By the time that the summer sun had climbed high in the heavens, the two travellers rode apart from their retinue, conversing together with an eagerness which marked the important matters of discussion between them; and in a short time it was made generally known through Scotland, that Sir Malcolm Fleming and the Lady Margaret de Hautlieu were to be united at the court of the good King Robert, and the husband invested with the honours of Biggar and Cumbernauld, an earldom so long known in the family of Fleming.
An Act of the General Assembly was passed against the meetings; we observe that here are the beginnings of strife between the most godly and the rather moderately pious. The secret of Montrose's Cumbernauld band had come to light after November 1640: nothing worse, at the moment, befell than the burning of the band by the Committee of Estates, to whom Argyll referred the matter.
Two of them, the Earl William and his cousin Hugh, were no more than boys in years, though already old in military exercises; the third, Alan Fleming of Cumbernauld, was a strong horseman and excellent with his lance, though also slender of body and more distinguished for dexterity than for power of arm. Yet he was destined to lay a good lance in rest that day, and to come forth unshamed.
Of these animals, the descendants of the savage herds which anciently roamed free in the Caledonian forests, it was formerly a point of state to preserve a few in the parks of the Scottish nobility. Specimens continued within the memory of man to be kept at least at three houses of distinction Hamilton, namely, Drumlanrig, and Cumbernauld.
"The proportion of such cases in the country schools of Chryston and Cumbernauld was much lower than in any of the city schools; and in Industrial Schools, where the children are fed at school, the proportion was lower than among Board School children of a corresponding social class.
Before his first Parliament, in May 1424, James arrested Murdoch's eldest son, Sir Walter Fleming of Cumbernauld, and the younger Boyd of Kilmarnock. Taxes for the payment of James's ransom were imposed; to impose them was easy, "passive resistance" was easier; the money was never paid, and James's noble hostages languished in England.
There was a movement for making Argyll practically Dictator in the North; Montrose thwarted it, and in August, while Charles with a reluctant and disorderly force was marching on York Montrose at Cumbernauld, the house of the Earl of Wigtoun made a secret band with the Earls Marischal, Wigtoun, Home, Atholl, Mar, Perth, Boyd, Galloway, and others, for their mutual defence against the scheme of dictatorship for Argyll.