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gilds, and Hanlons. In truth, they had been formerly the stormy chiefs of a de. sart, but extensive domain, and the heads of a numerous tribe, called Mac-Dingawaie, though they afterwards adopted the Norman surname of Bertram. They had made war, raised rebellions, been defeated, beheaded, and hanged, as became a family of importance, for many centuries. But they had gradually lost ground in the world, and, from being themselves the heads of treason and traitorous conspira; cies, the Bertrams, or Mac-Dingawaies of Ellangowan, had sunk into subordinate accomplices. Their most fatal exhibitions in this capacity took place in the seventeenth century, when the foul fiend possessed them with a spirit of contradiction which uniformly involved them in controversy with the ruling powers. They reversed the conduct of the celebrated vicar of Bray, and adhered as tenaciously to the weaker side, as that worthy divine to
the stronger. And truly, like him, they had their reward.
Allan Bertram of Ellangowan, who flourished tempore Caroli primi, was, says my authority, Sir Robert Douglas, in his Scottish Baronage, (see the title Ellangowan,) “ a steady loyalist, and full of zeal for the cause of his sacred majesty, in which he united with the great Marquis of Mon. trose, and other truly zealous and honour able patriots, and sustained great losses in that behalf. He had the honour of knighthood conferred upon him by his most sacred majesty, and was sequestrated as a malignant by the parliament, 1642, and afterward as a resolutioner, in the year 1648.”—These two cross-grained epithets of malignant and resolutioner cost poor Sir Allan one half of the family estate. His son Dennis Bertram married a daughter of an eminent fanatic, who had a seat in the council of state, and saved by that union the remainder of the family property. But, as ill chance would have it, he became enamoured of the lady's principles as well as of her charms, and my author gives him this character: “ He was a mau of eminent parts and resolution, for which rea. son he was chosen by the western counties one of the committee of noblemen and gentlemen, to report their griefs to the privy council of Charles II. anent the coming in of the Highland host in 1678.” For undertaking this patriotic task he underwent a fine, to pay which he was obliged to mortgage half of the remaining moiety of his paternal property. This loss he might have recovered by dint of severe economy, but upon the breaking out of Argyle's rebellion, Dennis Bertram was again suspected by government, apprehended, sent to Dunnotar Castle, on the coast of the Mearns, and there broke his neck in an attempt to escape from a subterranean habitation, called the Whig's Vault, in which he was confined with some eighty of the same persuasion. The appriser, therefore, (as the holder of a mortgage was then call.
ed,) entered upon possession, and, in the language of Hotspur, " came me cranking in," and cut the family out of another monstrous cantle of their remaining property.
Donohoe Bertram, with somewhat of an Irish name, and somewhat of an Irishi temper, succeeded to the diminished property of Ellangowan. He turned out of doors the Rev. Aaron Macbriar, his mother's chaplain, (it is said they quarrelled about the good graces of a milk-maid,) drank himself daily drunk with brimming healths to the king, council, and bishops; held orgies with the Laird of Lagg, Theophilus Oglethorpe, and Sir James Turner; and lastly, took his grey gelding, and joined Clavers at Killie krankie. At the skirmish of Dunkeld, 1689, he was shot dead by a Cameronian with a silver button (being supposed to have proof from the Evil One against lead and steel,) and his grave is still called the “ Wicked Laird's Lair.”
His son, Lewis, had more prudence than seems usually to have belonged to the family. He nursed what property was yet left to him'; for Donohoe's excesses, as well as fines and forfeitures, had made another inroad upon the estate. And although even he did not escape the fatality which induced the Lairds of Ellangowan to interfere in politics, he had yet the prudence. ere he went out with Lord Kenmore in 1715, to convey his estate to 'trustees, in order to parry pains and penalties, in case the Earl of Mar could not put down the protestant succession. But Scylla and Charybdisma word to the wise he only saved his estate at expence of a law-suit, which again subdivided the fa. mily property. He was, however, a man of resolution. He sold part of the lands, evacuated the old castle, where the family lived in their decadence, as a mouse (said an old farmer) lives under a firlot. Pulling down part of these venerable ruins, he built a narrow house of three stories height, . with a front like a grenadier's cap, two windows on each side, and a door in the