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Arran of the Bens, The Glens and the Brave
Chapter XXI. The Later Lords of Arran


In 1465 Arran once more changed its rulers, for it was given to the noted Regent, Lord Boyd, the man who had made his fortune by audaciously marrying his son to the Princess Mary, sister of the king. Young Boyd was made Earl of Arran, and received the island as a marriage portion. The Regent became extraordinarily unpopular, being regarded as an upstart by the nobility, and he was ruined and disgraced, so that his son fled, and all his honours were confiscated and bestowed upon the king's eldest son, afterwards James IV.


The keepership of Brodick Castle and certain farms in Arran were granted to Hugh, Lord Montgomery, by James iv. in 1488. In 1503 James, Lord Hamilton, husband of the Princess Mary, widow of the Earl of Arran, was made Earl of Arran, and to him were granted the Castle of Brodick and the crown lands of the island. 1506 was the year of the general charter to the crown tenants of Bute, and in this year some of the Kintyre clans, chiefly the MacKays, made a raid upon the island. In 1528 the castle was burnt down by the Argyll clans, but was rebuilt by James V., who was a frequent visitor to the island.

In 1544 Henry vm. sent a fleet of ships under the Earl of Lennox, which captured and razed to the ground the oft-razed castle of Brodick, and plundered the whole island. Making an Englishman, Sir Rice Mansell, governor, they also took "Rosie" castle, and made the captain prisoner. Brodick was again rebuilt and again raided, and taken by another English expedition, this time under the Earl of Sussex with a party of Irish.

In 1579 the great power of the Hamiltons caused so much jealousy at court that they were deprived of their estates, and Ninian Stewart, nephew of King James vi., was made keeper of Brodick. The title of Earl of Arran was given to James Stewart of Ochiltree, a favourite of the king, who committed so many crimes that the king was ultimately forced to abandon him, and his lordship of Arran reverted to the Hamiltons, in whose hands it has remained since.


The most popular proprietor the island has ever known is undoubtedly the present one, Lady Mary Douglas Hamilton, only child of the twelfth duke. She married the Marquis of Graham in 1906, and she and her husband are much attached to their many-memoried island home. The Grahams from the time of the great and chivalrous Marquis, of Inverlochy fame, always got on well with the Highland folk, and Arran was never so contented or so prosperous as at present.

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