History of the Scottish expedition to Norway in 1612 by Michell, Thomas

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[Illustration: Sketch Map,





_THOMAS MICHELL, C.B.,_ _Her Majesty's Consul General for Norway._






_Rights of Translation and Reproduction reserved for the benefit of the Anglican Church at Christiania._








The idea of investigating the story of the Scottish Expedition to Norway in 1612 occurred to the author on a trip through the beautiful valleys of Romsdal and Gudbrandsdal in the autumn of 1884--many of the statements made on that subject in guide-books, and in almost every work on Norway, having appeared incredible when he left the highway and explored the old bridle-path along which the Scots marched on their way to Sweden.

Subsequent researches in State Archives, made with the kind assistance which has been heartily acknowledged in the pages that follow, resulted in the discovery of official documents hitherto unavailable, and with their aid the traditional account of the "Skottetog" has, in its chief outlines, been reduced to strict historical proportions.

The information thus acquired was utilized by the author in a lecture delivered in 1885 at the University of Christiania, in the gracious presence of His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway, for the benefit of the Building Fund of the Anglican Church in that city.

It is with the same practical object that, with the generous co-operation of the publishers, the lecture has been embodied in the little book now commended to the attention of those who take an interest in Scottish history, as well as to that of the British and American travellers who visit in such largely increasing numbers the beautiful and hospitable valleys and highlands of Norway, in which they find so much sympathetic evidence of a common origin of both race and language.

LONDON, _March 1886_.















Historical Documents.






Part I.




More than two centuries and a half have elapsed since the date of the occurrence so well known in Norway as the "Skottetog," or Scottish expedition, of which but little has hitherto been authentically known in Scotland. Notwithstanding, therefore, the conspicuous position which the so-called "Sinclair Expedition" holds in the traditions,[1] and to some extent also in the literature and the art,[2] of Norway, a fresh examination of the subject by the impartial light of historical truth is justified by the recent discovery of several documents in the State Archives of England, Scotland, and Sweden.

Although Mönnichhofen's expedition through Stordalen, and the Scottish invasion of Romsdalen and Gudbrandsdalen which formed an integral but unsuccessful part of that expedition, took place in 1612, no account of the latter appeared in print earlier than the year 1688, when Puffendorff wrote his "Introduction to Swedish History;" and it was only three years later that Widikindi, another Swedish historian, gave a narrative of it in a History of Gustavus Adolphus.

Among Danish historians, Niels Slange was the first of any eminence to reproduce the now palpable errors of Puffendorff and Widikindi, in a History of Christian IV., written in 1732.

In 1782, the subject of the Skottetog first became popularized in Norway by the publication, in a periodical journal called the _Dansk Museum_, of the spirit-stirring poem by Edvard Storm, which Norwegian children still learn by heart and in song, and which has even been well circulated in the English and German languages.[3]


As depicted by the Norwegian artists Tiedemann and Gude. _Page 11._]

But the first really important contribution towards the history of the event was made in 1838, when Dean Krag of Vaage dedicated to the descendants of the Bönder[4] who had fought at Kringelen the _Sagas_, or traditions, he had personally collected in Gudbrandsdalen, annotated with such historical references as were then available.[5]

While the traditions he has so scrupulously preserved for us are of great interest, if only because they indicate plainly the source of the information on which Swedish, Danish, and even Scottish accounts of the expedition into Romsdalen had been chiefly based, he enriched history with copies of the first and only documents that had apparently ever been drawn before his time, from State or other archives, relative to the Scots who landed in Romsdalen. Those documents were: a Report by the Norwegian Stadtholder, Envold Kruse, to the Danish Chancellor, dated Aggershuus, 17th September 1612; and three deeds of gift of land (all dated 3rd September 1613) to Lars Hage, Peder Randklev, and Berdon Sejelstad, for their bravery and loyal devotion on that occasion.

In that laborious little work Dean Krag pointed out that, with the exception of Kruse's first Report (of which he had obtained a copy from Copenhagen), all the writers after Puffendorff (1688) and Widikindi (1691) had repeated, more or less, only what those two historians had related. He also showed that Storm's poem had been preceded by a popular ballad on the same subject, and of which he collected and printed as much as was still extant in Gudbrandsdalen.

More recent historical research resulted in the discovery, also at Copenhagen, of a second Report from Envold Kruse, the Stadtholder, dated 3rd October 1612. It was first published between 1858 and 1860,[6] and was reproduced in a little work printed at Molde in 1877.[7]

The history of the Scottish expedition to Norway in 1612 has, therefore, until this day been supported in Scandinavian accounts by only two documents of indisputable authority--namely, the two Reports of Envold Kruse, of which the second was brought to light less than twenty years ago.

Nor have Scottish and English historians[8] and writers, so deeply interested in the question, been more successful in discovering and making use of authentic contemporary documents. A careful examination of their several descriptions, both of Mönnichhofen's expedition and of that of the Scots, reveals the fact that their information had been derived either from the old Danish and Swedish historians already mentioned, or more recently from the traditions current in Gudbrandsdalen. Those accounts may consequently be dismissed as unworthy of serious attention.

But the Public Record Office in London has at last delivered up its long-hidden treasures, consisting of the correspondence that passed between King James I. of England (VI. of Scotland) and Sir Robert Anstruther, his ambassador or envoy at Copenhagen, on the subject of the Scottish levies for Sweden in 1612.[9] In the General Register House, Edinburgh, have also been preserved[10] the acts and proclamations of the Scottish Privy Council in respect of those proceedings; while the keeper of the State Archives in Stockholm has supplied copies of several documents[11] that have not hitherto been published, amongst which must be mentioned a letter or commission issued by Gustavus Adolphus II.[12] to Sir James Spens of Wormiston, a Scottish officer of high rank, found sometimes in the service of James I., sometimes in that of Sweden.

That commission is of more especial value, since it explains the connection between the expedition of Mönnichhofen and that of the Scots.

The former enterprise--an important part of the famed Skottetog--is not the subject of any Norwegian Sagas, or of any popular ballads, but Scandinavian historians have dealt with it somewhat more correctly than with the Scottish expedition, probably because the Dutch contingent reached Sweden, and thereby supplied living testimony as to the circumstances that attended its march through Stordalen into Jemtland.

Nevertheless, the first documents relating to that daring exploit were not published before 1858, in a Norwegian historical magazine. These were copies of letters from Steen Bilde, amtmand, or prefect; Christian Jensson Jude, burgomaster; and Jacob Pederson, lagmand,[13] all of Trondhjem--addressed to the Danish Chancellor, and dated severally between the 15th August 1612 and the 19th February 1613.

Some years later--namely, in 1877--Dr. Yngvar Nielsen of Christiania published[14] "Some Notices respecting Johan von Mönnichhofen," derived from a series of letters from Swedish agents at Amsterdam which he found in the State Archives at Stockholm.


[1] For Norwegian traditions and literature, see Part II.

[2] Two of the most celebrated artists of Norway--Gude and Tiedemann--have jointly produced a very beautiful, but fanciful, picture representing the arrival of "Colonel Sinclair" on the coast of Romsdalen with five or six vessels, and the plundering of the inhabitants by his followers, one of whom, in the garb of a Calvinistic priest, is engaged in abducting a fair Norwegian maiden, while the rest are engaged in looting.

[3] A translation of it is given in Part II.

[4] The Norwegian term for peasant proprietors or yeomen; _sing._ Bonde.

[5] A translation _in extenso_ is given of this work in Part II.

[6] Vol. II. of "Samlinger til det Norske Folks Sprog og Historie."

[7] "Skottetoget efter Folkesagnet og Historien." O. O. Olafsen, Molde, 1877.

[8] See Sir Robert Gordon's "History of the Earldom of Sutherland;" the "History of Caithness," by J. T. Calder; Chambers's "Domestic Annals of Scotland;" the "History of Gustavus Adolphus," by B. Chapman; "Memoirs and Adventures of Sir John Hepburn, Kt.;" Laing's "Residence in Norway;" Clarke's "Travels."

[9] Examined and kindly copied by the late Mr. Alfred Kingston of the Public Record Office, London.

[10] Communicated by Mr. T. Dickson, Curator of the Historical Department, Register House, Edinburgh, to whom the author is indebted for much valuable assistance.

[11] Search was made for those documents by the orders of the King of Sweden and Norway. In this respect the thanks of the author are due to Mr. C. G. Malmström, Keeper of the State Archives at Stockholm, and to Mr. C. H. de Lagerheim and Mr. M. de Björnstjerna of the Swedish Foreign Office, for their researches and friendly co-operation. His acknowledgments are also due to Joseph Anderson, LL.D., Keeper of the National Museum, Edinburgh.

[12] November 16, 1611, for the levying of auxiliary troops in Scotland. For copy, see p. 173.

[13] A judicial officer attached to a tribunal as a kind of witness of its proceedings.

[14] Vol. XIV. of the _Historisk Tidskrift_, or Historical Magazine. Dr. Nielsen's aid and advice have been invaluable to the author.



Such being the documents and the information at last available in the matter of the Mönnichhofen and Scottish expeditions of 1612, it is time to narrate briefly why auxiliary troops were at that time wanted in Sweden.

When Gustavus Adolphus, on the 26th December 1611, took into his own hands, at the age of seventeen, the government of Sweden, his first step was to seek the conclusion of peace with Denmark; and with that object he formally surrendered the title of King of the Lapps, the assumption of which by his father had caused so much ill blood between Christian IV. and Charles IX. that it became one of the principal causes of the so-called Calmar War, commenced in the spring of 1611.

The overtures of Sweden and the offered mediation of Great Britain and other powers were rejected by Denmark, and the war was thereupon continued with great vigour, but with varying success on either side. However, in the early summer of 1612 the Danes took the important fortresses of Elfsborg and Gullberg, and having the entire command of the Cattegat and the Belts, cut off Sweden from the sea. Later, the Danish fleet anchored inside the rocks at Stockholm, of which the seizure was averted only by the bold strategy of Gustavus Adolphus.

This abortive attempt on the capital of Sweden practically concluded the war. Peace was ultimately signed at Knäröd, in Halland, January 18, 1613.[15]

During that war the Danish monarch had in his service about eighteen thousand English,[16] French, and German mercenaries; while Gustavus Adolphus, having on his side[17] only one foreign regiment of eight or nine companies, soon found himself "in need of foreign soldiers as well, wherewith to check the attacks of the enemy."[18] Charles IX. had indeed foreseen such a necessity, but no action was apparently taken in that direction until the month of November 1611, when Gustavus Adolphus addressed to Sir James Spens the letter or commission already mentioned, and when also the Queen Dowager of Sweden issued an order[19] for the payment of 10,500 rigsdaller out of a fund at Lübeck to Mönnichhofen, then preparing to proceed to the Netherlands for the enlistment of men, who, according to the letter addressed to Sir James Spens, were to have joined the Scottish auxiliary contingent at Elfsborg. On the 2nd December 1611 Mönnichhofen[20] was appointed commander-in-chief of the Swedish ships-of-war with which he was to have sailed from Elfsborg and brought back his levies. Money being apparently scarce, orders were given that he should be supplied with a certain quantity of ox-hides, for sale on his arrival in Holland, to meet the further expenses of his expedition. But the original plan of fetching and transporting the Netherlands levies in Swedish ships-of-war was ultimately abandoned, and Mönnichhofen reached Holland by another route.

The letters discovered at Stockholm by Dr. Yngvar Nielsen prove that Mönnichhofen had by the 1st June 1612 embarked a force of about twelve hundred men at Amsterdam on board four ships, which were detained for five weeks by contrary winds. Mönnichhofen had, therefore, the Swedish agent writes, incurred "extraordinary expenses, to the extent of at least four thousand thalers, in providing the men in the small ships with food and drink, and had consequently to pledge and mortgage all he possessed." He had "also encountered much difficulty and incurred great expense in keeping his men together even before the ships lay wind-bound."

Although in most Danish and Swedish histories the troops enlisted by Mönnichhofen in Holland are stated to have been Scottish, there is no documentary proof of such having been their nationality. The Netherlands were at the time full of foreign auxiliary troops, the republic having, on the signature of the truce of 17th June 1609, retained in its service 6,000 French, 3,000 English, and 3,000 Germans, but only 2,000 Scots. The absence of all mention of Scottish officers being with Mönnichhofen; the rivalry that existed between the military adventurers of that period; the circumstance that General Halkett,[21] a Scottish officer, was in Amsterdam at about the same period, engaged, not in enlisting Scots, but in hiring a ship to transport levies from Scotland; and more especially the fact that Mönnichhofen had been instructed to procure arms for the men simultaneously levied in Scotland;--all this leads us to infer that Mönnichhofen, himself a Fleming, enlisted Hollanders, and perhaps Germans.


[15] In that treaty of peace, King James I. of England, whose ambassador had assisted at its negotiation, was described as "a friendly broker and negotiator"--a phrase which, slightly varied, Prince Bismarck applied to himself at the late Congress of Berlin. King James I. is mentioned as "the general peace-broker of Europe." (Jahn's "History of the Calmar War.") The king himself aspired to be called "Rex Pacificus."

[16] "His M. doth holde that their are not a thousand strong fighting men of Inglysh soiours heere; and doeth wonder of my Lord Willowbeis staying."--Sir R. Anstruther to King James I., from the "Camp at Golberg," July 5, 1612.

[17] The alien officers were General Rutherford and Lieutenant Learmonth, Captain Wauchope, and Greig, who commanded the artillery--all Scotsmen; also General Due, Caspar Matzen, and Mönnichhofen. (Deposition of Andrew Ramsay and Robert Douglas, Copenhagen, December 19, 1611.) In 1613 Mönnichhofen and Rutherford were employed with Swedish troops in Russia. (Cronholm's "History of Sweden.")

[18] Gustavus Adolphus to Sir James Spens, November 16, 1611.

[19] November 26, 1611.

[20] Johann von Mönnichhofen was an officer of high rank in the Swedish service. In the documents preserved in the Swedish State Archives he is indifferently styled "Quartermaster-General and Chief" and "Chief Quartermaster." Together with the other foreign officers in the pay of Sweden, he was at the siege of Calmar, at which they were all, with the solitary exception of himself, wounded. A Scottish officer deponed at Copenhagen that Mönnichhofen had alone escaped on that occasion "because he surpassed the others in prudence, and knew how to fight from a distance." This disparaging observation may be due to jealousy on the part of his Scottish brethren in arms, for he certainly showed great daring in planning and executing successfully his march through Norway.

[21] Called in some documents "Colonel" and "Lieut.-Colonel."



According to the Report of the same Swedish agent, Mönnichhofen sailed at last on the 14th July from Amsterdam,[22] and landed five days later in Stordalen, on the coast of Norway--at that time united with the Crown of Denmark--without combining, as originally intended, with the levies made in Scotland, although measures for their detention were taken only on the 4th August following.

The ships (evidently Dutch) which had transported his troops to Norway returned safely to Amsterdam with the information that Mönnichhofen had disembarked "three or four miles above Trondhjem, in Moersdall," and that his men had landed in such an ill-conditioned state that they "could not reach Sweden without great difficulty and danger."

When read in connection with the Reports of the Swedish agents at Amsterdam, first discovered and made known by Dr. Yngvar Nielsen in 1877, the letters of Steen Bilde, C. J. Jude, and J. Pederson[23] afford a credible and fairly complete account of that expedition. Those collective documents show that it was not composed, as alleged by Niels Slange, of "about fourteen hundred soldiers, or Scots," enlisted in Scotland, but nominally of twelve hundred men raised in the Netherlands under the circumstances already described.

The burgomaster of Trondhjem (who, like Bilde and the other Danish officials, was interested in over-rating rather than in under-rating the strength of the invaders,) reported, on 15th August 1612, that the expedition consisted of "eight hundred soldiers, besides their women and boys;" and according to Cronholm,[24] Gustavus Adolphus himself wrote that the number of those men, when they arrived in Jemtland, out of all further danger, amounted to eight hundred.[25] The four small Dutch ships could scarcely have carried more, especially if the men were accompanied by their women and children, as alleged by the burgomaster.

The Swedish and Danish historians relate that Mönnichhofen took his men to Scotland, and sailed from thence, in command of a combined force, for the coast of Norway; but all these statements only serve to prove yet more conclusively that the true history of the foreign levies made for Sweden in 1612 has until quite recently lain hidden in State Archives.

Mönnichhofen sailed from Amsterdam on the 14th July 1612, and having landed in Norway on the 19th July, could not possibly have carried out the original plan of joining his levies with those made in Scotland. Besides, the documents now brought to light prove that the small portion of the intended Scottish contingent that escaped the vigilance of the Scottish Council of State did not sail for Norway until the 2nd of August.

According to the Reports of the Trondhjem officials above mentioned, Mönnichhofen seized two other ships off Giske (which place he plundered), put some of his soldiers on board, and compelled the Norwegian vessels to pilot his own fleet of four ships into Trondhjem roads. In order to prevent the enemy from entering the river, Steen Bilde removed the poles and buoys that marked the channel, brought six iron cannon down to the sea-shore, and hastily made many other arrangements for repelling an anticipated attack on the city. As it grew dark soon after the ships had anchored, the fire opened upon them from the shore was harmless; and at daybreak they set sail again, after firing a few shots in return.

The wind being favourable, they soon rounded a point on which stood a farm called Viig, where the soldiers were quickly disembarked and marched towards Meragerfjeld, four or five Norwegian (twenty-eight to thirty-five English) miles distant.

They reached the summit of the fjeld without much molestation from the three military officers in command of the "frontier guard" of about two hundred soldiers or militia, reinforced by three hundred mounted Bönder. Steen Bilde and the three officers had collected a considerable number of peasants (the burgomaster says fifteen hundred) to repel the invasion; but according to the prefect, when a part of those levies reached the enemy, the captain of the frontier guard "could not get them forward where they were wanted." The enemy kept them off with their muskets, which the peasants mistook for cannon, probably because they were fired from rests, while their own firearms they considered to be relatively "pop-guns" (_Snap-bosser_).

Moreover, provisions were unobtainable, as the local Bönder had fled on the approach of the troops, after hiding their scanty supplies of food in the woods. A panic ensued, the common people insisting that the invaders were "very strong, and picked soldiers and warriors."

Steen Bilde was subsequently tried and punished for his alleged remissness in not repelling the enemy, and therefore some caution is necessary in receiving the official complaints made by the burgomaster and lagmand against the peasantry on that occasion, and which were to the following effect: "How can we carry on war in this country with peasants? It suffices to see how they conducted themselves against the soldiers." Steen Bilde affirmed that the lagmand had to "ride and walk about the whole of the night to get those peasants and ill-disposed persons into order; and yet nothing can be accomplished with them, as they do not stand, but run away at once when they see the enemy." He urged in his own defence: "I did my best, diligently, according to the counsel and means at hand, and according to what could be accomplished with those peasants. God comfort those who have no other help than peasants on such an occasion!"

It would appear at this distance of time that both Steen Bilde and the peasants were unfairly reproached for their conduct. The sudden landing of so many armed men was quite sufficient to create a panic, while the burning of "four farms in Stordalen, and of all the farms (twelve in all) which lay towards the river at Merager," was well calculated to strike terror into and to paralyze a peaceful population.[26] Under such circumstances, it would have been difficult to drive the men back to their ships, even with the fifteen hundred peasants hastily collected, under the command of three captains, and supported only by two hundred soldiers or militia.

Mönnichhofen's troops appear to have had the same difficulty as the peasant levies in providing themselves with food; for the men sent by Steen Bilde into the mountains as scouts found some of the soldiers dead from hunger, and many pieces of armour as well as pikes and other weapons thrown away by them.

On the other hand, Cronholm[27] asserts that the progress of the troops, which, laden with booty, were driving before them the cattle robbed from farms, was arrested in numerous mountain passes, where the soldiers were slaughtered by a host of peasants. But this statement is not in harmony with the Official Reports made to the Danish Chancellor, or with the punishment inflicted on Steen Bilde. The latter pointed out, on the contrary, that if some armed bands of peasants had understood how to utilize the advantages afforded by the physical conditions of the highlands, the rocks and precipices over which the bold Mönnichhofen and his men made their way "might easily have become their graves."

However, it is on historical record that the expedition reached Jemtland, where it found itself on Swedish soil, the population having previously taken an oath of allegiance to the Swedish Crown, which at the end of the war acquired permanently that Danish province.

Gustavus Adolphus occupied Herjedalen and Jemtland in pursuance of a threat made (March 1612) in a proclamation to the Norwegian peasantry, who yet spurned the idea of seceding from Denmark, and had attacked in force the lands on the Swedish borders, when, according to a contemporaneous writer, Dal and Vemland bore the brunt of the Norse onslaught.[28]

In that proclamation Gustavus Adolphus attributed the war to the Danish king, "whose aim," he said, "was war and bloodshed, and who had caused, menaced, and forced both his late father and himself to have recourse to self-defence." He reminded the Norwegians how "Sweden and Norway had from the most ancient days been united by relationship of descent and language; how there was a time when they had one and the same king; how the bond that should unite Norwegians and Swedes was, after all, closer and more natural than anything that could unite Norwegians with Danes; and how even geographical conditions seemed to witness that it was the will of Fate that Norway and Sweden should be united."

That far-seeing sovereign therefore called upon the Norwegians to submit to him as their lord and king, promising to confirm all their rights and privileges, and to restore to their legitimate position the remnants of the old aristocracy of Norway.

This appeal produced gradually the desired effect both in Herjedalen and Jemtland. The march of Mönnichhofen towards the old Swedish provinces was thus rendered easy; and on receipt of orders from Gustavus Adolphus, he took the direct road to Stockholm, then seriously threatened by the fleet of Christian IV.

Gustavus led in person the Netherlands contingent to Waxholm, a few miles from Stockholm, in order to attack the Danes, and in a month or so the Calmar War came to an end.


[22] Steen Bilde reported that Mönnichhofen's ships had sailed from Emden.

[23] Published about 1858.

[24] "Sveriges Historia under Gustav II Adolph's Regering." Stockholm. Part I., p. 175.

[25] In his letter to Sir J. Spens, Gustavus Adolphus speaks only of one thousand infantry to be raised by Mönnichhofen.

[26] F. H. Jahn, the Danish historian of the Calmar War, says the Bönder were so stricken with fear that they allowed the transport ships, which they might have taken, to sail back.

[27] "Sveriges Historia under Gustav II Adolph's Regering."

[28] "Nordens Historie." N. Bache, Copenhagen, 1884.



Having dealt with that part of the general plan of bringing foreign troops to the aid of Sweden which was so successfully carried out by Mönnichhofen, we approach the main subject of this little work--namely, the history of the Scottish levies, and of the disaster that befell the very small portion of them that succeeded in leaving Scotland and landing in Norway.

Our starting-point in this part of the inquiry must be the commission addressed by Gustavus Adolphus to Sir James Spens, Laird of Wormiston.[29]

It gives an authentic indication of the measures subsequently adopted for obtaining levies in Scotland as well as in Holland. The young warrior and statesman refers to promises made by Sir James Spens to Charles IX., and to the services which his father had required of him, urging him to hasten his return (evidently from Scotland) with the "promised three thousand soldiers of proved faithfulness and bravery." He wished them to be infantry, not cavalry. The main object was the arrival of Sir James Spens at Elfsborg, by the 1st of April 1612, "with the before-mentioned number of troops, properly equipped with the needful accoutrements." Spens was to be paid at Hamburg the sum of 20,000 imperials, and was assured that any further expense he might incur in the matter of the levies would be repaid to him punctually and with the greatest cheerfulness. Gustavus Adolphus added: "Furthermore, we have thought (right) that it should be notified to you that we have arranged with our general (_duce_), our truly-beloved Johannes Mœnichovius, that he is to transport his thousand infantry, fully furnished with necessary arms, from Holland to Elfsborg, in the beginning of spring. If, therefore, you combine your fleet and army with the ships of the aforesaid Mœnichovius, we shall be extremely glad."

The execution of this part of the plan was subsequently rendered impossible by the fall of Elfsborg and the command which the Danes obtained of the approaches to Sweden by sea.

The proceedings of Spens in this matter are not disclosed in the documents so far discovered,[30] which prove that Colonel Andrew Ramsay was the active organizer of the levies in Scotland. King James I. in one of his letters calls him "the chief of the business, whose brother all men know what place he hath with us." The influence Andrew Ramsay possessed at the Court of King James probably caused him to be engaged by Spens. One of his brothers was Sir John Ramsey, a favourite of King James, and who, while one of the royal pages, in the year 1600, was instrumental in rescuing the king from assassination at Gowrie House, near Perth. It was another brother of his--Alexander Ramsay--who was the leader of the small detachment of Scots destroyed at Kringelen, in Norway, and not George Sinclair, as hitherto assumed.

That the king's name was privately but unjustifiably used in the proceedings of Colonel Andrew Ramsay, was subsequently acknowledged by the latter, and hence the suspicion arose in Denmark that King James was cognizant of those proceedings. But the documents preserved in Edinburgh show that King James did not become aware of what Andrew Ramsay and the officers with him were doing in Scotland until about the 31st July 1612, the date on which the king wrote to his Scottish Privy Council as follows:--

"Whereas it is said there is a colonel and certain captains levying men to go to Sweden, we wonder that any subject of ours dare presume in that kind to serve any foreign prince, not only without our licence but directly against our meaning and special promise made to our dear brother the King of Denmark[31].... It is therefore our pleasure that ye certify as to what that levying of soldiers meaneth; by what authority it is done; and that ye make stay of all proceedings therein till ye shall be advertised of our further pleasure concerning that matter."

Nine days later, the king wrote to his envoy at Copenhagen[32] that he had heard, "by mere accident, of levies in Scotland ready to embark under Ramsay, Steward, and some other captains;" and "being displeased, gave order presently for the stay of the levy. And whereas good numbers of them were already embarked before His Majesty heard the news, or ready to embark, His Highness hath given order to discharge them, and doth utterly disavow any acts of theirs," etc.

But the Danish king was already well acquainted with those proceedings; for the British envoy at Copenhagen wrote to King James on the 10th August 1612 (the king had written to him on the 9th August) that the King of Denmark was informed that "one Menigowe, a Fleming, having in company with him fifteen hundred men, is to meet with Andrew Ramsay in some part of the north of Scotland, about Caithness or Orkney, who has more than a thousand Scottish men with him; and so they mind to join their forces together, and to fall upon Norway and spoil some towns, and so go into Sweden." The King of Denmark, added the envoy, had been informed by persons from Scotland that Ramsay had levied men about Edinburgh and embarked them at Leith; and His Majesty argued that "such levies so near Edinburgh could not be done without permission of the State."

Indeed, the excuses of the Scottish Privy Council, to the effect that the levies had been made secretly, did not satisfy even King James, who wrote to his envoy that, to quote his own expression, he "misliked some dulness of theirs."

