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Edward I. Invades Scotland.—John of Glen-Urquhart.— Urquhart
Castle taken by the English.—Sir William Fitzwarine
Constable.—He is harassed by Andrew Moray.—A Sabbath
Day’s Journey and Fight.—The Countess of Ross in
Urquhart.—Moray Besieges the Castle.—Death of William
Puer and Fitzwarine’s Son.—An Army of Relief.—
The King’s Instructions.—Fitzwarine’s Letter to the
King.—Sir William Wallace.—The English Expelled from
Urquhart.—Forbes Constable.—Fitzwarine in Prison.—His
Wife’s Devotion.—Edward’s Great Invasion.—The English
again in Urquhart.—Forbes and his Garrison put to
the Sword.—His Wife’s Escape.—Sir Alexander Cumming
Constable.—Bruce.—Thomas Randolph Proprietor of Urqu-
hart and Glenmoriston.—His Highland Followers.—His
Regency and Administration of Justice.—His Murder.—
Death of his son, Thomas Randolph.—John Randolph.—Sir
Robert Lauder holds the Castle against Baliol.—His Visitors
at the Castle.— Sir Robert Chisholm.—John Randolph slain,
and Chisholm made Prisoner.—Chisholm Constable of the
Castle.—Death of Lauder.—His Character.

The events that led to the invasion of Scotland by
Edward the First of England are well known to
every reader of Scottish history. At the battle of
Dunbar, fought in April, 1296, the Scots were
defeated ; and, among the prisoners taken by the
English when Dunbar Castle subsequently sur­
rendered, were John of Glen-Urquhart and his
neighbours, Christine, son of John of the Aird, and

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                   19

two of the valiant Grahams of Lovat. These
northern warriors were in the retinue of the Earl
of Ross, with whom they were sent in chains to
England. John of Glen-Urquhart was confined in
Berkhamstead Castle until July, 1297, when he and
the Grahams were liberated on condition of serving
the English King in France.1

After Dunbar, Edward marched victoriously
through Scotland, until he reached Elgin. From
that ancient ecclesiastical centre he sent out detach­
ments of his army to seize the northern strongholds.
The Castle of Urquhart, which now appears for the
first time on the page of undoubted history, was
taken, and placed under the charge of Sir William
Fitzwarine, an English knight who had acquired
influence in Scotland through his marriage with
Mary of Argyll, Queen of Man, and Countess of

Having arranged for the management of
affairs in Scotland, Edward returned to his own
country, exulting in the thought of having effectu­
ally subdued the Scottish people. But he was
doomed to disappointment. In the South Sir
William Wallace had placed himself at the head
of a resolute band who refused to bear the Eng­
lish yoke ; while to his companion, Andrew Moray,
son of Sir Andrew Moray, proprietor of Petty, near
Inverness, and of Avoch in Ross, was entrusted the
duty of raising the Highlanders. Moray’s appeal to
the northern patriots met with a ready response,

1 Rotuli Scotiæ, I,. 43, 44. Stevenson’s Historical Documents, II., 51.


and, notwithstanding the active friendship of John
of the Aird, who desired to procure his son’s liberty,
and the Countess of Ross, who worked for her
husband’s release, Fitzwarine and his English gar­
rison were sorely pressed. His own letter to the
King, giving an account of his troubles, still exists.1
From this venerable and somewhat mutilated docu­
ment, which is dated the 8th day before the Kalends of
August (or 25th July), 1297, and of which a fac­simile
is here given, we learn that certain persons who were
moved against Fitzwarine having betaken themselves
to Andrew Moray at the Castle of Avoch, and to Alex­
ander Pilchys, a patriotic burgess of Inverness, for
aid, Sir Reginald le Chen, who commanded the
English troops at Inverness, wrote to Fitzwarine
requesting him to repair to that town on Sunday
next after the Feast of the Ascension, for con­
sultation concerning the King’s affairs. The Con­
stable of Urquhart accordingly travelled to Inverness
on the Sunday morning, with a company of horse­
men. Having attended the conference, he started
on his return journey ; but on the way he was
attacked by Moray and Pilchys, and two at least
of his principal followers fell, wounded, into their
hands, in addition to eighteen of his horses, “ of
which ten were sufficient for every good work.”
The skirmish appears to have been a severe one.
The riders of the captured horses were doubt­
less slain or taken prisoners ; and the probability is
that Moray also lost some of his men. Fitzwarine

