Britannia, by William Camden


Galloway. Big G GALLOWAY, call’d in Latin writers of the middle age, Galwallia and Gallovidia (taking its name from the Irish, who were its ancient Inhabitants, and who call themselves, in their own language for shortness-sake, Gael;) is a hilly Country, better for feeding of Cattle than bearing of Corn. ⌈It hath upon the south, the Irish Sea; upon the west, the Frith of Clyde; upon the north, Carick and Kyle; and to the north-east the river of Nith. It is in length, from North-east to South-west, about seventy miles; in breadth, from North to South, in some places twenty four miles, in others twenty, and in others only sixteen. It is divided into the Higher and Lower Country. The Higher lies between the water of Cree and the point or Mule, making the Sheriffdom. The Lower takes up the rest, namely, all upon the water of Cree, making the Stewardry of Kilcumbright. The plenty of pastures, induces them to keep vast flocks of Sheep; as also of Cows, which they send into England in great numbers.⌉horses ponies sapidissimarum The Inhabitants follow Fishing, as well in the Sea round about, in the rivers and loughs that are every where under the hills; in which, about September, they catch an incredible number of † Sapidiss­imarum.excellent well-tasted Eels in their * * Excipulis.Weeles; by which they are no less gainers, than by their little truss Naggs,Galloway Naggs. which, upon account of the compactness of their bodies, and their enduring of labour, are bought up here in great numbers.

Among these, the first place that presents it self upon the river DeaDee riv. (mentioned by Ptolemy, and which yet keeps its name, being call’d Dee) is Kircowbright,Kirkcow­bright. the most convenient harbour of this Coast, and one of the Stewarties of Scotland, belonging to the Maxwells, ⌈Earls of Nithesdale. The ancient family of Maclellan was dignify’d by King Charles the first, with the title of Lord Kircudbright.⌉ Then, Cardines,Cardines. a Fort upon the river Fleet; built upon a craggy and high rock, and fortify’d with strong Walls. Hard by, the river Ken (call’d by Ptolemy Jena, but corruptly) falls into the Sea. ⌈On this river, stands Kenmure,Kenmure. from whence the family of the Gordons had the name of Viscount of Kenmure confer’d on them by King Charles the first: near which, is New Galloway,New-Galloway. a Burgh Royal.⌉

Next, Wigton,Wigton. a Port with a very narrow entrance between the two streams, Blaidnoo and Crea, reckoned among the Sheriffdoms; over which * * Agnew ex Insula.Agnew of the Isle presides. Earls of Wigton. It formerly had for its Earl, Archibald Douglas, famous in the French Wars; and † † Now, C.after that (by the favour of King James ⌈the sixth⌉ John Fleming, who * * Derives, C.derived his pedigree from the ancient Earls of Wigton; ⌈and whose posterity doth still enjoy that honour.⌉

Near this, Ptolemy fixes the City Leucopibia,Leucopibia. which I know not where to look for. Yet by the circumstances of the place, it should seem to be that Episcopal See of Ninian, which Bede calls Candida Casa, and the English and Scots in the same sense Whit-herne, ⌈and the Saxons, before them Saxon hwit-erne, the latter part of which name signifies any sort of ¦ ¦ The word Inkhorn is called in the north Ink-ern, i.e. a vessel for Ink.Vessel. What then, if Ptolemy (as his way was) translated Candida Casa,Candida Casa. which was the name the Britains gave it, into Greek in Greek, that is, white Houses; instead of which the Transcribers have obtruded upon us Leucopibia. In this place, Ninia or Ninian,St. Ninian. the Britain, a holy man (the first who instructed the Southern Picts in the Christian Faith, in the reign of Theodosius the Younger) had his residence, and built a Church, which was dedicated to St. Martin; the form whereof (as Bede observes) was different from that of the British buildings. The same Author tells us, that the English in his time were possess’d of this Country, and that, when the number of the Faithful encreased, an Episcopal See was erected at this Candida Casa. A little higher, is a Peninsula (the Sea insinuating it self on both sides,) which by a narrow neck is joyned to the main land. This is properly call’d Novantum Chersonessus and Promontorium,Novantum Promontorium. but commonly the Mull of Galloway.

