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

Sir John de Menteith (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, replaced their paternal Stewart surname in favour of Menteith, which earned him the nickname Fause (False) Menteith. John possessed the land of Ruskie, 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 death and his later nickname Fause Menteith ("Menteith the treacherous").

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 Scala Chronica, 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 married Helena, daughter of Gartnait, Earl of Mar, by whom he had two sons and one daughter known by name, namely, Sir John de Menteith the younger, Walter and Johanna. He was said to have had two other daughters.

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Simple English

Sir John de Menteith (c. 1275 - c. 1323) was a Scottish nobleman. On August 3, 1305, William Wallace was captured at Robroyston, near Glasgow. His captor, Sir John Menteith, the ‘false’ Menteith, has gone down in Scottish legend as the betrayer of Wallace, but he acted as many others would have. Menteith was no English lackey, and in 1320 he put his seal to the Declaration of Arbroath.

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