On November 27, 1578, a bond of alliance and mutual defence was signed between Colin Campbell, 6th Earl of Argyll, and John Erskine, 2nd Earl of Mar and the hereditary Keeper of Stirling Castle.

Argyll had strong links to Clackmannanshire. The Campbells of Argyll owned the renamed Castle Campbell, formerly known as Castle Gloom, where Campbell and his wife Lady Agnes Keith had 18 pieces of tapestry hung on its walls in 1584, six years after the bond of alliance was signed at Stirling.

The Earl died that year, and his titles went to his son, Archibald, and Castle Campbell with it.

In the document regarding the bond of alliance, it stated 'the proximity of blood' and the standing between the two men as well as their 'long assured friendship and steadfast good will' had been continued from the time of their parents and their ancestors in the 'true service' of their sovereign princes for many years in the 'course and trade' that had followed.

They undertook that they and their families would agree and coexist with each other 'in the service of the King's Majesty,' this being James VI, 'for his preservation, honour and welfare'.

The Erskines and the Argyll Campbells were related through marriage and the document simply cemented that bond. Margaret Campbell, a daughter of Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll, had married James Erskine, 5th Lord Erskine in the early 16th century.

His father, Robert Erskine, 4th Lord Erskine had married three times, his first two wives being Isabella Campbell, James' mother, then Margaret Campbell, both daughters of Sir George Campbell of Loudan. His third wife was Christian Crichton.

The document stated they would be allies of each other 'against all deadly, the King accepted, and make known and hinder what they may learn is to be attempted against the owner or welfare of each other'.

They also agreed 'to submit any variance which may arise between them to their wives' and their friends and 'do all things to preserve amity and concord'.

It went on they would 'answer upon our faiths and honour'.

The witnesses to the document were Robert Douglas, Earl of Buchan, David Erskine, Commendator of Dryburgh Abbey; Adam Erskine, Commendator of Cambuskenneth Abbey; William Douglas of Loch Leven and 6th Earl of Morton; Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck; John Campbell of Caddell; Colin Campbell of Otter: John Erskine of Dryburgh; and John Erskine of Little Sauchie, or Old Sauchie as it is known today.