Page images

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. 8. trac. 2. cap. 11.—' Ex tunc 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 wolf'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 among them; and the ringleaders being destroyed, the rest are reduced to legall obedience, and so, I trust, will continue."—Fuller's Worthies of England, p. 216.

The last public mention of moss-troopers occurs during the civil wars of the 17th century, when many ordinances of parliament were directed against them.

Note XTV. How the brave boy, in future war, Should tame the Unicorn's pride, Exalt the Crescent and the Star.—P. 29. The arms of the Kerrs of Cessford were, Vert on a cheveron, betwixt three unicorns' heads erased argent, three mullets 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.

Note XV. William of Deloraine.—P. 30. The lands of Deloraine are joined 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 Hassendean." The lands of Deloraine now give an earl's title to the descendant of Henry, the secoiid 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 remembered alle this, he was sorrowful; his tresour he thought he wolde not mynysshe; he was wonte dayly to serche for newe pyllages, wherbye encresed his profyte, and then he sawe that alle was closed fro' hym. Then 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 forth at adventure, and somtyme found by the way a riche 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 Brussels, or peltre ware comynge fro the fayres, or laden with spycery fro Bruges, fro Damas, or fro Alysaundre: whatsoever we met, all was ours, or els ransoumed at our pleasures; dayly we gate new money, and the vyllaynea 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 been kings. When we rode forthe, all the countrey trymbled for feare: all was ours goyng and comynge. Howe tok we Carlast, I and the Bourge of Cornpayne, and I and Perot of Bernoys took Caluset: how dyd we scale, with lytell ayde, the strong castell of Marquell, pertayning to the Erl 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 Dolplun's children. By my fayth, this was a fayre and a good lyfe; wherefore I repute myselve sore deceyved, in that I have rendered up the fortress of Aloys; for it wolde have kept fro alle the worlde, and the daye that I gave it up, it was fournyshed with vytaylles, to have been kept seven yere without any re-vytaylynge. This Erl of Armynake hath deceyved me: Olyve Barbe, and Perot le Bernoys, shewed to me how I shulde repente myselfe: certayne I sore repente myselfe of what I have done."—Froissart, Vol. IL p. 195.

Note XVI. By wily turns, by desperate bounds, Had baffled Percy's best blood-hounds.—P. 30. 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 inform us, that Robert Bruce was repeatedly tracked by sleuth-dogs. On one occasion, he escaped by wading a bow-shot down a brook, and ascending into a tree by a branch which overhung the water: thus leaving no trace on land of his footsteps, he baffled the scent. The pursuers came up:

Rycht to the burn thai passyt ware,
Bot the sleuth-hund made stinting thar,
And waoeryt lang tyme ta and fra,
That he na certain gate couth ga;
Till at the last that John of Lorn,
Perseuvit the hund the sleuth had lorne.

The Bruce, Book vii.

A sure way of stopping the dog was to spill blood upon the track, which destroyed the discriminating fineness of his scent. A captive was sometimes sacrificed on such occasions. Henry the Minstrel tells a romantic story of Wallace, founded on this circumstance:—The hero's little band had been joined by an Irishman, named Fawdon, or Fadzean, a dark, savage, and suspicious character. After a sharp skirmish at Black-Erne Side, Wallace was forced to retreat with only sixteen followers. The English pursued with a border sleuth-bratch, or bloodhound:

In Gelderland there was that bratchet bred,

Siker of scent, to follow them that fled;

So was he used in Eske and Liddesdail,

While (i. e. till) she gat blood no fleeing might avail.

« PreviousContinue »