John de Menteith

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The little gargoyle head of the Fause Menteith on the 16th century guard house at Dumbarton Castle

Sir John Menteith of Ruskie (c. 1275 – c. 1323) was a Scottish nobleman.


He was born to Mary, Countess of Menteith and her husband Walter "Bailloch" Stewart, Earl of Menteith jure uxoris. He and his older brother, Alexander, Earl of Menteith, used the name of the earldom as their surname de Menteith. John possessed the land of Ruskie in Stirlingshire,

He was Governor of Dumbarton Castle, an appointment made by Edward I who was keen to secure the fortification as a major access route into Scotland by sea. Tradition has it that Menteith betrayed Sir William Wallace to English soldiers, which led to Wallace's capture and torturous execution and his later nickname Fause Menteith ("Menteith the treacherous, false").

Wyntoun, whose "Metrical Chronicle" was written in 1418, says:

"Schyre Jhon of Menteith in tha days

Tuk in Glasgow William Walays;
And sent hym until Ingland sune,

There was he quartayrd and undone."

The English chronicler Piers Langtoft states that Menteith discovered the retreat of Wallace through the treacherous information of Jack Short, his servant, and that he came under cover of night and seized him in bed. A passage in the Scalachronica, quoted by John Leland, notes, "William Walleys was taken of the Counte of Menteith, about Glasgow, and sent to King Edward, and after was hanged, drawn, and quartered at London."


Menteith, by an unknown spouse, had issue:[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Balfour Paul vol vi, pp 132-133


External links[edit]