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Where Elvan fierce, with dark Dunneeten flows,
(1) [The vale of Glengonar abounds in mineral wealth, principally lead; and, in a former age, very elevated and even romantic notions were formed of its vast resources from small particles of gold having been found in the sands of the stream, and elsewhere in the vale. During the minority of James VI. a German mineralogist was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth to search the hills and valleys here for precious ores, and the place where he washed the dust is still called Gold-scour. It was found, however, that the cost of working was more expensive than could be defrayed by the precious metal which was recovered, and the gold-search was therefore abandoned. At a more recent period, the earl of Hopetoun, who is the principal proprietor, resumed the search, though it was abandoned from the same cause, but not until a sufficient quantity of the metal had been procured to form a small piece of plate of native Scottish gold. It is still found in small particles, enough certainly to indicate the presence of the metal, but much too scanty to give any reasonable encouragement for working it.]
(2) [Allan Ramsay was born here on the 15th of October, 1686; he has himself described the place of his birth with picturesque minute.
"Of Craufurd-muir, born in Lead-hill,
Now Bagbie rises graceful o'er the flood, And Lamington, of ancient heroes proud. These fair possessions fate to beauties gave, (1) Just, to reward the sage, the learned, and brave. To godlike Wallace, one resigned her charms, (2) When Biggar's field confest the chieftain's arms. (3) 170 For as an eagle pounces from the sky,
Where in their fold devoted lambkins lie,
(1) [In the Appendix to Nisbet's Heraldry, it is stated in the account of this family, that the celebrated Sir William Wallace acquired the estate of Lamington by marrying an heiress surnamed Broadfoot; and that Sir William Baillie obtained it by marrying the eldest daughter and heiress of Wallace. This statement, however, is not supported by any authentic authority, and is undoubtedly incorrect. Sir William Wallace left no legitimate offspring, but his natural daughter is said to have married Sir William Baillie of Boprig, the progenitor of the Baillies of Lamington. Female heirs have often held this estate, but the name has always been assumed by the gentlemen whom they have married, and thus it still remains in the family and name of the Baillies.]
(2) According to Henry the Minstrel, Wallace married the daughter of "Hew Braidfute," and heiress of Lamington; a circumstance which gave great offence to Hesilrig, or, as Fordun terms him, Hesliope, the English sheriff of Lanark, whose son had desired this match. The revenge taken by Hesilrig was equally dastardly and cruel: Wallace having been overpowered in a sudden rencounter at Lanark, escaped to Cartland Craigs; but his innocent lady was put to death by her disappointed and merciless suitor.
Numerous places in Clydesdale bear the name of Wallace; and the memory of that hero is preserved in songs and traditions, not only in that district, but in the Border and Highlands. He is celebrated by Jonston in a strain superior to what that author generally assumes:
Robore, mente, animis ingens, ingentior ausis,
Quem tibi, quem dederint secula prisca parem !
Vires, arma, orbis, dextera sola tua :
Nil non pro patria geris, et pro te nihil unquam.
(3) ["There is tradition of a battle having been fought at the east end of the town, between the Scots, under the command of Sir William Wallace, and the English army, who were said to be 60,000 strong, wherein a great slaughter was made on both sides, especially among the latter.""It has been alleged," says Mr. Carrick, " that, on this memorable occasion, Edward commanded in person; but such could not have been the case, as the English monarch was not in the country at the time. That a considerable battle was fought in the neighbourhood, there is reason to believe, as well from current tradition, as from the number of tumuli which are still to be seen."]
From Tinto, darting on the tented plain,
He heap'd the sanguine field with hills of slain.
A knight of Hyndford's noble lineage led
(1) [The Barony of Lamington being, by the deed of entail, destined to heirs-general, was in the course of the last century held by no fewer than three females, who brought the estate by their marriage into other wealthy families. The last of these heiresses of Lamington was Elizabeth, Lady Ross Baillie, eldest daughter of Lord President Dundass, who married Sir John Lockhart Ross of Balnagown. The historical allusion in this passage is to the many feats of naval prowess performed by Sir John (better known as Captain Lockhart of the Tartar) against the French. In this sloop of war, mounting 24 guns and 200 men, he attacked two French frigates of superior force, and drove them into Morlaix, and, between the 20th Sept. 1756, and 19th Oct. 1758, he took, with the loss of only five men killed and two wounded, in a variety of engagements, nine privateers with 220 guns and 2,500 men, being fully ten times his own force. His name at length was sufficient to terrify the enemy to strike. Ree's Cyclopedia. See Note LOCKHART OF LEE, at end of Canto ]
Locked in a golden vase, a sacred trust,
To lodge it deep in Salem's holy dust.
His sacred charge fulfilled, when fate decreed
The chief beneath a Moorish spear should bleed,
Locked with like care, his heart this friend brought home,
The term deriving from his pious care,
The name of Lockhart hence his offspring bare;
Each bending stalk presents a load of grain ;
With varied beauty to adorn the fields.
See that broad plain which deepest verdure wears;
(1) [The Medwyns, Medwins, Maidwens or Maidens, tributaries of the Clyde. The North Medwyn rises at the foot of the hill Craigengar in the North-east corner of the parish of Dunsyre, flows in a southerly direction for about 6 miles, when it turns suddenly to the west and is joined by a stream called the West Water, fully as large as itself. The South Medwyn rises near Garvaldfoot, in the parish of West Linton, and after a course of 9 miles is joined by the North Medwyn, about a mile and a half before they both fall into the Clyde. A small branch of the South Medwyn runs off towards the east near Garvaldfoot, changes its name soon to the Tarth, passes out the Lyne, and through it to the Tweed.-The fact or phenomenon, that salmon have been caught in the Clyde above the majestic and lofty cataracts of that noble river, is accounted for on the supposition, that at the spawning season some of the fish diverge from the Tweed up the Lyne and the Tarth, till they turn the fork of the South Medwyn and then go down the Clydesdale section of that curious stream. The point at which the Medwyn splits is, in consequence, popularly called the Salmon Leap.]
In silver hue the awny barley shines,
And waving oats extend their golden lines:
Around imperial Clyde, in regal state,
The labouring steeds, and steers, and sturdy swains,
By taper neck supported, bears the seed;