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The feast was over in Branksome tower.—St. I. p. 17. In the reign of James I. Sir William Scott, of Buccleucb, 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 f, lying upon the Teviot, about three miles above Hawick. He was probably induced to this transaction, frorn 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 J, and much of the forest land on the river Ettricke. In Teviotdale, he enjoyed the barony of Eckford, by a grant from Robert II.
t Branxholni is the proper name of the barony ; but Branksome has been adopted, as suitable to the pronunciation, and more proper for poetry.
t There arc no vestiges of any building at Buccleuch, except to his ancestor, Walter Scott of Kirkurd, for the apprehending of Gilbert Ridderford, confirmed by Robert III., 3d May, 1424. Tradition imputes the exchange betwixt Scott 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 Murdiestone, 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 Waher Scott of Branksome, and to Sir David, his son, the remaining half of the barony of Branksome, to be beld 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 February, 1443; and, in the same month, part of the bathe 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 JSuccleuch. Satchells says it was used to grind corn for the hounds of the chieftain.
rony of Langholm, and many lands in Lanarkshire, were conferred upon Sir Walter and his son by the same monarch.
After the period of the 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 Buccleuch, 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 after his death, in 1574, when the widow finished the building. This appears from the following inscriptions. Around a stone, bearing the arms of Scott of Buccleuch,appears the following legend: "Sin W. Scott, Of BranxHeim Knyt Yoe Of Sir William Scott Of Kirkurd Knyt
BEGAN YE WORK UPON YE 24 OF Marche 1571 ZEIR QUHA
Departit At God's Pleisour Ye 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:
i In. Varld. Is. Nocht. Nature. nES. Vrought. Yat. Sal.
Tharforb, Serve. God. Keip. Veil. Ye. Rod. Thy. Fame. Sal. Nocht. Dekay.
Sir Vai.ter Scot Of Branxholme Knight. Margaret DouGlas 1571.