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N O T E S.
C A N TO FIRST.
The feast was over in Branksome tower...Ver. 1, p. 15.
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,t and much of the forest land on the river Ettricke. In Teviotdale, he held the barony of Eckford, by a grant from Robert II. to his ancestor, Walter Scott of Kirkurd, for the apprehending of Gilbert Ridderford, confirmed by Robert III. May 3d, 1424. Tradition imputes the exchange betwixt Scot and Inglis 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 Mur. diestone, 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 blanch 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 of 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. • After the period of 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 13uccleuch 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 af‘ter his death, in 1574, when his 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 W. Scott, of Branxheim Knyt Tore of Sir William Scott of Kirkurd Knyt began ye work upon ye 24 of Marche 1571 zeir quha departit at God’s pleisour 17 April 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:
* Branxholm is the proper name of the barony; but Branksome has been adopted, as suitable to the pronunciation, and more proper for poetry.
f There are no vestiges of any building at Buccleuch, except the site of a chapel, where according to a tradition current in 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.
Tharfore, serve. God. Heip. veil ye. rod, thy fame. sal. nocht, dekay. &ir Walter Scot of Branxholme Knight. Margaret Pouglas 1571. 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 been since 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, being the only part of the original building which now remains. The whole forms a handsome modern residence, and is now inhabited by my respected friend, Adam Ogilvy, Esq. of Hartwoodmyres, commissioner of his Grace the Tuke 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 steep 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.
Nine and twenty knights of fame
The ancient barons of Buccleuch, both from feudal splendor, 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 in Britain ; The barons of Buckleugh they kept at 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 Ilie, nor do me blame, For the pensioners I can all name: There's men alive elder than I,