Patrick Lyon Strathmore.

The book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 online

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Online LibraryPatrick Lyon StrathmoreThe book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 → online text (page 2 of 22)
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wife on taking her to her bridal-chamber. 'I caused bring
home a verie fin cabinet, the better was not in the Kingdome
in these days, which I never told my wyfe of till her comeing
home, and upon her first comeing into her owne chamber I
presented her with the keyes of the cabinet.' In March 1663
Lord Kinghorne and his Countess set out for Castle Lyon.
They crossed the Forth to Aberdour, where her sister, the
Countess of Morton, was then residing, and, passing through
Fife, they remained for a night at Cupar, where many of the
friends of the young couple were gathered to meet them.
Thence they proceeded to Dundee, where they were entertained
by the Provost and Magistrates, the Earl having been made a
burgess of that burgh on 19th July 1660. Taking up their
residence at Castle Lyon, they remained there for seven years,
and here their eldest son, John, afterwards second Earl of
Strathmore, was born on 8th May 1663.

A portion of the lands of Castle Lyon had been for ages in
possession of the family, but the house itself with the re-
mainder of the Mains and Kirktoun had been acquired from


Lord Gray by Patrick, first Earl of Kinghorne, his Lordship^s
grandfather. Despite the alterations in this building that had
been made by his father, the Castle was far from satisfying the
the refined taste of Lord Kinghorne, and he at once set about
repairing it. Glamis Castle was then so desolate that he and
his wife decided to bring such furniture as was necessary to
Castle Lyon, and to make the latter their principal residence
until their improved exchequer would allow them to put the
larger Castle into a habitable condition. The alterations
which he made upon Castle Lyon, and the improvements he
effected in the grounds beside it, are very fully detailed in the
Booh of Record, Even now, after the lapse of more than two
hundred and twenty years, his description of the changes which
he made is perfectly intelligible. The feeling which caused
him to avoid Glamis Castle was a very natural one. He
says : — ' For the first three years of my life, w^^ I only reckon
since the year 1660, 1 could not endure allmost to come near to
or see it [Glamis] when the verie Mains was possessed by a
wedsetter, so, when my wyfe after the end of the first seven
years considered that nothing contributs so much to the
■distruction and utter ruine of furniture than the transporting
of it, I was induced by her to make my constant abode att
Castle Lyon for some time longer till she gott togither some
things necessary to be had before we could think of comeing to
Glammiss, w^^ she provyded with so much care as that for our
first comeing to Glammiss where I proposed to live for some
time as rereteedly as I did att first when I took up house at
Castle Lyon having scarce a spare rowme furnished to lodge a
stranger in.' It was not until 1670 that the Earl and Countess
found themselves in a position to remove to Glamis Castle,
and in the following year he began those alterations upon the
structure which ultimately resulted in transforming it into one
of the noblest castles in Scotland.

It may be convenient here to refer to the two Castles of
Glamis and Castle Lyon which are so frequently mentioned in
the Boole of Record, and the reconstruction of which formed


the principal occupation of Lord Strathmore during many
years, so that his descriptions may be understood by the reader
who is unacquainted with the localities. Castle Lyon, or, as it
was originally and is now termed, Castle Huntly, occupies a
situation that is more picturesque than imposing, and the
stern aspect of the lofty baronial tower which faces the south
might suggest that the Castle was the residence of some pre-
datory chief, were the building not surrounded by the smiling
fields and fruitful orchards of the Carse of Gowrie. It is
situated beside the village of Longforgan, which was evidently
in early times the place where the retainers of the first pro-
prietors of Castle Huntly had their residence. The landscape
around the Castle has been transformed by centuries of indus-
trious labour from a barren and marshy wilderness into a
highly cultivated vale, and this gradual change has taken
place beneath the shadow of its ancient walls. The original
Castle, which still exists in its entirety, though now much
enlarged, is said to have been built by the second Baron Gray
of Gray in 1452, under a special licence granted by James ii.
in acknowledgment of his many faithful services. The accuracy
of this statement, however, may be doubted. The earliest
reference to this date as that of the erection of the Castle is
to be found in the old Statistical Account, written in 1797,
where the author alludes to a charter then in the possession
of the family of Gray. No such charter is recorded in the
Register of the Great Seal, where it would almost certainly
have appeared, and the statement rests on very doubtful
authority. The family of Gray first settled in the Manor of
Longforgan in 1308, their original seat being the Castle of
Fowlis in the neighbourhood. It is very probable that a fort
of some kind existed on the site of Castle Huntly from an early
period, as the rock on which it stands would make a building
of that description valuable alike as a watch-tower and a
defensive post, but no prehistoric remains of such an erection
have been found. As Castle Huntly was much larger than


