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be, a wild and warlike people. They are called Mosstroopers, 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 of February comes into the kalendar. 2. “Increase. When England and Scotland were unitedin 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 fathers' 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 ear rapto, stealing from their honest neighbours what they sometimes require. They are a nest of hornets: strike one, and stir all of them about your ears. Indeed; if they promise safely to conduct a traveller, they will perform it with the fidelity of a Turkish janizary; otherwise, woebe to him that falleth into their quarters : 3. “Height. Amounting, forty years since, to some thousands. These compelled the vicinage to purchase their security by paying a constant rent to them.When in their greatest height, they had two great enemies—the Laws of the Land, and the Lord William Howard of Maworth. He sent many of them to Carlisle, to that place where the officer doth always his work by day-light. Yet these Moss-troopers, if possibly they could procure a pardon for a condemned person of their company, would advance great sums out of their common stock, who, in such a case, cast in their lots amongst themselves, and all have one purse. 4. “Decay. Caused by the wisdom, valour, and diligence, of the right Honourable Charles Lord Howard, Earl of Carlisle, who routed these English Tories with his regiment. His severity unto them will not only be excused, but commended, by the judicious who consider how our great lawyer doth describe such persons, who are solemnly outlawed. Bracton, lib. 8, trac. 2.
cap. 11–Et tune gerunt caput lupinum, ita qued sine judiciali inquisitioneritepereant, et secum suum judicium portent; et merito sine lege pereunt, qui secundum legen vivere recusarunt.”—“Thereforward, (after that they are outlawed) they wear a wolf's head, so that they lawfully may be destroyed, without any judicial inquisition, as who carry their own condemnation about them, and deservedly die without law, because they refused to live according to law.” 5. “Ruine. Such was the success of this worthy lord's severity, that he made a thorough reformation among them; and the ringleaders being destroyed, the rest are reduced to legall obedience, and so, I trust, will continue.”—Fuller's Worthies of England, p. 216. The last public mention of moss-troopers occurs during the civil wars of the 17th century, when many ordinances of parliament were directed against them.
Should tame the Unicorn's pride,
The arms of the Kerrs of Cessford were, Vert on a clieveron, betwixt three unicorns' heads erased argent, three mullets sable; crest, an unicorn's head erased proper. The Seotts of Buccleuch bore, Or on a bend azure; a star of six points betwixt two crescents of the first.
The lands of Deloraine are joined to those of Buceleuch in Ettricke Forest. They were immemorially possessed by the Buccleuch family, under the strong title of occupancy, although no charter was obtained from the crown until 1545–Like other possessions, the lands of Deloraine were occasionally granted by them to vassals, or kinsmen, for Border-service. Satchells mentions, among the twenty-four gentlemen pension* of the family, “William Scott, commonly called **-the-Black, whenad the lands of Nether Deloraine for his service.” And again, “This William of Deloraine, commonly called Cut-at-the-Black, was a brother of the ancient house of Haining, which house of Haining is descended from the ancient house of Hassendean.” The lands of Deloraine now give an earl's title to the descendant of Henry, the second surviving son of the Dutchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth. I have endeavoured to give William of Deloraine the attributes which characterised the Borderers of his day; for which I can only plead Froissart's apology, that “it behoveth, in a lynage, some to be folyshe and outrageous, to maynteyne and sustayne the peasable.” As a contrast to my Marchman, I beg leave to transcribe, from the same author,the speech of Amergot Marcell, a captain of the adventurous Companions, a robber, and a pillager of the country of Auvergne, who had been bribed to sell his strong-holds, and to assume a more honourable military life under the banners of the Earl of Armagnac. But “when he remembered alle this, he was sorrowful; his tresour lie thought he wolde not mynysshe he was wonte dayly to serche for newe pyllages, wherbye enerest d his profyte, and then he sawe that alle was closed