ページの画像
PDF
[graphic]

No :—close beneath proud Newark‘s tower Arose the Minstrels lowly bower:

A simple hut; but there was seen

The little garden hedged with green,

The cheerful hearth and lattice clean.
There shelter'd wanderers, by the blaze,
Oft heard the tale of other days ;

For much he loved to ope his door,

And give the aid he begg'd before.

So pass'd the winter's day; butstill,
When summer smiled on sweet Bowhill,
And July's eve, with balmy breath,
Waved the bl ue-hells on Newark heath; Q
When throstles sung in Hare-head show,
And corn was green on Carterhaugh,
And fIourish‘d, broad, Blackandrds oak,
The aged harper's soul awoke!

Then would he sing achievements high,
And circumstance of chivalry,

Till the rapt traveller would stay,
Forgetful of the closing day;

And noble youths, the strain to hear,
Forsook the hunting of the deer;

And Yarrow, as he roll'd along,

Bore lutrden to the Minstrels song.

[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]

Itv 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,l lying upon the Teviot, about three miles above Ilawick. 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 Etlrick. 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 Ill, 3d lllay, r424. 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 tl|e 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 Murrliestone, in exchange for that which was

' Ilranxholm is the proper name of the harony; hut Ilranltsome has been adopted, as sitnble to the pronunciation. and more proper for poetry.

’ There are no vestiges of any building at Bucclettch, except the site of n ehnpel, where, according to II tradition current in the time of Scott of Sntchells, many of the ancient barons of Buecleuch lie buried. There is also said to have been t1 mill near this solitary spot; an extraordinary circumstance, as little or no corn grows within several miles of Buceleuch. Satchells says it was used to grind mom for the hounds of the chieftain.

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][graphic][graphic][ocr errors]
[graphic]

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 howschold; they brought alsoo ccc nowte, and above 11: horses and mares, keeping in savetic frome losse or hurte alt your said higltnes subjects. There Was alsoo a town, called Newbyggina, by diverse fotmen of Tyndaill and ltyddcsdaill, takyn vp of the night, and spoyled, when was slayne ii Scottsmen of the said towne, and many Scotts there hurte; your highncs subjects was xiii myles within the grounde of Scotlande, and is from my house at Werkworthe, above lx miles of the most cvill passage, where great snawes dolhe lye; heretofore the saute lowncs now brynt hath not at any time in the lnynd of man in any warrs been enterprised unto nowe; your subjects were thereto more encouraged for the better advancement of your higlrnes service, the said Lord of Buclough hcyng 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 vppon him; most humbly beseeching your majesty, that youre highnes thanks may concur vnto tlleyme, 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, sliall, dispose wt them that be under me f‘ " ‘ ' ' ' annoysannce 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 as far as the banks of.Bramish. They bafflcd, or defeahzdrthe English forces opposed to them, and returned loaded -with prey._—Pntnaron's History, vol. ll, p. 3t8,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]

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 kncwiiof the king's homc-coming. And so he brought with him six hundred spears of Liddcsdale, and Annandale,and countrymen, and clans thereabout, and held themselves quiet while that the

king returned out of Jedburgh, and came to Melross, to1remain there all that night.

