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supposed, to commemorate the murder of Malcolm II., King of Scotland. In the northern part of the Hunter Hill, to the south of the village, there is also an ancient obelisk, in the midst of a large cairn of stones, called King Malcolm's gravestone. Near a place called Cossins, about a mile north-east of the Castle, there stands another obelisk, called St Orland's Stone, evidently meant to perpetuate the same event. As these suggestive and interesting memorials will be noticed more at length when we introduce the legend of Malcolm's murder in the wood near Thornton, this brief reference to them here may in the meantime suffice.
Judging from the print of Glamis Castle by Slezer in Charles II.'s reign, it appears to have been anciently much more extensive, being a large quadrangular mass of buildings, with several circles of defensive boundaries, at each of which the sleepless sentinel kept watch and ward. Sir Walter Scott bitterly lamented the subsequent landscape-gardening operations, which, sweeping down all the exterior defences, left the clustered tower standing alone, in the middle of a park, unprotected, like a modern peaceful mansion. disciple of Kent,” he says, “had the cruelty to render this splendid old mansion more parkish, as he was pleased to call it ; to raze all those external defences, and to bring his mean and paltry gravel walk up to the very door, from which, deluded by the name, we might have imagined Lady Macbeth (with the form and features of Siddons) issuing forth to receive King Duncan."
Previous to the approaches being modernised, the Castle was the theme of admiring wonder of all who beheld it. The Pretender, the Chevalier St George, slept one night in the Castle, in 1715, when on his way to his coronation at Scone ; and is said to have declared this ancient residence to be the finest he had ever seen. “ It is,” says De Foe, “one of the finest old built palaces
, in Scotland, and by far the largest. When you see it at a distance, it is a pile of turrets and lofty buildings, spires and
towers—some plain, others shining with gilded tops, that it looks not like a town, but a city.”
Gray, the poet, visited the Castle in the autumn of 1765, a minute description of which, and its surroundings, he gives
, in a letter to his friend, Wharton, concluding thus “ The
· house, from the height of it, the greatness of its mass, the many towers a-top, the spread of its wings, has really a very singular and striking appearance-like nothing I ever saw.”
Four years after the burgh of Forfar was pillaged by Colonel Ocky, a part of the army of the Commonwealth were quartered in Glamis Castle, during which the bakers of Forfar were bound, by order of Captain Pockley, dated from the Castle, 22d May 1654, to supply them with “fower dussen of wheate breade for each day in the week ;” and the fleshers, “ beefe, mutton, or lambe, each Munday and Wedensday to serve the Garison :" the baker to receive “riddymoney for his “breade," provided it was “full weight;" the stipulation with the flesher being—“And for such meate as shall be brought in the partys shall receive good payment for the same.
The principal conspirators in the celebrated Raid of Ruthven were the Earl of Mar, Lords Oliphant, Boyd, and Lindsay, the Abbot of Dunfermline, and the Master of Glamis. The conspirators, in laying their complaints before the King, and seeking redress of their pretended grievances, used, it is said, strong and insulting language to His Majesty, who, feeling himself, however, entirely in their hands, forbore to express his displeasure. After patiently listening to their mock supplications, and giving a general promise to give all due consideration to the wants of his beloved subjects, the King rose to leave the chamber, but the Master of Glamis rudely interposed between him and the door of the apartment, and gave him bluntly to understand he would not be permitted to leave the Castle. The King, after vainly remonstrating with his enemies, burst into a flood of tears. “It is no matter for your tears,” said Glamis
fiercely, “ better that bairns should weep than bearded men.” These words, it is recorded, sunk deep into the King's heart, and though generally of an unrevengeful amiable disposition, and easily appeased, the insult they contained, was never forgotten or forgiven.
The tale of Macbeth was undoubtedly found by Shakespeare in the Scottish Chronicles of Holinshed, and his genius adorned it with a lustre to which it was not originally entitled. The castle of Macbeth was situated in Inverness-shire, but the tragical events so vividly and stirringly portrayed in the drama have evident reference to a castle in the neighbourhood of Glamis. The present Castle of Glamis, as already noticed, was only begun to be built in the sixteenth century, whereas the “gracious Duncan” succeeded Malcolm II. in 1033. It was in the battle of Bothgowanan, near Elgin, that Duncan was slain. His defeat ensured the accession of Macbeth to the crown of Scotland. Macbeth was slain by Macduff at Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire. These facts in history are now known and believed, still the mind persistently retains the impression made by the creations of genius.
