DOUNE, a town, in the parish of Kilmadock, county of Perth, 8 miles (N. W.) from Stirling, and 44 (N. W. by W.) from Edinburgh; containing 1559 inhabitants. This place, which is situated on the banks of the river Teith, near its confluence with the Ardoch, owes its origin to a castle founded here, according to some, but disputed, accounts, by Murdoch, grandson of Robert II., and who in 1370 was created Earl of Monteith, and in 1398 Duke of Albany. Murdoch was taken prisoner by the English, at the battle of Homelden, in 1401, and detained in captivity till the year 1411, when he was exchanged for Percy, Earl of North-umberland, from which time he continued to live in retirement till the death of his father in 1420, when he succeeded to the regency, which, however, after a disastrous government of four years, he resigned. Subsequently a charge of high treason was preferred against him, his two sons, Walter and Alexander, and his father-in-law, Duncan, Earl of Lennox, who were all seized and carried prisoners to Stirling, where, after being brought to trial and found guilty, they were beheaded. Isabella, the wife of Murdoch, was taken from the castle of Doune, and conveyed to that of Tantallan, in Lothian, where, upon their decapitation, the heads of her father, husband, and children were sent to her in her prison, with a view to extort a revelation of the alleged treason; but she heroically replied, that "if the crime alleged against the parties were true, the king had done justly and according to law."
   The castle of Doune was seized by James I., and annexed to the crown, of which it continued to form an appendage till the year 1502, when Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. of England, on her marriage to James IV., obtained it as part of her settlement. After the death of James IV., Margaret married, in 1528, Henry, Lord Methven, a descendant of Murdoch, Duke of Albany, and, with the consent of her husband, granted to James Stuart, a younger brother of Lord Methven, the constableship of the castle for life. This grant was confirmed to him and to his heirs for ever, by James V., and the office is still held by his descendant, the present Earl of Moray. Mary, Queen of Scots, and her husband, Lord Darnley, frequently made the castle their resort as a hunting-seat; and in 1745 it was garrisoned by Mc Gregor of Glengyle, nephew of Rob Roy, who held it for Prince Charles Edward. A party of royalist volunteers from the university of Edinburgh, among whom was Home, the author of Douglas, having in one of their excursions ventured as far as the Teith, were all captured by Glengyle, and confined in the castle, from which they ultimately effected their escape by climbing over the walls, as related by Mr. Home in his History of the Rebellion of 1745. The remains, situated on a peninsular eminence, at the confluence of the Teith and Ardoch, convey a tolerably adequate idea of the ancient magnificence of the castle; the walls, though roofless, are still entire, forty feet in height and ten feet in thickness, inclosing a quadrilateral area ninety-six feet in length, and of equal breadth. In the north-east angle is a massive tower eighty feet in height, and at the opposite angle is another tower, forty feet high. The great hall is sixty-three feet in length, and twenty-five feet wide; and the kitchen, and many of the family apartments, are spacious and in tolerable preservation. In the lower portions of the building are several cells and dungeons of frightful appearance; the whole of the ruins have a stately and imposing aspect, and, from their situation, form a strikingly romantic feature in the scenery.
   The town, which has been much improved since the establishment of the cotton-works in the adjacent village of Deanston, consists principally of three streets diverging from the market cross, which is situated on the spot where the roads from Bridge of Teith and Callander meet. The houses are generally of neat appearance, and several of the more modern of handsome character. The manufacture of Highland pistols was formerly carried on here to a great extent, and thus the town was in high reputation; the pistols made varied in price from two to twenty-four guineas per pair, and were supplied to most of the nobility of Europe. The manufacture of Highland purses was also extensive, but these have totally disappeared, and the population is at present chiefly employed in agriculture or in the adjacent manufactory. A post-office is established here, which has a tolerable delivery; and there is a savings' bank in the town. Fairs are held on the second Wednesday in February, for the sale of grain and for general business; the second Wednesday in May, for milch cows and cattle; the last Wednesday in July, for horses and cattle, the hiring of shearers, and other business; the first Tuesday and Wednesday in November, for sheep and black-cattle; the last Wednesday in that month, for horses and cattle; and the last Wednesday in December, for fat cattle, grain, and general business. Facility of communication is afforded by parish and turnpike roads, as well as by the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway, to which there are regular conveyances. The members of the Free Church have two places of worship. Doune gives the title of Baron to the Earl of Moray.
   See Kilmadock.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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