James II of Scotland
James II was a member of the House of Stewart who reigned as King of Scotland from 1437 until his death. James was born in Holyrood Abbey, he was the son of King James Joan Beaufort. By his first birthday his twin and only brother, the older twin, had died, thus making James the heir apparent and given the title Duke of Rothesay. On 21 February 1437, James I was assassinated and the six-year-old James succeeded him as James II, he was crowned in Holyrood Abbey by Abbot Patrick on 23 March 1437. In 1449, nineteen-year-old James married fifteen-year-old Mary of Guelders, daughter of the Duke of Gelderland, she bore him seven children. Subsequently, the relations between Flanders and Scotland improved. James's nickname, Fiery Face, referred to a conspicuous vermilion birthmark on his face which appears to have been deemed by contemporaries an outward sign of a fiery temper. James was a politic, singularly successful king, he was popular with the commoners, with whom, like most of the Stewarts, he socialised in times of peace and war.
His legislation has a markedly popular character. He does not appear to have inherited his father's taste for literature, "inherited" by at least two of his sisters, he possessed much of his father's restless energy. However, his murder of the Earl of Douglas leaves a stain on his reign. James I was assassinated on 21 February 1437; the Queen, although hurt, managed to get to her six-year-old son, now king. On 25 March 1437, the six-year-old was formally crowned King of Scots at Holyrood Abbey; the Parliament of Scotland revoked alienations of crown property and prohibited them, without the consent of the Estates, that is, until James II's eighteenth birthday. He lived along with his mother and five of his six sisters at Dunbar Castle until 1439. From 1437 to 1439 the King's first cousin Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas, headed the government as lieutenant-general of the realm. After his death, with a general lack of high-status earls in Scotland due to deaths, forfeiture or youth, political power became shared uneasily among William Crichton, 1st Lord Crichton, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, Sir Alexander Livingston of Callendar, who had possession of the young king as the warden of the stronghold of Stirling Castle.
Taking advantage of these events, Livingston placed Queen Joan and her new husband, Sir John Stewart, under "house arrest" at Stirling Castle on 3 August 1439. They were released on 4 September only by making a formal agreement to put James in the custody of the Livingstons, by giving up her dowry for his maintenance, confessing that Livingston had acted through zeal for the king's safety. In 1440, in the King's name, an invitation is said to have been sent to the young, 16-year-old 6th Earl of Douglas and his younger brother, twelve-year-old David, to visit the king at Edinburgh Castle in November 1440. According to legend, they came, were entertained at the royal table, where James, still a little boy, was charmed by them. However, they were treacherously hurried to their doom, which took place by beheading in the castle yard of Edinburgh on 24 November, with the 10-year-old king pleading for their lives. Three days Malcolm Fleming of Cumbernauld, their chief adherent, shared the same fate.
It is the king, being a small child, had nothing to do with this. This infamous incident took the name of "the Black Dinner". In 1449 James II reached adulthood; the Douglases with his cooperation, used his coming of age as a way to throw the Livingstons out of the shared government, as the young king took revenge for the arrest of his mother that had taken place in 1439 and the assassination of his young Douglas cousins in which Livingston was complicit. Douglas and Crichton continued to dominate political power, the king continued to struggle to throw off their rule. Between 1451 and 1455 he struggled to free himself from the power of the Douglases. Attempts to curb the Douglases' power took place in 1451, during the absence of William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas from Scotland, culminated with the murder of Douglas at Stirling Castle on 22 February 1452; the main account of Douglas's murder comes from the Auchinleck Chronicle, a near contemporary but fragmentary source. According to its account, the king accused the Earl of forging links with John Macdonald, 11th Earl of Ross, Alexander Lindsay, 4th Earl of Crawford.