Fowlis Castle, it is likely that the Gray family had been settled
for a long period in the vicinity before they would be in a
position to erect such an extensive pile. The earliest document
that has been found which distinctly refers to ' the tower and
fortalice of Huntlie,' is a confirming grant by James iv. to
Andrew, third Baron Gray, of the lands and barony of Long-
forgund on 7th January 1508-9. The architectural construc-
tion of the oldest part of Castle Huntly makes it likely that it
was built not long before this date. Much dubiety has existed
in the minds of topographers as to the derivation of the original
name of Castle Huntly, said to have been bestowed by the
second Baron Gray upon his new homestead. The tradition
of the locality is still current which ascribes the origin of the
name to the marriage of a Lord Gray to a daughter of the
Huntly family. As Patrick, fourth Lord Gray, was married
during his father^s lifetime to Lady Janet Gordon, second
daughter of George, second Earl of Huntly, circa 1492, and as
he succeeded his father in 1514, this tradition seems to confirm
the date of the Castle as being about 1500. The only other
theory worthy of consideration is, that the appellation of
Huntly may have been taken from the Berwickshire property
of that name which belonged to the Grays before they settled
in Perthshire.

The Lyon family first obtained property in the neighbour-
hood of Castle Huntly through the marriage of Elizabeth,
daughter of Andrew, third Lord Gray, with John, sixth Lord
Glamis, which took place in 1487. From Lord Strathmore's
statement in the Book of Record this land consisted of a third
part of the Mains, and two-thirds of the Kirktoun of I^ong-
forgan. The rest of the property remained in the possession
of the Gray family until 1614, when Andrew, eighth Baron
Gray, who had chosen the military profession and obtained an
appointment in France, disposed of a large portion of his estate
for ready money shortly after his father's death. At that
time Patrick, first Earl of Kinghorne, and grandfather of the


first Earl of Strathmore, purchased a part consisting of ' the
place and seat of the house with the two part land of the
Mains, and the third part lands of tlie Churchtoune,' and set
about altering and repairing the Castle. It is unnecessary to
quote here the description of the alterations effected by the
first Earl of Kinghorne and by his grandson, as these are very
fully detailed on pp. 32-37. From the time of its purchase
until the estate was disposed of by John, seventh Earl of
Strathmore, in 1796, Castle Lyon was made the jointure house
of the Countesses of Kinghorne and Strathmore, hence it fre-
quently happened that the early days of successive Earls of
Strathmore were spent within its walls. In 167S the first Earl
of Strathmore obtained a charter from Charles ii. erecting the
lands of Longforgan into a free barony to be called the Lord-
ship of Lyon, and it was probably at this time that the name
of the Castle was changed from Huntly to Lyon. When the
property was sold in 1776 it was acquired by Mr. George
Paterson, who was married to the Hon. Anne Gray, one of the
descendants of the Gray family, and he reverted to the original
title, calling the place Castle Huntly, which name it still

Glamis Castle stands a little way off the road from Dundee
to Kirriemuir, and is about five miles distant from the latter
place, and close beside the old town of Glamis. The main
gateway is a triple-arched structure, battlemented and sur-
mounted by carved lions, the heraldic emblems of the family
of Strathmore. From the gate a spacious avenue, closely
planted with trees, is led for a short distance through the
umbrageous foliage until it suddenly enters upon a grassy
plain, and is carried almost in a straight line for three-quarters
of a mile up to the principal entrance of the Castle. The
general appearance of the structure, as seen from the main
approach, reminds one of a French chateau of the sixteenth
century. Two wings extend at right angles to each other, and
a quarter-circle tower which rises seven stories high, contains


