Britannia, by William Camden


Big O ON the other side of the Cluyd, above Glascow, Levinia or Lennox runs out a long way Northward, amongst a continued knot of hills. ⌈It is also called Dumbartonshire, from Dumbarton, a Burgh-royal and chief Town in the Shire, and is made a part of the Damnii; though some learned men, according to the division of it into the High country and the Low, have thought it more convenient to make the latter, part of the Gadeni, and the former, the seat of the Vacomagi; the remains of which name they observe in a village upon Loch-lomund, called Blowvochie. It is bounded on the South, with the river Clyde and its Firth; on the West it hath Logh-Lung, and a water of the same name which falleth into it; on the North it hath the Grampion-hills; and on the East, the water of Blane divides it from Stirlingshire. Its length is about twenty four miles, and its breadth about twenty. The Lower part lies to the East, and is very fertil in corn, especially towards the Rivers. The Higher is hilly, moorish, and more fit for pasture, especially where the Grampion-mountains begin. The country is very well furnished with Gentlemens seats; particularly, here is the Castle of Murdock,See Angus. the residence of the Duke of Montross. It is surrounded with hills on all sides, except the South; and is full of Isles, some whereof are cultivated and inhabited.⌉

This Tract takes its name from the River Levin, Ptolemy’s Lelanonius,Lelanonius. which falleth into the Cluyde, out of Logh-Lomund,Logh-Lomund. a Lake that spreads it self under the Mountains, * * Twenty, C.twenty ⌈four⌉ miles in length, and eight in breadth. It is excellently well stocked with Fish; especially with one sort that is peculiar to itPollac-fish. (they call it Pollac.) It hath likewise several Islands in it, concerning which there are many Traditional stories amongst the ordinary sort of people. As for the Floating-Island here, I shall not call the truth of it in question; for what should hinder a body from swimming, that is dry and hollow like a pinace, and very light; and so, PlinyLib.8. Epist.20. tells us, that certain green Islands cover’d with reeds and rushes, float up and down in the lake of Vadimon. But I leave it to the Neighbours, who know the nature of this place, to be Judges, whether this old Distick of our Necham be true,

Ditatur fluviis Albania, saxea ligna
Dat Lomund multa frigiditate potens

Scotland’s enrich’d with Rivers, Timber thrown
Into cold Lomund’s waters, turns to Stone.

There are many Fishermens Cottages round about, upon the banks of the Logh; but nothing worth our notice, except Kilmoronock,Kilmoronock. a beautiful House of the † † Now a Seat of the Cockrains.Earl of Cassil, seated upon the East-side; which hath a delicate prospect into the Logh. But at the influx of the Levin out of the Logh into the Clyde, stands Al-Cluyd,Al-Cluid. so called by the antients. Bede observes, that it signifies the Rock Cluyde, but I know not in what language. Ar-Cluid in the British certainly signifies upon Cluid, and Cluid in old English signify’d a Rock. Succeeding ages call’d it * * See the Discourse of the Roman Wall in Scotland.Dunbritton,Dunbritton. that is, the Britains TownBritanno­dunum. (and corruptly by a transposition of letters, Dunbarton,) because the Britains held it longer than any other place, against the Scots, Picts, and Saxons. Britannodunum. For, both by nature and situation, it is the strongest Castle in all Scotland, seated at the confluence of two rivers, in a green plain, on a craggy two-headed rock. Upon one of the heads, stands a high Watch-Tower; upon the other, which is somewhat lower, many strong Towers. It hath but one ascent to it, and that on the North-side, between the two heads; having scarce room enough to pass on by one, (by steps cut out of † Obliquam rupem.the rock,) crosswise, with a world of labour. Upon the west-side, the Levin; upon the South, the Cluyde, serve instead of ditches. Eastward lies a Morass, which, at every Tide, is wholly under water. Towards the North, it is very well secur’d by the steepness of its situation. Here, some Remains of the Britains (who, as Gildas writes, generally retreated for shelter, to the tops of craggy inaccessible mountains, to thick Forests, and to Rocks upon the Sea-shore,) presuming upon the natural strength of the place, and their own Courage, defended themselves after the departure of the Romans, for three hundred years, though in the very midst of their Enemies. For in Bede’s time (as he himself writes) it was the best fortify’d City that the Britains had. R. Hoveden. But in the year 756. Eadbert King of Northumberland, and Oeng King of the Picts, with their joint Forces shut it up on every side, and reduced it to such extremity, that it surrender’d, upon Articles. From this place, ⌈(which, as we have said, is a Burgh-Royal, and chief town of the Shire)⌉ the Territory round about is called the Sheriffdom of Dunbarton, and hath long had the Earls of Lennox for its Sheriffs, by inheritance. ⌈It was erected into an Earldom by King Charles the second, in the person of George Douglass (one of the younger Sons of William Marquiss of Douglas) who, besides his high birth, render’d himself very eminent by his military Services.⌉

