Holinshed's Chronicles, Volume V: Scotland, page 233
omittted: A paragraph about how King Duffe's campaign against oppressors of the people earned him the enmity of certain nobles.
Furthermore, they murmured closelie amongest themselues, how the king was onlie become friend to the commons & cleargie of his realme, hauing no respect to the nobilitie, but rather declared himselfe to be an vtter enimie thereof, so that he was vnwoorthie to haue the rule of the nobles and gentlemen, vnles he knew better what belonged to their degrée. This murmuring did spread not onelie among them in the Iles, but also through all the other parts of his realme, so that they ceased not to speake verie euil of the gouernement of things. In the meane time the king fell into a languishing disease, not so gréeuous as strange, that none of his physicians could perceiue what to make of it. For there was séene in him no token, that either choler, melancholie, flegme, or any other vicious humor did any thing abound,* whereby his bodie should be brought into such decaie and consumption (so as there remained vnneth anie thing* vpon him saue skin and bone.)
And sithens it appeared manifestlie by all outward signes and tokens, that naturall moisture did nothing faile in the vitall spirits, his colour also was fresh and faire to behold, with such liuelines of looks, that moe was not to be wished for; he had also a temperat desire and appetite to his meate & drinke, but yet could he not sléepe in the night time by anie prouocations that could be deuised, but still fell into excéeding sweats, which by no means might be restreined. The physicians perceiuing all their medicines to want due effect, yet to put him in some comfort of helpe, declared to him that they would send for some cunning physicians into forreigne parts, who happilie being inured with* such kind of diseases, should easilie cure him, namelie so soone as the spring of the yeare was once come, which of it selfe should helpe much therevnto.
Howbeit the king, though he had small hope of recouerie, yet had he still a diligent care vnto the due administration of his lawes and good orders of his realme, deuising oft with his councell about the same. But when it was vnderstood into what a perillous sicknesse he was fallen, there were no small number, that contemning the authoritie of the magistrats, began to practise a rebellion. And amongst the chiefest were those of Murrey land, who slaieng sundrie of the kings officers, began to rage in most cruell wise against all such as were not consenting to their misordered tumult. The kings physicians forbad in anie wise, that the king should be aduertised of such businesse, for doubt of increasing his sicknes with trouble of mind about the same. But about that present time there was a murmuring amongst the pople, how the king was vexed with no naturall sicknesse, by by sorcerie and magicall art, practised by a sort of witches dwelling in a towne of Murrey land, called Fores.
Wherevpon, albeit the author of this secret talke was not knowne: yet being brought to the kings eare, it caused him to send foorthwith certeine wittie* persons thither, to inquire of the truth. They that were thus sent, dissembling the cause of their iornie,* were receiued in the darke of the night into the castell of Fores by the lieutenant of the same, called Donwald, who continuing faithfull to the king, had kept that castell against the rebels to the kings vse. Vnto him therefore these messengers declared the cause of their comming, requiring his aid for the accomplishment of the kings pleasure.
The souldiers, which laie there in garrison, had an inkling that here was some such matter in hand as was talked of amongst the people; by reason that one of them kept as concubine a yoong woman, which was daughter to one of the witches as his paramour, who told him the whole maner vsed by hir mother & other hir companions, with their intent also, which was to make awaie* the king. The souldier hauing learned this of his lemman,* told the same to his fellowes, who made report to Donwald, and hée shewed it to the kings messengers, and therewith sent for the yoong damosell which the souldier kept, as then being within the castell, and caused hir vpon streict examination to confesse the whole matter as she had séene and knew. Wherevpon learning by hir confession in what house in the towne it was where they wrought