1 No 3258 of Royal Letters, in Public Record Office, London.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                   21

himself escaped, and reached the Castle. He was
followed by Moray and Pilchys ; and next morn­
ing the Countess of Ross, who had also arrived in
the district, sent an esquire to assure him that she
had not been a party to the attack, and to offer
her aid in the defence of the fort. He, how­
ever, did not desire her intermeddling, “ lest greater
peril should happen to him ;” and so returned her
his thanks and declined the offer, as he “ trusted
sufficiently to defend himself and the Castle.” The
esquire departed and got safely past Moray’s re­
tainers and the burgesses of Inverness. The Constable
then looked forth from the Castle, and saw the
force of the Earl of Ross’s son, whom the
Countess had sent to his relief ; but, “ believing
that for evil he had come,” he again refused the
proffered aid. His suspicions were, however, un­
founded, and the Countess subsequently furnished
him with much needed supplies, and “ did many
other good works.”

Moray, having gathered a considerable army,
besieged the Castle, and in a night attack killed
William Puer, and Richard, the Constable’s son,
and apparently several others. He, however,
raised the siege, and retired for a time with his
men to the Castles of Avoch and Balkeny, and
the woods of the district—the result, probably, of
assistance given to Fitzwarine by the Countess and
John of the Aird.

Tidings of these events soon reached the watchful
Edward, and on 11th June he addressed a letter to
Henry le Chen, the warrior-bishop of Aberdeen,


ordering him and Sir Gartenet, son of the Earl of
Mar, to the relief of the Castle. “ Because from
the report of certain individuals,” says the King,
after complimenting the Bishop and Sir Gartenet
on their diligence and fidelity in the government
of the Sheriffdom of Aberdeen—“ because from the
report of certain individuals we learn that certain
malefactors and disturbers of the peace, roaming
about, have killed some of our servants, and im­
prisoned others, and that they detain those thus
imprisoned, and are maliciously laying ambushes
for our beloved and faithful William Fitzwarine,
Constable of our Castle of Urquhart, for the pur­
pose of seizing that Castle, and, if possible, capturing
William himself, we, desiring to stop their mischief-
making as quickly as possible, lest worse may come
of it, entrust it to you, asking you in the faith and
love in which you are held by us—strongly enjoin­
ing you—that you and the forementioned Gartenet,
taking with you all your own forces and those of
the whole Sheriffdom of Aberdeen, proceed to the
foresaid Castle without any delay, and see the con­
dition of it ; and thereafter, in consultation with the
said William, provide and direct that the Castle
may be so strengthened and garrisoned that no
damage or danger may in any way occur to it.
And, for arresting malefactors of this kind and
bringing them to justice, do ye comport yourselves
with the vigour I expect of you, that I may
rightly commend in this business your diligence
and fidelity.”1

1 Rotuli Scotiæ, I., 41.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                   23

At the same time, John Cumming, Earl of
Buchan and Constable of Scotland, and his brother,
Sir Alexander Cumming, were ordered to join the
Bishop and Sir Gartenet with their men, and to
remain in the North until the disturbances were
quelled.1 Obedient to these commands, the Bishop,
and the Earl, and the two Knights, led their united
forces toward Urquhart. On their way they were
met, near the Spey, by Andrew Moray, at the head
of “ a very large body of rogues,” whom the Eng­
lish wished to fight ; but “ the aforesaid rogues
betook themselves into a very great stronghold of
bog and wood, where no horsemen could be of
service.”2 When the expedition reached Inverness,
the leaders sent for the Countess of Ross, who came
and gave them willing aid in counsel and men ; and
from that town they, in July, despatched letters to
the King, reporting their progress, and commending
the Countess for her zeal in His Majesty’s cause.3
At the same time Fitzwarine sent his letter of 25 th
July, together with a petition for the release of
Christine of the Aird. “ Be it known, moreover, to
your dread Lordship,” said he to the King, “ that
a certain noble man, who is called John of the Aird.
has been diligent about our safety, and in saving the
lives of our boys, and has one son at Corff, who is
called Christine, who was taken from the retinue of
the Earl of Ross ; for whom I supplicate that you
will deign to send him to me, and, in my aid, to

