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History of the Gipsies
Chapter VI - Tweed-Dale and Clydesdale Gipsies


The county of Peebles, or Tweed-dale, appears to have been more frequented by the Gipsies than, perhaps, any other part of Scotland. So far back as the time of Henry Lord Darnley, when the Gipsies were countenanced by the government, we find, according to Buchanan, that this county was a favourite resort of banditti; so much so, that when Darnley took np his residence in Peebles, for the purpose of shunning the company of his wife, Queen Mary, he "found the place so cold, so infested with thieves, and so destitute of provisions, that he was driven from it, to avoid being fleeced and starved by rogues and beggars." In the poems of Dr. Pennecuik, as well as in his history of Peebles-shire, published in the year 1715, the Gipsy bands are frequently taken notice of. But, notwithstanding the attachment which the tribe had for the romantic glens of Tweed-dale, no evidence exists of their ever having had a permanent habitation within the shire. They appear to have resorted to that pastoral district during only the months of spring, summer and autumn. Their partiality for this part of Scotland may be attributed to three reasons.

The first reason is, Tweed-dale was part of the district in which, if not the first, at least the second, Gipsy family in Scotland claimed, at one time, a right to travel, as its own peculiar privilege. The chief of this family was called Baillie, who claimed kindred, in the bastard line, to one of the most ancient families in the kingdom, of the name of Baillie, once Balliol. [This claim appears doubtful, for there were Gipsies of the name of Baillie (Bailyow) as far back as 1540, as already mentioned. However, the particulars of the laird's intrigue with the beautiful Gipsy girl, arc imprinted on the minds of the Gipsies of that name at the present day.] In consequence of this alleged connexion, this Gipsy family also claimed, as its right, to travel in the upper ward of Lanarkshire, adjoining Tweed-dale, in which district the Scottish family alluded to possessed estates; and one of the principal places of the Gipsy rendezvous was an old ruin, among the hills, in the upper part of the parish of Lamington, or rather "Wanel in those days.

The second reason is, that the surface of Tweed-dale is much adapted to the wandering disposition of .the Gipsies. It is mountainous, but everywhere intersected by footpaths and bridle-roads, affording an easy passage to the Gipsies, on foot or horseback. On its many hills are plenty of game; and its infinite number of beautiful streams, including about thirty-five miles of the highest part of the Tweed, abound with trout of the finest quality. The Gipsies, being fond of game, and much addicted to poaching and fishing, flocked to Tweed-dale and the adjoining upland districts of a similar character, comprehending some of the most remote and least frequented parts in the south of Scotland. All these districts being covered with vast flocks of sheep, many of which were frequently dying of various diseases, the Gipsies never wanted a plentiful supply of that sort of food from the families of the store-masters.

[The Gipsies were not spared of braxy, of which they were fond. I have known natives of Tweed-dale and Ettrick Forest, who preferred braxy to the best meat killed by the hand of man. It has a particular sharp relish, which made them so fond of it.

[Braxy is the flesh of sheep which have died of a certain disease. When the Gipsies are taunted with eating what some call carrion, they very wittily reply: "The flesh of a beast which God kills must be better than that of one killed by the hand of man." Such flesh, "killed hy the hand of God," is often killed in this manner: They will administer to swine a drug affecting the brain only, which will cause speedy death ; when th ey will call and obtain the carcass, without suspicion, and feast on the flesh, which has been in no way injured.—Borrow. They will also stuff wool down a sheep's throat, and direct the farmer's attention to it when near its last gasp, and obtain the carcass after being skinned.—Ed.]

And the third reason is, that, in the pastoral districts in the upper parts of the shires of Peebles, Selkirk, Dumfries, and Lanark, including all that mountainous tract of land in which the rivers Tweed, Annan and Clyde have their sources, the Gipsies were, in a great measure, secure from the officers of the law, and enjoyed their favourite amusements without molestation or hindrance.

Before, and long after, the year 1745, the male branches of the Baillies traversed Scotland, mounted on the best horses to be found in the country; themselves dressed in long coats, made of the finest scarlet and green cloth, ruffled at hands and breast, booted and spurred ; with cocked hats on their heads, pistols in their belts, and broad-swords by their sides : and at the heels of their horses followed greyhounds, and other dogs of the chase, for their amusement. Some of them assumed the manners and characters of gentlemen, which they supported with wonderful art and propriety. The females attended fairs in the attire of ladies, riding on ponies, with side-saddles, in the best style. On these occasions, the children were left in charge of their servants, perhaps in an old out-house or hut, in some wild, sequestered glen, in Tweed-dale or Clydesdale.

The greater part of the tenantry were kind to the Gipsies, and many encouraged them to frequent their premises. Tweed-dale being the favourite resort of the principal horde, they generally abstained from injuring the property of the greater part of the inhabitants. Indeed, I have been informed, by eye-witnesses, that several of the farmers in Tweed-dale and Clydesdale, at so late a period as about the year 1770, accepted of entertainments from the principal Gipsies, dining with them in the open fields, or in some old, unoccupied out-house, or kiln. Their repast, on such occasions, was composed of the best viands the country could produce. On one occasion, a band dined on the green-sward, near Douglass-mill, when the Gipsies drank their wine, after dinner, as if they had been the best in the land. Some of the landed proprietors, however, introduced clauses in their leases prohibiting their tenants from harbouring the Gipsies ; and the Laird of Dolphington is mentioned as one. The tribe, on hearing of the restriction, expressed great indignation at the Laird's conduct in adopting so effectual a method of banishing them from the district. But so strong were the attachments which some of the Gipsies displayed towards the inhabitants, that the chief of the Ruthveus actually wept like a child, whenever the misfortunes of the ancient family of Murray, of Philliphaugh, were mentioned to him.

In giving an account of the Gipsies who frequented Tweed-dale, and the country adjacent, I have thought it proper to mention particularly the family of Baillie; for this family produced kings and queens, or, in their language, haurie rajahs and haurie raunies, to the Scottish Gipsies. At one period they seem to have exercised a sort of sovereign authority in the tribe, over almost the whole of Scotland; and, according to the ordinary practice of writing history of a great deal more importance, they should, as the chief family of a tribe, be particularly noticed.

The quarrels of the Gipsies frequently broke out in an instant, and almost without a visible cause. A farmer's wife, with whom I was acquainted, was one day sitting in the midst of a band of them, at work in an old out-house, enquiring the news of the country of them, when, in an instant, a shower of horns and hammers, open knives, files, and fiery peats, were flying through the house, at one another's heads. The good-wife took to her heels immediately, to get out of the fray. Some of their conflicts were terrible in the extreme. Dr. Pennecuik, in his history of Peeblesshire, already referred to, gives an account of a sanguinary struggle that took place on his estate of Romanno, in Tweed-dale. The following are the particulars in his own words:

"Upon the 1st of October, 1677, there happened at Romanno, on the very spot where now the dove-cot is built, a remarkable polymachy betwixt two clans of Gipsies, the Pawes and the Shawes, who had come from Haddington fair, and were going to Harestanes, to meet two other clans of these rogues, the Baillies and Browns, with a resolution to fight them. They fell out, at Romanno, among themselves, about dividing the spoil they had got at Haddington, and fought it manfully. Of the Pawes, there were four brethren and a brother's son; of the Shawes, the father with three sons; and several women on both sides. Old Sandie Fawe, a bold and proper fellow, [It is interesting to notice that the Doctor calls this Gipsy a "bold and proper fellow." He was, in all probability, a fine specimen of physical manhood.—Ed.] with his wife, then with child, were both killed dead upon the place; and his brother George very dangerously wounded. In February, 1678, old Robin Shawe, the Gipsy, and his three sons, were hanged at the Grass-market, for the above-mentioned murder, committed at Romanno; and John Fawe was hanged, the Wednesday following, for another murder. Sir Archibald Primrose was justice general at the time, and Sir George McKenzie king's advocate." Contrasting the obstinate ferocity of the Gipsy with the harmless and innocent nature of the dove, Dr. Pennecuik erected on the spot a dove-cot; and, to commemorate the battle, placed upon the lintel of the door the following inscription :

"A. D. 1683.
The field of Gipsie blood, which here you see,
A shelter for the harmless dove shall be."

This Gipsy battle is also noticed by Lord Fountainhall, in the following extract from his MS., now in the Advocate's Library:—"Sixth February, 1678.—Four Egyptians, of the name of Shaw, were this day hanged—the father and three sons—for the slaughter committed by them on the Faws, (another tribe of these vagabonds, worse than the mendicants validi, mentioned in the code,) in a drunken squabble, made by them in a rendezvous they had at Romanno, with a design to unite their forces against the clans of Browns and Bailezies (Baillies), that were come over from Ireland, [The Scottish Gipsies, as I have already said, have a tradition that their ancestors came into Scotland by way of Ireland.] to chase them back again, that they might not share in their labours ; but, in their ramble, they discovered and committed the foresaid murder; and sundry of them, of both sides, were apprehended."—"The four being thrown into a hole dug for them in the Greyfriars churchyard, with their clothes on, the next morning the body of the youngest of the three sons, (who was scarce sixteen,) was missed. Some thought that, being last thrown over the ladder, and first cut down, and in full vigour, and not much earth placed upon him, and lying uppermost, and so not so ready to smother, the fermentation of the blood, and heat of the bodies under him, might cause him to rebound, and throw off the earth, and recover ere the morning, and steal away. Which, if true, he deserved his life, though the magistrates deserved a reprimand. But others, more probably, thought his body was stolen away by some chirurgeon, or his servant, to make an anatomical dissection on."

[The allusion to that circumstance by the Gipsies, on this occasion, was evidently to throw, dust into the eyes of the Scottish authorities, by whom the whole tribe in Scotland were proscribed.—Ed.]

About a century after this conflict, we find the nature of the Gipsies still unchanged. The following details of one of their general engagements will serve as a specimen of the obstinate and desperate manner in which, to a late period, they fought among themselves. The battle took place at the bridge of Hawick, in the spring of the year 1772, or 1773. The particulars are derived from the late Mr. Robert Laidlaw, Tenant of Fanash, a gentleman of respectability, who was an eye-witness to the scene of action. It was understood that this battle originated in some encroachments of the one tribe upon the district assigned to the other; a principal source of quarrels among these wanderers. And it was agreed to, by the contending parties, that they were to fight out their dispute the first time they should meet, which, as just said, happened at Hawick.

