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No:—close beneath proud Newark's tower
Note 1. Stanzai. The feast was over in Branksome tower.
In the reign of James I, Sir William Scott of Buceleuch, chief of the clan bearing that name, exchanged, with Sir Thomas Inglis of Manor, the estate of Murdiestone, in Lanarkshire, for one half of the barony of Branksome, or Branxholm, 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,” and much of the forest land on the river Ettrick. In Teviotdale he enjoyed the barony of Eckford, 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 appear, of a mild and forbearing nature, complained much of the injuries which he was exposed to from the English
grind corn for the hounds of the chieftain.
subject to such egregious inconvenience. When the bargain was completed, he drily remarked, that the cattle in Cumberland were as good as those of Teviot. dale; 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 blanch for the payment of a red rose. The cause assigned for the grant is, their brave and faithful exertions in favour 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 Langholm, and many lands in Lanarkshire, were conferred upon Sir Walter and his son by the same monarch.
After the period of the exchange with Sir Thomas Inglis, Branksome became the principal seat of the Buccleuch family. The castle was enlarged and strengthened by Sir David Scott, the grandson of Sir William, its first possessor. But, in 1570-1, the vengeance of Elizabeth, provoked by the inroads of Buccleuch, and his attachment to the cause of Queen Mary, destroyed the castle, and laid waste the lands of Branksome. In the same year the castle was repaired, and enlarged by Sir Walter Scott, its brave possessor; but the work was not completed until after his death, in 1574, when the widow finished the building. This appears from the following inscription. Around a stone, bearing the arms of Scott of Buccleuch, appears the following legend: “Sin W. Scort of BaanxHelm KNYr Yoe or Sin William Scort of Kiakund KNYT began Ye work upon Ye 24 of Manch 1571 zieh Quha departir AT God's Pleisoun YE 17 April 1574.” On a similar compartment are sculptured the arms of Douglas, with this inscription, a DAME Manganet DougLAs his spous compleirit the roasAid woax in October 1576. Over an arched door is inscribed the following moral verse:—
Branksome Castle continued to be the principal seat of the Buccleuch family, while security was any object in their choice of a mansion. It has since been the residence of the commissioners, or chamberlains, of the family. From the various alterations which the building has undergone, it is not only greatly restricted in its dimensions, but retains little of the castellated form, if we except one square tower of massy thickness, the only part of the original building which now remains. The whole forms a handsome modern residence, lately inhabited by my deceased friend, Adam ogilvy, Esq. of Hartwoodmyres, Commissioner of his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch.
The extent of the ancient edifice can still be traced by some vestiges of its foundation, and its strength is obvious from the situation, on a steep bank surrounded by the Teviot, and flanked by a deep ravine, formed by a precipitous brook. It was anciently surrounded by wood, as appears from the survey of Roxburghshire,
made for Pont's Atlas, and preserved in the Advocate's Library. This wood was cut about fifty years ago, but is now replaced by the thriving plantations which have been formed by the late noble proprietor, around the ancient mansion of his forefathers.
Note 2. Stanza iii. Nine-and-twenty knights of fame Huns; their shields in Branksome-hall. The ancient barons of Buccleuch, both from feudal splendour, and from their frontier situation, retained in their household, at Branksome, a number of gentlemen of their own name, who held lands from their chief, for the military service of watching and warding his castle. Satchells tells us, in his doggrel poetry, No baron was better served into Britain; The barons of Buckleugh they kept their call, Four and twenty gentlemen in their hall, All being of his name and kin; Each two had a servant to wait upon him ; Before supper and dinner, most renowned, The bells rung and the trumpets sowneu: And more than that, I do confess, They kept four and twenty pensioners. Think not I lie, nor do me blame, For the pensioners I can all name: There's men alive, elder than I. They know if I speak truth, or lie; Every pensioner a room did gain, For service done and to be done; This I ll let the reader understand, The name both of the men and land, Which they possessed, it is of truth, Both from the lairds and lords of Bucklengh.
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.
Note 3. Stanza v.
• Of a truth,” says Froissart, - the Scottish cannot boast great skill with the bow, but rather bear axes, with which, in time of need, they give heavy strokes.. The Jedwood-axe was a sort of partizan, used by horsemen, as appears from the arms of Jedburgh, which bear a cavalier mounted, and armed with this weapon. It is also called a Jedwood or Jeddart staff.
Note 4. Stanza vi. They watch against southern force and guite, Lest Scroope, or sloward, or Percy's powers, Threaten franksome's lordly towers, From Warkworth, or Naworth, or merry Carlisle. Branksome Castle was continually exposed to the attacks of the English, both from its situation and the
Room, portion of land.
