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throwne him off his horse, beate him, and dragged him in the
NOTE P. durt in the most miserable manner, meaning to have slaine
In Holy-Rood a Knight he slew.-P. 195. him, had not a companie of mastiue dogges that came unlookt uppon them defended and redeemed him from their crueltie. This was by no means an uncommon occurrence in the When with sorrow he was ashamed to see dogges more hu
Court of Scotland; nay, the presence of the sovereign himself mane than they. And giuing thankes to Almightie God, he scarcely restrained the ferocions and inveterate feuds wbich sensibly againe perceiued that the tunes of his violl had ginen were the perpetual source of bloodshed among the Scottish him a warning of future accidents."'-Flower of the Lives of nobility. The following instance of the murder of Sir Wilthe most renowned Saincts of England, Scotland, and Ire- liam Staart of Ochiltree, called The Bloody, by the celebrated land, by the R. FATHER HIEROME PORTER. Doway, 1632,
Francis, Earl of Bothwell, may be produced among many : 4to. tome i. P. 438.
but as the offence given in the royal court will hardly bear a The same supernatural circumstance is alluded to by the vernacular translation, I shall leave the story in Jobnstone's anonymous author of " Grim, the Collier of Croydon." Latiit, referring for farther particulars to the naked simplicity
of Birrell's Diary, 30th July, 1588. [Dunstan's harp sounds on the wall).
" Mors improbi hominis non tam ipsa immerita, quam “Forest. Hark, hark, my lords, the holy abbot's harp pessimo exemplo in publicum, fædè perpetrata. Gulielmus Sounds by itself so hanging on the wall !
Stuartus Alkiltrius, Arani frater, naturâ ac moribus, cu“Dunstan. Unhallow'd man, that scorn'st the sacred rede, jus sepius memini, vulgo propter sitem sanguinis sanguiHark, how the testimony of my truth
narius dictus, à Bothvelio, in Sanctæ Crucis Regid, etardeSounds heavenly music with an angel's hand,
scente ird, pendacii probro lacessitus, obscenum osculum To testify Dunstan's integrity
liberius retorquebat; Bothvelius hanc contumeliam lacitus And prove thy active boast of no effect."
tulit, sed ingentum irarum molem animo concepit. Utrinque postridie Edinburgi conventum, totidem numero comitibus armatis, præsidii causa, et acriter pugnatum est ; cete
ris amicis et clientibus metu torpentibus, aut vi absterritis, NOTE O.
ipse Stuartus fortissimè dimicat; tandem ercusso gladio à
Bothvelio, Scythica feritate transfoditur, sine cujusquam Ere Douglases, to ruin driven,
misericordiâ ; habuit itaque quem debuit exitum. Digaus Were eziled from their native heaven.-P. 194.
erat Stuartus qui pateretur ; Bothvelius qui faceret. VulThe downfall of the Douglases of the house of Angus during gus sanguinem sanguine prædicabit, et horum cruore innocthe reign of James V. is the event alluded to in the text. The
uorum manibus egregiè parcntatum."--JOHNSTONI Historia Earl of Angus, it will be remembered, had married the queen
Rerum Britannicarum, ab anno 1572 ad annum 1698. Amdowager, and availed himself of the right which he thus ac
stelodami, 1655, fol. p. 135. quired, as well as of his extensive power, to retain the king in a sort of tutelage, which approached very near to captivity. Several open attempts were made to rescue James from this
NOTE Q. thraldom, with which he was well known to be deeply disgusted; but the valor of the Douglases and their allies gave
The Douglas, like a stricken deer, them the victory in every conflict. At length the King, while
Disown'd by every noble peer.-P. 195. residing at Falkland, contrived to escape by night out of his The exile state of this powerful race is not exaggerated in own court and palace, and rode full speed to Stirling Castle, this and subsequent passages. The haired of James against where the governor, who was of the opposite faction, joyfully the race of Douglas was so inveterate, that numerous as their received bim. Being thus at liberty, James speedily sum- allies were, and disregarded as the regal aathority had usually moned around him such peers as he knew to be most inimical been in similar cases, their nearest friends, even in the most to the domination of Angus--and laid his complaint before remote parts of Scotland, durst not