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Note XVm. Knighthood he took of Douglas' sword.—P. 126. The dignity of knighthood, according to the original institution, had this peculiarity, that it did not flow from the monarch, but could be conferred by one who himself possessed it, upon any squire who, after due probation, was found to merit the honour of chivalry. Latterly, this power was confined to generals, who were wont to create knights bannerets after or before an engagement. Even so late as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Essex highly ofFended his jealous sovereign by the indiscriminate exertion of this privilege. Amongst others, he knighted the witty Sir John Harrington, whose favour at court was by no means enhanced by his new honours.—See the Nuge Antique, edited by Mr Park. But probably the latest instance of knighthood, conferred by a subject, was in the case of Thomas Ker, knighted by the Earl of Huntley, after the defeat of the Earl of Argyle in the battle of Belrinnes. The fact is attested, both by a poetical and prose account of the engagement, contained in an ancient MS. in the Advocates' Library, and lately edited by Mr Dalyell, in Godly Sangs and Ballets, Edin. 1802.
Note XIX. When English blood swelled Ancramford.—P. 126. The battle of Ancram Moor, or Peniel-heuch, was fought A. D. 1545. The English, commanded by Sir Ralph Evers, and Sir Brian Latoun, were totally routed, and both their leaders slain in the action. The Scottish army was commanded by Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, assisted by the laird of Buccleuch and Norman Lesly.
Note XX. The blanche lion —P. 130. This was the cognisance of the noble house of Howard in all its branches. The crest, or bearing, of a warrior, was often used as a nomme de guerre. Thus Richard III. acquired his well-known epithet, The Boar of York. In the violent satire on Cardinal Wolsey, written by Roy, commonly, but erroneously, imputed to Dr Bull, the Duke of Buckingham is called the Beautiful Swan, and the Duke of Norfolk, or Earl of Surrey, the White Lion. As the book is extremely rare, and the whole passage relates to the emblematical interpretation of heraldry, it shall be here given at length.
The Description of the Armes.
Of the proud Cardinal this is the shelde,
There are two copies of this very scarce satire in the library of the late John, Duke of Roxburghe. See an account of it also in Mr Egerton Bridges' curious miscellany, the Censura Literaria.
In single fight. P. 130.
It may easily be supposed, that trial by single combat, so peculiar to the feudal system, was common on the Borders. In 1558, the well-known Kirkaldy of Grange fought a duel with Ralph Evre, brother to the then Lord Evre, in consequence of a dispute about a prisoner said to have been ill treated by the Lord Evre. Pitscottie gives the following account of the affair; "The Lord of Ivers his brother provoked William Kircaldy of Grange to fight with him, in singular combat, on horseback, with spears; who, keeping the appointment, accompanied with Monsieur d'Ossel, lieutenant to the French king, and the garrison of Haymouth, and Mr Ivers, accompanied with the governor and garrison of Berwick, it was discharged, under the pain of treason, that any man should come near the champions within a flight-shot, except one man for either of them, to bear their spears, two trumpets, and two lords to be judges. When they were in readiness, the trumpets sounded, the heraulds cried, and the judges let them go. Then they encountered very fiercely; but Grange struck his spear through his adversary's shoulder, and bare him off his horse, being sore wounded: But whether he died, or not, it is uncertain."—P. 202.
The following indenture will shew at how late a period the trial by combat was resorted to on the Border, as a proof of guilt or innocence:
"It is agreed between Thomas Musgrave and Lancelot Carleton, for the true trial of such controversies as are betwixt them, to have it openly tried by way of combat, before God and the face of the world, to try it in Canonbyholme, before England and Scotland, upon Thursday in Easter-week, being the eight day of April next ensuing, A. D. 1602, betwixt nine of the clock, and one of the same day, to fight on foot, to be armed with jack, steel cap, plaite sleeves, plaite breaches, plaite sockes, two basleard swords, the blades to be one yard and half a quarter of length, two Scotch daggers, or dorks, at their girdles, and either of them to provide armour and weapons for themselves, according to this indenture. Two gentlemen to be appointed, on the field, to view both the parties, to see that they both be equal in arms and weapons, according to this indenture; and being so viewed by the gentlemen, the gentlemen to ride to the rest of the company, and to leave them but two boys, viewed by the gentlemen, to be under sixteen years of age, to hold their horses. In testimony of this our agreement, we have both set our hands to this indenture, of intent all matters shall be made so plain, as there shall be no question to stick upon that day. Which indenture, as a witness, shall be delivered to two gentlemen. And for that it is convenient the world should be privy to every particular of the grounds of the quarrel, we have agreed to set it down in this indenture betwixt us, that, knowing the quarrel, their eyes may be witness of the trial.
The Grounds of the Quarrel.
"1. Lancelot Carleton did charge Thomas Musgrave before the lords of her majesty's privy council, that Lancelot Carleton was told by a gentleman, one of her majesty's sworn servants, that Thomas Musgrave had offered to deliver her majesty's castle of Bewcastle to the king of Scots; and to witness the same, Lancelot Carleton had a letter under the gentleman's own hand for his discharge."2. He chargeth him, that whereas her majesty doth yearly bestow a great fee upon him, as captain of Bewcastle, to aid