the staircase that affords access to these divisions. The chief
doorway is at the base of this tower, and at its summit a
wooden clock-dial, bearing the date 1811, usurps the place of
an elegant triple window. Around the upper portion of the
tower a numerous array of picturesque turrets has been grouped,
and on the leads a spacious platform has been laid, protected
by wrought-iron railings and terminated by two graceful open
pagodas. The central part of the Castle, which is the oldest
portion, rises much higher than the side-wings, and it forms one
side of a spacious courtyard, the quadrangle being completed
by the kitchen, stable-yard, and servants'* apartments. The
doorway at the base of the tower is flanked by pilasters
with richly carved floral capitals. Immediately over it the
bust of Patrick, first Earl of Kinghorne, is placed, whilst along
the upper walls of the wings, the armorial bearings of the
principal Earls since 1606 are marshalled with those of their
separate wives. Above one of the main windows the initials of
Patrick, first Earl of Kinghorne (died 1615), and of his wife,
Dame Anna Murray, daughter of the first Earl of TuUibardine,
are plainly visible. Over the door the Royal Arms of Scot-
land have been carved, and the heavy iron knocker on the
oaken door bears the date ' 1689,' when the principal work of
reconstruction was completed by the first Earl of Strathmore.
Within this door a heavily grated iron gate has been erected,
which doubtless formed the guard to the entrance of the
original Castle, and may be about four hundred years old.
Within the doorway three staircases appear, that to the left
leading to the upper great hall, the one to the right descend-
ing by a few steps to the vaulted crypt or lower hall and then
ascending to the old portion of the Castle known as ' King
Malcolm's Room,' and the third or newest staircase, circling
around the interior of the tower and giving access to all the
flats from basement to roof. The last of these consists of a
newelled stair of 143 steps, which was erected by Patrick,
Earl of Kinghorne, between 1600 and 1606. At a later date


the walls of the staircase were plastered, but the present Earl
of Strathmore has had the plaster removed so as to show the
dressed stone- work, which is more in keeping with the style of
the building than the false stone markings with which the
plaster-work was painted. The great hall is a vaulted apart-
ment about 60 feet long by 25 feet wide, and is composed
entirely of stone. The vaulting of the roof and cross-vaulting
of the windows is managed by using numerous small wedge-
shaped stones to form the archway. Much controversy has
arisen regarding the architect who designed this staircase and
great hall. The consistent tradition in the family is that when
Patrick, first Earl of Kinghorne, was in attendance on James
VI. in London, he employed Inigo Jones to prepare the plans
for the proposed alterations. The first Earl Patrick certainly
carried out many of his projected improvements before his
death in 1615, but it was left to his. grandson, who was also
called Patrick, and who was third Earl of Kinghorne and Jirst
Earl of Strathmore, to complete the reconstruction of the
Castle, and to enlarge and improve it. Critics have usually
objected to the statement that Inigo Jones had any concern in
Glamis Castle, as his death took place in 1652, whilst the first
Earl of Strathmore was a mere child. So far as the Editor
knows, there is no document in the Charter-room at Glamis
which distinctly proves that Inigo Jones had any share in this
work ; but it is certain that Patrick, first Earl of Kinghorne,
did make great alterations on the Castle, and that his grandson
Patrick, first Earl of Strathmore, was also a reconstructor, so
that the difficulty of the date does not militate against the
tradition. The real cause of confusion probably lies in the
fact that both noblemen bore the same name, and each was
the first holder of his distinctive title. It should be borne in
mind that the two outer wings of the Castle have been greatly
altered in comparatively recent times.

A very remote antiquity is ascribed to the oldest part of
Glamis Castle. It has been frequently asserted that King


Malcolm ii. was carried from the scene of his assassination on
Hunter's Hill in 1033 to one of the rooms in Glamis Castle,
where he expired from his wounds ; though less credulous his-
torians maintain that the King died peacefully, and was buried
at lona, and have discredited the stories of his legislative
reforms and murder as mere figments of monkish times. It is
not impossible, however, that a royal keep of some kind
occupied the site of the present Castle at a very early time,
though the connection of the Lyon family with this place does
not extend further back than the middle of the fourteenth
century. No record has been found of the alterations and
additions at Glamis Castle previous to the description given
in Lord Strathmore''s manuscript, but it is apparent from his
account of Glamis that even in its ruinous condition, before he
began the work of reconstruction, it was a noble and imposing
pile. The details which he gives of the work undertaken by
him are full of instruction, but it is unnecessary to do more than
refer the reader to his narrative as contained in the Booh of
Record, pp. 37-42. It is not difficult, even at the present day,
and despite the many alterations made during the last two
centuries, to trace every item of his description, and to see
where his improving hand has been at work. The dule-tree to
which he refers cannot be identified, but the dial which he
erected is still extant and presents more than eighty faces to
the sun as heretofore. He alludes (page 44) to his intention
that ' howsoon the walk and green plots are layed there will
be statues put into the gardin.' Not one of these now remains
in its place, though the fragments of a leaden Venus, which lie
in one of the basement passages, give some faint notion of the
character of the decoration adopted.

