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Ancient Alliance between Scotland and France
From the Celtic Magazine of 1885


SCOTLAND and France were for many centuries firm friends and close allies, and the intercourse between them was constant and important. These bonds of friendship were ratified and increased by numerous treaties of alliance; contracts of marriage between the Royal Houses of France and Scotland; privileges and exemptions in favour of Scottish merchants; honours and dignities conferred on distinguished Scots; and last, but not least, the formation of the famous Scots Guards to protect and defend the person of the French King.

Some of the older historians have stated that this friendly alliance existed between the two nations as far back as the reign of Charlemagne, and in 1579 David Chambers, one of the Lords of Council and Session in Edinburgh, published a history, dedicated to Henry III. of France, in which he quotes treaties of alliance between Philip I. of France and Malcolm III. of Scotland; between Louis VII. and Malcolm IV.; between Philip II. and Alexander IL; and between St Louis and Alexander III., all of which he stated were taken from ancient Scottish historians no longer to be found. However this may be, there is no doubt that the alliance was of a very ancient date, for Eginhardus, who was Secretary to Charlemagne, gives an account of the assistance the Scots gave to that King in his wars, and the origin of the alliance is stated by Buchanan, Lesley, David Chambers, and others to have been, that, during the reign of Charlemagne, the English Saxons had invaded France and plundered the sea coast, while the King was absent in Palestine fighting the Saracens. In his extremity Charlemagne applied for help to the Scots, who, by their proximity and animosity to England, were the most suitable to make a diversion, and draw the enemy from his shores.

Achalus, the King of Scotland, glad to secure the friendship of such a powerful and near neighbour, cheerfully responded to Charlemagne's application, and a perpetual alliance was entered into between the two nations. Some time after this Charlemagne was engaged in a war with Italy, and Achajus sent his brother William with four thousand men to help his ally. The historian Corneus, who lived a long time in Italy, says that many of these Scots settled there, and founded several families, such as the Barones, the Mariscottie in Bononia and Siena, and the Scoti in Placentia and Mantua. This statement seems to be verified by the fact that Sausovino and other genealogists state that all these families began in the reign of Charlemagne.

Some writers say that as a memorial of this alliance the crown of Scotland, which before consisted only of a plain circle of gold, had now another circle of fleur de us added to it. This statement has been contradicted by other historians. Mabillon says that no French king used the fleur de us on his crown before Philip I., and the same writer denies the statement that on account of this league the arms of Scotland, as used on seals, were inclosed in a double tressure, flowered with fleurs de lis. He says that Philip the August, who died about 1223, was the first who had one fleur de us in his counter seal: Louis VIII. and IX. used seals with sometimes one fleur de us, and sometimes several on them; this custom continued until the time of Charles V., who finally reduced the number of fleur de us to three. Besides, according to the learned antiquary, Mr Anderson, in his "Independency of Scotland," the Scottish kings did not use their arms on their seals until a long time after this period.

Whatever weight may be laid on the evidence regarding these first treaties, it is unquestionable that, beginning at the reign of Philip the Fair, there runs an uninterrupted series of alliances between the Kings of France and Scotland, down to the time of Henry IV. of France and James VI. of Scotland.

The following is a list of the names of the sovereigns, and the dates of the different treaties :-

Treaty of Alliance between Philip the Fair, King of France, and John Baliol, King of Scotland, concluded at Paris, the 23rd of October 1295.

Treaty of Alliance between Charles IV., surnamed the Fair, King of France, and and Robert I., King of Scotland, concluded in 1326.

Renewal of the Treaty of Alliance of France and Scotland, between Charles Dauphin of-France (King John, his father, being prisoner in England), and David IL, King of Scotland, at Paris, June 29th, 1359.

Renewal of the said Alliance between the Kings, Charles V. of France and Robert II. of Scotland, at Vincennes, June 3rd, 1371.

Renewal of the said Alliance between Charles VI., King of France, and Robert III., King of Scotland, March 3rd, 1390.

Renewal of the said Alliance between the said Charles VI., King of France, and Robert, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland during the captivity of King James I., in 1407.

Renewal of the said Alliance between Charles VII., King of France, and Murdoch, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland, in 1423.

Renewal of the said Alliance between Charles VII., King of France, and James I., King of Scotland, in 1428.

Renewal of the said Alliance between the said Charles VII., King of France, and James II., King of Scotland, in 1448.

Renewal of the said Alliance between Charles VIII., King of France, and James IV., King of Scotland, in 1491.

Renewal of the said Alliance between Louis XII., King of France, and the same James IV., King of Scotland, in 1512.

