THE STORY OF THE FAMILY LYON
The Origin of the Name Lyon
Information from different sources for the Origin of the Lyon Name
"Some Old and New World Lyons"
Information from a Book by the American Lyon Association
If faith is the evidence of things not seen, history is the evidence of things half known. The contemporary chronicler, depended on hearsay particulars and individual impressions for the consecutive incidents in the romance of quaint narration. He recounted the pomp and triumph of his liege as a bard sang of the prowess of his own Lord, as a provincial poet sang of the beauty of his own lady, but he was on his own ground and familiar with current matters. The historian takes the say-so of his predecessors in compiling remote events, gleaning from every accessible source, however, making deductions here and trusting to psychological instinct there, seeking for the spirit as well as the letter of the times. The public records, with their contradictory dates can be partially trusted, though one remembers how Dugdale of the Baronage declared in 1675, referring to the Roll of Battle Abbey "There are great errors or rather falsities in most of these copies-such hath been subtile of some monks of old".
The history of a family, especially of the Lyon family, as it goes from the chapter of one century to the next, in its mysterious reality, has the fascination of fiction. Heredity gives every human a certain sense of remoteness, which is soul retrospection. We, ourselves, have been a part of all this tragedy and death.
Godfrey Louvein or Lowen, Duke of Brabant was doubtless the head of the Leonne family of Leon, or Lyons in Normandy. His daughter, Adelecia, the Fair Maid of Brabant, after the young Prince William was lost in the wreck of the "Blance Nef" 1120, was married to the widowed Henry I. in the hope of another heir to the English Crown. This alliance gave rise to the use of the lion in the Royal Arms. The Castle of Lyons near Rouen was a residence which the Anglo-Norman monarch took much delight in. It was his death-place, too. After a hard day’s hunting in the Forest of Lyons, the King ate heartily of his favourite dish, stewed lampreys, and died of "surfeit" seven days later. At the time of the expedition against Harold, the Saxon King of England, 1066, one of the Leonne, an adventurous personage, with his followers, joined the banners of Duke William of Normandy. This de Leonne, the progenitor of the Lyon family of England and Scotland, held a considerable command in the invading army. Perhaps he espoused the cause through Galtic sentiment, or through Fitz Osborn’s coercive example or through a liking for fighting as a diurnal occupation, or for what he expected to get out of it. An eye to the main chance through an aboriginal under-standing of meum et tuum, was eleventh century common sense, and to take your chances was eleventh century philosophy.
The foreign project was not a popular measure with Duke William’s people, as it would cost blood and money. But the Chivalry of France, picturesque gentlemen, armed cap-a-pie in close-fitting ring armour and nasal conical helmets, with a gonfalon streaming from their lances, who made a diversion, accommodatingly accepted the story that Harold had been sent by Edward the Confessor to give the Crown to his verbally appointed heir. By the same right that Robert le Diable’s son was heir to the throne of the Saxon Usurper, they, his knights, were heirs to splendid preferment and splendid spoils, if they risked their lives to get them. Morally justified, they were going to their rightful heritage, these mail-clad warriors of William, surnamed the Bastordes, the best soldier and the best politician of the Middle Ages. Edward, the Saint, had loved the home of his childhood, the learned and pious prelates and monks of its churches and monasteries, and its shrewd and daring Knighthood. It was theirs by royal gift. All the crown lands, the vast estates of Harold and his brothers, the folkland, every rod of England, except the sacred property of the Ecclesiastical corporations, would pass to the new King to be granted away to those who served him best.
The Leonne of the armament, who followed the blood-red flag of the Mora from St. Valleri to Pevensly, who sang the war song of Rollo at Hastings and did much battle, relized his opulent anticipation’s, for he remained in England, and brought over to patrimonial expectation his son Sir Roger de Leonne, born in France 1040.
Sir Roger de Leonne furthered the fortunes of the family in an adopted country. War was a profitable pastime, and to go to the rescue of King Edgar, the son of Malcolm Canmore, a righteous piece of errantry, so he donned his harness and rode with Atheling into Scotland to depose David Bain. For this good and faithful service, 1091 he obtained from King Edgar certain lands in Perthshire, to which he gave the name Glen Lyon. The Glen Lyon of today, extending from Fortingal about twenty-four miles, a vast cul-de-sac, flanked by steep lofty mountains traversed from end to end by the river Lyon, rushing down in torrents and cataracts from Loch Lyon. It is a strong defensible pass like Killikrankie, Glenlochy and Glenogle.
The Romans built a camp at its entrance, such a station as commanded the passes of the Grampians throughout Perthshire. It was a stronghold of the aboriginal tribe of Venricones, who possessed territory between the Tay on the South and the Carron on the North, comprising Gowrie, Strathmore, Stromont and Strathardle in Perthshire, the whole of Angus and the larger part of Kincardineshire, with their chief town at Orrea on the Tay.
Sir Roger de Leonne stood by his Scottish possessions, and retrained the friendship of the Scottish Monarch, for he was witness in a charter of King Edgar to the monastery of Dumfermline, dated 1105. His son, Sir Paganus de Leonne or Leonibus was born in England about 1080. For his soul’s health, and the highest Christian duty, this Norman Englishman accompanied Geoffrey Plantagenet, Duke of Anjou to the Holy Land. On his return from the Crusade, he settled in England, where he did some fighting for Henry I. in the family difficulty with Duke Robert of Normandy, and in the campaign against the Welsh. He claimed lineage from the ancient Kings of Leone as 23rd in descent from King Ataulphus, the Visgoth, successor of Alaric, who took and sacked Rome in 409. Ataulphus, who married Placida, sister of Honorius, Emperor of the East, the son of the great Theodorius. His son, Hugo de Leonibus, born about 1120, was seized of lands in the county of Norfolk, England, in the time of Henry II. and he was defendant in a plea of lands in the time of Richard Coeur de Lion, 1149.
Ernald de Leonibus, born Norfolk, about 1150, son of Hugo de Leonibus, claimed against Robert Briston, William de Granout and Walter de Grancut, one third part in certain lands in Kettleston in the county of Norfolk in the time of King John I. 1199. When the conqueror stumbled headlong upon Sussex soil, grasping the sand he gathered as he fell, he exclaimed, with prophetic joy, "See Seigneurs! by the splendour of God I have seized England in my two hands." The same land greed was a passion with his knights, and it besets their descendants even to this day.
The heir of Ernald de Leonibus, was John de Leonibus, alias Lyon born about 1175, the first instance of our name being orthographically simplified as it has come down to us. He had two sons Pagan de Leonibus, alias Leon, born in Norfolk about 1200, and Walter de Leonibus, born about 1205. Walter de Leonibus had two sons, Sir Henry Lyon and William de Lyon, both died without issue. Pagan de Leonibus, of Norfolk, England married Ivette de Ferres, daughter and heiress of William de Ferres of Cambridge. His two sons were Sir John de Lyouns, Knight, born in Norfolk about 1225, and Thomas Lyouns, who was of Woodward in Essex in the time of Edward I.
