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Minstrelsy of the Scottish border (3rd ed) (1 of 3)
by Walter Scott
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[Footnote 132: Ranshackled—Ransacked.]

[Footnote 133: Gryming—Sprinkling.]

[Footnote 134: Ca's—Calves.]

[Footnote 135: Minnie—Mother.]

[Footnote 136: Outspeckle.—Laughing-stock.]

[Footnote 137: Toom—Empty.]

[Footnote 138: Knapscap—Headpiece.]

[Footnote 139: The Dinlay—is a mountain in Liddesdale.]

[Footnote 140: Lourd—Rather.]

[Footnote 141: Wudspurs—Hotspur, or Madspur.]



NOTES ON JAMIE TELFER OF THE FAIR DODHEAD.

* * * * *

It was high up in Hardhaughswire.—P. 140. v. 1.

Hardhaughswire is the pass from Liddesdale to the head of Tiviotdale.

It was laigh down in Borthwick water.—P. 140. v. 1.

Borthwick water is a stream, which falls into the Tiviot, three miles above Hawick.

But, gin ye'll gae to the fair Dodhead.—P. 140. v. 2.

The Dodhead, in Selkirkshire, near Singlee, where there are still the vestiges of an old tower.

Now Jamie Telfer's heart was sair.—P. 140. v. 4.

There is still a family of Telfers, residing near Langholm, who pretend to derive their descent from the Telfers of the Dodhead.

Between the Dodhead and the Stobs's Ha'.—P. 141. v. 1.

Stobs Hall, upon Slitterick. Jamie Telfer made his first application here because he seems to have paid the proprietor of that castle black-mail, or protection-money.

Gar seek your succour at Branksome Ha'.—P. 141. v. 4.

The ancient family-seat of the lairds of Buccleuch, near Hawick.

Till he cam to the Coultart Cleugh.—P. 142. v. 2.

The Coultart Cleugh is nearly opposite to Carlinrig, on the road between Hawick and Mosspaul.

Gar warn the water, braid and wide.—P. 144. v. 4.

The water, in the mountainous districts of Scotland, is often used to express the banks of the river, which are the only inhabitable parts of the country. To raise the water, therefore, was to alarm those who lived along its side.

Warn Wat o' Harden, and his sons, &c.—P. 144. v. 5.

The estates, mentioned in this verse, belonged to families of the name of Scott, residing upon the waters of Borthwick and Tiviot, near the castle of their chief.

Ride by the gate at Priesthaughswire.—P. 145. v. 1.

The pursuers seem to have taken the road through the hills of Liddesdale, in order to collect forces, and intercept the foragers at the passage of the Liddel, on their return to Bewcastle. The Ritterford and Kershope-ford, after mentioned, are noted fords on the river Liddel.

The gear was driven the Frostylee up.—P. 145. v. 3.

The Frostylee is a brook, which joins the Tiviot, near Mosspaul.

And Harden grat for very rage.—P. 146. v. 4.

Of this border laird, commonly called Auld Wat of Harden, tradition has preserved many anecdotes. He was married to Mary Scott, celebrated in song by the title of the Flower of Yarrow. By their marriage-contract, the father-in-law, Philip Scott of Dryhope, was to find Harden in horse meat, and man's meat, at his tower of Dryhope, for a year and a day; but five barons pledge themselves, that, at the expiry of that period, the son-in-law should remove, without attempting to continue in possession by force! A notary-public signed for all the parties to the deed, none of whom could write their names. The original is still in the charter-room of the present Mr. Scott of Harden. By the Flower of Yarrow the laird of Harden had six sons; five of whom survived him, and founded the families of Harden (now extinct), Highchesters (now representing Harden), Reaburn, Wool, and Synton. The sixth son was slain at a fray, in a hunting-match, by the Scotts of Gilmanscleugh. His brothers flew to arms; but the old laird secured them in the dungeon of his tower, hurried to Edinburgh, stated the crime, and obtained a gift of the lands of the offenders from the crown. He returned to Harden with equal speed, released his sons, and shewed them the charter. "To horse, lads!" cried the savage warrior, "and let us take possession! the lands of Gilmanscleuch are well worth a dead son." The property, thus obtained, continued in the family till the beginning of last century, when it was sold, by John Scott of Harden, to Anne, Duchess of Buccleuch.

John o' Brigham there was slane.—P. 147. v. 3.

Perhaps one of the ancient family of Brougham, in Cumberland. The editor has used some freedom with the original in the subsequent verse. The account of the captain's disaster (tests laeva vulnerata) is rather too naive for literal publication.

Cried—"On for his house in Stanegirthside.—P. 148. v. 3.

A house belonging to the Foresters, situated on the English side of the Liddel.

An article in the list of attempts upon England, fouled by the commissioners ar Berwick, in the year 1587, may relate to the subject of the foregoing ballad.

October, 1582.

Thomas Musgrave, deputy {Walter Scott, laird } 200 kine and of Bewcastle, and {of Buckluth, and his} oxen,300 gait the tenants, against {complices; for } and sheep.

Introduction, to History of Westmoreland and Cumberland, p. 31.



THE RAID OF THE REIDSWIRE.

* * * * *

This poem is published from a copy in the Bannatyne MS. in the hand-writing of the Hon. Mr. Carmichael, advocate. It first appeared in Allan Ramsay's Evergreen, but some liberties have been taken by him in transcribing it; and, what is altogether unpardonable, the MS., which is itself rather inaccurate, has been interpolated to favour his readings; of which there remain obvious marks.

The skirmish of the Reidswire happened upon the 7th of June, 1575, at one of the meetings, held by the wardens of the marches, for arrangements necessary upon the border. Sir John Carmichael, ancestor of the present Earl of Hyndford, was the Scottish warden, and Sir John Forster held that office on the English middle march.—In the course of the day, which was employed, as usual, in redressing wrongs, a bill, or indictment, at the instance of a Scottish complainer, was fouled (i.e. found a true bill) against one Farnstein, a notorious English freebooter. Forster alleged that he had fled from justice: Carmichael considering this as a pretext to avoid making compensation for the felony, bade him "play fair!" to which the haughty English warden retorted, by some injurious expressions respecting Carmichael's family, and gave other open signs of resentment. His retinue, chiefly men of Reesdale and Tynedale, the most ferocious of the English borderers, glad of any pretext for a quarrel, discharged a flight of arrows among the Scots. A warm conflict ensued, in which, Carmichael being beat down and made prisoner, success seemed at first to incline to the English side; till the Tynedale men, throwing themselves too greedily upon the plunder, fell into disorder; and a body of Jedburgh citizens arriving at that instant, the skirmish terminated in a complete victory on the part of the Scots, who took prisoners, the English warden, James Ogle, Cuthbert Collingwood, Francis Russel, son to the Earl of Bedford, and son-in-law to Forster, some of the Fenwicks, and several other border chiefs. They were sent to the Earl of Morton, then regent, who detained them at Dalkeith for some days, till the heat of their resentment was abated; which prudent precaution prevented a war betwixt the two kingdoms. He then dismissed them with great expressions of regard; and, to satisfy Queen Elizabeth,[142] sent up Carmichael to York, whence he was soon after honourably dismissed. The field of battle, called the Reidswire, is a part of the Carter Mountain, about ten miles from Jedburgh.—See, for these particulars, Godscroft, Spottiswoode, and Johnstone's History.

[Footnote 142: Her ambassador at Edinburgh refused to lie in a bed of state which had been provided for him, till this "oudious fact" had been enquired into.—Murden's State Papers, Vol. II, p. 282.]

The editor has adopted the modern spelling of the word Reidswire, to prevent the mistake in pronunciation which might be occasioned by the use of the Scottish qu for w. The MS. reads Reidsquair. Swair, or Swire, signifies the descent of a hill; and the epithet Red is derived from the colour of the heath, or, perhaps, from the Reid-water, which rises at no great distance.



THE RAID OF THE REIDSWIRE.

* * * * *

The seventh of July, the suith to say, At the Reidswire the tryst was set; Our wardens they affixed the day, And, as they promised, so they met. Alas! that day I'll ne'er forgett! Was sure sae feard, and then sae faine— They came theare justice for to gett, Will never green[143] to come again.

Carmichael was our Warden then, He caused the country to conveen; And the Laird's Wat, that worthie man, Brought in that sirname weil beseen[144]:

The Armestranges, that aye hae been A hardie house, but not a hail, The Elliot's honours to maintaine, Brought down the lave[145] o' Liddesdale.

Then Tividale came to wi' speid; The sheriffe brought the Douglas down, Wi' Cranstane, Gladstain, good at need, Baith Rewle water, and Hawick town. Beanjeddart bauldly made him boun, Wi' a' the Trumbills, stronge and stout; The Rutherfoords, with grit renown, Convoyed the town of Jedbrugh out.

Of other clans I cannot tell, Because our warning was not wide.— Be this our folks hae taen the fell, And planted down palliones[146] there to bide. We looked down the other side, And saw come breasting ower the brae, Wi' Sir John Forster for their guyde, Full fifteen hundred men and mae.

It grieved him sair, that day, I trow, Wi' Sir George Hearoune of Schipsydehouse; Because we were not men enow, They counted us not worth a louse. Sir George was gentle, meek, and douse, But he was hail and het as fire; And yet, for all his cracking crouse[147], He rewd the raid o' the Reidswire.

To deal with proud men is but pain; For either must ye fight or flee, Or else no answer make again, But play the beast, and let them be. It was na wonder he was hie, Had Tindaill, Reedsdaill, at his hand, Wi' Cukdaill, Gladsdaill on the lee, And Hebsrime, and Northumberland.

Yett was our meeting meek enough, Begun wi' merriement and mowes, And at the brae, aboon the heugh, The clark sate down to call the rowes.[148] And some for kyne, and some for ewes, Called in of Dandrie, Hob, and Jock— We saw, come marching ower the knows, Five hundred Fennicks in a flock.