It was in 1671 that the Earl began the work of reformation
upon Glamis Castle, and it was not completed until 1689.
Many strange incidents happened to him during this long
period. His grandfather had been created Earl of Kinghorne
in 1606, with strict limitation to his heirs-male. On 30th


May 1672 Patrick, third Earl of Kinghorne, obtained a new
charter enabling him to nominate a successor in default of
male issue. Five years afterwards he procured another charter,
dated 1st July 1677, ordaining that his heirs and successors
in tailzie should be designated in all time coming Earls of
Strathmore and Kinghorne, Viscounts Lyon, Barons Glamis,
Tannadyce, Sidlaw, and Strathdichtie, and this is the full style
and title of his descendant, the present Earl of Strathmore.
On 10th January 1682 he was sworn of the Privy Council, and
on 27th March 1686 he was appointed an Extraordinary Lord
of Session. When Argyll's rebellion broke out in 1685 he was
appointed to provide the stores for the army, and was com-
missioned to bring the prisoners and spoil from Clydesdale
to Edinburgh, and the artillery from Glasgow and Stirling
(see page 84). By his commissariat transaction he lost a
considerable sum of money, as a much larger quantity of
provision was ordered from him than was required (see page
85), and this fact indicates that the government anticipated
that Argyll's rebellion would be much more formidable than
it really was. His connection with this rebellion proved a
disastrous one for him. He obtained a portion of Argyll's
lands in Kintyre, and, as the king desired to resume these
lands and annex them to the Crown, a proposal was made
whereby Lord Strathmore and the Earl of Errol were to
obtain an equivalent from the town of Edinburgh. The
description of this curious transaction, as given on pp. 89, 90,
is somewhat confusing, though the following passage from a
memorial presented to the Earl of Melville, then Secretary for
Scotland, by the town of Edinburgh, renders the matter more
intelligible. This memorial is quoted in the 'Leven and
Melville Papers ' (page 130). The town of Edinburgh was in
debt to the extent of 150,000 merks in 1633. Betwixt that
date and 1654, the coronation of Charles i., the building of
the Parliament House and of several churches, the besieging
of the Castle, and other public affairs had raised the debt to


1,200,000 merks. Cromwell granted an imposition of a
plack on the pint of ale to assist in clearing off the
debt, and this tax was continued till his death. At the
Restoration this imposition was restricted to two pennies
on the pint, and this was continued till 1682. In 1683, Sir
George Drummond, Provost of Edinburgh, undertook the
watching and warding of the city, which had been previously
accomplished by train bands, and, acting upon his authority,
the debts of the town were further increased. The tax upon
ale had been farmed during its continuance to various parties,
and in 1680 Charles ii. made a new gift of the imposition for
twenty-one years. Shortly before his abdication, James ii.
(apparently in 1686) entered into a contract with the Earls of
Strathmore and of Errol, whereby he granted a portion of the
tax to them in exchange for the lands of Kintyre. ' The two
Earles parts of the contract was, to dispone to the King some
lands in Argyllshire, out of which they had their relieff*, the
Earles of Errol and Strathmore being only cautioners in a
bond to Heriot^s hospitall of tuentie thousand pounds scottis
of principall for Argylle. The Town's part of the contract was
to undertake the said debt dew to the hospitall, which of
principall and annual rents amounts to near 5000 lib. sterling,
for which the Town has given bond to the hospitall ; but it's
hoped the Parliament will reduce this transaction as done to
the grosse and palpable lesion of the Town.'