On the one side, in this battle, was the celebrated Alexander Kennedy, a handsome and athletic man, and head of his tribe. Next to him, in consideration, was little WuU Ruthven, Kennedy's father-in-law. This man was known, all over the country, by the extraordinary title of the Earl of Hell; [This seems a favourite title among the Tinklera. One, of the name of Young, beara it at the present time. But the Gipsies are not singular in these terrible titles. In the late Burmese war, we find his Burmese majesty creating one of his generals "King of Hell, Prince of Darkness."—See Countable': Miscellany.] and, although he was above five feet ten inches in height, he got the appellation of Little WuU, to distinguish him from Muckle William Ruthven, who was a man of uncommon stature and personal strength.t The earl's son was also in the fray. These were the chief men in Kennedy's band. Jean Ruthven, Kennedy's wife, was also present; with a great number of inferior members of the clan, males as well as females, of all ages, down to mere children. The opposite band consisted of old Rob Tait, the chieftain of his horde, Jacob Tait, young Rob Tait, and three of old Rob Tait's sons-in-law. These individuals, with Jean Gordon, old Tait's wife, and a numerous train of youths of both sexes and various ages, composed the adherents of old Robert Tait. These adverse tribes were all closely connected with one another by the ties of blood. The Kennedys and Ruthvens were from the ancient burgh of Lochmaben.

The whole of the Gipsies in the field, females as well as males, were armed with bludgeons, excepting some of the Taits, who carried cutlasses, and pieces of iron hoops, notched and serrated on either side, like a saw, and fixed to the end of sticks. The boldest of the tribe were in front of their respective bands, with their children and the other members of their clan in the rear, forming a long train behind them. In this order both parties boldly advanced, with their weapons uplifted above their heads. Both sides fought with extraordinary fury and obstinacy. Sometimes the one band gave way, and sometimes the other; but both, again and again, returned to the combat with fresh ardour. Not a word was spoken during the struggle ; nothing was heard but the rattling of the cudgels and the strokes of the cutlasses. After a long and doubtful contest, Jean Euthven, big with child at the time, at last received, among many other blows, a dreadful wound with a cutlass. She was cut to the bone, above and below the breast, particularly on one side. It was said the slashes were so large and deep that one of her breasts was nearly severed from her body, and that the motions of her lungs, while she breathed, were observed through the aperture between her ribs. But, notwithstanding her dreadful condition, she would neither quit the field nor yield, but continued to assist her husband as long as she was able. Her father, the Earl of Hell, was also shockingly wounded; the flesh being literally cut from the bone of one of his legs, and, in the words of my informant, "hanging down over his ankles, like beef steaks." The earl left the field to get his wounds dressed; but observing his daughter, Kennedy's wife, so dangerously wounded, he lost heart, and, with others of his party, fled, leaving Kennedy alone, to defend himself against the whole of the clan of Tait.

Having now all the Taits, young and old, male and female, to contend with, Kennedy, like an experienced warrior, took advantage of the local situation of the place. Posting himself on the narrow bridge of Hawick, he defended himself in the defile, with his bludgeon, against the whole of his infuriated enemies. His handsome person, his undaunted bravery, his extraordinary dexterity in handling his weapon, and his desperate situation, (for it was evident to all that the Taits thirsted for his blood, and were determined to despatch him on the spot,) excited a general and lively interest in his favour, among the inhabitants of the town, who were present, and had witnessed the conflict with amazement and horror. In one dash to the front, and with one powerful sweep of his cudgel, he disarmed two of the. Taits, and cutting a third to the skull, felled him to the ground. He sometimes daringly advanced upon his assailants, and drove the whole band before him, pell-mell. When he broke one cudgel on his enemies, by his powerful arm, the town's people were ready to hand him another. Still, the vindictive Taits rallied, and renewed the charge with unabated vigour ; and every one present expected that Kennedy would fall a sacrifice to their desperate fury. A party of messengers and constables at last arrived to his relief, when the Taits were all apprehended, and imprisoned ; but, as none of the Gipsies were actually slain in the fray, they were soon set at liberty.

[This Gipsy battle is alluded to by Sir Walter Scott, in a postscript to a letter to Captain Adam Ferguson, 16th April, 1819.

"By the by, old Kennedy the tinker swam for his life at Jedburgh, and was only, by the sophisticated and timed evidence of a seceding doctor, who differed from all his brethren, saved from a well-deserved gibbet. He goes to botanize for fourteen years. Pray tell this to the Duke (of Bucclench,) for he was an old soldier of the Duke, and the Duke's old soldier. Six of his brethren were, I am told, in the court, and kith and kin without end. I am sorry so many of the clan are left. The cause of the quarrel with the murdered man, was an old feud between two Gipsy clans, the Kennedys and Irvings, which, about forty years since, gave rise to a desperate quarrel and battle at Hawick-green, in which the grandfather of both Kennedy and the man whom he murdered were engaged."—Lockhart's Life of Sir Walter Scott. Alexander Kennedy was tried for murdering Irving, at Yarrowford.]

[This Gipsy fray at Hawick is known among the English Gipsies as " the Battle of the Bridge."—En.]

In this battle, it was said that every Gipsy, except Alexander Kennedy, the brave chief, was severely wounded; and that the ground on which they fought was wet with blood. Jean Gordon, however, stole, unobserved, from her band, and, taking a circuitous road, came behind Kennedy, and struck him on the head with her cudgel. What astonished the inhabitants of Hawick the most of all, was the fierce and stubborn disposition of the Gipsy females. It was remarked that, when they were knocked down senseless to the ground, they rose again, with redoubled vigour and energy, to the combat. This unconquerable obstinacy and courage of their females is held in high estimation by the tribe. I once heard a Gipsy sing a song, which celebrated one of their battles ; and, in it, the brave and determined manner in which the girls bore the blows of the cudgel over their heads was particularly applauded.

The battle at Hawick was not decisive to either party. The hostile bands, a short time afterwards, came in contact, in Bttrick Forest, at a place, on the water of Teema, called Deephope. They did not, however, engage here ; but the females on both sides, at some distance from one another, with a stream between them, scolded and cursed, and, clapping their hands, urged the males again to fight. The men, however, more cautious, only observed a sullen and gloomy silence at this meeting. Probably both parties, from experience, were unwilling to renew the fight, being aware of the consequences which would follow, should they again close in battle. The two clans then separated, each taking different roads, but both keeping possession of the disputed district. In the course of a few days, they again met in Eskdale moor, when a second desperate conflict ensued. The Taits were here completely routed, and driven from the district, in which they had attempted to travel by force. The country-people were horrified at the sight of the wounded Tinklers, after these sanguinary engagements. Several of them, lame and exhausted, in consequence of the severity of their numerous wounds, were, by the assistance of their tribe, carried through the country on the backs of asses ; so much were they cut up in their persons. Some of them, it was said, were slain outright, and never more heard of. Jean Ruthven, however, who was so dreadfully slashed, recovered from her wounds, to the surprise of all who had seen her mangled body, which was sewed in different parts by her clan. These battles were talked of for thirty miles around the country. I have heard old people speak of them, with fear and wonder at the fierce, unyielding disposition of the willful and vindictive Tinklers.

[Grellmann, on the Hungarian Gipsies, says: ''They are loquacious and quarrelsome in the highest degree. In the public markets, and before ale-houses, where they are surrounded by spectators, they bawl, spit at each other, catch up sticks and cudgels, vapour and brandish them over their heads, throw dust and dirt; now run from each other, then back again, with furious gestures and threats. The women scream, drag their husbands by force from the scene of action; these break from them again, and return to it. The children, too, howl piteously." But I am at a loss to understand the object of such an affray, as given by this author, on any other theory than that of collecting crowds, in the places mentioned, to enable them the more easily to pick pockets. For Grellmann adds: "After a short time, without any persons interfering, when they have cried and made a noise till they arc tired, and without either party having received any personal injury, the affair terminates, and they separate with as much ostentation as if they had performed the most heroic feat."—Ed]

We have already seen that the female Gipsies are nearly as expert at handling the cudgel, and fully as fierce and unyielding in their quarrels and conflicts, as the males of their race. The following particulars relative to a Gipsy scuffle, derived from an eye-witness, will illustrate how a Gipsy woman, of the name of Rebecca Keith, displayed no little dexterity in the effective use which she made of her bludgeon.

Two gangs of Gipsies, of different tribes, had taken up their quarters, on a saturday, the one at the town of Dumblane, the other at a farm-steading on the estate of Cromlix, in the neighbourhood. On the Sunday following, the Dumblane horde paid a visit to the others, at their country quarters. -The place set apart fori,heir accommodation was an old kiln, of which they had possession, where they were feasted with abundance of savoury viands, and regaled with mountain dew, in copious libations, of quality fit for a prince. The country squad were of the Keith fraternity, and their queen, or head personage, at the time, was Rebecca Keith, past the middle age, but of gigantic stature, and great muscular power. In the course of their carousal, a quarrel ensued between the two gangs, and a fierce battle followed. The Keiths were the weaker party, but Becca, as she was called by the country-people, performed prodigies of valour, against fearful odds, with only the aid of her strong, hard-worn shoe, which she wielded with the dexterity and effect of an experienced cudgelist. She appeared, however, unable much longer to contend against her too numerous opponents. Being a great favourite with all, especially with the inmates of the farm which was the scene of encounter, two young boys—the informant and the herd-callant—who witnessed the engagement, and whose sympathy was altogether on the side of the valourous Becca, exchanged a hurried and whispering remark to each other that, "if she had the soople of a flail, they thought she would do gude wark." No sooner said than done. The herd-boy went off at once to the barn, cut the thongs asunder, and returned, in a twinkling, with the soople below his jacket, concealing it from view, with the cunning of a thief. Edging up to Becca, and uncovering the end of the weapon, it was seized upon by her with avidity. She flourished it in the air, and plied it with such effect, about the ears of her adversaries, that they were speedily driven off the field, with "sarks full of sore bones." In this furious manner would the friendly meetings of the Gipsies frequently terminate.