With jack and speir, and bows all bent, And warlike weapons at their will: Although we were na weel content, Yet, be my trouth, we feard no ill. Some gaed to drink, and some stude still, And some to cairds and dice them sped; Till on ane Farnstein they fyled a bill, And he was fugitive and fled.

Carmichael bade them speik out plainlie, And cloke no cause for ill nor good; The other, answering him as vainlie, Began to reckon kin and blood: He raise, and raxed[149] him where he stood, And bade him match him with his marrows, Then Tindaill heard them reasun rude, And they loot off a flight of arrows.

Then was there nought but bow and speir, And every man pulled out a brand; "A Schaftan and a Fenwick" thare: Gude Symington was slain frae hand. The Scotsmen cried on other to stand, Frae time they saw John Robson slain— What should they cry? the king's command Could cause no cowards turn again.

Up rose the laird to red the cumber,[150] Which would not be for all his boast;— What could we doe with sic a number? Fyve thousand men into a host. Then Henry Purdie proved his cost,[151] And very narrowlie had mischiefed him, And there we had our warden lost, Wert not the grit God he relieved him.

Another throw the breiks him bair, Whill flatlies to the ground he fell: Than thought I weel we had lost him there, Into my stomach it struck a knell! Yet up he raise, the treuth to tell ye, And laid about him dints full dour; His horsemen they raid sturdilie, And stude about him in the stoure.

Then raise[152] the slogan with ane shout— "Fy Tindaill, to it! Jedbrugh's here!" I trow he was not half sae stout, But[153] anis his stomach was asteir.

With gun and genzie,[154] bow and speir, Men might see monie a cracked crown! But up amang the merchant geir, They were as busie as we were down.

The swallow taill frae tackles flew, Five hundreth flain[155] into a flight, But we had pestelets enow, And shot amang them as we might. With help of God the game gaed right, Frae time the foremost of them fell; Then ower the know without goodnight, They ran, with mony a shout and yell.

But after they had turned backs, Yet Tindaill men they turned again; And had not been the merchant packs, There had been mae of Scotland slain. But, Jesu! if the folks were fain To put the bussing on their thies; And so they fled, wi' a' their main, Down ower the brae, like clogged bees.

Sir Francis Russel ta'en was there, And hurt, as we hear men rehearse; Proud Wallinton was wounded sair, Albeit he be a Fennick fierce. But if ye wald a souldier search, Among them a' were ta'en that night, Was nane sae wordie to put in verse, As Collingwood, that courteous knight.

Young Henry Schafton, he is hurt; A souldier shot him with a bow: Scotland has cause to mak great sturt, For laiming of the laird of Mow. The Laird's Wat did weel, indeed; His friends stood stoutlie by himsel', With little Gladstain, gude in need, For Gretein kend na gude be ill.

The Sheriffe wanted not gude will, Howbeit he might not fight so fast; Beanjeddart, Hundlie, and Hunthill, Three, on they laid weel at the last. Except the horsemen of the guard, If I could put men to availe, None stoutlier stood out for their laird. For did the lads of Liddesdail.

But little harness had we there; But auld Badreule had on a jack, And did right weel, I you declare, With all his Trumbills at his back. Gude Ederstane was not to lack, Nor Kirktoun, Newtoun, noble men! Thirs[156] all the specials I of speake, By[157] others that I could not ken.

Who did invent that day of play, We need not fear to find him soon; For Sir John Forster, I dare well say, Made us this noisome afternoon. Not that I speak preceislie out, That he supposed it would be perril; But pride, and breaking out of feuid, Garr'd Tindaill lads begin the quarrel.

[Footnote 143: Green—Long.]

[Footnote 144: Weil beseen—Well appointed. The word occurs in Morte Arthur: "And when Sir Percival saw this, he hied him thither, "and found the ship covered with silke, more blacker than any beare; and therein was a gentlewoman, of great beautie, and she was richly beseene, that none might be better."]

[Footnote 145: Lave—Remainder.]

[Footnote 146: Palliones—Tents.]

[Footnote 147: Cracking crouse—Talking big.]

[Footnote 148: Rowes—Rolls.]

[Footnote 149: Raxed him—Stretched himself up.]

[Footnote 150: Red the cumber—Quell the tumult.]

[Footnote 151: Cost—Signifies loss or risk.]

[Footnote 152: Raise—Rose.]

[Footnote 153: But, &c.—Till once his anger was up.]

[Footnote 154: Genzie—Engine of war.]

[Footnote 155: Flain—Arrows; hitherto absurdly printed slain.]

[Footnote 156: Thirs—These are.]

[Footnote 157: By—Besides.]



NOTES ON THE RAID OF THE REIDSWIRE.

* * * * *

Carmichael was our warden then.—P. 157. v. 2.

Sir John Carmichael was a favourite of the resent Morton, by whom he was appointed warden of the middle marches, in preference to the border chieftains. With the like policy, the regent married Archibald Carmichael, the warden's brother, to the heiress of Edrom, in the Merse, much contrary to the inclination of the lady and her friends. In like manner, he compelled another heiress, Jane Sleigh, of Cumlege, to marry Archibald, brother to Auchinleck of Auchiuleck, one of his dependants. By such arbitrary practices, Morton meant to strengthen his authority on the borders; instead of which, he hastened his fall, by giving disgust to his kinsman the Earl of Angus, and his other friends, who had been established in the country for ages.—Godscroft, Vol. II. Pages 238. 246. Sir John Carmichael, the warden, was murdered 16th June, 1600, by a party of borderers, at a place called Raesknows, near Lochmaben, whither he was going to hold a court of justice. Two of the ring-leaders in the slaughter, Thomas Armstrong, called Ringan's Tarn, and Adam Scott, called the Pecket, were tried at Edinburgh, at the instance of Carmichael of Edrom. They were condemned to have their right hands struck off, thereafter to be hanged, and their bodies gibbeted on the Borough Moor; which sentence was executed, 14th November, 1601. "This Pecket, (saith Birrel in his Diary), was ane of the maist notalrie thieftes that ever raid:" he calls his name Steill, which appears, from the record, to be a mistake. Four years afterwards, an Armstrong, called Sandy of Rowanburn, and several others of that tribe, were executed for this and other excesses.—Books of Adjournal of these dates.

And the Laird's Wat, that worthie man.—P. 157. v. 2.

The chief, who led out the sirname of Scott upon this occasion, was (saith Satchells) Walter Scott of Ancrum, a natural son of Walter of Buccleuch. The laird of Buccleuch was then a minor. The ballad seems to have been popular in Satchells' days, for he quotes it literally. He must, however, have been mistaken in this particular; for the family of Scott of Ancrum, in all our books of genealogy, deduce their descent from the Scotts of Balwearie in Fife, whom they represent. The first of this family, settled in Roxburghshire, is stated in Douglas' Baronage to have been Patrick Scott, who purchased the lands of Ancrum, in the reign of James VI. He therefore could not be the Laird's Wat of the ballad; indeed, from the list of border families in 1597, Ker appears to have been proprietor of Ancrum at the date of the ballad. It is plainly written in the MS. the Laird's Wat, i.e., the Laird's son Wat; notwithstanding which, it has always hitherto been printed the Laird Wat. If Douglas be accurate in his genealogy, the person meant must be the young laird of Buccleuch, afterwards distinguished for his surprise of Carlisle Castle.—See Kinmont Willie. I am the more confirmed in this opinion, because Kerr of Ancrum was at this time a fugitive, for slaying one of the Rutherfords, and the tower of Ancrum given in keeping to the Turnbulls, his hereditary enemies. His mother, however, a daughter of Home of Wedderburn, contrived to turn out the Turnbulls, and possess herself of the place by surprise.—Godscroft, Vol. II. p. 250.

The Armestranges, that aye hae been.—P. 158. v. 1.

This clan are here mentioned as not being hail, or whole, because they were outlawed or broken men. Indeed, many of them had become Englishmen, as the phrase then went. Accordingly, we find, from Paton, that forty of them, under the laird of Mangertoun, joined Somerset upon his expedition into Scotland.—Paton, in Dalyell's Fragments, p. 1. There was an old alliance betwixt the Elliots and Armstrongs, here alluded to. For the enterprises of the Armstrongs, against their native country, when under English assurance, see Murdin's State Papers, Vol. I. p. 43. From which it appears, that, by command of Sir Ralph Evers, this clan ravaged almost the whole west border of Scotland.

The sheriffe brought the Douglas down.—P. 158. v. 2,

Douglas of Cavers, hereditary sheriff of Teviotdale, descended from Black Archibald, who carried the standard of his father, the Earl of Douglas, at the battle of Otterbourne.—See the Ballad of that name.

Wi' Cranstane, Gladstain, good at need.—P. 158. v. 2.

Cranstoun of that ilk, ancestor to Lord Cranstoun; and Gladstain of Gladstains.

Wi a' the Trumbills, stronge and stout; The Rutherfoords, with grit renown.—P. 158. v. 2.

These were ancient and powerful border clans, residing chiefly upon the river Jed. Hence, they naturally convoyed the town of Jedburgh out. Although notorious freebooters, they were specially patronised by Morton, who, by their means, endeavoured to counterpoise the power of Buccleuch and Ferniherst, during the civil wars attached to the queen's faction.

The following fragment of an old ballad is quoted in a letter from an aged gentleman of this name, residing at New-York, to a friend in Scotland:

"Bauld Rutherfurd, he was fow stout, Wi' a' his nine sons him round about; He led the town o' Jedburgh out, All bravely fought that day."

Wi' Sir John Forster for their guyde.—P. 158. v. 3.

