CROMWELL—FOR THE CROWN
Montrose gave everything for his King, even his life, and
his King rewarded him by forsaking him. He made no
effort to save him from death, and even denied that he
had commanded him to make war in Scotland. There
was little gratitude in Charles II., and now, seeing that
there was no other way to the throne, he signed the
Covenant, and accepted the crown from the hands of the
men who had just killed his truest follower.
Scarcely a month after the death of Montrose, Charles
landed in Scotland. Once more Edinburgh was ablaze
with joy, and riotous with the sound of cheers and bells,
as Charles signed the Covenant, listened to long and
solemn sermons, and promised many things.
He did not care what he promised, so long as he won
the crown. But he soon found that he was treated more
like a prisoner than a king.
Charles was very young. He was gay and merry, and
he brought many friends with him, who were as gay and
as merry as himself. But these friends did not please the
solemn, stern Covenanters, so they sent them all away.
Instead of laughing, dancing, and playing cards, Charles
found himself obliged to go about with a grave face, and
to listen every day to long sermons. Once he had to hear
no less than six sermons in one day. On Sundays, he was
not even allowed to go for a walk.
FOR THE CROWN 349
Charles grew so tired of this dull life, that one night
he ran away. But the Covenanters followed him and
brought him back. They saw, however, that if they
wanted to keep their King, they must not treat him so
sternly, and after that he had a little more freedom.
But the English Parliament had abolished kings,
and had made it a crime for any one to call Charles
King. So Cromwell marched into Scotland to fight
against the very men, who, so lately, had been fighting for
But the Scots were ready. Encamped in a good place
near Edinburgh, with plenty to eat and drink, they quietly
awaited the English. For a dreary, rainy month, Crom
well and his men lay opposite. There was little fighting ;
hunger, cold, and wet did their work. Horrible disease
raged throughout the English camp ; men sickened and
died by hundreds. At last, without having fought any
great battle, Cromwell decided to go homeward.
Then the wary Scottish general made a false move.
He left his safe position to meet the English, and was
surprised and defeated near Dunbar.
After this, Cromwell had no thought of going home.
He marched on through Scotland, taking towns and
castles. His unconquered Ironsides, as his soldiers were
called, were everywhere victorious.
All this time, Charles had not been with the army.
Now, while Cromwell was marching through Scotland, he
was crowned at Scone. The crown was placed upon his
head by the Marquis of Argyll, one of Montrose‘s bitterest
enemies. Then taking command of the army, the King
marched into England, leaving Cromwell in Scotland.
Charles hoped that the English Royalists would rise
and join him, and that he would be able to make himself
master of England while Cromwell was out of it But
350 SCOTLANDS STORY
no sooner did Cromwell discover what Charles was doing,
than he followed him.
At Worcester the armies met. Again the Royalists
were defeated, and Charles, seeing his cause utterly lost,
fled in disguise. After many adventures and dangers, he
escaped at last to France.
This victory Cromwell called his ‘ crowning mercy,’
for by it the last hope of the Royalists was shattered.
When Cromwell went away from Scotland, he left one
of his generals called Monk, with five thousand men, to
carry on the war. One by one the towns and castles of
Scotland yielded to him.
But one castle called Dunnottar held out bravely, and
would not yield. The English, however, were determined
to take this castle, for they knew that within it were the
Regalia, that is the crown, sceptre, and sword-of-state of
Scotland, and they wanted to seize them and carry them
away to England.
So cannon boomed and roared, and shook the castle-
walls. Food grew scarcer and scarcer ; death stared the
brave defenders in the face. Still they would not yield.
The Governor of the castle was called George Ogilvie.
He had married a beautiful and clever lady named Eliza
beth Douglas. She was with him in the castle, and now
that it was impossible to hold out any longer, she thought
of a plan by which the Regalia might be saved from the
‘ Let me have the Regalia,’ she said, ‘ and I will send
them away to a safe place. I will not tell you where, so
when the English ask you, you can truly say that you do
George Ogilvie knew that he could trust his wife, so
he gave the Regalia to her. She then carried them away
to another brave lady called Mrs. Granger, the wife of
FOR THE CROWN 351
a minister. Together they wrapped the jewels up in
bundles of linen. Then Mrs. Granger asked the English
general to allow her to leave the castle, and to take with
her some bundles of linen which belonged to her.
The general gave her leave, and Mrs. Granger calmly
walked out with her bundles, mounted upon her horse
under the very eye of the general himself, and rode away.
Indeed, as he was a polite gentleman, he helped her to
mount, and to arrange her bundles. No doubt the brave
lady‘s heart beat fast, and she was terribly afraid of being
found out, but she looked so calm and unconcerned that
no one suspected what precious things were hidden away
in these bundles.
As soon as Mrs. Granger got beyond the English lines,
she rode fast until she reached her own home. Then she
gave the Regalia to her husband, and he going secretly
into the church at night, dug a hole under the pulpit,
laid the jewels in, and covered them over again.
When Mrs. Granger had gone, Dame Elizabeth told
her husband that the jewels were safe, and he, knowing
that it was useless to hold out any longer, surrendered to
the English. And because they had fought so gallantly,
the English general promised him and all his soldiers their
lives and freedom.
So, next morning, with drums beating and colours
flying, the little band of soldiers marched out There
were only thirty-six of them. They were pale and
thin, some of them were wounded and ill and scarcely
able to walk. But they made a brave show and held
themselves proudly, for they had fought to the last for
their King, and they had saved his crown from the
English. George Ogilvie’s young son carried the royal
standard. He was the last man to carry the King‘s
colours in Scotland for many a day
When the little garrison had marched out, the English
entered the castle. They searched everywhere for the
crown jewels, but nowhere were they to be found. Then,
being very angry, they seized George Ogilvie and tried to
force him to tell where they were. But he did not know.
He could not tell, and would not have told even if he
could. In the cruel manner of the time, they tortured
him to make him speak, but he would not. Then they
tried to bribe him ; but neither torture nor bribery were
of any use, and at last this brave husband and wife were
put in prison.
Day or night they were never left alone. A sentinel
was always beside them, so that they could not say a word
to each other without being heard.
At last, Dame Elizabeth became ill. Although she
was so brave and bright, like a piece of true steel she
could not bear the close damp prison. All that she had
to suffer wore out her strength, so that she died. Just
before she died, and not till then, did she tell her husband
where the jewels were, and he promised never to tell the
English. And he never did.
Long afterwards, when King Charles came back again
to reign, the jewels were found safe in the church where
the minister had hidden them. He and his wife were
rewarded by a sum of money ; George Ogilvie was made
a baronet, but Sir John Keith, a gentleman who had had
nothing to do with hiding the jewels at all, but whose
name had been used to put the English off the scent, was
made an earl.
It seems a pity that the right person did not receive
the greatest reward, but George Ogilvie and his wife,
Dame Elizabeth Douglas, will always be remembered
among the patriots to whom Scotland owes her uncon-
But first, if you want to come back to Scotland's History and Legends again, just add www.historyandlegends.com to your bookmarks or favorites now! Then you'll find it easy!
Also, please consider sharing our Scottish History and Legends website with your online friends.
Copyright © 2000-present Donald Urquhart. All Rights Reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of our legal disclaimer.