[It is astonishing how trifling a circumstance will sometimes set sach Gipsies by the ears. In England, they will frequently "cast up" the history of their respective families on such occasions. "What was your father, I would like to know? He hadn't even an ass to carry his traps, and was a rogue at that, you---------Gipsy. My father was an honest man.' '"Honest man!"—"Yes, honest man, and thaf s more than yon can saj' of your kin." The other, haviug more of "the blood," will taunt his acquaintance with some such expression as "Gorgio like," (like the white.)—" And what are you, yon black trash ? Will blood put money in your pocket? Blood, indeed I'm a better Gipsy than you are, in spite of the black devil that every one sees in your faceI" Then the fray commences.

When Gipsies take up their quarters on the premises of country people, a very effectual way of sometimes getting rid of them is to stir up discord among them. For when it comes to "hammers and tongs," "tongs and hammers," they will scatter, uttering howls of vengeance, on some more appropriate occasion, against their most intimate friends, who have just incurred their wrath, yet who will he seen " cheek by jowl" with them, perhaps, the next day, or even before the sun has gone down upon them; so lasily are they sometimes irritated, and so easily reconciled.—Ed.

A writer in Blackwood's Magazine mentions that the Gipsies, late in the seventeenth century, broke into the house of Pennicuik, when the greater part of the family were at church. Sir John Clerk, the proprietor, barricaded himself in his own apartment, where he sustained a sort of siege— firiag from the windows upon the robbers, who fired upon him in return. One of them, while straying through the house in quest of booty, happened to ascend the stairs of a very narrow turret, but, slipping his foot, caught hold of the rope of the alarm bell, the ringing of which startled the congregation assembled in the parish church. They instantly came to the rescue of the Laird, and succeeded, it is said, in apprehending some of the Gipsies, who were, executed. There is a written account of this daring assault kept in the records of the family.—Ed.]

So formidable were the numbers of the nomadic Gipsies, at one time, and so alarming their desperate and sanguinary battles, in the upper parts of Tweed-dale and Clydesdale, that the fencible men in their neighbourhood, (the countryside was the expression,) had sometimes to turn out to quell and disperse them. A clergyman was, on one occasion, under the necessity of dismissing his congregation, in the middle of divine service, that they might quell one of these furious Gipsy tumults, in the immediate vicinity of the church.

About the year 1770, the mother of the Baillies received some personal injury, or rather insult, at a fair at Biggar, from a gardener of the name of John Cree. The insult was instantly resented by the Gipsies ; but Cree was luckily protected by his friends. In contempt and defiance of the whole multitude in the market, four of the Baillies—Matthew, James, William, and John—all brothers, appeared on horse-back, dressed in scarlet, and armed with broad-swords, and, parading through the crowd, threatened to be avenged of the gardener, and those who had assisted him. Burning with revenge, the}' threw off their coats, rolled up the sleeves of their shirts to the shoulder, like butchers when at work, and, with their naked and brawny arms, and glittering swords in their clenched hands, furiously rode up and down the fair, threatening death to all who should oppose them. Their bare arms, naked weapons, and resolute looks, showed that they were prepared to slaughter their enemies without mercy. No one dared to interfere with them, till the minister of the parish appeased their rage, and persuaded them to deliver up their swords. It was found absolutely necessary, however, to keep a watch upon the gardener's house, for six months after the occurrence, to protect him and his family from the vengeance of the vindictive Gipsies.

To bring into view and illustrate the character and practices of our Scottish Gipsies, I will transcribe the following details, in the original words, from a MS. which I received from the late Mr. Blackwood, as a contribution towards a history of the Gipsies. Mr. Blackwood did not say who the writer of the paper was, but some one mentioned to me that he was a clergyman. I am satisfied that the statements it contains are true, and that the William Baillie therein mentioned was, in his day and generation, well known, over the greater part of Scotland, as chief of his tribe within the kingdom. He was the grandfather of the four Gipsies who, as just mentioned, set at defiance the whole multitude at Biggar fair. It will be seen, by this MS., that while the principal Gipsies, with their subordinates, were plundering the public, in all directions, they sometimes performed acts of gratitude and great kindness to their favourites of the community among whom they travelled. In it will also be exhibited the cool and business-like manner in which they delivered back stolen purses, when circumstances rendered such restoration necessary.

"There was formerly a gang of Gipsies, or pick-pockets, who used to frequent the fairs in Dumfries-shire, headed by a William Baillie, or Will Baillie, as the country-people were accustomed to call him, of whom the old men used to tell many stories.

"Before any considerable fair, if the gang were at a distance from the place where it was to be held, whoever of them were appointed to go, went singly, or, at most, never above two travelled together. A day or so after, Mr. Baillie himself followed, mounted like a nobleman ; and, as journeys, in those days, were almost all performed on horseback, he sometimes rode, for many miles, with gentlemen of the first respectability in the country. And, as he could discourse readily and fluently on almost any topic, he was often taken to be some country gentleman of property, as his dress and manners seemed to indicate.

"Once, in a very crowded fair at Dumfries, an honest farmer, from the parish of Hatton, in Annandale, had his pocket picked of a considerable sum, in gold, with which he was going to buy cattle. On discovering his loss, he immediately went and got a purse like the one he had lost, into which he put a good number of small stones, and, going into a crowded part of the fair, he kept a watchful eye on his pocket, and, in a little while, he caught a fellow in the very act of picking it. The farmer, who was a stout, athletic man, did not wish to make any noise, as he knew a more ready way of recovering his money ; but whispered to the fellow, while he still kept fast hold of him, to come out of the throng a little, as he wanted to speak to him. There he told him that he had lost his money, and that, if he would get it to him again, he would let him go ; if not, he would have him put in jail immediately. The pick-pocket desired him to come along with him, and he would see what could be done, the farmer still keeping close to him, lest he should escape. They entered an obscure house, in an unfrequented close, where they found Mr. Baillie sitting. The farmer told his tale, concluding with a promise that, as the loss of the money would hurt him very much, he would, if he could get it back again, make no more ado about it. On which, Mr. Baillie went to a concealment in the wall, and brought out the very purse the farmer had lost, with the contents untouched, which he returned to the farmer, who received it with much gratitude.

"The farmer, after doing his business in the fair, got a little intoxicated in the evening; on which he thought he would call on Mr Baillie, and give him a treat, for his kindness in restoring his purse; but on entering the house, the woman who kept it, a poor widow, fell on him and abused him sadly, asking him what he had done to cause Mr. Stewart, by which name she knew Mr. Baillie, to leave her house; and saying she had lost the best friend that ever she had, for always when he stayed a day or two in her house, (which he used to do twice a year,) he gave her as much as paid her half-year's rent; but after he, (the farmer,) called that day, Mr. Stewart, she said, left her house, telling her he could not stay with her any longer; but before he went, she said, he had given her what was to pay her half-year's rent, a resource, she lamented, she would lose in future. About two years afterwards, the farmer again had the curiosity to call on her, and ask her if her lodger had ever returned. She said he never had, but that, ever since, a stranger had called regularly, and given her money to pay her rent.

"In the parish of Kirkmichael, about eight miles from Dumfries, lived a widow who occupied a small farm. As she had a number of young children, and no man to assist her, she fell behind in paying her rent, and at last got a summons of removal. She had a kiln that stood at a considerable distance from the other houses, which was much frequented by Baillie's people, when they came that way ; and she gave them, at all times, peaceable possession, as she had no person to contend with them, or put them away, and she herself did not wish to differ with them. They, on the other hand, never molested anything she had. One evening, a number of them arrived rather late, and went into the kiln, as usual; after which, one came into the house, to ask a. few peats, to make a fire. She gave the peats, saying she believed they would soon have to shift their quarters, as she herself was warned to flit, and she did not know if the next tenant would allow them such quiet possession, and she did not know what would become of herself and her helpless family. Nothing more was said, but, after having put her children to bed, as she was sitting by the fire, in a disconsolate manner, she heard a gentle tap at the door. On opening it, a genteel, well-dressed man entered, who told her he just wished to speak with her for a few minutes, and, sitting down, said he had heard she was warned to remove, and asked how much she was behind. She told him exactly. On which, rising hastily, he slipt a purse into her hand, and went out before she could say a single word.

"The widow, however, kept the farm, paid off all old debts, and brought up her family decently; but still, it grieved her that she did not know who was her benefactor. She never told any person till about ten years afterwards, when she told a friend who came to see her, when she was rather poorly in health. After hearing the story, he asked her what sort of a man he was who gave her the money. She said their interview was so short, and it was so long past, that she could recollect little of him, but only remembered well that he had the scar of a cut across his nose. On which, her friend immediately exclaimed, 'Then Will Baillie was the man.'

"Before the year 1740, the roads were bad through all the country. Carts were not then in use, and all the merchants' goods were conveyed in packs, on horseback. Among others, the farmers on the water of Ae, in Dumfries-shire, were almost all pack-carriers. As there was little improvement of laud then, they had little to do at home, and so they made their rents mostly by carrying. Among others, there was an uncle of my father, whose name was Robert McVitie, who used to be a great carrier. -This man, once, in returning from Edinburgh, stopt at Broughton, and in coming out of the stable, he met a man, who asked him if he knew him. Robert, after looking at him for a little, said: ' I think yon are Mr. Baillie.' He said, I am, and asked if Robert could lend him two guineas, and it should be faithfully repaid. As there were few people who wished to differ with Baillie, Robert told him he was welcome to two guineas, or more if he wanted it. He said that would just do ; on which Robert gave them to him, and he put them into his pocket. Baillie then asked, if ever he was molested by any person, when he was travelling late with his packs. He said he never was, although he was sometimes a little afraid. Baillie then gave him a kind of brass token, about the size of a half-crown, with some marks upon it, which he desired him to carry in his purse, and it might be of use to him some time, as he was to show it, if any person offered to rob him. Baillie then mounted his horse and rode off.