I But when the Lord l-lume,,Cessford, and Fernyhirst (the chiefs of the clan of Kerr), took their leave of the king, and rcturned»home, then appeared l|hel'a_i rd of Buckleuch in sight, arid his company with him, in an‘ arrayed battle, intending to.hava fulfilled the king's petition, and therefore came stoutly forwardiion 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 affearcd, and made them manfully to the’ field contrary them, and said to the king in this manner, "Sir, you is Buckleuch, and thieves of _Annandale with him, to unbeset your grace from the gate (i. e. interrupt your passage). l vow to God they shall either fight or flee; and ye shall tarry here on this know, and my brother George with you, with ahy other c'omptmy you please; and I shall pass, and put you thieves off the ground, and rid the gate unto your grace, or else die’ for it.’ he king larried 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 thc lave (rest) past with the Earl of Angus‘ to the field against the Laird of Bnccleuch, wliqjoyned and countered cruelly both the said parties inithe" field of Darneliuver,' either against other,with uncertain victory. But at the last, the Lord llnm_e, hearing Word of that matter how it stood, returned again to the king in all possible haste, with him the lairda of Cessfonrd and Fairnyhirst, to the number of fourscore spears, and set freslily on the lap and wing of the Laird of lluccleuclfs field, and shortly hare them backward to the ground; which caused the laird of liuccieuch, and the rest of his friends, to go back and flee, whom they followed and chased; and especially the lairds of Cessfoord and Fairtiyhirst followed fnriouslie, till at the foot of a path the Laird of (lessfoord was slain by‘ the stroke of a spear by an Elliott, who was then the Laird of Bucclcuch. but when the‘ Laird ofsfiegfibord was slain, the chase ceased. The Earl of Angig returned again with great merriness and victory, and fitntikeid God that he saved him from that Cllhlftayi passed with tire king to Mclross, where , EH LIQGYU 'ht.': ~On the morn they passed‘-to'_' V 'u-i'lglq_w I'll“ 'g, who was very sad and dnlm-nus thc .dmiu\wr'at thb; Laird of Ccssfoord,,_and many other b't'lllf€‘|'I1(1I{Bl'!‘a "ycfiu-n slain by thelaird of Buccleuch, eun,\t.i'init1g'tl1c-' number of fonrscore arnd fifteen, whicli died in tlel'e'm:c~ of the king, and at the command of his writing.

[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

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 i5th March, i542, 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 recon-'

eiled ll) I596, when both chieftains paraded the streets 0f 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, it 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 Bacctugh, and of the present necessity and scarcity of corn amongst the Scots Bordercrs and riders. That there had been a private quarrel betwixt these two lairds, on ,1“; 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. Jcveric, who, being both ambitions of honour, undertook more hazardous enterprises against the enemy, than they would have done if they had been at concord together.» ___B"|,¢;u’s Memorials, vol. II, p. 67.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

and, as might be expected, they were often, as in the present case, void of the effect desired. When Sir Waltcr Manny, the renoWned_follower of Edward Ill, had taken the town of Ilyoll, 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 scpulture. It seems the Lord of Manny 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, be 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 pi|grim.—Cr0n_ycle of FROISSABT, vol. I, p. I23.

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 Tra~ vels, 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 llalbert, or flabby Kerr, a gigantic warrior, concerning whom many stories are current in lloxburghshire. The Duke of Roxburghe represents Ker of Ccssford: a dis— tinct 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 (jranstoun she should wed.

The Cranstouns, Lord Cranstoun, are an ancient 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 oflluccleuch, in 1557, 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 Bethunes 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 Pieardy; they numbered among their descendants the celebrated Due de Sully; and the name was accounted among the most noble in

' The name is spelled differently by the various families who hear it. Car is selected. not as the most correct, but as the most poetical reading.

1

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

France, while aught noble remained in that country.I 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 a the Erie of Botbwelil, Mr James Balfour, the persona of Fliske Mr David Chalmers, black Mr John Spens, who was principal deviser of the murder; and the Queue assentiug thairto, throw the persuasion of the Erie Bothwell, and the witchcraft of Lady Buckleuchu

Padua was long supposed, by the Scottish peasants, to be the principal school of necromancy. The Earl of Gowrie, slain at Perth, in t6oo, pretended, during his studies in Italy, to have acquired some knowledge of the cabala, by which, he said, he could charm snakes, and work other miracles; and, in particular, could produce children without the intercourse of the sexes.-— See the examination of Wemyss of Bogie before the Privy Council, concerning Gowrie‘s Conspiracy.

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
« 前へ次へ »