Renewal of the said Alliance between Francis I., King of France, and Mary, Queen of Scotland, in 1543. This same Alliance was again renewed between Henry II., King of France, and Mary, Queen of Scotland, and between the succeeding Kings.

The chief article in these alliances was to provide assistance to each other in their frequent wars with their mutual enemy, England. The following is an extract from one of these treaties. It would be tedious to quote it in full :-

"We have made alliance in manner following, to wit, that we, our heirs, our successors, Kings of France, our kingdom, and our whole community, are bound and obliged to the said King of Scotland, his heirs, his successors, Kings of Scotland, his kingdom, and his whole community, in good faith, as loyal allies, whenever they shall have occasion for aid or advice in time of peace or war, against the King of England and his subjects: that we shall aid and advise them, whereinsoever we honestly can as loyal allies ; and if we, our heirs, our successors, Kings of France, our kingdom, or our community, shall make peace or truce with the King of England, his heirs, Kings of England, or his subjects, that the King of Scotland, his heirs, his successors, Kings of Scotland, his kingdom, and his community, shall be excepted; so that such peace or truce shall be null, whensoever war is waged between the aforesaid Kings of Scotland and of England."

The Kings of Scotland promised to support the Kings of France in their extremity, and nobly did they fulfil their part of the treaty. Thousands of the bravest and best blood of Scotland cheerfully gave their lives to aid their French ally, and dearly they sometimes paid for their friendship. Take, for instance, when, in 1346, the English were attacking the French, and had just gained the victory of Cressy, David II. of Scotland, in order to divert the attention of the English from France, made a descent into England, where, after ravaging nearly all the northern counties, he was defeated and taken prisoner, and after lingering ten weary years in captivity, only secured his liberty by paying a heavy ransom. Again, in 1420, when the English were masters of nearly all France, and their King, Henry VI., was crowned King in Paris, Robert, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland, sent his own son, John, Earl of Buchan, with many more of the nobility of Scotland, at the head of a large army, who did good service against the English in France. Again, in 1422, the Earl of Douglas, at the head of a new reinforcement of five thousand Scots, went to the aid of Charles VII. Two years after, in 1424 still fresh troops, under the command of a famous captain of that time, named Robert Petilloch or Pattulloch, went to help the same king. Again, only four years had elapsed when the French King was begging once more for aid from his staunch allies, who readily responded, and passed again into France with fresh troops.

In 1507, James IV. of Scotland, seeing his friend the King of France engaged in a war with Italy, did not wait to be asked for his assistance, but nobly offered to go to the succour of the French King in person with an army of twenty thousand men. And this same chivalrous James, when the French were attacked by the English, in addition to their continental enemies, at once made a descent into England with the flower of his nobility and of his army, although the English King, Henry VIII., was his brother-in-law. And dearly, indeed, did Scotland pay then for her fealty to her French ally; for the English, hastily recalling some of their troops from France, moved to repel this more dangerous enemy, and the result is summed up in one fatal word, "Flodden."

"Tradition, legend, tune, and song,
Shall many an age that wail prolong:
Still from the sue the son shall hear
Of the stern strife and carnage drear
Of Flodden's fatal field,
Where shivered was fair Scotland's spear,
And broken was her shield!"

Nor were these valuable services unacknowledged by the French, for in the different letters-patent granted from time to time in favour of the Scots in France, their bravery and loyalty is done full justice to by the French Kings.

Although, from motives of policy, the Royal House of Scotland occasionally intermarried with that of England, such marriages were never so popular as those with the French Court, and this preference often increased the ill-feeling between England and Scotland. For instance, the preference shown to France over England in the choice of a husband for the young and beautiful Mary Queen of Scots involved Scotland in trouble and war for twenty years, and cost Mary her life.

The following are the contracts of marriage between the Royal Houses of France and Scotland, which served still further to draw the two nations to each other, and cement their friendship.

Contract of Marriage between Edward Baliol, son and heir to John, King of Scotland, and Joan, daughter to Charles de Valois, brother of King Philip the Fair, in 1235.

Contract of Marriage between Lewis, Dauphin of France, afterwards Lewis XI., and Margaret, daughter of James I., King of Scotland, in 1436.

Contract of Marriage between James V., King of Scotland, and Magdalen, daughter to King Francis I., in 1536.

Contract of Marriage between Francis, Dauphin, afterwards Francis IL, King of France, and Mary, Queen Heiress of Scotland, in 1558.

