Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gillespie Grumach

May 22. (1829)—I was detained long in the Court, though Ham. had returned to his labour. We dined with Captain Basil Hall, and met a Mr. Codman, or some such name, with his lady from Boston. The last a pleasant and well-mannered woman, the husband Bostonian enough. We had Sir William Arbuthnot, besides, and his lady.


By-the-bye, I should have remembered that I called on my old friend, Lady Charlotte Campbell, and found her in her usual good-humour, though miffed a little—I suspect at the history of Gillespie Grumach in the Legend of Montrose.
 
From Scott's Journal.
 
Lady Charlotte Campbell has not passed as a major historical figure, but she was well known to Scott and others.  Gillespie Grumach was based on Charlotte's ancestor.  An introduction by Andrew Lang to Scott's "A Legend of Montrose" (1898) includes the following comment:
 
"...and Gillespie Grumach, "gleyed Argyll," with all his wisdom, his caution, his intrigues, is hetter remembered for what never befell — his meeting with Dalgetty in the dungeon — than for his politics. Lady Charlotte Bury {nee Campbell}, it seems, did not easily forgive Scott for his attack on her celebrated ancestor. He might have made amends to the Clan Camphell by writing his Life of John Duke of Argyll, Jeanie Deans's Duke, but this, unluckily, he did not live to accomplish. "By the way, I should have remembered that I called on my old friend, Lady Charlotte Campbell, and found her in her usual good humour, though miffed a little, I suspect at the history of Gillespie Grumach, in the ' Legend of Montrose.' " The lady's resentment, then, had endured; in ten long years the sun had not quite gone down on her wrath...."

No comments:

Post a Comment