This gentleman is called, erroneously, in some copies of this ballad, Sir George. He was warden of the mid-marches of England.

Wi' Sir George Henroune of Schipsydehouse.—P. 159. v. 1.

Sir George Heron of Chipchase-house, whose character is contrasted with that of the English warden.

Had Tindaill, Reedsdaill at his hand.—P. 159. v. 2.

These are districts, or dales, on the English border. Hebsrime seems to be an error in the MS. for Hebburn upon the Till.

Five hundred Fennicks in a flock.—P. 159. v. 3.

The Fenwicks; a powerful and numerous Northumberland clan.

Then raise the slogan with ane shout.—P. 161. v. 3.

The gathering word, peculiar to a certain name, or set of people, was termed slogan, or slughorn, and was always repeated at an onset, as well as on many other occasions, as appears from the following passage of an old author, whom this custom seems much to have offended—for he complains,

"That whereas alweys, both in al tounes of war, and in al campes of armies, quietnes and stilnes without nois is principally in the night, after the watch is set, observed (I need not reason why.) Yet, our northern prikkers, the borderers, notwithstanding, with great enormitie, (as thought me) and not unlyke (to be playn) unto a masterless hounde houyling in a hie wey, when he hath lost him he wayted upon, sum hoopyng, sum whistelyng, and most with crying, a Berwyke! a Berwyke! a Fenwyke! a Fenwyke! a Bulmer! a Bulmer! or so ootherwise as theyr captein's names wear, never linnde those troublous and daungerous noyses all the night long. They sayd they did it to fynd out their captein and fellowes; but if the soldiours of our oother countries and sheres had used the same maner, in that case we shoold have oftymes had the state of our campe more lyke the outrage of a dissolute huntyng, than the quiet of a wel ordred army."—

Patten's Account of Somerset's Expedition, p. 76.—Apud Dalyell's Fragments.

Honest Patten proceeds, with great prolixity, to prove, that this was a custom more honoured in the breach than in the observance; and, like Fluellen, declares, "that such idle pribble prabbles were contrary to all the good customs and disciplines of war." Nevertheless, the custom of crying the slogan or ensenzie, is often alluded to in all our ancient histories and poems. It was usually the name of the clan, or place of rendezvous, or leader. In 1335, the English, led by Thomas of Rosslyne, and William Moubray, assaulted Aberdeen. The former was mortally wounded in the onset; and, as his followers were pressing forward, shouting Rosslyne! Rosslyne! "Cry Moubray," said the expiring chieftain; "Rosslyne is gone!" The Highland clans had also their appropriate slogans. The Macdonalds cried Frich, (heather); the Macphersons Craig-Ubh; the Grants Craig-Elachie; and the Macfarlanes Lock-Sloy.

The swallow taill frae tackles flew.—P. 162. v. 2.

The Scots, on this occasion, seem to have had chiefly fire-arms; the English retaining still their partiality for their ancient weapon, the long-bow. It also appears, by a letter from the Duke of Norfolk to Cecil, that the English borderers were unskilful in fire-arms, or, as he says, "our countrymen be not so commyng with shots as I woolde wishe."—See Murdin's State Papers, Vol. I. p. 319.

And had not been the merchant packs.—P. 162. v. 3.

The ballad-maker here ascribes the victory to the real cause; for, the English borderers, dispersing to plunder the merchandise, gave the opposite party time to recover from their surprise It seems to have been usual for travelling merchants to attend border-meetings, although one would have thought the kind of company, usually assembled there, might have deterred them.

Sir Francis Russel ta'en was there.—P, 163. v. 1.

This gentleman was son to the Earl of Bedford. He was afterwards killed in a fray of a similar nature, at a border-meeting, between the same Sir John Forster (father-in-law to Russell), and Thomas Ker of Fairnihurst, A.D. 1585.

Proud Wallinton was wounded sair.—P. 163. v. 1.

Fenwick of Wallinton, a powerful Northumbrian chief.

As Collingwood, that courteous knight.—P. 163. v. 1.

Sir Cuthbert Collingwood. Besides these gentlemen, James Ogle, and many other Northumbrians of note, were made prisoners. Sir George Heron, of Chipchase and Ford, was slain, to the great regret of both parties, being a man highly esteemed by the Scots, as well as the English. When the prisoners were brought to Morton, at Dalkeith, and, among other presents, received from him some Scottish falcons, one of his train observed, that the English were nobly treated, since they got live hawks for dead herons.—Godscroft.

Young Henry Schufton,—P. 163. v. 2.

The name of this gentleman does not appear in the MS. in the Advocates' Library, but is restored from a copy in single sheet, printed early in the last century.

For laiming of the laird of Mow.—P. 163. v. 2.

An ancient family on the borders. The lands of Mowe are situated upon the river Bowmont, in Roxburghshire. The family is now represented by William Molle, Esq. of Mains, who has restored the ancient spelling of the name. The laird of Mowe, here mentioned, was the only gentleman of note killed in the skirmish on the Scottish side.

For Gretein kend net gude be ill.—P. 163. v. 2;

Graden, a family of Kerrs.

Beanjeddart, Hundlie, and Hunthill.—P. 163. v. 3.

Douglas of Beanjeddart, an ancient branch of the house of Cavers, possessing property near the junction of the Jed and Tiviot.

Hundlie,—Rutherford of Hundlie, or Hundalee, situated on the Jed, above Jedhurgh.

Hunthill.—The old tower of Hunthill was situated about a mile above Jedburgh. It was the patrimony of an ancient family of Rutherfords. I suppose the person, here meant, to be the same who is renowned in tradition by the name of the Cock of Hunthill. His sons were executed for march-treason, or border-theft, along with the lairds of Corbet, Greenhead, and Overton, A.D. 1588.—Johnston's History, p. 129.

But auld Badreule had on a jack.—P. 164. v. 1.

Sir Andrew Turnbull of Bedrule, upon Rule Water. This old laird was so notorious a thief, that the principal gentlemen of the clans of Hume and Kerr refused to sign a bond of alliance, to which he, with the Turnbulls and Rutherfords, was a party; alleging, that their proposed allies had stolen Hume of Wedderburn's cattle. The authority of Morton, however, compelled them to digest the affront. The debate (and a curious one it is) may be seen at length in Godscroft, Vol. I. p. 221. The Rutherfords became more lawless after having been deprived of the countenance of the court, for slaying the nephew of Forman, archbishop of St. Andrews, who had attempted to carry off the heiress of Rutherford. This lady was afterwards married to James Stuart of Traquair, son to James, Earl of Buchan, according to a papal bull, dated 9th November, 1504. By this lady a great estate in Tiviotdale fell to the family of Traquair, which was sold by James, Earl of Traquair, lord-high-treasurer of Scotland, in consequence of the pecuniary difficulties to which he was reduced, by his loyal exertions in favour of Charles I.

Gude Ederstane was not to lack.—P. 164. v. 1.

An ancient family of Rutherfords; I believe, indeed, the most ancient now extant. The family is represented by Major Rutherford of Edgerstane. His seat is about three miles distant from the field of battle.

Nor Kirktoun, Newtoun, noble men!—P. 164. v. 1.

The parish of Kirktoun belonged, I believe, about this time, to a branch of the Cavers family; but Kirkton of Stewartfield is mentioned in the list of border clans in 1597.

Newtoun.—This is probably Grinyslaw of Little Newtoun, mentioned in the said roll of border clans.



KINMONT WILLIE

* * * * *

In the following rude strains, our forefathers commemorated one of the last, and most gallant atchievements, performed upon the border. The reader will find, in the subjoined extract from Spottiswoode, a minute historical account of the exploit; which is less different from that contained in the ballad than might perhaps have been expected.

Anno, 1596.—"The next year began with a trouble in the borders, which was like to have destroyed the peace betwixt the two realms, and arose upon this occasion. The Lord Scroop being the warden of the west marches of England, and the laird of Bacleuch having the charge of Liddesdale, they sent their deputies to keep a day of truce, for redress of some ordinary matters.—The place of meeting was at the Dayholme of Kershop, where a small brook divideth England from Scotland, and Liddesdale from Bawcastle. There met, as deputy for the laird of Bacleuch, Robert Scott of Hayninge; and for the Lord Scroop, a gentleman within the west wardenry, called Mr. Salkeld. These two, after truce taken and proclaimed, as the custom was, by sound of trumpet, met friendly, and, upon mutual redress of such wrongs as were then complained of, parted in good terms, each of them taking his way homewards. Meanwhile it happened, one William Armstrong, commonly called Will of Kinmonth, to be in company with the Scottish deputy, against whom the English had a quarrel, for many wrongs he had committed, as he was indeed a notorious thief. This man, having taken his leave of the Scots deputy, and riding down the river of Liddel on the Scottish side, towards his own house, was pursued by the English, who espied him from the other side of the river, and, after a chase of three or four miles, taken prisoner, and brought back to the English deputy, who carried him away to the castle of Carlisle.

"The laird of Bacleuch complaining of the breach of truce (which was always taken from the time of meeting, unto the next day at sun-rising), wrote to Mr. Salkeld, and craved redress. He excused himself by the absence of the Lord Scroop. Whereupon Bacleuch sent to the Lord Scroop, and desired the prisoner might be set at liberty, without any bond or condition, seeing he was unlawfully taken. Scroop answered, that he could do nothing in the matter, it having so happened, without a direction from the queen and council of England, considering the man was such a malefactor.—Bacleuch, loth to inform the king of what was done, lest it might have bred some misliking betwixt the princes, dealt with Mr. Bowes, the resident ambassador of England, for the prisoner's liberty; who wrote very seriously to the Lord Scroop in that business, advising him to set the man free, and not to bring the matter to a farther hearing. But no answer was returned: the matter thereupon was imparted to the king, and the queen of England solicited by letters to give direction for his liberty; yet nothing was obtained; which Bacleuch perceiving, and apprehending both the king, and himself as the king's officer, to be touched in honour, he resolved to work the prisoner's relief, by the best means he could.

