Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654
|Name:||Blaeu, Joan, 1596-1673|
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Translation of text:
FROM CAMDEN (Section Note)
On the other bank of the Clyde, above Glasgow, Lennox or Levinia runs further to the north among conglomerations of mountains; it got its name from the River Leven, which (to Ptolemy the Lelanonius) flows into the Clyde from Loch Lomond; that loch ends here under the mountains, in length 20 miles and 8 in width, quite well supplied with fish, but mostly with a fish peculiar to it (called pollac), and full of islands. Concerning these very many stories have spread among the common people. But I do not care to call into question that there is here a floating island, since there is nothing to prevent a lighter, porous body from swimming on the water, and Pliny [Letters 8.20] (1) writes that in Lake Vadimon grassy islands covered with rushes and reeds float. Let those who know the character of this place from closer at hand decide whether this old couple of our Necham is true,
Albany is rich in rivers, stony trees
Lomond gives, potent with great cold.
All round the edge of the lake there are fishermen’s huts, but nothing at all worthy of mention except Kilmaronock, an elegant house of the Earl of Cassillis on the east side, which enjoys a very pleasant prospect over the loch. Now where the Leven discharges from the loch into the Clyde is interposed Al-Cluid, as it was called of old; Bede states that in an undetermined language it meant ‘rock Clyde’; certainly in British Ar-Cluid means above the Clyde, and Clyde in the old tongue of the English meant ‘rock’. Later it was called Dunbritton, that is ‘town of the Britons’, and corruptly by a kind of metathesis Dunbarton, for the reason that the Britons held it for a very long time against the Scots, Picts and Saxons. For it is from its nature and situation the best fortified fort or castle in Scotland, exactly at the confluence of the rivers, on a grassy plain, fixed to a rough, two-headed rock, on one of whose peaks a watch-tower stands out, on the other lower one many defence-works rise up. Between these two peaks, on the north side, it has a unique way up, scarcely passable by one man at a time, with steps cut out with great labour from the slanting rock. In place of ditches there are to the west the Leven, to the south the Clyde, to the east a marshy plain which is totally covered by the water at high tide; on the north it is absolutely safe by the steep situation. With this natural site and their own courage some remnants of the Britons, who (as Gildas writes) ‘had found refuge in mountainous hills, threatening, steep, protected with the densest woods and sea-cliffs’, for three hundred years after the retreat of the Romans defended themselves here in the midst of their enemies. For in Bede’s time the city (as he himself writes) of the Britons was well fortified. But in the year 756 Edbert King of the Northumbrians and Angus King of the Picts surrounded it with their joint forces, and its condition being desperate, received its surrender. From it the surrounding region is called the Sheriffdom of Dunbarton and long recognised the Earls of Lennox as Sheriffs by birth.
As for the Earls of Lennox themselves, to pass over the older ones, a certain Duncan was Earl of Lennox in the reign of Robert II, who died leaving only daughters. One of them was married to Alan Stewart, who was of the family of Robert, younger son of Walter second of that name, High Steward of Scotland, and brother (2) of Alexander Stewart the second, from whom descend the Royal family of the Scots. For from the honorary grant of the Steward of the kingdom, who was of course in charge of the Royal revenues, and was called Stewart in the common tongue, the surname was given to this most illustrious family. To that Alan was born John Earl of Lennox, and Robert who was commander of the brigade of Scots which Charles VI King of France (in order to return some thanks to the Scottish people who had by their bravery deserved very well of the kingdom of France) first recruited, and who for his virtue was presented by the same king with the Lordship of Aubigny in Auvergne. John’s son was Matthew Earl of Lennox, who married a daughter of James Hamilton by Marion daughter of King James II, by whom he fathered John Earl of Lennox, who, taking up arms to free King James V from the Douglases and Hamiltons, was killed by his maternal uncle the Earl of Arran. To John was born Matthew Earl of Lennox, who was variously troubled in France and Scotland but experienced gentler fortune in England thanks to Henry VIII, as he gave him in marriage his niece by his sister along with estates. From this felicitous union were born Henry and Charles, and from Henry was born by Mary Queen of Scots James VI King of Britain with the propitious favour and auspices of eternal heaven, most favoured to bind together the world of Britain, as formerly separated from the rest of the world, into one body of empire and to establish most firmly eternal security (as we hope and pray) for our children and our children’s children in an unending sequence of centuries. To Charles was born an only daughter Arabella, who so embraced the study of the best literature beyond her sex, that it benefited her to true virtue with the highest praise and she is to be compared with women of ancient times. On Charles’s death,