entertain them, unless onthem, says Pitscottie, "with great lamentation ; showing to der the strictest and closest disguise. James Douglas, son of them how be was holden in subjection, thir years bygone, by the banished Earl of Angus, afterwards well known by the the Earl of Angus and his kin and friends, who oppressed the title of Earl of Morton, larked, during the exile of his family, whole country and spoiled it, ander the pretence of justice and in the north of Scotland, under the assumed name of James his authority; and had slain many of his lieges, kinsmen, and Innes, otherwise James the Grieve (i. e. Reve or Bailiff). friends, because they would have had it mended at their hands, “And as he bore the name," says Godscroft, “ so did he also and put him at liberty, as he ought to have been, at the coun- execute the office of a grieve or overseer of the lands and sel of his whole lords, and not have been subjected and
rents, the corn and cattle of him with whom he lived." From corrected with no particular men, by the rest of his nobles. the habits of frugality and observation which he acquired in Therefore, said he, I desire, my lords, that I may be satisfied his humble situation, the historian traces that intimate acof the said earl, his kin, and friends ; for I avow that Scotland
quaintance with popular character which enabled him to rise shall not hold us both while si. e. till] I be revenged on him so high in the state, and that honorable economy by which he and his.
repaired and established the shattered estates of Angus and “The lords, hearing the king's complaint and lamentation, Morton.- History of the House of Douglas, Edinburgh, and also the great rage, fury, and malice that he bore towards
1743, vol. ii. p. 160. the Earl of Angus, his kin and friends, they concluded all, and thought it best that he should be summoned to underly the law; if he found no caution, nor yet compear himself, that he should be put to the horn, with all his kin and friends, so
NOTE R. many as were contained in the letters. And farther, the lords ordained, by advice of his majesty, that his brother and friends
- Maronnan's cell.-P. 195. should be summoned to find caution to underly the law within The parish of Kilmaronock, at the eastern extremity of Loch a certain day, or else be put to the horn. But the earl ap- Lomond, derives its name from a cell or chapel, dedicated to peared not, nor none for him; and so he was put to the horn, Saint Maronock, or Marnock, or Maronnan, about whose with all his kin and friends : so many as were contained in sanctity very little is now remembered. There is a fountain the summons that compeared not were banished, and holden devoted to him in the same parish ; but its virtues, like the traitors to the king."
merits of its patron, have fallen into oblivion.
consequence whereof good fortune deserted it. As he an
sheathed Skofnung, it emitted a hollow murmur."-Bartho-Bracklinn's thundering wave.-P. 195.
lini de Causis Contemptæ a Danis adhuc Gentilibus Mortis, This is a beantiful cascade made by a mountain stream Libri Tres. Hofniæ, 1689, 4to. p. 574. called the Keltie, at a place called the Bridge of Bracklinn, To the history of this sentient and prescient weapon, I beg about a mile from the village of Callender in Menteith. Above leave to add, from memory, the following legend, for which I a chasm, where the brook precipitates itself from a height of cannot produce any better authority. A young nobleman, of at least fifty feet, there is thrown, for the convenience of the high hopes and fortune, chanced to lose his way in the town neighborhood, a rustic footbridge, of about three feet in which he inhabited, the capital, if I mistake not, of a German breadth, and without ledges, which is scarcely to be crossed province. He had accidentally involved himself among the by a stranger without awe and apprehension.
narrow and winding streets of a suburb, inhabited by the lowest order of the people, and an approaching thundershower determined him to ask a short refuge in the most decent hab
itation that was near him. He knocked at the door, which NOTE T.
was opened by a tall man, of a grisly and ferocious aspect,
and sordid dress. The stranger was readily ushered to a chamFor Tine-man forged by fairy lore.-P. 196.