This bond, if it existed, created a dangerous axis of power of independently-minded men, forming a major rival to royal authority. When Douglas refused to break the bond with Ross, James broke into a fit of temper and stabbed Douglas 26 times and threw his body out of a window, his court officials joined in the bloodbath, one striking out the Earl's brain with an axe. This murder did not end the power of the Douglases, but rather created a state of intermittent civil war between 1452 and 1455; the main engagements were on the Isle of Arran. James attempted to seize Douglas lands, but his opponents forced him into humiliating climbdowns, whereby he retur
Robert the Bruce
Robert I, popularly known as Robert the Bruce, was King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329. Robert was one of the most famous warriors of his generation, led Scotland during the First War of Scottish Independence against England, he fought during his reign to regain Scotland's place as an independent country and is today revered in Scotland as a national hero. Descended from the Anglo-Norman and Gaelic nobility, his paternal fourth great-grandfather was King David I. Robert's grandfather, Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale, was one of the claimants to the Scottish throne during the "Great Cause"; as Earl of Carrick, Robert the Bruce supported his family's claim to the Scottish throne and took part in William Wallace's revolt against Edward I of England. Appointed in 1298 as a Guardian of Scotland alongside his chief rival for the throne, John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, William Lamberton, Bishop of St Andrews, Robert resigned in 1300 due to his quarrels with Comyn and the imminent restoration of John Balliol to the Scottish throne.
After submitting to Edward I in 1302 and returning to "the king's peace", Robert inherited his family's claim to the Scottish throne upon his father's death. In February 1306, having wounded Comyn, rushed from the church where they had met and encountered his attendants outside, he told them what had happened and said, "I must be off, for I doubt I have slain the Red Comyn." "Doubt?" Roger de Kirkpatrick of Closeburn answered, "I mak sikker," and, rushing into the church, killed Comyn. For this Bruce was excommunicated by the Pope. Bruce moved to seize the throne and was crowned king of Scots on 25 March 1306. Edward I's forces defeated Robert in battle, forcing him to flee into hiding before re-emerging in 1307 to defeat an English army at Loudoun Hill and wage a successful guerrilla war against the English. Bruce defeated his other Scots enemies, destroying their strongholds and devastating their lands, in 1309 held his first parliament. A series of military victories between 1310 and 1314 won him control of much of Scotland, at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Robert defeated a much larger English army under Edward II of England, confirming the re-establishment of an independent Scottish kingdom.
The battle marked a significant turning point, with Robert's armies now free to launch devastating raids throughout northern England, while extending his war against the English to Ireland by sending an army to invade there and by appealing to the Irish to rise against Edward II's rule. Despite Bannockburn and the capture of the final English stronghold at Berwick in 1318, Edward II refused to renounce his claim to the overlordship of Scotland. In 1320, the Scottish nobility submitted the Declaration of Arbroath to Pope John XXII, declaring Robert as their rightful monarch and asserting Scotland's status as an independent kingdom. In 1324, the Pope recognised Robert I as king of an independent Scotland, in 1326, the Franco-Scottish alliance was renewed in the Treaty of Corbeil. In 1327, the English deposed Edward II in favour of his son, Edward III, peace was concluded between Scotland and England with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, by which Edward III renounced all claims to sovereignty over Scotland.
Robert died in June 1329. His body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey, while his heart was interred in Melrose Abbey and his internal organs embalmed and placed in St Serf’s Chapel, site of the medieval Cardross Parish church. Robert de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale, the first of the Bruce, or de Brus, line arrived in Scotland with David I in 1124 and was given the lands of Annandale in Dumfries and Galloway. Several members of the Bruce family were called Robert, the future king was one of ten children, the eldest son, of Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale, Marjorie, Countess of Carrick, claimed the Scottish throne as a fourth great-grandson of David I, his mother was by all accounts a formidable woman who, legend would have it, kept Robert Bruce's father captive until he agreed to marry her. From his mother, he inherited the Earldom of Carrick, through his father, a royal lineage that would give him a claim to the Scottish throne; the Bruces held substantial estates in Aberdeenshire, County Antrim, County Durham, Essex and Yorkshire.