Sir John de Lyouns, first son of Pagan de Leonibus, was summoned to perform military service against the Scotts in 1294, when Edward subdued Scotland and imprisoned King John Baliol. He married Marjory, daughter and co-heir of Simon de Ackle of Ackle in the county of Northampton, and died 1316 in the reign of Edward II. Some of his descendants received the estates of Simon de Ackle, for in 1638 from Northamptonshire came John Lyne and Henry Lyne his son, to America, and they were among the founders of New Haven.
The sons of Sir John de Lyouns were John de Lyon, Feudal Baron of Forteviot, born in Norfolk, England about 1250 and Sir Adam Lyon, Knight, born about 1255, and died without issue. Perthshire was included in the kingdom of the Southern Picts. Their capital was removed to Forteviot from Abernathy. Later, when Forteviot was burnt by the Northmen, the chief royal residence was at Scone. Perth was the third seat of Government, but was abandoned in the reign of James II. in favour of Edinburgh.
John de Lyon, Feudal Baron of Fortheviot, first son of Sir John de Lyons of Norfolk, England, had three sons, (1) Sir Adam Lyon, Knight, born in Norfolk about 1285, who had two sons, Sir John Lyon, Knight, born about 1320, and Adam de Lyon, born about 1325. (2). Richard Lyon born in Norfolk about 1287, who had three daughters, co-heirs, Isabella, born 1336, Celilia born 1338 and Christina born 1345. (3) Sir John de Lyon, Knight, born in Norfolk about 1290, who had a son Sir John Lyon who became the head of the Lyon family of Scotland.
The District of Glen Lyon in Perthshire had been in the possession of the Lyon family since 1091. Malcolm Canmore, in being educated at the Court of Edward, the Confessor, was strongly pro Norman, and his son King Edgar I. owed his throne to such valiant men as Sir Roger de Leonne. In the days of David I. other Anglo-Normans and Flemings settled in Scotland. David had been trained in the Court of his brother-in-law, Henry I. "that he might be polished from the rust of Scottish barbarity". He married Maude, daughter of Walthe, Earl of Northumberland, by Judith, niece of William the Conqueror. When he came to his throne in 1124, he was followed by a thousand Anglo-Normans and Flemings, upon whom he bestowed favours and lands, and most of the illustrious families of Scotland have their origin from the French Englishmen favourites of Edgar I. and David I. descendants, where every district was an independent state, with its own system of Government, a sort of hereditary dukedome, allowed by the consent of each community or clan, in the person of their chief, it was a stirring dramatic existence. Year in and year out predatory warfare and Clan warfare were matters of gain and matters of strife. The strange garb of the Highland people, their weapons, their wild music, the power of the headship, and the fealty of the clansman was a fascinating ensemble. Every clan had its place of rendezvous, and every clansman answered in person the summons of his chief. The "tarie" the fiery cross, two pieces of wood, one end of the horizontal burnt, and a bit of white cloth stained with blood, tied to the other, was given to two runners who sped in opposite directions, to deliver the "Tarie" in turn to fresh runners. In 1215, the bearers of the fiery cross went round Loch Tay, a distance of thirty-five miles, and that same evening, five hundred men assembled under command of the Laird of Glen Lyon, to join the Earl of Mar.
The Lyons of Glen Lyon remained in high favour with the Scotch Court, for in 1372, a hundred and eighty years after the advent of Sir Roger de Leonne in Scotland, one of his descendants, John Lyon, a grandson of John de Lyon, Feudal Baron of Forteviot, was son-in-law and Secretary of King Robert II. the first Stewart, and founder of that dynasty. He was a young man of very good parts and qualities, a very graceful and comely person, and a great favourite with the King. Lyon King-at-arms who was a conspicuous figure at the Coronation, 1371, must have been this John Lyon, pattern of superior excellencies. When this dignity was constituted is lost from Court Annals. That the heraldic office was instituted as a preferment for a favourite courtier is more probable than it took its name Lyon rex armorun, from the lion on the royal shield. The Princess Jean, youngest daughter of Robert II. fell in love with the handsome, successful John Lyon and in 1379, he received her hand in marriage.
After the death of her first husband, she consoled herself with a second husband, Sir James Sunderlands of Calder. She was a daughter by the first wife of Robert High Stewart of Scotland, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Adam More of Powallen. A question as to the legitimacy of this lady made a public declaration necessary at the accession of Robert II. and the crown was settled on John, Earl of Garick, Robert, Earl of Fife, and Alexander, Lord Badenoch, failing them on the sons of the second wife, Euphemie Ross, David, Earl of Strathearn and Walter, his brother.
John Lyon, by his marriage with the Lady Jean Stewart, was brought into the reigning family. Wise in world-craft, he had nicely dominated the King whom Froissart represents as "not valiant, with red, bleared eyes, who would rather lie still than ride", for by a charter dated March 13th, 1372, he received the lands and the Thanedom of Glamis, a charter which says, "pro laudabili et fideli sevito continuis laboruius".
The title of Thane of Glamis is an old one. Malcolm II. (1005-1034) had two daughters. One of them married Crymin, Lord of the Isles and of Western Scotland, and was the mother of King Duncan, the successor of her royal father. The second daughter married Sinel, Thane of Glamis, and was the mother of Macbeth, also the mother-in-law of that psychological mystery, Lady Macbeth. Glamis Castle, until it passed to John Lyon (on his marriage to the Princess Jean) had been a royal residence for a line of Kings that date back to Kenneth I. 850 AD. This hoary pile, historically famous, stands in the fertile vale of Strathmore, in Forfarshire, not far from Dundee, with the Sedlaw hills to the South and the lofty Grampians to the North. The glamour of feudal times is all round about it, from its base to the summit of its towers that rise a hundred and fifteen feet above the ground, and the great dead dwell there in invisible life through the remembrance of their deeds. It is claimed that the huge blocks of red sandstone of the earliest portion of the structure have been standing since 1016, the eleventh year of the reign of Malcolm II. father-in-law of Sinel, Thane of Glamis. Patrick Lyon, first earl of Strathmore and third of Kinghorn made extensive restoration and improvements about 1605.
Sir Walter Scott lamented over the disappearance of the walled court yards, and the most, the defensive boundaries of the huge Old Tower of Glamis, when he revisited the Castle after the devastation of a ruthless, capricious architect. Within the storied walls King Duncan was done to death by his ambitious cousin-german, Macbeth. It was the death-place of Malcolm II. from the wounds treacherously given by Kenneth V. an event of blood made authentic by the early chroniclers. The Commonwealth soldiers prayed long prayers and sang loud psalms in the house of murder, and the Pretender pined and plotted there for a brief season. Gossip has spread a tale of a mysterious grisly something, a secret not a substance, that is master of the Earl. When his eldest son becomes of age, this ghost of a wrong that must be righted is disclosed to still another Lyon, and the thing dogs him till the hour of his death, making him of the past and guilty of a crime that calls for reparation. This gives a White-Lady-Banshee sort of mystery to the awesome old castle.