ber, where swords, scourges, and machines, which seemed to Archibald, the third Earl of Douglas, was so unfortunate be implements of torture, were suspended on the wall. One in all his enterprises, that he acquired the epithet of Tine- of these swords dropped from its scabbard, as the nobleman, XAN, because he tined, or lost, his followers in every battle after a moment's hesitation, crossed the threshold. His host which he fought. He was vanquished, as every reader must immediately stared at him with such a marked expression, remember, in the bloody battle of Homildon-hill, near Wooler, that the young man could not help demanding his name and where he himself lost an eye, and was made prisoner by Hot- business, and the meaning of his looking at him so fixedly. spur. He was no less unfortunate when allied with Percy, “I am," answered the man, " the public executioner of this being wounded and taken at the battle of Shrewsbury. He city; and the incident you have observed is a syre angury was so unsuccessful in an attempt to besiege Roxburgh Castle that I shall, in discharge of my duty, one day cut off your that it was called the Foul Raid, or disgraceful expedition. head with the weapon which has just now spontaneously unHis ill fortune left him indeed at the battle of Beauge in sheathed itself.” The nobleman lost no time in leaving his France; but it was only to return with double emphasis at the place of refuge ; but, engaging in some of the plots of the sabsequent action of Vernoil, the last and most unlucky of period, was shortly after decapitated by that very man and his encounters, in which he fell, with the flower of the Scot- instrument. tish chivalry, then serving as auxiliaries in France, and about Lord Lovat is said, by the aathor of the Letters from Scottwo thousand common soldiers, A. D. 1424.
land, to have affirmed, that a number of swords that hung up in the hall of the mansion-house, leaped of themselves out of the scabbard at the instant he was born. The story passed
current among his clan, but, like that of the story I have just NOTE U.
quoted, proved an unfortunate omen.- Letters from Scotland,
vol, ii. p. 214. Did, self-unscabbarded, foroshow
The footstep of a secret foe.-P. 196. The ancient warriors, whose hope and confidence rested chiefly in their blades, were accustomed to deduce omens
NOTE V. from them, especially from such as were supposed to have
Those thrilling sounds that call the might been fabricated by enchanted skill, of which we have various
Of old Clan-Alpine to the fight.-P. 196. instances in the romances and legends of the time. The wonderful sword SKOFNUNG, wielded by the celebrated Hrolf The connoisseurs in pipe-music affect to discover in a wellKraka, was of this description. It was deposited in the tomb composed pibroch, the imitative sounds of march, conflict, of the monarch at his death, and taken from thence by Skeg- flight, pursuit, and all the “current of a heady fight." To go, a celebrated pirate, who bestowed it upon his son-in-law, this opinion Dr. Beattie has given his suffrage, in the following Kormak, with the following curious directions :—“. The man- elegant passage :-"A pibroch is a species of tune, peculiar, ber of using it will appear strange to you. A small bag is at- I think, to the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland. It tached to it, which take heed not to violate. Let not the rays is performed on a bagpipe, and differs totally from all other of the sun touch the upper part of the handle, nor unsheathe music. Its rhythm is so irregular, and its notes, especially in it, unless thou art ready for battle. But when thou comest to the quick movement, so mixed and huddled together, that a the place of fight, go aside from the rest, grasp and extend the stranger finds it impossible to reconcile his ear to it, so as to sword, and breathe upon it. Then a small worm will creep perceive its modulation. Some of these pibrochs, being inout of the handle ; lower the bandle, that he may more easily tended to represent a battle, begin with a grave motion resemreturn into it.' Kormak, after having received the sword, re- bling a march; then gradually quicken into the onset ; run off turned home to his mother. He showed the sword, and at- with noisy confusion, and turbulent rapidity, to imitate the tempted to draw it, as unnecessarily as ineffectually, for he conflict and pursuit; then swell into a few flourishes of triumcould not pluck it out of the sheath. His mother, Dalla, ex- phant joy; and perhaps close with the wild and slow wailings claimed, 'Do not despise the counsel given to thee, my son.' of a funeral procession."- Essay on Laughter and Ludin Kormak, however, repeating his efforts, pressed down the han- crous Composition, chap. iii. Note. dle with his feet, and tore off the bag, when Skofnung emitted a hollow groan : but still he could not unsheathe the sword. Kormak then went out with Bessus, whom he had challenged to fight with him, and drew apart at the place of combat. He sat down upon the ground, and ungirding the sword, which he
