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Stuart dynasty

(46) Page 26 - --- Murdoch, Duke of Albany, 1419-1424

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(46) Page 26 - --- Murdoch, Duke of Albany, 1419-1424
26 The Stuart By nasty.
Menteith, a distant cousin, the union requiring a Papal
dispensation similar to that given in 1361 at Avignon by
Pope Innocent VI. The Earls of Castle- Stewart claim to be
representatives of this branch. Secondly, the Eegent Kobert
of Albany married in 1407 Muriella, daughter of Sir William
de Keith. Although a son by this marriage was the famous
Earl of Buchan, who won the battle of Beauge in 1421 and
fell at Verneuil in 1424, the line is extinct.*
Duke Murdoch of Albany called no Parliament together
when his father died, and therefore committed an act of
treason when he calmly assumed a regency which his abilities
precluded him from exercising as his father had done. The
Government was therefore only held together by allowing
certain supporters amongst the nobles to seize estates and
hold them without legal title, so that illegality was rampant
throughout the land.
But for the fact that James I. in his prison at Windsor was
from time to time in correspondence with leading men
amongst his own subjects, this state of things might have
lasted much longer, but the King o' Scots, armed with his
conspicuous abilities, was a match for the feeble Kegent, who
whiled away his time in hawking and other amusements,
while the honour and fame of Scotland were lowered, at least
at home.
For at Beauge, in France, in March, 1421, it is right to
record, did the Earl of Buchan, Duke Murdoch's half-brother,
score the first success achieved in this generation against
the English invaders of France. At the head of six thousand
Scots he overcame the Duke of Clarence ; a triumph
obliterated, however, in August 1424 by the Duke of Bedford,
when Buchan and most of his army died on the field of
Verneuil. f
But this latter event occurred several months after the
accession of James I., which had been hastened because the
Regent Murdoch could neither guide the State nor control
his own sons ; and indeed, according to Sir Walter Scott and
Drummond (in the preface to his ' History of Scotland),' it
was the wanton destruction of a favourite falcon by Murdoch's
son Walter, who had asked for the bird and had been refused,
which led to the final and successful negotiations with
* See ' Pedigree of the House of Stuart,' compiled by W. A. Lindsay, Esq.,
for the Stuart Exhibition in London. Also Burke's ' Peerage.'
f For a succinct account see Sir W. Scott's ' Tales of a Grandfather,' edition
1880, p. 61.

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