Heritage News

The King of Kippen

The following is an extract from a “Tourists’ Guide to Kippen, Buchlyvie and Port of Menteith”, published in the early twentieth century.

“The King, with his nobles was residing in Stirling Castle, and having sent a party for some deer to the hills in the neighbourhood of Gartmore, on their return to Stirling with the venison they passed through Arnprior, where they were attacked by the Chief and relieved of their burden. On expostulating with Buchanan for so ruthlessly taking from them what belong to the King, Buchanan replied that if James was King in Scotland, he was King of Kippen.  The messengers reporting the circumstances to the King, he, relishing a Joke resolved to wait on his neighbouring Majesty of Kippen, and rode out one day with a small retinue from Stirling.  Demanding admittance at the Castle of Arnprior, he was refused by a fierce-looking warrior standing at the gate with a battle-axe sloped on his shoulder, who told him there was no admission, as the Chief was at dinner with a large company and could not be disturbed at that time.

VSTR00009 - Buchanan Street (Fore Road) from old postcard

“Tell your master” said James, “the ‘Guidman of Ballengeich’ humbly requests an audience of the ‘King of Kippen.’”

Buchanan, guessing the quality of his guest, received His Majesty with appropriate honours, and became so great a favourite that he had leave to draw upon the carrier as often as he pleased, and was invited, as “King of Kippen” to visit his brother sovereign in Stirling.”

Also, an old photo showing “Buchanan Street” – the old name of Fore Road, indicating that it led to the monarch’s demesne.

Stuart Thomson