The Earls of Lennox. As for the Earls of Lennox; not to mention those more ancient, one Duncan was Earl of Lennox in the Reign of Robert the second. He dying, left two only Daughters behind him; one of which was marry’d to Alan Stewart, who was descended from Robert, a younger son of Walter the second,Stewart. High Steward of Scotland, and Brother of Alexander Stewart the second, founder of the Royal line of Scotland. For this illustrious Family took its name from that Honourable Office of Steward of the Kingdom, that is, the person who had the charge of the Revenues of the Crown. This Alan had issue John Earl of Lennox, and Robert who was made Captain of the Scotch Guard du Corps (first established by the French King, Charles the sixth, in recompence of the good services which that nation had done the Crown of France;) as also Lord of Aubigny in Auvergne, by the same King, as a reward of his valour. John had issue, Matthew Earl of Lennox, who marry’d the daughter of James Hamilton by Mariona, daughter to King James the second, by whom he had John Earl of Lennox; who, taking up Arms to deliver King James the fifth out of the hands of the Douglasses and Hamiltons, was kill’d by his Uncle the Earl of Arran. This John had issue, Matthew Earl of Lennox, who, after many troubles in France and Scotland, found fortune more favourable in England, under the patronage of King Henry the eighth, who bestow’d upon him his sister’s daughter in marriage, with a large estate. The issue of this happy match were Henry and Charles; Henry, by Mary Queen of Scots,James King of Great Britain. had James the sixth, King of Great Britain, born by the propitious favour of heaven, at a most lucky juncture, to unite in one Imperial Body the British World, divided before as well in it self, as from the rest of mankind; and (as we * * So said, ann. 1607.hope and pray) to lay a sure foundation of Peace and Security for childrens children, for ever. As for Charles, he had issue, one only daughter, Arabella, a Lady who made a progress in learning, so much beyond her Sex, and was so much improv’d thereby in all virtuous Accomplishments; that she might well be compar’d with the Ladies of ancient days. When Charles was dead, and the Earldom of Lennox (of which he stood enfeoffed) was by authority of Parliament resumed in the year 579. and his Uncle Robert, Bishop of Cathness, had born this title for some time (in lieu whereof, he had of the King the honour of Earl of March,) King James ⌈the sixth⌉ conferr’d the title of Duke of Lennox upon Esme Stuart, son of John Lord D’Aubigny, second Brother of Matthew Earl of Lennox aforesaid; which his son Lodowick (or Lewis) * * Enjoys at this day, C.enjoy’d after him. For since the reign of Charles the sixth, there were of this line,Lords of Aubigny. Lords of Aubigny in France, the said Robert before-named, and Bernard or Eberard, (under Charles the eighth and Lewis the twelfth) whose memory hath been transmitted to posterity by Paulus Jovius, with much commendation for his valiant Exploits in the War of Naples. He was a most faithful Companion of Henry the seventh when he came for England; and used for his Device † Inter fibulas.a Lion between buckles, with this motto, Distantia Jungit, because by his means the Kingdoms of France and Scotland, so far distant, were joyned together in a strict league of Friendship:Paradinus. As likewise Robert Stewart, Lord D’Aubigny of the same family, a Marescal of France under Lewis XI, did for the same reason use the Royal Arms of France with Buckles Or in a Bordure Gules; which were from that time born by the Earls and Dukes of Lennox.

⌈The race of the Dukes of Lennox aforesaid, being extinct, by the death of Charles Duke of Lennox and Richmond, Ambassador from King Charles the second to the King of Denmark, and the Estate falling to the King by Succession, his Majesty confer’d the title of Duke of Lennox upon Charles his natural Son, about the same time that he advanced him to the honour of Duke of Richmond in England.⌉

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