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Belted Will Howard—St. VI. p. 105. Lord William Howard, third son of Thomas, duke of Norfolk, succeeded to Naworth Castle, and a large domain annexed to it, in right of his wife Elizabeth, sister of George Lord Dacre, who died without heirs male, in the 11th of Queen Elizabeth. By a poetical anachronism, he is introduced into the romance a few years earlier than he actually nourished. He was warden of the Western Marches; and, from the rigour with which he repressed the Border excesses, the name of Belted Will Howard is still famous in our traditions. In the castle of Naworth, his apartments, containing a bed-room, oratory, and library, are still shewn. They impress us with an unpleasing idea of the life of a lord warden of the marches. Three or four strong doors, separating these rooms from the rest of the castle, indicate apprehensions of treachery from his garrison; and the secret winding passages, through which he could privately descend into the guard-room, or even into the dungeons, imply the necessity of no small degree of secret superintendance on the part of the governor. As the ancient books and furniture have remained undisturbed, the venerable appearance of these apartments, and the armour scattered around the chamber, almost lead us to expect the arrival of the warden in person. Naworth Castle is situated near Brampton, in Cumberland. Lord William Howard is ancestor of the Earls of Carlisle.
Lord Dacre.—St. VI. p. 105. the well-known name of Dacre is derived from the exploits of one of their ancestors at the siege of Acre or Ptolemais, under Richard Coeur de Lion. There were two powerful branches of that name. The first family, called Lord Dacres of the south, held the castle of the same name, and are ancestors to the present Lord Dacre. The other family, descended from the same stock, were called Lord Dacres of the north, and were barons of Gilsland and Graystock. A chieftain of the latter branch was warden of the West Marches during the reign of Edward VI. He was a man of a hot and obstinate character, as appears from some particulars of Lord Surrey's letter to Henry VIII., giving an account of his behaviour at the siege and storm of Jedburgh. It is printed in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Appendix to the Introduction.
The German hagbut-men.—St. VI. p. 106. In the wars with Scotland, Henry VIII. and his successors employed numerous bands of mercenary troop3. At the battle of Pinky there were in the English army six hundred hackbutters on foot, and two hundred on horseback, composed chiefly of foreigners. On the 27"th September, 1549, the Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector, writes to the Lord Dacre, warden of the West Marches: "The Almains, in number two thousand, very valiant soldiers, shall be sent to you shortly from Newcastle, together with Sir Thomas Holcroft, and with the force of your wardenry (which we would were advanced
to the most strength of horsemen that might be), shall make the attempt to Loughmaben, being of no such strength but that it may be skailed with ladders, whereof, beforehand, we would you caused secretly some number to be provided; or else undermined with the pyke-axe, and so taken: either to be kept for the king's majesty, or otherwise to be defaced, and taken from the profits of the enemy. And in like manner the house of Carlaverock to be used." Repeated mention occurs of the Almains, in the subsequent correspondence; and the enterprise seems finally to haye been abandoned, from the difficulty of providing these strangers with the necessary "victuals and carriages " in so poor a country as Dumfries-shire. History of Cumberland, Vol. I. Introd. p. lxi. From the battle-pieces of the ancient Flemish painters, we learn, that the Low-Country and German soldiers marched to an assault with their right knees bared. And we may also observe, in such pictures, the extravagance to which they carried the fashion of ornamenting their dress with knots of ribband. This custom of the Germans is alluded to in the Mirrour for Magistrates, p. 121:
Their pleited garments therewith well accord.
Their gathering word was Bellenden.—St. IX. p. 109. Bellenden is situated near the head of Borthwick water, and, being in the centre of the possessions of the Scotts, was frequently used as their place of rendezvous and gathering word.
Survey of Selkirkshire in Macfar lane's MSS., Advocates' Library. Hence, Satchells calls one part of his genealogical account of the families of that clan, his Bellenden.
His ready lances Thirlestane breve
Arrayed beneath a banner bright.—St. VIII. p. 107. Sir John Scott of Thirlestaine flourished in the reign of Jahies V., and possessed the estates of Thirlestaine, Gamescleuch, &c. lying upon the river of Ettricke, and extending to St Mary's Loch, at the head of Yarrow. It appears, that when James had assembled his nobility, and their feudal followers, at Fala, with the purpose of invading England, and was, as is well known, disappointed by the obstinate refusal of his peers, this baron alone declared himself ready to follow the king wherever he should lead. In memory of his fidelity, James granted to his family a charter of arms, entitling them to bear a border of fleurs-de-luce, similar to the tressure in the royal arms, with a bundle of spears for the crest; mot in, Ready, aye ready. The charter itself is printed by Nisbet; but his work being scarce, I insert the following accurate transcript from the original, in the possession of the Right Honourable Lord Napier, the representative of John of Thirlestaine.
"James Rex. "We James, be the grace of God King of Scottis, considerand the naith and guid servis of of of f right traist friend John
t Sic. in orig.
Scott of Thirlestane, quha cummand to our hoste at Soutra Edge, with three score and ten launcieres on horsback of his friends and followers, and beand willing to gang with ws into England, when all our nobles and others refuised, he was readdy to stake all at our bidding; ffor the quhilk cause, it is our will, and we doe straitlie command and charg our lion herauld, and his deputies for the time beand, to give and to graunt to the said John Scott, ane Border of ffleure de lises about his coatte of armes, sik as is on our royal banner^ and alsua ane bundell of launces above his helmet, with thir words, Readdy, ay Readdy, that he and all his aftercummers may bruik the samine, as a pledge and taiken of our guid will and kyndnes for his true worthines; and thir our letters seen, ye nae waycs failzie. to'doe. Given at Ffalla Muire, under our hand and privy cashet, the xxvii day of July, mc and xxxii zeires. By the King's graces speciall ordinance.
On the back of the charter is written, "Edin. 14. January, 1715- Registred, conform to the act of parliament made anent probative writs, per M'Kaile, pror. and produced by Alexander Borthwick, servant to Sir William Scott of Thirlestane. M. L. J."