Beside the Lands and Thanedom of Glamis, the King bestowed upon his son-in-law, John Lyon, the Lock of Forfar, and the land of Kinghorn, and through his marriage came the right to carry the double treasure fleuried and counter-fleuried in the bearing of the family Arms.
Arms: Arg. A lion rampant Az. armed and langued, with double treasure-flowered and counter-flowered Gu.
Crest: A lady holding in the right hand a Royal Thistle enclosed in a circle of laurel (an allusion to the alliance with the daughter of the King)
Mott: In te Domine Speravi.
He rose to the High Lord Chamberlain of Scotland and Ambassador to England. This increasing power excited the envy of Sir James Lindsay, and he fell in a duel provoked by this Judas friend at the Moor of Balhall in 1383. He and his royal consort were interred at Scone, the Coronation place of the Kings of Scotland, destroyed during the reformation. There still exists an indenture, dated 1433, between his son, John Lyon, Knight of Glamys, and the Abbot of Scone, confirming a grant of forty shillings annually made by his late father for masses for the repose of the souls of Sir John Lyon and Lady Jean his spouse.
Sir John Lyon, Knight of Glamys, who fifty years after the death of his father still continued the pious custom of paying for masses for the souls of his illustrious parents, married the Lady Elizabeth Graham, daughter of Patrick, Earl of Strathern, by Euphemia, Countess Palatine of Strathern, a grand-daughter of Robert II. His young manhood was spent in tumultuous times. Disorders were rife in the Highlands, and the feuds of the Clans were augmented by Alexander Badenoch, the fourth son of Robert II. whom his indolent father had constituted Lieutenant Governor, from the limits of Moray to Pentland Frith. The Wolf of Badenoch was the uncle of Sir John Lyon, Knight Lord of Glamys. He seized the lands of Alexander Bard, Bishop of Moray and was excommunicated for this outrage.
In a frenzy of vengeance, he descended from the heights and burnt Forres, May 1390, with the church and the Manse of the Archdeacons, and in June of the same year he burnt Elgin, the church of St. Giles, the hospital of Maison Dieu, the Cathedral, a splendid ecclesiastical pile, and the houses of the canons and chaplains in the College of Elgin, plundered the churches and carried off the sacred utensils and vestments. For this sacrilege against a See of Rome, the Lord of Badenoch was compelled to make full reparation, and was then absolved by Walter Trail, Bishop of St. Andrews, in the church the Black Friars in Perth, in the presence of his brother, King Robert III. and nobility of Scotland.
Sir John Lyon, Knight of Glamys, was succeeded by his son, Sir Patrick Lyon. He, too, saw turmoil and tragedy. On March 28th, 1424, he was delivered up to the English as one of the hostages for the ransom of James I. and not released till June 1427. Doubtless he loved the monarch of advanced ideas and elegant accomplishments, and the horror of the midnight regicide in the Monastery of the Dominicans at Perth came to him as the blackest deed in his country’s sombre chronicles. But Patrick Lyon had sustaining ambitions, for his feudal chief was made a peer of Parliament as Lord Glamis in 1445, the eighth year of the reign of James II. and was appointed Master of the King’s household in 1452. He married Isabel, daughter of Alexander Ogilvy, and had three sons and a daughter, Alexander, 2nd Lord Glamis, John, 3rd Lord, William Lyon, Master of the Lyons of Easter Ogil of County Forfar, and Elizabeth, who married Alexander Robertson. Patrick Lyon first Lord Glamis, grandson of Sir John Lyon and the Princess Jean, died 1459.
His eldest son, Alexander Lyon, had died without issue, and the Barony devolved upon the second son, John Lyon, 3rd Lord Glamis, who was Privy Councillor to James IV. and Justice general of Scotland. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Scrimguor of Dunlope. Constable of Dundee, and died 1494, and was succeeded by his son John Lyon fourth Lord Glamis, who was succeeded twelve years later by his eldest son by Emily, daughter of Lord Gray, George Lyon, fifth Lord Glamis. He died unmarried, and the title passed to his brother John Lyon, sixth Lord Glamis.
John Lyon, third Lord Glamis, John Lyon, fourth Lord, George Lyon, fifth Lord and John Lyon, sixth Lord Glamis, lived in the reign of James IV. a reign of twenty-five years. Battle, murder and execution are absent from the annals of the Monarch who loved chivalrous display, tournaments and martial exercise. A season of peace blessed the land that had been harrowed for ages by private wars and civil wars.
The court was merry, but far from moral, leniency was for one and all. Gifts and favours made loyal subjects, and the chiefs of the Highlands shared the largess with the barons. The two raids across the border on behalf of the impostor, Perkin Warbeck, were mere incidents of Arms, and there was not a real cloud of threatening on the political horizon of Scotland till after the marriage of James IV. and Margaret Tudar in 1502. The death of Henry VII. changed the friendly relations between England and Scotland.
Henry VIII. did not like the marriage of his young sister, and refused to deliver a legacy of jewels to the Queen by her royal father. Mutual privateering and border fray increased the bad feeling, and the continental policy of Henry in regard to the struggle in Italy between Louis XII. and Pope Julian I. easily provoked a war. James renewed his alliance with the King of France 1513. The herald who brought the declaration was the Scotch Lord Lyon, another Lyon King-at-Arms or Lion King-at-Arms one of the Perthshire courtiers, or an Earl Marschall, keeper of the heraldic beasts of the royal shield. The largest army ever raised in Scotland met the English at Flodden Field. Among the 12,000 dead in that "no quarter" massacre was the King, the nobility was almost decimated, and many families lost all their sons. The mortality was terrible in an age when the Temple of Janus was always open. Dugdale of the "Baronage" says, "For of no less than 270 families touching which this first volume doth take notice, there will hardly be found above eight which do this continue, and of those not any whose estates, compared with what their ancestors enjoyed, are not a little diminished, nor of that number, I mean 270, above twenty-four who are by any younger male branch descended from them, for aught I can discover". Of the gentry of Berkshire he continued " It is remarkable that there is not one family descended in the male line from any of the gentry ennumerated in the above list, now left in the county". The males of either kingdom were born to be battle-slaughtered. The mothers spared the grief of losing all their sons were few.
