Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654

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Name: Blaeu, Joan, 1596-1673  
Title: Lennox sive Levinia  
Pagination: 66-67
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Translation of text:

the Earldom of Lennox, which had been assigned to him in feu, or in which he had been infefted, was revoked by Parliamentary authority in the year 1579; his uncle Robert Bishop of Caithness for some time took this title, but in place of it he received the honour of Earl of March from the King, and King James conferred on Esme Stewart, son of John Lord of Aubigny and brother of the second Matthew whom I have mentioned as Earl of Lennox, the title of Duke of Lennox, which his son Ludovic today enjoys. [This Ludovic died without issue: he was about to go Parliament, and having put on his cloak he suddenly perished. And so his brother Esme Lord of Aubigny succeeded him; his son James now enjoys that honour, with the addition also of the title of Duke of Richmond in England, first granted by James VI to his uncle Ludovic.] For from the times of Charles VI there were from this family Lords of Aubigny in France, that Robert whom I have mentioned, and Bernard or Eberard under Charles VIII and Louis XII; described in print for future generations by Jovius, on account of his extremely brave actions in the war with Naples, he was the faithful companion of Henry VII when he came to England, and had for his arms a lion between buckles with the motto ‘Distance joins’, because by his efforts the kingdoms of France and Scotland, having been separated over a long period, were joined in a closer bond of friendship; as Robert Stewart Lord D’Aubigny of the same family, who was Marshal of France under Louis XI, for the same reason used the royal arms of France, with gold buckles placed round in a red border, the same as the Earls and Dukes of Lennox have borne from then on.

OF LENNOX (Section Note)

The north side of the estuary named Glotta by the ancients is called in Ptolemy the Leimonian gulf (Kolpos leimonios, corruptly written in copies of Ptolemy leimonomos, more corruptly lennanos). Now the gulf is named because it runs into the land as it were with different arms, and thus embracing the piece of land with its elbows meeting, holds it as if in its bosom. It is called Laimonian, as if Loch Leimonius were an arm of the sea, when in reality it is a fresh water loch, which has driven itself forward through a channel of the same name, leimon, so named from its depth; Greek leimon is deep water. As the sea enters the Clyde at Alnich or Dumbarton, thus Loch Leimonius with its river of the same name makes the right arm of this gulf, whose second or left arm is today called Loch Fyne; I find no name for it among the ancients, and it is truly an arm of the salt sea, running into the land; it takes its name from the River Fyne, which comes down from the nearby mountains and flows into it from the north. Now the river is so named because it has muddy water from Greek pinos, that is dirty. Between Fyne and Lomond there are other smaller runs of the sea into the land, which make the inner parts of the gulf. Of these runs two are especially noteworthy, viz. lakkos loggos, the long lake, Loch Louch or Loch Long in the vernacular; it gets its name from the synonymous river, which is so called because it is a narrow channel swallowing the waters, from the Hebrew lvch swallow; the other loch is that called in the vernacular Gairloch, that is, short lake, and it really is such, if it is compared with the others; for Gar to our ancestors is short from the Hebrew terach, to be short or to shorten. The leimon, see above, in course of time was changed by our early ancestors into Lewin, and by more recent Germanisers into Leven, by which they intend to denote that deep channel or river which runs from Loch Lomond into the mouth of the Clyde; writers in Latin then made Levinus from Lewin or Leven, and from it the neighbouring region round about was called Levinia (in Fife there is a loch and river of the same name). The boundaries of this region are much more restricted today, as too in the most recent periods, than they once were, especially on the east. For today in one part Loch Lomond is its boundary, on the east above the mouth of the River Endrick, from which it procedes east to the River Blane (3), which likewise divides this region from that of Stirling, flowing for some miles from south to north, which is then taken up in the River Endrick. From the source of the Blane the line is drawn south to the River Kelvin near Garscube, the home of Baron Colquhoun. On the south the boundary of Lennox is the River Clyde and its estuary; on the west Loch Long and the synonymous river flowing into it, which comes down from the neighbouring mountains; to the north the northern boundary of this region ends it; it is the part of the Grampian mountains which hangs over Loch Lomond on the east, and from there stretches west, as far as the source of the River Long. The Grampian mountains begin to appear mostly about these parts; these mountains are called in the vernacular Gransben Hills, the name means dense mountains; but of this in more detail elsewhere.

