Lives of the most celebrated ancient kings of Scotland

Lives of the most celebrated ancient kings of Scotland (1804)
3276236Lives of the most celebrated ancient kings of Scotland1804







Printed for R. SMITH, Bookseller,



Fergus II.

(Rymer (illegible text)





FERGUS II. grandson to Eugene I. ascended the throne in the year 404.—Some historians will have him to be the first monarch of Scotland. However, it is pretty plain that he was a native, and that, after returning into Scotland from exile, he, with the help of the Danes, Goths, and his own countrymen, who were gathered unto him out of all countries where they had been dispersed, greatly harassed the Britons till they called in the Romans to their assistance, in the year 418; his army was then defeated in a pitched battle, and himself slain in the 16th year of his reign. He left three sons very young, and Graham (from whom the wall of Severus got the name of Graham’s Dyke) their grandfather by the mother’s side was appointed Guardian over them till they came of age.


Eugenius II. Fergus’s eldest son succeeded him in the year 420. When he came of age he followed his father’s steps in harassing the Britons after the departure of the Roman army. He vanquished them in a pitched battle, in which 14,000 of the Britons and 4000 of the Scots were slain; after which he offered them peace, on conditions of their calling in no assislance from foreign parts; of making neither peace nor war without concurrence of the Scots; the river Humber to be the boundary of their kingdom; and their paying a certain sum annually for the use of the Scots soldiers to repel any invasion of foreigners. The Britons rejected the terms, and invited over the Saxons, by whose aid, they routed the Scots at Grantham, and Eugenius was drowned in crossing the Humber in the 32d year of his reign.

Eugenius II.


Smith sculp



Eugene IV. succeeded Kenneth I. and was the son of Aidan, who being nominated king by Kinnatel, and confirmed by the people, was, in the year 570, installed by Columba, a man of great authority. He cleared the province of Galloway of many bands of robbers that infested it: afterwards, he invaded the territory of Ethelfred king of the Northumbrians, and gained some considerable advantages over him; but, at last, received such a mortifying defeat, that, on his return home, he died of grief. The city of Edinburgh is said to be indebted to this Monarch for her origin and name. Eugene enjoyed the throne peaceably sixteen years.


Etfinus, son of Eudenius VII. began to reign in the year 731, and governed the kingdom with justice for 31 years; being then old and unable to manage alone; he appointed four of his nobles as regents: They, as has too often happened, to enrich themselves abused their power; and the good old King, unable to silence the clamours of his subjects, by removiug these wicked ministers, died of grief in 762.


Achaius, son of Etsin, in the year 788, in whose reign the Irish made a descent upon Kintyre, but were soon expelled by the inhabitants, and lost many ships in their return home. They afterwards solicited Achaius for peace and friendship which was granted them.—Charlemagne, or Charles the Great of France, entered into the strictest alliance with Achaius, and both nations mutually assisted each other with troops.—Alcuin, a native of Scotland, a man famous in this age for his learning, being Charles’s Preceptor,

Rymer Sculpt.


Eugenius II.

promoted this friendship, which subsisted for a long series of years, without interruption. Achaius reigned 32 years, and was succeeded by his nephew.


Eugenius VIII. son of Murdac, acceding to the throne in the year 762, called the late Regents to account; put one of them to death and inflicted heavy fines on the rest; but afterwards, reclining in the arms of peace, he gave a loose to irregular passions, and growing infinitely worse than the Regents, was himself put to death for the public benefit, in the 3d year of his reign.


Alexander I. Edgar’s brother succeeded him in 1107. His reign was remarkable, only for the introduction of silver coin, and disputes with his nobles, occasioned by his indulgence to the clergy.


Alexander II. son of William, sirnamed the Lion, came to the Crown at sixteen years of age, a spirited, brave, and just King. He protected many of the Barons of England, against the tyranny of John; pursued John himself from the river Esk to Richmond; but John escaped falling into his hands, by setting fire to the towns through which he fled.

Lewis son of Philip King of France, being invited over to England, the Barons and

Alexander I.

Alexander II.

citizens swore fealty to him. Alexander heartily espoused his cause, and in his right, dispossessed John of Carlisle, Northumberland, and other places; but Lewis being obliged to leave England, (owing to the Pope’s sentence of excommunication against his adherents,) and Henry III. John’s son, being King, Alexander entered into an alliance with him, and married his eldest sister Joan in 1221. He afterwards subdued, and punished with death, one Gillespy and his two sons, who had committed terrible ravages in Murray and burnt the town of Inverness. Another insurrection was raised by a basard son of the laird of Galloway, but was soon quelled, whom, Alexander, after having him in his power, generoussly pardoned.

In 1235, Scotland being free from her intestine broils, Alexander and his Queen visited their brother Henry. During his stay in England, a dispute happened about Northumberland, which was settled by Henry’s allowing 80 merks yearly in lieu of it. Alexander having lost his wife when in England, on his return home, he married the daughter of Eugelram de Coucy, a powerful French nobleman. After this, a rupture with England broke out, but was settled without much bloodshed; and in 1241 it was agreed, that Alexander’s infant son should marry the daughter of Henry.

Alexander, in the midst of his preparations to subdue the Ebrides, was seized by a fever and died much lamented, in the 51st year of his age, and 35th of his glorious reign.

He was certainly a spirited and wealthy Prince, and appears by his justice, piety, address and good nature, to have been greatly beloved, not only by his own subjects, but by thos of England. He was succeeded by his son.

Rymer Sculp.



Macbeth was cousin to Duncan I. and had become extremely popular for his activity in crushing an alarming rebellion, and, in conjunction with Banquo, obtaining a signal victory over the Danes; but, his natural ambition being inflamed by predictions of his future advancement to the throne, which the prevailing superstition of the day made him yield implicit credit to, he murdered the King at Inverness, while on a yearly circuit, and was immediately after crowned at Scone. Duncan’s two sons fled, Malcolm into England, and Donald to the Isles. The checks of conscience made Macbeth, who had reigned for some time with moderation, suspicious and cruel. Banquo he treacherously murdered. Macduff, thane of Fife, escaped into England, while the cruel King inhumanly put to death his wife, children, and servants. The nobility alarmed, retired to their castles, whilst Malcolm, by the advice of Macduff, solicited troops from Edward, and procured 10,000 under the command of Siward, Prince of Northumberland, his grandfather; and with these he entered Scotland. Macbeth, deserted by his nobles, retired to the castle of Dunsinane; flying from thence, he was overtaken and killed, by the injured Macduff.

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Public domainPublic domainfalsefalse