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college of Linclouden; and there he caused those lords and Borderers bodily to be sworn, the Holy Gospel touched, that they, justly and truly, after their cunning, should decrete, decern, deliver, and put in order and writing, the statutes, ordinances, and uses of marche, that were ordained in Black Archibald of Douglas's days, and Archibald his son's days, in time of warfare; and they came again to him advisedly with these statutes and ordinances, which were in time of warfare before. The said Earl William, seeing the statutes in writing decreed and delivered by the said lords and Borderers, thought them right speedful and profitable to the Borderers; the which statutes, ordinances, and points of warfare, he took, and the whole lords and Borderers he caused bodily to be sworn, that they should maintain and supply him at their goodly power, to do the law upon those that should break the statutes underwritten. Also, the said Earl William, and lords, and eldest Borderers, made certain points to be treason in time of warfare to be used, which were no treason before his time, but to be treason in his time, and in all time coming."
NOTES TO CANTO V.
The Bloody Heart blazed in the van,
Announcing Douglas, dreaded name.—P. 144. The chief of this potent race of heroes, about the date of the poem, was Archibald Douglas, seventh Earl of Angus, a man of great courage and activity. The Bloody Heart was the wellknown cognizance of the house of Douglas, assumed from the time of good Lord James, to whose care Robert Bruce committed his heart, to be carried to the Holy Land.
The Seven Spears of Wedderburne.—P. 144. Sir David Home of Wedderburn, who was slain in the fatal battle of Flodden, left seven sons by his wife, Isabel, daughter of Hoppringle of Galashiels (now Pringle of Whitebank.) They were called the Seven Spears of Wedderburne.
Note III. And Swinton laid the lance in rest, That tamed of yore the sparkling crest Of Clarence's Plantagenet.—P. 144. At the battle of Beauge, in France, Thomas, Duke of Clarence, brother to Henry V., was unhorsed by Sir John Swinton of Swinton, who distinguished him by a coronet set with precious stones, which he wore around his helmet. The family of Swinton is one of the most ancient in Scotland, and produced many celebrated warriors.
And Hepburn's mingled banners, come, Down the steep mountain glittering far, And shouting still, " A Home! a Home.'"—P. 145. The Earls of Home, as descendants of the Dunbars, ancient Earls of March, carried a lion rampant, argent; but, as a difference, changed the colour of the shield from gules to vert, in allusion to Greenlaw, their ancient possession. The slogan, or war-cry, of this powerful family, was," A Home! a Home!" It was anciently placed in an escrol above the crest The helmet is armed with a lion's head erased gules, with a cap of state gules, turned up ermine.
The Hepburns, a powerful family in East Lothian, were usually in close alliance with the Homes. The chief of this clan
was Hepburn, Lord of Hailes; a family which terminated in the too famous Earl of Bothwell.
Pursued the fool-ball play.—P. 147. The foot-ball was anciently a very favourite sport all through Scotland, but especially upon the Borders. Sir John Carmichael of Carmichael, warden of the middle marches, was killed in 1600 by a band of the Armstrongs, returning from a foot-ball match. Sir Robert Carey, in his Memoirs, mentions a great meeting, appointed by the Scottish riders to be held at Kelso, for the purpose of playing at foot-ball, but which terminated in an incursion upon England. At present the foot-ball is often played by the inhabitants of adjacent parishes, or of the opposite banks of a stream. The victory is contested with the utmost fury, and very serious accidents have sometimes taken place in the struggle.
'Twixt truce and war, such sudden change Was not unfrequent, nor held strange, In the old Border day.—P. 148. Notwithstanding the constant wars upon the Borders, and the occasional cruelties which marked the mutual inroads, the inhabitants on either side do not appear to have regarded each other with that violent and personal animosity, which might have been expected. On the contrary, like the outposts of hostile armies, they often carried on something resembling friendly intercourse, even in the middle of hostilities; and it is evident, from various ordinances against trade and intermarriages between English and Scottish Borderers, that the governments of both countries were jealous of their cherishing too intimate a connection. Froissart says of both nations, that "Englyshemen on the one party, and Scottes on the other party, are good men of warre; for when they meet, there is a harde fight without sparynge. There is no hoo (truce) between them, as long as spears, swords, axes, or daggers, will endure, but lay on eche upon uther; and whan they be well beaten, and that the one party hath obtained the victory, they then gloryfye so in theyre dedes of armes, and are so joyfull, that such as be taken they shall be ransomed, or that they go out of the felde; so that shortly eche of them is so content with other, that, at their departynge, curtyslye they will say, God thank you."—Berners' Froissart, vol. II. p. 153. The Border meetings of truce, which, although places of merchandise and merriment, often witnessed the most bloody scenes, may serve to illustrate the description in the text. They are vividly pourtrayed in the old ballad of the Reidsquair. Both parties came armed to a meeting of the wardens, yet they intermixed fearlessly and peaceably with each other in mutual sports and familiar intercourse, until a casual fray arose: