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1. "Original. I conceive them the same called Borderers in Mr Cambden; and characterised by him to be, a wild and warlike people. They are called Moss-troopers, because dwelling in the mosses, and riding in troops together. They dwell in the bounds, or meeting, of 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 united in 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 suddain 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 ex 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, wo be to him that falleth into their quarters!
3. "Height. Amounting forty years since to some thousands. These compelled the vicenage 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 Naworth. He sent many of them to Carlisle, to that place, where the officer always doth his work by day-light. Yet these Moss-troopers, if possibly they could procure the 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. 3. tract. 2. cap. 11. ‘Er tune gerunt caput lupinum, ita quod sine judiciali inquisitione rite pereant, et secum suum judicium portent; et merito sine lege pereunt qui secundum legem vivere recusarunt.’ ‘Thenceforward (after that they are outlawed) they wear a woolf’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 amongst them ; and, the ring-leaders being destroyed, the rest are reduced to legall obedience, and so, I trust, will continue.” Full ER's Worthies of England, 1662, p. 216.
How the brave boy, in future war, Should tame the Unicorn's pride, Evalt the Crescent and the Star.--St. XIX. p. 21. The arms of the Kerrs of Cessford were, Vert on a cheveron, betwixt three unicorns' heads erased argent, three mollets 3
sable. Crest, an unicorn's head erased proper. The Scotts of Buccleuch bore, Or on a bend azure; a star of six points betwixt two crescents of the first.
William of Deloraine.—St. XX. p. 22.
The lands of Deloraine are adjoining to those of Buccleuch, 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-pensioners of the family, “William Scott, commonly called Cut at the Black, who had 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 Hassandean.” The lands of Deloraine now give an Earl's title to the descendant of Henry the second, surviving son of the Duchess 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 remembred alle this, he was sorrowfull his tresour he thought he wolde not mynysshe, he was wonte dayly to serche for newe pyllages, wherbye encresed his profyte, and than he sawe that alle was closed fro’ hym. Than he sayde and imagyned, that to pyll and to robbe (all thynge considered) was a good lyfe, 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 suche lyfe as we have done in tyme past. What a joy was it to us when we rode forthe at adventure, and somtyme found by the way a ryche 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 Brusselles, or peltre ware comynge fro the fayres, or laden with spycery fro Bruges, fro Damas, or fro Alysaundre: whatsoever we met, alle was ours, or els raunsomed at our pleasures: dayly we gate newe money, and the vyllaynes of Auvergne and of Lymosyn dayly provyded and brought to our castell whete mele, good wynes, beffes, and fatte mottons, pullayne and wylde foule: We were ever furnyshed as tho we had ben kings. Whan we rode forthe, alle the countrey trymbled for feare: alle was ours goynge or comynge. Howe toke we Carlast I and the Bourge of Compayne, and I and Perot of Bernoys tooke Caluset: howe dyd we scale, with lytell ayde, the strong castell of Marquell, pertayning to the Earl Dolphyn; I kept it nat past fyve days, but I receyved for it, on a feyre table, fyve thousande frankes, and forgave one thousande for the love of the Erl Dolphyn's children. By my fayth, this was a fayre and a good lyfe ; wherefore I repute myselve sore desceyved, in that I have rendred up the fortres of Aloys; for it wolde have ben kept fro alle the worlde, and the daye that I gave it up, it was fournysshed with vytaylles to have been kepte seven yere without any re-vytaylynge. This Erl of Armynake hath disceyved me: Olyve Barbe, and Perot le Bernoys, shewed to me howe I shulde repente myselfe; certayne I sore repente myself of that I have done.”---FRo1ss ART, vol. . ii. p. 195.
By wily turns, by desperate bounds, Had baffled Percy's best blood-hounds.-St. XXI. p. 22. The kings and heroes of Scotland, as well as the Border
riders, were sometimes obliged to study how to evade the pursuit of blood-hounds. Barbour informs us, that Robert Bruce was repeatedly tracked by sleuth-dogs. On one occasion, he escaped by wading a bow-shot down a brook, and thus baffled the scent. The pursuers came up ;
Rycht to the burn thai passyt ware,
A sure way of stopping the dog was to spill blood upon the