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Portugal against the Spaniards, mutinied for want of regular pay. At an assembly of their leaders, Sir John Soltier, a natural son of Edward the Black Prince, thus addressed them: ~ ‘I counsayle, let us he alle of one alliance, and of one accorde, and let us among ourselves reyse up the baner of St George, and let us be frendes to God, and enemyes to alle the worlde; for without we make ourselfe to be feared, we gette nothing.’
-I ‘ By my fayth,' quod Sir William Helmon, ‘ ye saye right weel, and so let us do.’ They all agreed with one voyce, and so regarded among them who shulde be their capitayne. Then they advysed in the case how they coude nat have a better capitayne than Sir John Soltier. For they sulde than have good leyser to do yvell, and they thought he was more metelyer thereto than any other. Than they raised up the penon of St George, and cried, ‘ A Soltier! a Soltier! the valyaunt hastarde! frendes to God, and enemies to all the worlde '.'-—Fttotssta1', vol. I, ch. 393.
Note 16. Stanza xxiv.
Several species of offences, peculiar to the Border, constituted what was called march-treason. Among others, was the crime of riding, or causing to ride, against the opposite country, during the time of truce. Thus, in an indenture made at the water of Eske, heside Salom, the 25th day of March, 1334, betwixt noble lordsand mighty, Sirs Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and Archibald Douglas, Lord of Galloway, a truce is agreed upon until the 1st day of July; and it is expressly accorded, - Gif ony stellis, authir on the ta part, or on the tothyr, that he shall he henget or heofdit; and gif ony cumpany stellis any gudes within the trieux beforesayd, ane of that company sall be henget or heofdit, and the remnant sall restore the gudys stolen in the dubblen-—Histo1y of Westmorveland and Cumberland, Introd. p. xxxix. '
Note 17. Stanza xxvi.
In dubious cases, the innocence of Border criminals was occasionally referred to their own Oath. The form of excusing bills, or indictments, by Border—oath, ran thus: 1! You shall swear by heaven above you, hell heneath you, by your part of Paradise, by all that God made in six days and seven nights, and by God himself, you are whatt out sacklcss of art, part, way, witting, ridd, kenniug, having, or recetting of any of the goods and cattels named in this hill. 50 help you God.»Hi.ttor_y of Cumberland, lntrod. p. xxv.
LAST Ml NSTREL. himself possessed it, upon any squire who, after due probation, was found to merit the honour of chivalry. Latterly, this power was confined to generals, who were
wont to create knights bannerets after or before an‘ Even so late as the reign of Queen Eli-.
engagement. zaheth, Essex highly offended his jealous sovereign by the indiscriminate exertion of this privilege. Amongst others, he knighted tlte witty Sir John llarrington, whose favour at court was by no means enhanced by his new honours.—See the Nugw Antiquw, edited lay Mr Park. But probably the latest instance of knighthood, conferred by a subject, was in the case of Thomas Ker, knighted by the Earl of Huntley, after the defeat of the Earl of Argyle in the battle of Belrinnes. The fact is attested, botlt by a poetical and prose account of the engagement contained in an ancient MS. in the Advocates’ Library, and lately edited by Mr Dalyell, in Godly Sang: and Ballets, Edinb. 1802.
Note 19. Stanza xxvi. When English blood awell'd Aneram ford.
The battle of Ancram Moor, or Peniel-heuch, was fought A. D. |545. The English, commanded by Sir Ralph Evers, and Sir Brian Latoun, were totally routed, and both their leaders slain in the action. The Scottish army was commanded by Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, assisted by the Laird of Buccleuch and Norman Lesly.
Note 20. Stanza xxx. —the blnnche lion.
This was the cognizance of the noble house of Howard in all its branches. The crest or hearing of a warrior was often used as a nom_de guerre. Thus Richard Ill acquired his well-known epithet, The Boar of York. In the violent satire on Cardinal Wolsey, written by Roy, commonly, but erroneously, imputed to Dr Bull, the Duke of Buckingham is called the Beautiful Swan, and the Duke of Norfolk, or Earl of Surrey, the White Lion. As the book is extremely rare, and the whole passage relates to the emblematical interpretation of heraldry, it shall be here given at
The Description of lite Annex.
Of the proud Cardinal this is the shulde.
Tho bandog in the rneddes doth expt-one
ryse up, Jacks, and put on thy aalatt.
For the tyme is come of hagge and walntt.
There were two copies of this very scarce satire in the library of the late John, Duke of Roxhurgh. See an account of it also in Sir Egerton Brydges's curious Miscellany, the Censura Litcramia.
