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army of ten thousand men, through Ettrick Forest | in his way, he is frequently alluded to by the writers and Ewsdale. The evil genius of our Johnie Arm- of the time. Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, in the strong, or, as others say, the private advice of some curious play published by Mr. Pinkerton, from the courtiers, prompted him to present himself before Bannatyne MS., introduces a pardoner, or knavish James, at the head of thirty-six horse, arrayed in all dealer in relics, who produces, among his rarities-the pomp of Border chivalry. Pitscottie uses nearly
--"The cordis, bailh grit and lang, the words of the ballad, in describing the splendour
Quhilk hangit Johnie Armistrang, of his equipment, and his bigh expectations of favour
of gude hempt, soft and sound. from the King. “But James, looking upon him
Gude haly pepil, I stand ford,
Wha'evir beis hangit in this cord, steruly, said to his attendants, “What wants that
Neidis never to be drowned !" knave that a king should have?' and ordered him and
PINKERTON'S Scottish Poems, vol. ii. p. 69. his followers to instant execution.”—“But John Armstrong,” continues this minute historian, “made In The Complayni of Scotland, John Armistrangis' great offers to the King. That he should sustain dance, mentioned as a popular tune, has probably himself, with forty gentlemen, ever ready at his ser some reference to our hero. vice, on their own cost, without wronging any Scot The common people of the high parts of Teviottishman : Secondly, that there was not a subject in dale, Liddesdale, and the country adjacent, hold the England, duke, earl, or baron, but, within a certain memory of Johnie Armstrong in very high respect. day, he should bring him to his majesty, either quick They affirm also, that one of his attendants broke or dead.' At length, he seeing no hope of favour, through the King's guard, and carried to Gilnockie said very proudly, 'It is folly to seek grace at a grace-Tower the news of the bloody catastrophe. less face; but,' said he, ‘had I known this, I should This song was first published by Allan Ramsay, in have lived upon the Borders in despite of King Harry his Evergreen, who says, be copied it from the mouth and you both; for I know King Harry would down- of a gentleman, called Armstrong, who was in the weigh my best horse with gold, to know that I were sixth generation from this John. The reciter assured condemned to die this day.”—PitScottie's History, him, that this was the genuine old ballad, the comp. 145. Johnie and all his retinue were accordingly mon one false. By the common one, Ramsay means hanged upon growing trees, at a place called Carlenrig an English ballad upon the same subject, but differing Chapel, about ten miles above Hawick, on the high in various particulars, which is published in Mr. Ritroad to Langholm. The country people believe, that, son's English Songs, vol. ii. It is fortunate for the to manifest the injustice of the execution, the trees admirers of the old ballad, that it did not fall into withered away. Armstrong and his followers were Ramsay's hands when he was equipping with new buried in a deserted churchyard, where their graves sets of words the old Scottish tunes in his Tea-Table are still shown.
Miscellany. Since his time it has been often reAs this Border hero was a person of great note | printed.
· The Borderers, from their habits of life, were capable of most revenge his father's murder. They travelled through England in extraordinary exploits of this nature. In the year 1511, Sir Robert various disguises, till they discovered the place of Starhead's retrcat, Ker of Cessford, Warden of the Middle Marches of Scotland, was murdered him in his bed, and brought his head in triumph to Edinmurdered at a Border meeting, by the bastard Heron, Starhead, burgh, where Ker caused it to be exposed at the Cross. The basand Lilburn. The English monarch delivered up Lilburn to jus tard Ileron would have shared the same fate, had he not spread lice in Scotland, but Heron and Starhead escaped. The latter abroad a report of his having died of the plague, and caused his fuchose his residence in the very centre of England, to bastle the neral obseqnies to be performed. --Ridpath's History, p. 481,vengeance of Ker's clan and followers. Two dependents of the See also metrical Account of the Dallle of Flodden, published by deceased, called Tail, were deputed by Andrew Ker of Cessford to the Rev. Mr. LAMBE.
When Johnie cam before the King,
Wi' a' his men sae brave to see,
He ween'd he was a King as weel as he.
Grace for my loyal men and me? For my name it is Johnie Armstrang,
And a subject of yours, my liege," said he. "Away, away, thou traitor strang!
Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be ! I grantit never a traitor's life,
And now I'll not begin wi’ thee.”-
And a bonny gift I'll gie to thee-
Were a' foal'd in ae yeir to me.
That prance and nicker' at a speir;
As four o' their braid backs dow 3 bear.".
Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be!
