of Cumberland. And thus the same Malcolme (though as yet vnder age) was by the voices of the people ordeined prince of Cumberland, in place of the other Malcolme sonne to king Duffe. The daie next following, the ambassadors comming into the councell chamber, heard what was decréed touching their request, and then being highlie rewarded of the kings bountious liberalitie, they returned into England, and Malcolme with them, to be acquainted with king Edward, and to doo his homage for the principalitie of Cumberland, as the custome was.

At the same time also there was a new act deuised and made, the old being abrogated (by A new act for the succession of the crowne. the appointment of the king) for the creation of the Scotish kings in time to come, manie of the nobles rather consenting with silence, than greatlie allowing it either in harts or voices, though some currifauours among them set forward the matter to the best of their powers. The articles of this ordinance were these. The eldest heire male of the deceassed king, Articles concluded in that parlement. whether the same were sonne or nephue, of what age soeuer he should be, yea though he should be in the mothers wombe at the time of the fathers deceasse, should from thence-foorth succéed in the kingdome of Scotland. The nephue by the sonne should be preferred before the nephue by the daughter, in atteining to the heritage of the crowne. And likewise the brothers sonne should be admitted before the sisters son. The same law should be obserued of all such of the Scotish nation, as had anie lands or inheritance comming to them by descent. Where the king by this meanes chanced to be vnder age, & not able to rule, there shuld be one of the chiefest péeres of the realme chosen and elected to haue the gouernance of his person and realme, till he came to 14 yéeres of age. The which foureteenth yéere of his age being accomplished, he should haue the administration committed to his owne hands. The heires of all other persons of ech estate and degrée should remaine vnder the wardship of their appointed gonernors, till they came to the age of 21 yéeres, and not till then to meddle with anie part of their lands and liuings.

These lawes and ordinances being once published and confirmed, king Kenneth supposed King Kenneth ministred iustice trulie. The good will of the nobilitie he bought with gifts. the kingdome to be fullie assured vnto him and his posteritie, and therevpon indeuored himselfe to win the harts of the people with vpright administration of iustice, and the fauour of the nobles he sought to purchase with great gifts which he bestowed amongst them, aswell in lands belonging to the crowne, as in other things greatlie to their contentation. Thus might he séeme happie to all men, hauing the loue both of his lords and commons: but yet to himselfe he séemed The king had a gilrie conscience. most vnhappie, as he that could not but still liuein continuall feare, least his wicked practise concerning the death of Malcolme Duffe should come to light and knowledge of the world. For so commeth it to passe, that such as are pricked in conscience for anie secret offense committed, haue euer an vnquiet mind. And (as the fame goeth) it chanced that a voice was heard as he A voice heard by the king. was in bed in the night time to take his rest, vttering vnto him these or the like woords in effect: "Thinke not Kenneth that the wicked slaughter of Malcolme Duffe by thee contriued, is kept secret from the knowledge of the eternall God: thou art he that didst conspire the innocents death, enterprising by traitorous meanes to doo that to thy neighbour, which thou wouldest haue reuenged by cruell punishment in anie of thy subiects, if it had beene offered to thy selfe. It shall therefore come to passe, that both thou thy selfe, and thy issue, through the iust vengeance of almightie God, shall suffer woorthie punishment, to the infamie of thy house and familie for euermore. For euen at this present are there in hand secret practises to dispatch both thée and thy issue out of the waie, that other maie inioy this kingdome which thou doost indeuour to assure vnto thine issue."

The king with this voice being striken into great dread and terror, passed that night without anie sleepe comming in his eies. Wherefore in the morning he got him vnto bishop Mouean, a The king confesseth his sinnes. man of great holinesse of life, vnto whome he confessed his heinous and most wicked offense, beséeching him of counsell, which waie he might obteine pardon and forgiuenes at Gods hands by woorthie penance. Mouean hearing how the king bemoned his offense committed, he willed him to be of good comfort. For as the wrath of almightie God was prouoked by sinne and wicked offenses, so was the same pacified againe by repentance, if so be we continue penitent and willing to amend. King Kenneth being confirmed in hope of forgiuenesse by The king taketh great repentance. these and sundrie other the like comfortable woords of the hishop, studied vnfeinedlie to doo woorthie penance, leauing nothing vndone which he thought might serue for a witnesse of his penitent hart, thereby to auoid the vengeance which he stood in feare of to be prepared for him, by reason of his heinous and wicked crime.