John Lyon, sixth Lord Glamis, was not among the slain at Flodden, but lived to fight another day, he married Janet Douglas, a woman of rare beauty, daughter of George, Master of Angus, and grand-daughter of the great Earl of Angus (Bell-the-Cat), and had a son, John Lyon, seventh Lord Glamis. In the struggle between Angus and Arran in the rising of the Highlands to uphold the claim of MacDonald to the Lordship of the Isles, Glamis supported Angus in the hostilities that went on for several years, till it ended in a fight in the streets of Edinburgh, where the victorious Angus drove Arran out of the town and seized the Castle. In 1525 Angus, with Beaton, obtained possession of the person of the boy King James V. to govern in his name in a regency that lasted till 1528, the year of the death of John Lyon, sixth Lord Glamis.
His widow, the beautiful Janet Douglas, took as her second husband, Archilbald Campbell of Kepneith. Another Campbell fell in love with his kinsman’s fair wife, and to revenge a repulse, gave information to the authorities that she and her husband, her young son of John Lyon, seventh Lord Glamis, John Lyon a relative, and an old priest were conspiring against the life of the King by poison and witchcraft. They were tried for high treason and condemned on the evidence of a perjurer, and sentenced to be burned at the stake. Campbell attempted to escape, but was dashed on the rocks below the window of his prison. But Lady Glamis died publicly by fire on the Castle Hill in Edinburgh, 12th July 1537. Owing to his tender years, John Lyon, seventh Lord Glamis, was spared the horrible fate of his unfortunate mother, not withstanding he had been convicted of treason, 10th July 1537, of being "art and part of concealing and not revealing of the conspiring and imagination in the destruction of King James V. by poison, imagined and conspired by Janet, Lady Glamis his mother, to which he consented and was art and part with her". He was returned to prison, and sentenced, suspended till he should come of age.
The accuser of Glamis and his mother, on his death-bed, a prey to remorse (some authorities say "one Lyon") avowed his crime of swearing away the life of Lady Glamis and her son. The young Lord Glamis was given his freedom, and being a minor was placed under the care of his uncle Alexander Lyon. His estates were forfeited to the Crown by act of Parliament 3rd December 1540. In January 1542/3, he instituted a summons of redemption of forfeiture and was rescinded. The following March he was restored to his estates and honours by Parliament. He came into favour after the heart of James V. was broken by the treacherous desertion of the nobles.
During the regency of Arran and Mary of Guise, when the "orphan lass", Mary Stuart, was Queen of Scotland, he had charters for various lands in Aberdeenshire in 1543-4, and of the Barony of Kinghorne forfeited by James Kirkaldy of Grange 1548. His death occurred in 1558, twenty-one years after the terrible death of his innocent mother. John Lyon, seventh Lord Glamis, married Janet Keith, sister of William, forth Earl of Marishal, and had two sons, John Lyon, eight Lord Glamis and Hon. Sir Thomas Lyon, known to fame as the Master of Glamis.
Before the death of the seventh Lord Glamis, the Reformation had been gradually spreading in Scotland, but he may have held aloof from the religious movement that was paramount during the life of his son. In 1548 Mary Stuart as the betrothed of the Dauphin, had been sent to the Court of France to be brought up with the children of Henry II. and Catherine de Medici. The Queen Dowager, Mary of Guise, a master of tact and craft, had gained the nobles by her gracious promises, and the people by tolerating the reformation so far that only one disagreeable incident had occurred, the execution of "a simple but over zealous man for the new doctrine". After the death of Edward VI. 1553, the Scottish adherents of the Reformation who had taken refuge in England had to go abroad or return home to escape the persecution of Mary Tudor. The powerful preachers, Harlow and Whitlock and Knox organised the church in Scotland and the ministers of the Congregation were planted. Knox received Edinburgh for his charge, and Perth and Sterling were committed to the Congregation. A bond drawn in 1557 by Argyle, Morton, Lorne and Erskine "to defend the whole Congregation of Christ and every member there of. against Satan and all wicked powers", was the first Convenant. When the Regent, Mary of Guise, deserted by the Scottish nobility, came to die, to conform had become general. The Parliament of that year 1560, the great Reformation Parliament, was attended by the nobles, bishops, lesser barons, landed gentry and representatives. On 10th August the Confession of Faith was sanctioned by the estates, and on 24th August an act was passed prohibiting the rites by the Church of Rome. Athole, Summerville, Caithness and Bothwell alone of all the nobles voted against the Confession, and the power of the State was in the hands of the party of the Reformation. If but four of the nobles voted against the Confession, then the sons of John Lyon, seventh Lord Glamis, John Lyon eighth Lord Glamis, and the Thomas Lyon, Master of Glamis, must have stood in line with the times through an evolution of opinion, and accepted the new order of things in active approbation.
The Wheel of history was making some dizzy revolutions in Scotland, carrying the Lyon family onward in a rush of peculiar events. The widow Queen Mary, had come home from France to a career of capers and intrigues of conspiracies and crime, and the thunder-bolts of John Knox could not frighten her back from destruction. Her ill-advised marriage with her cousin, Lord Darnley, the birth of her son, the heir to the throne, the murder of David Rizzio, the retaliatory murder of Darnley and the suspicion of the Queen’s consent to the death of her husband, Bothwell’s indecent wooing when the royal dead was just buried, Queen Mary’s mad marriage with the Black Earl, the rebellion of her outraged subjects, the surrender at Carbary Hill, and the escape from Lochlevan Castle where the extraordinary happenings of seven years of Scottish history.
The Lyons drew near together while their giddy sovereign achieved her own ruin, distrustful of the spinster daughter of Henry VIII. and remembering the few that came home from Flodden Field, put their own house in order with a prayer that one might be spared. In a charter dated 23rd April 1567, John Lyon, eighth Lord Glamis, made an entail of his estates of Glamis,Towndyce and Baky in Forfarshire, Cullan, Buttergask, Langforyard and Irchture in Perthshire, Bethelvic, Ardendracht, Collistown, Coustertown and Drumgowan in Aberdeenshire, on himself and the male heirs of his body, Thomas Lyon, his brother, John Lyon of Haltown of Esse, James Lyon of Easter Ogill, John Lyon of Culwalogy, and the heirs of their bodies, respectively, which failing, to his own nearest heirs male whatsoever bearing the name and Arms of Lyon. This charter gives the headship of prominent branches of the Lyon family of Scotland in 1567, John Lyon, eighth Lord Glamis, Thomas Lyon, Master of Glamis, John Lyon of Haltown of Esse, James Lyon of Easter Ogill and John Lyon of Culwalogy, all lineal descendants of the Feudal Baron John de Lyon of Fortevoit.
The eighth Lord Glamis had a charter of the Barony of Balky to himself and his wife, Elizabeth Abernathy, daughter of Lord Salton, dated 2nd July 1569, the sixth month of Moray’s Regency. During the Regencies of Lenox, Mar and Morton, he rose to prominence, he was sworn Privy Councillor and constituted an Extraordinary Lord of session 30th September 1570, held it till 24th October 1573, and in 1575 was promoted to the office of High Chancellor of Scotland. In the meantime, Moray and Lenox had died by violence, and Mar by foul play. The death of John Knox, and the Massacure of St.Bartholomews had been simultaneous events.