The action taken by the Scottish Privy Council immediately on receipt of the peremptory orders of the king was as follows:--

On the 4th August 1612 a proclamation was issued "discharging the transporting of soldiers to Sweden," and another "against the soldiers enlisted for Sweden;" while two acts were passed--the one "charging" or accusing "Captains Hay, Ker, and Sinclair" of having enlisted men for the wars of Sweden, and ordering them to desist from their enterprise, etc.; the other summoning Colonel Andrew Ramsay to appear before the Council to "hear and see His Majesty's will, pleasure, and direction" in respect of the men of war enlisted under his pay and command to be transported to Sweden. Next day the Lords of the Council ordered officers of arms "to pass, command, and charge the masters, owners, skippers, and mariners of ships and vessels freighted for transport of soldiers to Sweden, that they bring in their ships to the harbour of Leith, and there suffer them to lie," and not to set sail until they know the Council's will and pleasure towards them, under pain of being denounced as rebels and "put to the horn."[33]

On the 15th August an act was passed by the Council, ordering that "the companies of men lately enlisted under the charge and commandment of Colonel Ramsay and some other captains, for the wars of Sweden, be broken up, and that they shall in no wise be transported to Sweden;" and on the same day another act, ordaining that the companies under Colonel Ramsay, who had meanwhile professed his willingness to render obedience to the king by disbanding them, should be landed, one half at Leith, the other half at Brunt or Burnt Island, on the other side of the Forth.

The latest document regarding these matters, obtained from the General Register Office in Edinburgh, is dated the 18th September 1612. Colonel Andrew Ramsay had been summoned to appear before the Council on the latter date, to answer regarding the unlawful levying of troops; and having failed to do so, he was forthwith denounced as a rebel.

Those acts and proclamations[34] give a very interesting and, indeed, important insight into the methods Colonel Andrew Ramsay and his confederates had adopted in Scotland.

We first of all find that Sir Robert Ker had apprehended in the middle shires[35] of Scotland a number of malefactors, part of whom he sent, or rather intended to send, to Sweden. In the second place, the proclamations assert that the Scottish officers therein named "have violently pressed and taken a great many honest men's sons, and have carried them to their ships against their will, of purpose to transport them to Sweden." They are accused of going "about the country in a swaggering manner, awaiting the time and occasion how and where they may apprehend any persons travelling on their lawful adois,[36] and if they be masters of them they immediately lay hands on them and by force and violence convey them to the next shore, where they have their boats in readiness to take them on board of their ships.... So that there is such a fear and dread arising among the common people that none of them dare travel," unless they be "able to withstand and resist the violence and injury of the said persons." ... "And divers young fellows," continues the proclamation, "who were resolved to have come to these parts to have awaited upon the harvest and cutting down of the corn are," for those reasons, "afraid to come here." In the charge against Captains Hay, Ker, and Sinclair, it is alleged that the "honest men's bairns and servants" are detained on board the ships "as slaves and captives."

Any person disobeying the orders of the Council was threatened with the penalty of death. The levies were to be discontinued, the ships seized, their sails taken from the yards, and the men on board set at liberty; but not before the local authorities had visited the vessels, and taken out of them and delivered over to the bailies of Edinburgh "the persons who had been delivered to them by the Commissioners of the late Borders," as well as the persons whom Colonel Ramsay and his captains had received out of the tolbooths of Edinburgh and Dunbar.

The remainder of the companies were ordered to be landed, as already said, at Leith and Burntisland, but on condition that the men should not remain together or travel back in groups of more than two after their disembarkation, under penalty of death, to obviate the possibility of their committing acts of violence on passing through the country.

The remarkable fact that, in all these stringent and detailed regulations for the disbanding and landing of so many men, no mention whatever is made of the most ordinary military precaution of disarming them will be noticed in a succeeding chapter.


[29] Sir James Spens was the son of "Spens of Wormiston," who made Lennox, the regent of Scotland, captive at the seizure of Stirling by the forces of Kirkaldy in 1571, and who was slain at the same time while protecting his prisoner. The personage in question, so high in the favour of Gustavus Adolphus, was a prominent type of the Scottish adventurer of that age. He went to Sweden in 1610 as envoy from King James I., there being at the time a question of betrothing Gustavus Adolphus, then Crown Prince, to an English princess--namely, to Elizabeth, the daughter of James I., married subsequently to Frederick, the Elector Palatine of the German Empire. We find him later in Denmark, offering the mediation of England between Christian IV. and Charles IX. On this occasion he was so ungraciously received at Copenhagen that he narrowly escaped with his life. Sir James Spens entered the Swedish military service, from which, however, he was recalled by King James, who, a short time after, sent him back to Stockholm as ambassador, in which character he invested Gustavus Adolphus with the Order of the Garter, and took part in the negotiations that resulted in the Peace of Knäröd. On one occasion he went to England as ambassador from the Swedish Court. In 1622 he was created Baron Spens of Orreholmen, in Vestergotland. He died at Stockholm in 1632, after having been made, in 1629, General in Command of the English and Scottish regiments in the pay of Sweden.

[30] It appears from the correspondence of Sir Robert Anstruther that the "Lord of Wormiston" landed at Elsinore on the 4th June 1612, having been sent simultaneously with Sir Robert Anstruther to arrange a peace between Denmark and Sweden. The Danish Chancellor was induced to grant him a safe-conduct into Sweden; "whereupon a nvmber hath wondred and thinks he shall haue small thank for his panis." F. H. Jahn, the Danish historian of the Calmar War, asserts that Spens was "secretly supported in his recruiting business."

[31] When as yet only King of Scotland, James was married (November 24, 1589) at Oslo, now a suburb of Christiania, to Anne, sister of Christian IV. of Denmark. She had previously gone through the ceremony of marriage with Earl-Marshal Keith, as proxy for the king, at the castle of Cronenberg; but on their way to Scotland the Danish ships, driven by storms to the coast of Norway, landed the princess at Oslo. With great gallantry King James came over to fetch her with a large fleet, and remained at Oslo, after his marriage there (performed by Robert Bruce, court chaplain), until the 21st January 1590, when he sailed with his bride for Copenhagen. The ties of relationship, and the duties and obligations of King James towards his "good brother" the King of Denmark, are fully recognized in the documents now published; but the impartial historian cannot fail to take into consideration the character of that sovereign and his conduct in other matters, such as the negotiations with Spain and the family interests connected with them.

[32] King's Secretary to Sir Robert Anstruther, 9th August 1612.

[33] The latter threat meant, in Scottish law, a declaration of outlawry, after three blasts of a horn, and the putting up of a citation at the quay, pier, or shore in Leith, or at the market cross in Edinburgh.

[34] _Vide_ text in Appendix.

[35] The Border counties of Scotland were ordered to be called the middle shires on the union of the two kingdoms.

[36] Plural of _ado_, business.



The vigorous measures of the Council were not, however, adopted in sufficient time to prevent a small contingent of the Scottish levies from crossing over to Norway.

On the 17th September 1612, the Norwegian Stadtholder Kruse announced to the Danish Chancellor the arrival of two Scottish ships at Romsdalen between the 19th and 20th August, and the destruction at Kringelen, on the 26th August, of all the men, except eighteen, that had landed from those vessels.

On the 26th October 1612, Sir Robert Anstruther reported the matter in the following terms to King James:--

"Doubtless your M^{tie} hath heard of that unfortunate accident, that happened unto 300 of your M^{is} subjects, which landed in Norroway under the conduct of Alexander Ramsay, Lieutenant-Colonel unto Colonel Ramsay, Captain Hay, and Captain Sinclair. After they had marched six days within the country, pressing to go through to Sweden, (they) were over-charged by the inhabitants of the country, and all killed, except some few, of which the said Lieutenant Ramsay,[37] and Captain Bruce,[38] James Moneypenny,[39] and James Scott[40] these four, were sent to Denmark. After their coming hither a Council of War was called, to have examined them, and afterwards to have given judgment upon them. After I had spoken with them, and found that their journey was enterprysed (undertaken) rashly, and rather simple than well advised, for not one of them had any kind of commission or warrant to show, neither from the late King Charles, neither from Gustavus, neither from Colonel Ramsay; wherein first they would have been condemned of great simplicity or ignorance: and next found to be plain invaders, and ravers of the king's dominions and subjects, and a severe judgment would have followed. In regard the king was much discontented, for eviting of this public censure and danger, I thought good to labour to have them privily examined in the presence only of the Chancellor and Bredo Rantzow, where I was myself (unworthy) present. Their deposition is sent with themselves unto your M^{tie,} hoping it shall be far better for them to come into the hands of your Royal M^{tie,} who ever had used grace and clemency unto those that offend of simplicity, not of wilfulness."

In a letter of the same date to the king's secretary, the envoy stated that the 300 Scots had all been "killed and murdered," except some few.

The deposition in question of Alexander Ramsay, made in Latin, was to the following effect:--

He had been appointed to the post of Lieutenant-Colonel by Andrew Ramsay, who, on his part, had declared that he had been appointed to the office of Colonel by a letter from Charles, King of Sweden. Andrew Ramsay had told him that the levying of men in Scotland had been carried on with the knowledge and approval of His Majesty of Great Britain--"that an agreement had been made between himself and two others: George Sinclair and George Hay, each being in command of a hundred infantry."[41] He, Alexander Ramsay, "had embarked at Dundee: but the two aforesaid captains had set sail from Caithness." "They had crossed the sea relying on the words and promises of Andrew Ramsay; and the Council of the Kingdom of Scotland was unacquainted with those matters." "A stopping-place," he further deponed, "had been fixed upon beforehand, off Shetland, where Mönnichhofen with a thousand soldiers and 3,000 arms and General Halkett[42] of Scotland with a thousand infantry, were to meet, the number increasing to 3,000." Lastly, that they had set sail from that place on the second day of August, James Nisbet of Edinburgh having "taken upon himself the risk which the ship" (in the singular--probably Ramsay's) "might incur," and that the Norwegian peasants showed them the way "when they had landed at Romsdal in Iisfiord."

Alexander Ramsay and his three companions were "sent home to their country," King James finding them "no otherwise in fault than as abused by Ramsay." This Colonel Andrew Ramsay, after being a fugitive in Scotland, was apprehended in England on the occasion of his seeking a quarrel (or duel) with Sir Robert Carr of Ancram,[43] whom he accused of having divulged to the king his "gathering of men in Scotland."

On being examined, on the 27th November 1612, in the presence of the Duke of Lennox and Viscount Fenton, he confessed that he had a commission from the King of Sweden for levying men, and that he had undertaken and gone about to levy men in Scotland out of ignorance, not knowing but that he might lawfully "take such as would go." For his fault, he submitted himself to His Majesty's mercy, "as also for using the king's name to induce others, which he confesseth he did, and promised them to stand between them and any danger." At the same time, he denied ever having had "any leave, oversight, or connivance directly or indirectly from the king, either by himself, or by means or signification of any other body." Nor had he acquainted any member of the king's Council of Scotland with his doings, or "received any encouragement from them or any else."

This deposition was transmitted to Denmark, King James ordering Sir Robert Anstruther to say that Andrew Ramsay's "fault being of that nature as doth not forfeit life or limb, and the custom of declaring Schellum"[44] (which the King of Denmark had evidently suggested as a punishment for the breach of his parole not to serve Sweden) "being not with us in use, we have by our warrant under our hand banished him out of all our dominions; which next unto death is the highest punishment we could inflict."

Having thus disposed of the history of the Scottish levies, we proceed to inquire into the fate of the small detachment that landed in Norway under the command of Alexander Ramsay.


[37] In Envold Kruse's first Report to Copenhagen he is styled Captain Ramsay.

[38] Called in Sir R. Anstruther's letter to Sir James Spens (26th September 1612) "good Sir Henry Bruce." (See p. 177.) In Kruse's first Report he is stated to have served as a soldier in Holland, Spain, and Hungary.

[39] In the same Report Moneypenny is called Lieutenant to Ramsay, and mentioned as having been "used as an interpreter" in this expedition. He had previously been in Denmark and Sweden.

[40] Not mentioned in Kruse's Report.

[41] There is no mention of the "part of his company" which William Stuart, in his desire to obtain favours at Stockholm in 1613, alleged he had sent to Norway. (See p. 178.)

[42] According to the deposition of Alexander Ramsay, General Halkett, who was to have raised one thousand men in Scotland for the joint expedition, had been at Amsterdam some time in the month of August, and had hired a ship to sail to Edinburgh, in order, as he gave out, "to take to Sweden the men whom Spens was to have caused to be engaged in Scotland." The Swedish agent, "who reported this on the 24th August, thought it, however, little probable that such an expedition would succeed so late in the season, especially as the _men were not armed_, while in Norway the people were everywhere in arms."--Letter from the Swedish agent at Amsterdam to Johann Skytte, discovered by Dr. Yngvar Nielsen.

[43] "Favourit in ordinary," and Viscount Rochester, K.G. In 1613, Earl of Somerset.

[44] Rogue or vagabond(?).



The Scots disembarked at a place since named Skothammer, or Skotkleven (the Scots' Cliff), in the vicinity of Klognæs farm, in a part of the Romsdal fiord called the Iisfiord, some miles from the present hamlet of Veblungsnæs, which was not then in existence. The Sagas of Gudbrandsdal, collected by Dean Krag, begin with a stirring account of the patriotism of Peder Klognæs or Klungnæs, the occupant of the farm of that name, who is popularly supposed to have prevented the two Scottish vessels from proceeding higher up the fiord, by representing that there was not sufficient water for them. He is therefore credited with the skilful deception of having induced the Scots to march two Norwegian miles (about fourteen English miles) out of their way, round the Iisfiord, over mountains and marshes, and through roadless forests intersected by almost impassable streams; all which delayed their progress, and enabled Peder to send a message to the authorities and to the Bönder, to save their goods in advance of the troops.[45]

It is more likely that the real reason for landing at Skotkleven was the desire of the shipmasters to get back to sea as quickly as possible, and not further endanger their safety by entering into a narrower and more remote part of the fiord.

It is scarcely necessary to follow and criticise the remainder of the Sagas, such as the meeting of Sinclair with the old woman (transformed by Edvard Storm into a mermaid), who predicted he "would come to bite the dust when he met the hardy men of the glen," and the romantic story of Guri, the maiden who made signals to the Bönder, and played a plaintive melody from the summit of a very high and distant cliff. The noble sacrifice another girl is reputed to have made of her lover, whom she sent to save the wife of Sinclair, is a story so very touching that we may be glad if future historical research should lead to the discovery that Captain Sinclair was accompanied on his adventurous expedition, not by "wild Turks" or bloodhounds,[46] but in reality by a wife and baby.

This Captain George Sinclair, whose name has been wrongly given to the Scots' expedition, was a son of David Sinclair of Stirkoke, the illegitimate son[47] of John, Master of Caithness, the eldest son of George, fourth Earl of Caithness. He was therefore a bastard nephew of George, fifth Earl of Caithness, who employed him, while he was preparing to leave for Norway, in the betrayal of Lord Maxwell, and in making him prisoner at Castle Sinclair, near Thurso.[48]


[45] No mention is made of Peder Klognæs in the Reports made by Envold Kruse, who merely says the Scots took with them "two Bönder in Romsdalen as guides." Andrew Ramsay and his companions deponed at Copenhagen that "the peasants showed them the way when they landed at Romsdal in the Iisfiord." Moreover, Peder Klognæs was not amongst those whom Christian IV. rewarded. The traditions respecting Peder Klognæs bear an extraordinary resemblance to those which attach in Russia to a popular hero named Ivan Susanin, whose devotion to his sovereign, by misleading a detachment of Poles in 1611, forms the subject of the patriotic Russian opera called "Life for the Tsar." Kostomaroff, a modern Russian historian of high standing, has proved that the peasant in question never rendered any such service, as neither the Czar nor the Polish detachment had been in the locality indicated at the time to which the legend refers.

[46] See page 96.

[47] It is, however, stated in Henderson's "Notes on Caithness Families" that he received letters of legitimation in 1588.

[48] Lord Maxwell had been banished the realm for the slaughter of the Laird of Johnstone; but returning into Scotland in 1612, he had sought and obtained the hospitality of his friend the Earl of Caithness, whose countess was Lord Maxwell's cousin. In the hope of obtaining a reward from the king and favour from the Court and Privy Council, this Earl of Caithness, with the aid of Captain George Sinclair, delivered Lord Maxwell to the Council, and he was hanged at Edinburgh in the year 1613.

In the account given of this treacherous transaction by Sir Robert Gordon, it is mentioned that Captain George Sinclair was at that time "preparing himself for Sweden," and that the earl had sent him into Caithness to seize Maxwell, "under pretence of taking up men for his voyage to Sweden." The historian adds, that while the Earl of Caithness never obtained his expected reward, Captain George Sinclair "came to his deserved end" in Norway; and his version of the affair is, that as Sinclair "would not be persuaded by Colonel Ramsay to stay for him until he could be ready also to go," "he went forward with Captain Hay into Sweden," and so ran "headlong to his own destruction."--("History of the Earldom of Sutherland.") His brother, John Sinclair, was killed in the same year (1612) at Thurso.

Sir Robert Gordon is, however, not quite reliable in his account of that transaction, for he says that George Sinclair, "hearing of the wars then likely to fall out, and _which ensued shortly between the Kings of Denmark and Sweden_, he gathered together 150 men in Caithness. Having made up this company, he joins with Colonel Ramsay and Captain Hay to go into Sweden." The Calmar War commenced in the spring of 1611, a year before the levies were made in Scotland; and we have seen that Sinclair had arranged with Lieutenant-Colonel Ramsay and Captain Hay to raise one hundred men each (the strength of a company of infantry in those days), and that only three hundred men were landed by them in Romsdalen.



In his first Report[49] to the Danish Chancellor, dated September 17, 1612, the Norwegian Stadtholder stated that when Lauritz Hage, Lensmand of Vaage in Gudbrandsdalen, heard of the arrival of the Scots in Romsdalen, "he at once roused the Bönder and peasantry in the two parishes of Lessje and Vaage, and went forth against the said Scots and foreign troops. And when he perceived they were too strong for him, he advanced for two or three days and kept before them along the road, without, however, engaging in any skirmish or fight. Meanwhile, he sent messengers to the peasantry in the two adjoining parishes, called Froen and Ringeböe, who quickly came to his assistance; and when they were in this manner gathered they were 405 men strong. Thus he advanced in front" (of the Scots) "along the road until he saw his advantage at a fjeld called Kringelen, situated in Vaage parish, which they were obliged to pass. Thus he hemmed them in between the rock on one side and a large river close by on the other side, in which advantageous position he quietly encamped in the woods, and there lay with his men until the foreign soldiers arrived there, without, however, supposing or knowing aught but that the Norwegian troops were still withdrawing along the road before them. The above-mentioned Lauritz Hage, having made his arrangements and perceived his advantage, attacked, together with another lensmand, Peter Rankleff of Ringeböe, and with all their men together they fired upon the foreign troops and shot them to death during an hour and a half. Those who were not shot jumped into the river to save themselves, but were there drowned; and those of them who got alive over the river were quickly killed by the Bönder on that side; all of which happened and occurred on the 26th of August last. From the Bönder who were themselves present at the battle, and who buried and counted the dead and the defeated, we learn that the foreign soldiers must no doubt have numbered at the least 550 men, although the Scots who remained alive, and of whom there are altogether 18, will not admit that they were more than 350 men strong at the utmost. On the day the battle took place 134 Scots were taken prisoners, who were straightway the next day killed and shot by the Bönder, with the exception of the above-mentioned 18, the Bönder saying to each other that His Majesty had enough to feed in those same 18. Some of these were, however, wounded, and some had bullets in their bodies, when they arrived here. Of the above-mentioned 18 soldiers we now send to you the three principal ones" (mentioning their names--Alexander Ramsay, James Moneypenny, and Henry Bruce). "As regards the remaining 15 persons, some of them have straightway taken service among good folk here in the country; some of them who will willingly serve your Royal Majesty in Jörgen Lunge's Regiment, I sent at once to Elfsborg."

[Illustration: ROAD AT KRINGELEN.]

Reference is made at the end of the Report to the written statements of the prisoners, and to letters found on them, and which the Bönder had kept.

From Envold Kruse's second Report, dated October 3, 1612,[50] we learn that the letters in question were ultimately recovered by the Bailie of Gudbrandsdalen, and transmitted by Kruse to Copenhagen, where, however, they have so far not been available to the historian.


The bullet holes are still visible in the north wall, marking the spot where 116 of them were shot or cut down the day after the fight.--_Page 54._]

The latter Report contains the following striking passage, which destroys so entirely the accusations made against the Scots in the Norwegian Sagas and in Edvard Storm's poem:--

"We have also since ascertained that those Scots who were defeated and captured on their march through this country have absolutely neither burned, murdered, nor destroyed anything on their march through this country, either in Romsdalen or in Gudbrandsdalen."

Only one Dane, of the name of Sören Setnæs, had complained that the Scots had taken from him a box or chest of silver objects, such as tankards, belts, etc.; but even this booty the Bönder would not acknowledge having found on the killed or captured Scots.

The end of this valuable document is somewhat damaged, but so far as the injured part can be deciphered, Kruse stated that six[51] of the Norwegian men were killed, and ten or twelve wounded, in the fight at Kringelen.


[49] For complete text, see page 180.

[50] See full text, p. 184.

[51] The same number of killed is given in the "Ballad of the Valley," collected by Dean Krag.



We have seen that the historical facts are as follows:--A detachment of about three hundred Scots, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Ramsay and five other Scottish officers, marched safely, and without committing any acts of murder, pillage, or incendiarism, through Romsdalen and Gudbrandsdalen, as far as Kringelen, where it had opposed to it four hundred and five Bönder and peasants, under the leadership of two civil, not military, officers. Further, that one hundred and thirty-four of the Scots were taken prisoners, and were all killed the next day,[52] except eighteen, who reached Aggershuus, now the fort of Christiania,--the loss of the victorious Norwegians being only six killed and ten or twelve wounded.

Such a remarkable result could certainly only have been attained under very advantageous circumstances, and as existing documents give only the barest outline of the fight at Kringelen, we can only form an hypothesis upon them.

The following conjecture is deduced from an attentive study of all that is so far known or established on the subject.

It must be acknowledged that four hundred Bönder, only partly or imperfectly armed, could not have been an equal match, even in the early part of the seventeenth century, for the smallest admissible number of Scots--namely, three hundred--that documentary evidence will allow us to admit, and especially if they had been well-armed, trained soldiers. Some of those Scots, those raised by Sinclair, were apparently Caithness men, whose principal occupation had no doubt been warfare.[53] Many of them were in all probability descendants of Norsemen who had conquered and held a great part of their country. They were, to say the least, as brave and as ready to defend their lives as the Bönder and peasants of Gudbrandsdal, a province which had moreover been to some extent drained of its younger and more able-bodied men for the purposes of the war of Denmark against Sweden. We have also seen that the attempts made to destroy Mönnichhofen's force of about one thousand men by a levy of one thousand five hundred peasants, mounted and on foot, supported by some soldiers and commanded by three military officers, were quite unsuccessful.

What then were the exceptional circumstances that rendered possible the easy and utter defeat of the Scots at Kringelen?

In traditional accounts of the affair, reproduced by almost every historian, much stress is laid on the deadly effect of the hurling down of rocks, or of what is known in Norway as a "tömmervælte," on the heads of the invaders while they were passing unsuspectingly through a ravine, pass, or defile at Kringelen. To those who have not visited the locality in question such an explanation would perhaps be quite satisfactory; for there have been instances, both in ancient and modern history, of troops being destroyed by such means in mountain passes by an enemy inferior in number and untrained in skilled warfare.

But an inspection of Kringelen, or a study of the accompanying plan prepared for this work from actual survey by Lieutenant Arneberg of the Norwegian army, renders impossible the acceptance of such an explanation. The present road, on which stands the stone pillar that marks the vicinity of the spot where the fighting occurred, dates from the beginning of this century. It is about forty feet below the old road, where it sinks into the "Sinclair Dokka" or hollow, in which the Scots are popularly believed to have been overwhelmed by huge masses of rock, and where human bones, supposed to be those of the Scots, have been dug up.

In an account[54] of a journey from Christiania to Trondhjem in 1733 by King Christian VI. and Queen Sophia the road through Gudbrandsdalen is described as follows:--"Froen Præstegaard (vicarage). About here the road begins to show the difficulties travellers in Norway have to encounter." After passing Zell "is a road called Kringelen, on the side of a fjeld, and so narrow that every precaution is necessary on the part of travellers and drivers." Dr. Yngvar Nielsen states in his interesting work on the "Development of Roads in Norway,"[55] that "in 1766 Kringelen was the worst bit of road in Gudbrandsdalen, as it was so narrow that a carriole could scarcely pass." In fact, it was only a bridle-path on the edge of a precipice fifty to one hundred feet above the Laugen river. This track, which was all that the condition of the country required when produce was transported chiefly in winter on sledges, was quite open and exposed; while above it the almost precipitous cliffs, averaging seven hundred feet in height, left at their base a sloping ledge of about one hundred and fifty feet in breadth. It was neither a pass nor a ravine, and has sometimes been described as a "defile," probably because not more than two men could have walked abreast along it, and certainly only a single file of men could have used it with convenience.

[Illustration: KRINGELEN.

_A_ Old bridle-path along which Scots marched. _B_ Present road. _C_ Logs and stones partly concealed by wood. _D_ Stone monument marking site of combat.

_Page 59._]

The Bönder concealed themselves on the sloping ledge between the precipitous cliff and the path. The ledge was somewhat thickly covered with wood, which is said to have been washed away by a memorable rainstorm in 1789. At the same time there must have been a clear space in front both of the "tömmervælte" and of the intrenchments which tradition says the Bönder erected there, although Envold Kruse makes no mention of them.

The military officer who carefully surveyed the ground in the autumn of 1884 has shown on the plan the probable position of the celebrated "tömmervælte." It is supposed to have been an accumulation of rocks piled on round beams or trunks of trees, arranged in such a manner as to roll down in a mass as soon as the ropes which held the structure in position were cut.

The depression in the old road known as the "Sinclair Dokka" has a length of about two hundred and seventy English feet between the highest points at its two extremities. It is reasonable to suppose that the object of the Bönder was to hurl down the rocks at the deepest or centre part of the depression, which would be about one hundred feet in length at the utmost, and that the length of the "tömmervælte" was in proportion with the size of the hollow into which it was destined to descend. It could not possibly have been even half as long as the deepest part of the hollow itself; for an artificial structure a hundred feet in length, with a clear space in front of it, would certainly have been observed by the Scots, however unsuspecting they may have been, and however lax their military precautions. Moreover, it would have been strategically unwise on the part of the Bönder to have attacked the invaders until a good part of them had descended into the hollow and were passing through it. It has therefore been assumed on the plan that the "tömmervælte" could not have been more than thirty feet in length, whilst its height above the deepest part of the "Sinclair Dokka" has been fixed at about one hundred and twenty feet, partly as a result of a thorough examination of the configuration of the slope on which it stood, and partly on the conjecture that the structure required elevation in order to attain a sufficient impetus on being let loose, and in order also that it should be as much concealed as possible from the Scots proceeding along the road.

A mathematical question here presents itself. If we assume that the Scots on whom the "tömmervælte" descended occupied the path in the "Sinclair Dokka" along an approximate length of even one hundred feet, how many could possibly have stood there? Giving only three feet to each man, the number could not have been more than thirty-three men if they marched in single file, or about sixty-seven if two abreast, along a path so rugged, narrow, and dangerous. But considering that the rocks must have taken several seconds to roll down the declivity, which could not have had a steeper gradient than forty to forty-five degrees, the men at the extremities of the threatened group must have had time to rush back at one end and forward at the other; and allowing for further chances of escape, we cannot possibly account for the destruction of more than twenty-five or thirty men (even if they walked two abreast) by the sudden descent of an avalanche of rocks and timbers.

How then were the remainder disposed of?