Although Robert the Bruce's date of birth is known, his place of birth is less certain, although it is most to have been Turnberry Castle in Ayrshire, the head of his mother's earldom. However there are claims that he may have been born in Lochmaben in Dumfriesshire, or Writtle in Essex. Little is known of his youth, he was brought up in a mixture of the Anglo-Norman culture of northern England and south-eastern Scotland, the Gaelic culture of south-west Scotland and most of Scotland north of the River Forth. Annandale was feudalised and the form of Northern Middle English that would develop into the Scots language was spoken throughout the region. Carrick was an integral part of Galloway, though the earls of Carrick had achieved some feudalisation, the society of Carrick at the end of the thirteenth century remained emphatically Celtic and Gaelic speaking. Robert the Bruce would most have become trilingual at an early age, he would have been schooled to speak and write in the Anglo-Norman language of his Scots-Norman peers and his father's family.
He would have spoken both the Gaeli
James Douglas, Lord of Douglas
Sir James Douglas was a Scottish knight and feudal lord. He was one of the chief commanders during the Wars of Scottish Independence, he was the eldest son of Sir William Douglas, known as "le Hardi" or "the bold", the first noble supporter of William Wallace. His mother was Elizabeth Stewart, the daughter of Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland, who died circa 1287 or early 1288, his father remarried in late 1288. Douglas was sent to France for safety in the early days of the Wars of Independence, was educated in Paris. There he met Bishop of St. Andrews, who took him as a squire, he returned to Scotland with Lamberton. His lands had been awarded to Robert Clifford. Lamberton presented him at the occupying English court to petition for the return of his land shortly after the capture of Stirling Castle in 1304, but when Edward I of England heard whose son he was he grew angry and Douglas was forced to depart. For Douglas, who now faced life as a landless outcast on the fringes of feudal society, the return of his ancestral estates was to become an overriding obsession impacting on his political allegiances.
In John Barbour's rhyming chronicle, The Brus, as much a paean to the young knight as the hero king, Douglas makes his feelings plain to Lamberton. The English, since he slew that man, Are keen to catch him. Now, therefore, if it be your will, With him will I take ill. Through him I hope my land to win Despite his kin; this was a dramatic moment in Scottish history: Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick had played a role in the slaying of John Comyn, a leading Scottish rival, on 6 February 1306 at Greyfriars Kirk in Dumfries. Bruce claimed the crown of Scotland, in defiance of the English king. Less than seven weeks after the killing in Dumfries, Bruce was crowned King on 25 March, it was while he was on his way to Glasgow to meet with Bishop Wishart, to Scone, the traditional site of Scottish coronations, that he was met by Douglas, riding on a horse borrowed from Bishop Lamberton. The site is traditionally believed to be the summit of a hill in Dumfries and Galloway, now known as the Crown of Scotland.
Douglas explained his circumstances and offered his services. Their friendship more would thrive. Douglas was set to share in Bruce's early misfortunes, being present at the defeats at Methven and Battle of Dalrigh, but for both men these setbacks were to provide a valuable lesson in tactics: limitations in both resources and equipment meant that the Scots would always be at a disadvantage in conventional medieval warfare. By the time the war was renewed in the spring of 1307 they had learnt the value of guerrilla warfare — known at the time as "secret war" — using fast moving equipped and agile forces to maximum effect against an enemy locked into static defensive positions. Douglas's actions for most of 1307 and early 1308, although confined for the most part to his native Douglasdale, were essential to keeping the enemy in the South and freeing Bruce to campaign in the north, he soon created a formidable reputation for himself as a tactician. While Bruce was campaigning in the north against his domestic enemies, Douglas used the cover of Selkirk Forest to mount effective mobile attacks against the enemy.
He showed himself to be utterly ruthless in his relentless attacks on the English garrison in his own Douglas Castle, the most famous of which passed into popular history. Barbour dates this incident to Palm Sunday 1307; some question whether this date is too early as Bruce and his small army were not yet established in south-west Scotland, suggesting Palm Sunday 1308 – 17 April – as a more accurate date. However, Barbour states that at the time of the Douglas Larder that the Scots were not yet established in south-west Scotland and indeed that Douglas was the only one of Bruce's men anywhere in the area, there is reason to think that Barbour's date is correct. Barbour says. With the help of local farmer Thomas Dickson, a former vassal of his father and his small troop were hidden until the morning of Palm Sunday, when the garrison left the battlements to attend the local church. Gathering local support he entered the church and the war-cry'Douglas!"Douglas!' went up for the first time. Some of the English soldiers were killed and others taken prisoner.