Several of the highest families in Scotland devoted themselves altogether to the French service, and rose high in favour and influence. Take for instance the following:—John Stewart of Darnly was Constable of the Scots in France, and rose so much in the French King's favour that in 1424 he made him Lord of Aubigny, afterwards giving him the county of Dreux, and making him a Marshal of France. His descendants, John, Robert, Bernard or Berald, and others, continued high in favour, and served their adopted country well and faithfully, under Charles VIII., Louis XII., and following sovereigns, in the wars of Italy, where they particularly distinguished themselves at the battle of Fornova, as well as in the Kingdom of Naples; and in 1495 the then lord was made Governor of Calabria by Charles VIII. These Lords of Aubigny were the hereditary Captains of the Scots Guards. This gallant family founded the Dukedom of Lennox, but the title of Lords of Aubigny was kept up until the extinction of the family.

In 1422, John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, was made Constable of France, after the battle of Baugé, by King Charles VII., and lost his life in his service at the battle of Verneuill. In 1423, Archibald, Earl of Douglas, was created Duke of Touraine by the same king, and sacrificed his life in the same battle. In 1428, Charles VII. gave to King James I. of Scotland the county of Xaintonge and Rochfort in peerage. About the same time this King made the Laird of Monypenny his Chamberlain, and gave him the Lordship of Concressant. In 1524, John Stewart, Duke of Albany, had a seat in the Parliament of Paris, by command of Francis I. He was also appointed Viceroy of Naples, General of the Galleys of France, and Governor of the Bourbonese, of Auvergne, and of other provinces. In 1548, King Henry I. gave the Duchy of Chateiherault to James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, Regent of Scotland, and presented him with the collar of his order, which decoration was also sent to the Earls of Huntly, Argyll, and Angus.

While Scotsmen in France were thus placed high on the roll of fame as soldiers and politicians, the scholars and churchmen were not overlooked, for we find that Andrew Foreman was Archbishop of Bourges, David Bethune, Bishop of Mirepoix, David Panter or Panton, and after him James Bethune, Bishop of Glasgow, were successively abbots of L'Absie. Besides these high dignities, there were a whole host of Scots as priors, canons, curates, and other positions in the service of the Church in France. In 1586, the cure of St Come, at Paris, was conferred by the University upon one John Hamilton. This election was disputed by a French ecclesiastic, who wished to secure the place for himself, as being illegal, through Hamilton being a Scotsman and an alien. The case was tried, and Hamilton's cause defended by a Mr Servien, an able advocate, who proved by the letters- patent granted in favour of the Scots that any of that nation living in France enjoyed equal privileges with the natives, and were eligible to hold any office, secular or spiritual. The decision was accordingly given in Hamilton's favour.

In the University of Paris, Scotsmen held an important place. The records show there have been no less than thirty of them who at different times held the high position of Rector of the University of Paris, and this, too, at a time when the office was of far more importance, both in Church and State, than it afterwards became.

The first letters of naturalisation to the Scots were granted by Louis XII., at the instance of Andrew Foreman, Bishop of Moray, in Scotland, and Archbishop of Bourges in France. They were given at Amiens in the month of September 15 13. In 1547, Henry II. granted letters of naturalisation to the Scots Guards in particular, given at Fountainebleau in November, and at the Exchequer Chamber on the 12th of February 1548. This same king, Henry II., granted new letters-patent of naturalisation for all Scotsmen, at the instance of James Bethune, archbishop of Glasgow, and other deputies of the States of Scotland, for the marriage of Queen Mary and the Dauphin. These letters were given at Villiers-Couterets, in June 1558, registered, with some modifications, in the Parliament of Paris July the i ith, at the Exchequer-Chamber on the 13th of July, and in the Grand Council on the 19th of the same month. The charter was also printed in the Scots Acts of Parliament. King Henry IV. confirmed the right of naturalisation to all Scots by letters-patent, given at Fountainebleau in March 1599, registered in the Parliament of Paris, with some modifications, on the 31st of July in the same year. In 1612 the same privileges were confirmed to the Scots by Louis XIII. in his letters-patent, given at Paris in October of that year, registered in Parliament, with some modifications, on 5th December, and in the Treasury-books on the 20th of the same month. And again, on the 19th of September 1646, Louis XIV., by an Act passed by the Council of State, confirmed all the ancient privileges of the Scots, and discharged them of the taxes imposed upon foreigners.

It would take up too much space to quote these letters- patent in full, but the following extracts will give an idea of their scope and aim:-

"Lewis, by the grace of God, King of France, be it known to all present and to come, that as, in all time and antiquity, between the Kings of France and Scotland, and the princes and subjects of the two kingdoms, a most strict friendship, confederacy, and perpetual alliance, have subsisted .....And forasmuch wt our beloved and trusty counsellor, the Archbishop of Bourges, Bishop of Moray, now ambassador with us, from our most dear and most beloved brother, cousin, and ally the King of Scotland still reigning, and our beloved and trusty counsellor and Chamberlain, Sir Robert Stewart, Lord of Aubigny, Captain of our Scottish Guard, and of the hundred lances of our said ancient ordinances of the said nation, have remonstrated to us bow much it hath been always desired, that the Scots, when called to our said kingdom of France, and our subjects who might go to live in that of Scotland,.... should be enabled to testate and dispose of their effects to their respective heirs.