Sir Walter Scott spent a night in Glamis in 1794 and concludes an interesting account of his sensations by saying:—“In spite of the truth of history, the whole night scene in Macbeth's Castle rushed at once upon me, and struck my mind more forcibly than even when I have seen its terrors represented by John Kemble and his inimitable sister."
Macbeth, as well as Duncan, was a grandson of Malcolm II. The Lady of Macbeth, whose real name was Gruoch, had deadly injuries to avenge on the reigning prince. Her grandfather, Kenneth IV., was killed in 1003, fighting against Malcolm II., and this with other causes for revenge, combined (as the old annalists add) with instigations of a supernatural kind, increased the influence of a vindictive woman over an ambitious husband.
Macbeth, on the other hand, according to the legend, was inspired with seductive hopes by the prophetic exclamations
of the three women who appeared to him in a dream or vision, and hailed him successively as Thane of Cromarty, Thane of Moray, and King of Scots. Scott's version is that Macbeth was the son of Finel, Thane of Glamis, and that the first woman or witch said—“ All hail, Macbeth ! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis !”
Macbeth, however, instead of having been the ambitious conspirator, and cruel unscrupulous tyrant, represented by the great dramatist, was, in reality, no usurper at all, but an able, wise, and beneficent prince. He reigned seventeen years after the death of Duncan, and his reign was one of perfect tranquillity, his subjects enjoying prosperity and peace. The Chron Elog, represents fertile seasons as attendants of his reign, which Winter confirms: “If a King makes fertile seasons, it must be by promoting agriculture, and diffusing among his subjects the blessings of peace.” As evidence of his religious convictions, as well as his general amiability of character, it is on record, that Macbeth went a pilgrimage to Rome in the time of Pope Leo the Ninth.
Simeon of Durham, and Roger Hoveden, tell us, that in the year 1050, Rex Scotice Machetad Romæ argentum spargendo distribuit. Sir David Dalrymple, it is true, endeavours to shew that Macbeth did not go himself to Rome, the passage only implying that he remitted money to Rome. But the plain obvious sense of the words points to the conclusion that he personally went to Rome at the time indicated. The practice of going to Rome was then quite common among the nobles and Kings of Europe. According to Pinkerton, Thorfin, Earl of Orkney, went to Rome about 1060; Haco, Earl of Orkney, visited Rome and Jerusalem in 1105; Canute, King of England, went to Rome about 1033 ; Eric King of Denmark travelled on foot to Rome about 1098 ; and to Jerusalem in 1102 ; Ingi, King of Norway, went to Jerusalem in the twelfth century; Garcias, King of Navarre, about 1033, according to the Spanish historians. The custom being then very common, and his subjects enjoying great prosperity and the blessings of
seems no reason to distort the plain sense of the words concerning Macbeth. Winter confirms this acceptation of the passage, when he says concerning the monarch :
“ All his tyme was great plente,
Profetabilly for haly Kyrk." The noble family of Strathmore is descended from an illustrious and very ancient family called De Lyon, in France, a branch whereof settled in Scotland many centuries ago, and had, by the bounty of one of our Kings, sundry lands in the shire of Perth, which were called Glen Lyon, after their own surname whose successor, Sir John Lyon, received from King David II. the baronies of Forteviot and Forgandenny in Perthshire, and the lands of Courtestown and Drumgovan in Aberdeenshire.
The charter by which Robert II. bestowed the Thanedom of Glamis in free barony upon Sir John Lyon, Knightpropter laudabile et fidela servitio et contius laboribus—bears date 7th January 1374. Sir John's grandson, Patrick, was created Lord Glamis in 1445. Alexander, Second Lord, had a charter from Mary, the King's mother, of the Castle of Kinghorn with the lands of Balberdie, in 1463. John, third Lord, founded a chapel at Glamis by charter dated 20th October 1487. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Scrymgeour of Dudhope. George, fifth Lord, had a charter of the lands of Balneaves, in the Barony of Kinnell, from Thomas, Lord Fraser of Lovat, 31st October 1501. John, sixth Lord, married Janet, sister of Archibald, sixth earl of Angus. This is the lady who was burned on the Castlehill of Edinburgh on the 17th December 1534, for the alleged crime of sorcery, being indicted for conspiring against the life