As soon as the "tömmervælte" had been cast loose, it may be taken for granted that the concealed Bönder rushed down on the startled foe, and that a hand-to-hand fight ensued. In fact, we know there was a combat of an hour and a half, in which Sinclair fell, and that six of the Bönder were killed and ten or twelve wounded. A few of the muskets alleged to have been carried by the Scots have been preserved, the arsenal at Christiania possessing five,[56] Horton arsenal one, the descendants of Dean Krag parts of two or three more, and Consul Heftye of Christiania a lock. The earliest English travellers in Norway mention having seen only a few remnants of those arms in Gudbrandsdalen. From the smallness of the number of such muskets that have been preserved or heard of, it must be supposed that the Scots had not many such weapons. Nor could those few have been of much use at close quarters on a sudden emergency such as that at Kringelen, since from the great length of their barrels (about seventy inches) they had to be fired from a rest.

The traditional or popular account of the mode of attack bears on its face a considerable amount of probability. It is to the effect that the "tömmervælte" was not cast loose until the "vanguard" of the Scots had passed.

On the strength of all these facts and considerations we arrive, in all humility, at the conjecture that the three hundred Scots were not all armed, and that the body of men described in the Sagas as the "vanguard" was most likely the contingent of "honest men's bairns and servants," and some of the men out of jails, forcibly pressed by Lieutenant-Colonel Ramsay, and who were being driven captive into Sweden by Caithness men under Sinclair and Hay, armed, it may be conjectured, principally with swords, the officers perhaps wearing armour and carrying pistols as well as swords.[57]

[Illustration: OLD GERMAN PRINT

Representing some of the Scots of Mackay's regiment, landed at Stettin, 1630. (_Original in British Museum._) _Page 65._]

It has been already shown that Mönnichhofen was to have supplied arms for the Scottish levies, with which he failed to combine. Moreover, the Swedish agent at Amsterdam reported that he feared the projects of General Halkett (one of Ramsay's confederates) would fail, "because of the lateness of the season, and because the men had no weapons, while everywhere in Norway the people were up in arms."[58] The deposition, taken at Copenhagen, of Alexander Ramsay, the leader of the expedition, also shows that Mönnichhofen was to have supplied the Scots with arms from Holland. We have moreover seen that in its acts and proclamations against the proceedings of the Ramsays and others, the Scottish Privy Council made no mention of _disarming_ the men who were to be sent home under precautions that were in other respects so careful. Nor is it likely that the men who had been forcibly seized and kept on board the ships would at once have been supplied with arms by their oppressors. The remarkable fact that the Scots committed no depredations in the valleys through which they passed--a forbearance out of keeping with the custom of that age, either in Scotland or in Scandinavia--suggests that the troops under Ramsay were subject to strict discipline on so daring and dangerous a march. This task probably devolved more especially on Captain Sinclair and Captain Hay, who, while in command of the armed men employed in guarding and driving before them the captive "honest men's bairns and servants," were the only officers killed;[59] and this may account for the popular belief that Sinclair was the chief of the expedition.

If therefore the conjecture be correct, that none but the Caithness men were armed at all, and they chiefly with swords, the almost entire annihilation of the three hundred men by four hundred Bönder is seen to have been easy enough under the circumstances that have been described.

Such is the conclusion that results from the premises here submitted; and remembering how important it is that national history should be correctly known, it is to be hoped that the researches already made will lead to the lifting of the cloud confessedly hanging over this episode of the distant past, and that some historian in time to come may be helped by them, however slightly, in directing the light of truth upon the mists that still remain to be dispelled on the subject of the disastrous expedition of the Scots to Norway in 1612.


_Page 121._]


[52] It is only right to mention, not in exoneration, but in extenuation of the atrocious conduct of the Bönder, that some of their countrymen had met with a similar fate only a few months before. Duke John of Sweden sent Colonel Kruus to wrest from the Danes the town of Nylödelse and destroy its fortifications. The commandant was forced to surrender at discretion on the 26th February 1612, after the foreign troops in the garrison had mutinied. But while the foreign officers obtained service in the Swedish army, the Danish leaders, including many armed Bönder and a party of Norwegian riflemen, were locked up in a church and all shot down singly.--F. H. Jahn, "Hist. om Calmarkrigen," p. 175.

[53] Almost the entire reign of James I. was occupied in suppressing the anarchy that existed on the Borders, in the Highlands, and even in the more civilized parts of Scotland.

[54] "Journal og Beskrivelse over Hans Kongl. Majestet Kong Christian VI.," etc. Kjöbenhavn.

[55] "Det Norske Vejvæsens Udvikling. Xtia, 1876." The first ordinance for the general improvement of roads was issued in 1636, and renewed in 1648. Little was, however, done in that direction, for in 1740 the roads even about Christiania were in a frightful state.--_Ibid._

[56] Through the kindness of his excellency O. R. Kjerulf, Master of the Ordnance, one of those muskets, and a broadsword with the cypher of Mary Queen of Scots, were exhibited at the lecture that has given rise to this little book. The author is likewise under deep obligations to Consul Heftye of Christiania, and to his son, Mr. Johannes Heftye of Östraat, the fortunate possessor of the "Viik collection" of Scottish relics mentioned by all the earlier English travellers in Norway. They were good enough to allow their collections to be exhibited on the same occasion, and to be photographed for the purpose of illustrating this work.

[57] An illustration of the pair of pistols preserved at Copenhagen, and certified to have belonged to Sinclair, is given at p. 126. Although undoubtedly Scotch, and of the period, the initials A. S. engraved on them are most probably those of Sir Andrew Sinclair. (See note, p. 126.) The swords, of which so many are still offered for sale as relics of the expedition, are mostly of doubtful origin. The author is, however, in possession of a rusty short sword, with the Scottish crown and the letters V. R. very distinct on the blade, on the broken-off edge of which there would have been room for the letter J., making J. V. R., or Jacobus V. Rex. It was found at Kringelen, and is almost exactly like the sword carried by the third figure in the accompanying illustration, representing some of the "Irishmen,"--_i.e._, the Scots of Mackay's regiment,--who were landed at Stettin in 1630. The illustration has been taken from an interesting work published in 1885, by W. Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London, entitled, "An Old Scots Brigade: being the History of Mackay's Regiment, now incorporated with the Royal Scots." The author, Mr. John Mackay, late of Herriesdale, has generously allowed the block to be used for the purposes of this little work.

Another sword, in a wooden sheath covered with leather, and which had evidently been used as a walking-stick by some Bonde, was purchased by the author as an authentic relic of the Scots, and presented by him to His Majesty King Oscar II., as a weapon that had in all probability been used in the service of His Majesty's great predecessor, Gustavus Adolphus. The motto, "Honni soit qui mal y pense," engraved on the long straight blade of the sword, made it all the more appropriate that His Majesty, as a Knight of the Garter, should be the possessor of so interesting a relic.

[58] Under the Danish law of that period every able-bodied Bonde was compelled to provide himself with a musket or arquebuse; but it is most probable that the men who had not been taken away to fight the Swedes remained, to a great extent, armed only with pikes, crossbows, and axes, of which an illustration is given at page 106.

[59] That Captain Hay was killed is not stated either in the official documents or in the Sagas; but as he was not amongst the prisoners forwarded to Aggershuus, he must have shared the fate of George Sinclair. It is also not improbable that in order to save their own lives when taken prisoners, the surviving officers pointed to the body of Sinclair as that of their commander.

Part II.




Herr Sinclair sailed across the sea, And steered his course to Norway's strand: 'Mid Gudbrands' rocks his grave found he,-- There were broken crowns in Sinclair's band.

Herr Sinclair sailed o'er the blue wave, That he might fight for Swedish gold: God help thee, man! thyself now save; Thou'lt fall before the Norsemen bold.

The moon amid the pale night shone, The waves around so gently rolled; A mermaid rose on Sinclair's sight, And thus prophetic evil told:--

"Turn back, turn back, thou Scottish man, Or it will surely cost thy life; For if thou com'st to Norway's strand, Thou never more shalt join the strife."

"Thy songs are lies, thou witch most foul; Thou ever sing'st the self-same tune. Could I but get thee in my power, In pieces small I'd have thee hewn."

He sailed a day, he sailed three, With all his mercenary band; The fourth he Norway's shore did see,-- On Romsdal's coast he leapt to land,

And with him fourteen hundred men: On mischief all that band were bent; They spared nor young nor aged then, But slew and burnt as on they went.

The child they killed at mother's breast, Nor cared how sweet soe'er its smile; Of widows' tears they made a jest: Sorrow's loud cry arose the while.

Throughout the land the wail resounds; The heaven blazed; the cross of fire Sped its swift course; and Sinclair soon Shall feel the vengeful dalesman's ire.

The soldiers of the king are gone; We must ourselves the land defend. To shed his blood will ne'er grudge one; On such may Heaven's wrath descend!

Peasants from Vaage, Lesje, Lom, With axes sharp on shoulder set, To parley with the Scots are come, And now at Bredebygd are met.

There runs a path by mountain side Which our vale-folk do Kringlen call, And Laugen's stream beneath doth glide,-- In that shall our fierce foemen fall.

On walls no more our rifles hang; The rocks are lined with marksmen gray; The water-sprite lifts up its head, And waits impatiently its prey.

The first shot pierced Herr Sinclair's breast,-- He groaned, and forth his spirit gave; And as he fell, each Scot cried out, "O God, in this our peril save!"

"On, peasants! on, Norwegian men! Let each foe find a Sinclair's grave!" The Scots now wished themselves home again, And only strove their lives to save.

With corpses thick was Kringlen strewn; High festal did the ravens keep; The noblest blood that this day flowed The Scottish maidens long did weep.

And not a soul of that array To Scotland e'er returned to tell His countrymen of that dark day, And how the sad event befell.

'Mid Norway's mountains still there stands A column raised upon the spot: Let Norway's foes from other lands Behold it, and despise it not. No Norseman sees it rise on high, But marks it with a flashing eye.

C. H.


Representing arrival, march, and annihilation of Scots, according to Norwegian tradition.

Executed fifty years ago by an artist from Bergen.]


[60] By E. Storm, who was born at Vaage, in Gudbrandsdal, in 1742, and died at Copenhagen in 1794. The present translation has been taken, with some slight alterations, from "Over the Dovre Fjeld," by J. S. Shepherd. Henry S. King and Co., 1873. An earlier English version was attached to Calder's "History of Caithness," 1861. A third translation, by Sir H. Pottinger, with an illustration of the death of Sinclair, appeared in _Belgravia_, 1869. The ballad has been set to music in Norway.



The so-called Calmar War, between Denmark and Sweden, was carried on from the spring of 1611 until the winter of 1613. Christian IV. ruled at that time over the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway; while in Sweden reigned Charles IX., who died at the commencement of the war, leaving its prosecution to his son Gustavus Adolphus, then only seventeen years of age, and who subsequently became so famous.

In 1612 Gustavus caused foreign troops to be enlisted in the Netherlands, in England, and in Scotland, by JOHAN MUNKHAVEN, or Mönnichhofen, a colonel in the Swedish service, and by James Spens, an Englishman. According to the historian Widikindi, the corps thus raised amounted to 2,200 men, while Puffendorff estimates its strength at 2,300.[62] These troops, of which 2,000 had been recruited in Scotland, were transported in ships, forming two squadrons, of which one was commanded by Munkhaven, the other by the Scottish Colonel George Sinclair, or Saint Clair, as his name is also written. Munkhaven, with his 1,400 men, steered into the Trondhjem fiord on the 19th July 1612, and thought he would be able to surprise the city of Trondhjem; but the citizens opposed him and his ships so well from their blockhouses outside the town that he hastened away as quickly as possible, and landed at Stordalen, whence he marched, ravaging and burning, until he reached Sweden.[63] A few weeks after Munkhaven, the other detachment of hired troops, led by Colonel Sinclair, arrived in two Scottish ships.

But Sinclair and his men were not destined to escape so easily as Munkhaven. The Fates ordained that they should all, with the exception of a few, find a grave among the mountains of Norway. The reason why both Munkhaven and Sinclair landed in Norway, instead of proceeding direct to Sweden, was that the approach to the small stretch of Swedish coast on the North Sea was closed to them after the Danes had occupied the fortresses of Elfsborg and Gullberg, at the mouth of the Gotha river. Moreover, the Danish fleet had the mastery on the seas.

There are various statements as to the number of the Scots that accompanied Sinclair. If the total number of troops recruited for Sweden was, as already mentioned, 2,200 or 2,300, of which Munkhaven arrived with 1,400, Sinclair's corps must have amounted to 800 or 900 men, and the latter number is also quoted in the church register of Vaage.[64] Consequently, the number could not have been 1,400, as sung by Storm, nor 600, as stated by Slange. It is, however, probable that Slange was right, as his statement agrees approximately with Kruse's Report, which says that, according to the depositions of the Bönder "who were present at that battle, and who buried and counted the dead and defeated, the Scots must certainly have numbered at least 550." Less probable appears to be the statement of the captured Scots, to the effect that they were "350 men strong at the utmost." One Saga says that Sinclair came into Romsdalen with 1,400 men, and that these were divided at Jora Bridge, in Lessö, after which one division went over the Dovre Fjeld, and subsequently through Österdalen, in order to unite again with the other division which took the road through Gudbrandsdalen. The same Saga says that the division which went through Österdalen came across the Norsemen at the frontier, when a battle ensued, in which those Scots were shot down to the last man. But that Saga is not generally current; and it appears probable that Munkhaven's expedition, or possibly some other event, has been mixed up in the narrative.[65] It appears that Sinclair had calculated on joining the Swedes in Southern Norway, where, however, we know from history there were no Swedes at that time; for Jonas Ramus states[66] that, from Gudbrandsdalen, Sinclair wanted to "unite with the Swedes who were supposed to be in Hedemarken," or, as stated in the entry above quoted from the Vaage church register, at Borge Church, in Smaalenene.

It was on the 19th or 20th August[67] that Sinclair, with all his hired followers, approached the Norwegian coast, and steered into the Romsdal fiord; but a Saga relates that before he entered that fiord he landed on a small island on which dwelt a wealthy man. The wife of the latter is said to have been an intelligent and talkative woman, and Sinclair entered into a jocose conversation with her. Although he had not yet made known that he was an enemy, yet the woman said she well understood the object of his coming; that his expedition into Norway would end badly, and that when he got inland he would come to bite the dust on meeting the hardy men of the glens. This enraged Sinclair, and he left the island with the threat that when he returned victorious, he would seek her out and have her cut to pieces for her flippancy.

It is possible that this and other similar Sagas may have induced the poet Storm to sing about a mermaid. It is also related that the mermaid's name was Ellen. Others say that was the name of Sinclair's wife; for the Sagas say she accompanied him. She went on board with the troops, in disguise, and only made herself known after they had got out to sea. She is said to have given birth to a child on the voyage.

A Bonde called Peder Klognæs, seeing from his _Gaard_ or farm of Klognæs,[68] in the parish of Grytten, in Romsdalen, Sinclair's ships out in the fiord, supposed they were vessels laden with corn, took his purse in which were three dollars, and rowed out to them, with the object of purchasing before the vessels reached Væblungsnæs, towards which Sinclair was steering. As soon as Peder Klognæs got on board, he understood what kind of folk they were; and as they wanted to compel him to pilot the ships to Væblungsnæs, at the head of the Romsdal fiord, he reflected hurriedly, and soon determined what he should do. He made them believe that the water was too low to admit of the vessels sailing further into the fiord, and that all they could do was to land; and Peder Klognæs was forced to accompany them. In order that he should not escape, they fastened a cord to his hair and led him by it. The Scots then disembarked at Skothammer, or Skotkleven (the Scots' Cliff), as the place is now called, in the vicinity of Klognæs gaard (farm). Before they proceeded any further, Peder Klognæs, after much supplication, obtained permission to go first into his house. Although a guard followed him, he found an opportunity of sending a _Budstikke_,[69] announcing the arrival of the enemy, and calling upon the people to take up arms.[70] He gave the letter to his servant-maid, who hid it in one of her stockings, and dressing herself in tattered clothes, pretended she was a beggar as well as idiotic, and in that manner, but with difficulty, she slipped past the Scottish watch. When the latter wanted to prevent her from passing, she said, "Lord, bless us! it is too hard that poor folk should not be able to go their way," on which the watch allowed her to pass. She got safely to the sea-shore, and rowed to Væblungsnæs with the letter (or _Budstikke_), which was sent forward from thence. Meanwhile Peder Klognæs led the Scots two miles[71] out of the way, round the Iisfiord, over mountains and marshes, and through woods in which there were no roads, as well as over rivers where they had to wade, so that, as Peder Klognæs had intended, they were considerably delayed on the march. The Bönder in the several parishes had thus time to save themselves and also their goods from being plundered, and time was moreover gained for the circulation of the message.

It was under these circumstances that Sinclair with his Scots landed in the country in which he thought he was going to play the part of a conqueror; for, according to the Saga, he said that he would "recast" the Norwegian lion into a mole which would not dare to creep out of its hole, and he promised his men that after the conquest of the country they would get "the fairest maidens and the best farms." It was further promised to them that Hedemarken would be to them "a land of Canaan."

There are not many Sagas respecting the behaviour of the Scots, and as to what occurred on their march until they reached Gudbrandsdalen. It is, however, related that on the circuitous and difficult way round the Iisfiord they came to the small farm of Thorvig. Its inhabitants had fled, and had hidden their bedding in a cleft on the fjeld; but the Scots found it, cut holes in it, shook out the feathers, and took the covers with them. They arrived at last at Omdals or Aansdals-næs, where they rested after the fatigues of going round the Iisfiord. Here Peder Klognæs, the guide, found an opportunity of hiding, unobserved, the three dollars already mentioned under some birch bark, where he found them on his return.

According to Kruse's Report, the Scots made two Bönder prisoners in Romsdalen, and employed them as guides; and Slange likewise states that they compelled some Bönder to go in advance and tell the peasantry to supply provisions at certain places and at a time indicated, under threat of killing and burning if this was not done. From Omdals-næs the Scots marched some miles along the ordinary road up the Romsdal. At a cottage called Aagerreiten, on the estate of Aag, close to Omdal, a small building was being erected. The workmen fled when they heard of the enemy's approach. This building still stands, and the date 1611 is to be seen carved on a board near the chimney.

At a farm-house--it is not known which--lower down in Romsdal, the Scots are said to have cut off the feet of a dog which the people, who had run away, had fastened to the door of their store-house, in order that it might let them know when the Scots came. At the farm of Eidet (Ödeeidet) one of the Scots is reported to have been shot from the other side of the river by a man who belonged to a farm called Fiva. From the farm of Maange, a little further up in Romsdal, the inhabitants had fled, but food had been left placed on the table. At Rödstulen farm, a "wild Turk," as the Saga calls him, who accompanied the Scots, was shot. Schöning[72] relates that the Romsdal men assembled and attacked the Scots with sticks and stones, without, however, being able to arrest their advance. The Saga also says that they had intended to attack them at Maangehammer and at Skiri, as well as at Kyllinge Klev and Björnekleven--the latter being a mountain pass where Romsdal joins Gudbrandsdal; but nothing came of it, as the Scots got to those places too early, and the Romsdal men, moreover, lacked both arms and leaders. Sinclair therefore advanced without hindrance, and committed many an act of cruelty on his march. Dread and terror were therefore connected with his name. Many fled to the mountains, but some were seized by the Scots. It is said that girls and young married women were violated and then mutilated, and left in that condition by the Scots. All they were able to find in the way of money--silver or gold--they took with them. Corn-fields and meadows were trodden down, farms were burned, and so forth. Storm describes the frightful conduct of the Scots in powerful language:--

"And with him fourteen hundred men: On mischief all that band were bent; They spared nor young nor aged then, But slew and burnt as on they went.

"The child they killed at mother's breast, Nor cared how sweet soe'er its smile; Of widows' tears they made a jest; Sorrow's loud cry arose the while."[73]

When the Scots got to the head of the Romsdal valley, they did not dare to keep to the road any further, and being afraid of passing the Björnekleven (the "Bears' Cliff"), they took to the mountains. They probably came down again at the farm of Eneboe,[74] in Lessö, Gudbrandsdalen. There is a post at that farm on which the date 1612 is said to have been cut as a memorial of somebody that had been killed there by the Scots. When they got thence to the farm of Skauge, they found that the owner and all the other inhabitants had fled, except the owner's grandmother, who thought she had nothing to fear on account of her advanced age. The Scots killed the old woman and burned the farm. A little to the south of that farm is a plain which was and still is called Mærrasletten, where they encamped and rested a day.[75] It is further related that when they came to the farm of Kjelshuus, in Lessö, they found a meal prepared for them; but on leaving, they emptied a barrel of flour out on the road, and burned the farm. The people had fled to Lordalen, on the west side of the Laagen.[76] At Nordrehuus farm there was a stout-hearted woman called Sönnef, from Lom, married to Nordrehuus. While the Scots were ravaging the valley, she did not run away with the rest, but remained, although she was pregnant; and when the enemy came to the farm, she hid herself in a barn, in order to put out any fire which the Scots might kindle on their departure. She was fortunately not discovered, nor was the farm burned down. At Bjokne farm the house-wife had on her flight forgotten to take with her some valuables, and therefore hurried back to save them. As soon as she had done this, she saw the vanguard of the Scots already approaching the farm; but she got away safely. The man at Töndevold[77] had intended to make a stand at once against the Scots with the people of Lessö, but found they were too weak. He then set out a quantity of food and drink on his table, while he and his wife went up an eminence opposite the farm to watch the fate of their house. The Scots, on reaching the farm, regaled themselves with the viands which they found, and it is said the table on which Sinclair ate is still preserved. After they had eaten, they searched the house for anything that might be worth carrying away; but they only found behind the door of the cow-house a heifer, and they cut off its legs. On leaving, they are said to have set fire to one of the out-houses; but it went out of itself without spreading. Where they found food set out at farms, they were afraid lest the Bönder had poisoned it, and therefore they first gave their dogs to eat of it.

As already stated, the people fled everywhere to the mountains. Amongst other places to which some fled were the Sjonghöiderne (heights), from which they saw the march of the Scots through the parish. When the Scots saw people on the heights, it is reported that they said they would visit those "fjeld cats" after they had conquered the country.

At bridges and cross-ways their guide, Peder Klognæs, was compelled by menaces to tell if any danger need be apprehended, which was the right way, etc. When they got to Bottems Bridge, at Lessö, they burned it, as they feared that the Bönder of that district might fall upon them in the rear; and they then marched to the parish of Dovre. As the road seemed to be too long to Peder Klognæs, who was still obliged to remain with the Scots, and as he had long been tired of their company, he is said to have found at the Kjörum farms an opportunity of leaving them, and was already a short way on the road back when he was overtaken and compelled by cuts and blows to go on with them. When they thus reached Jora Bridge, a short distance thence, the Scots were afraid that some danger might be at hand; consequently they had the bridge examined, and sent out spies. As they found at that bridge two roads,--of which one went southwards, the other eastwards,--and Peder Klognæs having pointed out the former, which they thought was not the right direction, they suspected him of an intention to deceive them; therefore they hung him over the bridge, and ducked him several times in the river, threatening to leave him there if he did not show them the right way. But he kept to his statement, which was really a true one, and said, "If I were to die here--so help me, God!--I know no other road," on which they drew him up and proceeded further. Others allege that this happened at Dovre Bridge. It is said that on their march through Dovre parish, on a plain called Kraakvolden, below the farms of Landhem, they held a feast in a barn (still extant in 1836), and amused themselves with dancing. The people who had fled to the mountains saw them dancing there. It is also related that they here held a day of prayer, on account of the proximity of Rosten, Bægilskleven, and "the high bridge," in order that they might safely pass those dangerous places.[78]

Meanwhile the arrival of the Scots had been reported in the south part of Gudbrandsdalen. The soldiers belonging to that valley were then away on the Swedish frontier fighting the enemy. All the troops that had been stationed in the South Fjeld district had, in fact, been drawn away, partly to the frontier at Bahuus Lehn, partly to the Danish army which had invaded Sweden from Skaane.[79] It was therefore only the Bönder of that valley who could oppose the Scots.

No sooner had the lensmand[80] Lauritz (or Lars) Hage,[81] who lived at Hage farm, in Dovre parish, heard of the arrival of the Scots, than he determined to oppose their march. He quickly caused messages to be sent to the adjoining parishes, whence they were carried further up the valley. It is said that he came into the church at Dovre during divine service, and giving three knocks on the floor with his staff, said, "Give attention! The enemy has come into the country," on which the service was stopped, and the people hurried out of the church. At his summons the Bönder armed themselves and hastened to march a Norwegian mile and a half south to the above-mentioned cliff-road of Rosten, a little north of the post-house of Laurgaard, in Sel. Here they halted, and intended to await the Scots. For that purpose they began to prepare a breast-work, or a construction such as that which was later raised at Kringlen; but the result of a council, at which the men of Dovre and Lessö voted for continuing the work, while the rest were of the opposite opinion, was that they abandoned the work they had commenced, and withdrew further south. But on Lauritz Hage's wise advice, in order to delay the enemy, they first destroyed Rosten Bridge; and consequently, when the Scots got to Rosten they were obliged to take to the fjeld.[82]

When the Bönder got down to Sel, they combined with a number of others, who had come from the south, probably from Froen and Ringebo. Here they remained for the night at Romungaard, Jörgenstad, Olstad, and other farms,[83] which then lay more in a cluster than now. There they got hold of some barrels of beer, and several of the Bönder gave themselves up to carousing during the night. When the morning came, and they had to go further, some of the peasants would not leave their beloved ale. Others were, however, wise enough to spike the beer-casks by knocking in the spigots and then cutting them off close. The carousers could therefore get no more; otherwise they would probably have remained drinking until the Scots came up to them. Nor were the latter far off; for the very day on which the Bönder left, the Scots arrived in the evening, and took up their quarters there for the night. The Bönder then went one and a half mile (Norwegian) southwards, and finally halted at Kringlen, where they determined to await and attack the Scots. This place is situated in Bredenbygd, in Sel's annex to Vaage parish, and is a mountain slope, over which the road goes. At the foot of that slope, which is in many places excessively precipitous, flows the Laagen. At that time the road was only a narrow path or bridle-path, but it has since been altered and enlarged into a highway.[84] Moreover, the ground has undergone some change since 1612, especially in consequence of the landslip of 1789, when it became less precipitous. There was also more wood then than now. The name of the place is generally written "Kringlen," under which designation it has become best known. On the other hand, in the language of the common people the place was called Kringom, or Hög Kringom.[85]

The Bönder who there assembled were from Vaage, Lessö, Froen, and Ringebo. Both Slange and Edv. Storm state that the Bönder from Lom were there too, and it is possible that some may have been present, perhaps, from Garmo, an annex to Lom; but according to a very common tradition current at Lom itself, the men of Lom, although they assembled and marched out, did not take part in the fight. The fact is, that the people from the southern or greater part of Skjager annex went over the Findal Mountains, and down again through Vaage, in order to engage the enemy, but arrived too late. Those of the parish of Lom proper, and of the northern part of Skjager, also went part of the way--namely, within half a Norwegian mile to the east of Lom Church, to a hill in the neighbourhood of Graffer farm; but here they began to deliberate as to what they should do, and the result was that they returned to their several homes, on the advice of the "lads from Skjelqvale,"[86] and more especially after considering that the Scots would not in any case come to Lom, and that the matter, consequently, did not concern them. That hill is to this day called "Raadsbakken,"[87] or Council Hill. In addition to the Bönder assembled at Kringlen, the peasantry of Gusdal and Öiers took up a position in the above-named Bægilsklev, or Bæggersklev, in Ringebo, about five Norwegian miles to the south of Kringlen, under the leadership of Lauritz (or Lars) Gram, the bailie of Gudbrandsdalen, who lived at the farm of Steig, in Froen. That position was probably selected in order to meet the possibility of the Scots escaping from the Bönder posted to the north. The latter were led by Lauritz Hage, lensmand at Dovre (in Lessö?), and Peder Randklev, lensmand in Ringebo. According to some accounts, Guldbrand Sejelstad, of the same parish, was also amongst the leaders.[88]

The Bönder now prepared at Kringlen to meet Sinclair and his Scots. As already stated, the latter had taken to the mountains in order to avoid Rosten, and had descended into the valley at Horgenlien in Nordre Sel, and taken up their quarters there for the night, after the Bönder had retired from that farm in the morning. Sinclair slept at Romungaard, where are still to be found the remains of the room he occupied, and now used as a barn.[89] The Bönder in Nordre Sel had fastened oxen to the fences, in order that the enemy should not burn down their farms. Some say that the Scots remained a day at Sel before they proceeded further. "Now begins prosperity; it will be better still over in Hedemarken," Sinclair is reported to have said to his people. In the morning, before he marched up from Sel, a few hours previous to the battle at Kringlen, he is said to have burned some powder on the palm of his hand, in order to ascertain whether his march would be successful or not. The smoke having gone up against his breast, he is reported to have exclaimed, "This day I shall suffer loss in my men, however great that loss may be." Sinclair was accompanied by a "Veirlöber,"[90] or hound; some called it a "Værkalv," others a "Vildtyrk" or "Tryntyrk",[91] "able to detect the enemy like a hound." It could, they said, scent "Christian blood." It is likewise related that the thick part of its legs had been removed in order that it might run with greater lightness. The _Veirlöber_ was shot the same morning at the farm of Ödegaard. An elderly farm labourer had remained there in order to see what the enemy would do, and hid himself with his steel-bow in a field of hemp; and another, who had likewise remained behind, got into a chimney to give the signal to the archer. After drinking some sour milk in the dairy, the hound came up to them. It is said that the sour milk, together with the smell of the hemp, prevented the nose of the _Veirlöber_ from discovering the man who was concealed, and whose unerring shot stretched him on the ground, so that the sour milk "spouted out of him." A similar _Vildtyrk_, as already stated, had been shot in Romsdalen. The Saga says it was fortunate for the Bönder that these _Vildtyrker_ had been shot, for they were dangerous spies. It is probable that they were nothing more than Sinclair's sleuth-hounds. This is to be inferred both from the descriptions given and from statements respecting the one that was shot at Ödegaard--namely, that he ran about in the fields and barked.