Whereby we, the aforesaid things considered, . do will, declare, ordain, and please, from our own knowledge, proper motion, special grace, full power and royal authority, that henceforth, perpetually, and for ever, all those of the said kingdom of Scotland, who shall reside, or shall come to reside,....shall be capable of acquiring therein all estates, seignories and possessions which they may lawfully acquire; and of them together with these which they may have already acquired to testate and dispose, by testament and order of latter-will, living donation, or otherwise, at their will and pleasure; and that their wives and children, if they have any, or other their heirs, in what place.soever they be residing, whether in our kingdom or elsewhere may, by testament or otherwise, take and inherit their estates and succession, as if they were natives of our said kingdom; and to those of the said nation, disposed to the church, shall be open all benefices and dignities, secular or regular, with which they may be justly and canonically invested, by titles, collations, or provisions."

Henry II. confirmed these privileges by letters-patent, in 1558, just after the marriage of Queen Mary of Scots to his son. The following is an extract :-

"Henry, by the grace of God, King of France, unto all present and to come, greeting. Whereas, since the marriage between our most dear and most beloved son the King Dauphin, and our most dear and most beloved daughter the Queen of Scotland, Dauphiness, his consort, the deputies of the states of the said kingdom have, taken to our said son the oath of fidelity . . - in virtue whereof, being subjects of both kingdoms by the union of the houses of France and Scotland, so closely connected that we esteem them as one and the same, and desire, for this cause, the better to establish, entertain, and invigorate this friendship between our said subjects, and those of the said kingdom of Scotland, and to give the said inhabitants of the latter kingdom the more opportunity of visiting their King and Queen, when they shall be on this side, of residing near them, attending and serving them; be it known that we, these things considered, and for several other great and reasonable causes thereunto as moving, have to all the inhabitants of the said kingdom of Scotland, permitted, granted, and vouchsafed, and do, by these presents, permit, grant, and vouchsafe, that they may at their ease, as oft as to them shall seem good, come, inhabit, and abide in this our kingdom, and therein accept, hold, and possess all and every the benefices, dignities, and offices ecclesiastical, with which they may be justly and canonically invested by due title, and thereof to take and seize possession and enjoyment, and to reap and ceceive the fruits, profits, and revenues, unto what sum soever they do or may amount; and, moreover, to acquire in this kingdom, country, lands, and seignories in our allegiance, and that their heirs may be able to succeed to them, to take and seize possession and enjoyment of their said estates, just as if they would and might do if they were originally natives of our said kingdom and country, without our Solicitor-General, or other our officers, having power henceforth to claim the estates as acquired to us by right of escheat, or the subjects of the said kingdom of Scotland. being in the enjoyment of those estates, brought to any molestation or trouble."

This paper having extended farther than we anticipated, the account of the privileges granted to Scottish merchants in France, and of the formation and constitution of the Garde Eccossais, must be left over for the next issue.


FRANCE having become, as shown in our previous paper, a sort of second home for the aspiring Scots both as soldiers and churchmen, it followed as a matter of course, that their countrymen engaged in commerce, with that sagacity and foresight so characteristic of the race, soon seized the opening for new enterprise, and the foundation of a large and steadily increasing trade was laid. A great number, availing themselves of the letters-patent of naturalisation, settled down permanently in their adopted country; while a still larger number engaged in the shipping trade, both export and import. The exports comprised salmon, herring, cod, and other fish, wool, leather, and skins, while the latter was principally composed of wine, of which large quantities were annually imported; also silken cloths, sugar, and spices. The first privileges that we can find granted exclusively to Scottish merchants were by Francis I. in 1518, from which the following is an extract:-

"Francis, by the Grace of God, King of France. Be it known to all present and to co:rie, that we mean to treat favourably the subjects of our most dear and most beloved brother, cousin, and ally, the King of Scotland, in favour of the great and ancient alliance subsisting between us and him, and of the great and commendable services which those of the Scottish nation have done to the crown of France: for these causes, and in order to give them greater occasion to persevere therein, and for other considerations thereunto us moving, we have all and every the Scottish merchants, who are and shall be hereafter trading, frequenting, and conversing in this our kingdom, freed, acquitted, exempted, and do, of our special grace, full power, and royal authority, free, acquit, and exempt, by these presents, signed with our own hand, in perpetuity and for ever, from the new impost of twelve French deniers per livre, raised in the city of Dieppe upon foreign merchandise, beside the sum of four French deniers per livre, which hath been anciently collected and raised upon the said foreign merchandise."