In March 1578, John Lyon, Lord of Glamis, was deputed to signify to the Earl of Morton, Regent of Scotland, that the King had now resolved to take the administration of the national affairs in his own hands. The 27th day of the same month the eighth Lord Glamis was killed at Sterling in an accidental encounter between his own followers and those of the Earl of Crawford. He was counted one of the ablest men of his own party, and Douglas took pride in mentioning that John Lyon had correspondence with Beza, the French reformer and Calvanistic theologian, on the subject of church polity and the doctrines of the Prophet of Geneva. He had one son, Patrick Lyon, ninth Lord Glamis and two daughters, the Hon.Jean Lyon who married 1st,Robert Douglas, the younger of Lochlevan, 2nd, 1586 Archibald, eighth Lord of Angus and 3rd, Alexander, Lord Spynie, and the Hon. Elizabeth Lyon who married Patrick,seventh Earl Gray.
The Hon.Thomas Lyon, designated Master of Glamis as presumptive heir to the title, increased his estates in the short tenure of the death-shadowed Regents, Lenox, Mar and Morton. He had charters to "Thomas Lyon, brother of John, Lord Glamis" of Seragesfield, 18th September 1571 of the Dominical lands of Balumbu, also the lands of Gogar and Grugar in the counties of Edinburgh and Air, to "Thomas Lyon of Balkonky,Master of Glamis and Agnes Gray, Lady Horne his wife, 20th June 1579 of the Barony of Melgownd", etc, in Forfarshire, to them 6th May 1586.
Morton in 1581 was accused in the Council of Holtrood for complicity in the murder of Darnley. He was tried and on his own confession that Bothwell had revealed to him the plot to kill the Queens husband, was convicted as an accomplice in the crime. The management of the affairs of the realm passed to Lennox and Stewart. One had been created a Duke, and the other received the Earldom of Arran. These two ambitious personage in 1582 were in a plot to associate Mary Stuart with her son in the Government, to renew the league with France, and through a breach with England to restore the church to Rome. Bribes won even many of the nobility to this hazardous scheme. The Presbyterian ministers were not approachable, and an illegal banishment of the clergy was expedient. A proclamation for an Extraordinary Chamberlain Air, and itinerant Court of Justice, to be held at Lennox, precipitated the raid of Ruthvan, where the Master of Glamis was one of the principal agents in the seizure of the person of the King. James as on a visit to the Earl of Gowrie at the Castle of Hunting Tower near Perth. During the absence of Lenox and Arran, the Master of Glamis, with some others, surrounded the Castle with armed men, and with Gowrie made James VI. a prisoner. The King, trusting none and fearing all, started toward the door in an impules of flight, but the Master of Glamis stayed his going. The apprehensive James in his alarmed agitation burst into tears, exclaiming "No matter, better children weep than armed men" and surrendered to these new enforced guardians. Arran, on his return to Perth, was cast into prison by this other band of conspirators, and Lenox took refuge in Dumbarton Castle, and soon fled to France.
The tutelage of the Protestant nobles was disagreeable and irritating to the royal youth, and at length he escaped from Falkland to St. Andrews. The Raid of Ruthvan was declared high treason. The Earl of Gowrie was taken and executed for his political crime. But the Master of Glamis fled to England to review the situation and read just his plans. In May of the same year, Thomas Lyon returned to Scotland, and with the Earls of Angus and Mar, seized Sterling Castle and assumed the Government. But they were presently obliged to fly across the border. The following year the Master of Glamis and the other banished nobles came north, bringing a great force with them. They invaded the Palace and compelled Stewart, Earl of Arran, to quit the Royal presence. This high-handed disloyalty was graciously forgiven and they were restored to favour. Thomas Lyon received the prodigal’s ring and embrace in being appointed Captain of the Kings Guards in the place of Arran, and was made high treasurer of Scotland. He was also constituted an Extraordinary Lord of the Session, held the position for six years, then was re-appointed and sat till 28th May 1593.
The nobility and landed gentry were spoilsmen and quick to take advantage of the King’s privilege to grant feus of church lands annexed to the Crown. The Master of Glamis, the prime mover in the Raid of Ruthvan, must have rated his second treason of the seizure of Sterling Castle and the person of James VI. as service rendered to his sovereign. By force of argument of a Calvanistic turn, he may have appeared the sombre yet fickle conscience of an unfilial son in the days of fretful remorse or religious excitement after Mary Stuart expiated her follies on the block at Fortheringay. James had needs to lean upon a character of tremendous strength, and nothing daunted Thomas Lyon. Tomorrow was seen through a veil of sickening uneasiness, it might be his turn next. Out from the dank crypt of history came a grisly procession of Scottish Kings to point to their wounds and remind him that the divinity that hedged him round would not save him from the swords of the lawless Barons. The headless ghost or his crown-robbed mother lurked behind the hangings of his chamber. He did not remember her fair face, and he had been told that she was a baggage who had sinned many sins. But he had sided against the woman who bore him, for a woman who delivered her royal person to the headsman.
An Axe-blow could sever the stem of his neck, if his terrible cousin in the ruff and far-thinggald had him within her border. And while the miserable young Monarch, haunted by horrors that had come to pass, and horrors that were yet to be, fretted over the Government of a turbulent and fearful people, the few near his person, by indulging his humours, reaped much benefit. Thomas Lyon received a charter of Tullock and Crawquhy in Forfarshire, 19th August 1587, "to Thomas Lyon of Baldoukie, His Majesty’s treasurer, Master of Glamis, of Corstown, and of the Barony of Dod in Forfarshire, to him and Eufamia Douglas, his wife, 7th November 1589", adding substantially to his estate.
The King in 1585, "was become a brave prince in bodie and stature, so well exercised in reading that he could perfitlie record all things he had either heard or rad. Therefore that noble King Frederic II. of Denmark, who had then two daughters, was willing [gif it suld please our King] either to give him the choice of thaim, or that he would accept the one of thaim as it suid please the father to bestow guhilk suid be maist comely, and the best for his princeelie contentment". To Danish Anna fell the honour of being the royal bribe. After a long proxy courtship, a romantic marriage, and a honeymoon spent at Upslo, the Danish princess was brought home to Scotland and her Coronation took place within the Abbey of Hollyrood on the 17th May 1590. "Twa high places were appointed there, one for the King and the other for the Queen. The King’s procession, having entered the Abbey, that of the Queen, preceded by several Danish nobles, magnificently dressed, with diamond chains about their necks, then came the Scottish nobles and heralds, Lord Lion, King-at-Arms, ushered Lord Thirlstone bearing between his two hands the Queen’s Crown, then followed the Queen herself in Royal robes". The company and the ceremony were splendidly imposing as described in a contemporary chronicle. Here, as at the Coronation of Robert II. Lion King-at-Arms was a striking feature of an historical pageant. Princely revelry on that May Sunday, frightened the Holyrood ghosts back to the shades. On Tuesday the Queen, in a gilded coach, the King and the Court, had a street parade in Edinburgh, and the festivities were prolonged even into the month of June. Thomas Lyon, Master of Glamis, was Knighted while the coronation rejoicing was in progress. On 27th May 1590, the Scottish statesman and soldier knelt before the Royal pair and was dubbed Sir Knight, he was still among the King’s advisers and held the important office of high treasurer of Scotland till 1595.
