Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 22.djvu/163

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Gordon
Gordon
157

in the village of Gordon, given to them by Andrew Fraser about 1280.

After the coronation of Robert Bruce and the accession of Edward II to the English throne, certain Scottish noblemen continued ‘deeply engaged in the English interest,’ among whom Abercrombie mentions with sorrow ‘the formerly brave and honest Sir Adam Gordon.’ And till 1314 Gordon was well disposed toward the English king, from whom he received various marks of favour. In 1308, when William Lambert, archbishop of St. Andrews, who had been imprisoned by Edward I, was liberated by his successor, Gordon with others became surety for his compliance with the conditions of his release (Cal. of Documents relating to Scotland, iii. 44). In 1310 he was appointed justiciar of Scotland (ib. iii. 222). In January 1312 Edward II was at York, on his way to invade Scotland, but resolved to treat for peace, and for that purpose appointed David, earl of Atholl, Gordon, and others his plenipotentiaries, but without any good result. In October 1313 Gordon, along with Patrick, earl of March, was deputed by such of the Scots as still remained faithful to the English interest to lay before Edward their miserable condition (ib. iii. 337). The king received them graciously, and on 28 Nov. formally replied, announcing his intention to lead an army to their relief next midsummer (Fœdera, ii. 247). In a letter dated 1 April the same year Edward warmly commended to the pope John and Thomas, sons of ‘a nobleman and our faithful Adam Gordon,’ who seem to have been about to visit Italy. After the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Gordon no longer hesitated to acknowledge Bruce as king. He was cordially welcomed, and was speedily numbered with the king's most trusted friends. From Thomas Randolph, earl of Moray, he obtained the barony of Stitchel in Roxburghshire, which was confirmed to him and his son William by Robert I on 28 Jan. 1315. In 1320 Gordon, along with Sir Edward Mabinson, was sent on a special mission to the pope at Avignon. They were bearers of the memorable letter asserting the independence of the kingdom, dated at Aberbrothock on 6 April 1320, and were charged with the twofold duty of effecting a reconciliation between King Robert and the pope and paving the way for a peace with England. As a reward for faithful service, including help rendered in subduing the rebellious house of Comyn in the north-eastern counties, Bruce granted to him and his heirs the lordship of Strathbogie in Aberdeenshire, which had belonged to David, earl of Atholl. Gordon bestowed on that lordship the name of Huntly, from a village on his Berwickshire estate. His fidelity to King Robert was continued to his son and successor, David II; and he was killed on 12 July 1333, fighting in the van of the Scottish army at the battle of Halidon Hill. By Abercrombie he is numbered among the most trusted friends of Bruce, ‘all great personages and the glorious ancestors of many in all respects as great as themselves.’ From Gordon descended nearly all the eminent men of that name in Scotland.

[Douglas's Peerage, pp. 295-6, 642; Crawford's Peerage of Scotland; Chalmers's Caledonia, ii. 387, 544 ; Liber de Kelso, pp. 85-97 ; Rymer's Fœdera, pp. 81, 82, 94, 222, 481, 848; Abercrombie's Martial Achievements of the Scottish Nation, i. 583, 591-3; History of the Antient, Noble, and Illustrious House of Gordon, i. 7-9 ; Concise History of the Antient and Illustrious House of Gordon, pp. 19-23 ; Gordon of Gordonstone's Genealogy of the Earls of Sutherland, pp. 34, 38, 45.]

J. T.

GORDON, Sir ADAM de (d. 1402), warrior, was son and heir of Sir John de Gordon, a knight distinguished in border warfare. In the ‘raid of Roxburgh’ (1377), when the Earl of March massacred all the English who had come to the annual fair, Gordon was a principal assistant, in revenge for which a band of English raiders broke in upon his lands and carried off his cattle. Gordon invaded the English side of the border and was bringing home a large booty with many prisoners when he was intercepted by Sir John Lilburn and his brother, with whom a battle was fought near Carham, Northumberland. Gordon was wounded, but victory was gained and the two brothers made prisoners. He was also in the division of the Scottish army which, under the young Earl of Douglas, invaded Northumberland in 1388, ending with the battle of Otterburn on 19 Aug., where Douglas with many other Scottish noblemen was killed. On 18 June the same year Robert II granted him a charter confirming to him and to his heirs the lands of Strathbogie given to Sir Adam de Gordon (d. 1333) [q. v.] by King Robert Bruce. Gordon was included in the grand army with which, in 1402, the Earl of Douglas invaded England. Though watched by the Earl of Northumberland and his son Hotspur, the Scots penetrated without hindrance to the gates of Newcastle. They had reached Wooler on their homeward journey when the approach of an English army forced them to take up a position upon Homildon Hill. They became impatient under the discharge of the English arrows. Sir John de Swynton, with whom Gordon had been at feud, called impatiently for a charge. Gordon fell on his knees, begged Swynton's forgiveness, and was knighted on