[Illustration: BARN AT ROMUNGAARD.

Still shown as that in which the Scots passed the night before the fight at Kringelen. _Page 96._]


Still shown as that in which George Sinclair slept the night before the fight at Kringelen. _Page 96._]

The Scots then advanced from Sel. It was on the 26th August 1612,[92] a day which has remained so memorable in the history of Gudbrandsdal. It was a Wednesday. To the strains of martial music the whole of the Scottish force marched southwards. Some of them hearing the cries of children on the mountains, to which the mothers had fled, are said to have called out in derision, "Hear the witch-cats how they screech; when we come again we shall visit them." But soon their mockery was to be silenced, and their music to sound for the last time; and the young blood now flowing in their veins was in a few moments to stain the rocky sides of Kringlen and the gray waters of the Laagen. Step by step they approached the spot where this expedition was to end so quickly and sadly. The Bönder at Kringlen were waiting for them. Here, on convenient places above the road, they had raised huge breastworks, and a kind of trap of stones and timber. The trap was laid on logs held together by means of rope, and propped up with supports in such a manner that when the ropes were cut and the props removed, the logs and stones would roll down the whole hill-slope.[93] The object was to let the mass fall down as soon as the enemy got below it, and thereupon to attack the survivors with weapons in hand. The whole of the construction of stones and logs, as well as the Bönder, who stationed themselves behind that awful barricade, were concealed by leafy branches of trees and by fir trees, so as to give the appearance of a small wood. A small body of Bönder concealed themselves a little to the north, and on hearing the noise of the conflict were to have descended into the road, to prevent the enemy from running back. The Bönder also cut down large trees, and made _chevaux-de-frise_ out of them, to be rolled in the front and in the rear of the enemy along the narrow road, in order to shut him in and prevent him from going either forwards or backwards.

In a ballad older than Edvard Storm's poem, undoubtedly composed by a Gudbrandsdal man, and of which there are a few imperfect copies, the position of the Bönder is thus described:--

"There is a cliff in Gudbrandsdal, Which is called Kringlen; There lay the men of the valley, In all near five hundred. Intrenching there, they built a wall, And raised up stones many. They lay in wait as doth a cat That wants to catch a mouse."

In order to be informed how near the Scots had come, and thus to determine when to expect them, they sent out, says the Saga, as a spy, a Bonde of the name of Audon Skjenna[94] of Sel. He went direct to Skjenna farm, and saw Sinclair reviewing his men on the green outside that farm. When he saw them afterwards passing over Laur Bridge, which spans the Laagen immediately to the north of the Ulen river, he hastened back. The Scots, however, got sight of him, and are said to have called out, "See how the boor is running away on a 'pert.'"[95] It was necessary for the Bönder to divert the attention of the Scots from their ambuscade, and to ascertain when the main force of the enemy was below it, for that would be the time for them to begin the battle. With the latter object one of the Bönder was ordered to remain on an island called Storöen, in the Laagen; and then riding on a white horse out of gunshot of the enemy, he was to keep in a line with the enemy's main force, or with the head of it, and when it reached the appointed place to give notice by suddenly turning round. Some say that, in order the better to divert the enemy's attention, he sat backwards on the horse; while others affirm that, with the same object, he wound a large red plaid round his throat and down the chest of his white horse. Other arrangements were also made to divert the enemy's attention. On the advice of Arne Nedre-Gunstad from Ringebo,[96] the least capable of the men who had met there were stationed on Storöen, in order to deceive the enemy by a feint attack, and thereby to draw off his attention from the place where lay the real force of the Bönder. They further sent a girl of the name of Guri, generally called Pillar Guri, who knew well how to blow a horn,[97] to stand on Selsjordskampen, a mountain point on the left side of the Laagen, from which she could see the surrounding country and the approaching enemy. When the main force of the enemy got between her and the place selected by the Bönder she was to blow the horn, to attract the attention of the enemy towards the point at which she was placed, and which was opposite to the position occupied by the Bönder; and also to signal to the Bönder, who could not see the enemy from their ambuscade, how far they had advanced. It is also related that, likewise by arrangement with the Bönder, she held hanging down in front of her a long white scarf, which she twisted round her arm, and by gradually shortening it signalled to the Bönder the approach of the enemy.

Now came the Scots. Their advanced guard of sixty, according to others one hundred, men, who marched a little ahead, passed unattacked. The girl on the mountain top did not blow her horn, but waited for the main body. It is strange that the advanced guard observed nothing of the Bönder. After that came the main force of the Scots; but the Bönder remained quiet, each ready at his post. Among them was also Berdon or Bardum Sejelstad of Ringebö,[98] who, together with two other skilful marksmen, was one of the leaders chosen to take aim at Sinclair; and Berdon had stipulated that no one should shoot before he did. The Scots thought that the Bönder force was further in advance of them, and expecting no attack there, approached reliantly, and were "cheerful." As soon as they came sufficiently near, they heard the girl play on the horn from the mountain-top. The Scots stopped and listened to the unusual and melancholy strains. Sinclair's band thereupon replied to her with a march. The girl played the same air again, and the Scots replied a second time.[99] After that began the attack from the island. Many shots were fired, but no bullet reached so far. A volley and then several volleys were fired, but with the same result; and the Scots laughed at what they thought was a cowardly attack, and in derision lifted their hats after each discharge. But suddenly the signal was given to the concealed Bönder, and the scene changed. The masses of rock and timber now tumbled down, and at the same moment Sinclair fell at the first shot that was fired. Berdon Sejelstad had taken aim at him from behind some pine trees; and as Sinclair was considered to be a mighty and brave warrior, invulnerable to bullets, Berdon, in order, as he thought, to be more certain of success, took the silver button from the neck of his shirt, chewed it into a lump, and loaded his gun with it.[100] Some say also that the gun missed fire the first time. The bullet is said to have struck Sinclair in the forehead, just over his left eye. As he fell he is said to have exclaimed, "That is Berdon Sejelstad's arquebuse."[101] The place where he fell is still called "Sinclar's Dokken." Immediately after the colonel had fallen it went badly with the rest; and the Bönder threw themselves forward with courage and speed, spreading fear and death by shooting with rifles and hewing with axes. The position of the Scots was bad in the highest degree; for the narrow pass in which they were crowded, and the declivity of the mountain on which they stood, admitted of no battle-array. From north and south, and from above them, the Bönder fell upon the Scots with fury. The above-mentioned ballad says:--

"They were surrounded south and north-- Which they must most have regretted: There was committed upon them a miserable murder." ...

They attempted to run up the mountain to close with the Bönder, but were hurled down. "Those who were not shot jumped into the river to save themselves, but were there drowned; and those of them who got alive over the river were quickly killed by the Bönder on that side."[102]


In the "Ballad of the Valley" the battle is further described as follows:--

"The colonel rode in the foremost rank, Right proudly himself he bore; He was first shot down from his horse, And became at once quite powerless. He died and there at once on the spot With others at that time; Georgius Sinclar was his name, Who then was stretched a corpse.

"There staggered many a brave hero, And danced against his will; Horse and man to earth were felled, That is how the Dalesmen entertained them.

"The balls as thick as hail did fly, Men had to stop there and bide; There was heard many a shout and cry, Yes, there ached many a side. There was sweated much bloody sweat, Many a cheek was white....

"They tried to climb the mountain steep, The Norsemen death to deal; But from the rocks were forced to leap By logs and stones and steel. Hard by the precipice there runs a river, Its waters run so strong That all who cannot reach the bank Are borne by the stream along.

"They swam both hither and thither, On their backs or as best they could; That art they had diligently learnt; But they had to go to the bottom. They were fired at right sharply, So the water splashed about their ears; They had to remain on that spot, And reached not the dry land."

The girl on the mountain crag continued to play her horn during the battle, until she saw the Laagen dyed with blood. She then threw the horn over her head, went away, and changed her song into weeping. Some say that Sinclair's wife was also killed in the fight, together with her child. According to tradition, when the rest went to battle, Kjel Fjerdingreen[103] of Hedalen, a parish annexed to Vaage, was persuaded by his sweetheart, who had a foreboding of misfortune, to remain behind; but when she heard that Sinclair's wife was with him, and that she carried a new-born babe, she became anxious about her fate, and as much as she had previously bid him remain behind, she now bade him go, not to take part in the carnage, but, if possible, to save the child. "You shall not gain my hand, Kjel," she is said to have told him, "before you have saved the child." He therefore accompanied the others. In the tumult of the battle, Kjel rushed forward in order to comply with the touching entreaties of his sweetheart. The child had just been hit by a ball. Kjel found Mrs. Sinclair, who was beside herself with grief, on horseback, and stanching the blood of her child. As he was going to take it (others say that it had fallen from her, she having dropped it in her fright, and that Kjel took it up and handed it to her), she thought he wanted to injure it, and impelled by fear and motherly affection she thrust a dagger into her benefactor's breast. Others say she stuck the dagger into his back as he was stooping to take the child. It is said that one of Kjel's companions then shot Mrs. Sinclair down from her horse, and that her body was afterwards seen in the Laagen. It is stated by others that the Bönder threw her into the Laagen, taking her for a witch, and that she sat (on the water) stanching the blood of her child, and that the Laagen bore her a long way before she was drowned. When the child was killed, and before Mrs. Sinclair fell a prey to the waves, she is said to have struck up a wild song in her despair,--others say in her scorn. The place where she remained for some moments on the surface of the water is said to have been immediately opposite to the most northerly point of Kringlen. Others again say that she was afterwards amongst the prisoners, and that her life was spared. The inscription in the parish register of Vaage[104] states that she survived.

The battle probably took place from a little north of that point to a little south of the highest part of Kringlen, where the wooden post stands. According to Kruse's Report, it lasted an hour and a half. As soon as the battle was over and the victory gained, the Bönder went after the men of the vanguard, whom they had allowed to pass unhindered. These had fled forward when they perceived the defeat of the rest; but they were overtaken on a plain at Solhjem farm, a little to the south of Kringlen. As the Bönder came rushing to the attack with the cry, "Fall to! fall to! here are more of them," and the Scots saw "what would result from it," they at once sent their interpreter forward and said they would surrender as prisoners. Thereupon they laid down their arms; but when they saw that the Bönder were not so many as they had at first thought, they took their arms up again and wanted to fight their way through; but they were now met in such a manner that they were all either shot and cut down or taken prisoners. Peder Klognæs the guide was with the vanguard, and nearly shared its fate; but on the cry, "I am Peder Klognæs, I am Peder Klognæs, and am one of your own people," he escaped, and returned later in safety to his home in Romsdalen.

The strength of the Bönder force which fought at Kringlen was between four hundred and five hundred men,[105] of whom six were killed and some few wounded. According to the ballad--

"When the Dalesmen this had done, And thus destroyed the foe, I have been told of a truth That six of them were killed In the battle on the cliff; And there were stretched as corpses, Beside those who wounded were, Who are but few to mention."

The Bönder proceeded at once with the prisoners to Qvam, a parish annexed to Froen. After the glory just acquired, the Bönder committed next day a sanguinary deed, which the inhabitants of the valley now speak of with abhorrence, wishing it had never been done. "The principal men among those who were there" wished indeed that the prisoners, whom they had confined in a barn at Klomstad farm, should all be conveyed to Agershuus.

"But this pleased not the Dalesmen That they should thus take them Through the long and narrow way, And give the country trouble."

The majority shouted that the prisoners should all lose their lives, on which, so strong was the general exasperation, they took them out of the barn,[106] one by one, and shot them all, except eighteen or some few more. Five or six whom, owing, it is said, to "magic art," the shots would not affect, were put to death with pikes. The "Ballad of the Valley" says:--

"They minded neither lead nor powder, It dried upon their brows; So tough was their flesh and their skin That lead could not through them go. Through cunning and magic art, Which they learned to a nicety, What was done to them was in vain,-- They did not even hiccough; So (the Bönder) took to their sharp pikes, And had to run them through; Then both skin and flesh were torn, And they made an end of them. But of the prisoners there were spared, I know, one less than twenty. Amongst them were two captains-- I will not tell a lie-- The one Captain Bruce by name, The other Captain Ramsey."

Kruse writes respecting the prisoners:--"On the day the battle took place one hundred and thirty-four Scots were taken prisoners, who were straightway the next day killed and shot by the Bönder, with the exception of the above-named eighteen, the Bönder saying to each other that his Royal Majesty had enough to feed in those same eighteen. Some of these were, however, wounded, and some had bullets in their bodies when they arrived here.[107] Of the above-mentioned eighteen soldiers we now send to you[108] the three principal ones, who are a captain of the name of Alexander Ramsay, and his lieutenant of the name of Jacob Mannepenge [James Moneypenny], who has previously been both in Denmark and Sweden, and who on this their expedition served as an interpreter; the third is called Herrich Bryssz [Henry Bruce], who, according to his own statement, has served as a soldier in Holland, Spain, and Hungary. As regards the remaining fifteen persons, some of them have straightway taken service among good folk here in the country, and some who will willingly serve your Royal Majesty in Jörgen Lunge's[109] regiment, I sent at once to Elfsborg." This is alluded to as follows in the Valley Ballad:--

"They were then to the castle brought, No desire had they to remain.... They could not relish the fare so hard Which the Gudbrandsdal men gave-- Here are not many hens or sheep-- But lead and powder they got in their insides."

That at least eighteen remained alive can thus be seen from Kruse's Report, and, moreover, that some few remained behind in the valley is recorded by tradition. Storm sings that none of the Scots ever saw their own country again. Nevertheless it is related of at least one of them that "he came home."[110] The place in Qvam parish where the Scots killed at the barn were buried, is still shown a little to the north of the barn, and is called Skothaugen ("The Scot hillock").

The conduct of the Bönder towards their prisoners can certainly not in any way be justified; but so long as there is much that can be pleaded in extenuation, we should, on the other hand, be cautious in pronouncing an unqualified condemnation. According to tradition, they were excited to that deed by Peder Klognæs, who had seen so many cruelties committed by the Scots on the way, and who had himself suffered so much at their hands. It can be imagined that the real state of the case was possibly this: the Bönder, weary after a march of several days, and after the last day's work and fighting, came to Qvam with their prisoners, when they began, it may be supposed, to be weary of leading them further. It was the busy harvest time; they were possibly short of provisions. Perhaps some of them had a debauch, as previously at Sel, and excited by liquor as well as by the account of the cruelties of the Scots, they considered the latter worthy of death, and quickly set to work to slaughter them, notwithstanding that the principal men had opposed such a proceeding. (See _ante._) It may be that the prisoners themselves had given them fresh cause for exasperation during their conveyance or while they were being guarded; and such a supposition is all the more within the range of possibility, since it is otherwise very singular that the Bönder did not kill their prisoners immediately after the affair at Solhjem (since their exasperation was so great on the following day), but conducted them one mile and a half (Norwegian) on the way to Agershuus.

Special circumstances, no longer known, may have occurred as contributory reasons for such conduct. Moreover, before pronouncing judgment on the inhabitants of Gudbrandsdal, we must remember that wars at that time, and the Calmar War as a whole, were conducted with much cruelty, and we must take into consideration the spirit of the age. Nor should we forget that more than two centuries lie between them and us. A far higher stage of culture has been attained of later years, and yet they have produced not a few examples of similar barbarity. We have only to remember what is related respecting the cruelty of the Duke of Cumberland in 1746 after the battle of Culloden in Scotland, General Moreno's murder of General Torrejos and his sixty comrades in misfortune on the plains before Malaga in 1832, General Minas's cruelty at Lacaroz in 1835, and the cruelties of the Carlists towards the English prisoners at Tolosa in 1837, etc.


(_Now in the Anglican Church, Christiania_).--_Page 117._]

Respecting one of the Scottish prisoners who remained alive, tradition relates that when he saw a musket being aimed at him he ran to Ingebrikt Valde[111] of Vaage, and with pitiful gesticulations asked for life and protection, seeking shelter under his horse; whereupon Ingebrikt lifted his axe in defence of the man, threatening to cut down any one who killed him. That Scot is said to have been a glazier, and to have subsequently settled in the country. As a token of his gratitude he sent some windows to Ingebrikt Valde, whom in his letters he always called his "life's father." Of these windows one is still to be seen at Valde farm.[112] Some lines, burnt into one of the panes, form a shield, on which are seen a figure like a crest (perhaps Ingebrikt Valde's seal or signature) and an angel with hands held protectingly over it. Another of the prisoners remained in Vaage, where he got a piece of land to cultivate, and which clearing is now a farm called Skotlien.

Either at the engagement at Kringlen or during the affair at Solhjem one of the Scots is said to have saved himself by swimming over the Laagen, whence he took to the mountains. In the evening (the mountains being only a Norwegian mile across) he came down to Ellingsbö farm in Hedalen, and his appearance bespoke fright and hunger. The farmer, who, according to Gram's Census, was called Christian, placed food before him. While the Scot sat and ate the mowers came home. At the sight of those men and their scythes he thought they were some of those who had been at Kringlen, so he jumped up and showed signs of fear lest his life should be taken; but the Bonde soon quieted him. The Scot remained there four years, went to Oslo,[113] where he settled as a goldsmith, and sent as a present to his benefactor at Ellingsbö silver cups for his children.

From one of the prisoners, who is said to have been a cardmaker, and who married in the country, a family with the surname of Matheson is descended, and several of its members still reside in the province of Trondhjem.[114]

Among the prisoners was also a woman, whom Lars Hage afterwards met at the house of a merchant at Oslo. He recognized her, and she him. The merchant told her to draw a jug of ale for the man. But as he would not drink, she said, "Drink, good man, I have done you no harm;" and the merchant having asked her, "Do you know to whom you are offering that good ale?" she replied, "I know him well enough. They were not 'boors,' but devils, that lay in the bushes."[115]


_Page 120._]

A prisoner who had been quartered at Veikle farm in Qvam parish, and who had been well treated, sent later, says tradition, "when he got home," six silver spoons to the farmer,[116] as a token of remembrance. Respecting two other prisoners, one of whom was at a farm in Qvam, the other at a farm in Sel, it is related that they were shot the same autumn, "as the proprietors did not find it would pay them to feed them over the winter." Another of the prisoners is said to have been killed at Vaage. The farmer with whom he lived took him on a journey into the woods. On the way, it is said, they began to talk about the battle at Kringlen. The prisoner having said that if the Scots had known about the Bönder as much as the latter had known of them matters would have turned out differently, the farmer got angry and cut his prisoner down on the spot.

It is related of the Bönder from Vaage that on the return homewards they met at Kalsteen, in Vaage, a portion of the men of Lom who intended to encounter the Scots. An argument arose between the men of Vaage, proud of victory, and those of Lom, and a bloody battle very nearly ensued, but it was prevented by individual representations. A certain Peder Killie[117] of Dovre is reported to have said on his return home from the battle that he thanked God he had not fired a shot at the Scots; but when another Bonde, his neighbour, heard this, he became angry, quickly cocked his gun to shoot him, and would have killed him had not others intervened and prevented him.

A man called, Jörgen Fjerdingreen[118] of Hedalen is said to have got possession of Sinclair's money-chest (or holster), and was carrying it home on a pack-horse. At Breden farm he went inside to enjoy himself; but spending a long time over his dinner, the holster, which he had left outside, was carried away.[119] This has given rise to the saying, which, however, is not very general, "to dine like Jörgen."


_Page 121._]

Sinclair's body was carried to Qvam and there buried just outside the church-yard, as the exasperated Bönder would not allow him to lie in consecrated ground. It is told that one of his relatives thought he had not been killed, but only taken prisoner, and therefore came to Norway in search of him, but found only his grave. A simple wooden post close to the road, a little to the south of the church,[120] shows to this day where he lies buried. A board with the following inscription is fastened to the post:--

[Illustration: (A Christian Cross)]


Here below rests Mr. Colonel GEORGE JÖRGEN SINKLER, Who fell at Kringlene, In the year 1612, with a force of 900 Scots, Who were crushed like earthen pots By a smaller number of 300 Bönder Of Lessöe, Waage, Froen; and the Leader of the Bönder was Berdon Sejelstad of Ringeboe Parish.[121]

On the spot where Sinclair and his Scots fell, a monument was also raised in commemoration of the event. In lieu of the stone pillar which, according to Slange, had the inscription, "Here was Colonel George Sinclair shot the 26th August, anno 1612," the present post was raised in 1733, on the occasion of King Christian the Sixth's journey to Trondhjem. The monument, which stands under the shadow of a birch tree on the top of the hill beside the road, and a few paces to the south of the spot where Sinclair was shot, is in the form of a simple wooden cross, with a board on which the inscription is as follows:--

"Courage, loyalty, bravery, and all that gives honour, The whole world 'midst Norwegian rocks can learn. An example is there seen of such bravery, Among the rocks in the North, on this very spot: A fully-armed corps of some hundred Scots Was here crushed like earthen pots; They found that bravery, with loyalty and courage, Lived in full glow in the breasts of the men of Gudbrandsdal. Jörgen[122] von Zinclair,[123] as the leader of the Scots, Thought within himself, 'No one will here meddle with me.' But, lo! a small number of Bönder confronted him, Who bore to him Death's message by powder and by ball. Our northern monarch, King Christian the Sixth, To honour on his way,[124] we have erected this; For him we are ready to risk our blood and life, Until our breath goes out and our bodies lie stiff."


"In commemoration of the bravery of the Bönder, 1612." _Page 123._]

Yet another post in commemoration of the battle was set up by a private individual in the year 1826, a little to the north of Kringlen, at the farm of Pladsen or Söudre (South) Kringlen. It is about five feet high, of soapstone, and in the form of an obelisk surmounted by a ball. This monument will be set up in a more appropriate place when the road is altered.[125] The inscription on it will only be in these words, "The 26th August 1612."

The origin of the plant called cow-bane or water hemlock[126] (_Cicuta virosa s. aquatica_), which is very poisonous, and which grows in great quantities in a marsh at Nordre (North) Sel, dates, according to tradition, from the time of the Scots. It is said the Scots sowed that herb; but that this has only been attributed to them out of hatred need scarcely be added. On an islet opposite Kringlen stood, until the great flood of 1789, a large fir tree, in the trunk of which some musket balls, as well as many traces of them, were to be found, and some years ago human bones were found where the wooden cross now stands. Various weapons and other things still remain after the Scots in many parts of the valley. Thus at the farm of Mælum in Bredebygd is a drum, which is called the "Scots' drum." It was brought thirty or forty years ago from Ringebo, where it was likewise known under the same name.[127] At Nordre Bue farm are a musket and a sword which belonged to the Scots. At the farm of Söudre Kringlen or Pladsen a spur and a knife were found a short time ago on the hill where the battle took place. In the parish of Vaage, at Lunde farm, is a dirk which had belonged to the Scots. There is also a dirk at Kruke farm in Hedalen, and this is said to be the one with which Mrs. Sinclair stabbed Kjel Fjerdingreen. According to an English traveller who has seen them, these dirks are similar to those still carried by a regiment in Scotland which is armed in the old style. At Fjerdingreen farm is a purse made of steel-wire rings, also a large and a small powder-horn, which are said to have belonged to Colonel Sinclair. In the parish of Dovre, at the farm of Ödegaarden, is preserved a chest bound with iron, which is said to have been Sinclair's money-chest, as well as a large and a small powder-horn, also reported to have belonged to him. There is likewise a powder-horn at the farm of Sönstebö, in the parish of Læssö. Among the things that belonged to Sinclair, Peder Klognæs is said to have got a pair of snuffers, which he took home with him, and which are said to be still preserved at Mandalen farm in Romsdalen. In the Armoury of the fortress of Agershuus[128] are preserved muskets[129] which had belonged to the Scots. In the Museum at Bergen are the stock of a pistol and a powder-horn, and in the Museum of the University of Christiania the stock of a pistol inlaid with ivory--all relics of the Scots. Sinclair's pistols are kept in the Museum at Copenhagen. They are described as follows in the catalogue of the Museum:--


_Page 124._]

"The locks have pans of the so-called Spanish kind, but amongst the oldest of those patterns the barrels are of brass. On them are engraved the Scottish thistle and the letters A. S. In the year 1690 Lieutenant-General Johan Wibe sent those pistols to King Christian V., with the observation that they had belonged to the 'Scotch Colonel George Sinclair, who in the year 1612 fell with his Scots in Gudbrandsdalen.'"[130]


(_In Copenhagen Museum._) _Page 125._]

At the close of the last century, a Count Laurvig is said to have owned Sinclair's pistols,[131] and Count G. C. R. Thott his musket, which was for a long period preserved in the family of Berdon Sejelstad, who, as the slayer of Sinclair, got it as his booty. At the beginning of the present century Thor Bratt of Tofte owned Sinclair's fighting sword, which he gave away to be sent to the Art Museum at Copenhagen.[132]

Just as Christian IV. punished severely the nobleman Steen Bilde and the men of Stordalen and Jemtland for having made no opposition to Colonel Munkhaven on his march through the country to Sweden, so was the conduct of the men of Gudbrandsdal, differing as it did from that of the others, not allowed by the king to pass unrewarded. By letters-patent, dated from the Castle of Frederiksborg, September 3, 1613, he gave to Lars Hage the farm (Hage) which he occupied, together with the farm of Landnem; to Peder Randklev the farm (Nedre Randklev) on which he lived, together with the farm of Gundestad; and to Berdon Sejelstad likewise the farm he occupied (Övre Sejelstad);--"to them and their descendants in perpetual possession, for their fidelity, diligence, and manliness in the late war."[133]

The descendants both of Lars Hage[134] and of Peder Randklev still live; but the family of Berdon Sejelstad is said to have died out, at all events at the farm where he lived--namely, Övre Sejelstad. Gulbrand lived at Nedre Sejelstad, and the present occupant of the farm is his fifth descendant in a direct line.