"Some considerable time after this, as Robert was one evening travelling with his packs, between Elvanfoot and Moffat, two men came up to him, whom he thought very suspicious-looking fellows. As he was a stout man himself, and carried a good cudgel, he kept on the alert for a considerable way, lest they should take him by surprise. At last, one of them asked him if he was not afraid to travel alone, so late at night. He said he was under a necessity to be out late, sometimes, on his lawful business. But recollecting his token, he said a gentleman had once given him a piece of brass, to show, if ever any person troubled him. They desired him to show it, as it was moonlight. He gave it to them. On seeing it, they looked at one another, and then, whispering a few words, told him it was well for him he had the token, which they returned; and they left him directly.

"After a lapse of nearly two years, when he had almost forgotten his two guineas, as he was one morning loading his packs, at the door of a public-house, near Gretna-green, he felt some person touch him behind, and, on looking round, saw it was Mr. Baillie, who slipped something into his hand, wrapped in paper, and left him, without speaking a single word. On opening the paper, he found three guineas, which was his own money, and a guinea for interest.

"There was another gang of Gipsies that stayed mostly in Annandale, headed by a Jock Johnstone, as he was called in the country. These were counted a kind of lower caste than Baillie's people, who would have thought themselves degraded if they had associated with any of the Johnstone gang. Johnstone confined his travels mostly to Dumfriesshire ; while Baillie went over all Scotland, and even made long excursions into England. Johnstone kept a great many women about him, [A great many of the inferior Gipsy chiefs travelled with a number of women in their company; such as George Drummond, Doctor Duds, John Lundie, and others.] several of whom had children to him and, in kilns and in barns, Johnstone always slept in the middle of the whole gang. Baillie sometimes told his select friends that he had a wife, but never any of them could find out where she stayed; and as he used to disappear now and then, for a considerable time together, it was supposed he was with her. He never slept, in barn or kiln, with any of his people. Johnstone travelled all day in the midst of a crowd of women and children, mounted on asses. Baillie travelled always by himself, mounted on the best horse he could get for money.

"Some time in the year 1739, Johnstone, with a number of his women, came to the house of one Margaret Farish, an old woman who sold ale at Lonegate, six miles from Dumfries, on the Edinburgh road. After drinking for a long time, some of Jock's wives and the old woman quarrelled. On which he took up the pewter pint-stoup, with which she measured her ale, and, giving her two or three severe blows on the head, killed her on the spot. Next day he was apprehended near Lockerby, and brought into Dumfries jail. He had a favourite tame jack-daw that he took with him in all his travels, and he desired it might be brought to stay with him in the jail, which was done. When the lords were coming into the circuit, as they passed the jail, the trumpeters gave a blast, on which the jack-daw gave a flutter against the iron bars of the window, and dropped down dead. When Jock saw that, he immediately exclaimed: 'Lord have mercy on me, for I am gone.' He was accordingly tried and condemned. When the day of execution came, he would not walk to the scaffold, and so they were forced to carry him. The executioner, being an old man, could not turn him over. Several of the constables refused to touch him. At last, one of the burgh officers turned him off; but the old people about Dumfries used to say that the officer never prospered any more after that day." [Dr. Alexander Carlyle, in a note to his autobiography, mentions having seen this Jock Johnstone hanged. The date given by him (1733), differs, however, from that mentioned above. According to him, Johnstone was but twenty years of age, but bold, and a great ringleader, and was condemned for robbery, and being accessory to a murder. The usual place of execution was a moor, adjoining the town; but, as it was strongly reported that the "thieves" were collecting from all quarters, to rescue the criminal from the gallows, the magistrates erected the scaffold in front of the prison, with a platform connecting, and surrounded it with about a hundred of the stoutest burgesses, armed with Lochaber axes. Jock made his appearance, surrounded by six officers. He was curly-haired, and fierce-looking, about five feet eight inches in height, and very strong of his size. At first he appeared astonished, but, looking around awhile, proceeded with a bold step. Psalms and prayers being over, and the rope fastened about his neck, he was ordered to mount a short ladder, attached to the gallows, in order to be thrown off; when he immediately seized the rope, and pulled so violently at it as to be in danger of bringing down the gallows—causing much emotion among tbc crowd, and fear among the magistrates. Jock, becoming furious, like a wild beast, struggled and roared, and defied the six officers to bind him; and, recovering the use of his arms, became more formidable. The magistrates then with difficulty prevailed on by far the strongest man in Dumfries, for the honour of the town, to come on the scaffold. Putting aside the six officers, this man seized the criminal, with as little difficulty as a nurse handles her child, and in a ftw minutes bound him hand and foot; and quietly laying him down on his face, near the edge of the scaffold, retired. Jock, the moment he felt his grasp, found himself subdued, and, becoming calm, resigned himself to his fate.—Carlyle's Autobiography.—Ed.]

The extraordinary man Baillie, who is here so often mentioned, was well known in Tweed-dale and Clydesdale; and my great-grandfather, who knew him well, used to say that he was the handsomest, the best dressed, the best looking, and the best bred man he ever saw. As I have already mentioned, he generally rode one of the best horses the kingdom could produce; himself attired in the finest scarlet, with his greyhounds following him, as if he had been a man of the first rank. With the usual Gipsy policy, he represented himself as a bastard son of one of the Baillies of Lamington, his mother being a Gipsy. On this account, considerable attention was paid to him by the country-people ; indeed, he was taken notice of by the first in the land. But, from his singular habits, his real character at last became well known. He acted the character of the gentleman, the robber, the sorner, and the tinker, whenever it answered his purpose. He was considered, in his time, the best swordsman in all Scotland. With this weapon in his hand, and bis back at a wall, he set almost everything, saving firearms, at defiance. His sword is still preserved by his descendants, as a relic of their powerful ancestor. The stories that are told of this splendid Gipsy are numerous and interesting. I will relate only two well-authenticated anecdotes of this haurie rajah,this king of the Scottish Gipsies; who was, in all probability, a descendant of Towla Bailyow, who, with other Gipsies, rebelled against, and plundered, John Faw, "Lord and Earl of Little Egypt," in the reign of James V. The following transaction of his has some resemblance to a custom among the Arabians.

William, with his numerous horde, happened to fall in with a travelling packman, on a wild spot between Hawkshaw and Menzion, near the source of the Tweed. The packman was immediately commanded to halt, and lay his packs upon the ground. Baillie then unsheathed his broadsword, with which he was always armed, and, with the point of the weapon, drew, on the ground, a circle around the trembling packman and his wares. Within this circle no one of the tribe was allowed by him to enter but himself. [Bruce, in his travels, when speaking of the protection afforded by the Arabs to shipwrecked Christians, on the coasts of the Red Sea, says:— " The Arabian, with his lance, draws a circle large enough to hold you and yours. He then strikes his lance in the sand, and bids you abide within the circle. You are thus as safe, on the desert coast of Arabia, as in a citadel; there is no example or exception to the pontrary that has, ever been known." —Bruce's Travels in Abyssinia,] The poor man was now ordered to unbuckle his packs, and exhibit his merchandise to the Gipsies. Baillie, without the least ceremony, helped himself to some of the most valuable things in the pack, and gave a great many to the members of his band. The unfortunate merchant, well aware of the character of his customers, concluded himself a ruined man; and, in place of making any resistance, handed away his property to the Gipsies. But when they were satisfied, ho was most agreeably surprised by Baillie taking out his purse, and paying him, on the spot, a great deal more than the value of every article he had taken for himself and given to his band. The delighted packman failed not to extol, wherever he went, the gentlemanly conduct and extraordinary liberality of "Captain Baillie"—a title by which he was known all over the country.

The perilous situations in which Baillie was often placed did not repress the merry jocularity and sarcastic wit which he, in common with many of his tribe, possessed. He sometimes almost bearded and insulted the judge while sitting on the bench. On one of these occasions, when he was in court, the judge, provoked at seeing him so often at the bar, observed to him that he would assuredly get his ears cut out of his head, if he did not mend his manners, and abandon his way of life. "That I defy you to do, my lord," replied the Tinkler. The judge, perceiving that his ears had already been "nailed to the tron, and cut off," and being displeased at the effrontery and levity of his conduct, told him that he was certainly a great villain. "I am not such a villain as your lordship," retorted Baillie. "What do you say?" rejoined the judge, in great surprise at the bold manner of the criminal. "I say," continued the Gipsy, "that I am not such a villain as your lordship------takes me to be."

"William," quoth the judge, "put your words closer together, otherwise you shall have cause to repent of your insolence and audacity." [It might be supposed that the pride of a Gipsy would have the good effect of rendering him cautious not to be guilty of such crimes as subject him to public shame. But here his levity of character is rendered conspicuous ; for' he never looks to the right or to the left in his transactions; and though his conceit and pride are somewhat humbled, during the time of punishment, and while the consequent pain lasts; these being over, he no longer remembers his disgrace, but entertains quite as good an opinion of himself as before.—Grellmann on the Hungarian Gipsies.—Ed.]

Tradition states that William Baillie's conduct involved him in numerous scrapes. He was brought before the Justiciary Court, and had "his ears nailed to the tron, or other tree, and cut off, and banished the country," for his many crimes of "sorning, pickery, and little thieving." It also appears, from popular tradition, that he is the same William Baillie who is repeatedly noticed by Hume and McLaurin, in their remarks on the criminal law of Scotland.

In June, 1699, William Baillie, for being an Egyptian, and for forging and using a forged pass, was sentenced to be "hanged; but the privy council commuted his sentence to banishment, but under the express condition that, if ever he returned to this country, the former sentence should be executed against him." William entered into a bond with the privy council, under the penalty of 500 merks, to leave the kingdom, and to "suffer the pains of death, in case of contravention thereof."