"And, upon intelligence that the castle of Carlisle, wherein the prisoner was kept, was surprisable, he employed some trusty persons to take a view of the postern gate, and measure the height of the wall, which he meant to scale by ladders, and, if those failed, to break through the wall with some iron instruments, and force the gates. This done, so closely as he could, he drew together some two hundred horse, assigning the place of meeting at the tower of Morton, some ten miles from Carlisle, an hour before sun-set. With this company, passing the water of Esk, about the falling, two hours before day, he crossed Eden beneath Carlisle bridge (the water, through the rain that had fallen, being thick), and came to the Sacery, a plain under the castle. There making a little halt, at the side of a small bourn, which they call Cadage, he caused eighty of the company to light from their horses, and take the ladders, and other instruments which he had prepared, with them. He himself, accompanying them to the foot of the wall, caused the ladders to be set to it, which proving too short, he gave order to use the other instruments for opening the wall nigh the postern; and, finding the business likely to succeed, retired to the rest whom he had left on horseback, for assuring those that entered upon the castle against any eruption from the town. With some little labor a breach was made for single men to enter, and they who first went in, broke open the postern for the rest. The watchmen, and some few the noise awaked, made a little restraint, but they were quickly repressed, and taken captive. After which, they passed to the chamber wherein the prisoner was kept; and, having brought him forth, sounded a trumpet, which was a signal to them without that the enterprize was performed. My Lord Scroope and Mr. Salkeld were both within the house, and to them the prisoner cried "a good night!" The captives taken in the first encounter were brought to Bacleuch, who presently returned them to their master, and would not suffer any spoil, or booty, as they term it, to be carried away; he had straitly forbidden to break open any door, but that where the prisoner was kept, though he might have made prey of all the goods within the castle, and taken the warden himself captive; for he would have it seen, that he did intend nothing but the reparation of his majesty's honor. By this time, the prisoner was brought forth, the town had taken the alarm, the drums were beating, the bells ringing, and a beacon put on the top of the castle, to give warning to the country. Whereupon Bacleuch commanded those that entered the castle, and the prisoner, to horse; and marching again by the Sacery, made to the river at the Stony-bank, on the other side, whereof certain were assembled to stop his passage; but he, causing to sound the trumpet, took the river, day being then broken, and they choosing to give him way, he retired in order through the Grahams of Esk (men at that time of great power, and his un-friends), and came back into Scottish ground two hours after sun-rising, and so homewards.

"This fell out the 13th of April, 1596. The queen of England, having notice sent her of what was done, stormed not a little. One of her chief castles surprised, a prisoner taken forth of the hands of the warden, and carried away, so far within England, she esteemed a great affront. The lieger, Mr. Bowes, in a frequent convention kept at Edinburgh, the 22d of May, did, as he was charged, in a long oration, aggravate the heinousness of the fact, concluding that peace could not longer continue betwixt the two realms, unless Bacleuch were delivered in England, to be punished at the queen's pleasure. Bacleuch compearing, and charged with the fact, made answer—'That he went not into England with intention to assault any of the queen's houses, or to do wrong to any of her subjects, but only to relieve a subject of Scotland unlawfully taken, and more unlawfully detained; that, in the time of a general assurance, in a day of truce, he was taken prisoner against all order, neither did he attempt his relief till redress was refused; and that he had carried the business in such a moderate manner, as no hostility was committed, nor the least wrong offered to any within the castle; yet was he content, according to the ancient treaties observed betwixt the two realms, when as mutual injuries were alleged, to be tried by the commissioners that it should please their majesties to appoint, and submit himself to that which they should decern.'—The convention, esteeming the answer reasonable, did acquaint the ambassador therewith, and offered to send commissioners to the borders, with all diligence, to treat with such as the queen should be pleased to appoint for her part.

"But she, not satisfied with the answer, refused to appoint any commissioners; whereupon the council of England did renew the complaint in July thereafter; and the business being of new agitated, it was resolved of as before, and that the same should be remitted to the trial of commissioners: the king protesting, 'that he might, with great reason, crave the delivery of Lord Scroope, for the injury committed by his deputy, it being less favourable to take a prisoner, than relieve him that is unlawfully taken; yet, for the continuing of peace, he would forbear to do it, and omit nothing, on his part, that could be desired, either in equity, or by the laws of friendship.'—The borders, in the mean time, making daily incursions one upon another, filled all their parts with trouble, the English being continually put to the worse; neither were they made quiet, till, for satisfying the queen, the laird of Bacleuch was first committed in St. Andrews, and afterwards entered in England, where he remained not long[158]."—Spottiswood's History of the Church of Scotland, p. 414, 416, Ed. 1677.

Scott of Satchells, in the extraordinary poetical performance, which he has been pleased to entitle A History of the Name of Scott (published 1688), dwells, with great pleasure, upon this gallant achievement, at which, it would seem, his father had been present. He also mentions, that the laird of Buccleuch employed the services of the younger sons and brothers only of his clan, lest the name should have been weakened by the landed men incurring forfeiture. But he adds, that three gentlemen of estate insisted upon attending their chief, notwithstanding this prohibition. These were, the lairds of Harden and Commonside, and Sir Gilbert Elliot of the Stobbs, a relation of the laird of Buccleuch, and ancestor to the present Sir William Elliot, Bart. In many things Satchells agrees with the ballads current in his time, from which, in all probability, he derived most of his information as to past events, and from which he sometimes pirates whole verses, as noticed in the annotations upon the Raid of the Reidswire. In the present instance, he mentions the prisoner's large spurs (alluding to the fetters), and some other little incidents noticed in the ballad, which was, therefore, probably well known in his days.

[Footnote 158: The bishop is, in this last particular, rather inaccurate. Buccleuch was indeed delivered into England, but this was done in consequence of the judgment of commissioners of both nations, who met at Berwick this same year. And his delivery took place, less on account of the raid of Carlisle, than of a second exploit of the same nature, to be noticed hereafter.]

All contemporary historians unite in extolling the deed itself as the most daring and well-conducted atchievement of that age. "Audax facinus cum modica manu, in urbe maenibus et multitudine oppidanorum munita, et callidae: audaciae, vix ullo obsisti modo potuit."—Johnstoni Historia, Ed. Amstael. p. 215. Birrel, in his gossipping way, says, the exploit was performed "with shouting and crying, and sound of trumpet, puttand the said toun and countrie in sic ane fray, that the like of sic ane wassaladge wes nevir done since the memory of man, no not in Wallace dayis."—Birrel's Diary, April 6, 1596. This good old citizen of Edinburgh also mentions another incident which I think proper to insert here, both as relating to the personages mentioned in the following ballad, and as tending to shew the light in which the men of the border were regarded, even at this late period, by their fellow subjects. The author is talking of the king's return to Edinburgh, after the disgrace which he had sustained there, during the riot excited by the seditious ministers, on December 17, 1596. Proclamation had been made, that the Earl of Mar should keep the West Port, Lord Seton the Nether-Bow, and Buccleuch, with sundry others, the High Gate. "Upon the morn, at this time, and befoir this day, thair wes ane grate rumour and word among the tounesmen, that the kinges M. sould send in Will Kinmond, the common thieffe, and so many southland men as sould spulye the toun of Edinburgh. Upon the whilk, the haill merchants tuik thair haill gear out of their buiths or chops, and transportit the same to the strongest hous that wes in the toune, and remained in the said hous, thair, with thameselfis, thair servants, and luiking for nothing bot that thai sould have been all spulyeit. Sic lyke the hail craftsmen and comons convenit themselfis, thair best guides, as it wer ten or twelve householdes in are, whilk wes the strongest hous, and might be best kepit from spuilyeing or burning, with hagbut, pistolet, and other sic armour, as might best defend thameselfis. Judge, gentill reider, giff this wes playing." The fear of the borderers being thus before the eyes of the contumacious citizens of Edinburgh, James obtained a quiet hearing for one of his favourite orisones, or harangues, and was finally enabled to prescribe terms to his fanatic metropolis. Good discipline was, however, maintained by the chiefs upon this occasion; although the fears of the inhabitants were but too well grounded, considering what had happened in Stirling ten years before, when the Earl of Angus, attended by Home, Buccleuch, and other border chieftains, marched thither to remove the Earl of Arran from the king's councils: the town was miserably pillaged by the borderers, particularly by a party of Armstrongs, under this very Kinmont Willie, who not only made prey of horses and cattle, but even of the very iron grating of the windows.—Johnstoni Historia, p. 102. Ed. Amstael.—Moyse's Memoirs, p. 100.

The renown of Kinmont Willie is not surprising, since, in 1588, the apprehending that freebooter, and Robert Maxwell, natural-brother to the Lord Maxwell, was the main, but unaccomplished, object of a royal expedition to Dumfries. "Rex ... Robertum Maxvallium ... et Gulielmum Armstrangum Kinmonthum latrociniis intestinis externisque famosum, conquiri jubet. Missi e ministerio regio, qui per aspera loca vitabundos persequuntur, magnoque incommodo afficiunt. At illi latebris aut silvis se eripiunt."—Johnstoni Historia, p. 138. About this time, it is possible that Kinmont Willie may have held some connection with the Maxwells, though afterwards a retainer to Buccleuch, the enemy of that tribe. At least, the editor finds, that, in a bond of manrent, granted by Simon Elliot of Whytheuch, in Liddesdale, to Lord Maxwell, styled therein Earl of Morton, dated February 28, 1599, William Armstrang, called Will of Kinmond, appears as a witness.—Syme's MSS. According to Satchells, this freebooter was descended of Johnie Armstrong of Gilnockie (See Ballad, p. 105, of this volume.)—Est in juvencis, est et in equis, patrum virtus. In fact, his rapacity made his very name proverbial. Mas James Melvine, in urging reasons against subscribing the act of supremacy, in 1584, asks ironically, "Who shall take order with vice and wickedness? The court and bishops? As well as Martine Elliot, and Will of Kinmont, with stealing upon the borders!"—Calderwood, p. 168.