According to Lord Strathmore's account of the business,
he could not obtain a just settlement of his claim against the
town when he made application to James ii. at London, and it
was in consequence of the loss he thus sustained that he was
made an Extraordinary Lord of Session on 27th March 1686,
with a pension of <^300 sterling (page 90). The arrangement
of the 'tripartite contract' between the King and the two
Earls was ultimately accomplished in the beginning of 1688,
and thus Lord Strathmore got rid of one of the onerous
charges which had been bequeathed to him by his father. He


thus expresses himself regarding this affair : ' And so at last
we are delivered from that greivous debt, w^^ first and last has
stood me more by seeking releif of it then the thing would
have been to my part if I had payed it in the year 1660 when
I came from scools. O miserable and fatall cautionry, ffor my
family has suffered more by the engadgements of my father,
who, good man ! thinking every one as honest as himself, and
tender-hearted to his friends, refused scarce any one who ask''d
of him, then at this day I enjoy of free estate over the pay* of
my present debt."*

The part which Lord Strathmore took at the Revolution
has already been referred to. There can be little doubt that
his first intention was to resist the Prince of Orange, and to
associate himself with some of the leading Jacobite noblemen
to accomplish the restoration of James ii. to the throne. He
implicated himself with the Earls of Southesk, Callender, and
Breadalbane, and endeavoured to assemble in arms such of the
militia as he had control over. He was present as a member
of the Privy Council when intelligence of the proposed
invasion by the Prince was received. ' This was the time,"* he
writes, ' of the first surprysing news of the Dutch invasion,
and of the P. of Orange's designe of landing in England, w^^
he did afterwards w* wonderful success. It was then scarce
when harvest was done that the militia was draw'ne togither,
and by one detachment after another thes expeditions dwynled
into nothing, as everything else did w^^ concerned the king''s
service, all succeeding w* the Prince to a miracle.' Finding it
hopeless to resist the progress of the revolution, as King
James had gone beyond the seas, Lord Strathmore deemed it
prudent to make his peace with the Prince of Orange. He
was nominated by the Privy Council to convey their address to
the Prince to London, and in this task he was associated with
his eldest son Lord Glamis. As he found it impossible to
obtain from the Treasury sufficient money to defray the
expenses of his journey, he was compelled to borrow .^'SOOO,


and transferred the task of presenting the address to his son,
who set out for London early in 1689. The Marquess of
Athol, who was then commander of the forces in Scotland,
deputed his office to Lord Strathmore, but this duty was felt
by his lordship to be a dangerous one for him. He was
strongly suspected of a leaning towards the Jacobites, and he
was deprived of his office as a Lord of Session. By a curious
circumstance Lord Cardross, whose misfortunes had increased
the wealth of Lord Strathmore (see Note 80, page 169), was
now in a position to receive the submission of that nobleman to
the new king. A letter from Lord Cardross to Lord Melville,
dated 9th September 1689, contains the following passage : —

' Being returned here this afternoon, and being since then
in the Councile, I thought it my deuety to acquaint you that
the E. of Straithmore, Southesk, Breadalbine, and some gentle-
men came in and took the benefit of the indemnity. E.
Callender, L. Livingston and Duffus, prisoners in the Castle,
have also now petitioned for it, and the Councile is to give it
them the morrow. I confess, since, they did not desire it at
their first comeing in, but on the contrary stood upon their
innocency, I was for remitting their case to the king that his
mercy might flow in a particular manner to them since their
circumstances seem to me to differ from those that were
included in the indemnity.' From another letter written on
the following day by Sir Alexander Bruce to Lord Melville, it
appears that Lord Strathmore and his associates were induced
to submit themselves through the remonstrances of the Duke
of Queensberry, and to acknowledge their obligations to him
for his advice. Though thus nominally submissive, there is
evidence that Lord Strathmore had still hopes of overthrowing
the Presbyterian party. Towards the close of 1689 he wrote
a letter to his son Lord Glamis, stating that he and some of
his intimates were ' hopefuU to hough Melvill, and defeat all
his Presbiterian projects.' Before many months had fled, how-
ever, he had abandoned this design, and on 25th April 1690


he took the oath of allegiance to King William. After this
period he took little share in public affairs. His name only

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Online LibraryPatrick Lyon StrathmoreThe book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 → online text (page 2 of 22)