ed by Henry VIII., on account of his share in the slaughter of Sir Robert Ker of Cessford. His wife, represented in the text as residing at the court of Scotland, was, in fact, living in her own castle at Ford. See Sir RICHARD HeRon's curious Genealogy of the Heron Family.

Note XII.
The whiles a Northern harper rude
Chaunted a rhyme of deadly feud,
“ How the fierce Thirwalls, and Ridleys all, &c.”

Page 35. This old Northumbrian ballad was taken down from the recitation of a woman eighty years of age, mother of one of the miners in Alston-moor, by the agent for the lead mines there, who communicated it to my friend and correspondent, R. Surtees, Esquire of Mainsforth. She had not, she said, heard it for many years; but when she was a girl, it used to be sung at merry-makings, “ till the roof rung again.” To preserve this curious, though rude rhyme, it is here inserted. The ludicrous turn given to the slaughter, marks that wild and disorderly state of society, in which a murder was not merely a casual circumstance, but, in some cases, an exceedingly good jest. The structure of the ballad resembles the “ Fray of Suport,”* having the same irregular stanza and wild chorus.

* See Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. I. p. 250.

Hoot awa', lads, hoot awa',
Ha' ye heard how the Ridleys, and Thirwalls, and a',
Ha' set upon Albany 1 Featherstonhaugh,
And taken his life at the Deadmanshaugh:

There was Willimoteswick,

And Hardriding Dick,
And Hughie of Hawden, and Will of the Wa'.

I canno' tell a', I canno' tell a',
And mony a mair that the de'il may knaw.

The auld man went down, but Nicol, his son,
Ran away afore the fight was begun;

And he run, and he run,

And afore they were done,
There was many a Featherston gat sic a stun,
As never was seen since the world begun.

I canna' tell a', I canna' tell a';
Some gat a skelp, 2 and some gat a claw;
But they gard the Featherstons haud their jaw,- 3

Nicol, and Alick, and a'.
Some gat a hurt, and some gat nane;
Some had harness, and some gat sta’en. 4

1 Pronounced Awbony.

2 Skelp signifies slap, or rather is the same word which was originally spelled schlap.

3 Hold their jaw, a vulgar expression still in use.
4 Got stolen, or were plundered; a very likely termination of the fray.

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Hoot, hoot, the auld man's slain outright!
Lay him now wi' his face down :-he's a sorrowful sight.


Janet, thou donot, 5

I'll lay my best bonnet,
Thou gets a new gude-man afore it be night.

Hoo away, lads, hoo away,
Wi's a' be hangid if we stay.

Tak’ up the dead man, and lay him anent the bigging;
Here's the Bailey o' Haltwhistle, 6
Wi' his great bull's pizzle,

That sup'd up the broo', and syne in the piggin.7

In explanation of this ancient ditty, Mr Surtees has fure nished me with the following local memorandum: Willimoteswick, now more commonly called Ridley Hall, is si

1 Neck.
2 Punch.

3 Belly. 4 Bellowing. 5 Silly slut. The Border Bard calls her so, because she was weeping for her slain husband; a loss which he seems to think might be soon repaired.

6 The Bailiff of Haltwhistle seems to have arrived when the fray was over. This supporter of social order is treated with characteristic irreverence by the moss-trooping poet.

? An iron-pot with two ears.

tuated at the confluence of the Allon and Tyne, and was the chief seat of the ancient family of Ridley. Hardriding Dick is not an epithet referring to horsemanship, but means Richard Ridley of Hardriding, the seat of another family of that name, which, in the time of Charles I., was sold on account of expences incurred by the loyalty of the proprietor, the immediate ancestor of Sir Matthew Ridley. Will of the Wa' seems to be William Ridley of Walltown, so called from its situation on the great Roman wall. Thirlwall Castle, whence the clan of Thirlwalls derived their name, is situated on the small river of Tippell, near the western boundary of Northumberland. It is near the wall, and takes its name from the rampart having been thirled, i. e. pierced, or breached, in its vicinity. Featherston Castle lies south of the Týne, towards Alston-moor. Albany Featherstonhaugh, the chief of that ancient family, made a figure in the reign of Edward VI. A feud did certainly exist between the Ridleys and Featherstones, productive of such consequences as the ballad narrates. 24 Oct. 22do Henrici Svi. Inquisitio capt. apud Hautwhistle, sup. visum corpus Alexandri Featherston, Gen. apud Grensilhaugh, felonice interfecti, 22 Oct. per Nicolaum Ridley de Unthanke, Gen. Hugon Ridle, Nicolaum Ridle, et alios ejusdem nominis. Nor were the Featherstones without their revenge ; for 36to Henrici 8vi, we haveUtlagatio Nicolai Fetherston, ac Thome Nyxson, fc. fc. pro homicidio Willmi. Ridle de Morale.

Note XIII.
James backed the cause of that mock prince,
Warbeck, that Flemish counterfeit,
Who on the gibbet paid the cheat.

Then did I march with Surrey's power,

What time we razed old Ayton tower.-P. 40. The story of Perkin Warbeck, or Richard, Duke of York, is well known. In 1496, he was received honourably in Scotland ; and James IV., after conferring upon him in marriage his own relation, the Lady Catharine Gordon, made war on England in behalf of his pretensions. To retaliate an invasion of England, Surrey advanced into Berwickshire at the head of considerable forces, but retreated after taking the inconsiderable fortress of Ayton. Ford, in his Dramatic Chronicle of Perkin Warbeck, makes the most of this inroad :

SURREY. Are all our braying enemies shrunk back;

Hid in the fogges of their distempered climate,
Not daring to behold our colours wave
In spight of this infected ayre? Can they
Looke on the strength of Cundrestine defact;
The glorie of Heydonhall devasted; that
Of Edington cast downe; the pile of Fulden
Orethrowne; And this, the strongest of their forts,
Old Ayton Castle, yeelded, and demolished,
And yet not peepe abroad? the Scots are bold,
Hardie in battayle, but it seemes the cause
They undertake considered, appeares
Unjoynted in the frame on't. '


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