In 1554 King Henry II. granted further privileges and exemptions to Scottish merchants trading to the Duchy of Normandy, from which the following is extracted:-

And do, of our own accord, certain knowledge, special grace, full power, and royal authority, say, declare, and ordain, that, by our said letters hereunto annexed, as said is, we have intended, and do intend, that the subjects of the said country of Scotland shall not be bound to pay for the commodities which they shall take and carry out of our country and Duchy of Norinandy, the cities, towns, and havens thereof, whatsoever they be, if designed for the said country of Scotland, other or greater subsidies and duties than they have heretofore been wont to pay, and did pay in our city of Dieppe."

During the last few years of the 16th century, France was so unsettled, and in such a state of confusion—almost approaching anarchy—that the Scottish merchants were in danger of losing their wonted privileges and exemptions. To prevent this they approached King Henry IV., who graciously granted them, in 1599, letters-patent comprising all the privileges and exemptions hitherto enjoyed by them, as shown by the following:-

"But whereas, on occasion of the troubles which have prevailed in this kingdom, especially within these ten or twelve years past, things have been so altered, and the privileges of the Scottish merchants so enervated, that, if we were not pleased to continue and confirm the same to them, they feared therein to find obstacles and difficulties which might deprive them of the benefit of the grace that hath been unto them granted and continued by the said Kings, our predecessors; be it known, that we desire no less favourably to treat the said Scottish merchants, than the said Kings our predecessors have done, as well in consequence of the ancient alliance and confederacy which subsists between this kingdom and that of Scotland, as for the friendship and good correspondence which subsisteth between us and the King of Scotland, James VI. of the name, our most dear and most beloved good brother and cousin, now reigning in the said country; we have, of our special grace, full power and royal authority, said, declared, and ordained it is our will and pleasure, that the said Scottish merchants, trading, frequenting, and conversing in this our said kingdom, enjoy for the future, in our whole said country and Duchy of Normandy, the same franchises, privileges, and immunities, from foreign customs and imposts, and after the same sort and manner that they enjoyed them in the day of the Kings Francis and Henry, our most honoured grandfather and brother-in-law."

Historians differ as to which king first instituted the Scots Guard: some say St Louis, others Charles V. We are inclined to think it was Charles VI. It appears strange at first sight that a monarch should chose foreign and mercenary troops for a body guard; but when one looks at the state of France at the time, it seems the wisest course for him to have taken. Half of his kingdom was in revolt against him, and even those who were ostensibly on his side were so wavering and uncertain in their attachment that he could not trust them. In these circumstances the Scots would naturally present themselves as the most suitable They were the staunch allies of the French King, and the sworn enemies of the English. They were poor, fond of adventure, daring, and faithful, while their good descent and gentle blood made them more fit to approach the person of the Sovereign than ordinary soldiers. And never had a French monarch cause to regret the great trust thus placed in the hands of the Scots. This is how a French writer—Claud Leyist, Master of Requests to Louis the XII, and afterwards Archbishop of Turin—speaks of them:- "The French have so ancient a friendship and alliance with the Scots, that, of four hundred iicn appropriated for the King's Life Guard, there are an hundred of the said nation who are the nearest to his person, and in the night keep the keys of the apartment when he sleeps. There are, moreover, an hundred complete lances, and two hundred yeomen of the said nation, besides several that are dispersed through the companies; and for so long a time as they have served in France, never hath there been one of them found that hath committed or done any fault against the Kings or their State; and they can make use of them as of their own subjects."

Philip de Comines, in his Memoirs, speaking about the storming of Liege, at which both the French King, Louis XI., and the Duke of Burgundy were present, says:- "The King was also assaulted after the same manner by his landlord, who entered his house, but was slain by the Scotch Guard. These Scotch troops behaved themselves valiantly, maintained their ground, would not stir one step from the King, and were very nimble with their bows and arrows, with which, it is said, they wounded and killed more of the Burgundians than of the enemy." Another French writer relates that in a contest with the Spaniards in Calabria in 1503, the banner-bearer, William Turnbull, a Scot, was found dead with the staff in his arms and the flag gripped in his teeth, with a little cluster of his countrymen round him, killed at their posts. These and numberless other instances of courage and daring on the part of the Scots Guards gave rise to the saying long prevalent in France, "Für comme un Ecossais."

