1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bute (island)

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BUTE, the most important, though not the largest, of the islands constituting the county of the same name, in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, about 18 m. S.W. of Greenock and 40 m., by water, from Glasgow. It is bounded on the N. and W. by the lovely Kyles of Bute, the narrow winding strait which separates it from Argyllshire, on the E. by the Firth of Clyde, and on the S. and S.W. by the Sound of Bute, about 6 m. wide, which divides it from Arran. Its area is about 49 sq. m., or 31,161 acres. It lies in a N.W. to S.E. direction, and its greatest length from Buttock Point on the Kyles to Garroch Head on the Firth of Clyde is 15½ m. Owing to indentations its width varies from 1⅓ m. to 4½ m. There are piers at Kilchattan, Craigmore, Port Bannatyne and Rothesay, but Rothesay is practically the harbour for the whole island. Here there is regular communication by railway steamers from Craigendoran, Prince's Pier (Greenock), Gourock and Wemyss Bay, and by frequent vessels from the Broomielaw Bridge in Glasgow and other points on the Clyde. Pop. (1891) 11,735; (1901) 12,162.

The principal hills are in the north, where the chief are Kames Hill (911 ft.) and Kilbride Hill (836 ft.). The streams are mostly burns, and there are six lochs. Loch Fad, about 1 m. S. of Rothesay, 2½ m. long by ⅓ m. wide, was the source of the power used in the Rothesay cotton-spinning mill, which was the first establishment of the kind erected in Scotland. In 1827 on its western shore Edmund Kean built a cottage afterwards occupied by Sheridan Knowles. It now belongs to the marquess of Bute. From Loch Ascog, fully 1 m. long, Rothesay derives its water supply. The other lakes are Loch Quien, Loch Greenan, Dhu Loch and Loch Bull. Glen More in the north and Glen Callum in the south are the only glens of any size. The climate is mild and healthful, fuchsias and other plants flowering even in winter, and neither snow nor frost being of long continuance, and less rain falling than in many parts of the western coast. Some two-thirds of the area, mostly in the centre and south, are arable, yielding excellent crops of potatoes for the Glasgow market, oats and turnips; the rest consists of hill pastures and plantations. The fisheries are of considerable value. There is no lack of sandstone, slate and whinstone. Some coal exists, but it is of inferior quality and doubtful quantity. At Kilchattan a superior clay for bricks and tiles is found, and grey granite susceptible of high polish.

The island is divided geologically into two areas by a fault running from Rothesay Bay in a south-south-west direction by Loch Fad to Scalpsie Bay, which, throughout its course, coincides with a well-marked depression. The tract lying to the north-west of this dislocation is composed of the metamorphic rocks of the Eastern Highlands. The Dunoon phyllites form a narrow belt about a mile and a half broad crossing the island between Kames Bay and Etterick Bay, while the area to the north is occupied by grits and schists which may be the western prolongations of the Beinn Bheula group. Near Rothesay and along the hill slopes west of Loch Fad there are parallel strips of grits and phyllites. That part of the island lying to the east of this dislocation consists chiefly of Upper Old Red Sandstone strata, dipping generally in a westerly or south-westerly direction. At the extreme south end, between Kilchattan and Garroch Head, these conglomerates and sandstones are overlaid by a thick cornstone or dolomitic limestone marking the upper limit of the formation, which is surmounted by the cement-stones and contemporaneous lavas of Lower Carboniferous age. The bedded volcanic rocks which form a series of ridges trending north-west comprise porphyritic basalts, andesite, and, near Port Luchdach, brownish trachyte. Near the base of the volcanic series intrusive igneous rocks of Carboniferous age appear in the form of sills and bosses, as, for instance, the oval mass of olivine-basalt on Suidhe Hill. Remnants of raised beaches are conspicuous in Bute. One of the well-known localities for arctic shelly clays occurs at Kilchattan brick-works, where the dark red clay rests on tough boulder-clay and may be regarded as of late glacial age.