And now I'll not begin wi’ thee!” “Grant me my life, my liege, my King!
And a bonny gist I'll gie to thee-
That gang thro' a' the yeir to me.
Sall gang for thee thro' a' the yeir;
As a'thair happers dow to bear."
Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be!
And now I'll not begin wi' thee.”— “Grant me my life, my liege, my King!
And a great great gift I'll gie to thee-
Sall for thee fecht, tho'a' should flee!”.
Out o’my sight soon mayst thou be!
And now I'll not begin wi' thee.”“Grant me my life, my liege, my King!
And a brave gift I'll gie to thee
All between heir and Newcastle town
Sall pay their yeirly rent to thee.”-
Out o' my sight soon mayst thou be!
And now I'll not begin wi' thee."“ Ye lied, ye lied, now, King,” he says, “ Altho' a King and Prince ye
be ! For I've luved naething in my life,
I weel dare say it, but honesty“ Save a fut horse, and a fair woman,
Twa bonny dogs to kill a deir; But England suld have found me meal and mault,
Gif I had lived this hundred yeir!5 " She suld have found me meal and mault,
And beef and mutton in a' plentie; But never a Scots wyfe could have said,
That e'er I skath’d her a puir flee.
Surely it is a greit folie-
But there is nane for my men and me! 6 “ But had I kennd ere I cam frae hame,
How thou unkind wadst been to me! I wad have keepit the Border side,
In spite of all thy force and thee. “ Wist England's King that I was ta'en,
O gin a blythe man he wad he! For anes I slew his sister's son,
And on his breist bane brak a trie."John wore a girdle about his middle,
Imbroider'd ower wi' burning gold,
Maist beautiful was to behold.
And ilk ane worth three hundred pound" What wants that knave that a King suld have,
But the sword of honour and the crown? “O where got thou these targats, Johnie,
That blink 8 sae brawly abune thy brie?”. “I gat them in the field fechting,
Where, cruel King, thou durst not be. “ Had I my horse, and harness gude,
And riding as I wont to be,
The meeting of my King and me!
fidelity, and even soltened their mutual hostility, by the tacit ina Gill-Gold.-3 Dow-Are able to.- Ganging-Going. troduction of certain laws of honour and of war. In these traits,
5 [“ If this collection had no other merit than that of preserving we seem to be reading the description of a Tartarian or Arabic the meinorials of manners that can never return, it would be en tribe, and can scarcely persuade ourselves that this cunntry contitled to considerable praise. Subsisting by rapine, which they lained, within these two centuries, so exact a prototype of the accounted lawful and honourable, they blolied honesty out of the Bedouin character."-Edinburgh Review (Sir John Stoddart) for list of their virtues, at the same time that they were trained, by February 1803.) their perilous expeditions, to a high degree of enterprising courage, 6 (This and ihe threc preceding stanzas were among those that activity, and finesse. The insecurity of their possessions made Sir Walter Scott most delighted to quote.-ED.) them free and hospitable in their expenditure; and the common 7 Targuts-Tassels. danger bound the several clans together by assurances of inviolable 8 Brink sae brawlic-Glance so bravely.
at the pen.
“God be with thee, Kirsty,' my brother,
lord and his airis to have free regress and ingress to the nonentres Lang live thou Laird of Mangertoun!
of the samyn, but ony pley or impediment. To the keeping and
fulfilling of all and sundry the premisses, in form above writtin, Lang mayst thou live on the Border syde,
I bind and obliss me and my airis foresaids, to the said lord and Ere thou see thy brother ride up and down! his airis for evermare, be the faithis freuthis in our bodies, but " And God be with thee, Kirsty, my son,
fraud or gile. In witness of the whilk thing, to thir letters of
manrent subscrievit, with my hand at the pen, my sele is hangin, Where thou sits on thy nurse's knee!
at Dumfries, the secund day of November, the yeir of God, MD. But an thou live this hundred yeir,
and XXV. yeiris. Thy father's better thou’lt never be.
JOUNE ARMISTRANG, with my hand “Farewell! my bonny Gilnock hall, Where on Esk side thou standest stout!