According to Hjorthöi's account (part ii., pp. 7, 135, 137, and 138), Arne Gunstad, whom he calls the next in command of the Bönder (from Ringebo?), and who, according to tradition, distinguished himself by his bravery and extraordinary strength, was rewarded by the exemption of his farm from the assessment called "Foring." The same immunity was granted to Lars Hage, Peder Randklev, and Berdon Sejelstad, in respect of their several farms; and that freedom from taxation is enjoyed by those farms to this day.

According to tradition, Audon or Ingebrikt Skjenna of Sel also received as a reward of his bravery the gift of the farm of Sel, of which the present occupiers are said to be his descendants. The girl Guri, says tradition, had the farm of Rindal in Vaage, subsequently called Pillarvigen, given to her as a recompense.

The battle at Kringlen[135] will ever remain a remarkable event in our history. It is certainly not remarkable on account of the number of the combatants or the magnitude of the defeat, but for the _manner_ in which the enemy was annihilated. It was _Bönder_ led only by _Bönder_ who, with _presence of mind_, knew how to select excellent ground, utilized it with sagacity to carry out in harmony a plan of attack that had been decided upon, and who fell with such courage on a superior enemy. Moreover, the event will serve to increase the series of examples which history has preserved to us, of how dangerous it is for an enemy to penetrate far into a mountainous country.


[61] ["Sagn, Samlede om Slaget ved Kringlen," etc. Christiania, 1838. Translated from the Norwegian by the author, who is indebted for much able assistance to Mr. T. T. Somerville of Christiania. The more ancient spelling of proper names, such as "Kringlen," etc., has been retained in this translation.--T. M.]

[62] _Vide_ "History of Gustavus Adolphus," by Joh. Widikindi. Stockholm, 1691. P. 110. "Introduction to Swedish History," by S. Puffendorff. Stockholm, 1688. P. 605. Slange's "History of Christian IV.," published by Gram (1 vol. Copenhagen, 1749. P. 313), and translated into German (with an Appendix) by Schlegel. 1 vol. Copenhagen, 1757. P. 553. What later historians relate respecting the fight at Kringlen is more or less only a repetition of the accounts given by the above authors.

[63] _Vide_ "Samlinger til det Norske Folks Sprog og Historie," vol. 3 B, p. 219.

[64] The Vaage church register contains, with reference to the entire event, only the following lines, entered by Anders Munch, priest, in 1731: "Anno 1612. Colonel Jörgen (George) Zinchel, as he came from Romsdalen with 900 men to combine with the Swedes, who were at Baare Church (that is, Borge Church, in Smaalenene), was attacked by the Bönder at Kringlen, and totally beaten, with all his men, excepting his wife, and three handicraftsmen of whom the Bönder had need."

[65] [This is evident from the documentary history of the two expeditions given in the present work.--T. M.]

[66] In his "Norges Beskr," pp. 85 and 181.

[67] Kruse's Report. [Dean Krag appears to have been acquainted only with Kruse's first Report, which he reproduced as an appendix to his work. The translation of a more accurate copy will be found at p. 180.--T. M.]

[68] Such was the name of the farm in the old church registers. It is now called Klungnæs. Klüwer in his "Norske Mindesmærker" (Norwegian Memorials), p. 124, states that it was a member of the noble family of Skaktavl, persecuted in the reign of Christian II., and who had consequently fled to Romsdalen, where the descendants lived as Bönder on the farm or gaard of Hellan, that Sinclair wanted to compel to pilot his ships into Væblungsnæs.

[69] [A message passed on in the hollow of a staff.--T. M.]

[70] Some say that he wrote this on a piece of wood on the way up to his house from the sea-shore.

[71] [Each seven English.--T. M.]

[72] In his "Reise igjennem Norge" (Travels through Norway), vol. ii., p. 112.

[73] [As already shown, all these accusations are devoid of truth. See Kruse's Official Report, p. 185.--T. M.]

[74] It appears from a Census for the taxation of Gudbrandsdal in 1612 that the farm was at that time occupied by a woman named Birte Eneboe. ("List of those in Gudbrandsdal's bailiwick who were required to pay by Michaelmas day 1612 the tax imposed for the requirements of the war between these three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.") This list was made out by the bailie Lauritz (or Lars) Gram, and contains the names both of the Odels Bönder (allodial proprietors) and tenants, and of the owners of untenanted farms, sub-tenants, and cottagers in the bailiwick.

[75] The fjeld which Kruse mentions in his Report, and calls Mæratoppene, was undoubtedly near this spot.

[76] The river was thus called in the northern part of Gudbrandsdalen; farther south it was more generally called Laugen.

[77] In Gram's Census are mentioned Trund Töndöffuel, Gunder Biockne, and Peder Nordhuus as tenants in Lessö, but the farm of Kjelshuus is not named.

[78] Rosten is a road along the cliff in Sel, an annex to Vaage, leading to Dovre, and is a different place from Rusten, the name of the road that leads to Vaage. Bægilskleven (Baglerkleven?) lies in Ringebo, and Sinclair is reported to have said that as soon as he reached it, he would take to the fjeld at Odlaug (Olo), a farm in Ringebo, and thence come down to "the high bridge"--that is, Tromse Bridge, in Ringebo, which also well deserved its name, for it consisted of logs laid between two rocks, ninety feet high, over the Tromse river, running below.

[79] Among the soldiers from Gudbrandsdalen who were with that army was a man from Lunde, in Vaage, who is reported to have stated on his return home that he had taken part in the burning of seven parishes.

[80] [District police and sheriff officer.--T. M.]

[81] Slange calls him a "Boelægsmand," which must be a clerical or printer's error, as must also be the name of Hans, instead of Lars, as he is called in the Sagas, and perhaps as he was called in familiar language, or Lauritz, as he is named in Kruse's Report and in Christian Fourth's Deed of Gift, and as he wrote it himself in a letter still kept at Tofte farm, in the parish of Dovre. In Gram's Census he is entered as Lauritz Hage, which was probably considered to have a more distinguished sound than Lars Hage. However, the name Lars does not occur anywhere in that Census, and "Lauritz" is everywhere substituted for it. The bailie Gram also signs himself in the Census not Lars, but "Lauritz," which is also the name on his seal.

[82] The above tradition (Saga) respecting the first plan of the Gudbrandsdal men for attacking Sinclair agrees approximately with Kruse's Report, in which it is stated that Lauritz Hage, as soon as he became aware of the coming of the Scots, "at once roused the Bönder," etc. [See Kruse's Report for end of citation to "who quickly came to his assistance," p. 181.--T. M.]

[83] In Gram's list, Oluff Romoengard, Oluff Oolstad, Alff Jörgenstad, Arne Laurgard, Oluff Breden, and others, are all mentioned as tenants in Vaage.

[84] [Now replaced by the _chaussée_ lower down. See plan.--T. M.]

[85] The place got its name from the curve taken by the road along the mountain, or because the road between the farms to the south and north goes _round_ ("omkring") the crags that are there; for in olden days the word "omkring" (around) was, as it still partly is, in the language of the Bönder, "kringum." Likewise in old Norwegian the word "Kringla" meant a circle, a curve.

[86] Labourers (Bönderkarle) from Skjelqvale farm.

[87] Raadsbakken lies about five and a half Norwegian miles from Kringlen. The men of Lom are often to this day reproached by the other inhabitants of Gudbrandsdal for having gone back from Raadsbakken. Hjorthöi, in his "Description of Gudbrandsdalen" (Beskrivelse af Gudbrandsdalen), part ii., page 67, says that the word "Löer," which was likewise applied to them, originated from their having "lingered so long on Raadsbakken;" and he thinks that "Löer" is synonymous with Löi--that is, slothful, indolent, or dilatory in coming forward. But this conjecture is scarcely right, for "Lö" undoubtedly comes from the ancient name of the district--Lo, Loar (see Snorre Sturleson); moreover, the men of Lom tolerate their being called "Löer," which they certainly would not do if any disgrace attached to the appellation.

[88] Slange calls Guldbrand Sejelstad the "lensmand" at Ringebo, but in Kruse's Report, as well as in Hjorthöi's work, in the part above cited, that title is given to Peder Randklev. The name of the latter occurs likewise in Gram's Census, where, however, the name of the former is not to be found.

[89] [The barn shown in the illustration is now pointed out as the place where the soldiers slept, while Sinclair is said to have passed the night at the cottage depicted at p. 98.--T. M.]

[90] [Literally, scent-runner.--T. M.]

[91] [A "wild Turk" or "snouted Turk."--T. M.]

[92] Kruse, in his Report, gives the 26th August, which was also the date on the inscription (see Slange) on the more ancient post at Kringlen, which was destroyed by the flood in 1789, and in place of which the present post was raised, on which the inscription incorrectly gives the date of the 24th August.

[93] The mode of attack thus chosen by the Bönder was not new in Norway; we find a similar plan in "Kong Sverres Saga," ch. 18.

[94] There is still a farm called Skjenna, a little north of Sel church, but there is no farm of that name in Gram's Census.

[95] Boor, the English for Bonde; and "pert" is a Scotch word meaning horse. [_Sic_, Q^e _pertly_?--T. M.]

[96] Hjorthöi's description, part ii., p. 135. There is no Arne Gunstad in Gram's Census, but the names of Joen and Oluff Gunstad, tenants, are mentioned. Arne may have been the son of one of these.

[97] The horn she used was a cow or bent horn, with five or eight holes in it.

[98] Hjorthöi, as well as tradition, calls him Berdon; in Gram's Census the name is written Berdun, and in Christian the Fourth's Deed of Gift Bardum; which various appellations are undoubtedly synonymous and only a variation produced by time and by the gradual corruption of the ancient name of Baard, Bard.

[99] Both Guri's air and the Scots' march are still played by the musicians of the district, but they have probably been much altered, especially the latter. They are both attached to this treatise, set for the piano. It may be that some of the original notes will be found in "Sinclair's March," and possibly the true "Sinclair March" may be found in Scotland; for it is credible that Colonel Sinclair made use of the pipe music of the Sinclair clan, and although the clans have long been broken up, there are still a great number of pipers over the whole of the north part of Scotland who know well all the old melodies, and transmit them from generation to generation.

[Music: GURI'S SONG.]


[100] The superstition that men of extraordinary valour can render themselves invulnerable, and that leaden bullets were of no use against them, but that silver was essential, is still extant, and is or was common in many other countries. [See "Tales of a Grandfather" for the death of Dundee, shot with a silver bullet, and "Old Mortality," for further reference to this superstition.--T. M.]

[101] _Hage_ or _Hagebösse_, in Norwegian (_Haken_ or _Hakenrohr_, in German), was the first gun that replaced the bow or crossbow.--C. J. Chr. Berg on the "Land Defences," p. 252.

[102] Kruse's Report.

[103] The name is to be found in Gram's Census.

[104] [Made in 1731. See p. 77.--T. M.]

[105] In his Report Kruse says they were "four hundred and five men strong." In the "Ballad of the Valley" (see _ante_) they are stated at about five hundred men; and therefore the estimate of three hundred men given in the inscription on the post over Sinclair's grave appears to be erroneous.

[106] The barn still stands, a little north of Sinclair's grave, in the vicinity of the King's highway.

[107] At Agershuus Castle (the fort of Christiania).

[108] That is, to Denmark.

[109] That is, take Danish military service. Jörgen Lunge was a Danish nobleman, who was at that time in command of the Castle of Bohuus.

[110] Slange relates that "they were all shot and cut down except two." But in this respect he merits less credence than Kruse or the Sagas. Slange says also that "one of the prisoners was a glazier, who established himself in Norway and died there; while the other was sent to Scotland." This is also related in the Sagas; but that the latter was sent home "to tell his countrymen how it happened," is doubtless an addition made by Slange himself. To illustrate in how distorted a manner many of the later historians describe the incident at Kringlen, it may be mentioned as an example, among several others, that Fred. Sneedorff, in his lectures on the "History of the Fatherland," vol. ii., p. 106, and later even, Werlauff in the fourth edition, p. 191, of Munthe's "Pictures of Life," which he edited, perverted the account given by Slange to the effect that "one of the Scots established himself in the country as a glazier," by stating that he "established glass-works in Norway."

[111] Hjorthöi calls him Ingebrikt Sörvold, but neither that name nor that of Ingebrikt Valde is to be found in Gram's Census. On the other hand, Oluff and Knud Valde are mentioned as tenants.

[112] [Discovered there in 1885, and purchased by the author of this work, who has deposited it in the Anglican Church at Christiania for preservation.--T. M.]

[113] The present Christiania.

[114] [This family settled in Norway some time after 1612.--T. M.]

[115] [This phrase bears a suspicious resemblance to a passage in Njal's Saga (Iceland):--"Let us fly now; we have not to do with men, but with fiends."--T. M.]

[116] He is called Otter in Gram's Census.

[117] The name also occurs in Gram's Census.

[118] No one of that name is mentioned in Gram's Census.

[119] [The identical money-holster is now in the possession of Mr. J. Heftye. See illustration at p. 118.--T. M.]

[120] In 1612 the church stood nearer to the post, but it was later removed, owing to the encroachments of the river. At that time also the old church-yard at Qvam ceased to be used.

[When the present highroad was constructed the post was replaced by a large stone slab, inscribed:--

[Illustration: (A Christian Cross)]

Here was the Leader of the Scots, GEORGE SINCLAIR, Buried after he had fallen at Kringelen, the 26th August 1612.--T. M.]

[121] This post was set up in 1789 by a couple of Bönder after an older one had been destroyed by the inundation.--N. H. C. Bloch's "Observations on a Journey from Trondhjem to Christiania, in 1806," p. 26.

[The tablet is now in the possession of Mr. J. Heftye. An illustration of it is given here.--T. M.]

[122] "1612, the 24th August."

[123] "900 Scots were beaten here by an inferior force of 300 Bönder from Lessö, Vaage, Froen, and Ringebo parishes."

[124] "When, in July (the 15th) 1733, the king was graciously pleased to travel past this place to Trondhjem."

The many inaccuracies in this inscription will be seen from what has been written above. The inscription is also printed in Kjerulf's Journal of Christian the Sixth's journey in Norway, 1733, p. 40; in Bing's "Norges Beskr" (Description of Norway), p. 348; in Hjorthöi's "Description of Gudbrandsdalen," part ii., pp. 33, 34; and in "Budstikken," 1821, p. 111. In Edvard Storm's collected poems (Copenhagen, 1785), the post is engraved on the title-page. The first two lines of the inscription are by the celebrated poet Bishop Kingo, and are to be found on the so-called _Reisedalere_ (journey dollars) which King Frederick IV. caused to be distributed on his journey through Norway in 1704.

[125] [It now stands over the present road. See illustration.--T. M.]

[126] A detailed description of the _cow-bane_ is given in Pontoppidan's "Natural History of Norway," part i., pp. 200-204; from Hjorthöi, part i., p. 98.

[127] [The frame of this drum is in the possession of Mr. J. Heftye.--T. M.]

[128] [Christiania.--T. M.]

[129] [Only five at present.--T. M.]

[130] If indeed these pistols really belonged to Sinclair, the above initials possibly point to a family connection between him and the Danish nobleman Anders (Andrew) Sinclar, who in 1607 emigrated from Scotland to Denmark, where his race died out at the end of the seventeenth century. Moreover, persons of that name lived in Norway a couple of centuries before the arrival of George Sinclair: thus David Sinclar is named as a civil officer of high rank at Bergen in 1416; and Anders Sinclar as a chief commander in Bohuus Castle from 1461 to 1464; and Aaseline, daughter of Henry Sinclar of Sanneberg, who was married to Anders van Bergen of Onerheim farm in Söndhordlehn, who at the close of the fifteenth century was a Norwegian Councillor of State ("Samlinger til det Norske Folksprog og Historie," vol. iii., p. 576). In addition to a Captain Sinclar, who is named in 1645, there is also mention, as being in this country in the seventeenth century, of one David Sinclar, who was on the 2nd August 1669 appointed by King Frederick III. Bailie of Eger or Lier, and who held the farm of Sem in Eger as tenant under the Crown; as also a Gregers Sinclar, who was undoubtedly related to the Sinclar just named, and who in 1688 lived at Vestfossen in Eger, where in that year, at the farm of Hals, he caused copper-works, with a smelting-house and stamping-mill, to be erected, but which, after working unsuccessfully for four years, he was obliged to abandon. Even at the end of the last century persons of the name of Sinclar resided in this country (Kraft's "Norges Beskr," part ii., pp. 406, 407; Ström's "Egers Beskr," p. 56; and documents in the State Archives and in the Archives of the Municipality of Christiania). It would, however, be difficult, in the absence of historical information, to decide how far any of the above-mentioned persons were related to each other, or whether any of them were descended from the noble Scottish family of Sinclair, as there was a whole clan of that name in Scotland. The Andrew (Anders) Sinclar above-mentioned may have belonged to that family, from which also the various Swedish noble families of that name are said to have derived their origin. Francis (Frants) Sinclar was the first of that name who was raised, in 1649, to the order of Swedish knighthood and nobility. (See Stjernman's "Register of Swedish Knighthood and Nobility," part i., pp. 425, 516, and 710, and p. 22, part iii.)

The Scottish noble family of Sinclair or St. Clair is of Norman origin, but it came originally from St. Clair in France, whence William St. Clair--a son of Walter, Earl of St. Clair, and Margaret, daughter of Richard, Duke of Normandy--emigrated in the twelfth century to Scotland, where he acquired extensive lands in Midlothian. The possessions of his descendants increased considerably under the munificence of the Kings of Scotland, especially during the reign of Robert Bruce, and embraced at last the baronies of Roslyn, Pentland, Cowsland, Catcune, and others. One of the same William St. Clair's descendants in a direct line--namely, Henry St. Clair (de Sancto Claro)--was in 1379 made, by King Hakon VI. of Norway, Jarl or Earl of the Orkney Islands, which were then under the suzerainty of the kingdom of Norway, and his family held that dignity until the year 1471, when by an Act of Parliament the Orkney Islands were annexed to the Scottish Crown, and in compensation for the same, William St. Clair, then Earl of Orkney and Earl of Caithness, received from King James III. the Castle of Ravensheuch, of which the ruins, still in existence, belong to the Earls of Roslyn, who represent a branch of the St. Clair family. According to Stjernman, the Earl of Orkney (_vide_ "Catalogus Comitum Orcadensium" in the "Orkneyinga Saga," Havniæ, 1780) used as his motto the word "Fight." As adherents of the House of Stuart, the St. Clair family lost its lands and was obliged to wander in exile. As is well known, Walter Scott has described the tragical fate of the family in the sixth canto of his "Lay of the Last Minstrel." The family is, however, widely spread in Scotland, and the noble Swedish family of the same name is said to be descended from the St. Clairs of Freswick and Dunbeath. Although there is no historical certainty that George Sinclair, who fell at Kringlen, was also descended from the noble Scotch family of St. Clair, yet it is very probable that such was the case.

[131] [Dean Krag is probably right in doubting the authenticity of the "Sinclair pistols" at Copenhagen. The initials on them must be those of Anders or "Sir Andrew" Sinclair. Many of his letters to Robert, Earl of Salisbury, written between 1607 and 1621, are in the Public Record Office, London. In 1607, while in the service of the King of Denmark, he received £1,000 from King James I.; and in 1610 he urged Lord Salisbury to send him his pension, and also to obtain a loan from King James, as he had bought lands in Denmark of the value of forty thousand crowns, part of which he still owed. In 1610 he asked Lord Salisbury to be godfather and to give his Christian name to a son born in that year, his two elder sons having been named James and Christian. In 1611 he was made governor of the castle and town of Calmar. He was sent as ambassador to England in 1621. There was evidently no direct connection between him and George Sinclair, whose descent has been well established.--T. M.]

[132] Scheel's "Krigens Skueplads" (Seat of War), translated by Thaarup, p. 30; Bloch's "Reiseagttagelser" (Notes of Travel), p. 22; and Wilse's "Spydebergs Beskrivelse," Appendix, p. 68.

[133] [The farms here mentioned belonged at that time to the Crown, and had only been held on leases by the occupiers. The deeds of gift by Christian IV. are given _in extenso_ in an Appendix to the Rev. H. P. S. Krag's work, but it has not been deemed necessary to reproduce them here.--T.M.]

[134] In a letter, dated Österaad, December 20, 1651, and preserved in the State Archives of Norway, Chancellor Ove Bjelke recommends the Norwegian Stadtholder Iver Krabbe to help a "Peder Eckre, formerly lensmand in Dovre," to obtain justice in a certain cause. He writes that he had "known his father, who was the man that had beaten Hr. Georgium Sincklar, who wanted to lead the Scottish folk through Gudbrandsdalen." In Gram's Census is named as a tenant at Lessö, in addition to Lauritz (Lars) Hage, also a Lauritz Eckre; but it is not improbable that Lars Hage had also the lease of Ekre, and consequently the two persons would be identical. In the latter case, it may be assumed that Peder Ekre was a son of Lars Hage, who may have inherited the farm of Ekre and the office of lensmand from his father. There is no doubt that Peder Ekre is the lensmand of that name who (according to Hjorthöi, part ii., p. 7) received from the Crown the farm of Hundenæs in Lessö for his "loyalty and diligence" at the siege of Trondhjem in the year 1658; and if this is so, he was a brave son of a brave father.

[135] In addition to the _poetical_ treatment of the event by Edvard Storm in the romance which is so popular for its "Homeric _naïveté_," it has been treated _dramatically_ by K. L. Rahbek under the title of "Skottekrigen eller Bondebrylluppet i Gudbrandsdalen" (The Scottish War; or, The Bonde Wedding in Gudbrandsdalen). It was published separately (Copenhagen, 1810), and is also to be found in the collection of his plays, vol. ii., pp. 1-83. The event is also the subject of a tragedy by Henry Wergeland, "Sinclars Död" (Sinclair's Death), Christiania, 1828; and J. St. Wang's novel, "Skottertoget eller Slaget ved Kringen" (The Scottish Expedition; or, The Battle of Kringen), two volumes, Christiania, 1836 and 1837, is founded upon it.

Part III.


Historical Documents.



_Letter from_ SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER _to the_ KING, _dated from Coppenhagen the 8 of Juin 1612_.

Most humbly sheweth unto your Majestie,

* * * * *

Moreover Sir, they heire are much greeved against Scottis men, in regairde of some Scottis shippes, that have nowe of late fallen in, In Norroway,[137] and done great hurt unto the inhabitants there, and taken sindrie shippes out of theire havens, which the Dunkirkers never did in tyme of warre: the one shippe is found to have been the Erle of Orknayis, for shee was a flybotte of Dunkerke, that he had, and one Stewart is Captane of herre; ther is another shippe in the companie whois captaine is also named Stewart; and they have a thirde shippe the Captane wherof is a Hollander: and the fourth is a pryse that they have taken: they have beene the first, thirde and fyft of Juin, in sundrie harbreis of Norroway; I have myself reade the letters sent hither to the Chancellor, with havie complaints against them. They heere doe beleeve certainely, that they have commission, ather from Wormistoun, or els from S^r Robert Stewart, wich I have protested instantlie against, assuring them that if such a thing be with there consent, they never darre looke yo^r M^{tie} in the face. In lyk maner this last winter, at my being heere in Denmark in that great defaitte that Gustavus had, there was a Skots Ansient[138] taken prisoner when there was no quarter kept amongst them, whois name is Pryngle; the King wpone my most humble suit, and by meanes of the Chancellor, sett him at libertie, in regard that he was your M^{is} subject, as he hath done sindrie others: this Pringle, efter he had given his oathe and a reversse taken under his hand, that he should never goe to Sweden, nather serve against the King of Denmark, he is now taken againe, in a shippe going to Sweden, and I am almost ashamed to speek any more, in his behalfe; with such things I ame oft met heere: as also with thir Inglish mariners sindrie discontent. So I humblie crave your M^{tie} pardone, for trowbling of your M^{tie} with thir Idle matters, but they being used as arguments against me in conference, I thought good to lett your M^{tie} know the trewth.

* * * * *

_Draft from the_ KING'S SECRETARY _to_ SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER, _dated 9, August 1612_.


His Ma^{ty} hath commanded me to lett you understand that having heard yesternight by meere accident that certein companies of men were levying in Scotland and redy to embarke under the conduct of Ramsey, Steward and some other captaines his Ma^{ty} enquiring whither they intended it was told him that they went for Sweeden, which his Ma^{ty} being displeased with gave order presently for the stay of the levy and whereas some good number of them were alredy embarked before his Ma^{ty} heard the newes or redy to embarke his Highness also hath given order to discharge them and doth utterly disadvow anie act of theirs and although he have been told by ther frendes that they desired to serve the King of Sweeden in Muscovy and they should be farre from annoying the King of Denmarke yet was not his Ma^{ty} satisfied therwith but hath sent to forbidde them, accompting it all one to serve the King of Sweden there or neerer to Denmarke for that it should but enable him to use the greater force against the King of Denmarke. And this his Ma^{ty} doth out of memory of his promise to the King of Denmarke and out of his especiall care to discharge all parts of a kinde frend and brother towardes him. And least anie evill report should be brought to his eare of the levying and embarking of these men his Ma^{ty} thought fit to be the first reporter of it himselfe by you his Minister there and his pleasure therefore is that you take the first opportunity to advertise him of it in his Ma^{tys} name both how the levy was without his Ma^{tys} warrant and how spedely his Highnes uppon the first hearing of it did take order to prohibit their proceeding.