It chanced héerevpon, that within a short time after he had beene at Fordune, a towne in The king went to Fordune in pilgrimage. Mernes, to visit the reliks of Paladius which remaine there, he turned a little out of the waie to lodge at the castell of Fethircarne, where as then there was a forrest full of all manner of A parke with wild beasts at the castell of Fethircarne. wild beasts that were to be had in anie part of Albion. Here was he receiued by Fenella ladie of the house, whose son (as ye haue heārd) he caused to be put to death, for the commotion made betwixt them of Mernes and Angus. She was also of kin vnto Malcolme Duffe, whome Fenella was of kin vnto Malcolme. the king had made awaie, and in like manner vnto Constantine and Grime, defrauded of their right to the crowne, by the craftie deuise of the king (as before is partlie mentioned.) This woman therefore being of a stout stomach, longtime before hauing conceiued an immortall grudge towards the king, vpon the occasions before rehearsed (namelie aswell for the death of hir sonne Cruthlint, as hauing some inkling also of the impoisoning of Malcolme Duffe, though She was desirous for to reuenge. no full certeintie therof was knowne) imagined night and day how to be reuenged.

She vnderstood that the king delighted aboue measure in goodlie buildings, and therefore to the end to compasse hir malicious intent, she had caused a tower to be made, ioining vnto Fenella hir malicious intent. hir owne lodging within the foresaid castell of Fethircarne. The which tower was couered ouer with copper finelie ingrauen with diuerse flowers and images. Héereto was it hoong within with rich cloths of arras wrought with gold and silke, verie faire and costlie. Behind the same were there crossebowes set readie bent with sharpe quarrels in them. In the middest Crossebowes readie bent, hidden. of the house there was a goodlie brasen image also, resembling the figure of king Kenneth, holding in the one hand a faire golden apple set full of pretious stones, deuised with such art and cunning, that so soone as anie man should draw the same vnto him, or remooue it neuer so little anie waie foorth, the crossebowes would immediatlie discharge their quarrels vpon him with great force and violence.

Fenella therefore being thus prouided aforehand, after meate desired the king to go with hir Fenella had the king into the inner chamber. into that inner chamber, into the which being entered, he could not be satisfied of long with the beholding of the goodlie furniture, aswell of the hangings as of diuerse other things. At the last hauing viewed the image which stood (as is said) in the midst of the chamber, he demanded what the same did signifie ? Fenella answered, how that image did represent his person, and the golden apple set so richlie with smaragds, iacincts, saphires, topases, rubies, turkasses, and such like pretious stones, she had prouided as a gift for him, and therefore required him to take the same, beséeching him to accept it in good part, though it were not in value woorthie to be offered vnto his princelie honor and high dignitie. And héerewith she hirselfe withdrew aside, as though she would haue taken some thing foorth of a chest or coffer, thereby to auoid the danger.

But the king delighted in beholding the gems and orient stones, at length remoouing the The king was slaine with the crosse bowes. apple, the better to aduise it, incontinentlie the crossebowes discharged their quarrels so directlie vpon him, that striking him through in sundrie places, he fell downe starke dead, and lay flat on the ground. Fenella as soone as she beheld him fall to the ground readie to die, she Fenella escaped from them all. gotfoorth by a backe doore into the next woods, where she had appointed horsses to tarie for hir, by meanes whereof she escaped out of all danger of them that pursued hir, yer the death of the king were openlie knowne vnto them. His seruants still waiting for his comming foorth in His seruants looked for their king. The doores broken open, they find him dead. the vtter chamber, at length when they saw he came not at all, first they knocked at the doore softlie, then they rapped hard thereat: lastlie, doubting that which had happened, they brake open doore after doore, till at length they came into the chamber where the king lay cold dead vpon the floore.

The clamor and crie héerevpon was raised by his seruants, and Fenella curssed and sought Fenella could not be found. for in euerie place, that had committed so heinous and wicked a déed: but the vngratious woman was conueied so secretlie out of the waie, that no where could she be heard of. Some supposed that she fled first vnto Constantine, by whose helpe she got ouer into Ireland. The Fenella got hirselfe into Ireland by the helpe of Constantine. Constantine aspired vnto the crowne. ambitious desire which the same Constantine shewed he had to succeed in gouernment of the kingdome after Kenneths deceasse, increased that suspicion greatlie. For immediatlie after it was known that Kenneth was dead, he got his friends togither, and went vnto diuerse places requiring the lords to assist him in atteing to the crowne, which by the old ordinance and law of the realme (instituted in the beginning, and obserued till now of late, that Kenneth by his priuate authoritie had gone about to abrogate the same) ought to descend vnto him, as all the world verie well vnderstood.

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: