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majesty's sworn servants, that Thomas Musgrave had offered to deliver her majesty's castle of Beweastle to the king of Scots; and to witness the same, 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 quinten whitehead and Runion Blackburne.
“3. He chargeth 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.
“Thomas Musgrave doth deny all his charge; and saith, that he will prove that Laneelot 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 permission, will prove it true as before, and hath set his hand to the same.
(Signed) Thomas MUSGRAVE.
The person, here alluded to, is one of our ancient Border minstrels called Rattling Roaring willie. This soubriquet 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 water so
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 thorntree marks the scene of the murder, which is still ealled Sweet Milk Thorn. Willie was taken and executed at Jedburgh, bequeathing his name to the beautiful Scotch air, called “Rattling roaring Willie.” Ramsay, who set no value on traditionary lore, published a few verses of this song in the Tea Table Miscellany, carefully suppressing all which had any connection with the history of the author, and origin of the piece. In this case, however, honest Allan is in some degree justified, 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 texts
Now Willie's game to Joddart,
But Stobs and young Falmash;h
* They followed him a the way;
They followed him a' the way,
In the links of Cusenam water,
That eler laid hands on ine,
Black Lord Archibald’s battle laws,
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 Linclouden; and there he 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 Archiball of Douglas's 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 Borders; 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 be used, which were no treason before his time, but to be treason in his time and in all time coming.
NOTES TO CANTO FIFTH.
The Bloody Heart blazed in the van,
The chief of this potent race of heroes, about the date of the poem, was Archibald Douglas, seventh Earl of Angus, a man of great courage and activity. The Bloody Heart was the well-known cognizance of the house of Douglas, assumed from the time of good Lord James, to whose care Robert Bruce committed his heart, to be carried to the Holy Land.
- NOTE: II.
Sir David Home of Wedderburne, who was slain it, the fatal battle of Flodden, left seven sons by his wife, Isabel, daughter of Hoppringle of Galashiels (now Pringle of Whitebank.) They were called the Seven Spears of Wedderburne.
...And Swinton laid the lance in rest,
At the battle of Beaugé, in France, Thomas, Duke of Clarence, brother to Henry V. was unhorsed by Sir John Swinton of Swinton, who distinguished him by a coronet set with precious * which he were around