NOTE W. bore above his vestments, did not remember to shield the hilt from the rays of the sun. In vain he endeavored to draw it,
Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe !–P. 197. till be placed his foot against the hilt; then the worm issued Besides his ordinary name and surname, which were chiefly from it. But Kormak did not rightly handle the weapon, in
used in the intercourse with the Lowlands, every Highland
chief had an epithet expressive of his patriarchal dignity as there happened great dissensions and troubles between the laird head of the clan, and which was common to all his predeces of Luss, chief of the Colquhouns, and Alexander, laird of Macsors and successors, as Pharaoh to the kings of Egypt, or Ar gregor. The original of these quarrels proceeded from injuries saces to those of Parthia. This name was usually a patro- and provocations mutually given and received, not long before. nymic, expressive of his descent from the founder of the family. Macgregor, however, wanting to have them ended in friendly Thus the Duke of Argyle is called MacCallum More, or the conferences, marched at the head of two hundred of his clan son of Colin the Great. Sometimes, however, it is derived to Leven, which borders on Luss, his country, with a view of from armorial distinctions, or the memory of some great feat ; settling matters by the mediation of friends : but Luss had no thus Lord Seaforth, as chief of the Mackenzies, or Clan-Ken- such intentions, and projected his measures with a different net, bears the epithet of Caber-fae, or Buck's Head, as repre- view; for he privately drew together a body of 300 horse and 500 sentative of Colin Fitzgerald, founder of the family, who foot, composed partly of his own clan and their followers, and saved the Scottish king when endangered by a stag. But partly of the Buchanans, his neighbors, and resolved to cut off besides this title, which belonged to his office and dignity, the Macgregor and his party to a man, in case the issue of the conchieftain had usually another peculiar to himself, which dis- ference did not answer his inclination. But matters fell other tinguished him from the chieftains of the same race. This wise than he expected; and though Macgregor had previous was sometimes derived from complexion, as dhu or roy; information of his insidious design, yet dissembling his resentsometimes from size, as beg or more; at other times from some ment, he kept the appointment, and parted good friends in peculiar exploit, or from some peculiarity of habit or appear appearance, ance. The line of the text therefore signifies,
“No sooner was he gone, than Luss, thinking to surprise Black Roderick, the descendant of Alpine.
him and his party in full security, and without any
apprehension of his treachery, followed with all speed, and The song itself is intended as an imitation of the jorrams, came up with him at a place called Glenfroon. Macgregor, or boat-songs, of the Highlanders, which were usually com- upon the alarm, divided his men into two parties, the greatposed in honor of a favorite chief. They are so adapted as est part whereof be commanded himself, and the other he to keep time with the sweep of the oars, and it is easy to dis- committed to the care of his brother John, wbo, by his or tinguish between those intended to be sung to the oars of a ders, led them about another way, and attacked the Coldugalley, where the stroke is lengthened and doubled, as it houns in flank. Here it was fought with great bravery on were, and those which were timed to the rowers of an ordi- both sides for a considerable time; and, not withstanding the nary boat.
vast disproportion of numbers, Macgregor, in the end, ob tained an absolute victory. So great was the rout, that 200 of the Colquhouns were left dead upon the spot, most of the leading men were killed, and a multitude of prisoners taken. But what seemed most surprising and incredible in this defeat,
was, that none of the Macgregors were missing, except John, NOTE X.
the laird's brother, and one common fellow, though indeed
many of them were wounded.”—Professor Ross's History of The best of Loch Lomond lie dead on her side.-P. 197.
the family of Sutherland, 1631.
