That Raughlin is a part of the dominion of Ireland was thus proved by George Craford, plaintiff against Sir Randall McDonnell.
(1.) Because it lies nearer to Ireland than to Scotland and hath no venomous beast in it.
(2.) That which did at any time belong to Ireland must still be reputed to remain with it, except it appear that by conquest, marriage, or other treaty it was taken from it. But so it is, that in the days of K. John, Henry III., Edw. I., and Edw. II. Raghlin was of Ireland, which is thus proven: King John, by his charter, did grant the same to Allan of Galloway, who did homage for it to Henry III. By inquisition taken by virtue of writ of Edw. I. it appeareth that John Bissett and his father died west and seized of that island by the oath of men in Ulster and in Ireland. And, lastly, Edw. II. granted it to John Athy as forfeited to his Crown by Bissett's adherence to the King's enemies.
(3.) The Glennes in Ireland were, the 11 Elizabeth, vested in the Crown of England by Act of Parliament. This isle is part of the Glennes. To this reason are considered the speeches of Sir John Bingley, Sir Fulk Conway, and the letters from Ireland bear that Sir Randall McDonnell and Surley Boy have paid rent for the Glennes.
(4.) Elizabeth, anno 15, passed a part of this island to the Earl of Essex.
(5.) It appears by missives and memorials produced that in her time, peace being between the Crowns of England and Scotland, the English did follow the Scots into this island, took the castle, killed the Scots who were in it, put garrison in the castle, as a place fit to repress the Scots, till they should know his Majesty's further pleasure. Nor does it ever appear that the King of Scotland shewed himself there with discontented.
(6.) Since his Majesty's coming to the Crown of England, it appears by inquisition that the said island belongs to the Crown of England, the tithes thereof to Bangor in Ireland; and his Majesty has disposed the same to Sir Runall McDonnell by letters patent under the Great Seal of England.
That Raughlin is a part of the dominion of Scotland is thus proven:--
(1.) All cosmographers account the Hebrides or Æmonas insulas to belong to Scotland; like as all of them consider Raughlin to be one of same.
(2.) That which did at any time within these six score years belong to the Crown of Scotland must still be reputed to remain with it, except it appear that by conquest, marriage, or other treaty it has been taken from it. Now Raughlin, anno 1500 and before, did belong to the Crown of Scotland, for James IV., finding that by the forltonie of John of the Isles, this island was come to his Crown, disponit, the same by charter under the Great Seal of Scotland to Adam Read, 1500, who, by a precept direct out of the Chancery, was seized eadem, [Sic. In eadem.] whose son Bearnard Read, anno 1551, by virtue of a writ direct to the sheriffdome of Tarbett, was served and retornit heir to his father in the said island as a 20l. land of old extent, lying within the said sheriffdome of Tarbett. By which it was since found by the oaths of men of that shire, that the said Adam Reade died west and seisit in the said island. Like as thereafter, anno 1571, the said Barnard being dead, by the oaths of men as before, that the said Barnard died west and seized in the said island, and that the same is 20l. land of old extent lying within the aforesaid sheriffdome of Tarbett. According to this verdict returned in the Chancery of Scotland, Adam as leeint heir to his father, Bernard by a precept out of the said Chancery was seized in the said island, and by reason the said land of Raughlin had been in nonentures for some years after the decease of the said Barnard, the sheriff of Tarbett made count, reckoning, and payment of the said rents of the same lands into his Majesty's Exchequer of Scotland.