The lands, here mentioned, were the possessions of Armstrong Gif I had lived but seven yeirs mair,
himself, the investitures of which not having been regularly re
newed, the feudal casually of non-entry had been incurred by the I wad hae gilt thee round about."
vassal. The brother of Johne Armstrong is said to liave founded, John murder'd was at Carlinrigg,
or rather repaired, Langholm castle, before which, as mentioned
in the hallad, verse 5:h, they “ran their horse," and " brak their And all his gallant companie;
spears," in the exercise of Boriler chivalry.- Account of the PaBut Scotland's heart was ne'er sae wae,
rish of Langholm, apud Macfariune's Mss. The lands of Lang. To see sae mony brave men die
holm and Staplegorton continued in Armstrung's family ; for there
is in the same MS. collection a similar bond of manrent, granted Because they saved their country deir
by “Cristofer Armstrang, calit Johne's Pope," on 24th January, Frae Englishmen! Nane were so bauld,
1557. to Lord J bne Lord Maxwell, and to Sir Johne Maxwell of
Terrrglis, Knight, his tutor and governor, in return for the gift Whyle Johnie lived on the Border syde,
of the males of all and haill the landis whilk are conteint in ane Nane of them durst cum neir his bauld. bond made by umquhile Juhne Armistrang, my father, to unguhile
Robert, Lori Maxwell, gidshore to the said Johne, now Lord
granted by Jolin Armstrong, had been the price of his release from SUPPLEMENT
the feudal penalty arising fr m his having neglected to procure a regular investiture from his superior. As Johnc only louched the pen, it appears that he could not write.
Christopher Armstrong, above mentioned, is the person alluded BALLAD OF JOHNIE ARMSTRANG.
lo in the conclusion of the ballad-"God be with thee, Kirsty, my son."
He was the father, or grandfather, of William ArmThe Editor believes his readers will not be displeased to see a strong, called christie's W'ill, a renowned freebooter, some of Bond of Manrent, granted by this Border freebooter to the Scottish
whose exploits the reader will find recorded in another part of Warden of the West Marches, in return for the gift of a fendal this work. casualty of certain lands particularized. It is extracted from Syme's
Mr. Ellis of Otterbourne has kindly pointed out the following inColleclions of old Wrilings, MS., penes Dr. Robert Anderson, of stance of the ferocity of the Armstrongs, which occurs in the conEdinburgh.
fession of one Jolin Weir, a prisoner in the tolbooth of Edinburgh, BOND OF MANRENT.
under sentence of death, in 1700 : “In May, 1700, John Weire
went to Grandee Knows, (near Hallwhistle, in Northumberland,) Be it kend till all men, be thir present letters, me, Johne Arini to the mother of the four brethren the Armstrongs, which Armstranz, for to be bound and obiisi, and be the lcnor of Thir present strongs, and the aforesaid Burey, did cut the tongue and ear out of letters, and faith and trewih in my body, lelie and trewlie, bindis William Turner, for informing that they were bad persons, which and obiis is me and myn airis, 10 anc nobil and michtie lord, Turner wrote with his blood that they had osed him so."-Weire Robert Lord Maxwell, Wardane of the West Marches of Scotlanil, also mentions one Thomas Armstrong, called Luck i' the Baga, that, forasmikle as my said lord has given and grantit 10 me, and who lived in Cumberland. The extent of their depredations in mine airs perpetmallie, the non-entries of all and haill the landis
horse-stealing seems to bave been astonishing. noderwritten, that is to say, thc landis of Dalbethi, Shield, Da!blane, Stapil-Goriówn, Langholme, and **...,
***, with their pertindis, Iyand in the lordship of Eskdale, as his gilt maid to me, thereupon beris in the self: and that for all the tyme of the nonentres of the
LORD EWRIE. gamyn. Theirlor, I, the said Johnne Armistrang, bindis and oblissis me and myne airis, in manrcnt and service to the said Robert Lord Maxwell and his airis, for evermair, first and before Sir Ralph Evre, or Ewrie, or Evers, commemoall othirs, myne allegiance to cur soverane lord the King, allanerly rated in the following lines, was one of the bravest except; and to be Trewe, gnde, and lele servant lo my said lord,
men of a military race. He was son of the first, and be ready to do bim service, baith in pece and weir, with all
and father of the second Lord Ewrie; and was himnmy kyn, friends, and servantes, that I may and dowe to raise, and beand lo my said lord's airis for evermair. And sall tak his true
self created a Lord of Parliament during his father's and plane part in all maner of actions at myn outer power, and lifetime, in the 35th year of Henry VIII. The ballad sall nouther wit, hear, nor se my said lordis skaith, lak, nor