_From Halmestade the [=10] of Agust 1612._

Most humbly sheweth unto your Majestie,

* * * * *

The King of Denmark is informed, that one Menigowe a fleeming, haveing in companie with him fyfteen hundreth men, is to meet with Androw Ramsay, in some pairt of the North of Scotland, about Caithness, or Orknay, who hath in lyk maner moe than a thowsand Scottis men with, and so they mynd to joine their forces togither, and to fall upon Norroway, and spoile some towns, and so to goe into Sweden. The King of Denmark doeth much mervaile theirat, in regaird of that letter which your M^{tie} sent wnto him, when Sir Robert Stewart, and Maister Ramsay went first into Sweden: whereby your M^{tie} desyred, that they might pass saively, for particulairs of their owne; and that their going shuld in no wayis prejudge the King of Denmark: notwithstanding Maister Ramsay being come to Sweden, maid offer of his service to the Prince and State of Sweden: and coming owt againe, had letters and directions to my Lord of Wormeston, which he did throw in the sea, being taken prisoner by the King of Denmarks ships, and browght unto the King, and examined upon his oathe if he had any commission for leveing of men, for the King of Swedens wss, or if he intended to goe bak againe to serve him: all which he then flatly denyed, and did sweare that he shuld never serve against Denmark; wherewpon he was dismissed, with a saveconduict to goe through the King of Denmarks dominions. Notwithstanding of this, the King of Denmark is certainly informed by men comed owt of Scotland, that he hath leveed men about Eden^{gh} and imbarked them at Leeth: And moreover his M^{tie} tould me of a particular man that wes killed in Leith by one of his companie, which caused a great sturre amongst some noble men, and the towne of Leith. His M^{tie} wsed this speech as an argument to prove, that such leveis, and imbarkements so neere to Eden^{bh} could not be done without permission of the State: whereto I answered, that I beleeved certainly, that these leveis were not, by any authoritie of your M^{tie} or the State, but only voluntarie men, of whom the cuntry is full, for want of Imployment.[139] And moreover I called his M^{tie} to mynd, that 10 yeers agoe when William Ogilvye, and 6 yeers agoe when Wormeston went over in tyme of peace betwixt Denmark and Sweden: notwithstanding I know perfytly, that none of them had licence to lift wp men, without express command of your M^{tie} that they shuld never Imploy themselves, or their men, against the crowne of Denmark; farre more easily his M^{tie} myght beleeve that now in tyme of warres y^r M^{tie} would give leave to no subject of yours, to goe serve against him: I perceave by the Kings speeches if they come in his hands, they shall runne a great hasard.

* * * * *

His Majesty heering of the forces that M^r Ramsay and Menigow have assembled did send shippes alreadie, towards the coaste of Norroway: and heering certainly of their strenth, intendeth to send moe shippes and men.

* * * * *

receaved 17^{th} Septem at Havering.

SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER _to_ SIR THOMAS LACHE, _Knyght and secretairie to his M^{tie}_.

_From Coppenhagen the 26 of Agust 1612._

Honorable Knyght,

* * * * *

Efter that Wormestons man was send away, I receaved upon the morrow, the Kings M^{teis} directions, conteaned in your letter, concerning M^r Ramsayis proceedings: I hope his M^{tie} shall be content with my answers, to the King of Denmarks objections and complaints against M^r Ramsey and his doings: for the King was long before informed of his proceedings, with one Menigow a fleeming who shuld joine with him, and fournish him armour, and money: as I have written at large in my letter to his M^{tie}.

* * * * *

_Draft of Letter from the_ KING _to_ SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER, _dated 16, Sept 1612_.

Trustie etc.

* * * * *

As for the Scottishmen gon into Sweeden; wee hope that by o^r Lres by Quarryer w^{ch} wilbe w^{th} yo^w before these, the King will have receaved satisfa[=ccon] in that matter. And as wee wrote then, wee wold bee curious to informe ourself, how that cold be, considering o^r order given to the contrary, when o^r Secretary of Scotland shold be come, who was then upon the way, soe have wee upon his arrivall made very straight enquiry of the passage of that matter, and cannot find other then this; That as heretofore upon our first entring into this Kingdome, the Earle Hume and some others did Levye some men for the Archdukes service (though making us privately acquainted w^{th} it) yet having no publique warrant nor striking any drumme, but only passing them in silence; Soe now the Captens of this Levye did by that example suppose to themselves; that usuing the same privie maner of proceeding w^{th}out drumme or Ensigne displayed (though not making us acquainted w^{th} it) they might without offence have caryed away such as they cold move voluntarily to goe; the rather, for that they protest they had no purpose to serve against the King of Denmarke, but to be employed in Muscovia; a misconceipt of theires w^{ch} wee doe no wayes allowe; for indeed it is all one, as if they did, seeing their serving the King of Sweeden in that part doth but enable him to be the stronger against Denmarke. And o^r said Secretary doth further assure us upon his creditt w^{th} us; that the Levye was so closely caryed, as that untill o^r Lres came to o^r Councell of Scotland for the stay of them; he had never for himselfe heard of any such thing to be in hand; He doth further adde that it is likely; that Andrew Ramsey being the cheif of the buisnes (whose brother all men knowe what place he hath w^{th} us) many did suppose that it was not w^{th}out our liking; that he undertooke the transporting of them, untill by our prohibition the contrary was made manifest. Although these be the excuses, w^{ch} our Councell of Scotland have made to us for this erro^r, yet have they not so satisfied us therew^{th}, that that wee have lett them knowe how much wee mislike some dullnes of theirs, w^{ch} they ca[=n]ot avoyd; And wee doe assure o^{r}self that hereafter no like thing will happen; and pray the King to be perswaded; that if any of ours shall soe farre forth forgett themselves as to serve any Adversarye of his; wee shall impute it to them for no lesse fault, then if they served an Enemy of our owne;

As for that point; concerning Andrew Ramsey, wherew^{th} the King doth charge him; that having heretofore (after service don to the late King of Sweeden) found favo^r at the King o^r brothers hande; and given his faith to him never to serve the King of Sweeden against him more; wee are so much displeased w^{th} his cariage therein; as we meane to take a due tryall thereof; and if he doe not give us satisfaccon although by course of Lawe the fact be of that nature as hath no punishment p^{r}scribed; yet shall o^r usage towarde him be such; as all men shall perceive how farre wee mislike men of so unworthie disposi[=con].

_Draft from the_ KING _to_ SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER, _dated 30, Sept 1612_.

Trustie, etc.

* * * * *

Yo^w shall also lett him understand concerning Andrew Ramsey, as wee wrote in o^r last lres to yo^u wee wold; so did wee take to speedie order to have a tryall made what he could answere to the fowle fact of breach of his faith to the Kings Ministers who had him prisoner w^{ch} yo^r lres did charge him w^{th}; for w^{ch} purpose, he being called before o^r Councell hid himself; and being often su[=m]oned and not appearing, is for his contempt at the Horn, whereby yo^u may say unto the King, he hath now given us a good ground to punishe him by coorse of lawe; for that before although his fact proving true; we might have ever thought of him as a naughtie and unworthie person, yet could wee not have inflicted any punishement uppon him, for that the declaring of Shelmo is not in use w^{th} us. But now having out of his owne fact putt himself in the daunger of the lawe wee have ground to proceed against him; whereby the King and all men shall see how much we detest such acts.

Wee have also taken a coorse to trye whenne the moneys came w^{ch} wee heard he had distributed to the men he levyed; And we doe find that the money came not out of Sweeden; but from whence he had it wee will spare to deliver at this p[=n]t, but at yo^r retorne wee will make yo^u acquainted w^{th} it, and by yo^u, the King shall afterwardes understand.


_From Coppenhagen 26 October 1612._

Humblie sheweth unto your Majestie,

* * * * *

Doutles your M^{tie} heth hard, of that infortunat accident that hapned unto [=300] of your M^{is} subjects, which landed in Norroway, under the conduict of Alex^r Ramsay, (Lieutenant Coronell unto Coronel Ramsay) captane Hay, and Captane Sinclaire. Efter they had martched six dayis within the cuntry, pressing to goe through to Sweden, were overcharged by the inhabitants of the cuntry, and all killed, except some few, of which the said lieutenant Ramsay, and Captane Bruce, James Monypenny, and James Scott these foure were sent to Denmark efter their coming hither, a counsell of warre was called, to have examined them, and efterward to have given judgement upon them. Efter I had spoken with them, and fand that theire journey was interprysed rashly, and rather simple then weel advysed; for not one of them had any kynd off commission or warrant to shew, nather from the late King Charles, nather from Gustavus, neither from Coronell Ramsay; wherein first they would have beene condemned of great simplicitie, or ignorance: and nixt founde to be plaine invaders, and ravers of the Kings Dominiouns, and subjects, and a severe judgem[=e]t would have followed, in regairde the King was much discontented, for eviting of this publick censure, and danger, I thought good to labour to have them privily examined in the presence only of the Chancellore and Bredo Rantzow, where I was myself, (unworthie) present: their depositione is sent with them selfs unto your M^{tie} hoping it shall be farre better for them to come into the hands of your Royall M^{tie} whoe ever had used grace, and clemencie unto those, that offends of simplicitye, and not of willfulnes.

* * * * *

_Letter from_ SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER _to_ SIR THOMAS LACHE, _Knyght, etc. Coppenhagen, 26 of October 1612_.

* * * * *

I dout not but you have hard the infortunat newis of these 300 Scottis men that went to Norroway; the bours of the country haue killed, and murthered them all, except some few, whereof Captane Alex^r Ramsay, Captane Henry Bruce, James Monypenny, and James Scott are saved, and sent by the King of Denmark unto his M^{tie} of great Britannie: for it is much better for them to come in the hands of a gratious and mercifull King, then to runne the hasarde and judgement of a merschel court of warre, which was heere ordained for them, if I had not prevented it, and procured, efter private examination, that they shuld be sent into Ingland.

* * * * *

_Paper endorsed 15, Sep 1612._ _The examination of_ ALEXANDER RAMSEY.


Anno MDCXII. die XV. mensis Octobris, in horto Sereniss^{mi} ac Potentiss^{mi} Principis ac Domini, Domini CHRISTIANI Quarti, Daniæ, Norwagiæ, etc. Regis & Domini nostri clementissimi, coram nobis, Roberto Anstrutero, Ser^{mi} magnæ Britanniæ pro tempore Legato, Christiano Frisio et Bredone Rantzovio, regni Daniæ Senatoribus, constitutus Alexander Ramse, et ad diversa interrogata, hæc quæ sequuntur, confessus fuit.

Se ab Andrea Ramse in Locum tenentem assumptum: dictum verò Andream, se Caroli, Regis Sueciæ, literis, ad summi Ducis officium ascitum esse, affirmasse: Veruntamen nullas hac de re literas vidisse: De stipendio non conventum esse; spem sibi factam, fore, ut tantum stipendii, quantum quilibet alter supremi Ducis Locum tenens in Suecia, acciperet.

Correptus; quod S^æ R^æ M^{tis} Magnæ Britanniæ mandatum transgressus esset, contrà intulit se prænominati Andreæ Ramse fidem sequutum: Dixerat enim, jamdicta S^a M^{te} Magnæ Britanniæ sciente et indulgente illa fieri.

Societatem constitisse tribus, suâ propriâ, et duabus aliis personis, Georgio Sincklar et Georgio Hey, singulis centum peditum præfectis.

Se, Alexandrum, Dondi navim conscendisse: duos verò prædictos Capitaneos Ketnes, insularum, quæ Orcadibus annumerantur, unâ, tribus miliaribus Germanicis Orcadibus distante solvisse.

Senatores regni Scotiæ hæc omnia latere, neq^e facultatem unquam petitam; Verùm præfati Andreæ Ramse verbis et promissis nitentes, transfretasse.

Sistendi locum fuisse præfixum sub Hetlandia, quò mille militibus, et tribus armorum millibus Munichouen, ut et supremus Dux Hacket, Scotus, mille peditibus instructi, confluerent, numero ad tria millia accrescente.

Secundo die Augusti illinc solvisse: Se, Alexandrum Ramse, 400 Sterlingorum libras, in centum milites impendisse. Majores enim sumptus fieri, furtim et clam, quàm publicé, militem conscribendo.

Jacobum Nisbet Edinburgensem, periculum, quod navis incurrere posset, in se recepisse. Rusticos Norwagienses iter monstrasse, ubi appulerant in Ramsdal, in Iisfiord.

Huic examini interfuere Jacobus Monipenne et Jacobus Scott.

In majorem hujusce examinis et confessionis, præfati Alexandri Ramse, fidem, propriarum manuum subscriptione hæc corroborare voluimus. Actum Hafniæ, [=15] die mensis Octobris, Anno &c. 1612.



BRINDE RANTZOVIO _manu hanc_, etc.

_Translation of foregoing._

In the year 1612, on the fifteenth day of the month of October, in the garden of the Most Serene and Powerful Prince and Lord, CHRISTIAN the Fourth, King of Denmark, Norway, etc., and our most gracious Liege, was Alexander Ramsay brought into the presence of us, Robert Anstruther, _pro tem_. Ambassador of His Most Serene Majesty of Great Britain, Christian Friis, and Brinde Rantzow, councillors of the realm of Denmark, and in answer to divers questions made the statements which do hereinafter follow:--

That he had been appointed to the post of lieutenant-colonel by Andrew Ramsay; that the said Andrew had declared that he had been appointed to the office of colonel by a letter from Charles, King of Sweden, but he had himself seen no such letter; that there had been no agreement concerning pay; that he had been led to hope that he would receive as much pay as any other lieutenant-colonel serving in Sweden.

When reproached with having gone beyond the commands of His Majesty of Great Britain, he set forth in his defence that he had relied on the word of the aforesaid Andrew Ramsay; for he had said that those things were being done with the knowledge and approval of His aforesaid Sacred Majesty of Great Britain.

That an agreement had been made between three persons, himself and two others, George Sinclair and George Hay, each being in command of a hundred infantry.

That he, Alexander, had embarked at Dundee; but the two aforesaid captains had set sail from Caithness, one of the islands which are reckoned among the Orkneys (_sic_), but distant three German miles from the Orkneys.

That all these things were unknown to the Council of the kingdom of Scotland, nor had any permission been applied for; but that relying on the words and promises of the aforesaid Andrew Ramsay, they had crossed the sea.

That a stopping-place had been fixed upon beforehand off Shetland, where Mönnichhofen, furnished with a thousand soldiers and three thousand arms, as also General(?) Hacket (Halkett) of Scotland, with a thousand infantry, were to meet, the number increasing to three thousand.

That they had set sail from that place on the second day of August. That he, Alexander Ramsay, had spent four hundred pounds sterling upon a hundred soldiers; for that greater expenses were incurred in enlisting soldiers privily and secretly than (by enlisting them) publicly.

That James Nisbet of Edinburgh had taken upon himself the risk which the ship might incur. That the Norwegian peasants had shown them the way, when they had landed at Romsdal in Iisfiord.

At this examination were present James Moneypenny and James Scott.

That more reliance may be placed on this examination and deposition of the aforesaid Alexander Ramsay, we have wished to corroborate these statements by the signatures of our own hands.

Done at Copenhagen, the 15th day of the month of October, in the year, etc., 1612.


CHRISTIAN FRIIS. (_Sign manual._)

BRINDE RANTZOW. (_Sign manual._)

_Paper endorsed 1612, 27 Nov._ _The examination of_ ANDREW RAMSEY _gent_.

The examination of Androw Ramsey gent. taken the 27 Nov. 1612, in the presence of the Duke of L[=en]ox and Ld. Viscount Fenton.

Being asked when he came out of Sweeden whether he had any commission from the King of Sweeden for levying of men he confesseth he had but for service against the Muscovite and that being taken by the King of Denmarkes ships he cast it into the sea.

Being asked when he was taken by the ships of Denmarke and examined whether he made any promise or gave anie oth for not serving against the King of Denmarke he denyeth that ever he made anie such promise by speach or by oth or was ever pressed to do so nor did at that time see the King of Denmarke.

Being asked how he durst undertake or goe about to levy men in Scotland without the Kings licence or privity He sayth he did it of ignorance not knowing but that he might lawfully take such as wold goe And for his fault submitteth himself to his Ma^{ts} mercy as also for using the Kings name to induce others w^{ch} he confesseth he did and promised them to stand between them and anie danger.

Being asked if the King were acquainted w^{th} his doings He sayeth, he never had any leave oversight or connivence directly or indirectly from the King; either by himself; or by meanes or significa[=con] of any other bodie.

Being asked if any of the Kings Councell of Scotland or any other officers of the Kings were acquainted with his doings or did encourage him. He sayth he never acquainted anie with it nor receaved anie encouragement from them or anie els.


_Paper endorsed The examination of_ ANDROW RAMSEY _and_ ROBERT DOWGLAS.


Anno MDCXI. die XIX. mensis Decembris. S^a R^a M^{tas} Daniæ, Norwegiæ & Dominus noster clementissimus, nobis infra nominatis, clementissime injunxit, ut Scotum quendam, Andream Ramsö, qui una cum duobus Locumtenentibus, totidemq^e famulis, navi ex Suecia Lubecam tendens, in itinere unà cum navi captus atq^e Hafniam conductus fuerat, posteà verò huc, uno Vicetenente comite, se receperat, de subsequentibus capitibus, propriâ S^æ R^æ M^{tis} manu designatis, interrogaremus, et quemlibet separatim examini submitteremus.

1. Ubi locorum familiaritatem primò colere ceperint, quo hospitio et hospite usi sint.

2. Quomodo commeatum vel abeundi facultatem obtinuerit.

3. Quot peregrini militum præfecti adhuc in Suecia, et quinam eorum ad conscribendum militem extra regnum, degant.

4. Quorum conterraneorum, et ad quos literas secum ferant. Nullum enim dubium, quin tam Stuardus, quàm alii ad suos amicos, literas dederint.

5. Quidnam Stuardus cum literis salvi conductus, Calmariæ a Nobis acceptis, egerit.

6. Causam dicat, cur Stuardus ab omnibus Suecis, Regis magnæ Britanniæ, appelletur legatus.

7. Quasnam conditiones obtulerint Stuardo, ipsius ære se liberandi.

Vicetenens speciatim interrogandus, quomodo à Capitaneo suo discesserit, et sub quo summo Duce stipendia fecerit.

Cùm vero meridianâ sit luce clarius, ejusmodi viris, qui diu in Suecia militarem operam præstiterunt, sine specialioribus passagii literis, abitum minime concedi, quo pacto inde solverit.

Hoc clementissimo mandato accepto, statim Ottonis, arcis præfecti conclave, locum comparendi præfato Ramsö assignavimus, ibidem eundem separatim examinavimus, et quæ sequuntur, in medium proferentem audivimus.

Ad primum articulum: Locumtenentem, hic sibi comitem consanguineum suum esse: Eundem Stockholmiæ, in diversorio Ducis Johannis, cuivis ibi loci noto, quando cum suo capitaneo Lörmundt, etiam Scoto, ex Livonia, ubi per quinquennium militasset veniret, casu in se incidisse. Se, Ramsö, dicto vicetenenti veniam apud Ducem Gustavum impetrasse.

Ad secundum: Nullas sibi, neq^e Regis, neq^e Ducum, Gustavi et Johannis, verùm unas tantum Vicetenentis Stockholmiæ, in suum ipsius duorum Locum-tenentium totidemq^e famulorum usum, salvi conductus literas fuisse, quas Waxholmi, antequam navim ascendissent, redditas post se reliquisset.

Ad tertium: Sequentes Duces et præfectos militum, adhuc in Suecia commorari; Summum Ducem Roderfört, Scotum, ejusdem Locum-tenentem Lormundt; Horum Legionem vel regimen constare 8 vel 9 cohortibus; Capitaneum Wachop; Munichow; Summum Ducem Due; Casparum Matzen; Græc, Scotum, magistrum machinarum fulminalium. In obsidione Calmariæ, Sclopetæ globo jamdictu Graec tibiam alteram ita vulneratam, ut 20 ossicula exempta fuerint, atq^e jam num de vita ipsius desperari. An aliqui, ad conscribendum externum militem emissi sint, se omnino nescium esse.

Ad quartum: Nullas se habere literas.

Ad quintum: Stuardum literas salvi conductus navarchæ, à quo Calmariâ Rusbuy vectus erat, tradidisse, ut èo meliùs ad suos redire posset; vicetenentem etiam Hafniensem affirmasse, ad suas manus prædictas literas venisse.

Ad sextum: Vulgum de Stuardo tanquam de Legato sentire; Stuardum verò hoc ægrè ferre. In aula tamen non idem de ipso judicium fieri.

Ad septimum: Solutionis spe in ver proximum, pecunia vel cupro interfuturo, Stuardum lactari.

Cæterum: prænominatus Ramsö, per discursum et incidenter retulit, Dominum de la Ville, Gedanum abiisse, 7,000 Joachimicorum, ibidem sibi numerandorum, literis cambii acceptis: Verùm nihil, nisi fraudem et vana promissa, expertum esse: In obsidione Calmariæ latus alterum ipsi globo ictum:

Dixisse etiam, quamvis ab Angelo cœlis delapso, sibi suaderetur, ut in Suecia pedem sisteret, nequaquam tamen se facturum.

Omnes præfectos vel officiales regni Sueciæ, in Calmariæ obsidione, præter Monnichowen, vulneratos esse: Ea ex causa, quod cæteros prudentia anteiret, et eminus certare novisset. Hisce peractis, ipsum in hospitium dimisimus, et Locumtenentem, Robertum Douglis, accersi curavimus, eodem planè modo, ut supra ad præfatos articulos responsionem ejus flagitantes.

Respondit: Se et dictum Ramsö, amitinos esse: In Scotia uxorem et liberos se habere, ibidemq^e mali quid perpetrasse; in Livonia, per sexennium militasse; Lubecam navi, cum qua captus erat, tendisse; Eandem, pro ut navarcha videndi copiam fecisset, cuprum et ferrum vehere.

Neq^e abitus neq^e conductus literas habere; et nisi in hunc Ramsö forte incidisset, ex Suecia discedendi potestatem sibi denegatam fuisse; Spatio 4 annorum, tribus mensibus exceptis, nihil stipendii se accepisse. Capitaneum suum nunc in Suecia prope Boosund commorari; Se tres septimanas solummodo in Suecia substitisse; Nicopingi verò Capitaneum suum liquisse: Et quamvis commeatum petiisset, nihil tamen, nisi, abeas, abeas, se ab eo oretenus obtinuisse. A Duce Gustavo, illum petere, minime ausum fuisse: Capitaneum suum, officia sua, Suecis ulterius promisisse: sex prætereà Capitaneos, natione Scotos, ibidem adhuc inservire: Dominum de la Barre, circa 500 Equites Suecos ducere; limites defendere; nullum alias peregrinum superesse militem.

Sex cohortes, 600 Equitum numero, ex Livoniâ proximo vere exspectari. Se audivisse, quòd in Suecia, ne unica quidem Germani militis cohors, integra sit. De conscribendo externo milite, nihil sibi constare, nisi de eo postquam comitia finem habuerint, quidpiam inaudiri possit.

Gustavum specioso illo verbo, accipietis, accipietis, creditores æra residua exigentes, prensare et pascere.

Nullas se habere literas, præter unas Mercatoris, cujusdam, et schedulam cambii, 150 Thalerorum, ad civem quendam Lubecensem, Hermannum Scheflerum; prædictam schedulam Rostochium mittendam.

De salvi conductus Stuardi literis, nihil sibi constare. Stuardum verò præter victum nihil accepisse; ibidem hiemem consumpturum.

Non esse legatum, Stuardum: Rusticos quidem ita eum nuncupare: primò ibidem à se visum.

Suecos maximâ consternatione percitos; destitui militibus; post comitia, huc legatos missum iri; Regem Carolum, à populo devoveri; Naves prope Stockholmiam, non nautis, sed Rustica plebe, regi; Pane et halece, vulgò Strömling, victitare: In Muscovia etiam milites fame perire.

Suecum non habiturum peregrinum, siquidem optimus hisce in oris jam adsit, militem.

Alterum illum Locum-tenentem, qui nunc Hafniæ, præterita æstate in Suecia, antea verò in Livonia militasse; ab hisce aliena non relaturum.

Quod hæc omnia, ut supra consignata sunt, ita interrogaverimus, et responsiones ad interrogata factas, præsentes audiverimus, manuum nostrarum subscriptione et sigillis testamur.

Actum Friderichsburgi, 19 die Decembris 1611.

GEORGIUS LUNG, Sacr^æ Reg^æ M^{tis} Daniæ, etc., in Orum præfectus, et summus Dux.

JOACHIMUS BULOW, Sacr^æ R^æ Ma^{tis} Daniæ, etc., in Friderichsburg præfectus, Equitum magister.

THOBIAS LAUTERBRAOS, Sacr^æ Reg^æ Ma^{tis} Daniæ, etc., exteraram nationum Cancellariæ Secretarius.

_Translation of the foregoing._

In the year 1611, on the nineteenth day of the month of December, His Royal Majesty of Denmark, Norway, etc., our most gracious Lord, did most graciously enjoin upon us the undersigned to interrogate upon the following heads, as set forth by His Royal Majesty's own hand, a certain Scot, Andrew Ramsay, who, while crossing by sea from Sweden to Lubeck with two lieutenants and two servants, had been, together with the vessel, captured on the voyage and brought into Copenhagen, and had afterwards, accompanied by one lieutenant, made his way to this place; and, further, to submit each of them to separate examination:--

1. Where did these two first become intimate? At whose house and at whose hands did they receive entertainment?

2. How he obtained a letter of safe-conduct or a permission to leave the country.

3. How many foreign officers are still in Sweden, and who of them are engaged in raising troops abroad.

4. From whom among their countrymen and to whom they are conveying letters. For there is no doubt that Stuart as well as others have given letters to their friends.

5. What Stuart did with the letter of safe-conduct which he received from us at Calmar.

6. Let him tell the reason why Stuart is called by all the Swedes ambassador of the King of Great Britain.

7. What conditions they have offered to Stuart with a view to freeing themselves from their debt to him.

The lieutenant to be asked especially how he came to leave his captain, and under what commander (general?) he has served.

And since it is clearer than noonday that men like these, who have long served in Sweden, would by no means be allowed to leave the country without a special passport, how he managed to get away from thence.

Immediately after this most gracious mandate had been received, we assigned to the said Ramsay the private chamber of Otto, the governor of the castle, as the place where he should present himself, and there we examined him separately, and heard him make openly the following statements:--

In answer to the first question--

That the lieutenant, his companion here, was a relative of his. That he had fallen in with him by chance at Stockholm in the country-house of Duke John--a house well known to every one in that place--on his return with his captain, Learmonth, also a Scot, from Livonia, where he had served for five years. That he, Ramsay, had obtained leave to go (pardon?) from Duke Gustavus for the said lieutenant.

To the second--

That he had had no letter of safe-conduct either from the King or from Dukes Gustavus and John, but only one from the lieutenant-governor of Stockholm, for the use of himself, his two lieutenants, and his two servants, which letter he had given up and left behind him at Waxholm[140] before they embarked.

To the third--

That the following commanders and officers were still left in Sweden:--General Rutherford, a Scot, and his lieutenant Learmonth; that their force or regiment consisted of eight or nine companies; Captain Wauchope; Mönnichhofen; General Due; Caspar Matzen; Greig, a Scotchman, commander of the artillery. That at the siege of Calmar the aforesaid Greig had been so severely wounded in the shin-bone by a cannon-ball that twenty pieces of bone were taken out, and even then they had little hope of his life. That he does not know at all whether any officers have been sent to levy soldiers abroad.

To the fourth--

That he has no letters.

To the fifth--

That Stuart had given up the letter of safe-conduct to the captain of the ship, who took him from Calmar to Ryswik(?)[141] to facilitate his return home. Besides, the lieutenant-governor of Copenhagen had stated that the aforesaid letter had come into his hands.

To the sixth--

That the common people looked upon Stuart in the light of an ambassador, and that this annoyed him greatly; but at the Court he was not regarded in the same light.