The consequences of the battle of Glen-fruin were very The Lennox, as the district is called, which encircles the calamitous to the family of Macgregor, who had already been lower extremity of Loch Lomond, was peculiarly exposed to considered as an unruly clan. The widows of the slain Colthe incursions of the mountaineers, who inhabited the inac- quhouns, sixty, it is said, in number, appeared in doleful processible fastnesses at the upper end of the lake, and the neigh- cession before the King at Stirling, each piding upon a white boring district of Loch Katrine. These were often marked by palfrey, and bearing in her hand the bloody shirt of her huscircumstances of great ferocity, of which the noted conflict of band displayed upon a pike. James VI. was so much mored Glen-fruin is a celebrated instance. This was a clan-battle, in by the complaints of this “choir of mourning dames," that which the Macgregors, headed by Allaster Macgregor, chief of he let loose his vengeance against the Macgregors, without the clan, encountered the sept of Colquhouns, commanded either bounds or moderation. The very name of the clan by Sir Humphry Colquhoun of Luss. It is on all hands was proscribed, and those by whom it had been borne were allowed that the action was desperately fought, and that the given up to sword and fire, and absolately hunted down by Colquhouns were defeated with great slaughter, leaving two bloodhounds like wild beasts. Argyle and the Campbells, on hundred of their name dead upon the field. But popular tra- the one hand, Montrose, with the Grahames and Bucbanas, dition has added other horrors to the tale. It is said that Sir on the other, are said to have been the chief instruments in Humphry Colquhoun, wbo was on horseback, escaped to the suppressing this devoted clan. The Laird of Macgregor ser castle of Benechra, or Banochar, and was next day dragged rendered to the former, on condition that he would take him out and murdered by the victorious Macgregors in cold blood. out of Scottish ground. But, to use Birrell's expression, he Buchanan of Auchmar, however, speaks of his slaughter as a kept “a Highlandman's promise ;” and, although he fulfilled subsequent event, and as perpetrated by the Macfarlanes. his word to the letter, by carrying him as far as Berwick, he Again, it is reported that the Macgregors murdered a number afterwards brought him back to Edinburgh, where be wa of youths, whom report of the intended battle had brought to executed with eighteen of his clan."-BIRREL's Diery, be spectators, and whom the Colquhouns, anxious for their Oct. 1603. The Clan-Gregor being thus driven to utter de safety, had shut up in a barn to be out of danger. One ac- spair, seem to have renounced the laws from the benefit of count of the Macgregors denies this circumstance entirely : an- which they were excluded, and their depredations produced other ascribes it to the savage and blood-thirsty disposition of a new acts of council, 'confirming the severity of their proscrip single individual, the bastard brother of the Laird of Macgregor, tion, which had only the effect of rendering them still more who amused himself with this second massacre of the innocents, united and desperate. It is a most extraordinary proof of in express disobedience to their chief, by whom he was left the ardent and invincible spirit of clanship, that, not withtheir guardian during the pursuit of the Colquhouns. It is standing the repeated proscriptions providently ordained by added, that Macgregor bitterly lamented this atrocious action, the legislature, " for the timeous preventing the disorders and prophesied the ruin which it must bring upon their ancient and oppression that may fall out by the said name and elan clan. The following account of the conflict, which is indeed of Macgregors, and their followers," they were in 1715 and drawn up by a friend of the Clan-Gregor, is altogether silent 1745 a potent clan, and continue to subsist as a distinct and on the murder of the youths.“ In the spring of the year 1602,
NOTE Y. - The King's vindictive pride Boasts to have tamed the Border-side.-P. 199. In 1529, James V. made a convention at Edinburgh for the purpose of considering the best mode of quelling the Border robbers, who, during the license of his minority, and the troubles which followed, had committed many exorbitances. Accordingly, he assembled a flying army of ten thousand men, consisting of his principal nobility and their followers, who were directed to bring their hawks and dogs with them, that the monarch might refresh himself with sport during the intervals of military execution. With this array he swept through Ettrick Forest, where he hanged over the gate of his own castle, Piers Cockburn of Henderland, who had prepared, according to tradition, a feast for his reception. He caused Adam Scott of Toshielaw also to be executed, who was distingaished by the title of King of the Border. But the most noted victim of justice, during that expedition, was John Armstrong of Gilnockie,' famous in Scottish song, who, confiding in his own supposed innocence, met the King, with a retinue of thirty-six persons, all of whom were hanged at Carienrig, near the source of the Teriot. The effect of this seventy was such, that, as the vulgar expressed it, “the rushbush kept the cow," and, “ thereafter was great peace and rest a long time, wherethrough the King had great profit; for he had ten thousand sheep going in the Eurick Forest in keeping by Andrew Bell, who made the King as good count of them as they had gone in the bounds of Fife."-PiscotTIE's History, p. 153.