As to the origin of the name of Bute, there is some doubt. It has been held to come from both (Irish for "a cell"), in allusion to the cell which St Brendan erected in the island in the 6th century; others contend that it is derived from the British words ey budh (Gaelic, ey bhiod), "the island of corn" (i.e. food), in reference to its fertility, notable in contrast with the barrenness of the Western Isles and Highlands. Bute was probably first colonized by the vanguard of Scots who came over from Ireland, and at intervals the Norsemen also secured a footing for longer or shorter periods. In those days the Butemen were also called Brandanes, after the Saint. Attesting the antiquity of the island, "Druidical" monuments, barrows, cairns and cists are numerous, as well as the remains of ancient chapels. In virtue of a charter granted by James IV. in 1506, the numerous small proprietors took the title of "baron," which became hereditary in their families. Now the title is practically extinct, the lands conferring it having with very few exceptions passed by purchase into the possession of the marquess of Bute, the proprietor of nearly the whole island. His seat, Mount Stuart, about 4½ m. from Rothesay by the shore road, is finely situated on the eastern coast. Port Bannatyne (pop. 1165), 2 m. north by west of Rothesay, is a flourishing watering-place, named after Lord Bannatyne (1743-1833), a judge of the court of session, one of the founders of the Highland and Agricultural Society in 1784. Near to it is Kames Castle, where John Sterling, famous for Carlyle's biography, was born in 1806. Kilchattan, in the south-east of the island, is a favourite summer resort. Another object of interest is St Blane's Chapel, picturesquely situated about ½ m. from Dunagoil Bay. Off the western shore of Bute, ¾ m. from St Ninian's Point, lies the island of Inchmarnock, 2 m. in length and about ¾ m. in width.

See J. Wilson, Account of Rothesay and Bute (Rothesay, 1848); J.K. Hewison, History of Bute (1894-1895).

BUTE, or Buteshire, an insular county in the S.W. of Scotland, consisting of the islands of Bute, from which the county takes its name, Inchmarnock, Great Cumbrae, Little Cumbrae, Arran, Holy Island and Pladda, all lying in the Firth of Clyde, between Ayrshire on the E. and Argyllshire on the W. and N. The area of the county is 140,307 acres, or rather more than 219 sq. m. Pop. (1891) 18,404; (1901) 18,787 (or 86 to the sq. m.). In 1901 the number of persons who spoke Gaelic alone was 20, of those speaking Gaelic and English 2764. Before the Reform Bill of 1832, Buteshire, alternately with Caithness-shire, sent one member to parliament—Rothesay at the same time sharing a representative with Ayr, Campbeltown, Inveraray and Irvine. Rothesay was then merged in the county, which since then has had a member to itself. Buteshire and Renfrewshire form one sheriffdom, with a sheriff-substitute resident in Rothesay who also sits periodically at Brodick and Millport. The circuit courts are held at Inveraray. The county is under school-board jurisdiction, and there is a secondary school at Rothesay. The county council subsidizes technical education in agriculture at Glasgow and Kilmarnock. The staple crops are oats and potatoes, and cattle, sheep and horses are reared. Seed-growing is an extensive industry, and the fisheries are considerable. The Rothesay fishery district includes all the creeks in Buteshire and a few in Argyll and Dumbarton shires, the Cumbraes being grouped with the Greenock district. The herring fishery begins in June, and white fishing is followed at one or other point all the year round. During the season many of the fishermen are employed on the Clyde yachts, Rothesay being a prominent yachting centre. The exports comprise agricultural produce and fish, trade being actively carried on between the county ports of Rothesay, Millport, Brodick and Lamlash and the mainland ports of Glasgow, Greenock, Gourock, Ardrossan and Wemyss Bay, with all of which there is regular steamer communication throughout the year.

BUTHROTUM. (1) An ancient seaport of Illyria, corresponding with the modern Butrinto (q.v.). (2) A town in Attica, mentioned by Pliny the Elder (Nat. Hist. iv. 37).