To the seventh--

That Stuart was being cajoled by the hope of payment in the following spring, either in money or in copper.

Further: the said Ramsay did state, by the way and incidentally, that the Sieur de la Ville had gone away to Danzig on the receipt of a letter of credit to the amount of seven thousand dollars, payable to him at that place, but that he had met with nothing but lies and vain promises; that at the siege of Calmar he (de la Ville?) had been struck in the side by a ball; and, further, he had said that though an angel were to come down from heaven to persuade him to set foot in Sweden, he would certainly refuse to do so.

That all the officers or officials in the employment of the King of Sweden at the siege of Calmar had been wounded, except Mönnichhofen; and the reason was that he surpassed the others in prudence, and knew how to fight from a distance.

After this had been gone through, we dismissed him to his lodging, and had the lieutenant, Robert Douglas, called, and in exactly the same manner as above required him to answer to the aforesaid questions.

He answered:--

That he and the said Ramsay were cousins; that he had a wife and children in Scotland, and had committed some crime there; that he had served for six years in Livonia; that he had been on his way to Lubeck in the ship in which he had been captured; that the same ship was carrying a cargo of iron and copper, as far as the captain had given him an opportunity of seeing.

That he had no permission to leave the country, or letter of safe-conduct; and had he not chanced upon this Ramsay, leave to depart out of Sweden would have been refused him; that in the course of four years, with the exception of three months, he had received no pay; that his captain was now in Sweden in the neighbourhood of Boosund; that he himself had only stayed three weeks in Sweden, but had left his captain at Nyköping; and that although he had asked for a letter of safe-conduct, he had received nothing in answer to his entreaties but the words, "Begone, begone with you;" that he had not dared to ask Duke Gustavus for this letter; that his captain had promised his further services to the Swedes; that six captains besides, Scotchmen by birth, were still in the service of the country; that the Sieur de la Barre was in command of about five hundred Swedish cavalry; that they were defending the frontier; that no foreign soldiers were still left in any other place.

That six troops of cavalry, six hundred in all, were expected from Livonia next spring; that he had heard it said that there is not even one company of German soldiers in Sweden left entire. About the enrolment of soldiers abroad he knows nothing, though something may possibly be heard on the subject, after the session of the council is over.

That Gustavus was putting off and nourishing (the hopes of) his creditors, who were demanding their arrears of payment, with the specious words, "Be sure you shall be paid, be sure you shall be paid."

That he had no letter, except one from a merchant, a letter of credit for one hundred and fifty thalers to a citizen of Lubeck, named Hermann Schefler; that the said letter was to be sent to Rostock.

That he knew nothing about Stuart's letter of safe-conduct; that Stuart had received nothing except his food; that he was going to spend the winter there; that Stuart was not an ambassador; that the country people indeed called him so; that he had seen Stuart for the first time in Sweden.

That the Swedes were thoroughly panic-stricken; they were deserted by their soldiers; after the session was over envoys would be sent here (to treat for peace); that King Charles was execrated by the people; the ships at Stockholm were manned with peasants, not sailors; they had to live on bread and fish-brine, called by the natives "_Strömling_;" that in Russia, too, the soldiers were dying by famine.

That the Swedes would not succeed in getting foreign soldiers, as the best were already engaged in these parts (Denmark).

That the other lieutenant, who was now at Copenhagen, had served in Sweden during the past summer, and previously in Livonia; that the account he would give would not differ from the present.

That we did put all these questions as set down above, and that we did hear with our own ears the answers given to those questions, we bear witness with the signature of our own hands and seals.

Done at Fredericksborg on the 19th day of December 1611.

GEORG LUNG, H.S.R.M.'S of Denmark, etc. Governor of Aarhuus(?) (or Aaroe?) and General.

JOACHIM BULOW, H.S.R.M.'S of Denmark, etc., Governor of Fredericksborg, Master of the Horse.

THOBIAS LAUTERBRAOS, H.S.R.M.'S of Denmark, etc., Secretary to the Chancellery of Foreign Affairs.

_Draft of a Letter from the_ KING _to_ SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER, _dated 21, Dec. 1612, with the examination of Andrew Ramsey_.

Trustie and well beloved, wee greet yo^u well.

* * * * *

Now for yo^{r}self; we cannot but take it in ill part from yo^u, that wee heare so sealdome from yo^u; and thinck yo^u are, instead of an Ambassado^r, become a Secretary to keepe Councell: for to the severall dispatches wee have made to yo^u, one of the nynth of August by Quarryer; one other of the sixteenth; and one other of the second of October;[142] we have received no aunswere from yo^u. In all w^{ch} we advertised yo^u of o^r proceeding upon the rumo^r wee heard of the Levyes in Scotland; and what coorse wee had taken w^{th} Andrew Ramsey; And willed yo^u to acquaint the king w^{th} both.

* * * * *

Last of all; concerning Andrew Ramsey; as wee have written before; that if he fell into o^r handes wee wold so proceed w^{th} him; as shold give the king satisfa[=ccon]: So may yo^u lett the King understand that the said Andrew Ramsey being first fugitive in Scotland (as wee have before sent yo^u word) and secretly comed into England, moved there a quarrell to S^r Robert Carre of Ankram, for discovering to us (as he said; whereby the king may see how his proceeding was w^{th}out o^r privitie) Andrew Ramseys gathering of men in Scotland; By occasion of w^{ch} Quarrell he came to be apprehended: whome as soone as wee had, wee caused first to be examined by some of o^r councell, as well upon the pointes the king charged him w^{th}, as upon the transgressing of his duty towardes us; to w^{ch} pointes wee have sent yo^u his aunswere under his owne hand. And upon this Confession of his, his fault being of that nature as doth not by any Lawe here or in Scotland forfaite life or Lymme; and the custome of declaring Schellum being not w^{th} us in use; wee have by oure warrant under oure hande banished him out of all oure Dominions; w^{ch} next unto death, is the highest punishment wee could inflict; And for the rest of his company; you may assure the King wee find them innocent of any fault; and only misled by his authority; whoe assuring them he had our connivence, and having a Brother so nere about us, was easily beleeved; especially using no open proceeding w^{th} drumme, but gathering them w^{th} silence and secrecye, it carryed a shew as though wee had permitted it. But he having therein abused us as well as them; hath now receaved the punishment due to so lewd a part. As for the prisoners sent unto us you may say, finding them likewise no otherwise in fault then as abused by Ramsey; Wee have sent them home to their countrye. And for Bruce; we sawe no cause to punishe him, seeing the King himself layeth nothing to his Charge; but that he refused to be a Gaoler to the rest.

_Letter from_ SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER, _dated_ "_frome Elsonbourg in Sconeland the [=24] of Januarie 1613_" _to_ SIR THOMAS LACH, _knyght, secretarie in the Latin tongue to his M^{tie} of Great Britaine, etc._

Honorable and worthie knyght,

* * * * *

Concerning the proceedings with Mr. Ramsay, his M^{tie} resteth weell contented: but I hope seeing the warres are ended, and a ferme peace maide that his M^{tie} also will forget those particular querrels. there shall be no thing wanting that may forder it. Concerning them that were killed, and taken prisonners, God knoweth it greeved me much, both for the loss of the men, as also for the King of Denmarkes cause; for I know it will not forder the nation's goodwils, which no smal matter eavint to a great prince.

I ame sorye that the poaste which I sent for Inglande the [=26] of October hath been so long a comeing to yow, whereby I perceave his M^{tie} doeth charge me of negligence, in advertising how matters doe goe heere.

I hope his M^{tie} will not imput that longsomnes of a Poaste unto me, and soe I hope your self will mak my humble excuses.

* * * * *


[136] In manuscript.

[137] There appears to be no record in Norwegian history of these piratical visits. They may possibly have been undertaken with the view of selecting a place of disembarkation for the Scottish levies. The Earl of Orkney in question was one of the great feudal lords of Scotland. He committed "many extravagant excesses of arbitrary authority amongst the wild recesses of the Orkney and Zetland Islands;" and having at length shown some token of a wish to assume sovereign power, he was tried and executed at Edinburgh on the 6th February 1614 ("Tales of a Grandfather"). In the Swedish State Archives is preserved a letter, dated London, April 4, 1611, from "Robert Stewart" to Steinbock, Swedish ambassador at the Hague, urging that if money be sent there is a good opportunity of engaging men, as "thair is sum companeis to be cassered out of holand ... this nixt mounth." There is also an earlier letter from him to the same ambassador, dated London, December 10, 1610, recommending the bearer, Captain Stewart, for employment, and asking, "Hwat seruice your maister the King of Sueden will employ me with and wpon what condiciounes. Without mony I noe he can do no seruice to the Kyng your (L) maister." On the 29th November 1610 the Duke of "Lenox" wrote to Steinbock, warmly recommending Captain James Stuart, who desired to repair a second time to Sweden. Another letter from him (likewise in the Swedish Archives), relating to William Stuart, will be found on page 178.

[138] Ensign.

[139] The removal of the royal residence from Edinburgh attracted to England Scotch courtiers and men of rank who made fortunes by King James's favour. On the other hand, the sons of the gentry and better classes, "whose trade had been war and battle," were deprived of employment by the general peace with England, and the Scottish nation felt at the same time the distress arising from an excess of population. "To remedy the last evil," says Sir Walter Scott, "the wars on the Continent afforded a resource peculiarly fitted to the genius of the Scots, who have always had a disposition for visiting foreign parts."

[140] A town and fortress near Stockholm.

[141] Near the Hague.

[142] The letters found in the Public Record Office are dated respectively 9th August, 16th September, and 30th September 1612.




Apud Edinburgh quarto Augusti 1612.



[Sidenote: Proclamatoiun dischargeing the transporting of souldiouris to Sweden.]

Forsamekle as the Kingis Majestie and lordis of secrete counsell ar informed that certane personis abuseing His Majesteis princely name power and auctoritie hes maid some levyis of men within this kingdome to be transportit to the weare of Swaden, his Majestie being noways acquented, nor maid foirsene thairof nor his hienes licence haid and obtenit to that effect wharin thair presumptioun is so muche the moir greater in that thir levyis ar maid aganis his Majesteis darrest bruthir the King of Denmark his Majestie haveing formerlie refuisit the King of Swaden to grant him ony supplie of men or vtherwys for his assistance aganis the said King of Denmark, And besydis this heich presumptioun of the personis foirsaidis thay haif to the fardir contempt of the Kingis Majestie and misregard of law ordour and justice violentlie pressit and tane a grite nomber of honnest menis bairnis and servandis hes put thame in schipboard aganis thair will and intendis to transport thame to the countrey of Swaden whareupon suche ane universall complaynt murmour and greif of his Majesteis subjectis is raisit throughout the haill countrey as yf thay levit not in the conditioun of frie subjectis bot war undir the slaverie and tirrannie of strangearis quhilk being ane abuse intollerable and not hard of in a free kingdome the same aucht to be advertit to preventit and stayed And thairfoir the saidis lordis ordanis lettres to be direct to command charge and inhibit all and sindrie personis bering the name of Colonell or Capitane within this Kingdome and all utheris haveing commandiment under thame that thay nor nane of thame presome nor tak upoun hand to cary or transport furth of this realme to the said Kingdome of Swaden ony sojouris or men of weare upoun quhatsomevir cullour or pretens, And that thay onnawys presse nor tak ony men heirefter under the pane of dead certifeing thame that failyees or dois in the contrair that thay salbe takin apprehendit and execute to the dead without favour and without ony respect of thair birth qualyteis or uther conditioun quhatsomevir, And siclyke to command charge and inhibite the maisteris awnaris and marineris of all and quhatsomevir schippis and veschellis that thay onnawys presome nor tak upoun hand to mak saill nor to transport ony of the saidis sojouris and men of weare listit and tane up for the saidis weares of Swaden under the foirsaid pane of dead And yf neid beis to fens and arrest the saidis schippis and to tak the saillis from the raes swa that thay depairt not As alswa to command and charge all schireffis justices of peace provestis and bailleis of burrowis and utheris judgeis officiaris and magistratis to burgh and land, that whenevir they salbe adverteist be complaynt or uthirwys that ony personis ar preist and tane to be transportit as said is that they immediatlie rail his Majesteis subjectis nixt adjacent yf neid beis and releve the persone or personis swa tane and prest aganis their will, And that thay tak and apprehend suche personis as ar the takaris of thame and keepe thame in sure firmance quhill ordour be tane for thair tryall and punneishment as appertineth.


[Sidenote: Proclamation aganis the souldiouris listed for Swaden.]

Forsamekle as the lordis of secrete counsell hes ressavit sindrie informationis that of laite thair hes bene ane verie extraordinar and uncouthe oppressioun committit upoun divers of oure soverane lordis good subjectis be certane personis undir the pay and commandiment of the Capitanes and utheris bowne for the weares of Swaden who haveing shaikin af all reverence of the law and regaird of ordour modestie and discretioun hes most presumptouslie at thair handis without lauchfull warrand power or commissioun violentlie prest and tane a grite many honnest menis sones and servandis and hes caryed thame to their schippis aganis thair will of purpois to transport thame to Swaden And the further to testifie their most presumptous and heich contempt divers of thame in swaggering manner gois athorte the countrey awayting the tyme and occasioun how and whair thay may apprehend ony personis travelling in thair lauchfull adois and yf thay may be maisteris of thame thay immediatlie lay handis on thame and be force and violence caryis thame to the nixt shoir whair thay haif thair boites in reddines to tak thame aboard of thair shippis sua that thair is suche a feir and dredour rissin amangis the commoun people that nane of thame dar travell in thair lauchfull adois unles thay be accompanyed and upoun thair gaird able to withstand and resist the violence and injurie of the saidis personis and divers young and able fellowis who war resolvit to haif come to thir pairtis to haif awaitit upoun the harvest and cutting down of the cornis, ar upoun the occasioun foirsaid affrayit to come heir This is ane abuse and contempt most intollerable the lyk quhairof hes not bene hard of in this kingdome Wharin althoch the lordis of his Majesteis previe counsell hes bene most cairfull to haif tane ordour and accordinglie to haif punneist the committaris of thir enormiteis, yitt in regaird of the silence of these who hes sustenit wrang and that no particular complaynt hes bene maid heirupoun to the saidis lordis The ordour taking with this abus and contempt hes bene neglectit and ovirsene Alwys the saidis lordis considering how far the ovirsicht and impunitie of suche ane offens may prejudge his Majesteis good subjectis heireftir yf upoun this preparative and example utheris undewtifull personis sall presome to attempt the lyk And the saidis lordis being verie desyrous to gif contentment and satisfactioun by cours of justice to suche personis as will complaine and justifie thair complaintis Thairfoir ordanes lettres to be direct chargeing officiaris of armes to pas to the marcat croce of Edinburgh and uthiris places neidfull and thair be oppin proclamatioun to intimat and declair to all his Majesteis subjectis who hes sustenit ony harme or violence of the saidis personis that yf thay will complaine to the saidis lordis and justifie and qualitie thair complaintis that thay sall haif suche favorable justice ministrat unto thame as sall gif unto thame satisfactioun and salbe ane terrour to all utheris to committ the lyk enormiteis heirefter.


[Sidenote: Charge aganis Capitanes Hay, Ker, and Sinclair.]

Forsamekle as the Kingis Majestie and lordis of secrete counsell ar informed that Capitane Hay Capitane Ker and Capitane Sinclar hes tane up and listit some companyis of men within this kingdome to be transportit to the weares of Swaden his Majestie noways being acquented nor maid foirsene thairof nor his Majesteis licence haid and obtenit to that effect wharin thair presumptioun is so muche the moir in that thir levyis ar maid aganis his Majesteis darrest bruthir the King of Denmark his Majestie haveing formerlie refuised the King of Swaden to grant him ony supplie in that querrell, And besydis this heich presumptioun of the saidis Capitanes to levey his Majesteis borne subjectis to serve a forreynnar without his Majesteis allowance they haif to the further contempt of the Kingis Majestie violentlie tane grite nombaris of honnest menis bairnis and servandis and hes caryed thame aboord of thair schippis quhair they ar detenit as slaves and captaves aganis thair will quhill the commoditie of thair transport be offerrit This is ane abuse most intollerable, the lyk quhairof hes not bene hard of in this Kingdome quhairupoun suche ane generall and universall complaint is maid be his Majesteis subjectis throughout the haill Kingdome as yf thay levit not in the conditioun of frie subjectis bot war under the slaverie and tyrrannie of strangearis Thairfoir the saidis lordis ordanes lettres to be direct to command charge and inhibite the saidis three Capitanes and utheris officiaris and memberis of thair companyis that they onnawys presome nor tak upoun hand to cary or transport furth of this realme to the said Kingdome of Swaden ony sojouris and men of weare under quhatsomevir cullour or pretext quhill first they obtene licence of oure Soverane Lord to that effect, and that this licence be intimat to his Majesteis counsell and thair consent haid thairunto under the pane of dead As alsua that thay onnawise presome to presse and be violence to tak and detene ony men heirefter under the said pane certifeing thame that failyees or sall do in the contrair heirof that they salbe followit and persewit takin apprehendit and execute to the dead without favour And siclyk to command charge and inhibite the maisteris awnaris skipperis and marinaris of all and quhatsomevir shippis and veshellis that they onnawyse presome nor tak upoun hand to louse and mak saill nor to transport ony of the saidis Capitanes or thair companyis furth of this realme under quhatsomevir cullour or pretens under the pane of confiscation of the saidis schippis and veschellis to his Majesteis use, and furder under the pane of dead to be execute upoun the saidis maisteris awnaris skipperis and marineris incais thay failyee in the premissis, And for this effect to fens and arrest the saidis schippis and veschellis and to tak thair saillis fra the raes quhairthrough thay depairt not And to command and charge the provestis and bailleis of the burrowis and townes in whose roadis or harboryis the saidis schippis and veshellis ar lyand that they go aboard of the saidis schippis concurre with his Majesteis officeris in making of the said arrestment and taking of the saillis fra the raes And siclyk that they examine the haill personis being within the saidis schippis quhidder or not they haif bene violentlie tane and detenit aganis their willis and yf ony within the saidis schippis will complene of violent taking and detentioun, that the saidis provestis and bailleis see thame put to libertie furth of the saidis shippis And siclyk to command and charge all schireffis justices of peace and utheris magistratis and officeris to burgh and land that quhensoevir thay sall heir or be adverteist be complaynt or utherwis that ony personis ar violentlie tane and detenit that thay immediatlie rys follow and persew the same personis and the takaris of thame and keep thame in sure firmance quhill ordour be tane for thair triall and punneishment as appertineth.


[Sidenote: Charge aganis Colonell Ramsay.]

Forsamekle as the lordis of secrete counsell hes laitlie ressavit some directioun from the Kingis Majestie concerning thir men of weare listit under the pay and command of Colonell ---- Ramsay to be transportit to the weares of Swaden Thairfoir the saidis lordis ordanes lettres to be direct chargeing the said Colonell ---- Ramsay to compeir personalie befoir the saidis lordis upoun the morne efter the charge to heir and sie his Majesteis will pleasour and directioun in this mater imparted and signifeit unto him and such ordour tane thairin as may gif unto his Majestie contentment and satisfactioun under the pane of rebellioun etc. with certificatioun etc.

Followis his Majesteis missive and warrant for the proclamatiounis and actis abovewritten.

Richt trustie and richt weilbelovit cosen and counsellour We greit you weill At what tyme the last service of Sir Robert Ker of Ancrum in the Midle schyres wes relaitit unto ws, we understood that he haid apprehendit a nomber of malefactouris quhairof some wer executed some sett at libertie upoun cautioun and some sent to Swaden, whiche last point we nather could then nor yett can understand what it meaneth, for whareas it is said that thair is a Colonell and certane Capitanes leveying men thair to go to Sweden we wonder that ony subject of ouris dare presome in that kynd to serve ony forreyne prince not onlie without oure licence bot directlie aganis oure meaning and speciall promeis maid to our deare bruther the King of Denmark: in respect quhairof we planelie refuisit the King of Swaden to assist or send ony of oure subjectis to his service and also recalled Sir James Spens of Wolmerstoun not sufferring him ather ony longer to serve the said King or to remane in his dominionis till now that we haif sent him as our ambassadour It is thairfoir our pleasour that ye certifie us what that leveying of soldiouris meaneth by what authoritie it is done and that ye mak stay of all proceiding thairin till yee sall be adverteist of oure fardir pleasour concerning that mater. And so we bid you fairweill at our court at Kirbie the last of July 1612.


Apud Edinburgh quinto Augusti 1612.



[Sidenote: Charge aganis maisteris of shippis].

The lordis of secrete counsell according to the Kingis Majesteis will pleasour and directioun signifeit unto thame ordanes officeris of armes to pas command and charge the maisteris awneris skipperis and marineris of shippis and veshellis frauchted for transport of sojouris to Swaden, that thay bring in thair shippis to the harborie of Leyth and thair suffer thame to ly and onnawise lowse nor depairt quhill thay understand the counsellis will and pleasour towardis thame within twa houris nixt efter the charge undir the pane of rebellioun and putting of thame to the horne, and yf thay failyee the said space being bipast to denunce thame rebellis and to put thame to the horne and to command and charge the Admirall and his deputis the provest and bailleis of Edinburgh the bailleis of Leyth and Bruntyland to convocat his Majesteis lieges yf neid beis and to go aboard of the saidis schippis and to see this directioun and command be satisfeit and obeyit and as the occasioun sall fall out upoun the refuisall and dissobedience of the saidis skipperis or oppositioun and resistance to be maid be ony of the personis within the schippis, that the saidis Admirall provest and bailleis with the concurrance and assistance of his Majesteis goode subjectis to be assemblit be thame, compell and force the saidis skipperis and marineris to gif thair obedyence and to bring thair shippis to the said harborie, for doing quhairof thir presentis salbe unto thame a warrant and commissioun And yf ony personis being within the saidis schippis complene of thair forceable detentioun and that the Capitanes and utheris refuis to put thame to libertie, that the saidis Admirall provest and bailleis assist and see thame put to libertie, and suche malefactouris as wer delyverit unto the Capitanes to be transportit that the said Admirall provest and bailleis tak thame bring thame ashoir and put thame in sure firmance quhill thay understand the counsellis will towardis thame.


Apud Edinburgh decimo quinto Augusti 1612.



[Sidenote: Charge aganis souldiouris.]

Forsamekle as it hes pleasit the Kingis Majestie upoun some speciall caussis and considerationis to gif ordour and directioun that the companyis of men laitlie listed undir the charge and commandiment of Colonell Ramsay and some utheris capitanes for the weares of Swaden salbe brokin and that thay sall noway be transportit to Swaden to serve in these wearres, And seing the saidis companyis according to his Majesteis pleasour and commandiment ar now to be sett on land to the effect that thay and every ane of thame may repair to the placeis of thair former aboad and residence and thair attend thair severall charge and calling Necessar it is for the better preserving of his Majesteis peace and keeping of good reule ordour and quyetnes in the countrey and for eschewing of suche disordouris and insolencyis as may fall out alsweill amangis the companyis thameselffis as be thair occasioun aganis his Majesteis good subjectis yf thay be sufferrit ony space to remane togidder or to travell in nomberis and companyis through the countrey That thairfoir immediatlie efter thair landing thay dissolve thame selffis and that no nomberis of thame remane togidder bot that thay seperat thame selffis and addresse thame in peaceable and quyet manner without offending his Majesteis subjectis in thair travelling through the countrey, ffor quhilk purpois ordanes lettres to be direct to command and charge all and sindrie personis listed and tane up for the wearres of Swaden be oppin proclamatioun at the shoir and peir of Leyth at the mercat croce of Bruntyland and utheris places neidfull, that thay and every ane of thame within the space of tua houris after thair landing dissolve thameselffis and repair every ane of thame in quyet and peaceable manner to thair awne dwellingis and placeis of residence and that no nomberis nor companyis of thame exceiding tua personis remane togiddir upoun quhatsomevir cullour or pretens under the pane of dead Certifeing thame that failyees or dois in the contrair that thay salbe apprehendit and the said pane of dead execute upoun thame and to command and charge all schireffis justices of peace and magistratis to burgh and land, that thay and every ane of thame as thay sall happin to challange ony personis travelling through the countrey who ar or may be suspectit to be men of wearre yf thay pas tua in nomber or yitt yf thay commit ony disordour or insolence in thair going through the countrey that thay apprehend thame and committ thame to waird as malefactouris and detene thame quhill ordour be gevin for thair puneishment.


[Sidenote: Act anent the landing of the soldiouris.]

The lordis of secrete counsell haveing hard the propositioun maid be Colonell Ramsay tuicheing his willing dispositioun to randir his obedience to the Kingis Majestie by dissolveing and brecking of the companyis of men of wearre laitlie listit under his regiment and commandiment for the wearres of Swaden and tuicheing the advis and opinioun cravit be him in what forme and ordour he sould dissolve his companyis and quhair he sould sett thame on land The saidis lordis being advisit with the said propositioun thay haif prescryvit and sett down to the said Colonell the ordour following to be observit and keept be him in the dissolving and landing of his saidis companyis, videlicet, that he sett the ane half thairof aland at Leyth and the uther half of the same at Bruntyland, and that the said Colonell tak exact triall and examinatioun amangis his capitanes and sojouris what personis wer delyverit to thame be the commissionaris of the lait bordouris and quhat uthiris personis thay haif ressavit out of the toilbuith of Edinburgh and Dunbar And that he caus all thir personis be delyverit in suirtie to the bailleis of Edinburgh to be committit to waird in thair toilbuith ay and quhill ordour be tane with thame as appertynes, and that this pairt be first performed afoir the landing of the rest of the companyis.


Apud Edinburgh xj Septembris 1612.



[Sidenote: Charge aganis Colonell Ramsay.]

The lordis of secrete counsell ordanes lettres to be direct chargeing Colonell ---- Ramsay to compeir personalie befoir the saidis lordis upoun the xviij day of September instant to answer to suche thingis as salbe demandit of him tuicheing the lait levey maid be him of a grite nomber of his Majesteis subjectis to haif bene transportit be him furth of this realme for the weares of Swaden under the pane of rebellioun and putting of thame to the horne with certificatioun to him and he failyee lettrez salbe direct simpliciter to put him thairto.


Apud Edinburgh xviij Septembris 1612.



[Sidenote: Denunce Colonell Ramsay].

Anent the charge gevin be vertew of oure Soverane lordis lettres to Colonell Andro Ramsay to haif comperit personalie befoir the lordis of secrete counsell this present auchtene day of September instant to haif answerit to suche thingis as sould haif bene demandit of him tuicheing the lait levey maid be him of a grite nomber of his Majesteis subjectis to haif bene transportit be him furth of this realme for the weares of Swaden under the pane of rebellioun and putting of him to the horne with certificatioun to him and he [failyeed] lettres wald be direct simpliciter to put him thairto lyk as at mair lenth is contenit in the saidis lettrez executionis and indorsationis thairof Quhilkis being callit and the said Colonell Andro Ramsay not comperand Thairfoir the lordis of secrete counsell ordanes lettres to be direct chargeing officeris of armes to pas and denunce the said Colonell Andro Ramsay his Majesteis rebell and to put him to his hienes horne and to escheat etc.


[143] "Extracts from the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, MS., General Register House, Edinburgh."




GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS, Dei gratiâ, Svecorum, Gothorum, Wandalorumq^e princeps hæreditarius; Magnus dux Finlandiæ, Esthoniæ Wesmanniæq^e princeps, etc.