Note at. Stanza xxx.
It may easily be supposed, that trial by single combat, so peculiar to the feudal system, was common on the Borders. In 1558, the well-known Kirltaldy of Grange fought a duel with Ralph Evre, brother to the then Lord Evre, in consequence of a dispute about a prisoner said to have been ill treated by the Lord Evre. Pitscottie gives the following account of the affair: - The Lord of lvers his brother provoked William Kirkaldy of Grange to fight with him, in single combat, on horseback, with spears; who, keeping the appointment, accompanied with Monsieur d'Os<el, lieutenant to the French king, and the garrison of Haymouth, and Mr lvers, accompanied with the governor and garrison of Berwick, it wasdischarged, under the pain of treason, that any man should come near the champions within a flight shot, except one man for either of them, to hear their spears, two trumpets, and two lords to he judges. When they were in readiness, the trumpets sounded, the heraulds cried, and the judges let them go. Then they encountered very fiercely; but Grange struck his spear through his adversa.ry's shoulder, and bare him off his horse, being sore wounded: But whether he died, or not, it is uncertain.»—P. 102.
The following indenture will show at how late a period the trial by combat was resorted to on the Border, as a proof of guilt or innocence:
a It is agreed between Thomas Musgrave and Laocelot Carleton, for the true trial of such controversies as are betwixt them, to have it openly tried by way of combat, before God and the face of the world, to try it in Canonbyohlme, before England and Scotland, upon Thursday in Easter-week, being the eight day of April next ensuing, A. D. 1602, betwixt nine of the clock, and one of the same day, to fight on foot, to be armed with jack, steel cap, plaite sleeves, plaite breaches, plaite sockes, two basleard swords, the blades to be one yard and half a quarter of length, two Scotch daggers, or dorks, at their girdles, and either of them to provide armour and weapons for themselves, according to this indenture. Two gentlemen to be appointed, on the field, to view both the parties, to see that they both be equal in arms and weapons, according to this indenture; and being so viewed by the gentlemen, the gentlemen to ride to the rest of the company, and to leave them but two boys, viewed by the gentlemen, to be under sixteen years of age, to hold their horses. ln testimony of this our agreement, we have both set our hands to this indenture, of intent all matters shall be made so plain, as there shall be no question to stick upon that day. Which indenture, as a witness, shall be delivered to two gentlemen. And for that it is convenient the world should be privy to every particular of the grounds of the quarrel, we have agreed to set it down in this indcnture betwixt us, that, knowing the quarrel, their eyes may be witness of the trial.
The grounds of the quarrel.
a t. Lancelot Carleton did charge Thomas Musgrave before the lords of her majesty's privy council, that Lancelot Carleton was told by a gen tlcman, one of her majesty’s sworn servants, that Thomas Musgrave had offered to deliver her majesty's castle of Bewcastle to the king of Scots; and to witness the IIIIIB, Lancelot
Carleton had a letter under the gentleman's own hand for his discharge.
: 2. He chargeth him, that whereas her majesty doth yearly bestow a great fee upon him, as captain of Bewcastle, to aid and defend her majesty's subjects therein ; Thomas Musgrave hath neglected his duty, for that her majesty's castle of Bewcastle was by him made a den of thieves, and an harbour and receipt for murderers, felons, and all sorts of misdemeanors. The precedent was Quintin Whitehead and Bunion Blackburne.
I 3. He charged him, that his office of Bewcastle is open for the Scotch to ride in and through, and small resistance made by him to the contrary.
a Thomas Musgrave doth deny all this charge; and saith, that he will prove that Lancelot Carleton doth falsely bely him, and will prove the same by way of combat, according to this indenture. Lancelot Carleton hath entertained the challenge; and so, by God's per. mission, will prove it true as before, and hath set his hand to the same.
(Signed) Taorns Musctuvtt.
~ Note 22. Stanza xxxiv.
The person here alluded to, is one of our ancient Border minstrels, called Battling Roaring Willie. This sobriquet was probably derived from his bullying disposition; being, it would seem, such a roaring boy as is frequently mentioned in old plays. While drinking, at Newmill, upon Teviot, about five miles above Hawick, Willie chanced to quarrel with one of his own profession, who was usually distinguished by the odd name of Sweet Milk, from a place on Rule-waterso called. They retired to a meadow, on the opposite side of the Teviot, to decide the contest with their swords, and Sweet Milk was killed on the spot. A thorn-tree marks the scene of the murder, which is still called Sweet Milk Thorn. Willie was taken, and executed at Jedburgh, bequeathing his name to the beautiful Scotch air called it Battling Roaring Willie.» Ramsay, who set no value on traditionary lore, published a few verses of this song in the Tea-Table Illiscellany, carefully suppressing all which had any connexion with the history of the author, and origin of the piece. In this case, however, honest Allan is in some degreejustified, by the extreme worthlessness of the poetry. A verse or two may be taken, as illustrative of the history of Roaring Willie, alluded to in the text.