After 1571 he had married Agnes Gray, Lady Howe, third daughter of the fifth Lord Howe, widow of Sir Robert Logan, and of Alexander, fifth Lord Howe, and for a second wife he married Lady Eufamia Douglas. There was another charter granted to him 6th April 1594. "to Thomas Lyon of Auldbar, Knight and Euphemia Douglas his wife". From the return of the banished Lords in 1585, he had remained in favour with the King, faithful to the best interests of his sovereign, and when death ended his eventful life James VI. of Scotland and James I. of England said "The boldest and hardest man of my dominion is dead". But two of his children are on record, a daughter, Mary Lyon, who married Robert Semphell of Bellars, and a son, John Lyon, who 6th August 1608, served as heir to his father, Sir Thomas Lyon, Knight, in the Barony of Melgund lands of Auldbar, etc, etc. But he may have had other sons forgotten by an absentee King and omitted in the family annals. John Lyon of Auldbar married the daughter of George Gladstone, Archbishop of St. Andrews. He must have died before 1617 without issue, or lost favour through some political blunder and forfeited his estates, involving all other descendants of Sir Thomas Lyon, Knight. At any rate, Anne Murray, Countess of Kinghorne, and her son, John Lyon, second Earl Kinghorne 8th August 1617, had a charter to the Barony of Auldbar in Forfarshire. The lands of Auldbar had been given by Earl Patrick to his second son, Hon. James Lyon, who died without issue, and this estate reverted to the family. The next Lyon of Auldbar, after a lapse of three generations, was John Lyon, Esq. of Brachin in North Britain, a great grandson of the famous Master of Glamis, Sir Thomas Lyon.
Patrick, ninth Lord Glamis, being a minor at the time of the death of his father, John Lyon, eighth Lord, in 1578, was placed under the tuition of his uncle, Sir Thomas Lyon, who was afterward (1585) high treasurer of Scotland. He served as heir in general of his grandfather, John Lyon, seventh Lord Glamis, 29th January 1600. Through his rank he received a remission under the great seal, dated 15th September 1601, of penalty for a transgression of violence to him and his five servants, for the slaughter of Patrick Johnstown in Haltown of Belhelote, slain on the 6th September, accidental homicide, justifiable homicide and incidental homicide, misfortunate matters too common with the nobility and the gentry not to be easily pardoned. In 1604, Lord Patrick Lyon was sworn a privy councillor of James VI. and chosen by Parliament as one of the Commissioners to treat of the Union with England.
Favours continued to be heaped upon him. He had charters of Ardwork in Forfarshire 8th August 1605, of Kingseat in Aberdeenshire 17th June 1606, and by patent dated 10th July 1606, was raised to the dignity of Earl of Kinghorne, Lord Lyon and Glamis. He and his wife, Anne Murray, and their second son James Lyon, had charter of Wester Drynic in Forfarshire, 20th May 1608, of the Isle of Inch Keith and right to the patronage of Kinghorne, 10th June 1609, of the Barony of Farnadic the following year and of the dominical lands of Hurley in 1613. His death occurred 19th December 1615, and he was succeeded by his eldest son, John Lyon, second Earl of Kinghorne. He had also a daughter, Anne who married the Earl of Errol, and a third son, Hon. Frederick Lyon, who got from his father the lands of Brighton and was the ancestor of the Lyons of Brighton. John Lyon, tenth Lord Glamis and second Earl of Kinghorne, was a minor when he came into his lands and titles. In 1603, at the succession of King James VI. Scotland had become a part of England, the home of the elder branch of the Lyon family.
Sir Adam Lyon, first son of John de Lyon, Feudal Baron of Forteviot, the descendant of the Norman de Leonne who fought at Hastings with the Conqueror, was of Norfolk, England at the time his brother John de Lyon, married the Princess Jean, daughter of Robert High Stewart of Scotland. Sir Adam Lyon, Knight, had two sons, Sir John Lyon born about 1320, who was Knighted by Edward II. and Adam de Lyon born about 1325. Sir John Lyon Knight of Norfolf, had three sons, Sir Richard Lyon born about 1350 and Sir John Lyon born about 1353, both Knighted by Edward IV. and Henry Lyon born about 1355. Henry Lyon of Rystippew, Middlesex, born in Norfolk about 1355, great grandson of John de Lyon, Feudal Baron of Forteviot, had a son, John Lyon born Rystippe about 1380. He was with the army of Henry V. that invaded Normandy, and was at Agincourt, amid the splendid pageantry of war that made England heir to the Crown of France, and was present at the famous battle. He had a son, Henry Lyon, born at Rystippe about 1410, the second of a name which became a heritage among the Lyons. John was a favourite prenomen with the English as well the Scotch Lyons. Thomas and William were also baptismal names repeated from generation to generation. The name of Adam came in use in 1225, that of Richard 1350 and that of Henry in 1335. Henry Lyon of Rystippe, born about 1410, John born about 1508, Thomas born about 1455 and William born about 1508, who died with issue. Henry Lyon of Rystippe, Middlesex, England (1410), the third of the name, had two sons, 1st John, born about 1470 and William born about 1475.
John Lyon (1450), second son of Henry of Rystippe, had a son, John Lyon of Preston, Middlesex County, born 1500, who was the founder of the famous English school of Harrow-on-the-Hill, ten miles from London. This philanthropic yeoman of Preston yearly set aside the sum of twenty marks for the education of the poor children of Harrow. The School of Harrow was founded in 1571. Queen Elizabeth granted the charter. But the statues were drawn up by the founder in 1590. However, the first building was not completed till 1611. At his death, 3rd October 1592, he settled two-thirds of his property on the school, and left the other third for the maintenance of a highroad between Harrow and London. John Lyon and his widow, Jean Lyon, who died 3rd August 1608, are buried at Harrow. They had, Mary born at Preston 1540, buried at Harrow 13th December 1568, Jean, born Preston 1545, buried at Harrow 13th May 1559, and Zachery, born at Preston 1560, died without issue, and was buried at Harrow 11th May 1583. It is a pleasing coincidence that Mary Lyon, the American Educator, Founder of Mount Holyoke Seminary (now College), for the higher education of Women, should have borne the name of the eldest daughter of John Lyon, founder of the great school of Harrow-on-the-Hill.