The prisoners were taken to the castle, now empty. All the stores were piled together in the cellar; the prisoners were beheaded and placed on top of the pile, set alight. Before departing the wells were poisoned with the carcases of dead horses; the local people soon gave the whole gruesome episode the name of the'Douglas Larder.' As an example of frightfulness in war it was meant to leave a lasting impression, not least upon the men who came to replace their dead colleagues. Further attacks followed by a man now known to the English as'The blak
Earl of Douglas
"Earl Douglas" redirects here. The title was created in the Peerage of Scotland in 1358 for William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas, son of Sir Archibald Douglas, Guardian of Scotland; the Earldom was forfeited by James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas in 1455. The Earls of Douglas, chiefs of Clan Douglas, their successors claimed descent from Sholto Douglas, a mythical figure dated by Godscroft to 767 AD. However, it is more that they were descendants of Flemish immigrants to Scotland, during the reign of David I. Through the marriage of William the Hardy, grandfather of the 1st Earl, to Eleanor de Lovaine, the Earls of Douglas could trace their ancestry to the Landgraves of Brabant. In the story of Sholto Douglas, his son William Douglas is a commander of forces sent by the mythical Scottish king Achaius, to the court of Charlemagne to aid him in his wars against Desiderius, King of the Lombards. William Douglas is said to have settled in Piacenza where his descendants became powerful local magnates under the name Scotti/Scoto, eventual leaders of the Guelf faction of that city.
The first Douglas on record in Scotland is William I, Lord of Douglas, where he was witness to a charter of bishop Jocelin of Glasgow in 1198, where he signed "Will. de Dufglas" in what can only be a territorial designation. It can be deduced however, that there was a connection to the House of Moray and its progenitor, Lord of Duffus, insofar as the blazon of both Houses both contained three stars argent on a field azure; this connection with the Morays can be attested in a rhyme penned by Andrew of Wyntoun around the time of the marriage of Archibald the Grim to Johanna de Moravia the Moray heiress, of which further below: "Of Murrawe and the Douglas, How that thare begynnyng was, Syn syndry spekis syndryly I can put that in na story. But in thare armeyis bath thai bere The sternys set in lyke manere, he partook in Wallace's uprising against English rule in Scotland and died captive in the Tower of London. His son Sir James Douglas, his estates forfeit to the English crown, swore allegiance to Robert the Bruce in 1306 prior to the latter's coronation, was to share the deprivations and small victories of Bruce during the years leading up to Bannockburn.
Afterwards he was appointed Warden of the Western March on the Scottish Border. Following Bruce's death, Sir James Douglas, now known as either "the Black Douglas" to the English, or the "Good Sir James" to the Scots, took the King's heart on crusade, died fighting the Moors in Spain; the Good Sir James's nephew William, Lord of Douglas was created 1st Earl of Douglas in 1358, increased Douglas territory by marrying Margaret, Countess of Mar. The creation of the Earldom can be dated to 26 January that year, because of a charter witnessed by Douglas on the 25 January where he is described as "William, Lord of Douglas, Knight", another of the 27th of the month as the Earl of Douglas; the power of Douglas was further increased by the marriage of the 2nd Earl to Princess Isabel, daughter to Robert III of Scotland. The acme of Douglas territorial power came when Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway a bastard son of the Good Sir James inherited the Earldom following the 2nd Earl's death at the Battle of Otterburn.
"Black Archibald" as he was known, was by right of conquest Lord of Galloway. One of the largest landowners in the realm, Archibald the Grim was now the greatest Tenant-in-chief of the Scottish Crown. William, the 1st Earl, Archibald the Grim and both his son the 4th Earl and grandson, the 5th Earl fought in France as well as the along the Anglo-Scottish Border, during what would become known as the Hundred Years War; the 1st Earl and the 3rd were both present at the Battle of Poitiers, the future 5th Earl Archibald, Earl of Wigtown was a deputy of John Stewart, Earl of Buchan at the Battle of Baugé and elsewhere. Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas, had fought at Homildon Hill, was captured there and joined the rebel Northern English Barons to fight at Battle of Shrewsbury where he was again captured, it was during this episode of his life that Douglas makes an appearance as one of the characters in William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1. In 1423 Douglas's son Wigtown, returned to Scotland to raise more troops for the French war and managed to enlist his father's support, the 4th Earl sailed for France with an army some 6,500 strong, was created Duke of Touraine and Lieutenant General of France by a grateful Dauphin.