1 Stevenson, II., 211.          2 Report to Edward.—Ibid.

3 Stevenson, II., 209-211.


Urquhart ; you knowing for certain that by the
contemplation of him I shall have the country
favourable and gracious : and where he is he serves
you to no purpose, and we shall have great favour
by his presence in this country : and, if this does not
please you, retain him in your Court, if you please.”1
When the Bishop and his companions approached
Urquhart with their large army, the patriots who
had so troubled Fitzwarine prudently betook them­
selves to their native fastnesses, and patiently
watched the course of events. They had not long
to wait. Sir William Wallace made his way into
the North of Scotland with a body of tried
followers. It is difficult to trace his footsteps,
and what his successes were we have no means
of exactly determining. But we know that he
was at Aberdeen ; he is said to have reached
Cromarty ; he probably saw Moray’s Castle ot
Avoch ; and the authoress of “The Scottish Chiefs,”
in representing him as visiting the Castle of Urqu-
hart, may in her romance have accurately stated
a historical fact. Be that as it may, before the end
of the year the English were driven out of Urquhart ;
and the keeping of the Castle was entrusted to Sir
Alexander de Bois, or Forbes, who faithfully held
it in name of Baliol, to whom the Scots still
looked as their lawful King. Forbes had an heredi­
tary interest in the Castle, for he was the great-
great-grandson of Conachar, its ancient lord.

1 Royal Letters, No. 2472, in Record Office, London.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                   25

Before the Castle surrendered to the patriots,
Fitzwarine was appointed Constable of the Castle
of Stirling. He subsequently fell into the hands
of the Scots, by whom he was kept in prison.
His wife, Mary of Argyll, enjoyed the special pro­
tection of the English King ;1 but she was not
satisfied with her own personal freedom. She
visited Edward in England, and interceded so
successfully on behalf of her husband that an arrange­
ment was come to in April, 1299, under which he
was set at liberty by the Scots in exchange for the
liberation of Henry St Clair by the English.2 At
the same time several other prisoners, English and
Scots, regained their freedom through the good
offices of Mary of Argyll.3 Her husband, however,
did not long survive. He was dead before the end
of the year.4

The war continued for several years, bringing no
great advantage to England, and causing distress and
desolation in Scotland. At last Edward resolved to
make a strenuous effort to bring it to a successful close.
Concluding a treaty of peace with France, he, early
in 1303, entered Scotland with an immense army of
English, Welsh, Irish, and Gascons. Meeting with
little opposition, he marched through the kingdom
until he reached the island-fortress of Lochindorb,

1  Stevenson II., 370—footnote.

2 Bain’s Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, II., 1062-1104.

3 Stevenson II., 370.

4 Gough’s Documents relating to the Campaign of Edward the First,
p. 249. Fitzwarine appears to have been a younger son of the powerful family
of that name in Shropshire. Mary of Argyll (Maria de Ergadia) was in all
probability a daughter of Ewen de Ergadia. She was married to (1st) Magnus,
King of Man ; (2nd) Malise, Earl of Stratherne ; (3rd) Fitzwarine.


near Forres, burning and laying waste the country.
From Lochindorb he sent forth his forces against
the other strongholds of the North. Those of Elgin,
Forres, Nairn, and Inverness, awed by the near
presence of the Hammer of the Scottish Nation,
opened their gates without resistance. It was other­
wise with the Castle of Urquhart. In Edward’s
letter to the Bishop of Aberdeen, he directed him,
as we have seen, to consult with Fitzwarine as
to the best means of increasing the strength of
the Castle. The result of their deliberations appears
to have been the erection of those massive entrance
towers, whose ruins still guard the only landward
approach.1 These towers, built to check the eager
Highlanders, had now become their defence ; and
when Forbes was summoned to surrender, he re­
fused with scorn. The English, therefore, settled
down on the gentle slope that connects the Castle
Rock with the adjacent Eagle’s Height, resolved to
starve the garrison into submission. Winter was
near, and Edward returned to the South, and took
up his quarters at Dunfermline.

