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Scott of Thirlestane, quha cummand to our hoste at Soutraedge, with three score and ten launcieres on horseback of his friends and followers, and beand willing to gang with ws into England, when all our nobles and others refuised, he was readdy to stake all at our bidding; ffor the quhilk cause, it is our will, and we doe straitlie command and charg our lion herauld, and his deputies for the time beand, to give and to graunt to the said John Scott, ane Border of ffleure de Iises about his coatte of amies, sik as is on our royal banner, and alsua ane bundell of launces above his helmet, with thir words, Readdy, ay Readdy, that he and all his aftercummers may bruik the samine as a pledge and taiken of our guid will and kyndnes for his true worthines; and thir our letters seen, ye nae wayes failzie to doe. Given at Ffalla Muire, under our hand and privy cashet, the xxvii day of July, m c and xxxii zieres. By the King's graces speciall ordinance.
On the back of the charter, is written, "Edin. 14. January, 1713. Registred, conform to the act of parliament made anent probative writs, per M'Kaile, pror. and produced by Alexander Borthwick, servant to Sir William Scott of Thirlestane. M. L. J."
With many a moss-trooper, came on; And azure in a golden field, The stars and crescent graced his shield, Without the bend of Murdiestone.—P. 108. The family of Harden are descended from a younger son of the laird of Buccleuch, who nourished before the estate of Murdiejston was acquired by the marriage of one of those chieftains with the heiress, in 1296. Hence they bear the cognizance of the Scotts upon the field; whereas those of the Buccleuch are disposed upon a bend dexter, assumed in consequence of that marriage.—See Gladstaine of Whilelazec's MSS. and Scott of Stokoe's Pedigree, Newcastle, 1783.
Walter Scott of Harden, who flourished during the reign of Queen Mary, was a renowned Border free-booter, concerning whom tradition has preserved a variety of anecdotes, some of which have been published in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and others in Leyden's Scenes of Infancy; and others, more lately, in The Mountain Bard, a collection of Border ballads by Mr James Hog. The bugle horn, said to have been used by this formidable leader, is preserved by his descendant, the present Mr Scott of Harden.—His castle was situate upon the very brink of a dark and precipitous dell, through which a scanty rivulet steals to meet the Borthwick. In the recess of this glen he is said to have kept his spoil, which served for the daily maintenance of his retainers, until the production of a pair of clean spurs, in a covered dish, announced to the hungry band, that they must ride for a supply of provisions. He was married to Mary Scott, daughter of Philip Scott of Dryhope, and called in song the Flower of Yarrow. He possessed a very extensive estate, which was divided among his five sons. There are numerous descendants of this old marauding baron. The following beautiful passage of Leyden's Scenes of Infancy, is founded on a tradition respecting an infant captive, whom Walter of Harden carried off in a predatory incursion, and who is said to have become the author of some of our most beautiful pastoral songs:
Where Bortha hoarse, that loads the meads with sand,
The waning harvest-moon shone cold and bright j
Scared at the light, bis little hands he flung
His are the strains, whose wandering echoes thrill
Scotts of Eskdale, a stalwart band.—P. 109. In this, and the following stanza, some account is given of the mode in which the property of the valley of Esk was transferred from the Beattisons, its ancient possessors, to the name ef Scott. It is needless to repeat the circumstances, which are given in the poem, literally as they have been preserved by tradition. Lord Maxwell, in the latter part of the sixteenth century, took upon himself the title of Earl of Morton. The descendants of Beattison of Woodkerricke, who aided the earl to escape from his disobedient vassals, continued to hold these lands within the memory of man, and were the only Beattisons who had property in the dale. The old people give locality to the story, by showing the Galliard's Haugh, the place where Buccleuch's men were concealed, &c.
Their gathering word was Bellenden.—P. 114. Bellenden is situated near the head of Borthwick water, and, being in the centre of the possessions of the Scotts, was frequently used as their place of rendezvous and gathering word. —Survey of Selkirkshire, in Macfarlane's MSS. Advocates' Library. Hence Satchells calls one part of his genealogical account of the families of that clan, his Bellenden.
Note XIV. The camp their home, their law the sword, They knew no country, owned no lord.—P. 119. The mercenary adventurers, whom, in 1380, the Earl of Cambridge carried to the assistance of the King of Portugal against the Spaniards, mutinied for want of regular pay. At an assembly of their leaders, Sir John Soltier, a natural son of Edward the Black Prince, thus addressed them: "I counsayle, u