Douglas was killed at Battle of Verneuil in 1424. The 5th Earl of Douglas upon his accession was sometime regent of Scotland during the minority of James II of Scotland and Lieutenant-General of Scotland; the 5th Earl's sons, the sixteen-year-old William Douglas, 6th Earl of Douglas and his brother David Douglas, were to be victim to the cabal of Sir William Crichton, Sir Alexander Livingston of Callendar, their great uncle James Douglas, Earl of Avondale who wished to break the power of the Black Douglases. The boys were summoned to Edinburgh Castle, where at what is known as the'Black Dinner' the E
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, poet and historian. Many of his works remain classics of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor. Although remembered for his extensive literary works and his political engagement, Scott was an advocate and legal administrator by profession, throughout his career combined his writing and editing work with his daily occupation as Clerk of Session and Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire. A prominent member of the Tory establishment in Edinburgh, Scott was an active member of the Highland Society, served a long term as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was a Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; as Encyclopædia Britannica argues: "Scott gathered the disparate strands of contemporary novel-writing techniques into his own hands and harnessed them to his deep interest in Scottish history and his knowledge of antiquarian lore.
The technique of the omniscient narrator and the use of regional speech, localized settings, sophisticated character delineation, romantic themes treated in a realistic manner were all combined by him into a new literary form, the historical novel. His influence on other European and American novelists was immediate and profound, though interest in some of his books declined somewhat in the 20th century, his reputation remains secure." Walter Scott was born on 15 August 1771. He was the ninth child of a Writer to the Signet and Anne Rutherford, his father was a member of a cadet branch of the Scott Clan, his mother descended from the Haliburton family, the descent from whom granted Walter's family the hereditary right of burial in Dryburgh Abbey. Via the Haliburton family, Walter was a cousin of the pre-eminent contemporaneous property developer James Burton, a Haliburton who had shortened his surname, of his son, the architect Decimus Burton. Walter subsequently became a member of the Clarence Club, of which the Burtons were members.
Five of Walter's siblings died in infancy, a sixth died when he was five months of age. Walter was born in a third-floor flat on College Wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh, a narrow alleyway leading from the Cowgate to the gates of the University of Edinburgh, he survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that left him lame, a condition, to have a significant effect on his life and writing. To cure his lameness he was sent in 1773 to live in the rural Scottish Borders at his paternal grandparents' farm at Sandyknowe, adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower, the earlier family home. Here he was taught to read by his aunt Jenny, learned from her the speech patterns and many of the tales and legends that characterised much of his work. In January 1775 he returned to Edinburgh, that summer went with his aunt Jenny to take spa treatment at Bath in England, where they lived at 6 South Parade. In the winter of 1776 he went back to Sandyknowe, with another attempt at a water cure at Prestonpans during the following summer.
In 1778, Scott returned to Edinburgh for private education to prepare him for school, joined his family in their new house built as one of the first in George Square. In October 1779 he began at the Royal High School of Edinburgh, he was now well able to explore the city and the surrounding countryside. His reading included chivalric romances, poems and travel books, he was given private tuition by James Mitchell in arithmetic and writing, learned from him the history of the Church of Scotland with emphasis on the Covenanters. After finishing school he was sent to stay for six months with his aunt Jenny in Kelso, attending the local grammar school where he met James and John Ballantyne, who became his business partners and printed his books. Scott began studying classics at the University of Edinburgh in November 1783, at the age of 12, a year or so younger than most of his fellow students. In March 1786 he began an apprenticeship in his father's office to become a Writer to the Signet. Whilst at both high school and university, Scott had become a friend of Adam Ferguson, the son of Professor Adam Ferguson who hosted literary salons.