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 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 highnes to be aduertised, that my comptroller, with Raynald Carnaby, desyred licence of me to invade the realme of Scotland, for the annoysaunce of your highnes enemys, where they thought best exploit by they me might be done, and to haue to concur withe they me the inhabitants of Northumberland, suche as was toward me according to theyre assembly, and as by theyre discrecions vpone the same they shulde thinke most convenient; and soo they dyde mete vpone Monday, before nyght, being the iii day of this instant monethe, at Wawhope, uppon 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 Ryddisdaill, and laide all the
resydewe in a bushment, and actyvely dyd set vpon a towne called Branxholm, where the lord of Buclough dwellythe, and purpesed they meselves with a trayne for hym lyke to his accustomed manner, in rysying to all frayes; albeit, that knight he was not at home, and soo they brynt the said Branxholm, and other townes, as to say whichestre, whichestre-helme, and Whelley, and haid ordered they meself 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 heve 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 they're furst entry by the Scotts waiches, or otherwyse by warnyng, shulde haue bene gyven to Gedworth and the countrey of Scotland they reabouts of theyre invasion; whiche Gedworth is from the Wheles Causay vi myies, that thereby the Scots shulde have cumen further vnto theyme, and more out of ordre; and soo upon sundry good consideracons, before they entered Lyddersdaili, as well accompting the inhabitants of the same to be towards your highnes, and to enforce they me 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 theymselves, 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 theyme, and soo in good ordre abowte the howre of ten of the clok before noon, vppone Tewisday, dyd pass through the said Lyddersdaill, when dyd come diverse of the said inhabitants there to my servauntes, under the said assurance, offerring theymselfs with any ser– vice 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 youre
highnes realme, bringing wit theyme above xl Scottsmen prisoners, one of they me named Scot, of the surname and kyn of the said Lord of Buclough, and of his howsehold; they brought alsoo coc now te, and above lx horses and mares, keeping in savetie frome losse or hurte all your said highnes subjects. There was alsoo a town, called Newbytčins, by diverse fotmen of Tyndall and Ryddesdaill, takyn vp of the night, and | spoyled, when was slayne ii Scottsmen of the said owne, and many Scotts there hurte; your highnes subjects was kiii myles within the grounde of Scotlande, and is from my house at Werkworthe, above lx miles of the most evill passage, where great snawes idothe lye; heretofore the same townes now brynt hath not at any time 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 durit lye near hym; wi many other cruell words, the knowledge whereof was certainly haid to my said servaunts, before theyre enterprice maid vppon him ; most humbly beseeching your majesty, that youre highnes thanks may concur vnto they me, 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 * * * * * * innoysaunce of your highnes enemys. In resentment of this foray, Buccleuch, with other Border chiefs, assembled an army of 3ooo riders, with which they Penetrated into Northumberland, and laid waste the country as far as the banks of Bramish. They baffled, or defeated, the English forces opposed to them, and returned loaded with prey.—PINKEaton's History, vol. ll, p. 318.
Note 5. Stanza vii. Bards long shall tell, How Lord Walter fell. 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 romance. 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 | ent it to the Laird of luccleuch, 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 Douglaws hands, and to put him to liberty, to use himself o: the lave (rest) of his lords, as he thinks expelent. • 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 Flad thereof, to be put to such charges and familiarity *ith 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, Cessford, and Fernyhirst (the chiefs of the clan of Kerr), took their leave of the king, and returned home, then appeared the laird of Buckleuch 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 Ilaliden 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 Buckleuch, 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 Fairnyhirst, 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 flee, whom they followed and chased; and especially the lairds of Cessfoord and Fairnyhirst followed furiouslie, till at the foot of a path the Laird of Cessfoord was slain by the stroke of a spear by an Elliott, who was then servant to the Laird of Buccleuch. But when the Laird of Cessfoord was slain, the chase ceased. The Earl of Angus returned again with great merriness and victory, and thanked God that he saved him from that chance, and passed with the king to Melross, where they remained all that night. On the morn they passed to Edinburgh with the king, who was very sad and dolorous of the slaughter of the Laird of Cessfoord, and many other gentlemen and yeomen slain by the laird of Buccleuch, containing the number of fourscore and fifteen, which died in defence of the king, and at the command of his writing."