This Gipsy chief paid little regard to the terrible conditions of his bond, in case of failure; for, on the 10th and 11th August, 1714, "Baillie," says Hume, "and two of his associates, were convicted and condemned to die; but as far as concerned Baillie, (for the others were executed,) his doom was afterwards mitigated into transportation, under pain of death in case of return." "The jury," says McLaurin, "brought in a special verdict as to the sorning,f but said nothing at all as to any other points ; all they found proved was, that William, in March, 1713, had taken possession of a barn, "without consent of the owner, and that; during his abode in it, there was corn taken out of the barn, and he went away without paying anything for his quarters, or for any corn during his abode, which was for several days; and that he was habit and repute an Egyptian, and did wear a pistol [A great many of the Scottish Gipsies, in former times, carried arms. One of the Baillies once left his budget in a house, by mistake. A person, whom I knew, had the curiosity to examine it; and he found it to contain a pair of excellent pistols, loaded and ready for action.] and shable," (a kind of sabre.)

"As early as the month of August, 1715, the same man, as I understand it," says Baron Hume, "was again indicted, not only for being found in Britain, but for continuing his former practices and course of life. Notwithstanding this aggravation, the interlocutor is again framed on the indulgent plan; and only infers the pain of death from the fame and character of being an Egyptian, joined with various acts of violence and sorning, to the number of three that are stated in the libel. Though convicted nearly to the extent of the interlocutor, he again escaped with transportation."

Baillie's policy in representing himself as a bastard son of an ancient and honourable family had, as I have already observed, been of great service to him; and in no way would it be more so than in his various trials. It is almost certain, as in cases of more recent times, that great interest would be used to save a bastard branch of an honourable house from an ignominious death upon the scaffold, when his crimes amounted only to "sorning, pickery, and little thieving, and habit and repute an Egyptian." [What our author says of "the usnal Gipsy policy of making the people believe that they are descended from families of rank and influence in the country," (page 154,) and that " the greater part of them will tell you that they are sprung from a bastard son of this or that noble family, or other person of rank and influence, of their own surname," (117,) is doubtless true as a rule; but there were as likely cases of what the Gipsies assert, and that Gipsy women, "in some instances, bore children to some of the ' unspotted gentlemen' mentioned by act of parliament as having so greatly protected and entertained the tribe," (114,) and that Baillie was one of them, (121 and 185.) If Baillie had been following the occupation, and bearing the reputation, of an ordinary native of Scotland, there would have been some chance "that great interest would be used to save a bastard branch of an honourable house from an ignominious death upon the scaffold," for almost any offence he had committed, but not for one who was guilty of "sorning, pickery, and little thieving, and habit and repute an Egyptian." There was doubtless a connexion, in Gipsy blood, between Baillie nnd his influential friends who saved him and his relatives so often from the gallows.—See Baillies of Lamington and McLauriris Criminal 1'rials, hi the Index.—Ed.]

The descendants of William Baillie state that he was married to a woman of the name of Rachel Johnstone; and that he was killed, in a scuffle, by a Gipsy of the name of Pinkerton, in a quarrel among themselves. Baillie being quite superior in personal strength to Pinkerton, his wife took hold of him, for fear of his destroying his opponent, and, while he was in her arms, Pinkerton ran him through with his sword. Upon his death, his son, then a youth of thirteen years of age, took a solemn oath, on the spot, that he would never rest until the blood of his father should be avenged. And, true to his oath, his mother and himself followed the track of the murderer over Scotland, England, and Ireland, like stanneh bloodhounds, and rested not, till Pinkerton was apprehended, tried, and executed.

The following particulars, relative to the slaughter of William Baillie, were published in Blackwood's Magazine, but apparently without any knowledge, on the part of the writer, of that individual's history, further than that he was a Gipsy.

"In a precognition, taken in March, 1725, by Sir James Stewart, of Coltness, and Captain Lockhart, of Kirkton, two of his majesty's justiees of the peace for Lanarkshire, anent the murder of William Baillie, brazier, [On some of the tombstones of the Gipsies, the word "brazier" is added to their names. [Brazier is a favourite name with the Gipsies, and sounds better than tinker. Southey, in his Life of Bunyan, says: "It is stated, in a history of Bedfordshire, that he was bred to the business of a brazier, and worked, as a journeyman, at Bedford."—Ed.]] commonly called Gipsy, the following evidence is adduced:—John Meikle, wright, declares, that, upon the twelfth of November last, he, being in the house of Thomas Riddle, in Newarthill, with some others, the deceased, William Baillie, James Kairns, and David Pinkerton, were in another room, drinking, where, after some high words, and a confused noise and squabble, the said three persons, above-named, went all out; and the declarant, knowing them to be three of those idle sorners that pass in the country under the name of Gipsies, in hopes they were gone off, rose, and went to the door, to take the air; where, to his surprise, he saw William Baillie standing, and Kairns and Pinkerton on horseback, with drawn swords in their hands, who both rushed upon the said William Bail-lie, and struck him with their swords ; whereupon, the said William Baillie fell down, crying out he was gone ; upon which, Kairns and Pinkerton rode off: That the declarant helped to carry the said William Baillie into the house, where, upon search, he was found to have a great cut or wound on his head, and a wound in his body, just below the slot of his breast: And declares, he, the said William Bail-lie, died some time after.

"Thomas Riddle, tenant and change-keeper in Newart-hill, &c, declares, that the deceased, William Baillie, James Kairns, and David Pinkerton, all idle sorners, that are known in the country by the name of Gipsies, came to the declarant's, about sun-setting, where, after some stay, and talking a jargon the declarant did not well understand, they fell a squabbling, when the declarant was in another room, with some other company; upon the noise of which, the declarant ran in to them, where he found the said James Kairns lying above the said William Baillie, whose nose the said James Kairns had bitten with his teeth till it bled; upon which, the declarant and his wife threatened to raise the town upon them, and get a constable to carry them to prison ; but Kairns and Pinkerton called for their horses, William Baillie saying he would not go with them: Declares that, after the said Kairns and Pinkerton had got their horses, and mounted, they ordered the declarant to bring a chopin of ale to the door to them, where William Baillie was standing, talking to them: That when the declarant had filled about the ale, and left them, thinking they were going off, the declarant's wife went to the door, where Kairns struck at her with a drawn sword, to fright her in ; upon which she ran in ; and thereupon the declarant went to the door, where he found the said William Baillie, lying with the wounds upon him, mentioned in John Meikle's declaration."

By Hume's work on the criminal law, it appears that the trial of David Pinkerton, with others of his tribe, took place on the 22nd August, 1726, for "sorning and robbery;" but no mention is made of the murder of Baillie; yet it was Baillie's relatives that pursued Pinkerton to the gallows. Probably sufficient evidence could not then be adduced to substantiate the fact, being about twenty-one months after the murder was committed ; and, besides, Baillie was himself dead in law, having either returned from banishment, or remained at large in the country, and so forfeited his life, when he was killed by Pinkerton, in 1724. The following is part of the interlocutor pronounced upon the indictment of the prisoners: "Find the said David Pinkerton, alias Maxwell, John Marshall, and Helen Baillie, alias Douglass, or any of them, their being habit and repute Egyptians, sorners or masterful beggars, in conjunction with said pannels, or any of them, their being, at the times and places libelled, guilty, art and part, of the fact of violence, theft, robbery, or attempts of robbery libelled, or any of the said facts relevant to infer the pain of death and confiscation of moveables."

William Baillie was succeeded, in the chieftainship, by his son Matthew, who married the celebrated Mary Yowston or Yorkston, and became the leader of a powerful horde of Gipsies in the south of Scotland. He frequently visited the farms of my grandfather, about the year 1770. It appears that his courtship had been after the Tartar manner; for he nscd to say that the toughest battle he ever fought was that of taking, by force, his bride, then a very young girl, from her mother, at the hamlet of Drummelzier. [The English Gipsies say that the old mode of getting a wife among the tribe was to steal her. The intended bride was nothing loth, still it was necessary to steal her, while the tribe were on the watch to detect and prevent it.—Ed.] This Matthew Baillie had, by Mary Yorkston, a son, who was also named Matthew, and who married Margaret Campbell, and had by her a family of remarkably handsome and pretty daughters. Of this principal Gipsy family, I can trace, distinctly, six generations in descent, and have myself seen the great-great-great-grand-children of the celebrated William Baillie. Some of his descendants still travel the country, in the manner of their ancestors, and at this moment speak the Gipsy language with fluency. Some of them, however, are little better than common beggars. There were, at one period, a captain and a quarter-master in the army, belonging to the Baillie clan; and another was a country surgeon.

Mary Yorkston, above mentioned, went under the appellations of "my lady," and "the duchess," and bore the title of queen, among her tribe. She presided at the celebration of their barbarous marriages, and assisted at their equally singular ceremonies of divorce. What the custom of this queen of the Gipsies was, when in full dress, in her youth, on gala days, cannot now be easily known; but the following is a description of her masculine figure, and public travelling apparel, when advanced in years. It was taken from the mouth of an aged and very respectable gentleman, the late Mr. David Stoddart, at Bankhead, near Queensferry, who had often seen her in his youth : She was fully six feet in stature, stout made in her person, with very strongly-marked and harsh features; and had, altogether, a very imposing aspect and manner. She wore a large black beaver-hat, tied down over her ears with a handkerchief, knotted below her chin, in the Gipsy fashion. Her upper garment was a dark-blue short cloak, somewhat after the Spanish fashion, made of substantial woollen cloth, approaching to superfine in quality. The greater part of her other apparel was made of dark-blue camlet cloth, with petticoats so short that they scarcely reached to the calves of her well-set legs. [Indeed, all the females among the Baillies wore petticoats of the same length.] Her stockings were of dark-blue worsted, flowered and ornamented at the ankles with scarlet thread ; and in her shoes she displayed large, massy, silver buckles. The whole of her habiliments were very substantial, with not a rag or rent to be seen about her person. [She was sometimes dressed in a green gown, trimmed with red ribbons.] Her outer petticoat was folded up round her haunehes, for a lap, with a large pocket dangling at each side ; and below her eloak she carried, between her shoulders, a small flat pack, or pad, which contained her most valuable articles. About her person she generally kept a large elasp-knife, with a long, broad blade, resembling a dagger or carving-knife; and carried in her hand a long pole or pike-staff, that reached about a foot above her head.