This affair of Kinmont Willie was not the only occasion upon which the undaunted keeper of Liddesdale gave offence to the haughty Elizabeth. For, even before this business was settled, certain of the English borderers having invaded Liddesdale, and wasted the country, the laird of Buccleuch retaliated the injury by a raid into England, in which he not only brought off much spoil, but apprehended thirty-six of the Tynedale thieves, all of whom he put to death.—Spottiswoode, p. 450. How highly the Queen of England's resentment blazed on this occasion, may be judged from the preface to her letter to Bowes, then her ambassador in Scotland. "I wonder how base-minded that king thinks me, that, with patience, I can digest this dishonourable ********. Let him know, therefore, that I will have satisfaction, or else *********." These broken words of ire are inserted betwixt the subscription and the address of the letter.—Rymer, Vol. XVI. p. 318. Indeed, so deadly was the resentment of the English, on account of the affronts put upon them by this formidable chieftain, that there seems at one time to have been a plan formed (not, as was alleged, without Elizabeth's privity,) to assassinate Buccleuch.—Rymer, Vol. XVI. p. 107. The matter was at length arranged by the commissioners of both nations in Berwick, by whom it was agreed that delinquents should be delivered up on both sides, and that the chiefs themselves should enter into ward in the opposite countries, till these were given up, and pledges granted for the future maintenance of the quiet of the borders. Buccleuch, and Sir Robert Ker of Cessford (ancestor of the Duke of Roxburgh), appear to have struggled hard against complying with this regulation; so much so, that it required all James's authority to bring to order these two powerful chiefs.—Rymer, Vol. XVI. p. 322.—Spottiswoode, p. 448.—Carey's Memoirs, p, 131. et sequen.—When at length they appeared, for the purpose of delivering themselves up to be warded at Berwick, an incident took place, which nearly occasioned a revival of the deadly feud which formerly subsisted between the Scots and the Kers. Buccleuch had chosen, for his guardian, during his residence in England, Sir William Selby, master of the ordnance at Berwick, and accordingly gave himself into his hands. Sir Robert Ker was about to do the same, when a pistol was discharged by one of his retinue, and the cry of treason was raised. Had not the Earl of Home been present, with a party of Merse men, to preserve order, a dreadful tumult would probably have ensued. As it was, the English commissioners returned in dismay to Berwick, much disposed to wreak their displeasure on Buccleuch; and he, on his side, mortally offended with Cessford, by whose means, as he conceived, he had been placed in circumstances of so much danger. Sir Robert Ker, however, appeased all parties, by delivering himself up to ward in England; on which occasion, he magnanimously chose for his guardian Sir Robert Carey, deputy-warden of the east marches, notwithstanding various causes of animosity which existed betwixt them. The hospitality of Carey equalled the generous confidence of Cessford, and a firm friendship was the consequence[159].

[Footnote 159: Such traits of generosity illuminate the dark period of which we treat. Carey's conduct, on this occasion, almost atones for the cold and unfeeling policy with which he watched the closing moments of his benefactress, Elizabeth, impatient till remorse and sorrow should extort her last sigh, that he might lay the foundation of his future favour with her successor, by carrying him the first tidings of her death.—Carey's Memoirs, p. 172. et sequen. It would appear that Sir Robert Ker was soon afterwards committed to the custody of the archbishop of York; for there is extant a letter from that prelate to the lord-treasurer, desiring instructions about the mode of keeping this noble hostage. "I understand," saith he, "that the gentleman is wise and valiant, but somewhat haughty here, and resolute. I would pray your lordship, that I may have directions whether he may not go with his keeper in my company, to sermons; and whether he may not sometimes dine with the council, as the last hostages did; and, thirdly, whether he may sometimes be brought to sitting to the common-hall, where he may see how careful her majesty is that the poorest subject in her kingdom may have their right, and that her people seek remedy by law, and not by avenging themselves. Perhaps it may do him good as long as he liveth."—Strype's Annals, ad annum, 1597. It would appear, from this letter, that the treatment of the hostages was liberal; though one can hardly suppress a smile at the zeal of the good bishop for the conversion of the Scottish chieftain to a more christian mode of thinking than was common among the borderers of that day. The date is February 25. 1597, which is somewhat difficult to reconcile with those given by the Scottish historians—Another letter follows, stating, that Sir Robert, having been used to open air, prayed for more liberty for his health's sake, "offering his word, which it is said he doth chiefly regard, that he would be true prisoner."—Strype, Ibid.]

Buccleuch appears to have remained in England from October, 1597, till February, 1598.—Johnstoni Historia, p. 231,—Spottiswoode, ut supra. According to ancient family tradition, Buccleuch was presented to Elizabeth, who, with her usual rough and peremptory address, demanded of him, "how he dared to undertake an enterprize so desperate and presumptuous." "What is it," answered the undaunted chieftain, "What is it that a man dares not do!" Elizabeth, struck with the reply, turned to a lord in waiting; "With ten thousand such men," said she, "our brother of Scotland might shake the firmest throne of Europe." Luckily, perhaps, for the murtheress of Queen Mary, James's talents did not lie that way.

The articles, settled by the commissioners at Berwick, were highly favourable to the peace of the border. They may be seen at large in the Border Laws, p. 103. By article sixth, all wardens and keepers are discharged from seeking reparation of injuries, in the ancient hostile mode of riding, or causing to ride, in warlike manner, against the opposite march; and that under the highest penalty, unless authorized by a warrant under the hand of their sovereign. The mention of the word keeper, alludes obviously to the above-mentioned reprisals, made by Buccleuch in the capacity of keeper of Liddesdale.

This ballad is preserved, by tradition, on the west borders, but much mangled by reciters; so that some conjectural emendations have been absolutely necessary to render it intelligible. In particular, the Eden has been substituted for the Eske, p. 193, the latter name being inconsistent with geography.



KINMONT WILLIE.

* * * * *

O have ye na heard o' the fause Sakelde? O have ye na heard o' the keen Lord Scroop? How they hae ta'en bauld Kinmont Willie, On Hairibee to hang him up?

Had Willie had but twenty men, But twenty men as stout as he, Fause Sakelde had never the Kinmont ta'en, Wi' eight score in his cumpanie.

They band his legs beneath the steed, They tied his hands behind his back; They guarded him, fivesome on each side, And they brought him ower the Liddel-rack.

They led him thro' the Liddel-rack, And also thro' the Carlisle sands; They brought him to Carlisle castell, To be at my Lord Scroop's commands.

"My hands are tied, but my tongue is free! And whae will dare this deed avow? Or answer by the border law? Or answer to the bauld Buccleuch!"

"Now haud thy tongue, thou rank reiver! There's never a Scot shall set ye free: Before ye cross my castle yate, I trow ye shall take farewell o' me."

"Fear na ye that, my lord," quo' Willie: "By the faith o' my body, Lord Scroop," he said, "I never yet lodged in a hostelrie,[160] But I paid my lawing[161] before I gaed."

Now word is gane to the bauld Keeper, In Branksome Ha', where that he lay, That Lord Scroop has ta'en the Kinmont Willie, Between the hours of night and day.

He has ta'en the table wi' his hand, He garr'd the red wine spring on hie— "Now Christ's curse on my head," he said, "But avenged of Lord Scroop I'll be!

"O is my basnet[162] a widow's curc[163] Or my lance a wand of the willow tree? Or my arm a ladye's lilye hand, That an English lord should lightly[164] me!

"And have they ta'en him, Kinmont Willie, Against the truce of border tide? And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch Is Keeper here on the Scottish side?

"And have they e'en ta'en him, Kinmont Willie, Withouten either dread or fear? And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch Can back a steed, or shake a spear?

"O were there war between the lands, As well I wot that there is none, I would slight Carlisle castell high, Tho' it were builded of marble stone.

"I would set that castell in a low,[165] And sloken it with English blood! There's nevir a man in Cumberland, Should ken where Carlisle castell stood.

"But since nae war's between the lands, And there is peace, and peace should be; I'll neither harm English lad or lass, And yet the Kinmont freed shall be!"

He has call'd him forty marchmen bauld, I trow they were of his ain name, Except Sir Gilbert Elliot, call'd The laird of Stobs, I mean the same.

He has call'd him forty marchmen bauld, Were kinsmen to the bauld Buccleuch; With spur on heel, and splent on spauld,[166] And gleuves of green, and feathers blue.

There were five and five before them a', Wi' hunting horns and bugles bright; And five and five came wi' Buccleuch, Like warden's men, arrayed for fight:

And five and five, like a mason gang, That carried the ladders lang and hie; And five and five, like broken men; And so they reached the Woodhouselee.

And as we cross'd the Bateable Land, When to the English side we held, The first o' men that we met wi', Whae sould it be but fause Sakelde?

"Where be ye gaun, ye hunters keen?" Quo' fause Sakelde; "come tell to me!" "We go to hunt an English stag, Has trespassed on the Scots countrie."

"Where be ye gaun, ye marshal men?" Quo' fause Sakelde; "come tell me true!"' "We go to catch a rank reiver, Has broken faith wi' the bauld Buccleuch."

"Where are ye gaun, ye mason lads, Wi' a' your ladders, lang and hie?" "We gang to herry a corbie's nest, That wons not far frae Woodhouselee."

"Where be ye gaun, ye broken men?" Quo' fause Sakelde; "come tell to me!" Now Dickie of Dryhope led that band, And the never a word o' lear had he.