I am not the first who has attempted to celebrate in verse the renown of this ancient baron, and his ha
1 Darnwick, near Melrose the place of conflict is still called Skinner's Field, from a corruption of Skirmish Field.
zardous attempt to procure his sovereign's freedom. In a Scottish Latin poet we find the following verses:
Walt salus Scorus B., lcluchius. Egregio suscepto facinore, libertate Regis, ac aliis rebus gestis clarus, sub Jacobo V. A" Christi, 1526. Intentata aliis, nullique audita priorum Audet, nec pavidum morsve, metusve, quatit, Libertatem aliis soliti transcribere Regis: Subreptam banc Regi restituisse paras; Si vincis, quanta O succedunt premia dextra ; Sin vicius, falses spes jace, pone animatn. Hostica vis nocuit: stant alta robora mentis Atque decus. Vincet, Rege probante, tides. Ixsir, queis animis virtus, quosque aerior ardor Obsidet, obscuris nox premat an tenebrist Heroes er omni Historia Scotica lectissimi. Auctore Jona". Jossroxio, Aberdonense Scoto, 1693.
In consequence of the battle of Melrose, there ensued a deadly feud betwixt the names of Scott and Kerr, which, in spite of all means used to bring about an agreement, raged for many years upon the Borders. Buccleuch was imprisoned, and his estates forfeited, in the year 1535, for levying war against the Kerrs, and restored by act of parliament, dated 15th March, 1542, during the regency of Mary of Lorraine. But the most signal act of violence, to which this quarrel gave rise, was the murder of Sir Walter himself, who was slain by the Kerrs in the streets of Edinburgh, in 1552. This is the event alluded to in Stanza VII; and the poem is supposed to open shortly after it had taken place.
The feud between these two families was not reconciled in 1596, when both chieftains paraded the streets of Edinburgh with their followers, and it was expected their first meeting would decide their quarrel. But, on July 14th of the same year, Colvil, in a letter to Mr Bacon, informs him, - that there was great trouble on the Borders, which would continue till order should be taken by the Queen of England and the King, by reason of the two young Scots chieftains, Cessford and Bacclugh, and of the present necessity and scarcity of corn amongst the Scots Borderers and riders. That there had been a private quarrel betwixt these two lairds, on the Borders, which was like to have turned to blood; but the fear of the general trouble had reconciled them, and the injuries which they thought to have committed against each other were now transferred upon England: not unlike that emulation in France between the Baron de Biron and Mons. Jeverie, who, being both ambitious of honour, undertook more hazardous enterprises against the enemy, than they would have done if they had been at concord together." —Birch's Memorials, vol. II, p. 67.
Note 6. Stanza viii. No! vainly to each holy shrine, In mutual pilgrimage, they drew.
Among other expedients resorted to for staunching the feud betwixt the Scotts and the Kerrs, there was a bond executed, in 1529, between the heads of each clan, binding themselves to perform reciprocally the four principal pilgrimages of Scotland, for the benefit of the souls of those of the opposite name who had fallen in the quarrel. This indenture is printed in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, vol. I. But either it never took effect, or else the feud was renewed shortly afterwards.
Such pactions were not uncommon in feudal times;
and, as might be expected, they were often, as in the present case, void of the effect desired. When Sir Walter Mauny, the renowned follower of Edward III, had taken the town of Ryoll, in Gascony, he remembered to have heard that his father lay there buried, and offered a hundred crowns to any who could show him his grave. A very old man appeared before Sir Walter, and informed him of the manner of his father's death, and the place of his sepulture. It seems the Lord of Mauny had, at a great tournament, unhorsed and wounded to the death a Gascon knight, of the house of Mirepoix, whose kinsman was bishop of Cambray. For this deed he was held at feud by the relations of the knight, until he agreed to undertake a pilgrimage to the shrine of St James of Compostella, for the benefit of the soul of the deceased. But as he returned through the town of Ryoll, after accomplishment of his vow, he was beset, and treacherously slain, by the kindred of the knight whom he had killed. Sir Walter, guided by the old man, visited the lowly tomb of his father, and, having read the inscription, which was in Latin, he caused the body to be raised, and transported to his native city of Valenciennes, where masses were, in the days of Froissart, duly said for the soul of the unfortunate pilgrim.–Cronycle of Froissaar, vol. I, p. 123.
Note 7. Stanza viii. While Cessford owns the rule of Car.
The family of Ker, Kerr, or Car," was very powerful on the Border. Fynes Morrison remarks, in his Travels, that their influence extended from the village of Preston-Grange, in Lothian, to the limits of England. Cessford Castle, the ancient baronial residence of the family, is situated near the village of Morebattle, within two or three miles of the Cheviot Hills.-It has been a place of great strength and consequence, but is now ruinous. Tradition affirms, that it was founded by Haibert, or Habby Kerr, a gigantic warrior, concerning whom many stories are current in Roxburghshire. The Duke of Roxburghe represents Ker of Cessford : a distinct and powerful branch of the same name own the Marquis of Lothian as their chief. Hence the distinction betwixt Kers of Cessford and Fairnihirst.
Note 8. Stanza x. Before Lord Cranstoun she should wed.