Although Charles VI. instituted the Guards, it was Charles VII. who gave them the form in which they served for so many generations. Out of the hundred Life Guards, there were chosen, twenty-five who were called "Gardes de Manche," or Sleeve- Guards, and were in constant and close attendance on the King. Two of them were always present at mass, sermon, vespers, and ordinary meals. On State occasions, such as the ceremony of the Royal touch, the erection of Knights of the King's. Order, at the reception of Ambassadors, public entries into cities, and so on, there were on all such occasions six of them close to the King— three on each side. Whenever it was necessary for his Majesty to be carried, only these six were allowed that honour. The twenty-five picked men—the Gardes de Manche—kept the keys of the King's sleeping apartment, had charge of the choir of the Royal Church, and the keeping of the boats used by the King on the river. Whenever he entered a city the keys had to be handed to the Captain of this band, who was also on duty on all state ceremonies, such as coronations, marriages funerals of the Kings, baptisms and marriages of the Royal children; and the coronation robe became his property after the ceremony was over.

Sir Walter Scott writes:---"The French monarchs made it their policy to conciliate the .affections of this select band of foreigners, by allowing them honorary privileges and ample pay, which last most of them disposed of with military profusion in supporting their supposed rank. Each of them ranked as a gentleman in place and honour; and their near approach to the King's person gave them a dignity in their own eyes, as well as importance in those of the nation of France. They were sumptuously armed, equipped, and mounted; and each was entitled to allowance for a squire, a valet, a page, and two yeomen, one of whom was termed coutelier, from the large knife which he wore to dispatch those whom in the melée his master had thrown to the ground. With these followers, and a corresponding equipage, an Archer of the Scottish Guard was a person of quality and importance; and vacancies being generally filled up by those who had been trained in the service as pages or valets, the cadets of the best Scottish families were often sent to serve under some friend or relation in those capacities, until a chance of preferment should occur. The coutelier and his companion, not being noble or capable of this promotion, were recruited from persons of inferior quality; but as their pay and appointments were excellent, their masters were easily able to select from among their wandering countrymen the strongest and most courageous to wait upon them in these capacities." The same author thus describes the dress and appearance of one of them in the time of Louis XI:—" His dress and arms were splendid. He wore his national bonnet, crested with a tuft of feathers, and with a Virgin Mary of massive silver for a brooch. These brooches had been presented to the Scottish Guards in consequence of the King, in one of his fits of superstitious piety, having devoted the swords of his guard to the service of the Holy Virgin, and, as some say, carried the matter so far as to draw out a commission to Our Lady as their Captain-General. The Archer's gorget, arm pieces, and gauntlets were of the finest steel, curiously inlaid with silver, and his hauberk, or shirt of mail, was as clear and bright as the frostwork of a winter morning upon fern or brier. He wore a loose surcoat, or cassock, of rich, blue velvet, open at the sides like that of a herald, with a large white St Andrew's cross of embroidered silver bisecting it both before and behind—his knees and legs were protected by hose of mail and shoes of steel—a broad, strong poniard (called 'The Mercy of God') hung by his right side—the baldric for his two-handed sword, richly embroidered, hung upon his left shoulder; but, for convenience, he at present carried in his hand that unwieldy weapon, which the rules of his service forbade him to lay aside." The exceptional honour and privileges bestowed upon the Scots Guard naturally made Frenchmen anxious to enter such a renowned and favoured corps, and a few did manage to get enrolled; but the sturdy Scots would brook no interlopers, and laid their complaint before King Henry II., who gave a breviate, signed by his own hand, of date June the 28th, 1558, wherein he promises that he will allow no person to enter the Scots Guards who is not a gentleman of Scotland, and sprung from a good family. In spite of this, however, Frenchmen did find their way by degrees, for an old writer says—" This regulation did not hinder afterwards others than Scots from being sometimes admitted, as appears by the remonstrances made upon that subject from time to time by the Queen Mother, and her son, James VI., and by the Privy Council of Scotland, in the roll of the year 1599, given in by the Captain of the Scots Guards to the Chamber of Accounts. Three-fourths of the yeomen, as well of the Body as of the Sleeve, was still, however, Scots. It was but afterwards and by degrees that this Company became filled with French, to the exclusion of Scotsmen, so that at last there remained no more than the name, and the answer, when called, I am here."

John Hill Burton, in his Scot Abroad, says that "Down to the time when all the pomps and vanities of the French crown were swept away, along with its substantial power, the Scots Guards existed as pageant of the Court of France. In that immense conglomerate of all kinds of useful and useless knowledge, the 'Dictionnaire de Trevoux,' it is set forth that 'la premiere cornpagnie des gardes du corps de nos rois' is still called 'La Garde Ecossaise,' though there was not then (1730) a single Scotsman in it Still there were preserved among the young Court lackeys, who kept up the part of the Hundred Years' War, some of the old formalities. Among these, when the Clerc du Guet challenged the guard who had seen the palace gate closed, 'ii repond en Ecossois, I am hire—c'est a dire, me voilà;' and the lexicographer informs us that, in the mouths of the Frenchmen, totally unacquainted with the barbarous tongue in which the regimental orders had been originally devised, the answer always sounded, 'Ai am hire.'"

