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Now Jamie Telfer's heart was sair, gallant, Watty o' the Wudspurs, sug
The tear aye rowing in his e'e;
gests the more poetic conclusion of Or else revenged he wad be.
carrying away the captain of Bew
castle's own kye along with the The captain turned him round and leugh; rescued booty ; and so, Said — Man, there's naething in thy house,
“ When they cam to the fair Dodhead, But ae auld sword without a sheath,
They were a welcome sight to see ! That hardly now wad fell a mouse !"" For instead of his ain ten milk-kye,
Jamie Telfer has gotten thirty and three.” We next follow the poor fellow through the varied results of his ap
Such ballads as the “Outlaw Murpeals for aid. Gibbie Elliot alone ray” and “ Johnie Armstrong” are sternly refuses, and for specific rea- testimony of another kind to the
pular estimate of the Border chief. “Gae seek your succour where ye paid o' the Side," “ Dick o' the Cow," or
Here we are no longer with “ Jock black mail, For, man! ye ne'er paid money to me."
the bereft owner of the fair Þod
head-all stalwart fighters and capiAuld Jock Grieve, to whose door tal drivers of a foray, but most of he next brings the fray, is married to them with scarce a follower of their his wife's sister, and cannot but do own-retainers rather than leaderssomething; so he mounts the weary who might be described in the acwayfarer on a bonny black, and sends count which Scott makes the mosshim forth. The next is William's trooper give of himself in the Fair Wat, whose gratitude is hearty; for Maid of Perth ; My name is the he never had come by the fair Dod- Devil's Dick of Hellgarth, well head that he had found the basket known in Annandale for a gentle bare. Cheered and strengthened by Johnstone. I follow the stout laird small aids, Jamie goes on to Brank- of Wamphray, who rides with his some, where he makes his woes known kinsman the redoubted laird of Johnto his chief, and then we have indeed stone, who is banded with the no longer the slow movements of the doughty Earl of Douglas.” Above desponding unfortunate, but all the these were a sort of freebooter arisstirring incidents of a Border gather- tocracy, like the owners of the castles ing are brought before us at once :- on the Rhine and Danube-men who “ Alack for wae!" quoth the gude auld lord,
had each a small army, and kept a " And ever my heart is wae for thee!
court. How fine a description have But fye, gar cry on Willie, my son, we of such a predatory little court in And see that he come to me speedilie! the opening stanzas of“ The Song of
the Outlaw Murray,"— a ballad which Gar warn the water, braid and wide, Gar warn it soon and hastily!
we are glad to see has passed ProThey that winna ride for Telfer's kye,
fessor Aytoun's critical ordeal, and is Let them never look in the face o' me! accepted by him as genuine. Warn Wat o' Harden, and his sons,
“ Ettrick Forrest is a fair forrest, Wi' them will Borthwick water ride; In it grows many a seemly tree; Warn Gandilands, and Allanhaugh,
The hart, the hynd, the dae, the rae, And Gilmanscleugh, and Commonside.
And of all wild beasts great plentie.
There a castle's builded of lime and stane, Ride by the gate at Priesthaughswire, O gin it stands not pleasantlie: And warn the Currors o' the Lee;
There's in the forefront of that castle fair, As ye come down the Hermitage Slack, Twa unicorns is braw to see. Warn doughty Willie o' Gorrinberry."
There's the picture of a knight and lady The Scots they rade, the Scots they ran,
bright, Sae starkly and sae steadilie!
And the green holline aboon their bree; And aye the owre-word o' the thrang, There an Outlaw keeps five hundred men, Was- "Rise for Branksome readilie!” He keeps a royal company.
