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NOTES TO CANTO I.
The feast was oner in Sranksome tower.—P. 17. In the reign of James I. Sir William Scott of Buccleuch, chief .of the clan bearing that name, exchanged, with Sir Thomas Inglis of Manor, the estate of Murdiestone, in Lanarkshire, for one half of the barony of Branksome, or Branxholm,* lying upon the Teviot, about three miles above Hawick. He was probably induced to this transaction from the vicinity of Branksome to the extensive domain which he possessed in Ettricke Forest and in Teviotdale. In the former district he held by occupancy the estate of Buccleuch,f and much of the forest land on the river Ettricke. In Teviotdale, he enjoyed the barony of Eckford, by a grant from Robert II.
* Branxholm is the proper name of the barony; but Branksome has been adopted, as suitable to the pronunciation, and more proper for poetry.
t There are no vestiges of any building at Buccleuch, except the scite of a chapel, where, according to a tradition current in to his ancestor, Walter Scott of Kirkurd, for the apprehending of Gilbert Ridderford, confirmed by Robert III., 3d May, 1424. Tradition imputes the exchange betwixt Scott and Inglls to a conversation, in which the latter, a man, it would appear, of a mild and forbearing nature, complained much of the injuries which he was exposed to from the English Borderers, who frequently plundered his lands of Branksome. Sir William Scott instantly offered him the estate of Murdiestone, in exchange for that which was subject to such egregious inconvenience. When the bargain was completed, he drily remarked, that the cattle in Cumberland were as good as those of Teviotdale; and proceeded to commence a system of reprisals upon the English, which was regularly pursued by his successors. In the next reign, James II. granted to Sir Walter Scott of Branksome, and to Sir David, his son, the remaining half of the barony of Branksome, to be held in blanche for the payment of a red rose. The cause assigned for the grant is, their brave and faithful exertions in favour of the king against the house of Douglas, with whom James had been recently tugging for the throne of Scotland. This charter is dated the 2d February, 1443; and, in the same month, part of the barony of Langholm, and many lands in Lanarkshire, were conferred upon Sir Walter and his son by the same monarch.
the time of Scott of Satchells, many of the ancient barons of Buccleuch lie buried. There is also said to have been a mill near this solitary spot; an extraordinary circumstance, as little or no corn grows within several miles of Buccleuch. Satchells says it was used to grind corn for the hounds of the chieftain.
After the period of the exchange with Sir Thomas Inglis, Branksome became the principal seat of the Buccleuch family. The castle was enlarged and strengthened by Sir David Scott, the grandson of Sir William, its first possessor. But, in 1570-1, the vengeance of Elizabeth, provoked by the inroads of Buccleuch, and his attachment to the cause of Queen Mary, destroyed the castle, and laid waste the lands of Branksome. In the same year the castle was repaired and enlarged by Sir Walter Scott, its brave possessor; but the work was not completed until after his death, in 1574, when the widow finished the building. This appears from the following inscriptions. Around a stone, bearing the arms of Scott of Buccleuch, appears the following legend: "Sir 3®. ®tott of IBranrpetm jRngt JPoe of SHt WRiUiam ftcott of ftir&urti Bngt began ge toorfe upon . ge 24- of flfcarcpe 1571 jier qupa Heparrit at iSon'e pleifour - ge 17 2pril 1574." On a similar copartment are sculptured the arms of Douglas, with this inscription," Dame Margaret Douglas His Spous Completit The Forsaid Work In OcTober 1576." Over an arched door is inscribed the following moral verse:—
3[n. toatro. i». nocSt. nature. pen. tirouept. gat. sal. Ueu ag, tparfote, uerbe. <S5o5. fieip. toeil. ge. roS. tpg. fame. sal. nocpt. Befiag.
•it afflaltei Scot of $tanj$oun Rnicpt, ffl&xmtWowiM,
Branksome castle continued to be the principal seat of the Buccleuch family, while security was any object in their choice of a mansion. It has since been the residence of the Commissioners, or Chamberlains, of the family. From the various alterations which the building has undergone, it is not only greatly restricted in its dimensions, but retains little of the castellated form, if we except one square tower of massy thickness, the only part of the original building which now remains. The whole forms a handsome modern residence, lately inhabited by my deceased friend, Adam Ogilvy, Esq. of Hartwoodmyres, Commissioner of his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch.
The extent of the ancient edifice can still be traced by some vestiges of its foundation, and its strength is obvious from the situation, on a deep bank surrounded by the Teviot, and flanked by a deep ravine, formed by a precipitous brook. It was anciently surrounded by wood, as appears from the survey of Roxburghshire, made for Pont's Atlas, and preserved in the Advocates' Library. This wood was cut about fifty years ago, but is now replaced by the thriving plantations which have been formed by the noble proprietor, for miles around the ancient mansion of his forefathers.
Note II. Nine-andrtwenty knights of fame Hung their shields in Branksome Hall.—P. 81. The ancient barons of Buccleuch, both from feudal splendour, and from their frontier situation, retained in their household, at Branksome, a number of gentlemen of their own name, who held lands from their chief, for the military service of watching and warding his castle. Satchells tells us, in his doggrel poetry.
No baron was better served into Britain;
The barons of Buckleugh they kept their call,
Four and twenty gentlemen in their hall,
All being of his name and kin;
Each two had a servant to wait upon them;
Before supper and dinner, most renowned,
The bells rung and the trumpets sowned;
And more than that, I do confess.
They kept four and twenty pensioners.
Think not I lie, nor do me blame,
For the pensioners I can all name c
There's men alive, elder than I,
They know if I speak truth, or lie;
Every pensioner a room * did gain,
For service done and to be done;
This I'll let the reader understand,
The name both of the men and land,
Which they possessed, it is of truth,
Both from the lairds and lords of Buckleugh.
Accordingly, dismounting from his Pegasus, Satchells gives us, in prose, the names of twenty-four gentlemen, younger brothers of ancient families, who were pensioners to the house of Buccleuch, and describes the lands which each possessed for his border service. In time of war with England, the garrison was
* Boom, portion of land.