Scott met the blind poet Thomas Blacklock, who lent him books and introduced him to James Macpherson's Ossian cycle of poems. During the winter of 1786–87 the 15-year-old Scott met Robert Burns at one of these salons, for what was to be their only meeting; when Burns noticed a print illustrating the poem "The Justice of the Peace" and asked who had written the poem, only Scott knew that it was by John Langhorne, was thanked by Burns. Scott describes this event in his memoirs where he whispers the answer to his friend Adam who tells Burns Another version of the event is described in Literary Beginnings When it was decided that he would become a lawyer, he returned to the university to study law, first taking classes in moral philosophy and universal history in 1789–90. After completing his studies in law, he became a lawyer in Edinburgh; as a lawyer's clerk he made his first visit to the Scottish Highlands directing an eviction. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1792, he had an unsuccessful love suit with Williamina Belsches of Fettercairn, who married Scott's friend Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet.
As a boy and young man, Scott was fascinated by the oral traditions of the Scottish Borders. He was an obsessive collector of stories, developed an innovative method of recording what he heard at the feet of local story-tellers using carvings on twigs, to avoid
Castle Dangerous was the last of Walter Scott's novels published in his lifetime. It is part of Tales of My 4th series. Scott wrote Castle Dangerous, using William Laidlaw as his amanuensis, in late June and August 1831 during a break in his composition of Count Robert of Paris following objections raised by James Ballantyne and Robert Cadell to Brenhilda's pregnancy and combat with Anna Comnena, he had written about a third of a volume by 3 July and, taking time off to visit the scene of the novel at Douglas completed the volume on 1 August. There were further interruptions that month, when his mind was confused, when Laidlaw was ill, but the work was finished around 9 September. There was not enough material for a complete second volume, though, so Scott was happy to accept the suggestion by J. G. Lockhart that the two novels be published together in four volumes as a fourth series of Tales of my Landlord. After Scott had left for the Mediterranean on 29 October and Lockhart radically revised his text without any further authorial input, completing the work in mid-November.
Although Scott was familiar with the standard sources for Scottish medieval history, for Castle Douglas he used two sources exclusively: the narrative poem The Bruce by John Barbour, The History of the Houses of Douglas and Angus by David Hume of Godscroft. As usual, he makes chronological adjustments for his fictional purposes. Tales of my Landlord and Last Series was published in Edinburgh and London on 1 December 1831. Scott may have had some input into the text of the Magnum edition of the fourth series of Tales of my Landlord, which appeared posthumously as Volumes 47, 47, 48 in March and May 1833: he sent Lockhart a list of errata from Naples on 16 February 1832, but it has not survived, in any case Scott's accompanying letter refers only to Count Robert of Paris, he provided an Introduction for Castle Dangerous. The standard modern edition of Castle Dangerous, by J. H. Alexander, was published as Volume 23b of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels in 2006: this is based on the first edition, with extensive emendations from the surviving manuscript and proofs, designed to restore as much of Scott's work as possible.
The story is set in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire around 1306, shortly after the death of William Wallace during the Wars of Scottish Independence. Lady Augusta has promised to marry Sir John de Walton provided that he can maintain possession of the castle he has captured for a year and a day. Regretting her promise, she resolves to travel in disguise to the castle to find some method of subversion; the story had been told in brief in his Essay on Chivalry, in spite his failing health and a recent decline in popularity due to his politics, Scott made an effort to visit the area to collect information and adjust descriptions. Pained by James Ballantyne's criticisms of Count Robert of Paris, by Ballantyne's unexpected disagreement on the subject of the recent Reform Bill, Scott did not discuss the book with him. Only one ruined tower remains of Douglas Castle, that tower dates from the 17th century. Scott called this area "Douglasdale" in the preface of this book. During the struggle for the Scottish crown between Edward I and Robert Bruce, the stronghold of his adherent Sir James Douglas, known as Castle Dangerous, has been taken by the English, Lady Augusta has promised her hand and fortune to its new governor, Sir John de Walton, on condition that he holds it for a year and a day.