This province is commonly called the prefecture of Dumbarton, from the city where law is dispensed to the people of the province, viz. Dumbarton, which is wrongly called Britannodunum by writers in Latin. The writers justify this from a fictitious story, scil. that the ancient Britons held it, and in it had guard-houses against the Caledonians or ancient Scots, and the Meatae or Picts. Nonsense. For the name of Dumbarton is recent; it was formerly, on the authority of Bede, called (4) Alquith or Arquith, that is dwelling above a mountain, ar in Greek is oros, mountain, as is well known; Quith is the same as our Keith, a covering or house, from Greek keutho cover. Dumbar means tower on a mountain; so it is a translation of the old name, for Dun is rock, hill, mountain; and Bar, tower; and when people had come together under the shadow of this tower or rock not far from its base and had founded a city, they called the place Dunbarton. This city today is almost surrounded by the River Leven, where it joins with the Clyde. Of this two-headed rock, with the castle on one peak and a watch-tower on the other, you have a most elegant description in our greatest kinsman’s (5) History book 20, in these words.

From the confluence of the Rivers Clyde and Leven a plain stretches about a mile to the feet of the closest mountains; just in the angle where the rivers join rises a two-headed rock; the one peak, which is higher, faces west; on its top is a watch-tower, with a very long view in all directions; the other, a little lower, looks east between two peaks. The side which is turned to the north and the fields has steps along the sloping rock, cut out by mens industry and great labour, by which there is scarce approach for one man at a time; for that stone is extremely hard, and scarcely to be worked with any iron tools; if a piece is broken off from it by force or falls in ruin, it sends off a smell of sulphur over a wide area. In part of the upper castle there is a large rock, of magnetic stone, but so fixed and adhering to the rest of the rock that the join is quite invisible. Where the Clyde flows past on the south, the rock, in other parts naturally precipitous, slopes a little, and on arms reaching out on both sides embraces some soil, which is enclosed partly by natural forces, partly by human toil, so that it provides space on the transverse sides for many buildings, and by being beaten down with bronze machines makes an anchorage for ships in the river safe for themselves and the opposite for enemies, and provides an approach for smaller boats almost to the actual castle-gate; but in the middle where it rises up, the rock being covered with buildings, it produces something like another castle separated from the upper one. Apart from the natural defence of the rock, the two rivers, the Leven to the west and the Clyde to the south, take the place of moats. On the east side, each time that the tide comes in, it washes the foot of the rock; when the tide has gone out, that is not a sandy plain (as shores usually are) but marshy, and covered with thicker soil dissolved into mud, and also split by burns rushing from the nearby mountain. The remaining side is opposite a grassy, flat field. The castle has three perennial springs; besides in many places fresh water gushes out. This city of Dumbarton flourished for some centuries and was for these parts quite a well-known market-town, but now it is only the corpse of an old city, although it retains as yet its ancient privileges. The market which the citizens of this city (6) used to conduct here has been transferred to Glasgow, not very long ago, through the fault, they say, of the people of Dumbarton. Of the rivers of this region the main one is the Leven, on which see above, which cuts it through the middle. The remaining rivers are the boundary[?] ones, viz. Endrick, Blane and Kelvin, for which see the description of the prefecture of Stirling. The Clyde we discuss under Clydesdale. The River Leven is quite rich in fish, and particularly abounds in salmon; from catching them the inhabitants make much profit, especially near Loch Lomond. On the River Long, see above. The whole region is conveniently divided into two parts, the first and more eastern is low, lying between the Rivers Endrick, Blane, Kelvin, Clyde and Leven. It was part of the territory of the Damnii, and is quite productive of every kind of crop, especially near the channels of the aforementioned rivers. The land that is farther from these rivers is less fertile in crops, as it rises gradually into hills covered with grass and heather and so is more suited for pasturing flocks, from which the inhabitants get very great profit. The remaining part of the region rises into high mountains, and there especially as we said the Grampian mountains begin to appear. The inhabitants of this part, as of the neighbouring areas of these mountains, were called by the ancients Waccomagi, ouakkumagoi to Ptolemy, that is inhabiting waste and deserted places: a compound word, one part of which is magus which means habitation; so it occurs in the name of many cities among the ancients, as you may learn from the second book of our countryman, to say nothing of others; it is a word of Hebrew origin, in which magon is habitation, from the simple word avan living-place; the other part of the compound is Vaica or Baicha, by which word is denoted a desert or waste place. This is also a Hebrew word, Baca, waste, despoil; hence the Vaccaei, today Basques, and the Vaciones, today Vascons, who live in waste, desert places in the Pyrenaean mountains and nearby. Further there is a trace here of the old name Vaicomagon, in an estate which is situated on the slope of a waste mountain which overhangs Loch Lomond on the east, and is called in the vernacular Blanvochie, that is green slope of a waste mountain, for Blan today means to our people a slope green with grass. This estate is owned by one of the Buchanan family. Now although this part of our region ascends into desert mountains, here and there near watercourses there are valleys quite productive of crops. In place of firewood, the inhabitants, the closer they are to the River Clyde, use lithanthrax or fossil coal, on which elsewhere. But all the rest over the whole region have for fire black dug turfs, on which also elsewhere. The use of firewood

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