Thomas Lyon (1455) of Perefore Middlesex County, the son of Henry Lyon of Rystippe, had two sons. The first of these was Sir John Lyon, born about 1490, who was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth. In 1550 he was made an Alderman of London and High Sheriff and in 1554 was Lord Mayor. By his wife Alicia he had a son, John Lyon, born about 1550 and died without issue 1620. The second son of Thomas Lyon (1455), was Henry Lyon of Roxley in Lincolnshire. By his wife Dorothy, he had two sons, Richard Lyon, of West Twyford, Middlesex County, born about 1532, and Henry Lyon of Harrow-on-the-Hill, born about 1550, who died 16th October 1590. Richard Lyon of West Twyford 1532, by his first wife Agnes, had a son Henry Lyon of Roxley in Lincolnshire, born about 1655, who married Catherine Rithe, and had issue, also issue by his second wife. Mabilla, daughter of Adam Dornell of Thornhohn, Lincolnshire. By his second wife, Isabella Millet, Richard Lyon of Twyford had three children, John Lyon born about 1560, died without issue, Dorothy Lyon, born 1565 married Humphrey Hyde of Norheste, Berkshire, had issue, and Catherine Lyon born 1570, married William Gifford of Northeste, Middlesex County and had issue.
John Lyon of Rystippe, the third, first son of Henry Lyon (1440), was born there 1470. He married Emma Hedde, and had four sons, Henry Lyon, born 1500, Thomas born 1503, Richard born 1505 and John born 1510. It is a singular fact that of the fifteen Lyons who came to the American Colonies between 1638 – 1683, twelve of them bore the distinctive family names of these sons of John Lyon of Rystippe, the exception being William of Roxbury, and Peter and George Lyon of Dorchester. However William was a name that begun with the William Lyon who was born at Rystippe 1640 and continued in favour.
John Lyon of Little Stanmer, Middlesex County, first son of John Lyon of Rystippe, was born at Rystippe 1510, his wife, Jean Lyon, died 5th April 1535, just a hundred years before her great grandson, William Lyon of Heston, landed at Boston, 11th September 1635, a lad of fourteen, who sailed in the ship "Hopewell", with Capt. Babb. No doubt he was under the care of Isaac Heath a fellow passenger, who brought his own family with him, drifting on the westward tide of Puritan emigration from a King-ridden, clergy-ridden county to the land of Hope. John Lyon of Little Stanmer, and his wife, Jean had three children, William born 1540, Elizabeth born 1545, died 1606, and Thomas born 1550. Thomas Lyon (1550), had a son William Lyon, born 1575, died 1624. This William Lyon was called the Marquis of Southwold, and he was owner of the fore-father ship "Lyon" which brought many a cargo of precious souls to New England. Among her passengers was Rev. John Eliot the non-conformist minister of Roxbury Church, the Apostle of the American Indians, and Roger Williams, the Apostle of Civil Liberty.
William Lyon of Stanmer Parva, Middlesex County, first son of John Lyon of Little Stanmer 1540, was buried at the place of his nativity 17th September 1624, the year before the death of King James I. He was twice married, first to Isabella, daughter of William Wightman, Esq, second to Audry Deering, by whom he had three sons, William, born at Stanmer Parva, 1580, Thomas born 1585, (he had issue), and Robert born 1590. His contemporaries among his kindred of the Scottish branch of the Lyon family were. John Lyon eighth Lord Glamis, Patrick Lyon, who was first Earl of Kinghorne, and Thomas Lyon, Master of Glamis.
William Lyon born at Stanmer Parva, 1580 was William Lyon of Heston, Middlesex County. He resided at Heston, but was buried at Little Stanmer, 17th November 1634. He married at Harrow-on-the-Hill, 17th July 1615, Anne Carter, and they lived together for nineteen years. She did not long survive her husband, and was buried at Little Stanmer 18th February 1638. The children of William of Heston were, Catherine, baptised at Heston 25th August 1616, John, baptised June 1619 and William baptised 20th December 1620. William went to America in 1635 and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts. A full account of his descendants is contained in the "Lyon Memorial, Massachusetts Families".
When William Lyon of Heston died in 1634, John Lyon, tenth Lord Glamis and second Earl of Kinghorn, was head of the Lyon family of Scotland. The Nation through political evolution, had fallen upon evil times. The taint of a democratic tendency in the North had spread across the border and the absoluism of the Tudor Kings ended with the expiring breath of the man-minded Elizabeth. The crown made by the cold fingers of the dying Sovereign, had given her dominion to her Scotch cousin. But the mantle of her greatness fell apart and crumbled away when her coffin was borne from Richmond, to be deposited in Westminster. Elizabeth was long-headed, tactful and liberal, and the destruction of the Spanish Armada was one of the glories of her reign. James was purblind, bad tempered and narrow, and the Gunpowder Plot completely addled his confused judgement. When the monarch who styled himself King of Great Britain, uttered his rash threat at the Conference of Hampton Court with the leading Puritan clergy, and the leading bishops, "I will make them conform, or I will harry them out of the land", he threw down the gage of battle to a militant people, whose army had been gathering from among tradesman, artisans, yoemen, and nobles since the note of personal freedom was sounded by the divine trumpet of the reformation two centuries.
In the fatality that attended the fortunes of the Stuarts, he contaminated his son by the bad teaching of his despotic example, and when he came to die, after years of misgovernment, the heritage of his evasions, blunders, and disasters brought the ruin of a madly rash course and a death on the block of his unhappy successor.
The Covenanters were tenacious, the Puritans were heroic. These fanatical religionists were but biding their time, while Charles I. as if fate-driven was destroying the very fabric of the State. Long ago, as far back as 1618, the dragon’s teeth of a religious war had been sown by the adoption of the five articles of Perth, and the fertile North had grown a lusty crop of determined rebellers. The Scots, armed with spear and sword, of religious and political instinct were ripe for a revolution. The Nobles and landed gentry were alienated from the King. The removal of the Court had robbed them of prestige and profit. Those near the royal presence were prompted and flattered, those afar were neglected and despaired. Furthermore, his peculiar policy meant ruin for those of his native land. A petition of protest was put into private circulation against thirty-one acts "hurtful to the liberty of the subject", passed by a Parliament where Charles had presided. A copy of this document was found in the possession of Lord Balmoral. He was tried for sedition, received a capital sentence which was afterward modified to imprisonment. The Scots were astir with a secret resentment which became open revolt when the use of the liturgy at St. Giles Church in Edinburgh and at Greyfriers in Perth occasioned riots.