During the siege the English forces lay under the
shadow of the Eagle’s Height, supporting themselves
at the expense of the surrounding country ; while the
brave band on the Rock husbanded their scanty
stores to the utmost. But soon the last morsel was
doled out, and Forbes and his companions resolved
to fight their way through the enemy, or perish in
the attempt. The impatient besiegers see with joy

1 See Appendix A for description of the Castle, by Mr Alexander Ross.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                   27

the drawbridge lowered—but the only person who
crosses is an ill-clad female, who informs them that
she is a poor woman who happened to be within
the Castle when the siege began, and that her pre­
sent condition—for she is about to become a mother
—necessitates her venturing forth. Her story is
believed ; the generous soldiers permit her to pass ;
and she climbs the brow of the Eagle’s Height, from
which, as from the gallery of a theatre, she may
witness the desperate step about to be taken by her
husband—for she is none other than the wife of Sir
Alexander Forbes, clad in beggar’s garb the more
easily to escape detection.

When the lonely lady had got fairly beyond
danger, the drawbridge was again made to span the
moat ; and Forbes and his faithful followers dashed
across into the midst of the astonished English.
They fought with the courage of despair—

“ They fought together as brethren true,
Like hardy men and bolde ;
Many a man to the ground they thrue,
And many a harte made colde.”

But it was not possible for them to pierce through
the mass of soldiery, and they were cut down to a

Forbes’ wife escaped to Ireland, where, to quote
from Boece, “ She bore hir son Alexander. This
Alexander, quhen Scotland wes recoverit out of
Inglismennis handis, come to King Robert Bruce,
and desirit to be restorit to his faderis heritage,

28                   URQUHART AND GLENMORISTON.

quhilk wes occupyit for the time with othir posses-
soris. King Robert wes wery quhat was to be done
in this mater ; for he thocht it nocht semand that
ane prince suld tak the landis fra nobill men,
quhilkis wer gevin to thaim in reward of thair man-
heid ; and als, it wes not just to spulye the man
of his kindely heritage, quhilk had his fader, his
freindis, and all his guddis, tint in defence of the
realme. Thus wes ane midway devisit, be quhilk
certane landis in Mar, of litil les proffet than the
landis of Urquhard, were gevin to the said Alex­
ander Boyis.”1

This Alexander was a worthy son of his brave
father. He was a zealous supporter of the house of
Bruce, and fell at the battle of Dupplin, in 1332.

The Castle having, on the death of Forbes,
been taken possession of by the invaders, Sir
Alexander Cumming was appointed Constable both
of it and of Tarwedaile, “ two of the strongest castles
in the country,”2 and he continued to hold it in
Edward’s interest till the final expulsion of the
English by Robert the Bruce.

During Edward’s triumphant progress through
Scotland, John Cumming of Badenoch, Governor of
the Kingdom, kept up a show of resistance ; but his
forces were routed near Stirling, and his sub­
mission speedily followed. Wallace, however, still
refused to yield ; but in 1305 he was betrayed

1  Bellenden’s Boece (Ed. 1821), vol. II., p. 377. See also Holingshed ;
Buchanan ; Abercrombie,s Martial Achievements ; and Aberdeen and Banff
Collections (Spalding Club), 609.

2 Letter, Earl of Athole to Edward I., in Record Office. Tarwedaile :
probably Tarradale or Redcastle.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                   29

by the false Menteith, and conveyed to London,
where, after a sham trial for treason to a King
whose sovereignty he had never owned, he was put to
death with a refinement of cruelty that brands the
character of the great Edward with indelible infamy.