In Knox's Tour in the Hebrides, published in 1787, occurs the following passage---"It appears from history that Inverlochy was anciently a place of considerable note; a resort of French and Spaniards, probably to purchase fish, for which it was a kind of emporium, particularly for salmon. But the place is still more noted for its being a residence of kings, and where the memorable League, offensive and defensive, is recorded to have been signed between Charlemain and Achaius, King of Scotland, in 791."

In another paper it will be shown how the Alliance was brought to a close, and how it affected the customs and language of the Scottish people.


LEAVING the vexed question of when the Alliance originated, we proceed to note when it ended; for like all other temporal things it came to an end at last. Several influences were at work for many years before this was accomplished. One thing which tended to weaken the friendly feeling between the two nations was the overbearing and arrogant conduct of the Guises, who, under the pretence of protecting the rights of their young relative, Mary Queen of Scots, then newly married to the Dauphin, veiled tho most ambitious designs on Scotland. To show this, the following abridged quotation is given from The Scot Abroad:—Scotland had improved in wealth, yet the relative proportions of the two countries had vastly altered. Their diplomatic relations had changed, at least on the French side, in the assumption of a protecting and patronising nomenclature. The papers revealed to the world by M. Teulet, show that from the time when the heiress to the crown of Scotland came into the possession of her ambitious kinsfolk, they were laying plans for governing Scotland in Paris, and annexing the country to the throne of France. Dated in the year 1552 is a "Declaration" or Memorandum of the Parliament of Paris, on the adjustment of the Government of Scotland. In this document one can see, under official formalities, the symptoms of an almost irritable impatience to get the nominal government vested in the young Queen, in order that the real government might be administered by her kinsfolk.

The Scots Lords now saw sights calculated, as the Persians say, to open the eyes of astonishment. A clever French statesman, M. D' Osel, was sent over as the adviser of the Regent, to be her Prime Minister, and enable her to rule Scotland after the model of France. A step was taken to get at the high office of Chancellor, with possession of the Great Seal. The office of Comptroller of the Treasury was dealt with more boldly, and put into the hands of M. Villemore.

These arbitrary proceedings naturally alarmed the national pride of the Scots, and went far to undermine the friendship which had so long existed; but there was yet another influence at work equally if not more powerful. The Reformed religion, already established by law in England, was making rapid strides among the Scots, and when John Knox arrived in Scotland, fresh from experiencing the horrors of a galley slave in France, and lifted his powerful voice against the French, their religion, and their policy; the whole nation was aroused, and the breaking of the hitherto inviolate alliance was determined upon. To effect this, it was necessary that the leaders of the movement should negotiate with England for sympathy, and, if need be, for substantial help. Knox himself conducted the first embassy to England, which was one of considerable danger, as the Queen Regent already suspected that there was some understanding between the discontented Scots and the English Court. Queen Elizabeth was anxious to make peace with Scotland, as is abundantly shown from the State papers of the time; for instance, it is said—"We think the peace with Scotland of as great moment for us as that with France, and rather of greater;" and again— "And for our satisfaction beside the matter of Calais, nothing in all this conclusion with the French may in surety satisfy us, if we have not peace with Scotland," with many similar passages.

It being definitely settled to enter into a league with England, the next question was where should the Commissioners meet to sign the agreement It was not ta be supposed that England should go to Scotland, and the Scots were equally determined that they would not enter upon English ground. The dispute was amusing, as showing the jealous care with which the Scots guarded their national honour. One of the Commissioners, Bishop Tunstall, says—" Our first meeting was in the midst of the river between us both; for the Scots do regard their honour as much as any other king doth." Again, the Earl of Northumberland, writing to Cecil, says—" They were ready to meet the Scottish Commissioners on the first day, on the boulders that are in the mid stream; but they claimed customs, and caused the messengers to go to and fro so often, that they forced the English Commissioners to come over the water into Scottish ground, or else would not have met at all." So the Scots vindicated their independence to their own satisfaction, and a league was formed, which, unlike the French one, was only cemented stronger as time went on, until there was no longer any occasion for either leagues or alliances.