It was a common practice, about the middle of last century, for old female Gipsies of authority to strip, without hesitation, defenceless individuals of their wearing-apparel when they met them in sequestered places. Mary Yorkston chanced, on one occasion, to meet a shepherd's wife, among the wild hills in the parish of Stobo, and stripped her of the whole of her clothes. The shepherd was horrified at beholding his wife approaching his house in a state of perfect nakedness. A Jean Gordon was once detected, by a shepherd, stripping a female of her wearing-apparel. He at once assisted the helpless woman; but Jean drew from below her garments a dagger, and threw it at him. Evading the blow, the shepherd closed in upon her, and struck her over the head with his staff, knocking her to the ground. Another Gipsy of the old fashion, of the name of Esther Grant, was also celebrated for the practice of stripping people of their clothing. The Arabian principle, expressed in these words, on meeting a stranger in the desert, "Undress thyself—my wife, (thy aunt,) is in want of a garment," is truly applicable to the disposition of the old female Gipsies.

Nothing was more common, in the counties of Peebles and Lanark, when the country-people lost their purses at fairs, than to have recourse to the chief Gipsy females, to get their property returned to them. Mary Yorkston, having a sovereign influence and power among her tribe, was often applied to, in such cases of distress, of which the following is a good specimen:—On one of these occasions, in a market in the South of Scotland, a farmer lost his purse, containing a considerable sum of money, which greatly perplexed and distressed him. He immediately went to Mary Yorkston, to try if she would exert her wonderful influence to recover his property. Being a favourite of Mary's, she, without the least hesitation, took him along with her to the place in the fair where her husband kept his temporary depot, or rather his office, in which he exercised his extraordinary calling during the continuance of the market. The presence of Mary was a sufficient assurance that all was right; and, upon the matter being explained, Matthew Baillie instantly produced, and spread out before the astonished farmer, from twenty to thirty purses, and desired him to pick out his own from amongst them. The countryman soon recognized his own, and grasped at it without ceremony. "Hold on," said Baillie, "let us count its contents first." The Gipsy chief, with the greatest coolness and deliberation, as if he had been an honest banker or money-changer, counted over the money in the purse, when not a farthing was found wanting. "There is your purse, sir," continued Baillie; "you see what it is, when honest people meet!"

The following incident, that occurred one night after a fair, in a barn belonging to one of my relatives, will strikingly illustrate the character of the Gipsies in the matter of stealing purses:—A band of superior Gipsies were quartered in the barn, after several of them had attended the fair, in their usual manner. The principal female, whom I shall not name, had also been at the market; but the old chief had thought proper to remain at home, in the barn. My relative, as was sometimes his custom, chanced to take a turn about his premises that night, when it was pretty late. He heard the voice of a female weeping in the barn, and, being curious to know the cause of the disturbance among the Tinklers, stepped softly up, close to the back of the door, to listen to what they were doing, as the woman was crying bitterly. He was greatly astonished at hearing, and never could forget, the following expressions: "Oh, cruel man, to beat me in this way. I have had my hands in as good as twenty pockets, but the honest people had it not to themselves." The chieftain was, in fact, chastising his wife, in the presence of his family, for her want of diligence or success, in not obtaining enough of booty at the fair. And yet this individual bore, among the country-people, the character of an honest man.

Another story is told of Mary Yorkston and the Goodman of Coulter-park. It differs in its nature from the above anecdote, yet is very characteristic of the Gipsies. Mary and her band were lurking one night at a place in Clydesdale, called Raggingill. As a man on horseback approached the spot where they were concealed, some of the tribe immediately laid hold of the horse, and, without ceremony, commenced to plunder the rider. But Mary, stepping forth to superintend the operation, was astonished to find that the horseman was her particular friend, the Goodman of Coulter-park. She instantly exclaimed, with all her might: "It's Mr. Lindsay, the Gudeman o' Couterpark— let him gang—let him gang—God bless him, honest man!" It is needless to add that Mr. Lindsay had always given Mary and her horde the use of an out-house when they required it.

Mary Yorkston despised to ask what is properly under-derstood to be alms. She sold horn spoons and other articles; and, when she made a bargain, she would take, almost by force, what she called her "boontith," which is a present of victuals, exclusive of the cash paid; a practice which I will explain further on in the chapter.

Matthew Baillie had, by Mary Yorkston, among other children, a son, named James Baillie, who, along with his brothers, as we have seen, threatened with destruction the people assembled in Biggar fair, in consequence of an affront offered to his mother by a gardener of that town. He was condemned, in 1771, to be hung, for the murder of his wife, by beating her with a horse-whip, and tumbling her over a steep; but he "obtained a pardon from the king, on condition that he transported himself beyond seas within a limited time, otherwise the pardon was to have no effect." Baillie, paying little regard to the serious conditions of this pardon, did not " transport himself beyond seas," but continued his former practices, as appears by the following extract from the Weekly Magazine of the 8th October, 1772:— "James Baillie, who was last summer condemned for the murder of a woman, and afterwards obtained his majesty's pardon, on condition of transporting himself to America, for life, was lately apprehended at Falkirk, on suspicion of robbery. On the 1st October he was brought to town, and committed to the Tolbooth, by a warrant of Lord Auchinleck. This warrant was granted upon the petition of the procurator fiscal of Stirling, in which he set forth that, as Baillie was a very daring fellow, and suspected of being concerned with a gang equally so with himself, there was great reason to apprehend a rescue might be attempted, by breaking the prison; and therefore praying that he might be removed to Edinburgh, where a scheme of that nature could not so easily be effected." On the 18th December;; 1773, and 27th February, 1774, the "Lords, in terms of the said former sentence, decree and adjudge the said James Baillie to be hanged on the 30th March then next." He thus appears to have remained in prison from October, 1772, till March, 1774. "Soon after this sentence, he got another pardon," and was again discharged from prison, in order to his transporting himself; but he remained at home, and again relapsed into his former way of life. He was, some time afterwards, committed to Newcastle gaol, but made his escape. A short time after that, he was committed to Carlisle gaol, on suspicion of having stolen some plate. On the 4th December, 1776, three sheriff-officers set out from Edinburgh, to bring him hither ; but before they reached Carlisle, he had again broken prison and escaped. []

During one of the periods of Baillie's imprisonment, he escaped from jail, attired as a female ; having been assisted by some of his tribe, residing in the Grass-market of Edinburgh. Tradition states that the then Mistress Baillie, of Lamington, and her family, vised all their interest in obtaining these pardons for James Baillie ; who, like his fathers before him, pretended to be a bastard relative of the family of Lamington, and thereby escaped the punishment of death. McLaurin justly remarks that " few cases have occurred in which there has been such an expenditure of mercy." [It appears, from Vidocq's memoirs, that the Gipsies on the continent changed their apparel, so as they could not again be recognized: " At break of day everybody was on foot, and the general toilet was made. But for their (the Gipsies') prominent features, their raven-black tresses, and oily Ľnd tanned skins, I should scarcely have recognized my companions of the preceding evening. The men, clad in rich jockey Holland vests, with leathern sashes like those worn by the men of Poirsy, and the women, covered with ornaments of gold and silver, assumed the costume of Zealand peasants; even the children, whom I had seen covered with rags, were neatly clothed, and had an entirely different appearance. All soon left the house, and took different directions, that they might not reach the market place together, where the country-people were assembled in crowds."— Yidocq had lodged all night in a ruinous house, with a band of Gipsies.]

I have already mentioned how handsomely the superior order of Gipsies dressed at the period of which we are speaking. The male head of the Ruthvens—a man six feet some inches in height—who, according to the newspapers of the day, lived to the advanced age of 115 years, when in full dress, in his youth, wore a white wig, a ruffled shirt, a blue Scottish bonnet, scarlet breeches and waistcoat, a long blue superfine coat, white stockings, with silver buckles in his shoes. Others wore silver brooches in their breasts, and gold rings on their fingers. The male Gipsies in Scotland were often dressed in green coats, black breeches, and leathern aprons. The females were very partial to green clothes. At the same time, the following anecdote will show how artful they were at all times, by means of dress and other equipments, to transform themselves, like actors on the stage, into various characters, whenever it suited their purposes.

My father, when a young lad, noticed a large band of Gipsies taking up their quarters one night in an old outhouse on a farm occupied by his father. The band had never been observed on the farm before, and seemed all to be strangers, with, altogether, a very ragged and miserable appearance. Next morning, a little after breakfast, as the band began to pack up their baggage, and load their asses, preparatory to proceeding on their journey, the youth, out of curiosity, went forward to see the horde decamp. Among other articles of luggage, he observed a large and heavy sack put upon one of the asses ; and, as the Gipsies were fastening it upon the back of the animal, the mouth of it burst open, and the greater part of its contents fell upon the ground. He was not a little surprised when he beheld a great many excellent cocked hats, suits of fine green clothes, great-coats, &c, with several handsome saddles and bridles, tumble out of the bag. At this unexpected accident, the Gipsies were much disconcerted. By some strange expressions and odd manoeuvres, they endeavoured to drive the boy from their presence, and otherwise engage his attention, to prevent him observing the singular furniture contained in the unlucky sack. By thus carrying along with them these superior articles, so unlike their ordinary wretched habiliments, the ingenious Gipsies had it always in their power to disguise themselves, whenever circumstances called for it. The following anecdote will, in some measure, illustrate the "gallant guise" in which these wanderers, at one time, rode through Scotland.

About the year 1768, early in the morning of the day of a fair, held annually at Peebles, in the month of May, two gentlemen were observed riding along the only road that led to my grandfather's farm. One of the servant girls was immediately told to put the parlour in order, to receive the strangers, as, from their respectable appearance, at a distance, it was supposed they were friends, coming to breakfast, before going to the market; a custom common enough in the country. This preparation, however, proved unnecessary, as the strangers rode rapidly past the dwelling-house, and alighted at the door of an old smearing-house, nearly roofless, situated near some alder trees, about three hundred yards further up a small mountain stream. In passing, they were observed to be neatly dressed in long green coats, cocked hats, riding-boots and spurs, armed with broadswords, and mounted on handsome grey ponies, saddled and bridled; everything, in short, in style, and of the best quality. The people about the farm were extremely curious to know who these handsomely-attired gentlemen could be, who, without taking the least notice of any one, dismounted at the wretched hovel of a sheep-smearing house, where nothing but a band of Tinklers were quartered. Their curiosity, however, was soon satisfied, and not a little mirth was excited, on it being ascertained that the gallant horsemen were none other than James and William Baillie, sons of old Matthew Baillie, who, with part of his tribe, were, at the moment, in the old house, making horn spoons. But greater was their surprise, when several of the female Gipsies set out, immediately afterwards, for the fair, attired in very superior dresses, with the air of ladies in the middle ranks of society. [The females of this tribe also rode to the fairs at Moffat and Biggar, on horses, with side-saddles and bridles, the ladies themselves being very gaily dressed. The males wore scarlet cloaks, reaching to their knees, and resembling exactly the Spanish fashion of the present day.]

