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Trastryght wele, that all this be sooth, indeed, Supposing it to be no point of the creed. The Wallace, Book v. Mr. Ellis has extracted this tale as a sample of Henry's poetry.--Specimens of English Poetry, Vol. I, p. 351.
This is a round artificial mount near Hawick, which, from its name (Mot. Ang. Saar. Conciliuin Conventus,) was probably anciently used as a place for assembling a national council of the adjacent tribes. There are many such mounds in Scotland, and they are souetimes, but rarely, of a square form.
The estate of Hazeldean, corruptly Hassendean, belonged formerly to a family of Scotts, thus commemorated by Satchells:Hassendean came without a call, The ancientest house among thern all.
A romantic assemblage of cliffs, which rise suddenly above the vale of Teviot, in the immediate vicinity of the family-seat, from which Lord Minto takes his title. A small platform, on a projecting crag, commanding a most beautiful prospect, is termed Barnhills' Bed. This Barnhills is said to have been a robber, or outlaw. There are remains of a strong tower beneath the rocks, where he is supposed to have dwelt. and from which he derived his name. On the summit of the crags are the fragments of another ancient tower, in a picturesque situation. Among the houses cast down by the earl of Hartforde, in 1545, occur the towers of Easter Barnhills, and of Minto Crag, with Minto town and place. Sir Gilbert Elliot, father to the present Lord Minto, was the author of a beautiful pastoral song, of which the following is a more correct copy than is usually published. The poetical mantle of Sir Gilbert El. liot has descended to his family.
My sheep I neglected, I broke my sheep-hook,
Through regions remote in vain do I rove,
Alas! 'tis too late at thy fate to r-pine !
The family of Riddel have been very long in posses. sion of the barony called Riddell, or Ryedale, part of which still bears the latter name. Tradition carries their antiquity to a point extremely remote : and is, in some degree, sanctioued by the discovery of two stone coffins, one containing an earthen pot filled with ashes and arms, bearing a legible date, A. D. 727; the other dated 936, and filled with the bones of a man of gigantic size. These coffins were discovered in the foundations of what was, but has long ceased to be, the chapel of Riddell; and as it was argued, with plausibility, that they contained the remains of some ancestors of the family, they were deposited in the modern place of sepulchre, comparatively so termed, though built in 1110. But the following curious and authentic documents warrant most conclusively the epithet of “ancient Riddell:" 1st, A charter by David I. to Walter Rydale, sheriff of Roxburgh, confirming all the estates of Liliesclive, &c. of which his father, Gervasius de Rydale, - died possessed.- 2dly, A bull of Pope Adrian IV. confirming the will of Walter de Ridale, knight, in favour of his brother Anschittil de Ridale, dated 8th April, 1155.3dly. A bull of Pope Alexander III. confirming the said will of Walter de Ridale, bequeathing to his brother Anschittil the lands of Lilieselive, Whettunes, &c. and ratifying the bargain betwixt Anschittil and Huetredus, concerning the church of Liliesclive, in consequence of the mediation of Malcolm II. and confirmed by a charter from that monarch. This bull is dated 17th June, 1168. 4thly, A bull of the same Pope, confirming the will of Sir Anschittil de Ridale, in favour of his son Walter, conveying the said lands of Liliescliye and others, dated the 10th March, 1120. It is remarkable, that Lilieselive, otherwise Rydale, or Riddel, and the Whittunes, have descended, through a long train of ancestors, without ever passing into a collateral line, to the person of Sir John Buchanan Riddle, Bart. of Riddell, the lineal descendant and rePresentative of Sir Anschittil.-These circumstances appeared worthy of notice in a Border work.
Halidon was an ancient seat of the Kerrs of Cessford, now demolished. About a quarter of a mile to the northward lay the field of battle betwixt Buccleuch and Angus, which is called to this day the Skirmish Field.—See the 4th note on this Canto.
The ancient and beautiful monastery of Melrose was founded by King David I. Its ruins afford the finest specimen of Gothic architecture, and Gothic sculpture, which Scotland can boast. The stone, of which it is built, though it has resisted the weather for so many ages, retains perfect sharpness, so that even the most mi. nute ornaments seem as entire as when newly wrought. In some of the cloisters, as is hinted in the next Carr. to, there are representations of flowers, vegetables, &c. carved in stone, with aceuracy and precision so delicate, that we almost distrust our senses, when we consider the difficulty of subjecting so hard a substance to such intricate and exquisite modulation. This supurb convent was dedicated to St. Mary, and the monks were of the Cistertian order. At the time of the Reformation, they shared in the general reproach of sensuality and irregularity thrown upon the Roman churchmen. The old words of Galashiels, a favourite Scottish air: ran thus: *
O the monks of Melrose made gude kale”
* Kale, Broth.
When silver edges the imagery,
The buttresses, ranged along the sides of the ruins of Melrose abbey, are, according to the Gothic style, richBy carved and fretted, containing niches for the statues of saints, and labelled with scrolls, bearing appropriate texts of Scripture. Most of these statues have been demolished.
David I. of Scotland purchased the reputation of sanctity, by founding, and liberally endowing, not only the monastery of Melrose, but those of Kelso, Jedburgh, and many others, which led to the well-known observation of his successor, that he was a sore saint for the crown,
-Lands and livings many a rood,
The Buccleueh family were great benefactors to the Abbey of Melrose. As early as the reign of Robert II. Robert Scott, Baron of Murdieston and Rankelburn (now Buccleuch,) gave to the monks the lands of Hinkery, in Ettricke Forest, pro salute anima, succi-Chartwo tary of Melrose, 28th May, 1415.