Britannia, by William Camden


Strath-ern Stewartry. Big A AS far as the Æstuaryaestuary propraetor estuary of Tay, which is the bound of Fife on the North side; Julius Agricola, the best of all the Proprætors of Britain, under Domitian the worst of the Emperors, carried his victories, in the third year of his Expedition; having wasted the Kingdom so far. The River Ern. Into this Æstuary, falls the noted River of Ern; which rising out of a Logh of the same name, bestows it on the Country that it runs through; for it is called Straith-ern, which, in the ancient British, signifies a Valley upon Ern. ⌈This Stewartry seems to be the Ierne, mentioned by Roman Writers. For in it are many Roman Camps, one particularly at Ardoch very remarkable, the figure and description whereof is in the account of the * * See, at the end.Thule. Besides which, there is a Via Militaris, or Roman high-way, towards Perth: several Roman Medals have also been found, and not many years since, two Fibulæfibulae curiously enamelled, with a Sepulchral-stone †Ibid.

The Ochil-hills, which run along the South parts of this Shire, abound with metals and minerals; particularly, they find good Copper, and the Lapis Calaminaris; and, in Glen-Lyon, they meet with Lead. Here is great want of Coal; but their excellent Peats, and the abundance of wood, supply that defect.⌉

The banks of the Ern are adorned with Drimein-Castle,Drimein. belonging to the family of the Barons of Drummond,Barons Drummond. who have been advanc’d to great honours, since King Robert Stewart the third married a wife out of this family. For the Women of that family have been, for charming beauty and complexion, beyond all others; insomuch that they have been most delighted in by the Kings: ⌈Of the said Family; James Drummond was created by King James the sixth, Earl of Perth, from the head burgh of the Shire: Also, James, a Son of the same Family, was created, by King James the sixth, Lord Maderty; and Lieutenant General William Drummond, was by King James the seventh created Viscount of Strathallan.⌉

And upon the same bank, Tullibardin-Castle shews it self aloft; and that, with greater honour, since, by the favour of King James the sixth, Earl of Tulli­bardin.John Murray Baron of Tullibardin, was advanced to the title and dignity of Earl of Tullibardin, ⌈whose Son WilliamSee Perth­shire. having married the eldest of the Coheirs of Stuart Earl of Athol, his Son John succeeded to the dignity of Earl of Athol; and Sir Patrick Murray his brother, became Earl of Tullibardin; whose Son James dying without issue, the Estate and Dignity fell to John Earl of Athol.⌉ Duplin Baron Oliphant. Upon the other bank, lower, stands Duplin-Castle, the seat ⌈heretofore⌉ of the Barons * * Created, ann.1470.Oliphant; which still remembers how great an overthrow (not to be equalled in former Ages) the English, who came to assist King Edward Baliol, gave the Scots there: insomuch, that the English writers of that time, attribute the victory wholly to the power of God, and not to the Valour of man; and the Scots report, that there fell of the family of Lindsay eighty persons; and that the name of Hays had been quite extinct, had not the head of the family left his Wife big with child at home. ⌈The Lands of Duplin were purchased by Sir George Hay, who was first created Viscount Duplin, and afterwards Earl of Kinnoul, by King Charles the first.⌉ Lords of Innermeth. Not far off, stands Innermeth, well known for its ⌈ancient⌉ Lords the Stewards, of the family of Lorn; ⌈who were advanced by King James the sixth to the honour of Earls of Athol.⌉

But after the conflux of Ern and Tay; the Tay, now become broader, sees above it upon the bank, Aberneth,Aberneth. antiently the Royal Seat of the Picts, and a populous city; which (as we read in an old fragment) Nectanus, King of the Picts, gave to God and S. Brigid, till the day of judgment; together wth the bounds thereof, which lie from a stone in Abertrent, to a stone near Carful, that is Loghfol, and from thence as far as Ethan. But a long time after, it came into the possession of the Douglasses, Earls of Angus, who are called Lords of Aberneth, and are some of them there interred.

Earls of Strathern. The first Earl of Strathern that I read of, was Robert Stewart, in the year * * 1380, C.1360. Then, David, a younger son of King Robert the second, whose only daughter being given in marriage to Patrick Graham, was mother of Mailise or Melisse Graham, from whom King James the first took the Earldom as escheated, after he had found by the Records of the Kingdom, that it had been given to his † Avo materno.Mother’s Grandfather, and his Heirs Male. This Territory (as also Menteith adjoyning) ¦ ¦ Is, C.was under the government of the Barons Drummond, hereditary Stewards of it; ⌈but now the Lords of Doun ( Earls of Murray) are hereditary Stewards of the Jurisdiction of Menteith.⌉

Menteith Stewartry. Menteith, as they say, hath its name from the River Teith, called also Taich; and thence in Latin they call this little Territory, Taichia. Upon the bank of which, lies the Bishoprick of Dunblain.Dunblain, erected by King David the first of that name. Theatrum Scotiæ, p.38. ⌈This is a pleasant little town, where the ruins of the Bishops, and Regular Canons houses, are to be seen. Here was also a Church of excellent workmanship, part of which remains entire. In the ruins of it, is an ancient Picture, representing the Countess of Strathern with her children, kneeling and asking a blessing from St. Blanus, who is cloathed in his Pontifical habit. Not long since, Robert Leighton was Bishop of this place, a man of an exemplary life and conversation. At his death, he left all his books, both Manuscripts and others, to the use of the Diocess of Dumblane, and amortiz’d a sum for erecting a Library; and a Salary for a Library-keeper was amortiz’d by the same Bishop’s sister’s son. It gives the title of Viscount of Dumblane to his Grace the Duke of Leeds, in England. The Lord William Drummond, Viscount of Strath-allan, hath here a very fine Dwelling, and considerable revenues in the Country all round.⌉

Kirk-Bird. At Kirk-Bird, that is, St. Brigid’s-Church, the Earls of Menteith * * Have, C.had their principal residence; as also the Earls of Montross of the same family, not far off at Kin-kardin. This Menteith (as I have heard) reaches to the Mountains that enclose the East side of Logh-lomond. ⌈The Laird of DincrubDincrub. was, by King Charles the second when in Scotland, created Lord Rollo, from his sirname.

Cardross. Near these places is the Abbey of Cardross, which King James the sixth erected into a temporal Lordship, in the person of Henry Erskin Earl of Mar.

Ardoch. In this Country, about the mid-way between Dumblain and the Castle of Drummond, is the house of Ardoch; where are the footsteps of a large † † See the account of Thule.Roman Camp, enclosed on some sides with treble trenches. Here, at several times, Roman Medals have been found; and from hence there is a great Road which leads towards St. Johnstoun or Perth (causey’d in many places;) and so on, through Strathmore, towards Angus. This Encampment is believed to have been made by Julius Agricola, being near to the Grampian Hills, where he defeated the Scots and Picts.

Within the Camp, was found a square stone, which hath been kept at the Castle of Drummond, with the following Inscription;

Dis manibvs
Cohortis i. 
Xvii. hispanorvm
F. C.⌉

Earls of Menteith. The ancient Earls of Menteith were of the family of Cumen; formerly the most numerous and potent in all Scotland, but ruin’d by it’s own greatness. The later Earls have been of the House of Graham, ever since Mailise Graham attain’d to the honour of Earl; ⌈until William, the last Earl, died without issue in the year 1694; having convey’d his Estate to James, then Marquis, and now Duke, of Montross.⌉


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