By fate of Border chivalry.-P. 199. James was in fact equally attentive to restrain rapine and feodal oppression in every part of his dominions.
" The king past to the Isles, and there held justice courts, and punished both thief and traitor according to their demerit. And also he caused great men to show their holdings, wherethrough he found many of the said lands in non-entry ; the which he confiscate and brought home to his own use, and afterwards annexed them to the crown, as ye shall hear. Syne brought many of the great men of the Isles captive with him, such as Madyart, M.Connel, M'Loyd of the Lewes, M'Neil, M.Lane, M·latosh, John Madyart, M.Kay, M.Kenzie, with many other that I cannot rehearse at this time. Some of them he put in ward and some in court, and some he took pledges for good role in time coming. So he brought the Isles, both north and south, in good rule and peace; wherefore he had great profit, service, and obedience of people a long time thereafter; and as long as he had the heads of the country in subjection, they lived in great peace and rest, and there was great riches and polies by the King's justice."-PITSCOTTIE, p. 152.
NOTE 2 A.
Rest safe till morning; pity 'twere
Such cheek should feel the midnight air.-P. 201. Hardihood was in every respect so essential to the character of a Highlander, that the reproach of effeminacy was the most bitter which could be thrown upon him. Yet it was sometimes hazarded on what we might presume to think slight grounds. It is reported of Old Sir Ewen Cameron of
Lochiel, when upwards of seventy, that he was surprised by night on a bunting or military expedition. He wrapped him in his plaid, and lay contentedly down upon the snow, with which the ground happened to be covered. Among his attendants, who were preparing to take their rest in the same manner, he observed that one of his grandsons, for his better accommodation, bad rolled a large snow-ball, and placed it below his head. The wrath of the ancient chief was awakened by a symptom of what he conceived to be degenerate luxury. -"Out upon thee," said he, kicking the frozen bolster from the head which it supported; "art thou so effeminate as to need a pillow ?" The officer of engineers, whose curious letters from the Highlands have been more than once quoted, tells a similar story of Macdonald of Keppoch, and subjoins the following remarks :-“This and many other stories are romantic; but there is one thing, that at first thought might seem very romantic, of which I have been credibly assured, that when the Highlanders are constrained to lie among the hills, in cold dry windy weather, they sometimes soak the plaid in some river or barn (i. e. brook), and then, holding up a corner of it a little above their heads, they turn themselves round and round, till they are enveloped by the whole mantle. They then lay themselves down on the heath, upon the leeward side of some hill, where the wet and the warmth of their bodies make a steam like that of a boiling kettle. The wet, they say, keeps them warm by thickening the stuff, and keeping the wind from penetrating. I must confess I should have been apt to question this fact, had I not frequently seen them wet from morning to night, and even at the beginning of the rain, not so much as stir a few yards to shelter, but continue in it without necessity, till they were, as we say, wet through and through. And that is soon effected by the loose ness and sponginess of the plaiding ; but the bonnet is frequently taken off and wrung like a dish-clout, and then put on again. They have been accustomed from their infancy to be often wet, and to take the water like spaniels, and this is become a second nature, and can scarcely be called a hardship to them, insomuch that I used to say, they seemed to be of the duck kind, and to love water as well. Though I never saw this preparation for sleep in windy weather, yet, setting out early in a morning from one of the huts, I have seen the marks of their lodging, where the ground has been free from rime or snow, which remained all round the spot where they had lain.”—Letters from Scotland, Lond. 1754, 8vo. ii.