Gratiam favorem, singularemq^e nostram benignitatem atq^e clementiam etc. illustris et generose nobis sincere dilecte, domine Jacobe Spentz; non dubitamus qvin recenti in memoria habeas, qvid serenissimo potentissimoq^e principi ac Domino, Domino CAROLO nono, Svecorum, Gothorum, Wandalorumq^e regi etc. Domino et parenti nostro charissimo, laudatissimæ recordationis, sancte sincereq^e promiseris, qvidve Sua Regia Majestas à te clementer suas per literas postulaverit. Cum itaq^e bellum à rege Daniæ adversus Dominum parentem pie sancteq^e prædefunctum, nos, nostramq^e patriam iniqve susceptum continuetur, et nos ad reprimendos hostium impetus, milite etiam peregrino indigeamus, eam ob causam te qvam clementer rogatum volumus, ut cum ter millenis illis promissis, probatæ fidei spectatæq^e fortitudinis militibus, et qvidem peditibus (equites enim non curamus) tuum ad nos reditum matures, omnemq^e in id operam impendas, ut ad Calendas Aprilis, anni iam proximi seqventis, cum præfato militum numero armis necessariis probè instructo, in portu Elsburgensi comparere qveas. Hoc autem ut eò felicius faciliusq^e præstare valeas, utq^e nos absq^e mora et tergiversatione, tuâ militumq^e tuorum operâ adversus hostes nostros uti possimus, clementer tibi, vel plenam abs te potestatem habentibus viginti millenos imperiales, in civitate Hamburgensi, per serenissimæ reginæ, matris nostræ charissimæ, nostrosq^e commissarios numerandos curabimus; clementer etiam atq^e etiam desiderantes, ut eam, quâ serenissimo parenti, gloriosissimæ memoriæ, obligatus tenebaris, fidelitatem serenissimæ qvoq^e matri nostræ, nobis, nostrisq^e regnis præstare haud tergiverseris. Cum præterea certò nobis persvasum habeamus, hæc omnia, aliaq^e salutem nostram, nostrorumq^e regnorum incrementum concernentia (quæ iudicio tuo tuæq^e discretioni relinqvimus), per te qvam diligentissime effectum iri, non dubitabis qvin ipsum id, qvemadmodum etiam qvicqvid in præfatos milites, ultra viginti millenos illos imperiales, nostro nomine impenderis, tibi à nobis, suo tempore, qvam clementissime compensetur. Porro tibi significandum duximus, nos cum duce nostro, nobis sincerè dilecto Johanne Mœnichovio, transegisse, ut millenos, omnibus necessariis armis probè instructos, milites pedites, ex Hollandia, vere primo, Elsburgam asportet. Si itaq^e naves militesq^e tuos navibus prænominati Mœnichovii adjunxeris, foret hoc nobis qvam gratissimum. Ita enim esset classis vestra hostium classi, si forte vobis obviam venerit, non modo par, verum etiam, ut bene speramus, longè superior. Qvod te haud celandum censuimus.

Hisce divini numinis protectioni te clementer commendamus. Ex arce Nycopensi, die 16 Novembris, Anni 1611.


Illustri et generoso, copiarum nostrarum Britannicarum generali, Domino Jacobo Spentz, libero baroni in Wolmersthon, etc.

(_Traces of a seal._)


GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS, _by the grace of God, Hereditary Prince of the Swedes, the Goths, and the Vandals; Grand Duke of Finland, Prince of Esthonia, Westmannia, etc._

Our gracious favour, special benignity and grace, etc. Illustrious and noble, our truly and dearly beloved Sir James Spens; we have no doubt that you keep fresh in memory your sacred and true promise to the most serene and mighty Prince and Lord, CHARLES the Ninth, King of the Swedes, the Goths, Vandals, etc., our dearly beloved Lord and Sire, of highly extolled memory, (as to) what his Royal Majesty graciously required from you in his letters. Therefore, inasmuch as the war, unrighteously entered upon by the King of Denmark against our Sovereign Sire, predeceased in the odour of sanctity, against ourselves, and against our country, is continued, and we are in need of foreign soldiers as well [as native], wherewith to check the attacks of the enemy,--on this account we request you with all courtesy to hasten your return to us with those promised three thousand soldiers of proved faithfulness and bravery, and, namely, infantry (for we do not care to have cavalry); and that you will do your best to be present in Elfsborg Harbour by the first of April in this next coming year, with the before-mentioned number of troops, properly equipped with the needful accoutrements. Now, that you may be in a condition to do this the more successfully and easily, and that we, without delay and interruption, may be able to avail ourselves of your services and those of your soldiers against our enemies, we shall graciously order twenty thousand imperials, to be paid in the city of Hamburg, to you or to those fully authorized by you, through the agents of the Most Serene Queen, our dearly beloved Mother, and our own, urgently entreating you not to hesitate to observe the same loyalty by which you were held bound to our Most Serene Father of very glorious memory, to our Most Serene Mother also, to ourselves and our realms. Moreover, while we are surely persuaded that all these things, and others that concern our safety and the aggrandizement of our kingdom (which things we leave to your judgment and discretion), will be attended to by you with the utmost care, you will rest assured that the aforesaid sum, as also whatever you shall disburse in our name upon the above-mentioned soldiers over and above the twenty thousand imperials, shall be most graciously repaid by us at the proper time. Furthermore, we have thought right that it should be notified to you that we have arranged with our general, our truly beloved Johannes Mœnichovius, that he is to transport his thousand infantry, fully furnished with necessary arms, from Holland to Elfsborg in the beginning of the spring. If, therefore, you combine your fleet and army with the ships of the aforesaid Mœnichovius, we shall be extremely glad. For thus the combined fleet would be not merely equal to the enemy's fleet, if it should chance to come in contact with you, but, as we are justified in hoping, far superior. And we have considered that this should not be concealed from you. Herewith we graciously commend you to the protection of the divine Deity (Power). From the Castle of Nyköping, November 16, in the year 1611.

GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS. (_Sign manual._)


Honarabile and my verie good Lord my best service remembred unto your selfe

* * * * *

in England all things are in lyke staite as you left I have recauite toe sundre letters from his Maieste, wharin he commands me to excuse his pairte, annent that leuie of men whitch coronell ramsay haith maide in scotland, he protests at it is score agienst his will and altogiddar disauutches the deede sainge at if he haide not heard of it in time, he haide biene the most dishonored prince by ther goinge, bot the are stayed and the men dissolued, except neere four hundreth[145] that went awaye afore the kould be stayed, captaine Hay, and captaine Sinckler, and captain Allexander ramsay brother to the princes man, and good Sir herie brusse are chanched in norrowaye, and are all killd by the bourrs except some faue prisoners, whitch are send for to be examined and we looke for them daylie; the common bruict blames you to be ther heade bot I stifflie denie it, assuring the king that I deare giue my woorde for your Innocence; other neus heere ar none....

* * * * *

Faruell from Koppenhauen the 26 of September Anno 1612

your treue and affectionet and seruant att all time ROBERT ANSTRUTHER.

To the ryght honorable, and my very good Lord: The Lord off Wormeston, Ambassadour from His M^{tie} of Great Brittaine to Sueden.

_Letter from the Duke of Lennox[146]_ "_To the Right honorable my very good Lord My Lord Stainbuk Baron of Torpe and Overstaine, of his Ma^{tie} priuie counsell of Sweden_."

My Lord this gentleman Williame Stuart my seruant whome I ame bond to doo for bothe for his fathers caus whome I did affect, as also for his own, haueing giuen sufficient proue of his good cariage, a yeare ago did lift a company of fotmen to serue His Ma^{tie} of Sweden to his great Losse. Be reason that after he had sent before some parte of his company[147] whiche was stayed in Norway, himself with the rest was stayed by the kings [=com]andement heare. Wherfore the gentleman hauing an earnest desyre to give proue of his affection to his M^{aties} seruice could not be stayed be any persuasion of frends frome the said jornay: therfore out of the asseurance I doo giue my self of your L^{ps} loue, I most recommend him to y^r L favor, that for my caus you will vse the means to got him preferred, and what charge soever His Ma^{tie} shall esteem him worthie of I wil bee answearable for his fidelitie and duetifulnes in the same and I shall reputed it ase a singulare pleasure done to my self and shall alwyse be reddy to requyte it and all other your L. kyndnesses in what soever occasion I can stand you in stead: therfore trusting in your furtherance for this gentlemans preferment I shall ever rest

Your L^{ps} very Louing frend LENOX.

Frome the Hage the 14 (19?) of Maj 1613.


[144] In manuscript.

[145] The true number was ascertained after the arrival of the prisoners at Copenhagen.

[146] Son of Esme Stewart of Aubigny, the first favourite of King James I. His uncle, Robert, sixth earl of Lennox, having agreed to accept the earldom of March in exchange for that of Lennox, he, in March 1580, received a charter of the latter earldom, which a year later was erected into a dukedom.

[147] Alexander Ramsay made no mention of these men in his deposition. (See page 145.)



First Official Report to the DANISH CHANCELLOR respecting the Scottish Expedition, from the Norwegian Stadtholder ENVOLD KRUSE and Others.

_Translation from the Danish._[149]


Our most friendly greeting now and ever in the Lord! Dear Lord Chancellor, particularly good friend, we thank the Chancellor kindly for favours evinced, which we would at all times desire to repay in whatever manner might be to the honour or benefit of the Chancellor.

In the next place, we cannot omit to communicate to the Chancellor somewhat at length, on account of the nature of the matter, how on or about the 19th or 20th of August last two Scottish ships arrived off Romsdalen, in the province of Bergenhuus, with a number of soldiers, and landed them there. What ports those ships hailed from, and by whom they were fitted out, as also who it was that procured them, is to be ascertained from their own report and deposition hereunto annexed.[150]

And straightway the next day after their arrival they betook themselves inland, and proceeded along the country road over a fjeld called Mæratoppene, whereupon they entered the valley of Gudbrandsdal, which is to the southward of the mountain range, and in this province of Aggershuus; and they had taken with them two Bönder of Romsdalen as guides. But when one of his Royal Majesty's lensmen in the parish of Vaage, which is situated in the above-mentioned bailiwick of Gudbrandsdal, by name Lauritz Hage, perceived this, he at once roused the Bönder and peasantry in the two parishes of Læssöe and Vaage, and went forth against the said Scots and foreign troops. And when he perceived they were too strong for him, he advanced for two or three days and kept before them along the road, without, however, engaging in any skirmish or fight. Meanwhile, he sent messengers to the peasantry in the two adjoining parishes, called Froen and Ringeböe, who quickly came to his assistance; and when they were in this manner gathered they were four hundred and five men strong. Thus he advanced in front of them along the road until he saw his advantage at a fjeld called Kringelen, situated in Vaage parish, which they were obliged to pass. Thus he hemmed them in between the rock on one side and a large river close by on the other side, in which advantageous position he quietly encamped in the woods, and there lay with his men until the foreign soldiers arrived there, without, however, supposing or knowing aught but that the Norwegian troops were still withdrawing along the road before them.

The above-mentioned Lauritz Hage, having made his arrangements and perceived his advantage, attacked, together with another lensmand, Peder Rankleff of Ringeböe, and with all their men together they fired upon the foreign troops and shot them to death during an hour and a half. Those who were not shot jumped into the river to save themselves, but were there drowned; and those of them who got alive over the river were quickly killed by the Bönder on that side,--all of which happened and occurred on the 26th of August last.

From the Bönder who were themselves present at the battle, and who buried and counted the dead and the defeated, we learn that the foreign soldiers must no doubt have numbered at the least five hundred and fifty men, although the Scots who remained alive, and of whom there are altogether eighteen, will not admit that they were more than three hundred and fifty men strong at the utmost.

On the day the battle took place one hundred and thirty-four Scots were taken prisoners, who were straightway the next day killed and shot by the Bönder, with the exception of the above-mentioned eighteen, the Bönder saying to each other that his Royal Majesty had enough to feed in those same eighteen. Some of these were, however, wounded, and some had bullets in their bodies when they arrived here. Of the above-mentioned eighteen soldiers we now send to you the three principal ones, who are a captain of the name of Alexander Ramsay, and his lieutenant of the name of Jacob Mannepenge (James Moneypenny), who has previously been both in Denmark and Sweden, and who on this their expedition served as an interpreter. The third is called Herrich Bryssz (Henry or Harry Bruce), who, according to his own statement, has served as a soldier in Holland, Spain, and Hungary.[151]

As regards the remaining fifteen persons, some of them have straightway taken service among good folk here in the country; some of them who will willingly serve your Royal Majesty in Jörgen Lunge's regiment I sent at once to Elfsborg. What has further occurred in this matter is, as already stated, all to be ascertained from their own statements, which are written down. As to what knowledge can be obtained from the letters that were found on them we can say nothing this time, for when they (the Scots) were taken prisoners the Bönder took all those letters to themselves, from which we now have our certain knowledge, (and) what can be ascertained from them, so soon as we receive them, shall be straightway sent to the Chancellor; and if we on our part can serve the Chancellor to his honour, advantage, and command, he shall always find us willing. The Chancellor is hereby commended to God Almighty. Done at Aggershuus the 17th of September 1612.

(Signed) ENWOLDT KRUSSZE. Own hand. (L. S.)

OLUFF GALDE. Own hand. (L. S.)

PEDER IFFRSEN. Own hand. (L. S.)

(Sealed with their several signets on uncoloured wax.)

Second Official Report to the DANISH CHANCELLOR and the Danish Stadtholder respecting the Scottish Expedition, from the Norwegian Stadtholder ENVOLD KRUSE and Others.

_Translation from the Danish._[152]


To the honourable and well-born men, Christian Friis of Borreby, His Royal Majesty's Chancellor, and Breide Ranndtzow of Ranndtzshollen, His Majesty's Stadtholder, our particularly good friends, addressed in perfect friendliness.

Our most friendly greeting now and ever in the Lord. Dear friends, we thank you kindly for favours evinced, which we would at all times desire to repay, in whatever manner might be to your honour or benefit.

Dear friends, our last letter to you announced that, so soon as we received information from the bailie in Gudbrandsdal of certain letters found on the Scots who were defeated and taken prisoners at that place, we would forward it to you as soon as we received the letters, in case that any reliable information should be found in them respecting their plans and armament. And we do not believe that there is anything in them from which any information on those points can be obtained, so far as the said letters can be correctly read or construed.

We have now recently been written to and informed that their real colonel[153] and captain, the person mentioned by the Scots themselves in the Scottish Relation (which we sent you last), is now at sea with four ships filled with soldiers, with the same intention as the others of landing the troops somewhere in this country, and afterwards proceeding with them into Sweden. This the bailie at Sondmöer has written to Lauritz Gram, who is bailie in Gudbrandsdalen. This appears, however, not to be true, seeing that His Royal Majesty of England has forbidden them to do this, as is to be further seen by the before-mentioned Relation which was forwarded to you.

We have also since ascertained that those Scots who were defeated and captured on their march through this country have absolutely neither burned, murdered, nor destroyed anything on their march through this country, either in Romsdalen, or in Gudbrandsdalen, excepting alone one Danish man, who lives in the Romsdal, Söffrenn Settnes; from him they have taken a box filled with various kinds of silver, both tankards, belts, "stabbe," and other such wrought silver, which man has now recently been in Gudbrandsdalen, to the bailie there, and wanted to get back his silver, if any of it had been found on the defeated Scots; but the Bönder of Gudbrandsdalen will not hitherto acknowledge having got any. If otherwise is subsequently found to be the case, it shall all be returned to him. And it was the plan of the before-mentioned Scots to have made their way into Sweden through Gudbrandsdalen, over a mountain called Österdalsfjeld, in the parish of Tönset, which they all could have done easily in five days' time at the utmost, had not God the most Almighty by this defeat ... them.

Of the Norwegian people were only shot ... six men and ten or twelve somewhat "saa" ... (? saarede = wounded) ... remain alive. This ... "ligen"(?) will let you know.[154] And we will personally do whatever may be to your service or pleasure. Commending you hereby to God the most Almighty. Done at Aggershuus the third of October in the year 1612.

ENWOLDT KRUSSZE. Own hand. (L. S.)

ANDERS GREEN. With own hand. (L. S.)

OLUFF GALDE. Own hand. (L. S.)

PEDER IFFUERSON. Own hand. (L. S.)

This manuscript is endorsed,


"Letter. Rec^d (?) Haff. (Copenhagen) 4 Nov. 1612.

"1. Respecting the Scottish soldiers who were defeated in Gudbrandsdalen; transmitting a great heap of letters found on them.

"2. Their real commander said to be at sea with 4 ships; considered untrue.

"3. They neither took nor burned anything in Norway, unless it be some (?) silver they took from a Dane in Romsdalen."


[148] In manuscript.

[149] From a copy made from the original manuscript at Copenhagen, and more perfect than that obtained by Dean Krag. The thanks of the author are due in this respect to Mr. J. F. R. Krarup, Registrar of the Danish State Archives, as well as to Messrs. Herbst and Blom of Copenhagen for researches undertaken at the kind request of Professor George Stephens, LL.D., also of Copenhagen. Most of the proper names in this translation have been modernized.

[150] These documents have not hitherto been found in the Danish Archives.

[151] No mention of James Scott, who was among the prisoners at Copenhagen.

[152] This translation has been made from a more perfect copy than the one hitherto published, and for which the author is indebted to Mr. M. Birkeland, Keeper of the State Archives in Norway.

[153] No doubt Colonel Andrew Ramsay.

[154] The dots show where words are wanting, because a piece of paper (which was the upper part of that to which the seals were affixed) is lost from the third page.

Index to Names of Persons.

Anderson, J., 15.

Anne, of Denmark, 36.

Anstruther, Sir Robert, 15, 19, 34, 36, 42, 43, 47, 133, 135, 136, 138-142, 146, 157, 159, 177, 178.

Argyll, Duke of, 172.

Arneberg, Lieutenant, 59.

Arnot, Sir J., 160, 167, 169, 171.

Bache, N., 30.

Barre, Sieur de la, 151, 156.

Berg, C. J. C., 106.

Bergen, A. van, 126.

Bilde, Steen, 16, 23-29, 128.

Bing, 122.

Biockne, 87.

Birkeland, M., 184.

Bismarck, Prince, 19.

Bjelke, O., 129.

Björnstjerna, M. de, 15.

Blantyre, 169, 171.

Bloch, N. H. C., 121, 128.

Blom, 180.

Bratt, Thor, 128.

Breden, O., 92.

Bruce, Sir Henry, 43, 54, 113, 142, 143, 159, 177, 182.

Bruce, Robert, chaplain, 36.

Bulow, J., 152, 157.

Caithness, Earl of, 50, 51, 127.

Calder, J. T., 14, 71.

Carr, Sir Robert, 39, 46, 158, 166.

Chambers, 14.

Charles IX., 18, 20, 33, 43, 44, 75, 142, 143, 145, 151, 156, 173, 175.

Christian II., 80.

Christian IV., 18, 31, 33, 36, 49, 75, 76, 90, 128, 143, 145.

Christian V., 125.

Christian VI., 59, 122.

Cronholm, 19, 24, 28.

Cumberland, Duke of, 116.

Dickson, Thomas, 15.

Douglas, Robert, 19, 147, 150, 155.

Drummond, Sir A., 171.

Due, General, 19, 149, 154.

Dundee, 105.

Eckre, P., 129.

Elizabeth, Princess, 32.

Eneboe, B., 86.

Fenton, Viscount, 46, 146.

Fjerdingreen, K., 108, 120, 124.

Frederick, Elector Palatine, 32.

Frederick III., 126.

Frederick IV., 123.

Friis, C., 143-146, 184.

Galde, O., 183, 186.

Gordon, Sir Robert, 14, 50, 51.

Gram, L., 86, 90-92, 95, 185.

Green, A., 186.

Greig, 19, 149, 154.

Gude, artist, 11.

Gunstad, A. N., 101, 129.

Guri, 49, 101, 103, 104, 108, 130.

Gustavus Adolphus, 12, 14, 16, 18-20, 24, 29-33, 43, 65, 75, 134, 142, 149, 150, 153, 156, 173, 175, 177.

Hage, L., 13, 52, 53, 90-92, 95, 118, 128, 129, 181, 182.

Hakon VI., 127.

Halkett, General, 22, 45, 66, 144, 146.

Hay, Captain G., 38, 40, 43, 45, 51, 65, 67, 141, 144, 145, 164, 177.

Heftye, Consul Thomas, 64.

Heftye, Johannes, 64, 120, 121, 124.

Henderson, J., 50.

Hepburn, Sir J., 14.

Herbst, 180.

Hjorthöi, 94, 95, 104, 116, 123, 129.

Hume, Earl, 139.

Iffrsen, P., 183, 186.

Jahn, F. H., 19, 28, 34, 56.

James I. (England), 15, 16, 19, 32-37, 42, 46, 47, 57, 127, 137, 178.

James III. (Scotland), 127.

James V. (Scotland), 65.

John, Duke, 56, 149, 153.

Johnstone, Laird of, 50.

Jörgenstad, A., 92.

Jude, C. J., 16, 24.

Keith, Earl-Marshal, 36.

Ker, Captain, 38, 40, 164.

Ker, Sir Robert. _See_ Carr.

Killie, P., 120.

Kilsyth, Secretary, 160, 169.

Kingo, Bishop, 123.

Kingston, A., 15.

Kjerulf, O. R., 64, 122.

Klognæs, P., 48, 49, 80-83, 88, 89, 110, 115, 125.

Klüwer, 80.

Kostomaroff, 49.

Krabbe, T., 129.

Kraft, 126.

Krag, Rev. H. P. S., 12, 13, 48, 64, 75, 128, 180.

Krarup, J. F. R., 180.

Kruse, E., 13, 14, 42, 43, 49, 54, 55, 61, 78, 79, 83, 85, 86, 90, 92, 95, 98, 107, 110-112, 114, 180, 183, 184, 186.

Kruus, Colonel, 56.

Lache, Sir Thomas, 138, 142, 159.

Lagerheim, C. H. de, 15.

Laing, 14.

Laurgard, A., 92.

Laurvig, Count, 127.

Lauterbraos, T., 152, 157.

Learmonth, 19, 149, 153, 154.

Lennox, Duke of, 32, 46, 134, 146, 178, 179.

Lothian, 172.

Lunge, J., 54, 113, 152, 157, 183.

Mackay, John, 65.

Malmström, C. G., 15.

Mary, Queen of Scots, 64.

Matheson Family, 118.

Matzen, C., 19, 149, 154.

Maxwell, Lord, 50, 51.

Minas, General, 116.

Moneypenny, James, 43, 54, 113, 142-144, 146, 182.

Mönnichhofen (Munkhaven, Menigowe), 12, 15-25, 28-30, 32, 34, 37, 45, 58, 66, 75-78, 128, 136, 137, 144, 146, 149, 150, 154, 155, 174, 176.

Montrose, 172.

Moreno, General, 116.

Munch, A., 77.

Munthe, 114.

Murray, Sir J., 167.

Nielsen, Yngvar, 17, 21, 24, 45, 60.

Nisbet, James, 45, 144, 146.

Nordrehuus, 87.

Ogilvye, W., 137.

Olafsen, O. O., 14.

Oolstad, O., 92.

Orkney, Earl of, 127, 133, 134.

Oscar II, King, vi., 65.

Otto, Governor, 148, 153.

Pederson, J., 16, 24.

Pontoppidan, Bishop, 123.

Pottinger, Sir H., 71.

Pryngle, 134.

Puffendorff, 12, 13, 76.

Rahbek, K. L., 130.

Ramsay, Alexander, 35, 43-48, 54, 56, 65-67, 113, 141-146, 177, 178, 182.

Ramsay, Andrew, 19, 34, 35, 37-39, 41, 43-47, 49, 51, 66, 135-137, 140, 142, 144-148, 150, 152, 153, 155, 157-159, 166, 169-172, 184.

Ramsay, Sir John, 35.

Ramus, J., 75.

Randklev, P., 13, 53, 95, 128, 129, 182.

Rantzow, B., 44, 142-146, 184.

Rochester, Viscount, 46.

Romoengard, O., 92.

Roslyn, Earl of, 127.

Roxburgh, 171, 172.

Rutherford, General, 19, 149, 154.

St. Clair Family, 126, 127.

Salisbury, Earl of, 127.

Schefler, H., 151, 156.

Schell, 128.

Schlegel, 76.

Schöning, 84.

Scott, James, 43, 142-144, 146.

Scott, Sir Walter, 127, 137.

Sejelstad, B., 13, 95, 102, 104, 106, 121, 128, 129.

Setnæs, S., 55, 185.

Shepherd, J. S., 71.

Sinclair, Sir Andrew, 65, 126, 127.

Sinclair, David, 50, 126.

Sinclair, Francis, 126.

Sinclair, Gregers, 126.

Sinclair, Henry, 126.

Sinclair, George, 11, 35, 38, 40, 43, 45, 49-51, 57, 63, 65, 67, 71-73, 76-80, 82, 85, 87, 92, 96, 102-105, 111, 112, 120-122, 124-130, 141, 144, 145, 164, 177.

Sinclair, Mrs. G., 80, 108, 109, 124.

Sinclair, John, 51.

Skaktavl, 80.

Skjenna, A., 100, 130.

Skytte, J., 45.

Slange, N., 12, 24, 76-78, 90, 93, 95, 114, 122.

Sneedorff, F., 114.

Somerset, Earl of, 46.

Somerville, T. T., 75.

Sophia, Queen, 56.

Spens, Sir James, 16, 20, 24, 32-35, 43, 45, 75, 134, 137, 138, 167, 173, 175, 177, 178.

Steinbock, 133, 178.

Stephens, Dr. G., 180.

Stewart, Captain, 36, 134.

Stewart, Esme, 178.

Stewart, Robert, 133-136.

Stjernman, 126, 127.

Storm, E., 12, 14, 49, 55, 71, 77, 80, 85, 94, 99, 123, 130.

Ström, 126.

Stuart, 148-150, 152-154, 156.

Stuart, James, 134.

Stuart, William, 45, 134, 178.

Sturleson, S., 95.

Susanin, Ivan, 49.

Thaarup, 128.

Thott, Count, 128.

Tiedemann, artist, 11.

Tofte, 90.

Töndöffuel, T., 87.

Torrejos, General, 116.

Valde, J., 116, 117.

Ville, De la, 150, 154, 155.

Wang, J. S., 130.

Wauchope, 19, 149, 154.

Wergeland, H., 130.

Werlauff, 114.

Wibe, J., 125.

Widikindi, 12, 13, 76.

Willoughby, Lord, 19.

Wilse, 128.

Wormiston, Laird of. _See_ Spens.


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Macrons over one or more characters are denoted by [= for example ca[=n]ot and [=com]andement.

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Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources. Punctuation or lack of it in the Appendix documents has been left unchanged.

Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text, and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained.

Pg 96 (Illustration caption), 'ROMUNDGAARD' replaced by 'ROMUNGAARD'. Pg 98 (Illustration caption), 'ROMUNDGAARD' replaced by 'ROMUNGAARD'. Pg 157, 'Lauterbaos' replaced by 'Lauterbraos'. Pg 166, 'blank space' for missing name replaced by '----'. Pg 172, 'blank space' for missing name replaced by '----'. Pg 183, (L. S.) indicates a letter seal. Pg 186, (L. S.) indicates a letter seal.