Besides the large hordes that traversed the south of Scotland, parties of twos and threes also passed through the country, apparently not at all connected, nor in communication, at the time, with the large bands. When a single Gipsy and his wife, or other female, were observed to take up their quarters by themselves, it was supposed they had either fallen out with their clan, or had the officers of the law in pursuit of them. Sometimes the chiefs would enquire of the country people, if such and such a one of their tribe had passed by, this or that day, lately. Under "any circumstances, the presence of a female does not excite so much suspicion as a single male. In following their profession, as tinkers, the Gipsies seldom, or never, travel without a female in their company, and, I believe, they sometimes hire them to accompany them, to hawk their wares through the country. The tinker keeps himself snug in an out-house, at his work, while the female vends his articles of sale, aud forages for him, in the adjoining country.

One of these straggling Gipsies, of the name of William Keith, was apprehended in an old smearing-house, on a farm occupied by my grandfather, in Tweed-dale. William had been concerned, with his brother Robert, in the murder of one of their clan, of the name of Charles Anderson, at a small public-house among the Lammermoor hills, called Lourie's Den. Robert Keith and Anderson had fallen out, and had followed each other for some time, for the purpose of fighting out their quarrel. They at last met at Lourie's Deu, when a terrible combat ensued. The two antagonists were brothers-in-law ; Anderson being married to Keith's sister. Anderson proved an over-match for Keith ; and William Keith, to save his brother, laid hold of Anderson; but Mage Greig, Robert's wife, handed her husband a knife, and called on lain to despatch him, while unable to defend himself. Robert repeatedly struck with the knife, but it rebounded from the ribs of the unhappy man, without much effect. Impatient at the delay, Mage called out to him, "strike laigh, strike laigh in;" and, following her directions, he stabbed Anderson to the heart. The only remark made by any of the gang was this exclamation from one of them: "Gude faith, Rob, ye have done for him noo!" But William Keith was astonished when he found that Anderson was stabbed in his arms, as his interference was only to save the life of his brother from the overwhelming strength of Anderson. Robert Keith instantly fled, but was immediately pursued by people armed with pitchforks and muskets. He was apprehended in a braken-bush, in which he had concealed himself, and was executed at Jedburgh, on the 24th November, 1772.

Sir Walter Scott, and the Ettrick Shepherd, slightly notice this murder at Lourie's Den, in their communications to Blackwood's Magazine. One of the individuals who assisted at the apprehension of Keith was the father of Sir Walter Scott. The following notice of this bloody scene appeared in one of the periodical publications at the time it occurred: "By a letter from Lauder, we are informed of the following murder: On Wednesday night, three men, with a boy, supposed to be tinkers, put up at a little public-house near Soutra. From the after conduct of two of the men, it would appear that a difference had subsisted between them, before they came into the house, for they had drunk but very little when the quarrel was renewed with great vehemence, and, in the dispute, one of the fellows drew a knife, and stabbed the other in the body no less than seven different times, of which wounds he soon after expired. The gang then immediately made off; but upon the country-people being alarmed, the murderer himself and one of the women were apprehended."* Long after this battle took place, James Bartram and Robert Brydon, messengers-at-arms in Peebles, were dispatched to apprehend William Keith, in the ruinous house already mentioned. As they entered the building, early in the morning, with cocked pistols in their hands, Keith, a powerful man, rose up, half naked, from his shake-down, and, holding out a pistol, dared them to advance. Bartram, the chief officer, with the utmost coolness and bravery, advanced close up to the muzzle of the Gipsy's pistol, and, clapping his own to the head of the desperate Tinkler, threatened him with instant death if he did not surrender. A Gipsy, who had informed against Keith, was with the officers, as their guide; but the moment he saw Keith's pistol, he artfully threw himself, upon his back, to the ground. He immediately rose to his feet, but, in great terror, sprang, like a greyhound, over a favld dyke, to escape a shot which Keith threatened. The intrepid conduct of the officers completely daunted the Gipsy. He yielded, and allowed himself to be hand-cuffed, thinking that the messengers were strongly supported by the servants on the farm ; for, on perceiving only the two officers, he became desperate, but he was now fast in irons. In great bitterness he exclaimed, "Had I not, on Saturday night, observed five stout men on Mr. Simson's turf-hill, ye wadna a' hae ta'en me." The five individuals were all remarkably strong men. It was on Monday morning the Gipsy was apprehended, and it would appear he had been reconnoitering on Saturday, before risking to take up his quarters, which he did without asking permission from any one. He imagined that the five turf-casters were ready to assist the officers in the execution of their duty, and that it would have been in vain for him to make any resistance. The frantic Gipsy now leaped and tossed about in the most violent manner imaginable. He struck with so much vigour, with his hands bound in irons, and kicked so powerfully with his feet, that it was with the greatest difficulty the officers could get him carried to the jail at Peebles. His wife came into the kitchen of the farmhouse, weeping and wailing excessively; and on some of the servant-girls endeavouring to calm her grief, she, among other bitter expressions, exclaimed, "Had a decent, honest man, like the master, informed, I would not have cared; but for a blackguard like ourselves to inform, is unsufferable." Keith was tried, condemned, and banished to the plantations, for the part he acted at the slaughter at Lourie's Den.

Here we have seen the melancholy fate of two, if not three, of the then Gipsy constabulary force in Peebles-shire; one murdered, another hanged, and the third banished. However strange it may appear at the present day, it is nevertheless true, that the magistrates of this county, about this period, (1772,) actually appointed and employed a number of the principal Gipsies as peace officers, constables, or country-keepers, as they were called, of whom I will speak again in another place.

The nomadic Gipsies in general, like the Baillies in particular, have gradually declined in appearance, till, at the present day, the greater part of them have become little better than beggars, when compared to what they were in former times. Among those who frequented the south of Scotland were to be found various grades of rank, as in all other communities of men. There were then wretched and ruffian-looking gangs, in whose company the superior Gipsies would not have been seen.

The reader will have observed the complete protection which William Baillie's token afforded Eobert McVitie, when two men were about to rob him, while travelling with his packs, between Elvanfoot and Moffat. This system of tokens made part of the general internal polity of the Gipsies. These curious people stated to me that Scotland was at one time divided into districts, and that each district was assigned to a particular tribe. The chieftains of these tribes issued tokens to the members of their respective hordes, "when they scattered themselves over the face of the country." The token of a local chieftain protected its bearer only while within his own district. If found without this token, or detected travelling in a district for which the token was not issued, the individual was liable to be plundered, beaten, and driven back into his own proper territory, by those Gipsies on whose rights and privileges he had infringed. These tokens were, at certain periods, called in and renewed, to prevent any one from forging them. They were generally made of tin, with certain characters impressed upon them; and the token of each tribe had its own particular mark, and was well known to all the Gipsies in Scotland. But while these passes of the provincial chieftains were issued only for particular districts, a token of the Baillie family protected its bearer throughout the kingdom of Scotland; a fact which clearly proves the superiority of that ancient clan. Several Gipsies have assured me that "a token from a Baillie was good over all Scotland, and that kings and queens had come of that family." And an old Gipsy also declared to me that the tribes would get into utter confusion, were the country not divided into districts, under the regulations of tokens. It sometimes happened, as in the case of Robert McVitie and others, that the Gipsies gave passes or tokens to some of their particular favourites who were not of their own race.

This system of Gipsy polity establishes a curious fact, namely, the double division and occupation of the kingdom of Scotland ; by ourselves as a civilized people, and by a barbarous community existing in our midst, each subject to its own customs, laws and government; and that, while the Gipsies were preying upon the vitals of the civilized society which harboured them, and were amenable to its laws, they were, at the same time, governed by the customs of their own fraternity.

The surnames most common among the old Tweed-dale bands of Gipsies were Baillie, Ruthven, Kennedy, Wilson, Keith, Anderson, Robertson, Stewart, Tait, Geddes, Grey, Wilkie and Halliday. The three principal clans were the Baillies, Ruthvens and Kennedys; but, as I have already mentioned, the tribe of Baillie were superior to all others, in point of authority as well as in external appearance. [According to Hoyland, the most common names among the English tented Gipsies are Smith, Cooper, Draper, Taylor, Boswell, Lee, Lovel, Loversedge, Allen, Mansfield. Glover, Williams, Carew, Martin, Stanley, Berkley, Plunket, and Corrie. Mr. Borrow says: "The clans Young and Smith, or Curraple, still haunt two of the eastern counties. The name Cur-raple is a favourite among the English Gipsies. It means a smith—a name very appropriate to a Gipsy. The root is Curaw, to strike, hammer, &c." Among the English and Scottish Gipsies in America, I have found a great variety of surnames.—Ed.]

Besides the christian and surnames common to them in Scotland, the Gipsies have names in their own language [In the "Gipsies in Spain." Mr. Borrow says: "Every family in England has two names; one by which they are known to the Gentiles, and another which they use among themselves."—Ed.] and, while travelling through the country, assume new names every morning, before commencing the day's journey, and retain them till money is received, in one way or other, by each individual of the company; but if no money is received before twelve o'clock, they all, at noon-tide, resume their permanent Scottish names. They consider it unlucky to set out on a journey, in the morning, under their own proper names; and if they are, by any chance, called back, by any of their neighbours, they will not again stir from home for that day. The Gipsies also frequently change their British names when from home: in one part of the country they have one name, and in another part they appear under a different one, and so on.