NOTE 2 B.
his henchman came.-P. 201.
"This officer is a sort of secretary, and is to be ready, upon all occasions, to venture his life in defence of his master; and at drinking-bouts he stands behind his seat, at his haunch, from whence his title is derived, and watches the conversation, to see if any one offends his patron. An English officer being in company with a certain chieftain, and several other Highland gentlemen, near Killichumen, had an argument with the great man; and both being well warmed with usky,' at last the dispute grew very hot. A youth who was henchman, not understanding one word of English, imagined his chief was insulted, and thereupon drew his pistol from his side, and snapped it at the officer's head : but the pistol missed fire, otherwise it is more than probable he might have suffered death from the hand of that little vermin. But it is very disagreeable to an Englishman over a bottle, with the Highlanders, to see every one of them have his gilly, that is, his servant, standing behind him all the while, let what will be the subject of conversation." -Letters from Scotland, ii, 159.
1 See Border Minstrelsy, vol. i. p. 392.
in that stift or territory, where, when, and wherefore they must NOTE 2 C.
meet."-Olaus Magnus' History of the Goths, Englished
by J. S., Lond. 1658, book iv. chap. 3, 4. And while the Fiery Cross glanced, like a meteor, round.
P. 202. When a chieftain desired to summon his clan, upon any sudden or important emergency, he slew a goat, and making a cross of any light wood, seared its extremities in the fire,
NOTE 2 D. and extinguished them in the blood of the animal. This was
That monk, of savage form and face.-P. 23. called the Fiery Cross, also Crean Tarigh, or the Cross of Shame, because disobedience to what the symbol implied, in- The state of religion in the middle ages afforded considerable ferred infamy. It was delivered to a swift and trusty messen
facilities for those whose mode of life excluded them from ger, who ran full speed with it to the next hamlet, where he regular worship, to secure, nevertheless, the ghostly assistance presented it to the principal person, with a single word, imply- of confessors, perfectly willing to adapt the nature of their ing the place of rendezvous. He who received the symbol doctrine to the necessities and peculiar circumstances of their was bound to send it forward, with equal dispatch, to the flock. Robin Hood, it is well known, had his celebrated do next village ; and thus it passed with incredible celerity through mestic chaplain, Friar Tuck. And that same curtal friar was all the district which owed allegiance to the chief, and also probably matched in manners and appearance by the ghostly among his allies and neighbors, if the danger was common to fathers of the Tynedale robbers, who are thus described in an them. At sight of the Fiery Cross, every man, from sixteen excommunication fulminated against their patrons by Richard years old to sixty, capable of bearing arms, was obliged in- Fox, Bishop of Durham, tempore Henrici VIII. "We have stantly to repair, in his best arms and accoutrements, to the further understood, that there are many chaplains in the said place of rendezvous. He who failed to appear suffered the territories of Tynedale and Redesdale, who are public and open extremities of fire and sword, which were emblematically de- maintainers of concubinage, irregular, suspended, excommuninounced to the disobedient by the bloody and burnt marks cated, and interdicted persons, and withal so utterly ignorant of upon this warlike signal. During the civil war of 1745-6, the letters, that it has been found by those who objected this to Fiery Cross often made its circuit; and upon one occasion it them, that there were some who, having celebrated mass for passed through the whole district of Breadalbane, a tract of ten years, were still unable to read the sacramental service. thirty-two miles, in three hours. The late Alexander Stewart,
We have also understood there are persons among them who, Esq., of Invernahyle, described to me his having sent round although not ordained, do take upon them the offices of priestthe Fiery Cross through the district of Appine, during the same hood; and, in contempt of God, celebrate the divine and sacommotion. The coast was threatened by a descent from two cred rites, and administer the sacraments, not only in sacred English frigates, and the flower of the young men were with and dedicated places, but in those which are profane and inthe army of Prince Charles Edward, then in England ; yet the terdicted, and most wretchedly ruinons; they themselves being summons was so effectual, that even old age and childhood attired in ragged, torn, and most filthy vestments, altogether obeyed it; and a force was collected in a few hours, so numer- unfit to be used in divine, or even in temporal offices. The ous and so enthusiastic, that all attempt at the intended diver- which said chaplains do administer sacraments and sacramental sion upon the country of the absent warriors was in prudence rights to the aforesaid manifest and infamous thieves, robbers, abandoned, as desperate.
