Those of us who read Lymond are of course very familiar with Nicolas de Nicolay who rescued Francis from the Knights mortuary and was the real life source of information on the Geomalers. Some may not realise that this celebrated navigator is also associated with the earliest accurate map of Scotland. Now a copy of that map, known as the Nicolay Rutter, is to go under the hammer in the Edinburgh auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull where it’s expected to go for between Â£20,000 and Â£30,000.
The map, which is regarded as of prime importance in Scottish mapping history, was in fact drawn earlier by the Scot Alexander Lyndsay, and used by King James V to bring the Western Isles under closer control, but de Nicolay obtained a copy of the manuscript in 1546 via the English admiral Lord Dudley who had been Warden of the Scottish Marches and seems to have acquired it by subterfuge. Nicolay took it to France where it was used by the French King to plan a raid to avenge the death of Cardinal Beaton – the raid being carried out by Leon Strozzi.