"Why trespass ye on the English side? Row-footed outlaws, stand!" quo' he; The never a word had Dickie to say, Sae he thrust the lance thro' his fause bodie.

Then on we held for Carlisle toun, And at Staneshaw-bank the Eden we cross'd; The water was great and meikle of spait, But the nevir a horse nor man we lost.

And when we reached the Staneshaw-bank, The wind was rising loud and hie; And there the laird garr'd leave our steeds, For fear that they should stamp and nie.

And when we left the Staneshaw-bank, The wind began full loud to blaw; But 'twas wind and weet, and fire and sleet, When we came beneath the castle wa'.

We crept on knees, and held our breath, Till we placed the ladders against the wa'; And sae ready was Buccleuch himsell To mount the first, before us a'.

He has ta'en the watchman by the throat, He flung him down upon the lead— "Had there not been peace between our land, Upon the other side thou hadst gaed!—

"Now sound out, trumpets!" quo' Buccleuch; "Let's waken Lord Scroop, right merrilie!" Then loud the warden's trumpet blew— "O whae dare meddle wi' me?"[167]

Then speedilie to work we gaed, And raised the slogan ane and a'. And cut a hole thro' a sheet of lead, And so we wan to the castle ha'.

They thought King James and a' his men Had won the house wi' bow and spear; It was but twenty Scots and ten, That put a thousand in sic a stear![168]

Wi' coulters and wi' fore-hammers, We garr'd the bars bang merrilie, Untill we cam to the inner prison, Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie.

And when we cam to the lower prison, Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie— "O sleep ye, wake ye, Kinmont Willie, Upon the morn that thou's to die?"

"O I sleep saft,[169] and I wake aft; Its lang since sleeping was fleyed[170] frae me! Gie my service back to my wife and bairns, And a' gude fellows that speer for me."

Then Red Rowan has hente him up, The starkest man in Teviotdale— "Abide, abide now, Red Rowan, Till of my Lord Scroope I take farewell.

"Farewell, farewell, my gude Lord Scroope! My gude Lord Scroope, farewell!" he cried— "I'll pay you for my lodging maill,[171] When first we meet on the border side."

Then shoulder high, with shout and cry, We bore him down the ladder lang; At every stride Red Rowan made, I wot the Kinmont's aims played clang!

"O mony a time," quo' Kinmont Willie, "I have ridden horse baith wild and wood; But a rougher beast than Red Rowan, I ween my legs have ne'er bestrode.

"And mony a time," quo' Kinmont Willie, "I've pricked a horse out oure the furs;[172] But since the day I backed a steed, I never wore sic cumbrous spurs!"

We scarce had won the Staneshaw-bank, When a' the Carlisle bells were rung, And a thousand men, in horse and foot, Cam wi' the keen Lord Scroope along.

Buccleuch has turned to Eden water, Even where it flow'd frae bank to brim, And he has plunged in wi' a' his band, And safely swam them thro' the stream.

He turned him on the other side, And at Lord Scroope his glove flung he— "If ye like na my visit in merry England, In fair Scotland come visit me!"

All sore astonished stood Lord Scroope, He stood as still as rock of stane; He scarcely dared to trew his eyes, When thro' the water they had gane.

"He is either himsell a devil frae hell, Or else his mother a witch maun be; I wad na have ridden that wan water, For a' the gowd in Christentie."

[Footnote 160: Hostelrie—Inn.]

[Footnote 161: Lawing—Reckoning.]

[Footnote 162: Basnet—Helmet.]

[Footnote 163: Curch—Coif.]

[Footnote 164: Lightly—Set light by.]

[Footnote 165: Low—Flame.]

[Footnote 166: Splent on spauld—Armour on shoulder.]

[Footnote 167: The name of a border tune.]

[Footnote 168: Stear—Stir.]

[Footnote 169: Soft—Light.]

[Footnote 170: Fleyed—Frightened.]

[Footnote 171: Maill—Rent.]

[Footnote 172: Furs—Furrows.]



NOTES ON KINMONT WILLIE.

* * * * *

On Hairibee to hang him up?—P. 188. v. 1.

Hairibee is the place of execution at Carlisle.

And they brought him ower the Liddel-rack.—P. 188. v. 3.

The Liddel-rack is a ford on the Liddel.

And so they reached the Woodhouselee.—P. 192. v. 1.

Woodhouselee; a house on the border, belonging to Buccleuch.

* * * * *

The Salkeldes, or Sakeldes, were a powerful family in Cumberland, possessing, among other manors, that of Corby, before it came into the possession of the Howards, in the beginning of the seventeenth century. A strange stratagem was practised by an outlaw, called Jock Grame of the Peartree, upon Mr. Salkelde, sheriff of Cumberland; who is probably the person alluded to in the ballad, as the fact is stated to have happened late in Elizabeth's time. The brother of this freebooter was lying in Carlisle jail for execution, when Jock of the Peartree came riding past the gate of Corby castle. A child of the sheriff was playing before the door, to whom the outlaw gave an apple, saying, "Master, will you ride?" The boy willingly consenting, Grame took him up before him, carried him into Scotland, and would never part with him, till he had his brother safe from the gallows. There is no historical ground for supposing, either that Salkelde, or any one else, lost his life in the raid of Carlisle.

In the list of border clans, 1597, Will of Kinmonth, with Kyrstie Armestrange, and John Skynbanke, are mentioned as leaders of a band of Armstrongs, called Sandies Barnes, inhabiting the Debateable Land. The ballad itself has never before been published.



DICK O' THE COW.

* * * * *

This ballad, and the two which immediately follow it in the collection, were published, 1784, in the Hawick Museum, a provincial miscellany, to which they were communicated by John Elliot, Esq. of Reidheugh, a gentleman well skilled in the antiquities of the western border, and to whose friendly assistance the editor is indebted for many valuable communications.

These ballads are connected with each other, and appear to have been composed by the same author. The actors seem to have flourished, while Thomas, Lord Scroope, of Bolton, was warden of the west marches of England, and governor of Carlisle castle; which offices he acquired upon the death of his father, about 1590; and retained it till the union of the crowns.

Dick of the Cow, from the privileged insolence which he assumes, seems to have been Lord Scroope's jester. In the preliminary dissertation, the reader will find the border custom of assuming noms de guerre particularly noticed. It is exemplified in the following ballad, where one Armstrong is called the Laird's Jock (i.e. the laird's son Jock), another Fair Johnie, a third Billie Willie (brother Willie), &c. The Laird's Jock, son to the laird of Mangerton, appears, as one of the men of name in Liddesdale, in the list of border clans, 1597.

Dick of the Cow is erroneously supposed to have been the same with one Ricardus Coldall, de Plumpton, a knight and celebrated warrior, who died in 1462, as appears from his epitaph in the church of Penrith.—Nicolson's History of Westmoreland and Cumberland, Vol. II. p. 408.

This ballad is very popular in Liddesdale; and the reciter always adds, at the conclusion, that poor Dickie's cautious removal to Burgh under Stanemore, did not save him from the clutches of the Armstrongs; for that, having fallen into their power several years after this exploit, he was put to an inhuman death. The ballad was well known in England, so early as 1556. An allusion to it likewise occurs in Parrot's Laquei Ridiculosi, or Springes for Woodcocks; London, 1613.

Owenus wondreth, since he came to Wales, What the description of this isle should be, That nere had seen but mountains, hills, and dales. Yet would he boast, and stand on pedigree, From Rice ap Richard, sprung from Dick a Cow, Be cod, was right gud gentleman, looke ye now!

Epigr. 76.



DICK O' THE COW.

* * * * *



Now Liddesdale has layen lang in, There is na riding there at a'; The horses are grown sae lither fat, They downa stur out o' the sta.'

Fair Johnie Armstrang to Willie did say— "Billie, a riding we will gae; England and us have been lang at feid; Ablins we'll light on some bootie."

Then they are come on to Hutton Ha'; They rade that proper place about; But the laird he was the wiser man, For he had left nae gear without.

For he had left nae gear to steal, Except sax sheep upon a lee: Quo' Johnie—"I'd rather in England die, "Ere thir sax sheep gae to Liddesdale wi' me."

"But how ca' they the men we last met, Billie, as we cam owre the know?" "That same he is an innocent fule, And men they call him Dick o' the Cow,"

"That fule has three as good kye o' his ain, As there are in a' Cumberland, billie," quo he: "Betide me life, betide me death, These kye shall go to Liddesdale wi' me."

Then they have come on to the pure fule's house, And they hae broken his wa's sae wide; They have loosed out Dick o' the Cow's three ky, And ta'en three co'erlets frae his wife's bed.

Then on the morn when the day was light, The shouts and cries rase loud and hie: "O haud thy tongue, my wife," he says, "And o' thy crying let me be!

"O had thy tongue, my wife," he says, "And o' thy crying let me be; And ay where thou hast lost ae cow, In gude suith I shall bring thee three."

Now Dickie's gane to the gude Lord Scroope, And I wat a dreirie fule was he; "Now hand thy tongue, my fule," he says, "For I may not stand to jest wi' thee."

"Shame fa' your jesting, my lord!" quo' Dickie, "For nae sic jesting grees wi' me; Liddesdale's been in my house last night, And they hae awa my three kye frae me.

"But I may nae langer in Cumberland dwell, To be your puir fule and your leal, Unless you gi' me leave, my lord, To gae to Liddesdale and steal."

"I gie thee leave, my fule!" he says; "Thou speakest against my honour and me, Unless thou gie me thy trowth and thy hand, Thou'lt steal frae nane but whae sta' frae thee."

"There is my trowth, and my right hand! My head shall hang on Hairibee; I'll ne'er cross Carlisle sands again, If I steal frae a man but whae sta' frae me."