is apparently a strain of gratulation upon that event. dishonestie, but we sall stop and lett the samyn, and geif we dowe not let the samyo, we sall warn him thereof in all possible baist;
The poct, or more probably the reciter, has made and heiß it happenis me, the said Johne Armistrang, or myne airis, some confusion in the lineage, by declaring that his to fail in our said service and manrent, any manner of way, to our hero was “married upon a Willoughbé.” His mosaid lord, ( as God forbid we do, ) than, and in that case, the gift ther, however, was of that family, and he was “kin and nonentres maid be him to us, of the said landis of Dalbeiht, Schield, Dalblane, Slapil-Gortown, Langholme, and *****, with
to the Nevil and to the Percy.” He was ennobled the pertinentis, to be of no avale, force, nor effect; but the said | by Henry, on account of the vigour with which he
prosecuted the Border warfare. But after "harrying
THE LOCHMABEN HARPER. the Mers and Tiviotdale, and knocking at Edinburgh
NOW FIRST POBLISHED. [1802.] gate,” Lord Ewrie was slain in the battle of Ancram Moor, fought between him and the Earl of Angus, The Castle of Lochmaben was formerly a noble in 1546.' See Note to the Eve of St. John,-post. building, situated upon a peninsula, projecting into
This song was written down by my obliging friend, one of the four lakes which are in the neighbourhood Richard Surtees, Esq. of Mainsforth, from the re of the royal burghi, and is said to have been the resicitation of Rose Smith, of Bishop Middleham, a dence of Robert Bruce, while Lord of Annandale. woman aged upwards of ninety-one, whose hus- Accordingly it was always held to be a royal fortress, band's father and two brothers were killed in the the keeping of which, according to the custom of affair of 1715.
the times, was granted to some powerful lord, with an allotment of lands and fishings, for the defence
and maintenance of the place. There is extant a LORD EWRIE.
grant, dated 16th March, 1511, to Robert Lauder of
the Bass, of the office of Captain and keeper of LochLord Ewrie was as brave a man
maben Castle, for seven years, with many perquiAs ever stood in his degree;
sites. Among others, the “lands stolen frae the The King has sent him a broad letter,
King,” are bestowed on the Captain, as his proper All for his courage and loyalty.'
lands. What shall we say of a country, where the Lord Ewrie is of gentill blode,
very ground was a subject of theft ?
O heard ye na o' the silly blind Harper,
How long he lived in Lochmaben town?
And how he wad gang to fair England,
To steal the Lord Warden's Wanton Brown? At Flodden field, as men do say,
But first he gaed to his gude wyfe,
Wi'a'the haste that he could thole-7
“This wark,” quo’he, “will ne'er gae weel, When Thomas Ruthal bore the sway :
Without a mare that has a foal.” —
Quo' she—“Thou hast a gude gray mare,
That can baith lance o'er laigh and hie;
Sae set thee on the gray mare's back,
And leave the foal at hame wi' me.”-
So he is up to England gane,
And even as fast as he may drie;8
And when he cam to Carlisle gate,
O whae was there but the Warden hie?
"Come into my hall, thou silly blind Harper, When Lord Ewrie kept Berwick town.
And of thy harping let me hear!”With our Queene's brother he hath been,
“O, by my sooth," quo' the silly blind Harper, And rode rough shod through Scotland of late;
“I wad rather hae stabling for iny mare." They have burn'd the Mers and Tiviotdale, The Warden look'd ower bis left shoulder, And knocked full loud at Edinburgh gate.
And said unto his stable groom
“Gae take the silly blind Harper's mare, Now the King hath sent him a broad letter, A Lord of Parliament to be :
And tie her beside my Wanton Brown."
Then aye he harped, and aye he carped,
Till a' the lordlings footed the floor;
( He was buried in Melrose Abbey, and his stone coffin may still be seen there-a little to the left of the Great Altar.-ED.)
[The author of the history of Durham.-ED.) 3 Palent letters of nubility.
4 Sir Williain Bulmer, of Burnspeth Castle, who is here said to have commanded the troops raised in the Bishopric, in the battle of Floddenfield, was descended from an ancient, and, at one period, noble family. The last who was summoned to Parliament as a Peer of the realm, was Ralph, from 1st till 23d Edward III. William routed the Borderers, who, under the command of Lord
Home, made an excursion into Northumberland, previous to the battle of Flodden. He is mentioned in the Metrical History of the Baltle, v. 103, etc. In the present ballad, he is crroneously denominated Sir Ralph Bulmer.
5 ( Habs-i. e. halberts; spears.]
6 The Earl of Hertford, afterwards Duke of Somerset, and brother of Queen Jane Seymour, made a furious incursion into Scotland, in 1545. See Introduction.