The 1st Marquis of Montrose Society

Whilst most of Montrose's poems were influenced by the heavy matters of state and religion which were so burdensome upon the state of Scotland at that time there are one or two examples in his writings which show a lighter side to him and perhaps also a keen sense of humour.

  Although James the 1st Duke of Hamilton postured as King Charles's most loyal servant in Scotland he was in fact in close league with the enemies of Charles, the Covenanters. Hamilton always liked to be considered as a military expert, having served for a while under Gustavus Adolphus, but in truth Adolphus was never able to trust Hamilton with any military responsibility whatsoever.

  Montrose suspected that Hamilton was deceiving Charles and for this reason there was little love lost between Hamilton and Montrose.

  When Hamilton was in the North of England on court business he was annoyed during his visit to the Earl of Newcastle by two quarrelling dogs. Apparently, being unaware that the dogs belonged to Newcastle's son, he drew his blade and ran one of the dogs through.

  On hearing of this incident Montrose penned the following epitaph for the unfortunate creature.


                                             Here lies a dog, whose qualities did plead
                                             Such fatal end from a renowned blade;
                                             And blame him not, though he succumbed now,
                                             For Hercules could not combat against two;
                                             For while he on his foe revenge did take,
                                             He manfully was stabbed behind his back
                                             Then say, to eternise the cur that's gone,
                                             He fleshed the maiden sword of Hamilton.