Anxious to curtail this period, she determines to make her way thither, accompanied by her father's minstrel, disguised as his son, they are within three miles of their destination, when fatigue compels them to seek shelter at Tom Dickson's farm. Two English archers, who are quartered there, insist that the youth should be left at the neighbouring convent of St Bride's, until Bertram satisfies Sir John as to the object of their journey, this arrangement is approved of by Sir Aymer de Valance, the deputy governor, who arrives to visit the outpost; as they proceed together towards the castle, the minstrel entertains the young knight with some curious legends respecting it, including the supernatural preservation of an ancient lay relating to the house of Douglas, the future fate of the British kingdom generally. De Valance would pass the stranger into the stronghold as a visitor at once. Sir John, wishes to be indulgent to his young officers, accordingly arranges a hunting party, in which the Scottish vassals in the neighbourhood are invited to join.
The young knight takes fresh offence at being ordered to withdraw the archers from the sport to reinforce the garrison, appeals to his uncle, the Earl of Pembroke, instead of taking his part, writes him a sharp reproof. He opposes the governor's wish that the minstrel should terminate his visit, which induces Sir John to threaten Bertram with torture unless he reveals his purpose in coming to the castle; the minstrel declines to do so without his son's permission.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister directs both the executive and the legislature, together with their Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party and to the electorate; the office of Prime Minister is one of the Great Offices of State. The current holder of the office, Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016; the office is not established by any statute or constitutional document but exists only by long-established convention, which stipulates that the monarch must appoint as Prime Minister the person most to command the confidence of the House of Commons. The position of Prime Minister was not created; the office is therefore best understood from a historical perspective. The origins of the position are found in constitutional changes that occurred during the Revolutionary Settlement and the resulting shift of political power from the Sovereign to Parliament.
Although the Sovereign was not stripped of the ancient prerogative powers and remained the head of government, politically it became necessary for him or her to govern through a Prime Minister who could command a majority in Parliament. By the 1830s the Westminster system of government had emerged; the political position of Prime Minister was enhanced by the development of modern political parties, the introduction of mass communication, photography. By the start of the 20th century the modern premiership had emerged. Prior to 1902, the Prime Minister sometimes came from the House of Lords, provided that his government could form a majority in the Commons; however as the power of the aristocracy waned during the 19th century the convention developed that the Prime Minister should always sit in the lower house. As leader of the House of Commons, the Prime Minister's authority was further enhanced by the Parliament Act 1911 which marginalised the influence of the House of Lords in the law-making process.
The Prime Minister is ex officio First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. Certain privileges, such as residency of 10 Downing Street, are accorded to Prime Ministers by virtue of their position as First Lord of the Treasury; the status of the position as Prime Minister means that the incumbent is ranked as one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. The Prime Minister is the head of the United Kingdom government; as such, the modern Prime Minister leads the Cabinet. In addition, the Prime Minister leads a major political party and commands a majority in the House of Commons; the incumbent wields both significant legislative and executive powers. Under the British system, there is a unity of powers rather than separation. In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister guides the law-making process with the goal of enacting the legislative agenda of their political party. In an executive capacity, the Prime Minister appoints all other Cabinet members and ministers, co-ordinates the policies and activities of all government departments, the staff of the Civil Service.
The Prime Minister acts as the public "face" and "voice" of Her Majesty's Government, both at home and abroad. Upon the advice of the Prime Minister, the Sovereign exercises many statutory and prerogative powers, including high judicial, political and Church of England ecclesiastical appointments; the British system of government is based on an uncodified constitution, meaning that it is not set out in any single document. The British constitution consists of many documents and most for the evolution of the Office of the Prime Minister, it is based on customs known as constitutional conventions that became accepted practice. In 1928, Prime Minister H. H. Asquith described this characteristic of the British constitution in his memoirs:In this country we live... under an unwritten Constitution. It is true that we have on the Statute-book great instruments like Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Bill of Rights which define and secure many of our rights and privileges, they rest on usage, convention of slow growth in their early stages, not always uniform, but which in the course of time received universal observance and respect.
The relationships between the Prime Minister and the Sovereign and Cabinet are defined by these unwritten conventions of the constitution. Many of the Prime Minister's executive and legislative powers are royal prerogatives which are still formally vested in the Sovereign, who remains the head of state. Despite its growing