The long connection between France and Scotland left many traces behind, in terms of every day use, as well as in customs. According to Hill Burton, the Scottish Law system was copied from the French. The Scots also followed the French style of pronouncing the Classic languages, which is different to the English style. The Scotch Bankruptcy laws also followed the French. The Scotch "cessio" being nearly an exact parallel to the French "cession," and when, in 1533, the Court of Session was established, it was a very distinct adaptation of a French institution. The University of King's College, in Aberdeen, was constructed on the model of that of Paris, and the titles and officers of Chancellor and Rector were both taken from France. So also the term Censor, one who calls over the roll of names to mark those absent. Deans and Faculties are French terms still in use in Scottish Universities, and though long since discontinued in those English ones, the former is retained still as a dignity of the Church. "The Doyens of all sorts, lay and ecclesiastical, were a marked feature of ancient France, as they still are of Scotland, when there is a large body of lay deans, from the lawyer, selected for his eminence at the bar, who presides over the Faculty of Advocates, down to 'my feyther and deacon,' who has gathered behind a 'half-door' the gear that is to make his son a capitalist and a magistrate. Among the Scottish Universities the Deans of Faculty are still nearly as familiar a title as they were at Paris or Bologna."

The term Lauration is another French word still preserved in Scottish Universities as the classical name for the ceremony of admission to a degree. Again, there is "Humanity," as applied to Philology in Scotland. Hill Burton says—"The term is still as fresh at Aberdeen as when Maimbourg spoke of Calvin making his humanities at the College of La Mark. The "Professor of Humanity" has his place in the almanacs and other official lists, as if there were nothing antiquated or peculiar in the term, though jocular people have been known to state to unsophisticated Cockneys and other simple people, that the object of the chair is to inculcate on the young mind the virtue of exercising humanity towards the lower animals; and it is beIjeved that more than one stranger has conveyed away, in the title of this professorship, a standing illustration of the elaborate kindness exercised towards the lower animals, in Scotland." During his first year at Aberdeen, a student is called a Bejeant; three hundred years ago, a student of the first year At Paris University was called a Bejanne, and the name often turnçd up in old French writers.

Presbyterianism even has retained a relic of the o14 French League in its Church nomenclature; indeed some say that the whole system, its doctrines and forms, were imported from France ready-made by the Huguenots. In any case the Scotch ]Presbyterians adopted the terms of "Moderator" from the French Moderateur, a name applied to the President of the Huguenots' Ecclesiastical Courts; and also the word "overture" as used when a motion is made in a presbytery "to overture" the General Assembly. This is taken from "ceuverture," by which solemn business was commenced in Huguenot meetings.

The architecture of the Scottish castles bore a striking resemblance to the French Chateau, and was quite different to the style then in vogue in England.

The same author traces at great length the. connection between the Hogmanay of Scotland and the Eguimené of France, and proves that while the earliest notice of Hogmanay by Scotch writers goes no further back than the middle of the seventeenth century, there are numerous references made to the French custom of Eguimené by old French writers of an early date. He says :-" In two numbers of the French paper 'Illustration,' I happen to have seen a representation of children going about on New-Year's eve demanding their eguimené. The word had a sort of rattling accompaniment not unlike our owe—thus Eguimené, rollet follet, Tiri liri." Again, speaking of the etymological dictionary of Menage, he says "Under the word Haguignéts he quotes information furnished by M. de Grandemesuil, who says he rein mbers in his youth that, in Rouen, the word was pronounced hoguigndtes, and he gives a specimen of the way in which he remembers the boys in his own quarter singing it as they solicited their New-Year's eve gifts. Menage records his correspondent's theory of the origin of the word, without either impugning or adopting it. The root hoc in anno—in this year—as inferring a hint that it is still time before the year expires to do a small act of generosity to the suppliant, so that the giver may pass into the New Year with the benefit of his gratitude."

Then there are a great numb of words which people use every day, little thinking that they are a remnant of the kindly old French alliance, such as Gigot (leg of mutton); Groset, gooseberry, from Groseilk; Haggis, from Hachts, hashed meat; Kickshaws, from Quelque chose, a made-up dish; Kimmer, from Commre, gossip; Demented, from Dementi, deranged; jalouse, from Jalouser, to suspect; Ashet, from Assiette, a plate or dish; Gude-brither, from Bonfrere, brother-in-law; Dour, from Dure, obstinate. A great many more could be given, but enough has been said to show the close connection of the two peoples.

Though the Union of Scotland to England is in all respects the most natural, as well as the most advantageous, still we should not be unmindful of the benefits Scotland derived from her ancient alliance with France. Besides providing a refuge for wandering Scots, It was instrumental in polishing the rude and somewhat barbarous manners of Scotland in the middle ages. It also helped the Scots to maintain their independence as a nation, against the repeated attempts of England to subdue them, while, on the other hand, the open hospitality extended by the French was always nobly requited by the devotion and faithfulness of the Scots.


Papers relating to the Royal Guard of Scottish Archers in France (pdf)

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