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Think not I lie, nor do me blame,
The name both of the men and land,
Which they possessed, it is of truth,
Both from the Lairds and Lords of Buckleugh."
Accordingly, dismounting from his Pegasus, Satchells gives us, in prose, the names of twenty-four gentlemen, younger brothers of ancient families, who were pensioners to the house of Buccleuch, and describes the lands which each possessed for his Border service. In time of war with England, the garrison was doubtless augmented. Satchells adds, "These twenty-three pensioners, all of his own name of Scott, and Walter Gladstanes of Whitelaw, a near cousin of my lord's, as aforesaid, were ready on all occasions, when his honour pleased cause to advertise them. It is known to many of the country better than it is to me, that the rent of these lands, which the Lairds and Lords of Buccleuch did freely bestow upon their friends, will amount to above twelve or fourteen thousand merks a-year."-History of the Name of Scott, p. 45. An immense sum in those times.
They watch, against Southern force and guile,
From Warkworth, or Naworth, or merry Carlisle. —P. 43.
Branksome Castle was continually exposed to the attacks of the English, both from its situation and the restless military disposition of its inhabitants, who were seldom on good terms with their neighbours. The following letter from the Earl of Northumberland to Henry VIII. in 1533, gives an account of a successful inroad of the English, in which the country was plundered up to the gates of the castle, although the invaders failed in
1 Room, portion of laud.
their principal object, which was to kill, or make prisoner, the Laird of Buccleuch. It occurs in the Cotton MS. Calig. B. VIII. f. 222.
“Pleaseth yt your most gracious highness to be aduertised, that my comptroller, with Raynald Carnaby, desyred licence of me to invade the realme of Scotland, for the annoysaunce of your nes enemys, where they thought best exploit by theyme might be done, and to haue to concur withe theyme the inhabitants of Northumberland, suche as was towards me according to theyre assembly, and as by theyre discretions vpone the same they shulde thinke most convenient; and soo they dyde meet vppon Monday, before night, being the iii day of this instant monethe, at Wawhope, upon Northe Tyne water, above Tyndaill, where they were to the number of xv c men, and soo invadet Scotland at the hour of viii of the clok at nyght, at a place called Whele Causay; and before xi of the clok dyd send forth a forrey of Tyndaill and Ryddisdail, and laide all the resydewe in a bushment, and actyvely did set vpon a towne called Branxholm, where the Lord of Buclough dwellythe, and purpesed theymeselves with a trayne for hym lyke to his accustomed manner, in rysynge to all frayes; albeit, that knyght he was not at home, and so they brynt the said Branxholm, and other townes, as to say Whichestre, Whichestre-helme, and. Whelley, and haid ordered theymeself, soo that sundry of the said Lord Buclough's servants, who dyd issue fourthe of his gates, was takyn prisoners. They dyd not leve one house, one stak of corne, nor one shyef, without the gate of the said Lord Buclough vnbrynt; and thus scrymaged and frayed, supposing the Lord of Buclough to be within iii or iiii myles to have trayned him to the bushment; and soo in the breyking of the day dyd the forrey and the bushment mete, and reculed homeward, making theyr way westward from theyre invasion to be over Lyddersdaill, as intending yf the fray frome theyre furst entry by the Scotts waiches, or otherwyse by warnying, shulde haue bene gyven to Gedworth and the countrey of Scotland they reabouts of theyre invasion; whiche Gedworth is from the Wheles Causay vi myles, that thereby the Scotts shulde have comen further vnto theyme, and more out of ordre; and soo upon sundry good considerations, before they entered Lyddersdaill, as well accompting the inhabi
tants of the same to be towards your highness, and to enforce theyme the more thereby, as alsoo to put an occasion of suspect to the Kinge of Scotts, and his counsaill, to be taken anenst theyme, amonges theymeselves, made proclamacions, commanding, vpon payne of dethe, assurance to be for the said inhabitants of Lyddersdaill, without any prejudice or hurt to be done by any Inglysman vnto they me, and soo in good ordre abowte the howre of ten of the clok before none, vppone Tewisday, dyd pass through the said Lyddersdail, when dyd come diverse of the said inhabitants there to my servauntes, under the said assurance, offerring theymselfs with any service they couthe make; and thus, thanks be to Godde, your highnes' subjects, abowte the howre of xii of the clok at none the same daye, came into this your highnes realme, bringing wt theyme above xl Scottsmen prisoners, one of theyme named Scot, of the surname and kyn of the said Lord of Buclough, and of his howsehold; they brought also ccc nowte, and above lx horse and mares, keping in savetie frome losse or hurte all your said highnes subjects. There was alsoo a towne, called Newbyggins, by diverse fotmen of Tyndaill and Ryddesdaill, takyn vp of the night, and spoyled, when was slayne ii Scottsmen of the said towne, and many Scotts there hurte; your highnes subjects was xiii myles within the grounde of Scotlande, and is from my house at Werkworthe, above lx miles of the most evil passage, where great snawes doth lye; heretofore the same townes now brynt haith not at any tyme in the mynd of man in any warrs been enterprised unto nowe; your subjects were thereto more encouraged for the better advancement of your highnes service, the said Lord of Buclough beyng always a mortall enemy to this your Graces realme, and he dyd say, within xiii days before, he woulde see who durst lye near hym; wt many other cruell words, the knowledge whereof was certainly haid to my said servaunts, before theyre enterprice maid vpon him; most humbly beseeching your majesty, that youre highnes thanks may concur vnto theyme, whose names be here inclosed, and to have in your most gracious memory, the paynfull and diligent service of my pore servaunte Wharton, and thus, as I am most bounden, shall dispose wt them that be under me f... annoysaunce of your highnes enemys." In resentment of this foray, Buccleuch, with other
Border chiefs, assembled an army of 3000 riders, with which they penetrated into Northumberland, and laid waste the country s far as the banks of Bramish. They baffled, or defeated, the English forces opposed to them, and returned loaded with prey. · PINKERTON's History, vol. ii. p. 318.