With the view of terrifying the Scots into
submission, Edward had the severed limbs of the
patriot publicly exposed in Berwick, Perth, and
Aberdeen. The effect was not what he antici­
pated. The ghastly spectacle only strengthened
the resolution of the people, and when, in 1306,
Bruce deserted the English cause, and was
crowned King of Scots, desperate and determined
men flocked to his standard. In the North his
principal supporter was David, Bishop of Moray,
who went through his diocese exhorting the people
to fight for liberty, and boldly preaching the
doctrine that to resist the English was as meri­
torious as to join the Crusaders who made their
way to heaven through the blood of pagans and

Bruce, unfortunate at first, and forced to seek
safety in the Western Isles, at length met with
some measure of success ; and, making his way
northward, he seized the Castle of Inverness, which
was negligently guarded on account of its remote
situation.1 The capture of Urquhart Castle and the
other northern strengths speedily followed ; and it
is interesting to notice that among the bold barons
who helped to bring about this result was Simon

1 Buchanan.

30                  URQUHART AND GLENMORISTON.

Fraser, the first of his name who settled in the
district of Loch Ness.

Among the Scots who had espoused the cause of
Edward, and for a time refused to desert him, the
most renowned was Brace’s nephew, Thomas Ran­
dolph. That young soldier was, however, captured
by Sir James Douglas, and persuaded to join his
uncle ; and he thereafter served with such valour
and fidelity that in 1313 he was created Earl of
Moray, and received a grant of that province, includ­
ing Urquhart and Glenmoriston. And thus it was,
as we have seen, that Bruce was unable to restore
the Castle lands to young Alexander Forbes on his
return from Ireland. Although the terms of Ran­
dolph’s charter were comprehensive enough to
convey the Castle to him, it was during his life­
time garrisoned and provisioned by the King ; and
after his death it was expressly reserved from the
grants of the Earldom to his successors.

Randolph, having visited his new northern terri­
tory, returned to Bruce with a following of Highland
vassals and retainers,1 who soon had an opportunity
of distinguishing themselves on the field of Bannock-
burn, where their young leader commanded the
centre of the Scottish army. In that army, says
Holingshed, were three thousand fierce and forward
Irish Scots called Katerans or Redshanks—an apt
enough description of the impetuous and kilted
Gaels who followed Randolph in his exploits in
England and the south of Scotland, and to whom

1 Burns’ War of Independence, II., 290.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                   31

Bruce himself entrusted such desperate work as the
driving of the English from the heights of Biland in

Bruce died in 1329, leaving the crown to his
infant son David, and having appointed Randolph
regent during the boy’s minority. The wars which
filled the great King’s reign prevented his giving
that attention to the internal affairs of the country
which they required, and at the time of his death
bloodshed and thieving and general lawlessness pre­
vailed. The Regent at once set himself to rectify
the evils. He made a progress through the country,
“ dispensing justice even to Inverness,”2 and dis­
charging his duties with a wise severity before
which crime speedily disappeared. Even the decrees
of the all-powerful Roman Pontiff failed to turn him
aside from strict and impartial justice. A certain
person who slew a priest having fled to Rome, pro­
cured papal absolution, and then returned. Ran­
dolph heard of the man’s arrival as he was holding
a court at Inverness, and caused him to be
brought before him on the charge of murder. The
accused pleaded the Pope’s absolution. “ The Pope,”
replied the Regent, “ may absolve you from the
spiritual consequences of the sin, but, for the crime
which you have committed against the law of this
land, I am your judge”—and he ordered him off to
instant execution.3 The means he adopted to repress
robbery were peculiar. “Aware,” says Tytler, “ of

1 Tytler I, c. iv. Barbour’s Bruce (Spalding Club), 433.
2 Scotichronicon, Lib. XIII., c. xviii.
               3 Tytler, I. c. v.