Beyond this, Northward, is an open Bay, full of Islands, and of a mighty compass; into which abundance of rivers on all sides empty themselves. But first of all, at the very point of the Promontory, is Abravanus;Abravanus. which, being a little misplaced, is so termed by Ptolemy, for Aber-ruanus, that is, the mouth of the river Ruan. For at this day, it is call’d the river Rian, and the Lake out of which it runs, Lough-Rian; and is admirably well stock’d with Herrings, and a sort of * * Saxatiles pisces.Gudgeons. ⌈On this Lake standeth Stranrawer,Stranrawer. a Burgh Royal. The Promontory or Point by which it entereth into the Sea, is called the Point of Corsehill,Corsehill. stretching to Cantyre; and on the other side is Port Patrick,Port Patrick. a known Sea-port, which is opposite to Donaghadee, in Ireland, and from thence runs Southward to the point of the Mule. The Land betwixt the two points of Corsehill and the Mule, is called theRinnes of Galloway. Rinnes of Galloway (perhaps, because the points run out narrow, a great way into the Sea) and are twenty four miles distant. To the South of Lochrian, is another bay, called the Loch or Bay of Luce,Bay of Luce. running betwixt the points of the Mule and Whitehern, opposite to the Isle of Man. The neck of Land between the Lakes joyning the Rinnes to the main Land, is six miles broad; and near the midst in a little rising ground standeth the Castle of the Inch,Castle of the Inch. among the Lakes. On this Bay, is the Vale or Glen of Luce; where was an Abbey founded by Rolland Lord of Galloway, father to Allan, and confirm’d by the King with a Regality; whereof the Family of Staire is hereditary Baillie.⌉

Lords of Galloway. Galloway had its own Princes and Lords in ancient times; of whom, the first recorded in History, was Fergus, in the reign of Henry the first of England, who gave for his Arms, A Lion Rampant Argent, crown’d [Or] in a Shield Azure. After many Disturbances which he had raised, he was driven to such straits by King Malcolm, as to give his Son Uchtred for an hostage, and, being grown weary of the world, to take upon him the habit of a Canon at Holyrood House at Edenborough. As for Uchtred, Gilbert his younger brother took him Prisoner in Battle, and after he had cut out his Tongue, and pulled out his Eyes, most cruelly deprived him both of life and estate. But within a few years, after Gilbert was dead, Roland the Son of Uchtred recovered his father’s inheritance; who, of a sister of William Morvill, Constable of Scotland, begat Alan, Lord of Galloway, and Constable of Scotland. Alan, by Margaret, the eldest daughter of David Earl of Huntingdon, had Dervolgilda, the wife of John Balliol, and mother of John Balliol, King of Scotland, who contended with Robert Brus for that Kingdom, and by a former Wife, as it seems, had Helen, married to Roger Quincy, an Englishman, Earl of Winchester; who upon that account was Constable of Scotland: as was likewise William Ferrers, of Groby, grand-son of the said Roger, by a daughter and coheir. But these English soon lost their inheritance in Scotland, as also the dignity of Constable; which the Commins Earls of Bughuan had (as descended likewise of a daughter of Roger Quincy) till it was transferred to the Earls of Arrol. But the title of Lord of Galloway fell afterwards to the Family of Douglass; ⌈and since to the family of Stuart of Garleis, which being first dignify’d by King James the sixth with the title of Lord of Garleis, was further rais’d by the same King to the dignity of Earl of Galloway; on account chiefly of their descent from the illustrious Family of Lennox.

Sheriffdom of Aire. THE Second part of the Novantes is said to be the Sheriffdom of AIRE (so called from the Town of † † Of this, see Kyle, afterward.Aire, the head Burgh of the Shire;) though the north part of this tract seems rather to have belonged to the Damnii. The Country is bounded on the north by the Shire of Rainfrew, on the south with Galloway, on the east with Clidsale, and on the west with the Frith of Clyde. It generally produces good store of Corn and Grass, and is very populous; and the Inhabitants of it are exceeding industrious.

It is divided into three Bailliaries; viz. Carick, Kyle, and Cunningham. The most considerable Loch in it, is that of Dun, six miles in length, and two in breadth, with an Isle in it, upon which is an old house, call’d Castle-Dun. Upon the Water Down, is a bridge of one arch, ninety foot long.⌉

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52