New Willie '1 gene to Jeddart.
Stob: lighted affhit horse,
' The day of the Rood-fair at Iedburgh.
The title to the most ancient collection of Border regulations runs thus:
- Be it remembered, that, on the 18th day of December, 1468, Earl William Douglas assembled the whole lords, freeholders, and eldest Borderers, that best knowledge had at the college of Lincloudin; and there be caused those lords and Borderers bodily to be sworn, the Holy Gospel touched, that they, justly and truly, after their cunning, should decrete, decern, deliver, and put in order and writing, the statutes, ordinances, and uses of marche, that were ordained in Black Archibald of Douglas’: days, and Archibald his son's days, in time of warfare; and they came again to him advisedly with these statutes and ordinances, which were in time of warfare before. The said Earl William, seeing the statutes in writing decreed and delivered by the said lords and Borderers, thought them right speedful and profitable to the Borderers; the which statutes, ordinances, and points of warfare, he took, and the whole lords and Borderers he caused bodily to be sworn, that they should maintain and supply him at their goodly power, to do the law upon those that should break the statutes underwritten. Also, the said Earl William, and lords, and eldest Borderers, made certain points to be treason in time of warfare'to lm used, which were no treason be fore his time, but to be treason in his time, and in all time coming.
Pringle of Whitebank). They were called the Seven Spears of Wedderburne.
Note 3. Stanza iv.
And Swinton laid the lance in rest, That tamed of yore the sparkling crest Of Clarence‘: Plantagenet.
At the battle of Beaugé, in France, Thomas, Duke of Clarence, brother to Henry V, was unhorsed by Sir John Swinlon of Swinton, who distinguished him by a coronet'set with precious stones, which he wore around his helmet. The family of Swinton is one of the most ancient in Scotland, and produced many celebrated warriors.
Note 4. Stanza iv.
The Earls of Home, as descendants of the Dnnbars, ancient Earls of March, carried a lion rampant, argent; but, as a difference, changed the colour of the shield from gules to vert, in allusion to Greenlaw, their ancient possession. The slogan, or war-cry, of this powerful family, was, it A Home‘. a Home! )1 It was anciently placed in an escrol above the crest. The helmet is armed with a lion's head erased gules, with a cap of state gules, turned up ermine.
The Hepburns, a powerful family in East Lothian, were usually in close alliance with the Homes. The chief of this clan was llepburn, Lord of Hailes; a family which terminated in the too famous Earl of Bothwell.
Note 5. Stanza vi. Plruled the foot-hall plly.
The foot-hall was ancicntly a very favourite sport all through Scotland, but especially upon the Borders. Sir John Carmichael of Carmichael, warden of the middle marches, was killed in t6oo, by a band of the Armstrongs, returning from a foot-hall match. Sir Robert Carey, in his Memoirs, mentions a great meeting, appointed by the Scottish riders, to be held at Kelso, for the purpose of playing at foot-ball‘, but which terminated in an incursion upon England. At present the foot-ball is often played by the inhabitants of adjacent parishes, or of the opposite banks of a stream. The victory is contested with the utmost fury, and very serious accidents have sometimes taken place in the struggle. _
Note 6. Stanza vi.
'Twixt truce and war snch sudden change
Notwithstanding the constant wars upon the Borders, l
and the occasional crneltics which marked the mutual inroads, the inhabitants on either side do not appear to have regarded each other with that violent and personal animosity which might have been expected. On the contrary, like the outposts of hostile armies, they often carried on something resembling friendly intercourse, even in the middle of hostilities; and it is evident, from various ordinances against trade and intermarriages between English and Scottish Borderers, that the governments of both countries were jealous of their cherishing too intimate :1 connexion. I-‘roissart says of both nations, that -- Englyshemen on the one party, and Scottes on the other party, are good men
of warre; for when they meet, there is a hard fight without sparynge. There is no hoo (truce) between them, as long as spears, swords, axes, or daggers, will endure, but lay on eche upon uther; and whan they be well beaten, and that the one party hath obtained the victory, they then gloryfye so in theyre dedes of armes, and are so joyfull, that such as be taken they shall be ransomed, or that they go out of the felde; so that shortly echo of them is so content with other, that at their dcpartynge, curtyslye they will say, God thank you. »—Bt:ttur:t\s' Fmissart, vol. II, p. 153. The Border meetings of trucc, which, although places of merchandise and merriment, often witnessed the most bloody scenes, may serve to illustrate the description in the text. They are vividly portrayed in the old ballad of the Iteidsquair. Both parties came armed to a meeting of the wardens, yet they intermixed fearlessly and peaceably with each other in mutual sports and familiar intercourse, until a casual fray
arose : Then was there nought but how and spear, And every man pull'd out a brand.
