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the Highland, did, and brought their hounds with them in like manner, to hunt with the king, as he pleased.
“ The second day of June the king past out of Edinburgh to the hunting, with many of the nobles and gentlemen of Scotland with him, to the number of twelve thousand men; and then past to Meggitland, and hounded and hawked all the country and bounds : that is to say, Crammat, Pappertlaw, St. Marylaws, Carlavirick, Chapel, Ewindoores, and Longhope. I heard say, he slew, in these bounds, eighteen score of harts.” I
These huntings had, of course, a military character, and attendance upon them was a part of the duty of a vassal. The act for abolishing ward, or military tenures, in Scotland, enumerates the services of hunting, hosting, watching, and warding, as those which were in future to be illegal.
Taylor, the water-poet, has given an account of the mode in which these huntings were conducted in the Highlands of Scotland, in the seventeenth century, having been present at Bræmar upon such an occasion : .“ There did I find the truly noble and right honourable lords, John Erskine, Earl of Mar; James Stuart, Earl of Murray; George Gordon, Earl of Engye, son and heir to the Marquis of Huntley; James Erskine, Earl of Buchan; and Jolin, Lord Erskine, son and heir to the Earl of Marr, and their Countesses, with my much honoured, and my last assured and approved friend, Sir William Murray, knight of Abercarney, an hun
* PITSCOTTIE's History of Scotland, folio edition, p. 143.
dred of others, knights, esquires, and their followers; all and every man, in general, in one habit, as if Lycurgus had been there, and made laws of equality: for once in the year, which is the whole month of August, and sometimes part of September, many of the nobility and gentry of the kingdom (for their pleasure) do come into these highland countries to hunt; where they do conform themselves to the habit of the highland-men, who, for the most part, speak nothing but Irish; and, in former time, were those people which were called the Red-shanks. Their habit is—shoes, with but one sole a-piece; stockings, (which they call short hose,) made of a warm stuff of diverse colours, which they call tartan; as for breeches, many of them, nor their forefathers, never wore any, but a jerkin of the same stuff that their hose is off; their garters being bands or wreathes of hay, or straw; with a plaid about their shoulders, which is a mantle of divers colours, much finer and lighter stuff than their hose ; with blue flat caps on their heads; a handkerchief, knit with two knots, about their necks: and thus are they attired. Now their weapons are-long bowes and forked arrows, swords and targets, barquebusses, muskets, durks, and Lochaber axes. With these arms I found many of them armed for the hunting. As for their attire, any man, of what degree soever, that comes amongst them, must not disdain to wear it; for if they do, then they will disdain to hunt, or willingly to bring in their dogs; but if men be kind unto them, and be in their habit, then are they conquered with kindness, and the sport will be plentiful. This was the reason that I found so many noblemen and gentlemen in those shapes. But to proceed to the hunting:
“ My good Lord of Marr having put me into that shape, I rode with him from his house, where I saw the ruins of an old castle, called the castle of Kindroghit. It was built by King Malcolm Canmore, (for a hunting honse,) who reigned in Scotland, when Edward the Confessor, Harold, and Norman Wil: liam, reigned in England, I speak of it, because it was the last house. I saw in those parts; for I was the space of twelve days after, before I saw either house, corn-field, or habitation for any creature, but deer, wild horses, wolves, and such like crea; tures,—which made me doubt that I should never have seen a honse again.
“Thus, the first day, we travelled eight miles, where there were small.cottages, built on purpose to lodge in, which they call Lonqabards. I thank my good Lord Erskine, he commanded that I should always be lodged in his lodging: the kitchen being always on the side of a bank ; many kettles and pots boiling, and many spits turning and winding, with great variety of ebeer,-as venison baked ; sodden, rost, and stewed beef; mutton, goats, kid, lares, fresh salmon, pigeons, hens, capons, chickens, partridge, muir-coots, heath-cocks, caperkellies, and termagants ; good ale, sacke, white and claret, tent(or allegant,) with most potent aquavitæ.
“ All these, and more than these, we had continually in superfluous abundance, caught by falconers, fowlers, fishers, and brought by my lord's tenants and purveyors to victual our camps, which consisted of fourteen or fifteen hundred men and horses. The manner of the hunting is this: Five or six hundred men do rise early in the morning, and they do disperse themselves divers ways, and seven, eight, or ten miles compass, they do bring, or chase in the deer, in many herds, (two, three, or four hundred in a herd,) to such or such a place, as the noblemen shall appoiut them; then, when day is come, the lords and gentlemen of their companies do ride or go to the said places, sometimes wading up to the middles, through burns and rivers; and then, they being come to the place, do lịe down on the ground, till those foresaid scouts, which are called the Tinkhell, do bring down the deer: but, as the proverb says of a bad cook, so these tinkhell-men do lick their own fingers ; for, besides their bows and arrows, which they carry with them, we can hear, now and then, a harqnebuss or a musket go off, which they do seldom discharge in vain. Then, after we had staid there three hours, or thereabouts, we might perceive the deer appear on the hills round about us, (their heads making a shew like a wood,) which being followed close by the tinkhell, are chased down into the valley where we lay; then all the valley, on each side, being way-laid with a hundred couple of strong Irish greyhounds, they are all let loose, as occasion serves, upon the herd of deer, that, with dogs, guns, arrows, durks, and daggers, in the space of two hours, fourscore fat deer were slain; which after are disposed of, some one way, and some another, twenty and thirty miles, and more than enough left for us, to make merry withal, at our rendezvous.”
• Note II.
- Yarrow, Where erst the Outlaw drew his arrow.-P. 62. The tale of the outlaw Murray, who held out Newark Castle and Ettricke Forest against the king, may be found in the “Border Minstrelsy,” Vol. I. In the Macfarlane MS., among other causes of James the Fifth's charter to the burgh, is mentioned, that the citizens assisted him to suppress this dangerous outlaw.
Note III. Lone Saint Mary's silver lake.—P. 67. This beautiful sheet of water forms the reservoir from which the Yarrow takes its source. It is connected with a smaller lake, called the Loch of the Lowes, and surrounded by mountains. In the winter, it is still frequented by flights of wild swans; hence my friend Mr.Wordsworth’s lines :
The swans on sweet St. Mary's lake,
Near the lower extremity of the lake, are the ruins of Dry. hope Tower, the birth place of Mary Scott, daughter of Philip Scott of Dryhope, and famous by the traditional name of the Flower of Yarrow. She was married to Walter Scott of Harden, no less renowned for his depredations, than his bride for her beauty. Her romantic appellation was, in latter days, with