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Erskine of Shielfield, two gentlemen of the neighbourhood. From their charity, she obtained such necessaries as she could be prevailed upon to accept. At twelve, each night, she lighted her candle, and returned to her vault, assuring her friendly neighbours, that, during her absence, her habitation was arranged by a spirit, to whom she gave the uncouth name of Fatlips; describing him as a little man, wearing heavy iron shoes, with which he trampled the clay floor of the vault, to dispel the damps. This circumstance caused her to be regarded, by the well-informed, with compassion, as deranged in her understanding; and by the vulgar, with some degree of terror. The cause of her adopting this extraordinary mode of life she would never explain. It was, however, believed to have been occasioned by a vow, that, during the absence of a man to whom she was attached, she would never look upon the sun. Her lover never returned. He fell during the civil war of 1745-6, and she never more would behold the light of day.
The vault, or rather dungeon, in which this unfortunate woman lived and died, passes still by the name of the supernatural being, with which its gloom was tenanted by her disturbed imagination, and few of the neighbouring peasants dare enter it by night.—1803.
BATTLE OF ANCRAM MOOE.
Lord Evers, and Sir Brian Latoun, during the year 1544, committed the most dreadful ravages upon the Scottish frontiers, compelling most of the inhabitants, and especially the men of Liddesdale, to take assurance under the King of England. Upon the 17th November, in that year, the sum total of their depredations stood thus, in the bloody ledger of Lord Evers:— Towns, towers, barnekynes, paryshe churches, bastill
houses, burned and destroyed, Scots slain, . Prisoners taken,
Mags and geldings.
Gayt, . .
Bolls of corn,
Insight gear, &c. (furniture), an incalculable quantity
Murdih's State Papers, vol. i. p. 51.
For these services Sir Kalph Evers was made a Lord of Parliament. See a strain of exulting congratulation upon his promotion, poured forth by some contemporary minstrel, in vol. i. p. 417.
The King of England had promised to these two barons a feudal grant of the country, which they had thus reduced to a desert; upon hearing which, Archibald Douglas, the seventh Earl of Angus, is said to have sworn to write the deed of investiture upon their skins, with sharp pens and bloody ink, in resentment for their having defaced the tombs of his ancestors, at Melrose.—Godscroft. In 1545, Lord Evers and Latoun again entered Scotland, with an army consisting of 3,000 mercenaries, 1,500 English Borderers, and 700 assured Scottish-men, chiefly Armstrongs, Turnbulls, and other broken clans. In this second incursion, the English generals even exceeded their former cruelty. Evers burned the tower of Broomhouse, with its lady, (a noble and aged woman, says Lesley,) and her whole family. The English penetrated as far as Melrose, which they had destroyed last year, and which they now again pillaged. As they returned towards Jedburgh) they were followed by Angus, at the head of 1,000 horse, who was shortly after joined by the famous Norman Lesley, with a body of Fife-men. The English, being probably unwilling to cross the Teviot, while the Scots hung upon their rear, halted upon Ancram Moor, above the village of that name; and the Scottish general was deliberating whether to advance or retire, when Sir Walter Scott,1 of Buccleuch,
1 The Editor, has found no instance upon record, of this family having taken assurance with England. Hence, they usually suffered dreadfully from the English forays. In An gust, 1544, (the year preceding the battle,) the whole lands belonging to Buccleuch, in West Teviotdale, were harried by Evers; the outworks, or barmkin, of the tower of Branxholm burned; eight Scotts slain, thirty made prisoners, and an im
came up at full speed, with a small, but chosen body of his retainers, the rest of whom were near at hand. By the advice of this experienced warrior, (to whose conduct Pitscottie and Buchanan ascribe the success of the engagement,) Angus withdrew from the height which he occupied, and drew up his forces behind it, upon a piece of low flat ground, called Panier-heugh, or Paniel-heugh. The spare horses being sent to an eminence in their rear, appeared to the English to be the main body of the Scots, in the act of flight. Under this persuasion, Evers and Latoun hurried precipitately forward, and, having ascended the hill, which their foes had abandoned, were no less dismayed, than astonished, to find the phalanx of Scottish spearmen drawn up, in firm array, upon the flat ground below. The Scots in their turn became the assailants. A heron, roused from the marshes by the tumult, soared away betwixt the encountering armies: "O!" exclaimed Angus, "that I had here my white goss-hawk, that we might all yoke at once !"—Godscroft. The English, breathless and fatigued, having the setting sun and wind full in their faces, were unable to withstand the resolute and desperate charge of the Scottish lances. No sooner had they begun to waver, than their own allies, the assured Borderers, who had been waiting the event, threw aside their red crosses, and, joining their countrymen, made a most merciless
mense prey of horses, cattle, and sheep, carried off. The lands upon Kale Water, belonging to the same chieftain, were also plundered, and much spoil obtained; thirty Scotts slain, and the Moss Tower (a fortress near Eckford) smoked very sore. Thus Buccleuch had a long account to settle at Ancram Moor.—Murdin's State Papers- pp. 45, 46. VOL. VI. 8
slaughter among the English fugitives, the pursuers calling upon each other to "remember Broomhouse!" —Lesley, p. 478.
In the battle fell Lord Evers, and his son, together with Sir Brian Latoun, and 800 Englishmen, many of whom were persons of rank. A thousand prisoners were taken. Among these was a patriotic alderman of London, Read by name, who, having contumaciously refused to pay his portion of a benevolence demanded from the city by Henry VIII., was sent by royal authority to serve against the Scots. These, at settling his ransom, he found still more exorbitant in their exactions than the monarch.—Redpath's Border History, p. 563.
Evers was much regretted by King Henry, who swore to avenge his death upon Angus, against whom he conceived himself to have particular grounds of resentment, on account of favours received by the earl at his hands. The answer of Angus was worthy of a Douglas: "Is our brother-in-law offended," 1 said he, " that I, as a good Scotsman, have avenged my ravaged country, and the defaced tombs of my ancestors, upon Ralph Evers? They were better men than he, and I was bound to do no less—and will he take my life for that? Little knows King Henry the skirts of Kirnetable:2 I can keep myself there against all his English host."—Godscroft.
Such was the noted battle of Ancram Moor. The
1 Angus had married the widow of James IV., sister to King Henry VIII.
2 Kirnetable, now called Cairntable, is a mountainous tract at the head of Douglasdale. [See Notes to Castle Dangerous, Waverley Novels, vol. xlvii.J