In the 29th stanza of this Canto, there is an attempt to express some of the mixed feelings, with which the Borderers on each side were led to regard their neigh
bours. Note 7. Stanza vul.
And, frequent, on the dark'ning plain,
Patten remarks, with hitter censure, the disorderly conduct of the English Bordercrs, who attended the Protector Somerset on his expedition against Scotland. -‘As we wear then a selling, and the tents a setting up, among all things els commendable in our holejourney, one thing seemed to me an intollerable disorder and abuse; that whearas allways, both in all tonnes of war, and in all campes of armies, quietnes and stilnes, without nois, is, principally in the night, after the watch is set, observed, (I need not reason why,) our northern prikkers, the Borderers, notwithstandyng, with great enormitie, (as thought me,) and not unlike (to be playn) unto a masterlcs hounde howlyng in a high wey when he hath lost him he Waited upon,sutn hoopynge, sum whistlyng, and most with crying, A Ilerwyke, a Berwyke! A Fenwyke, a.Fenwyke ‘. A Bultner, a Bulmer! or so otherwise as theyr captains’ names wear, never lin'de these troublous and dangerous noyses all the nyghte longe. They said, they did it to finde their captain and fellows; but if the souldiers of our oother countreys and sheres had used the same maner, in that case we should have oft tymes had the state of our camp more like the outrage of a dissolute huntyng, than the quiet of a well-ordred armyc. It is a feat of war, in mine opinion, that might right well be left. I could reherse causes (hut yf i take it, they are better unspoken than uttred, unless the faut wear sure to be amended) that might shew thei move alweis more peral to our armie, but in their one nyght's so doynge, than they shew good service (as sum sey) in a hool vyage, v—Apud DAt.zst.|..'s Fragments, p. 75.
Note 8. Stanza xxix.
Cheer the dark blood-hound on his way, And with the bugle rouse the fray.
The pursuit of Border marauders was followed by the
injured party and his friends with blood-hounds and bugle—horn, and was called the hot-trod. He was entitled, if his dog could trace the scent, to follow the invaders into the opposite kingdom; a privilege which often occasioned bloodshed. In addition to what has been said of the blood-hound, I may add, that the breed was kept up by the Buccleuch family on their Border estates till within the 18th century. A person was alive in the memory of man, who remembered a bloodhound being kept at Eldinhope, in Ettrick Forest, for whose maintenance the tenant had an allowance of meal. At that time the sheep were always watched at night. Upon one occasion, when the duty had fallen on the narrator, then a lad, he became exhausted with fatigue and fell asleep, upon a bank, near sun-rising. Suddenly he was awakened by the tread of horses, and saw five men, well mounted and armed, ride briskly over the edge of the hill. They stopped and looked at the flock; but the day was too for broken to admit the chance of their carrying any of them off. One of them, in spite, leaped from his horse, and, coming to the shepherd, seized him by the belt he wore round his waist, and, setting his foot upon his body, pulled it till it broke, and carried it away with him. They rode off at the gallop; and, the shepherd giving the alarm, the blootl-hound was turned loose, and the people in the neighbourhood alarmed. The marauders, however, escaped, notwithstanding a sharp pursuit. This circumstance serves to show how very long the license of the Borderers continued in some degree to manifest itself.