32                  URQUHART AND GLENMORISTON.

the important influence of the local magistrates and
udges, he made every sheriff responsible for the
thefts committed within his jurisdiction ; so that,
according to the simple illustrations of the chronicles
of those times, the traveller might tie his horse to
the inn door, and the ploughman leave his plough­
share and harness in the field, without fear ; for, if
carried away, the price of the stolen article came out
of the pocket of the sheriff.”1

But all too short was the Earl’s career as judge
and administrator. John Baliol was dead, and his
son, Edward, resolved to fight for his father’s crown.
Accompanied by a number of English barons
and their retainers, and encouraged by certain dis­
affected Scotsmen, he, in 1332, sailed from the
mouth of the Humber for Scotland. Randolph put
himself at the head of an army, and prepared to
meet the invaders ; but at Musselburgh he was
poisoned by an infamous friar whom his unscrupul­
ous enemies had hired for the purpose. His estates
and title fell to his eldest son, Thomas—a brave
youth, who was killed a few months later on the
fatal field of Dupplin. Thomas was succeeded by
John, the Regent’s second son, who worthily main­
tained the honour of his name. After the battle of
Dupplin, where the Scots were defeated, Baliol
pressed on to Scone, and was crowned King ; but
the great bulk of the nation, inspired by Sir Andrew
Moray,2 who had succeeded Randolph as Regent,

1 Tytler L, c. v.

2 Son of the Andrew Moray who was in Urquhart in 1297, and who was
killed at the Battle of Stirling, in that year.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                   33

stood by the son of Bruce, and, before the end of the
year, young John Randolph suddenly swooped down
with a body of horse on Baliors camp at Annan, slew
his principal supporters, and chased himself half-
naked over the English Border.

Edward the Third of England, who had hitherto
contented himself with giving secret encouragement
to Baliol, now resolved to assist him openly. Invad­
ing Scotland with a large army, he was victorious
at the battle of Halidon Hill, in July, 1333. Of the
four divisions into which the Scottish army was on
that day divided, one was led by John Randolph,
assisted by Simon Fraser of Lovat, and another by
the Earl of Ross. Lovat and Ross fell. Randolph
escaped to France, where he remained until the
following year.

The immediate result of the disaster at Halidon
Hill was the almost entire submission of Scotland to
Baliol. Five, however, of the principal fortresses
still refused to open their gates to him ; and,
as of old, Urquhart was found among the faithful
few.1 That stronghold had been well maintained
by Bruce and the Regent Randolph,2 and, at the
time at which we have now arrived, Sir Robert
Lauder of Quarrelwood, son of Lauder of the Bass,
was its Constable. He also held the important
office of Justiciar of the North. He and his
northern retainers were present at Halidon Hill, and

1  Boece, II., 424 ; Hailes’ Annals. The other castles were Dumbarton,
Lochleven, Kildrummie, and Lochmaben.

2 It was provisioned in 1332 “ by order of the King.” (Exchequer
Rolls, I., 418).



hurried home immediately after the battle, deter­
mined to defend the Castle against the invaders.
Next year (1334), the English forces appeared before
it ; but the Constable was prepared for them, and
they were successfully resisted until Sir Andrew
Moray, John Randolph, and the Steward of Scot­
land arrested Baliol’s progress, and drove him once
more across the Border.

Edward the Third, chafing under this reverse,
again led an army into Scotland, and pene­
trated as far as Inverness. John Randolph
stoutly resisted, but, in 1335, his army was
defeated at Jedburgh, and he himself taken
prisoner and sent to England, where he was
confined, first in the Castle of Bamborough,
afterwards in the Tower of London, and sub­
sequently in Windsor Castle, until 1341, when he
was released through the mediation of the King of
France, and exchanged for the Earl of Salisbury,
who was a prisoner with the French.1 Notwith­
standing these crushing calamities, Lauder continued
loyal to King David, and, although Baliol and
the English devastated the surrounding country
with fire and sword, the Castle does not appear to
have fallen into their hands. Before long Baliol was
finally expelled from Scotland ; and, after some years
of desultory warfare, peace was concluded between
England and Scotland,