His merry men's in livery clad, The cattle and their escort are Of the Lincoln green is fair to see, overtaken. There is a spirited fight, He and his lady in purple clad;
O gin they live not royallie! with some slaughter, and the party might return with credit, but a wild A still more touching testimony to the high position held by these Bor- pose some faint modern repetition of der chiefs in the national estimation, the execution done by the monarch is supplied by the spirited ballad on these Armstrongs made the object "Johnie Armstrong." The tragedy of a question to the Home Secretary it records is an authentic historical at the present day, and that responevent. The Border chief, not looking sible gentleman to have no more law upon his occupation as either criminal on his side than James V. had when or disreputable, went to meet his king he extirpated the Armstrongs, there with an open, guileless countenance, would be opposition cheers with a attended by a following which impru- witness. Many unjust and cruel dently paraded not only his strength, deeds were done then in Scotland, but his sense of independent autho- in strict conformity with law. But rity. In fact, he went to meet his the hanging of the Armstrongs apsovereign as one of the secondary pears to have been done in the course princes of the Continent might have of that kind of rapid execution by gone to show respect to the supreme which the commander of a force dismonarch to whom he paid homage poses of spies. It is true that, about for his dominion-as, for instance, the date of this transaction, a short Charles of Burgundy went to meet significant entry appears in the reLouis the Eleventh at Peronne. James cords of the Court
of Justiciary, as V. was, however, at that time aggran- preserved by Mr Pitcairn, to this dising the crown of Scotland, and he effect : “ April 1. John Armestrang was little scrupulous as to the me- alias Blak Jok, and Thomas his brothods by which he accomplished his ther, convicted of common theft, object. "It sounds well for respect- reset of theft, &c., - hanged." Alable conventional history to speak though it was not uncommon for the about this sagacious monarch's reso- law thus to vulgarise the occupation lution to strengthen the power of the of the robber chief, yet a comparison executive, to keep in awe the inde- of dates shows that Black Jock must pendent feudal authorities, which have been some remnant of the clan created perpetual anarchy and dis- who had survived the slaughter in turbance throughout his dominions, Liddesdale, and found his way within and, above all, to suppress the bands the pale of the law; and it is pretty of Border marauders, who fostered certain that no record and no form of anarchy at home and enmity abroad. trial solemnised the execution of the But there are evil ways of doing mighty chief and his immediate folthings ultimately wise, and without lowers. Hence a kind of national committing one's self to the opinion grief and indignation were echoed by that Border reiving was a sound na- the minstrel, in the tone of proud tional institution, yet we cannot for- sadness which he throws into the get that a national institution it was, chief's farewell, and the solemn inand that the Armstrongs had no dignation with which his own narrareason to suppose themselves to be tive concludes. criminals. However suddenly and sternly the institution was to be put “ • Wist England's King that I was ta'en, down, its extinction should have been O gin a blythe man he wad be! accomplished with fair notice given, For ance I slew his sister's son, and by fair compulsion; and the tone
And on his breast-bane brak a tree!' in which contemporary narrators take up the matter shows that the king ««• Had I my horse, and my harness good, gained little in the good esteem of And riding as I wont to be, his subjects, by the treacherous It should have been tauld this hundred year, slaughter of one who, as a deadly
The meeting of my King and me! scourge of the English, was reputed God be with thee, Christy, my brother ! a national champion.
Lang live thou laird of Mangertoun ! Then, if these Armstrongs led an Lang mayst thou live on the Border-side, illegal life — doubtless they did so, Ere thou see thybrother ride up and doun. and many acts of Parliament witnessed against them-was there any
And God be with thee, Christy, my son,
Where thou sits on thy nurse's knee ! more law for what they suffered than But an' thou live this hundred year, for what they did ? If we could sup- Thy father's better thou'lt never be.
Fareweel, my bonnie Gilnock-ha',
Highland farm, represents, or used to Where on the Esk thou standest stout; Gif I had lived but seven years mair,
represent, the mansion-house of the I wad have gilt thee round about.'
old domain of Brackley, where the
fierce freebooter Inverey made his Johnie murder'd was at Carlinrigg, And all his gallant companie ;
appearance one morning with a set But Scotland's heart was ne'er so wae,
of red-haired followers, drove off all To see sae mony brave men die.
the cattle, as Donald Bean Lean did
at Tully Veolan, and slew the worthy Because they saved their countrie dear
baron, who came forth in defence of Frae Englishmen: none were sae bauld; While Johnie lived on the Border-side,
his gear. We remember a circle of None of them durst come near his hauld.” stones, on which we were told that
Inverey and his followers sat and There is no such sympathy as this drank after the deed was done. Of with the Highland freebooters. For Inverey's grim old square tower, the the substantial reason already re- remains, giving shelter to a few sheep, ferred to, that, while the Borderers took the fray into England, the Celts ther up among
the mountains, and
may be seen some fifteen miles farplundered the Lowland Scots, these almost beneath the shadow of the are condemned in verse as well as
precipices of Lochnagar. We are prose. It is true that, in the balIad of “Gilderoy,” we find the sen
tempted here to mention a charac
teristic little matter of personal retiment,
collection. Being directed to a hut, “Wae worth the louns that made the laws, where lived a guide, reputed to posTo hang a man for gear;
sess old and curious knowledge about To reive of life for sic a cause
a certain tract of country, there As stealing horse or mear!"