depredators, receivers of stolen goods, and planderers, and that This practice, like some others, is common to the Highland- without restitution, or intention to restore, as evinced by the ers with the ancient Scandinavians, as will appear by the fol- act; and do also openly admit them to the rites of ecclesiastilowing extract from Olaus Magnus :
cal sepalehre, without exacting security for restitution, al* When the enemy is upon the sea-coast, or within the though they are prohibited from doing so by the sacred canons, limits of northern kingdomes, then presently, by the command as well as by the institutes of the saints and fathers. All of the principal governours, with the counsel and consent of which infers the heavy peril of their own souls, and is a perthe old soldiers, who are notably skilled in such like business, nicious example to the other believers in Christ, as well as no a staff of three hands length, in the common sight of them slight, but an aggravated injury, to the numbers despoiled and all, is carried, by the speedy running of some active young plundered of their goods, gear, herds, and chattels."'ı man, unto that village or city, with this command,-that on To this lively and picturesque description of the confessors the third, fourth, or eighth day, one, two, or three, or else and churchmen of predatory tribes, there may be added some every man in particular, from fifteen years old, shall come curious particulars respecting the priests attached to the sevewith his arms, and expenses for ten or twenty days, upon ral septs of native Irish, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. pain that his or their houses shall be burnt (which is intimated These friars had indeed to plead, that the incursions, which by the burning of the staff), or else the master to be banged they not only pardoned, but even encouraged, were made upon (which is signified by the cord tied to it), to appear speedily on those hostile to them, as well in religion as from national ansuch a bank, or field, or valley, to hear the cause he is called, tipathy; but by Protestant writers they are uniformly alleged and to hear orders from the said provincial governours what to be the chief instruments of Irish insurrection, the very wellhe shall do. Wherefore that messenger, swifter than any spring of all rebellion towards the English government. Lithpost or waggon, having done his commission comes slowly gow, the Scottish traveller, declares the Irish wood-kerne, or back again, bringing a token with him that he hath done all predatory tribes, to be but the hounds of their hunting priests, legally, and every moment one or another runs to every village, who directed their incursions by their pleasure, partly for susand tells those places what they must do." ... "The tenance, partly to gratify animosity, partly to foment general messengers, therefore, of the footmen, that are to give warning division, and always for the better security and easier dominato the people to meet for the battail, run fiercely and swiftly; tion of the friars, Derrick, the liveliness and minuteness of for no snow, no rain, nor heat can stop them, nor night hold whose descriptions may frequently apologize for his doggerel them; but they will soon run the race they undertake. The verses, after describing an Irish feast, and the encouragement first messenger tells it to the next village, and that to the given, by the songs of the bards, to its termination in an incur-; next; and so the hubbub runs all over till they all know it sion upon the parts of the country more immediately ander
1 The Monition against the Robbers of Tynedale and Redeedale, with which I was favored by my friend, Mr. Surtees, of Mainsforth, may be
found in the original Latin, in the Appendix to the Introduction to the Border Minstrelsy, No, VII. vol. i. p. 974.
9 Lithgow's Travels, first edition, p. 431.