The Cra , Lord Cr n, are an t Border family, whose chief seat was at Crailing, in Teviotdale. They were at this time at feud with the clan of Scott; for it appears that the lady of Buccleuch, in , 55-. beset the laird of Cranstoun, seeking his life. Nevertheless, the same Cranstoun, or perhaps his son, was married to a daughter of the same lady.
Note 9. Stanza xi. Of Bethune's line of Picardie.
The Bethunes were of French origin, and derived their name from a small town in Artois. There were several distinguished families of the Bethunes in the neighbouring province of Picardy; they numbered among their descendants the celebrated Duc de Sully: and the name was accounted among the most noble in
The name is spelled differently by the various families who bear it. Car is selected, not as the most correct, but as the most poetical reading.
France, while aught noble remained in that country." The family of Bethune, or Beatoun, in Fife, produced three learned and dignified prelates; namely, Cardinal Beaton, and two successive archbishops of Glasgow, all of whom flourished about the date of the romance. of this family was descended Dame Janet Beaton, Lady Buccleuch, widow of Sir Walter Scott of Branksome. She was a woman of masculine spirit, as appeared from her riding at the head of her son's clan, after her husband's murder. She also possessed the hereditary abilities of her family in such a degree, that the superstition of the vulgar imputed them to supernatural knowledge. With this was mingled, by faction, the foul accusation of her having influenced Queen Mary to the murder of her husband. One of the placards, preserved in Buchanan's Detection, accuses of Darnley's murder ... the Erle of Bothwell, Mr James Balfour, the persoun
of Fliske Mr David Chalmers, black Mr John Spens,
who was principal deviser of the murder; and the Quene assenting thairto, throw the persuasion of the Erle Bothwell, and the witchcraft of Lady Buckleuch."
Note 1 1. Stanza xi.
The shadow of a necromancer is independent of the sun.—Glycas informs us, that Simon Magus caused his shadow to go before him, making people believe it was an attendant spirit.—Heywood's Hierarchie, p. 475. The vulgar conceive, that when a class of students have made a certain progress in their mystic studies, they are obliged to run through a subterraneous hall, where the devil literally catches the hindmost in the race, unless he crosses the hall so speedily, that the arch-enemy ean only apprehend his shadow. In the latter case, the person of the sage never after throws any shade; and those, who have thus lost their shadow, always prove the best magicians.
turned from the Holy Land to his castle of Drummelziar, found his fair lady nursing a healthy child, whose birth did not by any means correspond to the date of his departure. Such an occurrence, to the credit of the dames of the crusaders be it spoken, was so rare, that it required a miraculous solution. The lady, therefore, was believed, when she averred confidently, that the Spirit of the Tweed had issued from the river while she was walking upon its bank, and compelled her to submit to his embraces; and the name of Tweedie was bestowed upon the child, who afterwards became Baron of Drummelziar, and chief of a powerful clan. those spirits were also ascribed, in Scotland, the
—airy tongues, that syllable men's names, On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.
When the workmen were engaged in erecting the ancient church of Old Deer, in Aberdeenshire, upon a small hill called Bissau, they were surprised to find that the work was impeded by supernatural obstacles. At length, the Spirit of the River was heard to say,
It is not here, it is not here.
The site of the edifice was accordingly transferred to Taptillery, an eminence at some distance from the place where the building had been commenced.—MacFARLANE's MSS. I mention these popular fables, because the introduction of the River and Mountain Spirits may not, at first sight, seem to accord with the general tone of the romance, and the superstitions of the country where the scene is laid.
Note 13. Stanza xix. A fancied moss-trooper, etc.
This was the usual appellation of the marauders upon the Borders; a profession diligently pursued by the inhabitants on both sides, and by none more actively and successfully than by Buccleuch's clan. Long after the union of the crowns, the moss-troopers, although sunk in reputation, and no longer enjoying the pretext of national hostility, continued to pursue their calling. Fuller includes, among the wonders of Cumberland, “The moss-troopers: so strange in the condition of their living, if considered in their Original, Increase, Height, Decay, and Ruine. 1. “Original. I conceive them the same called Borderers in Mr Cambden; and characterised by him to be, a wild and warlike people. They are called moss-troopers, because dwelling in the mosses, and riding in troops together. They dwell in the bounds, or meeting, of the two kingdoms, but obey the laws of neither. They come to church as seldom as the 29th February coines into the kalendar. 2. - Increase. When England and Scotland were united in Great Britain, they that formerly lived by hostile incursions, betook themselves to the robbing of their neighbours. Their sons are free of the trade by their father's copy. They are like to Job, not in piety and patience, but in sudden plenty and poverty; sometimes having flocks and herds in the morning, none at night, and perchance many again next day. They may give for their mottoe, vivitur ex rapto, stealing from their honest neighbours what they sometimes require,