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216 THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL. [CANTO VI.
nity. The ancient metrical romance might have admitted these homely personalities; but the present age will not endure them; and Mr. Scott must either sacrifice his Border prejudices or offend all his readers in the other parts of the empire."-JEFFREY.]
The feast was over in Branksome tower—P. 43.
In the reign of James I., Sir William Scott of Buccleuch, chief of the clan bearing that name, exchanged, with Sir Thomas Inglis, of Manor, the estate of Murdieston, in Lanarkshire, for one-half of the barony of Branksome, or Brankholm,' lying upon the Teviot, about three miles above Hawick. He was probably induced to this transaction from the vicinity of Branksome to the extensive domain which he possessed in Ettrick Forest and in Teviotdale. In the former district he held by occupancy the estate of Buccleuch,2 and much of the forest land on the River Ettrick. In Teviotdale, he enjoyed the barony of Eėkford, by a grant from Robert II., to his ancestor, Walter Scott of Kirkurd, for the apprehending of Gilbert Ridderford, confirmed by Robert III., 3d May, 1424. Tradition imputes the exchange betwixt Scott and Inglis to a conversation, in which the latter, a man, it would appeat, of a mild and forbearing nature, complained much of the injuries which he was exposed to from the English Borderers, who frequently plundered his lands of Branksome. Sir William Scott instantly offered him the estate of Murdiestone, in exchange for that which was subject to such egregious inconvenience. When the bargain was completed, he dryly remarked, that the cattle in Cumberland were as good as those of Teviotdale; and proceeded to commence a system of reprisals upon the English, which was regularly pursued by his successors. In the next reign James II. granted to Sir Walter Scott of Branksome, and to Sir David, his son, the remaining half of the barony of Branksome, to be held in blanche for the payment of a red rose. The cause assigned for the grant is, their brave and faithful exertions in favor of the King against the house of Douglas, with whom James had been recently tugging for the throne of Scotland. This charter is dated the 2d February, 1443; and, in the same month, part of the barony of
i Branxholm is the proper name of the barony; but Brank some has been adopted, as suitable to the pronunciation, and more proper for poetry.
2 There are no vestiges of any building at Buccleuch, except the site of a chapel, where, according to a tradition current in the time of Scott of Satchells, many of the ancient barons of Buccleuch lie buried. There is also said to have been a mill near this solitary spot; an extraordinary circumstance, as little or no corn grows within several miles of Buccleuch. Satchells says it was used to grind corn for the hounds of the chieftain.