Virgil. The classical reader will doubtless be curious to peruse this anecdote :
I Virgilius was at scole at Tolenton, where he stodyed dylygently, for he was of great understandynge. Upon a tyme, the scolers had lycense to go to play and sporte them in the fyldes, after the usance of the hold tyme, And there was also Virgilius therebye, also walkynge among the hylles alle about. It fortuned he spyed a great hole in the syde of a great hyll, wherein he went so depe, that he culd not see no more lyght; and then he went a lytell farther therin, and than he saw some lyght agayne, and then he went forthe strcyghte, and wilhyn a lytyll wyle after he harde a voyce that called, ‘ Virgilius! Virgilius!' and looked ahoute, and he colde nat see nobody. Than sayd he, (i. e. the voice) ‘ Virgilius, see ye not the lytyll bourde lying bysyde you there markd with that word?’ Than answered Virgilius, ‘I see that horde well anough.’ The voyce said, ‘Doo awaye that horde, and lette me out there atte.' Than answered Virgilius to the voice that was under the lytell horde, and sayd, ‘Who art thou that callcst me so 3' Than answered the devyll, ‘I am a devyll conjured out of the body of a certeyne man, and banyshed here tyll the day of judgmend, without that I be delyvered by the handes of men. Thus Virgilius, I pray thee dclyvere me out of this payn, and I shall shewe unto the many bokes of negromancye, and how thou shalt come by it lyghtly, and know the practyse therein, that no man in the scyence of negromancye shall passe the. And moreover, I shall shewe and enforme the so, that thou shalt have alle thy desyre, whereby mythinke it is a great gyfte for so lytyll a doyng. For ye may also thus all your power frendys helps, and make ryche your enemyes.'—Through that great promyse was Virgilius tempted; he badde the fynd show the 'b0kes to him, that he might have and occupy them at his wyll ; and so the fynd shewed hym. And than Virgilius pulled open a bourde, and thcre was a lytell hole, and thereat wrang the devyll out lyke a yeel, and cam and stode befor! Virgilius lyke a bygge man; wherof Virgilius was astonied and marveyled greatly thereof, that so great a man myght come out at so lytyll a hole. Than sayd Virgilius, ‘Shulde ye well passe into the hole that ye cam out ofT—‘ Yea, I shall well,’ said the devyl. ‘I holde the best plegge that I have that ye shall not do it.'—‘ Well,’ sayd the devyll, ‘ thereto 1 consent.’ And than the devyll wrang himselfe into the lytyll hole ageyne; and as he was therein, Virgilius kyvercd the hole ageyne with the bourde close, and so was the devyll hegyled, and myght nat there come out ugen, but abydeth shytte styll therein. Than called the devyll dredefully to Virgilius and said, ‘What have ye done, Virgilius'." Virgilius answered, ‘Abyde there styll to your day appointed ;' and fro thens forth abydeth he there.—And so Virgilius became very connynge in the practyse of the black scyence.»
This story may remind the reader of the Arabian tale of the Fisherman and the imprisoned Genie; and it is more than probable, that many of the marvels narrated in the life of Virgil are of oriental extraction. Among such I am disposed to reckon the following whimsical account of the foundation of Naples, containing 9. curious theory concerning the origin of the earthquakes with which it is afflicted. Virgil, who was a person of gallantry, had, it seems, carried off the daughter ofa certain Soldan, and was anxious to secure his prize.
u Than he thought in his mynde howe he myght mareye hyr, and thought in his mynde to founde in the middes of the see a fayer towne, with great landes belongynge to it; and so he dyd by his cunnynge, and called it Napells. And the fandacyon of it was of egges, and in that town of Napells he made a tower with iiii corners, and in the toppe he set an apell upon an yron yarde, and no man culde pull away that apell without he brake it; and thoroughe that yren set he a bolte, and in that bolte set he an egge. And he henge the apell by the staukc upon a cheyne, and so hangelh it still. And when the egge styrreth, so shulde the town of Naples quake; and when the eggc brake, than shulde the towne sinke. Whan he had made an ende, he lette call it Napellsn This appears to have been an article of current belief during the middle ages, as appears from the statutes of the order Du Saint Esprit, nu droit desir, instituted in 1352. A chapter of the knights is appointed to be held annually at the Castle of the Enchanted Egg, near the grotto of Virgil.-Monwaucou,
vol. II, p. 329. Note 3. Stanza v.
A merlin not upon her wrist.
A merlin, or sparrow-hawk, was usually carried by ladies ofrank, as a falcon was, in time of peace, the constant attendant of a knight or baron. See Ln-inn on Fa,lcomy.—Godscroft relates, that when Mary of Lorraine was regent, she pressed the Earl of Angus to admit a royal garrison into his castle of Tantallon. To this he returned no direct answer; but as if apostrophising a goss-hawk, which sat on his wrist, and which he was feeding during the Queen's speech, he exclaimed, - The devil ’s in this greedy glade, she will never be full.-|—HuMn’s History of the House ofDau_qlas, 1743, vol. II, p. 1331. Barclay complains of the common and indecent practice of bringing hawks and hounds into churches.