In Sir Robert Lauder the Church had a warm
friend, and a powerful protector ; and, in consideration

1 Haiies’ Annals ; Tytler, I., c. v.



of his many services to her, and of an annual feu-
duty of four merks sterling, he, in 1334, received a
grant from John Pilmore, Bishop of Moray, of “ the
half davach of our land of Aberbreachy [Abriachan],
lying between the barony of Bonach [Bona] on the
east, on the one side, and the barony of Urchard on
the west, on the other side ; with our land of Auch-
munie, lying between the land of Drumbuy on the
east, on the one side, and the land of Cartaly on
the west, on the other side, within the barony of
Urchard aforesaid.”1 These estates of Abriachan
and Achmonie had long been the property of the

Within the old walls of his Castle, Sir Robert
Lauder entertained right royally. Among the
guests who were met together there on 4th July,
1342, were William, Earl of Ross ; Reginald,
son of Roderick of the Isles ; the Bishop of
Moray ; the Bishop of Ross ; Sir James de Kerdale ;
Sir William de Mowbray ; Sir Thomas de Lichtoun,
Canon of Moray ; John de Berclay ; Adam de
Urquhart ; John Yong de Dingwall ; “ and many
others, clergymen and laymen”2—a goodly company
truly. These all witnessed a charter by the Earl to
Reginald, of the lands of Kintail, as a reward for
his services. But in those times the course of
friendship was liable to be interrupted, and in 1346
the Earl assassinated his vassal within the Monastery
of Elcho.3

1 Reg. Morav., 155.            2 Supplement to Acts of Parl. of Scot. 7.

3 Tytler I., c. v. ; Gregory’s Highlands, 27.

36                   URQUHART AND GLENMORISTON.

Lauder’s only daughter, Anne, who was married
to a member of the family of Chisholm, in Rox­
burghshire,1 had a son who appears to have lived
with his grandfather in Urquhart from his youth,
and who became well known in the North as Sir
Robert Chisholm. In 1345 the young man received
from John Randolph a grant of “ two davachs of
land within our [Randolph’s] barony of Urchard,
videlicit, the one half davach of Innermorchen
[Invermoriston] ; the quarter davach of Blare
[Blarie] ; and the quarter davach of Lochletare ;
the three-quarter davach of Inchebrene, and the
quarter of Dulschangy”2 These lands were the first
Highland possessions of the family of Chisholm, and
it is interesting to note that during the course of
five centuries their names have scarcely undergone a

In 1346, when Edward the Third was busy with
the siege of Calais, King David, who had now
reached manhood, invaded England with a large
army, in which were John Randolph and Sir Robert
Chisholm, and wasted the diocese of Durham ; but
the expedition ended disastrously at the battle of
Neville’s Cross, where Randolph, who commanded
the right wing, was slain. Chisholm was taken
prisoner along with the King, and probably did not
regain his liberty till His Majesty’s release in 1357
—for we do not again meet his name till 1359, when

1  By some her husband is called Robert ; by others John. The latter is
probably the correct name. His son appears to have been called Robert, after
Sir Robert Lauder.

2 Family of Innes (Spalding Club), 59.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                   37

he became Constable of the Castle in succession to
his grandfather. The old Constable survived for
a few years. On 1st May, 1362, he founded a
chaplainry in the Cathedral Church of Moray, at the
altar of St Peter, for his own soul, and the souls of
his ancestors, and particularly for the soul of Hugh,
Earl of Ross.1 And with this pious deed Lauder
the Good2 vanishes from our view—as true a patriot
and as brave a knight as ever fought in Scotland’s

1  Reg. Morav., 309.

2 The author of the 15th century chronicle known as Liber Pluscardensis,
in referring to the five castles which refused to surrender to Baliol, gives
“ Castrum eciam de Urquhart, cujus custodiam habuit dominus Thomas de
Lawder, qui Bonus vocatus est.” The chronicler, however, errs in calling
Lauder Thomas.

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