fro’ hym. Then he sayde and imagyned, that to pyll and to robbe (all thynge considered) was a good lyf, and so repented hym of his good doing. On a tyme, he said to his old companyons, ‘Sirs, there is no sporte nor glory in this worlde amonge men of warre, but to use such lyfe as we have done in time past. What a joy was it to us when we rode forth at adventure, and somtyme found by the way a rich priour or Merchaunt, or a route of mulettes of Mountpellyer, of Narbonne, of Lymens, of Fongans, of Besyers, of Tholous, or of Carcassone, laden with cloth of Brussels, or peltre ware comynge fro the fayres, or laden with spycery, fro Bruges, fro Damas, or fro Alysaundre : whatsoever we met, all was ours, or els ransouned at our pleasures ; dayly we gate new money, and the vyllayness of Auvergne and of Lymosyn dayly provyded and brought to our castell whete mele, good wynes, befes, and fatte mottoms, pullayne, and wylde foule :
We were ever furnyshed as tho we had been kings. When we rode forthe, all the countrey trymbled for feare: all was ours goyng and comyng. Howe tok wo Carlast, I and the Bourge of Compayne, and I and Perot of Bernoys took Caluset : how dyd we scale, with lytell ayde, the strong castell of Marquell, pertayning to the Erl Dolphyn : I kept it mat past five days, but I receyved for it, on a feyre table, fyve thousande frankes, and forgave one thousande for the love of the Erl Dolphin's children. By my fayth, this was a fayre and a good lyfe; wherefore I repute myselve sore deceyved, in that I have rendered up the fortress of Aloys; for it wolde have kept fro alle the worlde, and the daye that I gave it up it was fournyshed with vytaylles, to have been kept seven yere without any revytaylynge. This Erl of Army.make hath deceyved me: Olyve Barbe, and Perot le Bernoys, shewed to me how I shulde repente myselfe: certayne I sore repente myselfe of what I have done.”—Froissart, Vol. II. p. 195.
By wily turns, by desperate bounds,
The kings and heroes of Scotland, as well as the Boro der-riders, were sometimes obliged to study how to evade the pursuit of blood-hounds. Barbour inform us, that Robert Bruce was repeatedly tracked by sleuthdogs. On one occasion, he escaped by wading a bowshot down a brook, and ascending into a tree by a branch which overhung the water: thus leaving no trace on land of his footsteps, he baffled the seent. The pursuers came up : Rycht to the burn thai passyt ware, Bot the sleuth-hund made stinting thar, And waueryt lang tyme ta and fra, That he na certain gate couth ga; Till at the last that John of Lorn, Perseuwit the hund the sleuth had lorne.
The Bruce, Book vii. ,
A sure way of stopping the dog was to spill blood upon the track, which destroyed the discriminating fineness of his scent. A captive was sometimes sacrificed on such occasions. Henry the Minstrel tells a romantic story of Wallace, founded on this circumstance: —The hero's little band had been joined by an Irishman, named Fawdon, or Fadzean, a dark, savage, and suspicious éharacter. After a sharp skirmish at BlackErne Side, Wallace was forced to retreat with only sixteen followers. The English pursued with a border sleuth-bratch, or blood-hound:
In Gelderland there was that bratchet bred,
'Siker of scent, to follow them that fled;
So was he used in Eske and Liddesdail,
While (i.e. till) she gat blood no fleeing might avail.
In the retreat, Fawdon, tired, or affecting to be so, would go no farther: Wallace, having in vain argued with him, in hasty anger, struck off his head, and continued the retreat. When the English came up, their hound stayed upon the dead body:— The sleuth stopped at Fawdon, till she stood,
Norfarther would fra time she fund the blood.
The story concludes with a fine Gothic scene of terror. Wallace took refuge in the solitary tower of Gask. Here he was disturbed at midnight by the blast of a horn : he sent out his attendants by two and two, but no one returned with tidings. At length, when he was left alone, the sound was heard still louder. The champion descended, sword in hand; and at the gate of the tower was encountered by the headless spectre of Fawdon, whom he had slain’so rashly. Wallace, in great terror, fled up into the tower, tore open the ‘boards of a window, leapt down fifteen feet in height, and continued his flight up the river. Looking back to Gask, he discovered the tower on fire, and the form ef Fawdoun upon the battlements, dilated to an immense size, and holding in his band a blazing rafter. Fhe Minstrel concludes,
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