issued from the doorway a figure But these words are put into the which it was difficult to believe so mouth of the outlaw's bereaved wi- humble a tenement could contain. dow; and, as far as the author of Tall he was almost to the giantthe ballad meant them to tell
, are height, but perfectly symmetrical, said more in sarcasm than sincerity and, though past seventy years of age, The tone in which the Highland without any stoop or other trace of reiver's deeds are chronicled is usu- decay, except the grizzling of his ally that of indignation against the long massive locks. He had a large, wrong done, and pity for the suf- full, rich dark eye, a high forehead, ferer, than the kind of fierce exulta- and an aquiline nose, and bore himtion in successful marauding which self with the dignity of a barbarian the Border ballads express. The prince. Happening, in conversation, short sad metrical narrative of the to allude to the family whose name fate of the Baron of Brackley is a he bore, we asked, in the way in fair illustration of this side of the which it is thought that a complidistinction. Brackley, on the east- ment is generally expressed towards ern edge of the north Highlands, was a Highlander, if he were nearly rea domain of a branch of the Gordons. lated to the head of the clan. Like This family, though they had a large Sir Edward Seymour, when compliHighland following, were, like the mented by Charles II. as a member Campbells in the south, a great mid- of the Duke of Somerset's family, the dle power, overawing the unruly clans old man drew himself up yet a little among the mountains behind them higher, and, with a faint blush of through the power of their chief as pride, said he was the head of the a great lord, and able, on the other clan himself, the lineal representative hand, to play a large game in na- of the fallen house of Inverey. It was tional politics by calling out their natural to ask him whether he had Highland strength. Among them ever made the existing head of the reiving was not encouraged, and clan aware that one following his their retainers were among the plun- humble occupation had such claims dered rather than the plunderers. on their kind attention, but he reA small farmhouse, looking down ceived the hint as an exiled prince upon the pleasant watering-village of might any such reference to the Ballater and across to Prince Albert's reigning house. Whether he was justified either in claiming descent tragic fate of those who tempted the from Inverey or the headship of the wrath of the potent lords of Glenurclan for that great freebooter, we chy. Warton, the historian of Engknow not. We have nothing to say lish poetry, had seen a copy of it, in justification of this digression, save and speaks of it as an anonymous that the ballad about Brackley and Scotch poem, which contains capital Inverey happened to recall an inci- touches of satirical humour not indent which impressed itself on the ferior to those of Dunbar and Lindmind as curious and interesting. say.” Warton took the hero to be a And now comes a stanza or two from mere mythical personage, established the pathetic ballad itself, in illustra- as a type of the Highland freebooter. tion of that great difference which we But, to the misfortune of many a have referred to between the popular neighbouring strath, Duncan was an estimation of the Border and of the extremely real person, and his name Highland reiver :
was as familiar in certain courts of
justiciary and regality as those of "Then up gat the baron, and cried for his the Turpins and the Abershaws be
graith; Says, 'Lady, I'll gang, though to leave
came at assize-courts in later times. you I'm laith.
He was a M'Gregor, which is. Come, kiss me, then, Peggy ; and gie me
equivalent to saying that he was enmy spear ;
dowed with a caput lupinum-made I aye was for peace, though I never feard a sort of human wolf, whom it was weir.
lawful sport for all men to hunt, Come, kiss me, then, Peggy; nor think and who might be put to death in me to blame;
any way, with or without torture, I weel may gae out; but I'll never win by a fortunate captor-and no quesin !'
tions asked. His territorial patrony. When Brackley was buskit, and rade o'er mic seems to have been a place called
the closs, A gallanter baron no'er lap to a horse.
Laedassach, whence the poet has
called him Laedius for the benefit When Brackley was mounted and rade o'er of Saxon lips. We find him hard
the green, He was as bold a baron as ever was seen.
pressed by both branches of the hosTho' there cam' wi’ Inverey thirty and bane-and, after in vain seeking re
tile Campbells-Argyll and Breadalthree, There was nane wi' bonnie Brackley but fuge in Lochaber, caught at last by his brother and he.
Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy. Twa gallanter Gordons did nerer sword
The national calamity at Flodden draw:
was the reverse of a calamity to him But against four and thirty, wae's me, --there Glenurchy and many of the what is twa?