Montrose received a commission from the Tables, a board of representatives chosen by the nobility, country gentry, clergy and inhabitants of the burghs, to raise troops for the service of the Covenanters, which he proceeded to embody with extraordinary power. Within a month he collected some three thousand foot and horse from Perth, Forfar and Fife, and put them under military discipline. Joined by forces under General Leslie, the rebel army marched upon Aberdeen which the Marquis of Huntley abandoned at their approach. It was "upon morn, being Saturday, they came in order of battell, well armed both on horse and foot, all horsemen having five shoots at least with one carabine in his hand, two pistols by his sydes and two others at his saddle toir. The pike men in their ranks, with pike and sword, the musketiers in their rank with musket stuffe, bandelier, sword, power match ilk company, both foot and horse had their Captain, Lieutenants, Ensigns, Sergeants and other officers and commanders all for the most part in buff coats and in goodly order. They had five colors of ensigns, whereof the Earl of Montrose had one having this motto, ‘For religion, the Coveant and the Countrie’. the Earl Marischell had one, the Earl of Kinghorn had one, and the town of Dundee had two".
The Earl of Kinghorn was John Lyon, tenth Lord Glamis, a descendant in the third generation from John Lyon, who was tired and convicted for "being art and park of concealing and not revealing of the conspiring and imagination in the destruction of King James V. by poison imagined and conspired by Janet, Lady Glamis, his mother". The unlaid ghost of the women who died by fire on the Castle Hill of Edinburgh made every Lyon the hereditary enemy of every Stuart King. However the second Earl of Kinghorn voted in the parliament against the delivery of King Charles I. up to the English, an act of tardy loyalty to a faithless Monarch avenged by Cromwell when he made a barrack of Glamis Castle for his Roundhead soldiery. The King declined to do battle with Leslie and Montrose, and the Scottish army disbanded.
By the pacification of Berwick it was agreed that all ecclesiastical matters should be regulated by an assembly to be held at Edinburgh and all civil matters by parliament and other legal Courts, and the Earls went home with their foot and horse, to await the next move of destiny in the crowned Beelzebub, who was liege of the United Kingdom. They remembered the signing of the national Covenant in Greyfriers Church that bleak March day, when the Nobles and the Gentry, three hundred ministers and a great multitude of people, pledged themselves before Almighty God to maintain the Presbyterian doctrine and polity as the sole religion of their country, to the exclusion of Prelacy and Popery. Copies of this heaven-inspired document had been dispatched a veritable "tarie" the length and breadth of Scotland. And this great Clan of an outraged Nation would answer the summons of their Chief in the heavens, That Lord God of Sabbaoth, and the day of doom grew nearer and nearer. The Covenant of 1638 was as dear to the Scots as the Magna Charta was to the English. In 1641 the Parliament meet at Edinburgh. The King was in attendance, unscrupulous, insincere, compiling with the bold demands of his rebellious subjects and he hoped to corrupt the leading Convenanters by favours and promises. But the pleasing compromises of a Protestant tainted with Rome b y no means propitiated a people familiar with his trickery in politics. They did not love a Stuart and it behoved a distrustful King to realise his limitation. Macauley shows the quality of the fealty of these feudal chieftains. "They butchered James I. in his bedchamber, repeatedly they were in arms against James II., they slew James III. on the field of battle, broke the heart of James V. deposed Mary and led her son into captivity, and virtually sold her grandson for a price". North of the border there was an unmentioned equality between Monarch and Noble. They had little respect for the authority of James VI. of Scotland, when he assayed to rule them from the English throne. Charles Stuart might be their Sovereign by the Grace of God, but the laird, the patriarchal headship of a clan was a King by rights as old as tradition. They. and all that subscribed the Covenant, saw him as a bishop-ruled, queen-ruled despot, who would pull down Jehovah’s temple of the Kirk with his episcopacy and deliver the Scots to a Babylon captivity, were the liturgy and the cannons would bind them in perpetual thraldom.
They stood by him when the tidal wave of fire of the Civil War left him helpless. Still they had no pity for him. His regal years had been a never-ended battle betwixt an idee fixe of an hereditary opinion and an idee fixe of religious liberty. Wyclifs tracts and texts in the South and John Knox’s sermons in the North had given Great Britain a fitter King, and all the slain at Naseby and Marston Moor "died for the cause of freedom and the truth in Christ".
But in the end, the North and the South were equally blood-guilty in his death. The Scots had their pieces of silver, furthermore, they washed their hands of the deed. The South was waging a holy war like unto the wars of David against the idolaters, believing a free and pious Commonwealth could be built on the ruins of a Monarchy. These austere warriors were not mercenaries from across the Channel, nor the yokels of the country, nor the riff-raff of the towns. The Parliamentarian army was composed of men of decent station and men of rank. The very best of England met the very best of Scotland at Marston Moor, and the descendants of John de Lyon, Feudal Baron of Fortevoit, fought on either side in that battle of Kindred, those of the North for the King they despised, and those of the South for public liberty. He provoked his destiny, defeat and flight, imprisonment and death were written in crimson letters across his policy with his subjects, Puritan and Convenanter. He held them in equal hatred with no choice between them. "I am not without hope that I shall be able to draw either the Presbyterians of Independents to me for the extirpating of the one or the other that I shall be easily King again", expresses his attitude to his people. He would not realise his danger. Moral and physical cowardice were not among his weaknesses. They dared not, this Round-Headed Court, that arraigned their Sovereign in Westminster Hall. He embodied feudalism, and through the nightmare hours of the seven days, trial he sat in majestic composure, eyeing Bradshaw, in his scarlet robe and high hat, eteing the bewildered spectators, eyeing Cromwell, half expecting at some shout of God Save the King! the armed force and the nervous populace that packed the hall would turn upon his self-appointed judges. Then the headsman’s arm would be weary of swinging the axe, and those that died for this treason would be a multitude.
His sentence was passed in the midst of confusion. "Justice! Execution!" was the cry that followed him from the court of the regicides to Whitehall, from Whitehall to St. James, to the Banqueting Huse at Whitehall, that mid-winter day.
But when he passed through the window at the further end of the Banqueting Hall to the scaffold raised in the street, no voice was lifted in mockery or malice. Dense masses of soldiery were far and near, the mournful cries of the populace in the distance were borne weirdly to him by the low wind. And the great pack of Puritan warriors waited in breathless expectancy while the King addressed his last speech to Bishop Tuxon and Colonel Tomlinson, inside the window. He spoke with the executioner. He put his flowing hair under a cap. He threw off his coat and gave his "George" to the Bishop saying "Remember", a word of mystery, of significance. He stood in profound meditation, whispered a brief prayer, and knelt at the block, the alter of expiation, and with one blow his royal head was severed from his body. As if from the hill of Golgotha when the Son of Man gave up the ghost, a simultaneous groan broke from that vast assembly, from the armed Puritans and from the crowded people who neither heard nor saw.
It was consummated, and they wrapped him in the ermine of his rank and called him a martyr. Troops of horse dispersed the crowd and night rung down the curtain on the greatest drama of English history.