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An aged knight, to danger steeled,
And azure in a golden field,
The stars and crescent graced his shield,
Without the bend of Murdieston.—St. IX. p. 108. The family of Harden are descended from a younger son of the laird of Buccieuch, who flourished before the estate of Murdieston was acquired by the marriage of one of those chieftains with the heiress, in 1296. Hence they.bear the cognizance of the Scotts upon the field; whereas those of the. Buccieuch are disposed upon a bend dexter, assumed in consequence of that marriage. See Gladstaine of Whitelawe's MSS., and Scott of Stokoe's Pedigree, Newcastle, 1783.
Walter Scott of Harden, who flourished during the reign of Queen Mary, was a renowned Border free-booter, concerning whom tradition has preserved a variety of anecdotes, some of which have been published in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and others in Leyden's Scenes of Infancy. The bugle horn, said to have been used by this formidable leader, is preserved by his descendant, the present Mr Scott of Harden. His castle was situate upon the-very brink of a dark and precipitous dell, through which a scanty rivulet steals to meet the Borthwick. In the recess of this glen he is said to have kept his spoil, which served for the daily maintenance of his retainers, until the production of a pair of clean spurs, in a covered dish, announced to the hungry band, that they must ride for a supply of provisions. He was married to Mary Scott,
daughter of Philip Scott of Dryhope, and called in song the Flower of Yarrow. He possessed a very extensive estate, which was divided among his five sons. There are numerous descendants of this old marauding Baron. The following beautiful passage of Leyden's Scenes of Infancy is founded on a tradition respecting an infant captive, whom Walter of Harden carried ofF in a predatory incursion, and who is said to have become the author of some of our most beautiful pastoral songs.
Where Bortha hoarse, that loads the meads with sand,
The waning harvest-moon shone cold and bright;
Scared at the light, his little hands he flung
His are the strains, whose wandering echoes thrill
The camp their home, their law the sword, They knew no country, owned no lord.—St XV. p. 114. The mercenary adventurers, whom, in 1380r the Earl of Cambridge carried to the assistance of the king of Portugal against the Spaniards, mutinied for want of regular pay. At an assembly of their leaders, Sir John Soltier, a natural son of Edward the Black Prince, thus addressed them: "I counsayle, let us be alle of orje alliance, and of one accorde, and let us among ourselves reyse up the baner of St George, and let us be frendes to God, and enemyes to alle the worlde; for without we make ourselfe to be feared, we gette nothynge." "By my fayth," quod Sir William Helmon, "ye save right well, and so lette us do." Tbey all agreed with one voyce, and so regarded among them who shulde be their capitayne. Then they advysed in the case how they coude nat have a better capitayne than Sir John Soltier. For they sulde than have good leyser to do yvell, and they thought he was more meteIyer therto than any other. Than they raised up the penon of St George, and cried, "A Soltier! a Soltier! the valyaunt bastarde! frendes to God, and enemies to all the worlde \"— Froissart, Vol. I. ch. 393.
A gauntlet on a spear.—St. XVIII. p. 117. A glove upon a lance was the emblem of faith among the ancient Borderers, who were wont, when any one broke his word, to expose this emblem, and proclaim him a faithless villain at the first Border meeting. This ceremony was much dreaded. See Lesly.
We claim from thee William of Debraine, That he may suffer march-treason pain.—St. XXI. p. 120. Several species of offences, peculiar to the Border, constituted what was called march-treason. Among others, was the crime of riding, or causing to ride, against the opposite country during the time of truce. Thus, in an indenture made at the water of Eske, beside Salom, the 25th day of March, 1334, betwixt noble Lords and mighty, Sirs Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and Archbald of Douglas, Lord of Galo
way, a truce is agreed upon until the 1st day of July; and it is expressly accorded, " Gif ony stellis authir on the ta part, or on the tothyr, that he shall be henget or heofdit; and gif ony cumpany stellis any gudes wthin the trieux beforesayd, ane of that company sail be henget or heofdit, and the remanent sail restore the gudys stollen in the dubble."—History of Westmoreland and Cumberland, Introd. p. xxxix.
William of Deloraine
Will cleanse him, by oath, of march-treason stain.
St. XXIII. p. 131. In dubious cases, the innocence of Border-criminals was occasionally referred to their own oath. The form of excusing bills, or indictments, by Border-oath, ran thus: "You shall swear by heaven above you, hell beneath you, by your part of Paradise, by all that God made in six days and seven nights, and by God himself, you are whart out sackless of art, part, way, witting, ridd, kenning, having, or recetting of any of the goods and cattells named in this bill. So help you God."— History of Cumberland, Introd. p. xxv.
Knighthood he took of Douglas' sword.—St. XXIII.-p. 122.
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