Sunday, 8 October 2017

Shadow in the Beginning - the First Logie Owner of Glamis

Long before the castle of Glamis was built and even before the ownership of the Lyon family, there were mysteries surrounding the place. From the Dark Age habitation to the royal estate there, the facts are scant enough.  One would suppose that the records of the first non-royal ownership of the estate would throw open the history of the place and provide clear information.  But history is murkier than that. 

   In the 1363 the records show that a man named John de Logy received the reversion of the thanedom of Glamis from King David II.  The reddendo for these lands was a red falcon which had to be delivered to the king yearly at the feast of Pentecost.  By 1372, however, Logy was no longer in possession and the new monarch, Robert II, granted the thanage to Sir John Lyon.  The original owner is a shadowy character.  The first JohnLogy – or Logie – came to a bad end, executed for his part in a plot against the king.  Margaret Logy, who some historians reckon to be his daughter, went on to marry David II.  Logy, or rather Logie, is by no means an uncommon place-name in Scotland.  There are several such names in Angus – one in north Angus, and another between Dundee and Lochee (though for long incorporated in the city). It likely, however, that this Logy was associated with Logie-Almond in Strathearn, Perthshire.  The owner of Glamis was likely the first John's son.

   The downfall of Logie senior was his part in a treacherous plot against the king orchestrated by Lord Soulis.  Soulis died in Dumbarton Castle.  Sir John of Logie, together with several other plotters, were condemned following the ‘Black Parliament’ of 1320 and drawn, hung and beheaded.  Incidentally the plot also led to the death of a notable Angus man named David Brechin, who was condemned because he had kept secret the details of the plot, despite refusing to become involved. 
   Margaret Logie herself presents an interesting character, judging from the facts which have survived about her.  She was born into the powerful Perthshire family of Drummond and had a long liaison with King David II, whose marriage to Joan (daughter of King Edward II of England) was both childless and unhappy.  When Joan retired to be a nun in England, David took a series of mistresses, one of whom was murdered by Scottish nobles who were suspicious of her power.  After Joan’s death, Margaret Logie became the first Scotswoman to marry a reigning Scottish monarch since the 11th century.  Margaret was a powerful lady and an active force in Scottish politics. 

King David II of  Scotland and Edward III of England.

   But her downfall may have been sealed by the fact that she was unable to give the king a son (though she had one son by her first husband, also called John Logie and one possibly malicious chronicler later accused her of pretending to carry the king’s child).  Margaret tried to secure her position by making a bond with the powerful Kennedy kindred of Carrick, but she still fell out of favour. King David annulled the marriage, but his queen appealed to the papacy.  The matter was still unresolved when King David II died in February 1371.  But Margaret died on her way to the papal court at Avignon soon afterwards. 

   The Drummonds of Stobhall, Perthshire, interestingly provided another Scottish queen, in the shape of Annabella Drummond.  She was the daughter of Sir John Drummond, who was Margaret Logie’s sister.  In contrast to her unfortunate aunt, Annabella’s union was a resounding success, at least if it can be measured by its duration; she was married to King Robert III for over 35 years.

Stobhall, home of the Drummonds.

   Did Margaret Logie ever visit Glamis?  It’s doubtful, but then again Glamis is not too many miles east of her ancestral home of Stobhall in Perthshire.  One thing is certain:  that she has her place among those many characters in Scottish history whose reputation has suffered as a result of her strong character and motives.  John Bellenden, translating the history of Hector Boece in the 16th century, sums up the distorted tradition of this queen which survived in his era:

King David...maryit ane lusty woman, namit Margaret Logy... and within thre monethis eftir; he repentit and wes so sorrowful that he had degradit his blud-rial with sic obscure linnage...

Guthrie, James Cargill, The Vale of Strathmore, its Scenes and Legends (Edinburgh, 1875).
McPherson, J. G., Strathmore, Past and Present (Perth, 1885).
Penman, Michael, ‘Margaret Logie, Queen of Scotland,’ in The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, From the Earliest Times to 2004, ed. Elizabeth Ewan, Sue Innes, Rose Pipes, Sian Reynolds, pp. 248-9 (Edinburgh, 2006).
Riddell, John, Inquiry into the Law and Practice in Scottish Peerages (vol. 2, Edinburgh, 1842).

Stewart Allan, A., ‘Historical Notices of the Family of Margaret of Logy, Second Queen of David the 
Second, King of Scots,’ Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 7 (1878), pp. 330-361.

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