« السابقةمتابعة »
the Arms and Motto of the Earl of Aboyne; but the Motto of the Ducal Branch of the Family is yet unaccounted for, which is "Bydand." This, I make no doubt, is a compound word, and of no little antiquity; and I take the resolution of it to be, by contraction, Byde th' End, with the letter D in the place of the TH; for the Glossarist to some ancient Scottish Poems, published from the MSS. of George Bannatyne, at Edinburgh, 1/70, p. 247, renders the word JSidand, pendente Lite. See also the Glossary, ad calcem. As to its import, it may refer to Family transactions, in two points of view; viz. either to loyal or religious attachments. In support of the first, we find that Sir Adam Gordon was a strenuous asserter of the claims of the Bruces, and peculiarly active in the cause of King Robert 1. (in that long contest), who accordingly rewarded him with a large grant of land, sufficient to secure his interest, and make him byde the end of the contest as a feudatory under that King. The Son and Grandson of Sir Adam were both faithful to the interest of the Braces, and had the above grant confirmed by King David II. * If this is not satisfactory, we have instances of acts of piety done by the early Branches of this Family, sufficient to warrant the Motto on the interpretation here given; for in the Reign of Malcolm IV. the Family had large possessions, part of which they devoted to religious purposes, by considerable endowments and benefactions given to the Abbey of Kelso f.
I incline, however, more strongly to the military sense of the Motto; and the more, as it is borne by other Families, manifestly with that reference, though I cannot account for the connexion of the two Houses. Thus, for instance, Leith, in one Branch, has for the Motto, "Semper Fidus;" in another, "Trusty to the End;" and in a third, "Trusty and JBydand;" in this last, I think the contraction of the last word, as above suggested, is more clearly established J.
* Crawfurd's Peerage. « f Ibid.
X Nisbet's Heraldry, p. 217.
In these Mottoes of Leith, it must be confessed there is more appearance of a religious application than in that of the Duke of Gordon, as the Armorial Bearings are partly compounded of Cross-Croslets, and the Crest of the first is likewise a Turtle-dove.
Elphinston^ Lord Elphinston, has for his Motto "Caus Causit *," or, as written by Mr. Nisbet, "Cause caused it." \
In Almon's Short Peerage of Scotland Caus or Cause is interpreted Chance, which leads us to search for some casual circumstance in the history of the Family, whereby it was elevated.
Alexander Elphinston was ennobled by King James IV. in the time of our Henry .VIII.; to whom a fatal incident happened, to which his Descendants might have a retrospect when the Motto was assumed. Some branches of the story are controverted; but enough is left by tradition to found our conjecture, and for the Family to rest the choice of their Motto upon. This Alexander, the first Peer, was slain at the Battle of Floddert Field (1513), together with King James TV.*, and being, in his person and face, very like the King, his body was carried by the English to Berwick, instead of that of the King, and treated with some indignity. The controvertible part of the circumstance is$ that the King escaped by this means, and lived to reward the Family who had thus lost their valiant Chief; but strong proofs are to be found, that the King was actually slain^ though by some accounts not in the Battle, as his body was identified by more than one of his confidential Servants, who recognized it by certain private indelible marks *.
* Crawfurd's Peerage. *
t System of Heraldry, p. 154.
Buchanan allows that the King escaped from the Battle; but adds, that he was killed the same day by a party of his own Subjects, whose interest it was to take him off, to avoid a punishment due to themselves for cowardice in the preceding Battle f.
* Drake's Hist. Aug. Scot.
t Buchanan's History, Book xiii. p. 26.
Holinshed tells us, that in order to deceive the Enemy, and encourage his own Troops, the King caused several of his Nobles to be armed and apparelled like himself*; and this practice, at that time of day, seems not to have been uncommon ; for Shakspeare makes Richard say, during the Battle of Bosworth Field,
"I think, there be Six Richmonds in the Field: Five have I slain to-day instead of him f."
Let this pass for truth; yet was Lord Elphinston's case the most remarkable, and most deserving of favour to his posterity, on account of the insults offered to his body, under a supposition that it was the body of the King. After the death of James IV. a long Minority ensued, and consequently a Regency; but what reward the Family of Elphinston had, or what weight they bore in the Reign of James V. or in that of Queen Mary, History is not minute enough to in<form us; though we find, that the Great Grandson of the first Peer slain at Flodden
* Holinshed's Chronicle. t Act v. Sc. iv.