Sunday, August 22, 2010

Raid of Ruthven

'..."Ay! " said the King, " say ye sae, man ? — Lord Glenvarloch, that was his name indeed — Justus et tenax propositi — A just man, but as obstinate as a baited bull. He stood whiles against us, that Lord Randal Olifaunt of Glenvarloch, but he was a loving and a leal subject in the main. But this supplicator maun be his son — Randal has been long gone where king and lord must go, Geordie, as weel as the like of you — and what does his son want with us ?"


" The settlement," answered the citizen, " of a large debt due by your Majesty's treasury, for money advanced to your Majesty in great state emergency, about the time of the Raid of Ruthven."


" I mind the thing weel," said King James — " Od's death, man, I was just out of the clutches of the Master of Glamis and his complices, and there was never siller mair welcome to a born Prince, — the mair the shame and pity that crowned King should need sic a petty sum. But what need he dun us for it, man, like a baxter at the breaking ? We aught him the siller, and will pay him wi' our convenience, or make it otherwise up to him, whilk is enow between prince and subject — We are not in meditationc fugce, man, to be arrested thus peremptorily."...'
 
The raid of Ruthen occurred on August 22, 1582.  The Earl of Gowrie, William Ruthven, along with other Presbyterian nobles abducted James VI of Scotland.  Walter Scott's text (above) from "The Fortunes of Nigel" references this raid, which is further explained in a note to the text:
 
'p. 93. "The Raid of Ruthven." The object of this Raid (1582) was to separate James from his favourites, Lennox and Arran. The King was near Perth ; Lennox, at Dalkeith, near Edinburgh ; Arran, at Kinneil. Gowrie, Mar, and others caught James at Cowrie's own castle of Ruthven, removed his guard, and held him prisoner. " Better bairns weep than bearded men," said Glammis, when James burst into tears. The Kirk abetted the Raid, and en joyed a temporary triumph.'

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