Dickie's ta'en leave o' lord and master; I wat a merry fule was he! He's bought a bridle and a pair of new spurs, And pack'd them up in his breek thie.

Then Dickie's come on to Pudding-burn house, E'en as fast as he might drie; Then Dickie's come on to Pudding-burn, Where there were thirty Armstrangs and three.

"O what's this come o' me now?" quo' Dickie; "What mickle wae is this?" quo' he; "For here is but ae innocent fule, And there are thirty Armstrangs and three!"

Yet he has come up to the fair ha' board, Sae weil he's become his courtesie! "Weil may ye be, my gude Laird's Jock! But the deil bless a' your cumpanie.

"I'm come to plain o' your man, fair Johnie Armstrang And syne o' his billie Willie," quo he; "How they've been in my house last night, And they hae ta'en my three kye frae me."

"Ha!" quo' fair Johnie Armstrang, "we will him hang." "Na," quo' Willie, "we'll him slae." Then up and spak another young Armstrang, "We'll gie him his batts,[173] and let him gae."

But up and spak the gude Laird's Jock, The best falla in a' the cumpanie: "Sit down thy ways a little while, Dickie, And a piece o' thy ain cow's hough I'll gie ye."

But Dickie's heart it grew sae grit, That the ne'er a bit o't he dought to eat— Then was he aware of an auld peat-house, Where a' the night he thought for to sleep.

Then Dickie was aware of an auld peat-house, Where a' the night he thought for to lye— And a' the prayers the pure fule prayed Were, "I wish I had amends for my gude three kye!"

It was then the use of Pudding-burn house, And the house of Mangerton, all hail, Them that cam na at the first ca', Gat nae mair meat till the neist meal.

The lads, that hungry and weary were, Abune the door-head they threw the key; Dickie he took gude notice o' that, Says—"There will be a bootie for me."

Then Dickie has into the stable gane, Where there stood thirty horses and three; He has tied them a' wi' St. Mary's knot, A' these horses but barely three.

He has tied them a' wi' St. Mary's knot, A' these horses but barely three; He's loupen on ane, ta'en another in hand, And away as fast as he can hie.

But on the morn, when the day grew light, The shouts and cries raise loud and hie— "Ah! whae has done this?" quo' the gude Laird's Jock, "Tell me the truth and the verity!"

"Whae has done this deed?" quo' the gude Laird's Jock; "See that to me ye dinna lie!" Dickie has been in the stable last night, And has ta'en my brother's horse and mine frae me."

"Ye wad ne'er be tald," quo' the gude Laird's Jock; "Have ye not found my tales fu' leil? Ye ne'er wad out o' England bide, Till crooked, and blind, and a' would steal."

"But lend me thy bay," fair Johnie can say; "There's nae horse loose in the stable save he; And I'll either fetch Dick o' the Cow again, Or the day is come that he shall die."

"To lend thee my bay!" the Laird's Jock can say, "He's baith worth gowd and gude monie; Dick o' the Cow has awa twa horse; I wish na thou may make him three."

He has ta'en the laird's jack on his back, A twa-handed sword to hang by his thie; He has ta'en a steil cap on his head, And gallopped on to follow Dickie.

Dickie was na a mile frae aff the town, I wat a mile but barely three, When he was o'erta'en by fair Johnie Armstrang, Hand for hand, on Cannobie lee.

"Abide, abide, thou traitour thief! The day is come that thou maun die." Then Dickie look't owre his left shoulder, Said—"Johnie, hast thou nae mae in cumpanie?

"There is a preacher in our chapell, And a' the live lang day teaches he: When day is gane, and night is come, There's ne'er ae word I mark but three.

"The first and second is—Faith and Conscience; The third—Ne'er let a traitour free: But, Johnie, what faith and conscience was thine, When thou took awa my three ky frae me?

"And when thou had ta'en awa my three ky, Thou thought in thy heart thou wast not weil sped, Till thou sent thy billie Willie ower the know, To take thrie coverlets off my wife's bed!"

Then Johnie let a speir fa' laigh by his thie, Thought well to hae slain the innocent, I trow; But the powers above were mair than he, For he ran but the puir fule's jerkin through.

Together they ran, or ever they blan; This was Dickie the fule and he! Dickie could na win at him wi' the blade o' the sword, But fell'd him wi' the plummet under the e'e.

Thus Dickie has fell'd fair Johnie Armstrang, The prettiest man in the south country—- "Gramercy!" then can Dickie say, "I had but twa horse, thou hast made me thrie!"

He's ta'en the steil jack aff Johnie's back, The twa-handed sword that hang low by his thie; He's ta'en the steil cap aff his head— "Johnie, I'll tell my master I met wi' thee."

When Johnie wakened out o' his dream, I wat a dreirie man was he: "And is thou gane? Now, Dickie, than The shame and dule is left wi' me.

"And is thou gane? Now, Dickie, than The deil gae in thy cumpanie! For if I should live these hundred years, I ne'er shall fight wi' a fule after thee."—

Then Dickie's come hame to the gude Lord Scroope, E'en as fast as he might his; "Now, Dickie, I'll neither eat nor drink, Till hie hanged thou shalt be."

"The shame speed the liars, my lord!" quo' Dickie; "This was na the promise ye made to me! For I'd ne'er gane to Liddesdale to steal, Had I not got my leave frae thee."

"But what garr'd thee steal the Laird's Jock's horse? And, limmer, what garr'd ye steal him?" quo' he; "For lang thou mightst in Cumberland dwelt, Ere the Laird's Jock had stown frae thee."

"Indeed I wat ye lied, my lord! And e'en sae loud as I hear ye lie! I wan the horse frae fair Johnie Armstrong, Hand to hand, on Cannobie lee.

"There is the jack was on his back; This twa-handed sword hang laigh by his thie, And there's the steil cap was on his head; I brought a' these tokens to let thee see."

"If that be true thou to me tells, (And I think thou dares na tell a lie,) I'll gie thee fifteen punds for the horse, Weil tald on thy cloak lap shall be.

"I'll gie thee are o' my best milk ky, To maintain thy wife and children thrie; And that may be as gude, I think, As ony twa o' thine wad be."

"The shame speed the liars, my lord!" quo' Dickie; "Trow ye aye to make a fule o' me? I'll either hae twenty punds for the gude horse, Or he's gae to Mortan fair wi' me."

He's gien him twenty punds for the gude horse, A' in goud and gude monie; He's gien him ane o' his best milk ky, To maintain his wife and children thrie.

Then Dickie's come down thro' Carlisle toun, E'en as fast as he could drie; The first o' men that he met wi' Was my lord's brother, bailiff Glozenburrie.

"Weil be ye met, my gude Ralph Scroope!" "Welcome, my brother's fule!" quo' he: "Where didst thou get fair Johnie Armstrong's horse?" "Where did I get him? but steal him," quo' he.

"But wilt thou sell me the bonny horse? And, billie, wilt thou sell him to me?" quo' he: "Aye; if thoul't tell me the monie on my cloak lap: "For there's never ae penny I'll trust thee."

"I'll gie thee ten punds for the gude horse, Weil tald on thy cloak lap they shall be; And I'll gie thee ane o' the best milk ky, To maintain thy wife and children thrie."

"The shame speid the liars, my lord!" quo' Dickie; "Trow ye ay to make a fule o' me! I'll either hae twenty punds for the gude horse, Or he's gae to Mortan fair wi' me."

He's gien him twenty punds for the gude horse, Baith in goud and gude monie; He's gien him ane o' his best milk ky, To maintain his wife and children thrie.

Then Dickie lap a loup fu' hie, And I wat a loud laugh laughed he— "I wish the neck o' the third horse were broken, If ony of the twa were better than he!"

Then Dickie's come hame to his wife again; Judge ye how the poor fule had sped! He has gien her twa score English punds, For the thrie auld coverlets ta'en aff her bed.

"And tak thee these twa as gude ky, I trow, as a' thy thrie might be; And yet here is a white-footed nagie, I trow he'll carry baith thee and me.

"But I may nae langer in Cumberland bide; The Armstrongs they would hang me hie." So Dickie's ta'en leave at lord and master, And at Burgh under Stanmuir there dwells he.

[Footnote 173: Gie him his batts—Dismiss him with a beating.]



NOTES ON DICK O' THE COW.

* * * * *

Then Dickie's come on to Pudding-burn house.—P. 205. v, 3.

This was a house of strength, held by the Armstrongs. The ruins at present form a sheep-fold, on the farm of Reidsmoss, belonging to the Duke of Buccleuch.

He has tied them a' wi' St. Mary's knot.—P. 207. v. 4.

Hamstringing a horse is termed, in the border dialect, tying him with St. Mary's Knot. Dickie used this cruel expedient to prevent a pursuit. It appears from the narration, that the horses, left unhurt, belonged to Fair Johnie Armstrang, his brother Willie, and the Laird's Jock, of which Dickie carried off two, and left that of the Laird's Jock, probably out of gratitude for the protection he had afforded him on his arrival.

Hand for hand, on Cannobie lee.—P. 209. v. 1.

A rising-ground on Cannobie, on the borders of Liddesdale.

Ere the Laird's Jock had stown frae thee.—P. 211. v. 4.

The commendation of the Laird's Jock's honesty seems but indifferently founded; for, in July 1586, a bill was fouled against him, Dick of Dryup, and others, by the deputy of Bewcastle, at a warden-meeting, for 400 head of cattle taken in open forray from the Drysike in Bewcastle: and, in September 1587, another complaint appears at the instance of one Andrew Rutledge of the Nook, against the Laird's Jock, and his accomplices, for 50 kine and oxen, besides furniture, to the amount of 100 merks sterling. See Bell's MSS., as quoted in the History of Cumberland and Westmoreland. In Sir Richard Maitland's poem against the thieves of Liddesdale, he thus commemorates the Laird's Jock:

They spuilye puir men of thair pakis, They leif them nocht on bed nor bakis; Baith hen and cok, With reil and rok, The Lairdis Jock All with him takis.