Bards long shall tell,
How Lord Walter fell.-P. 43.
Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch succeeded to his grandfather, Sir David, in 1492. He was a brave and powerful baron, and Warden of the West Marches of Scotland. His death was the consequence of a feud betwixt the Scotts and Kerrs, the history of which is necessary, to explain repeated allusions in the
In the year 1526, in the words of Pitscottie, "the Earl of Angus, and the rest of the Douglasses, ruled all which they liked, and no man durst say the contrary; wherefore the King (James V. then a minor) was heavily displeased, and would fain have been out of their hands, if he might by any way: And, to that effect, wrote a quiet and secret letter with his own hand, and sent it to the Laird of Buccleuch, beseeching him that he would come with his kin and friends, and all the force that he might be, and meet him at Melross, at his home-passing, and there to take him out of the Douglasses hands, and to put him to liberty, to use himself among the lave (rest) of his lords, as he thinks expedient.
"This letter was quietly directed, and sent by one of the King's own secret servants, which was received very thankfully by the Laird of Buccleuch, who was very glad thereof, to be put to such charges and familiarity with his prince, and did great diligence to perform the King's writing, and to bring the matter to pass as the King desired: And, to that effect, convened all his kin and friends, and all that would do for him, to ride with him to Melross, when he knew of the King's home-coming. And so he brought with him six hundred spears, of Liddesdale, and Annandale, and countrymen, and clans thereabout, and held themselves quiet while that the King returned out of Jedburgh, and came to Melross, to remain there all that night.
"But when the Lord Hume, Cessfoord, and Fernyhurst, (the chiefs of the clan of Kerr,) took their leave of the King, and returned home, then appeared the Lord of Buccleuch in sight, and his company with him, in an arrayed battle, intending to have fulfilled the King's petition, and therefore came stoutly forward on the back side of Haliden hill. By that the Earl of Angus, with George Douglas, his brother, and sundry other of his friends, seeing this army coming, they marvelled what the matter meant; while at the last they knew the Laird of Buccleuch, with a certain company of the thieves of Annandale. With him they were less affeared, and made them manfully to the field contrary them, and said to the King in this manner, 'Sir, yon is Buccleuch, and thieves of Annandale with him, to unbeset your Grace from the gate' (i. e. interrupt your passage.) I vow to God they shall either fight or flee; and ye shall tarry here on this know, and my brother George with you, with any other company you please; and I shall pass, and put yon thieves off the ground, and rid the gate unto your Grace, or else die for it.' The King tarried still, as was devised; and George Douglas with him, and sundry other lords, such as the Earl of Lennox, and the Lord Erskine, and some of the King's own servants; but all the lave (rest) past with the Earl of Angus to the field against the Laird of Buccleuch, who joyned and countered cruelly both the said parties in the field of Darnelinver,' either against other, with uncertain victory. But at the last, the Lord Hume, hearing word of that matter how it stood, returned again to the King in all possible haste, with him the Lairds of Cessfoord and Fernyhirst, to the number of fourscore spears, and set freshly on the lap and wing of the Laird of Buccleuch's field, and shortly bare them backward to the ground; which caused the Laird of Buccleuch, and the rest of his friends, to go back and flce, whom they followed and chased; and especially the Lairds of Cessfcord and Fernyhirst followed furiouslie, till at the foot of a path the Laird of Cessfoord was slain by the stroke of a spear by an Elliot, who was then servant to the Laird of Buccleuch. But when the
1 Darnwick, near Melrose. The place of conflict is still called Skinner's Field, from a corruption of Skirmish Field. [See the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, vols. i. and ii., for farther particulars concerning these places, of all which the author of the Lay was ultimately proprietor.-ED]