Imágenes de páginas

pushed further in that direction—up the valleys of the Teviot, the Ettrick, the Yarrow, and the Tweed—until it reached the Catrail.

This, at least, is clear, that the original parochia or bishopric of Kentigern in the sixth century was coextensive with the Strathclyde of the time, and that it stretched from Alclyde to the Derwent. The diocese of Glasgow latterly included the five rural deaneries of Glasgow proper-viz., Rutherglen, Lennox, Lanark, Kyle and Cunningham, and Carrick. Besides these, it embraced the four deaneries of the archdeaconry of Teviotdale—viz., Teviotdale, Peebles, Nithsdale, and Annandale. This was probably the arrangement after “the land of Carlisle" had been erected into a bishopric in 1132. This entirely overthrows Mr Freeman's view as to the extent of territory to the west gained by different Angle kings; and it shows how misleading is his map in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, under England. The Derwent divides the diocese of Chester from that of Carlisle; and the original Cymric state included the area embraced in the two dioceses of Glasgow and Carlisle. Churches dedicated to Kentigern are found to commence on the north side of the Derwent.

The country south of the Tees to the Humber, that is now included in Yorkshire, was occupied by a people identical in race with the Angles and Frisians of Bernicia. This district was called Deira, originally Deifr; and the two districts of Deira and Bernicia were called Nordhymbraland, or the land north of the Humber. They were united into one kingdom under Ella about

1 Cf. Skene, Four Books, i. 165.

559. But whether Bernicia or Deira formed one kingdom or two usually depended on the varying fortune of war. The capital of Bernicia was Bebbanburh, now Bamborough, so called after Bebba, wife of Aethelfrith or Ethelfred, King of Bernicia. The capital of Deira was York.

The Angles of Bernicia formed the aggressive element in the country. For four hundred years there was nearly constant war between them and the Cymri to the west. Bernicia was held by the four sons of Ida in succession. One of these, Hussa, was King of Bernicia in 567. With him contended four kings of the Britons—viz., Urbgen (or Urien), Riderchen, Guallauc, and Morcant. They probably represented a confederation of the Cymric principalities, which were still independent. Riderchen, or Rhydderch Hael—that is, the Liberal—was of Roman descent. Another line of princes of the Cymri was of native origin. This was represented by Gwenddoleu, descended from Coil Hen, or the aged. Rhydderch Hael and his family came under the influence of the Christianity of the Columban Church. Gwenddoleu and the native line remained outside of this influence, and were at the head of the paganism and Bardism of the time, The principalities scattered over the Tweed and the Clyde thus came to be divided into two parties, the one holding by the old Druidic or Nature worship, and the other by the new faith. The matter of supremacy must come to the arbitrament of the sword; and come it did with fatal and final issue in the great battle of Arderydd, fought in 573 between the Liddel and the burn of Carwhinelow, about nine miles north of Carlisle. The

[ocr errors]

field of battle is obviously the space of ground between the great strength of Liddel and the ravine through which flows the burn of Carwhinelow (Caerwenddoleu). The fort now called the Mote of Liddel is one of the inost imposing of all the ancient remains of the district. It might well have been the centre of a great national battle. But if so, it was much earlier than the date of any Saxon or Angle construction. The leader of the Christian party, Rydderch Hael, the prince, apparently, of Lanark, was assisted by Aidan, afterwards king of the Scots of Dalriada, and by Maelgwn Gwynedd. Gwenddoleu led the Pagan and opposing confederacy. The battle was long, and the number of the dead was fabulously great. No doubt it was a crucial fight, to be paralleled only by subsequent national contests. The memory of that day's struggle by the Liddel, between brother Cymri, saddened Cyinric song for many generations. The result of it, however, was the death of Gwenddoleu, the triumph of the Christian Cymri, and the establishment of one Cymric kingdom under Rydderch Hael, to be known afterwards for many centuries as Strathclyde, and its inhabitants as the Strat-Clud Wealas, or Walenses, with Alclud, or Dunbreaton, as its capital. Al-cluith or Ailcluith is the British form of the name,—meaning the rock of Clyde,—Petra Cloithe (Welsh ail, a rock). The Gaels called it Dunbreaton, or fort of the Britons. This kingdom of Alclyde stretched from Alclyde up through the valley of the Clyde, across the watershed, down the Tweed to the south-east boundary of Peeblesshire, and beyond that southwards to Carlisle, and westwards to the Derwent. “It comprehended Cumberland and Westmoreland, with

the exception of the baronies of Allerdale or Copeland in the former, and Kendal in the latter, and the counties of Dumfries, Ayr, Renfrew, Lanark, and Peebles in Scotland. On the east the great Forest of Ettrick separated it from the Angles, and here the ancient rampart of the Catrail, which runs from the south-east corner of Peeblesshire, near Galashiels, through the county of Selkirk to the Peel Hill on the south side of Liddesdale, marked the boundary between them." Besides Alclyde, it had as towns Penrynwleth, on the Clyde; Caer-Clud; Llanerch, the glade or church in the wood; Peblis, or the shielings; Kelso (Calchvynyd); and Caer Luel (Carlisle), all names of British origin, and thus indicating very ancient towns. Mr Skene identifies Penryn Wleth with the Dowhill of GlasgowGwleth in combination, Wleth, dew,-hence the Dew or Dowhill. Joscelin describes Kentigern as sitting on a stone on the top of Gwleth. Caer-Clud is Glasgow :

“ From Penryn Wleth to Loch Reon,
The Cymri are of one mind, bold heroes.” 2

With the exception of Galloway on the south, inhabited by the Piethwyr or Pictmen, with whom a Gaelic race was afterwards intermingled, and Bryneich or Bernicia, the northern part of the Angle kingdom of Northumberland on the east coast, the whole of the country from Loch Lomond and the Lennox, to the Derwent in Cumberland, was embraced by the British kingdom of Strathclyde. North-west of the Firth of Clyde, in

i Skene, Celtic Scotland, i. 235, 236. For a fuller and more accurate description of the line of the Catrail, see below, 183 et seq.

2 Taliessin, xiv., Skene, Four Books, i. 276.

Argyll, lay the Scots' kingdom of Dalriada, over which Aidan, the friend of Rydderch Hael, had just been consecrated king by Columba. The Picts and Men of Moray held the north and east of the island. As yet Scotland was not. It had to arise out of the struggles and the fusion of those contending races. Yet obviously, even now some progress towards unity had been made. The strength of mere individualism had been organised; distinct kingdoms had been constituted out of small principalities; the monarch accepted consecration from the priest, and thus recognised the influence of unseen power and of moral idea as a rule of life. Brute strength was no longer to be held as the only power which a

man should own. Organisation and obedience to idea are the two initial steps of civilisation.

Immediately on the victory of Arderydd, Kentigern, the friend and counsellor of Rydderch Hael, was recalled from Wales by the king, and made Bishop of Strathclyde. This territory afterwards became the parochia or bishopric of Glasgow. Rydderch, who was intimate with Columba, continued to reign at Alclyde until his death in 603. Columba himself had died in 596

“In Abererch is the grave of Rydderch Hael.” 1

The subsequent history of the kingdom of Strathclyde shows a gallant struggle against Angle, Pict, and Dane. It preserved an independent existence, though often sadly harassed and reduced, for upwards of three hundred and fifty years.

In fact, nothing is more striking than the persistent nationality of the ancient Britons. Theodoric

1 Verses of the Graves.

« AnteriorContinuar »