Those, who plundered Dick, had been bred up under an expert teacher.



JOCK O' THE SIDE.

* * * * *

The subject of this ballad, being a common event in those troublesome and disorderly times, became a favourite theme of the ballad-makers. There are, in this collection, no fewer than three poems on the rescue of prisoners, the incidents in which nearly resemble each other; though the poetical description is so different, that the editor did not think himself at liberty to reject any one of them, as borrowed from the others. As, however, there are several verses, which, in recitation, are common to all these three songs, the editor, to prevent unnecessary and disagreeable repetition, has used the freedom of appropriating them to that, in which they seem to have the best poetic effect.

The reality of this story rests solely upon the foundation of tradition. Jock o' the side seems to have been nephew to the laird of Mangertoun, cousin to the Laird's Jock, one of his deliverers, and probably brother to Chrystie of the Syde, mentioned in the list of border clans 1597. Like the Laird's Jock, he also is commemorated by Sir Richard Maitland.—See the Introduction.

He is weil kend, Johne of the Syde, A greater theif did never ryde; He never tyris For to brek byris. Our muir and myris Ouir gude ane guide.

The land-serjeant, mentioned in this ballad, and also in that of Hobble Noble, was an officer under the warden, to whom was committed the apprehending of delinquents, and the care of the public peace.



JOCK O' THE SIDE.

Now Liddesdale has ridden a raid, But I wat they had better hae staid at hame; For Michael o' Winfield he is dead, And Jock o' the Side is prisoner ta'en.

For Mangerton house Lady Downie has gane, Her coats she has kilted up to her knee; And down the water wi' speed she rins, While tears in spaits[174] fa' fast frae her e'e.

Then up and spoke our gude auld lord— "What news, what news, sister Downie, to me?" "Bad news, bad news, my Lord Mangerton; "Michael is killed, and they hae ta'en my son Johnie."

"Ne'er fear, sister Downie," quo' Mangerton; "I have yokes of ousen, eighty and three; "My barns, my byres, and my faulds a' weil fill'd, And I'll part wi' them a' ere Johnie shall die.

"Three men I'll send to set him free, A' harneist wi' the best o' steil; The English louns may hear, and drie The weight o' their braid-swords to feel.

"The Laird's Jock ane, the Laird's Wat twa, O Hobbie Noble, thou ane maun be! Thy coat is blue, thou hast been true, Since England banish'd thee to me."

Now Hobbie was an English man, In Bewcastle dale was bred and born: But his misdeeds they were sae great, They banish'd him ne'er to return.

Lord Mangerton them orders gave, "Your horses the wrang way maun be shod; Like gentlemen ye mauna seim, But look like corn-caugers[175] ga'en the road.

"Your armour gude ye mauna shaw, Nor yet appear like men o' weir; As country lads be a' array'd, Wi' branks and brecham[176] on each mare."

Sae now their horses are the wrang way shod. And Hobbie has mounted his grey sae fine; Jock his lively bay, Wat's on his white horse, behind, And on they rode for the water of Tyne

At the Cholerford they all light down, And there, wi' the help of the light o' the moon, A tree they cut, wi' fifteen nogs on each side, To climb up the wa' of Newcastle toun.

But when they cam to Newcastle toun, And were alighted at the wa', They fand their tree three ells ower laigh, They fand their stick baith short and sma'.

Then up and spak the Laird's ain Jock; "There's naething for't; the gates we maun force." But when they cam the gate untill, A proud porter withstood baith men and horse.

His neck in twa the Armstrangs wrang; Wi' fute or hand he ne'er play'd pa! His life and his keys at anes they hae ta'en, And cast the body ahind the wa'.

Now sune they reach Newcastle jail, And to the prisoner thus they call; "Sleeps thou, wakes thou, Jock o' the Side, Or art thou weary of thy thrall?"

Jock answers thus, wi' dulefu' tone; "Aft, aft, I wake—I seldom sleep: But whae's this kens my name sae well, And thus to mese[177] my waes does seik?"

Then out and spak the gude Laird's Jock, "Now fear ye na, my billie," quo' he; "For here are the Laird's Jock, the Laird's Wat, And Hobbie Noble, come to set thee free."

"Now hand thy tongue, my gude Laird's Jock; For ever, alas! this canna be; For if a' Liddesdale was here the night, The morn's the day that I maun die.

"Full fifteen stane o' Spanish iron, They hae laid a' right sair on me; Wi' locks and keys I am fast bound Into this dungeon dark and dreirie."

"Fear ye na' that," quo' the Laird's Jock; "A faint heart ne'er wan a fair ladie; Work thou within, we'll work without, And I'll be sworn we'll set thee free."

The first strong door that they cam at, They loosed it without a key; The next chain'd door that they cam at, They garr'd it a' to flinders flee.

The prisoner now upon his back, The Laird's Jock has gotten up fu' hie; And down the stair, him, irons and a', Wi' nae sma' speid and joy, brings he.

"Now, Jock, my man," quo' Hobbie Noble, "Some o' his weight ye may lay on me." "I wat weil no!" quo' the Laird's ain Jock, "I count him lighter than a flee."

Sae out at the gates they a' are gane, The prisoner's set on horseback hie; And now wi' speid they've ta'en the gate, While ilk ane jokes fu' wantonlie:

"O Jock! sae winsomely's ye ride, Wi' baith your feet upon ae side; Sae weel ye're harneist, and sae trig, In troth ye sit like ony bride!"

The night, tho' wat, they did na mind, But hied them on fu' merrilie, Until they cam to Cholerford brae,[178] Where the water ran like mountains hie.

But when they cam to Cholerford, There they'met with an auld man; Says—"Honest man, will the water ride? Tell us in haste, if that ye can."

"I wat weel no," quo' the gude auld man; "I hae lived here threty years and thrie, And I ne'er yet saw the Tyne sae big, Nor running anes sae like a sea."

Then out and spak the Laird's saft Wat, The greatest coward in the cumpanie; "Now halt, now halt! we need na try't; The day is come we a' maun die!"

"Puir faint-hearted thief!" cried the Laird's ain Jock, "There'l nae man die but him that's fie;[179] I'll guide ye a' right safely thro'; Lift ye the pris'ner on ahint me."

Wi' that the water they hae ta'en, By ane's and twa's they a' swam thro'; "Here are we a' safe," quo' the Laird's Jock, "And, puir faint Wat, what think ye now?"

They scarce the other brae had won, When twenty men they saw pursue; Frae Newcastle toun they had been sent, A' English lads baith stout and true.

But when the land-serjeant the water saw, "It winna ride, my lads," says he; Then cried aloud—"The prisoner take, But leave the fetters, I pray, to me."

"I wat weil no," quo' the Laird's Jock; "I'll keep them a'; shoon to my mare they'll be, My gude bay mare—for I am sure, She has bought them a' right dear frae thee."

Sae now they are on to Liddesdale, E'en as fast as they could them hie; The prisoner is brought to's ain fire side, And there o's airns they mak him free.

"Now, Jock, my billie," quo' a' the three, "The day is com'd thou was to die; But thou's as weil at thy ain ingle side, Now sitting, I think, 'twixt thee and me."

[Footnote 174: Spaits—Torrents.]

[Footnote 175: Caugers—Carriers.]

[Footnote 176: Branks and brecham—Halter and cart-collar.]

[Footnote 177: Mese—Soothe.]

[Footnote 178: Cholerford brae—A ford upon the Tyne, above Hexham.]

[Footnote 179: Fie—Predestined.]



HOBBIE NOBLE.

* * * * *

We have seen the hero of this ballad act a distinguished part in the deliverance of Jock o' the Side, and are now to learn the ungrateful return which the Armstrongs made him for his faithful services.[180] Halbert, or Hobbie Noble, appears to have been one of those numerous English outlaws, who, being forced to fly their own country, had established themselves on the Scottish borders. As Hobbie continued his depredations upon the English, they bribed some of his hosts, the Armstrongs, to decoy him into England, under pretence of a predatory expedition. He was there delivered, by his treacherous companions, into the hands of the officers of justice, by whom he was conducted to Carlisle, and executed next morning. The laird of Mangerton, with whom Hobbie was in high favour, is said to have taken a severe revenge upon the traitors who betrayed him. The principal contriver of the scheme, called here Sim o' the Maynes, fled into England from the resentment of his chief; but experienced there the common fate of a traitor, being himself executed at Carlisle, about two months after Hobbie's death. Such is, at least, the tradition of Liddesdale. Sim o' the Maynes appears among the Armstrongs of Whitauch, in Liddesdale, in the list of clans so often alluded to.

[Footnote 180: The original editor of the Reliques of Ancient Poetry has noticed the perfidy of this clan in another instance; the delivery of the banished Earl of Northumberland into the hands of the Scottish regent, by Hector of Harelaw, an Armstrong, with whom he had taken refuge.—Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Vol. I. p. 283. This Hector of Harelaw seems to have been an Englishman, or under English assurance; for he is one of those, against whom bills were exhibited, by the Scottish commissioners, to the lord-bishop of Carlisle.—Introduction to the History of Westmoreland and Cumberland, p. 81. In the list of borderers, 1597, Hector of Harelaw, with the Griefs and Cuts of Harelaw, also figures as an inhabitant of the Debateable Land. It would appear, from a spirited invective in the Maitland MSS. against the regent, and those who delivered up the unfortunate earl to Elizabeth, that Hector had been guilty of this treachery, to redeem the pledge which had been exacted from him for his peaceable demeanour. The poet says, that the perfidy of Morton and Lochlevin was worse than even that of—

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