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THE MURDER OF CAERLAVEROC.
NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED.
had so bewildered his senses, that, after riding all night, he was taken, at break of day, not three miles from the castle, and was afterwards executed by order of King David II.
The story of the murder is thus told by the Prior of Lochlevin :
BY CHARLES KIRKPATRICK SHARPE, ESQ.
"That ilk yhere in our kynryk
WINTOWNIS Cronykill, b. viii. cap. 14.
THE MURDER OF CAERLAVEROC.
The tragical event which preceded, or perhaps gave rise to, the successful insurrection of Robert Bruce against the tyranny of Edward I., is well known. In the year 1304, Bruce abruptly left the Court of England, and held an interview, in the Dominical Church of Dumfries, with John, surnamed, from the colour of his hair, the Red Cuming, a powerful chieftain, who had formerly held the regency of Scotland. It is said, by the Scottish historians, that he upbraided Cuming with having betrayed to the English monarch a scheme formed betwixt them, for asserting the independence of Scotland. The English writers maintain, that Bruce proposed such a plan to Cuming, which he rejected with scorn, as inconsistent with the fealty he had sworn to Edward. The dispute, however it began, soon waxed high betwixt two fierce and independent barons. At length, standing before the high altar of the church, Cuming gave Bruce thelie, and Bruce retaliated by a stroke of his poniard. Full of confusion and remorse, for a homicide committed in a sanctuary, the future monarch of Scotland rushed out of the church, with the bloody poniard in his hand. Kirkpatrick and Lindsay, two barons who faithfully adhered to him, were waiting at the gate. To their earnest and anxious enquiries into the cause of his emotion, Bruce answered, “I doubt I have slain the Red Cuming."-"Doubtest thou?” exclaimed Kirkpatrick; “I make sure!”. Accordingly, with Lindsay and a few followers, he rushed into the church, and despatched the wounded Cuming.
A homicide, in such a place, and in such an age, could hardly escape embellishment from the fertile genius of the churchmen, whose interest was so closely connected with the inviolability of a divine sanctuary. Accordingly, Bowmaker informs us, that the body of the slaughtered baron was watched, during the night, by the Dominicans, with the usual rites of the church. But, at midnight, the whole assistants fell into a dead sleep, with the exception of one aged father, who heard, with terror and surprise, a voice, like that of a wailing infant, exclaim, “ How long, O Lord, shall vengeance.be deferred?” It was answered in an awful tone, “ Endure with patience, until the anniversary of this day shall return for the fifty-second time.” In the year 1357, fifty-two years after Cuming's death, James of Lindsay was hospitably feasted in the castle of Caerlaveroc, in Dumfries-shire, belonging to Roger Kirkpatrick. They were the sons of the murderers of the Regent. In the dead of night, for some unknown cause, Lindsay arose, and poniarded in his bed his unsuspecting host. He then mounted his horse to fly; but guilt and fear
“Now, come to me, my little page,
Of wit sae wondrous sly! Ne'er under flower, o' youthfu' age,
Did mair destruction lie.
“I'll dance and revel wi' the rest
Within this castle rare;
Bot and bis lady fair. “For ye maun drug Kirkpatrick's wine
Wi' juice o? poppy flowers;
Frae proud Caerlaveroc's towers. “For he has twined my love and me,
The maid of mickle scornShe'll welcome, wi' a tearfu'ee,
Her widowhood the morn.
"And saddle weel my milk-white steed,
Prepare my harness bright! Giff I can make my rival bleed,
I'll ride awa this night.”“Now, haste ye, master, to the ha'!
The guests are drinking there; Kirkpatrick's pride sall be but sma',
For a’his lady fair.”—
That is, Kirkpatrick's wife.
· Hence the crest of Kirkpatrick is a hand, grasping a dagger, distilling gouts of blood, proper; motto, “I mack sicker."