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of the Eske, at Gorton and Hawthornden, are hollowed into similar recesses. But even these dreary dens were not always secure places of concealment. "In the way as we came, not far from this place (Long Niddry), George Ferres, a gentleman of my Lord Protector's . . . happened upon a cave in the grounde, the mouth whereof was so worne with the fresh printe of steps, that he seemed to be certayne thear wear sum folke within; and gone doune to trie, he was redily receyved with a hakebut or two. He left them not yet, till he had knowen wheyther thei wold be content to yeld.and come out, which they fondly refusing, he went to my lorde's grace, and upon utterance of the thynge, gat lisence to deale with them as he coulde; and so returned to them, with a skore or two of pioners. Three ventes had their cave, that we wear ware of, wherof he first stopt up on; anoother he fil'd ful of strawe, and set it a fyer, whereat they within cast water apace; but it was so wel maynteyned without, that the fyer prevayled, and thei within fayn to get them belyke into anoother parler. Then devised we (for I hapt to be with hym) to stop the same up, whereby we should eyther smoother them, or fynd out their ventes, if thei hadde any moe: as this was done at another issue, about a xii score of, we moughte see the fume of their smoke to come out; the which continued with so great a force, and so long a while, that we could not but thinke they must needs get them out, or smoother within: and forasmuch as we found not that they dyd the tone, we thought it for certain thei wear sure of the toother."—Patten's Account
of Somerset's Expedition into Scotland, apud Dalyell's Fragments.
Southern ravage.—St. III. p. 103.
From the following fragment of a letter from the Earl of Northumberland to King Henry VIII., preserved among the Cotton MSS. Calig. B. vii. 179, the reader may estimate the nature of the dreadful war which was occasionally waged upon the borders, sharpened by mutual cruelties, and the personal hatred of the wardens or leaders.
Some Scottish baron9, says the earl, had threatened to come within " thre miles of my pore house of Werkworth, where I lye, and gif me light to put on my clothes at mydnyght; and alsoo the said Marke Carr said there opynly, that seyng they had a governor on the marches of Scotland, as well as they haid in Ingland, he shulde kepe your highnes instructions, gyffyn unto your garyson, for making of any day-forrey; for he and his friends wolde burne enough on the nyght, lettyng your counsaill here defyne a notable acte at theyre pleasures. Upon whiche, in your highnes' name, I comaundet dewe watche to be kepte on your marchies, for comyng in of any Scotts. Neutheless, upon Thursday at night last, came thyrty light horsemen into a litil village of myne, called Whitell, having not past sex houses, lying toward Ryddisdaill, upon Shilbotell more, and ther wold have fyred the said howses, but ther was noo fyre to get there, and they forgate to brynge any withe theyme; and toke a wyf, being great with chylde, in the said
towne, and said to hyr, Wher we can not gyve the lard lyght, yet we shall doo this in spyte of hym; and gyve hyr iii mortall wounds upon the heid, and another in the right side, with a dagger: wheruppon the said wyf is deede, and the childe in her bely is loste. Beseeching your most gracious highnes to reduce unto your gracious memory this wylful and shamefull murder, done within this your highnes' realme, notwithstanding all the inhabitants thereabout rose unto the said fray, and gave warnyngc by becons unto the countrey afore theyme, and yet the Scottsmen dyde escape. And uppon certeyne knowledge to my brother Clyfforthe and me, had by credable persons of Scotland, this abomynable act not only to be done by dyverse of the Mershe, but also the afore named persons of Tyvidaill, and consented to, as by appearance, by the Erie of Murey, upon Friday at night last, let slyp C of the best horsemen of Glendaill, with a part of your highnes' subjects of Berwyke, together with George Dowglas, whoo came into lug* land agayne, in the dawning of the day; but afore theyre retorne, they dyd mar the Earl of Murrei's provisions at Coldingham: for they did not only burne the said town of Coldingham, with all the corne thereunto belonging, which is esteemed wurthe cii markc sterling; but alsoo burned twa townes nye adjoining thereunto, called Branerdergest and the Black Hill, and toke xxiiii persons, lx horse, with cc hed of cataill, whiche nowe, as I am informed, hathe not only been a staye of the said Erie of Murrei's not coming to the bordure as yet, but alsoo, that none inlande man will adventure theyre selfs uppon the marches. And as for the tax that shulds have bene grauntyd for finding of the said iii hundred men, is utterly denyed. Upon which the King of Scotland departed from Edynburgh to Stirling, and as yet ther doth remayn. And alsoo I, by the advice of my brother Clyfforth, have devysed that within this iii nyghts, Godde willing, Kelsey, in lyke case, shall be brent, with all the corne in the said town; and then they shall have noo place to lye any garyson in, nygh unto the borders. And as I shall atteigne further knawledge, I shall not faill to satisfye your highness, according to my most bounden dutie. And for this burnyng .of Kelsey is devysed to be done secretly, by Tyndaill and Ryddisdale. And thus the holy Trynite and * * * your most royal estate, with long lyf, and as much increase of honour as your most noble heart can desire. At Werkworth, the xxiid day of October." (1522.).
Watt Tintinn.—St. IV. p. 103. This person was, in my younger days, the theme of many a fireside tale. He was a retainer of the Buccleuch family, and held for his Border service a small tower on the frontiers of Liddesdale. Watt was, by profession, a sutor, but, by inclination and practice, an archer and warrior. Upon one occasion, the Captain of Bewcastle, military governor of that wild district of Cumberland, is said to have made an incursion into Scotland, in which he was defeated, and forced to fly. Watt Tinlinn pursued him closely through a dangerous morass: the
captain, however, gained the firm ground: and seeing Tinlinn dismounted, and floundering in the bog, used these words of insult; "Sutor Watt, ye cannot sew your boots; the heels risp, and the seams rive\." "If I cannot sew,"—retorted Tinlinn, discharging a shaft which nailed the captain's thigh to his saddle,—" If I cannot sew, I can yerk J."
Bilhope Stag.—St. V. p. 104. There is an old rhyme, which thus celebrates the places in Liddesdale, remarkable for game:
Bilhope braes for bucks and raes.
And Carit haugh for swine,
If he be ta'en in time.
The bucks and roes, as well as the old swine, are now extinct; but the good bull-trout is still famous.
Of silver broach and bracelet proud.—St. V. p. 105. As the Borderers were indifferent about the furniture of their habitations, so much exposed to be burned and plundered, they were proportionally anxious to display splendour in decorating and ornamenting their females. See Lesly de Moribus Limitaneorum.
t Risp, creak. Rive, tear.
t Yerk, to twitch, as shoemakers do, in securing the stitches of their work.