BUTLER, the name of a family famous in the history of Ireland. The great house of the Butlers, alone among the families of the conquerors, rivalled the Geraldines, their neighbours, kinsfolk and mortal foes. Theobald Walter, their ancestor, was not among the first of the invaders. He was the grandson of one Hervey Walter who, in the time of Henry I., held Witheton or Weeton in Amounderness, a small fee of the honour of Lancaster, the manor of Newton in Suffolk, and certain lands in Norfolk. In the great inquest of Lancaster lands that followed a writ of 1212, this Hervey, named as the father of Hervey Walter, is said to have given lands in his fee of Weeton to Orm, son of Magnus, with his daughter Alice in marriage. Hervey Walter, son of this Hervey, advanced his family by matching with Maude, daughter of Theobald de Valognes, lord of Parham, whose sister Bertha was wife of Ranulf de Glanville, the great justiciar, "the eye of the king." When Ranulf had founded the Austin Canons priory of Butley, Hervey Walter, his wife's brother-in-law, gave to the house lands in Wingfield for the soul's health of himself and his wife Maude, of Ranulf de Glanville and Bertha his wife, the charter, still preserved in the Harleian collection, being witnessed by Hervey's younger sons, Hubert Walter, Roger and Hamon. Another son, Bartholomew, witnessed a charter of his brother Hubert, 1190-1193. That these nephews of the justiciar profited early by their kinship is seen in Hubert Walter's foundation charter of the abbey of West Dereham, wherein he speaks of "dominus Ranulphus de Glanvilla et domina Bertha uxor eius, qui nos nutrierunt." Hubert, indeed, becoming one of his uncle's clerks, was so much in his confidence that Gervase of Canterbury speaks of the two as ruling the kingdom together. King Richard, whom he accompanied to the Holy Land, made him bishop of Salisbury and (1193) archbishop of Canterbury. "Wary of counsel, subtle of wit," he was the champion of Canterbury and of England, and the news of his death drew the cry from King John that "now, for the first time, am I king in truth."

Between these two great statesmen Theobald Walter, the eldest brother of the archbishop, rose and flourished. Theobald is found in the Liber Niger (c. 1166) as holding Amounderness by the service of one knight. In 1185 he went over sea to Waterford with John the king's son, the freight of the harness sent after him being charged in the Pipe Roll. Clad in that harness he led the men of Cork when Dermot MacCarthy, prince of Desmond, was put to the sword, John rewarding his services with lands in Limerick and with the important fief of Arklow in the vale of Avoca, where he made his Irish seat and founded an abbey. Returning to England he accompanied his uncle Randulf to France, both witnessing a charter delivered by the king at Chinon when near to death. Soon afterwards, Theobald Walter was given by John that hereditary office of butler to the lord of Ireland, which makes a surname for his descendants, styling himself pincerna when he attests John's charter to Dublin on the 15th of May 1192. J. Horace Round has pointed out that he also took a fresh seal, the inscription of which calls him Theobald Walter, Butler of Ireland, and henceforward he is sometimes surnamed Butler (le Botiller). When John went abroad in 1192, Theobald was given the charge of Lancaster castle, but in 1194 he was forced to surrender to his brother Hubert, who summoned it in King Richard's name. Making his peace through Hubert's influence, he was sheriff of Lancashire for King Richard, who regranted to him all Amounderness. His fortunes turned with the king's death. The new sovereign, treating his surrender of the castle as treachery, took the shrievalty from him, disseised him of Amounderness and sold his cantreds of Limerick land to William de Braose. But the great archbishop soon found means to bring his brother back to favour, and on the 2nd of January 1201-2 Amounderness, by writ of the king, is to be restored to Theobald Walter, dilecto et fideli nostra, Within a year or two Theobald left England to end his days upon his Arklow fief, busying himself with religious foundations at Wotheney in Limerick, at Arklow and at Nenagh. At Wotheney he is said to have been buried shortly before the 12th of February 1205-6, when an entry in the Close Roll is concerned with his widow. This widow, Maude, daughter of Robert le Vavasor of Denton, was given up to her father, who, buying the right of marrying her at a price of 1200 marks and two palfreys, gave her to Fulk fitz-Warine. Theobald, the son and heir of Theobald and Maude, a child of six years old, was likewise taken into the keeping of his grandfather Robert, but letters from the king, dated the 2nd of March 1205-6, told Robert, "as he loved his body," to surrender the heir at once to Gilbert fitz-Reinfrid, the baron of Kendal.

Adding to its possessions by marriages the house advanced itself among the nobility of Ireland. On the 1st of September 1315, its chief, Edmund Walter alias Edmund the Butler, for services against the Scottish raiders and Ulster rebels, had a charter of the castle and manors of Carrick, Macgriffyn and Roscrea to hold to him and his heirs sub nomine et honore comitis de Karryk. This charter, however, while apparently creating an earldom, failed, as Mr Round has explained, to make his issue earls of Carrick. But James, the son and heir of Edmund, having married in 1327 Eleanor de Bohun, daughter of Humfrey,