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The Great Historic Families of Scotland 

Search for all reference to Frazer


page 22

'The true reason for this action,' says Mr. Frazer, 'is no doubt to be found in the fact that the Earl of Mar, naturally desirous of having children of his own to succeed to his old and historical earldom of Mar, and finding himself disappointed in this after his union with Lady Margaret Graham, as it is recorded that [p.22] there were no children of the marriage, separated himself from her, in the hope that by a new matrimonial alliance he might have an heir. He afterwards married Lady Margaret Stewart, Countess of Angus, who was the eldest daughter and heiress of Thomas Stewart, second Earl of Angus. But he was again disappointed, and he died without issue in 1377.
page 24

Mr. Frazer, in his 'Red Book of Menteith,' has very carefully [p.24] investigated the charge against the Regent and Douglas, and has come to the conclusion that the story of Rothesay's death by starvation in a dungeon in Falkland Palace, which was first told by Hector Bocce, is not supported by any evidence of the slightest value. The eminent genealogist puts great weight on the facts that the charges were judicially investigated by Parliament, with the result that the Duke and the Earl were completely vindicated from the accusation made against them; and that the King himself, Rothesay's father, declared publicly and explicitly in Parliament, that they were innocent from every charge of blame in connection with the Prince's death.
page 7

ROBERT, sixth Lord Maxwell, 'appears to have been a man of a courageous, impetuous, and energetic character, but his early death prevented his attaining the conspicuous and influential position which his father held.' His wife, Lady Beatrix Douglas, was a granddaughter of James, the third, and daughter of James, the fourth Earl of Morton, and co-heiress of the earldom. Her younger sister married James Douglas, nephew of Archibald, Earl of Angus, who through her obtained the title, and became the celebrated Regent Morton. As we have seen, Earl Robert, in his father's lifetime, was imprisoned in England, and was permitted to return to his native country only on condition that he would promote the sinister designs of the English King on the independence of Scotland. In return for some pecuniary assistance which Maxwell asked, the emissaries of Henry strove hard to induce him to give up the castle of Lochmaben; but this, it appears, he was unable or unwilling to do. The bloody feud which raged so long between the Maxwells and the Johnstones seems to have originated at this time, in consequence of the Laird of Johnstone having violated the obligations of man-rent, by which he bound himself to assist Lord Maxwell in all his just and honest actions. Wharton, the English Warden, informed the Earl of Shrewsbury that he had used means to create discord between the Johnstones and the Maxwells. He had offered the Laird of Johnstone 300 crowns, his brother, the Abbot of Soulseat, 100, and his followers 100, on condition that he would put the Master of Maxwell into his power. Johnstone, he said, had entered into the plot, but he and his friends 'were all so false that he knew not what to say.' He placed very little confidence in them. But he would be 'glad to annoy and entrap the Master of Maxwell or the Laird of Johnstone, to the King's Majestie's honour, and his own poor honesty.' The Book of Carlaverock, i. p. 213. By William Frazer, LL.D.* [p.7] There was so much double-dealing and treachery on both sides, that it was impossible to put much confidence in any of the leaders. The Master of Maxwell, in order to obtain his father's liberation from the Tower, promised to the English ambassador that he would do his utmost to promote the English interests, but he did 'his Majesty no manner of service.' On the other hand, the Governor and the Lords of the Scottish Council compelled him to give security that he would loyally keep the houses of Carlaverock, Lochmaben, and the Thrieve, for the Queen, from 'their enemies of England.' Douglas of Drumlanrig, Gordon of Lochinvar, Stewart of Garlies, and other influential barons, were his pledges for the fulfilment of his bond. The Master was, however, shortly after, in 1545, taken prisoner in an unsuccessful expedition, and carried to London, where his father had for sometime been in captivity. He remained in England until the year 1549, when he was exchanged for SirThomas Palmer.






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