This last Adam Read dying last "west and seized" in the said island about the year 1594, left four daughters minors, and the lands lay in non-entry, possessed violently by the Clan Donald till anno 1585. Angus McDonnell, did agree for it with Harry Stewart of Barskimmen, husband to the eldest sister, who afterwards being reponit by the said Angus, then dispossessed of the said island and taken by his son. And the said Harry being unable by a gift of non-entry of the said island, granted to the Earl of Argile by the possession of Sir Ronnald McDonnalle, and by the weakness of his own estate, to acquire the possession of the said island, after he had dealt with sundry of his friends for the re-possession thereof, has at last disponit his title and right thereof to his nephew George Crawford of Lochnores. Now it appears in A.D. 1500, and before the said island did belong to the Crown of Scotland; for ridiculous it had been for James IV. to have disponit that island to Read by forfaltoure of John of the Isle, if the said John had neither right nor possession of the same, nor can any show, if proof be made out of record or history, that any other but the said John and his predecessors for the space of about 200 years, pretending the said gift of James IV., did possess the said island, or that the said John or any of his predecessors did acknowledge the Crown of England for this isle or any other lands, nor yet ever before his Majesty's coming to the Crown of England, since the days of Edw. II. this island was granted by the kings or queens of England to any, except one alleged grant made to the Earl of Essex, anno 15 Elizabeth: which being transitory, whereupon no title is founded nor possession followed, ought no more to be repeated than the grant of the Mers and Louthiane made to sundry of the English at their setting out against Scotland. Nor can it appear that before his Majesty's coming to the Crown of England that any man ever paid rent or duty for this island to the Crown of England. For whereas they would have this island comprehended under the Glennes lying in the continent of Ireland, as it is against sense to make an island four or five miles from any land to be a part of the Glennes in the main which designeth no shire, county, or place of one jurisdiction, but hills with valleys between them bounded with woods; so doth it appear likewise in the grant made of old by the kings of England, that Raughlin has been ever granted as a several territory by itself, and not comprehended under the Glennes. If then, before the days of James IV., it was possessed by the Clan Donald, and, for anything we can see to the contrary, for the space of 200 years before, and that since it has been disponit from age to age by the kings of Scotland to this Read and his successors, remaining in the actual and real possession of the said island; and that it is offered to be proven if needs be, by living witnesses that the tenants of the said island brought the rents of the same to the house of Barskimen, and that Angus McDonnell, after he had agreed with Harry Stewart for the same island, did, by virtue of the said right, possess the same actually and really, and that the sundry Reads have not been dispossest but by violence of the said Clan Donald, who were possessors of the said island, when they had no foot in Ireland, how can Sir Donald now, or his brother, or his father, temp. Elizabeth, meet the possession of the Crown of Scotland during the time of peace between the two Crowns? For as after where peace is made, that remains with the conqueror by title of conquest, which is not agreed to be restored by the treaty of peace between the two Crowns; so can I not see how during the time of peace the subject of either of the Crowns can alter marches, or extent of jurisdiction; or if the subject do, how this alteration of the subject can acquire any good title to either of the Crowns of the new extending of their possession.
To the first objection; in some other of our north isles there is no venomous beast; as infinite instances may prove, that isles may belong to others than these, who are the next neighbours. It is not the quality of the soil nor living that makes right or title. But all were first as yet derelicta primo occupantis, and ever since his, who by conquest or treaty purchased the same. To the second, there needs no other record to prove the conquest of Rathlin by the Crown of Scotland but the possession thereof in the days of James IV., which possession is presumed to have continued 200 years before, since nothing is shown to the contrary neither out of record nor history. What comes by marriage or other treaty may be upon record. But retention of that is conquest. And truly it were a great piece of work to find out how every piece of ground has assessed or fallen away from the one of these kingdoms by conquests or treaties of peace.
The third reason is answered before, for it is denied that the Glennes comprehend Raughlin; nor could Sir John Bingley nor Sir Fulk Connowley say that ever any duty was paid for Rathlin under that name, only they would infer that rent was paid for Rathlin, because rent was paid for the Glennes.
To the fourth objection; that grant made to the Earl of Essex as is said before, it was never effectual, as they confess, nor ever any possession followed thereupon, but, as they themselves confess, it was restrainted, and therefore ought not to be received nor respected. That in his Majesty's minority, things being but ill settled in the islands of Scotland, his Majesty did not quarrel that the English governors in Ireland did pursue the Scots invading Ireland, even into the Isle of Rathlin, and there did put them to the sword, and did leave some soldiers in the fort of the island till he should receive her Majesty's further pleasure. It may be an argument of the little care there was in the regents to protect those who deserved protection, and their unwillingness to offend the Queen, to whom they were all that time many ways tied.
Whatsoever inquisitions concerning that isle have been purchased since his Majesty's coming to the Crown of England, either by Sir Rannald for the Scots or Sir James Hamilton for the tithes thereof, ought in all reason to be little respected, the purchasers being such as could have no title if these lands were not found to be of Ireland, and the juries of Irishmen, who can never be fit men to adjudge any island betwixt Scotland and Ireland, questionable; and the too great curiosity expressed in the said inquisitions bearing things having no affinity with any record, do show more diligence than sincerity, like as the said Harry Steward of Barskimen for making his right manifest to all parties, since his Majesty's coming to the Crown of England, used precepts of warning against the tenants and possessors of the said island, whereupon he has intended summons of removing before the Lords of Council and Session of Scotland, so that none can pretend ignorance of his right.