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Cessfoord and Faimyhirst followed furiouslie, till at the foot of a path the laird of Cessfoord was slain by the stroke of a spear by an Elliot, who was then servant to the laird of Buccleuch. But when the laird of Cessfoord was slain, the chase ceased. The Earl of Angus returned again with great merriness and victory, and thanked God that he saved him from that chance, and passed with the king to Melross, where they remained all that night. On the morn they past to Edinburgh with the king, who was very sad and dolorous of the slaughter of the laird of Cessfoord, and many other gentlemen and yeomen slain by the laird of Buccleuch, containing the number of fourscore and fifteen, which died in defence of the king, and at the command of his writing."
I am not the first who has attempted to celebrate in verse the renown of this ancient baron, and his hazardous attempt to procure his sovereign's freedom. In a Scottish Latin poet we find the following verses:—
VALTEMUS ScOTL'S BALCMJCHiUS.
Egregio suscepto facinore libertate Regis, ac aliis rebus gestis clarus, sub Jacobo V. A0. Cbristi, 1526.
Intentata aliis, nullique audita priorum
Audet, ncc pavidum morsve, metusve quatit,
Subreptam haoc Regi restituisse paras,
Sin victus, falsas spes jace, pone animam.
Atque decus. Vincet, Rege probante, fides.
Insita queis animis virtus, quosque acrior ardor
Heroes ex omni Historia Scoticae lectissimi, Auctore Johan. Jonstonio Abredonensc Scoto, 1603.
In consequence of the battle of Melrose, there ensued a deadly feud betwixt the names of Scott and Kerr, which, in spite of all means used to bring about an agreement, raged for many years upon the Borders. Buccleuch was imprisoned, and his estates forfeited, in the year 1535, for levying war against the Kerrs, and restored by act of Parliament, dated 15 March, 1542, during the regency of Mary of Lorraine. But the most signal act of violence, to which this quarrel gave rise, was, the murder of Sir Walter himself, who was slain by the Kerrs in the streets of Edinburgh, in 1552. This is the event alluded to in Stanza VII.; and the poem is supposed to open shortly after it had taken place.
The feud between these two families was not reconciled in 1596, when both chieftains paraded the streets of Edinburgh with their followers, and it was expected their first meeting would decide their quarrel. But, on July 14th of the same year, Colvil, in a letter to Mr Bacon, informs him, " that there was great trouble upon the Borders, which would continue till order should be taken by the queen of England and the king, by reason of the two young Scots chieftains, Cesford and Baclugh,and of the present necessity and scarcity of corn amongst the Scots Borderers and riders. That there had been a private quarrel betwixt those two lairds, on the Borders, which was like to have turned to blood; but the fear of the general trouble had reconciled them, and the injuries which they thought to have committed against each other, were now transferred upon England: not unlike that emulation in France between the Baron de Biron and Mons. Jeverie, who, being both ambitious of honour, undertook more hazardous enterprises against the enemy, than they would have done if they had been at concord together."—Birch's Memorials, Vol. II. p. 67.
In mutual pilgrimage, they drew.—P. 21. Among other expedients resorted to for staunching the feud betwixt the Scotts and the Kerrs, there was a bond executed, in 1529, between the heads of each clan, binding themselves to perform reciprocally the four principal pilgrimages of Scotland, for the benefit of the souls of those of the opposite name who had fallen in the quarrel. This indenture is printed in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. I. But either it never took effect, or else the feud was renewed shortly afterwards.
Such pactions were not uncommon in feudal times; and, as might be expected, they were often, as in the present case, void of the effect desired. When Sir Walter Mauny, the renowned follower of Edward III., had taken the town of Ryoll, in Gascony, he remembered to have heard that his father lay there buried, and offered a hundred crowns to any who could show him his grave. A very old man appeared before Sir Walter, and informed him of the manner of his father's death, and the place of his sepulture. It seems the Lord of Mauny had, at a great tournament, unhorsed, and wounded to the death, a Gascon knight, of the house of Mirepoix, whose kinsman was bishop of Cambray. For this deed he was held at feud by the relations of the knight, until he agreed to undertake a pilgrimage to the shrine of St James of Compostella, for the benefit of the soul of the deceased. But as he returned through the town of Ryoll, after accomplishment of his vow, he was beset, and treacherously slain, by the kindred of the knight whom he had killed. Sir Walter, guided by the old man, visited the lowly tomb of his father; and, having read the inscription, which was in Latin, he caused the body to be raised, and transported to his native city of Valenciennes, where masses were, in the * days of Froissart, duly said for the soul of the unfortunate pilgrim.—Cronycle O/froissart, Vol. I. p. 123.
While Cessford owns the rule of Car.—P. 22. The family of Ker, Kerr, or Car, * was very powerful on the Border. Fynes Morrison remarks, in his Travels, that their influence extended from the village -of Preston-Grange, in Lo
*The name is spelled differently by the various families who bear it. Car is selected, not as the most correct, but as the most poetical reading
thian, to the limits of England. Cessford Castle, the ancient baronial residence of the family, is situated near the village of Morebattle, within two or three miles of the Cheviot Hills.— It has been a place of great strength and consequence, but is now ruinous. Tradition affirms, that it was founded by Halbert, or Habby Kerr, a gigantic warrior, concerning whom many stories are current in Roxburghshire. The Duke of Roxburghe represents Ker of Cessford. A distinct and powerful branch of the same name own the Marquis of Lothian as their chief: Hence the distinction betwixt Kers of Cessford and Fairnihirst.
Before Lord Cranstoun she should wed.—P. 23. The Cranstouns, Lord Cranstoun, are an ancient Border family, whose chief seat was at Crailing, in Teviotdale. They were at this time at feud with the clan of Scott; for it appears that the lady of Buccleuch, in 1557, beset the laird of Cranstoun, seeking his life. Nevertheless, the same Cranstoun, or perhaps his son, was married to a daughter of the same lady.
Note IX. Of Bethune's line of Picardie.—P. 24. The Bethunes were of French origin, and derived their name from a small town in Artois. There were several distinguished families of the Bethunes in the neighbouring pro