Campbells were slain, and, in the Wi' swords and wi' daggers they did him confusion at Lochawe, Duncan mansurround;
aged to escape. Soon afterwards he And they've pierced bonnie Brackley wi' is indicted before the Court of Jusmony a wound.
ticiary for the robbery and murder of Frae the head o' the Dee to the banks o'
two retainers of the Breadalbanes, the Spey, The Gordons may mourn him, and ban both in the same day; the robber Inverey."
took from one of them “ his purs,
and in it the soum of fourtie pounds." There is a poem rather than a But the indictment was a mere ballad, which is not to be found in brutum fulmen, for Duncan's foot Professor Aytoun's collection, and was still on his native heather. The indeed, not being traditionary, would Breadalbane required to strengthen have no legitimate claim to be there, his hands against this audacious and which professes to contain the testa- revengeful depredator; and, accordment and confession of a celebrated ingly, the family titles contain a Highland freebooter. It is called the bond of manrent, or service and retestimony of Duncan Laedius, and tainery, by which two of the Clan has long lain in the archives of the Drummond, and a certain Stewart of house of Breadalbane, among other Ballinderan, bind themselves to the documents commemorative of the special service of hunting him, or as
it is in legal form of style set forth hy he had fallen into this, the last of his some dry technical conveyancer of scrapes, and his fate had come, that that day, they covenant “ with their the freebooter is supposed to give whole power, with their kin, friends, forth his confession and testament. and partakers, to invade and pursue He is penitent to a very edifying to the death Duncan Lacdassach, extent, and solemnly religious. He M'Gregor, Gregor his son, their ser- favours the Reformed creed, not yet vants, partakers, and accomplices; by triumphant, but secretly strengthenreason that they are our deadly ene- ing itself, and an opportunity is taken mies, and our sovereign lady's rebels." for sarcastic taunts against the clergy, The conclusion to the by-feud, which by making the robber dispose of his seems to have been thus establish- vices among those whom they will ed between the MʻGregors and the suit. He leaves to the abbot pride Drummonds, was so more than usu- and arrogance," "with trapped mules ally tragical as to have become his- in court to ride.” To the friars torical. The reader will remember it are bequeathed “flattery and false when told the outlines;-how Drum- dissembling," for "they gloss the mond, the keeper of the forest of Scripture ever when they teach.". In Glenurchy, having gone to get ven- another strain the departing robber ison for the feasting at the mar- bids a sentimental adieu to the variriage of King James, was slain by the ous spots of local interest connected M'Gregors—how they cut off his head with his career ;- the fair straths and swore a deep oath before it in where he found an ample prey—the the Kirk of Glenurchy-how they glens dear to his memory by many a then went to the new-made widow drive of the reft oxen through their demanding hospitality, and the poor sinuosities—his rocky resort at RanHighland woman, having nothing but noch, the retreat of safety—the only bread and cheese to give them, they place that was “richt traist both even indulged her with the sight of her and morn,” and “did him nought behusband's bloody head, with a por- guile when oft he was at the King's tion of the sordid viands stuck into horn." The reader will judge for himthe mouth. But, in the mean time, self by the following specimen, whether the original feud had an odd termina- Warton's eulogium of this long hidden tion, but not an uncommon one, fragment of national literature is juswhen one of the great houses, guid- tified: ed by an aggrandising policy, was one of the parties. Duncan was bought
“ Farewell Glenurchy, with thy forest free;
Farewell Fesnay, that oft my friend has over and taken into the service of the
been, Breadalbane, entering on a bond of Farewell Monich—alass and woe is me, manrent, such as that which had Thou was the ground of all my wo and been devised against him, but in
Farewell Breadalbane and Loch Tay, so more general terms; the chief stating
shene that zeal and love of good conscience Farewell Glenurchy and Glenlyon baith, has prompted him to forgive his My death to you will be but little skaith. enemy, and remit to him all manner
Farewell Glenalmond-garden of pleasof actions and faults; he and his son, ance, on the other hand, fulfilling their For many a fair flower have I fra you bond of manrent to the chief and tane,
Farewell Strathbrann-and have rememhis heirs. How these parties fell out
berance again does not appear, but it is simply
That thou will never mair see Duncan stated that, on the 15th of June again. 1552, “Duncan M'Gregor and his Atholl-Strathtay-of my death be fain, sons Gregor and Malcolm were be- For oft-times I took your readiest geer. headed by Colin Campbell of Glen- Therefore for me see ye greet not ane teer.
Farewell Stratherne-most comely for to urchy, Campbell of Glenlyon, and
knaw, Menzies of Rannoch."* It was when Plenish'd with pleasant policies, preclair
See the Black Book of Breadalbane and Mr Innes's Preface, as printed for the Bannatyne Club, for these incidents. The testament is printed at full length in this volume.