I will now describe the appearance of the Gipsies in Tweed-dale during the generation immediately following the one in which we have considered them; and would make this remark, that this account applies to them of late years, with this exception, that the numbers in which the nomadic class are to be met with are greatly reduced, their condition greatly fallen, and the circumstances attending their reception, countenance and toleration, much modified, and in some instances totally changed.

Within the memories of my father and grandfather, which take in about the last hundred years, none of the Gipsies who traversed Tweed-dale carried tents with them for their accommodation. The whole of them occupied the kilns and out-houses in the country ; and so thoroughly did they know the country, and where these were to be found, and the disposition of the owners of them, that they were never at a loss for shelter in their wanderings.

Some idea may be formed of the number of Gipsies who would sometimes be collected together, from the following extract from the Clydesdale Magazine, for May, 1818: "Mr. Steel, of Kilbucho Mill, bore a good name among 'tanderal gangerals.' His kiln was commodious, and some hardwood trees, which surrounded his house, bid defiance to the plough, and formed a fine pasture-sward for the cuddies, on a green of considerable extent. On a summer Saturday night, Mary came to the door, asking quarters, pretty late. She had only a single ass, and a little boy swung in the panniers. She got possession of the kiln, as usual, and the ass was sent to graze on the green ; but Mary was only the avant-garde. Next morning, when the family rose, they counted no less than forty cuddies on the grass, and a man for each of them in the kiln, besides women and children." Considering the large families the Gipsies generally have, and allowing at this meeting two asses for carrying the infants and luggage of each family, there could not have been less than one hundred Gipsies on the spot

My parents recollect the Gipsies, about the year 1775, traversing the county of Tweed-dale, and parts of the surrounding shires, in bands varying in numbers from ten to upwards of thirty in each horde. Sometimes ten or twelve horses and asses were attached to one large horde, for the purpose of carrying the children, baggage, &c. In the summer of 1784, forty Gipsies, in one band, requested permission of my father to occupy one of his out-houses. It was good-humouredly observed to them that, when such numbers of them came in one body, they should send their quartermaster in advance, to mark out their camp. The Gipsies only smiled at the remark. One half of them got the house requested; the other half occupied an old, ruinous mill, a mile distant. There were above seven of these large bands which frequented the farms of my relatives in Tweed-dale down to about the year 1790. A few years after this period, when a boy, I assisted to count from twenty-four to thirty Gipsies who took up their quarters in an old smearing-house on one of these farms. The children, and the young folks generally, were running about the old house like bees flying about a hive. Their horses, asses, dogs, cats, poultry, and tamed birds were numerous.

These bands did not repeat their visits above twice &, year, but in many instances the principal families remained for three or four weeks at a time. Prom their manner and conduct generally, they seemed to think that they had a right to receive, from the family on whose grounds they halted, food gratis for twenty-four hours; for, at the end of that period, they almost always provided victuals for themselves, however long they might remain on the farm. The servants of my grandfather, when these large bands arrived, frequently put on the kitchen fire the large family kail-pot, of the capacity of thirty-two Scotch pints, or about sixteen gallons, to cook victuals for these wanderers.

The first announcement of the approach of a Gipsy band was the chief female, with, perhaps, a child on her back, and another walking at her feet. The chieftain himself, with his asses and baggage, which he seldom quits, is, perhaps, a mile and a half in the rear, baiting his beasts of burden, near the side of the road, waiting the return and report of his quarter-mistress. This chief female requests permission for her gude-man and weary bairns to take up their quarters for the night, in an old out-house. Knowing perfectly the disposition of the individual from whom she asks lodgings, she is seldom refused. A farmer's wife, whom I knew, on granting this indulgence to a female in advance of her band, added, by way of caution, "but ye must not steal anything from me, then." "We'll no' play ony tricks on you, mistress ; but others will pay for that," was the Gipsy's reply.

Instead, however, of the chief couple and a child or two, the out-house, before night-fall, or next morning, will perhaps contain from twenty to thirty individuals of all ages and sexes. The different members of the horde are observed to arrive at head-quarters as single individuals, in twos, and in threes ; some of the females with baskets on their arms, some of the males with fishing-rods in their hands, trout creels on their backs, and large dogs at their heels. The same rule is observed when the camp breaks up. The old chief and two or three of his family generally take the van. The other members of the band linger about the old house in which they have been quartered, for several days after the chiefs are gone ; they, however, move off, in small parties . of twos or as single individuals, on different days, till the whole horde gradually disappear. Above three grown-up Gipsies are seldom seen travelling together. In this manner have the Gipsies traversed the Kingdom, concealing their numbers from public observation, and only appearing in large bands on the grounds of those individuals of the community who were not disposed to molest them. On such occasions, when the chief Gipsies continued encamped, they would be visited by small parties of their friends, arriving and departing almost daily.

Excepting that of sometimes allowing their asses to go, under night, into the barn-yard, as if it were by accident, to draw the stacks of corn, it is but fair and just to state, that I am not aware of a single Gipsy ever having injured the property of any of my relatives in Tweed-dale, although their opportunities were many and tempting. My ancestor's extensive business required him. almost daily, to travel, on horseback, over the greater part of the south of Scotland: and he was often under the necessity of exposing himself by riding at night, yet he never received the slightest molestation, to his knowledge, from the Gipsies. They were as inoffensive and harmless as lambs to him, and to every one connected with his family. Whenever they beheld him, every head was uncovered, while they would exclaim, "There is Mr. Simson; God bless him, honest man!" And woe would have been to that man who would have dared to treat him badly, had these determined wanderers been present.

The Gipsies may be compared to the raven of the rock, as a complete emblem of their disposition. Allow the corbie shelter, and to build her nest in your cliffs and wastes, and she will not touch your property; but harass her, and destroy her brood, and she will immediately avenge herself upon your young lambs, with terrible fury. [It is known that the rock-raven, or corbie, seldom preys upon the flocks around her nest j but the moment she is deprived of her young, she will, to the utmost of her power, wreak her vengeance on the young lambs in her immediate neighbourhood. I have known the corbie, when bereaved of her brood, tear, with her beak, the very foggage from the earth, and toss it about; and before twenty-four hours elapsed, several lambs would fall a sacrifice to her fury. I have also observed that grouse, where the ground suits their breeding, are generally very plentiful close around the eyrie of the relentless falcon.] Washings of clothes, of great value, were often left out in the field?, under night, and were as safe as if they had been within the dwelling-house, under lock and key, when the Gipsies happened to be quartered on the premises. If any of their children had dared to lay its hands upon the most trifling article, its parents would have given it a severe beating. On one occasion, when a Gipsy was beating one of his children, for some trifling offence it had committed, my relative observed to him that the boy had done no harm. "If he has not been in fault just now, sir, it will not be long till he be in one; so the beating he has got will not be thrown away on him," was the Tinkler's reply.

When the Gipsies took up their residence on the cold earthen floor of an old out-house, the males and females of the different families had always beds by themselves, made of straw and blankets, and called shake-downs. The younger branches also slept by themselves, in separate beds, the males apart from the females. When the band consisted of more families than one, each family occupied a separate part of the floor of the house, distinct from their neighbours; kindled a separate fire, at which they cooked their victuals; and made horn spoons and other articles for themselves, for sale in the way of their calling. They formed, as it were, a camp on the ground-floor of the ruinous house, in which would sometimes be observed five mothers of families, some of whom would be such before they were seventeen years of age. The principal Gipsies who, about this period, travelled Tweed-dale, were never known to have had more than one wife at a time, or to have put away their wives for trifling causes.

On such occasions, the chief and the grown-up males of the band seldom or never set foot within the door of the farm-house, but generally kept themselves quite aloof and retired ; exposing themselves to observation as little as possible. They employed themselves in repairing broken china, utensils made of copper, brass and pewter, pots, pans and kettles, and white-iron articles generally ; and in making horn spoons, smoothing-irons, and sole-clouts for ploughs. But working in horn is considered by them as their favourite and most ancient occupation. It would certainly be one of the first employments of man, at a very early stage of human society—that of converting the horns of animals for the use of the human race: and such has been the regard which the Gipsies have had for it, that every clan knows the spoons which are made by another. The females also assisted in polishing, and otherwise finishing, the spoons. However early the farm-servants rose to their ordinary employments, they always found the Tinklers at work.

A considerable portion of the time of the males was occupied in athletic amusements. They were constantly exercising themselves in leaping, cudgel-playing, throwing the hammer, casting the putting-stone, playing at golf? quoits, and other games; and while they were much given, on other occasions, to keep themselves from view, the extraordinary ambition which they all possessed, of beating every one they met with, at these exercises, brought them sometimes in contact with the men about the farm, master as well as servants. They were fond of getting the latter to engage with them, for the purpose of laughing at their inferiority in these healthy and manly amusements ; but when any of the country-people chanced to beat them at these exercises, as was sometimes the case, they could not conceal their indignation at the affront. Their haughty scowl plainly told that they were ready to wipe out the insult in a different and more serious manner. Indeed, they were always much disposed to treat farm-servants with contempt, as quite their inferiors in the scale of society; and always boasted of their own high birth, and the antiquity of their family. They were extremely fond of the athletic amusement of "o'erending the tree," which was performed in this way: The end of a spar or beam, above six feet long, and of a considerable thickness and weight, is placed upon the upper part of the right foot, and held about the middle, in a perpendicular position, by the right hand. Standing upon the left foot, and raising the right a little from the ground, and drawing it as far back as possible, and then bringing the foot forward quickly to the front, the spar is thrown forward into the air, from off the foot, with great force. And he who "overends the tree" the greatest number of times in the air, before it reaches the ground, is considered the most expert, and the strongest man. A great many of these Gipsies had a saucy military gesture in their walk, and generally carried in their hands short, thick cudgels, about three feet in length. While they travelled, they generally unbuttoned the knees of their breeches, and rolled down the heads of their stockings, so as to leave the joints of their knees bare, and unincumbered by their clothes.

During the periods they occupied the out-houses of the farms, the owners of which were kind to them, the Gipsies were very orderly in their deportment, and temperate in the use of spirituous liquors, being seldom seen intoxicated; and were very courteous and polite to all the members of the family. Their behaviour was altogether very orderly, peaceable, quiet, and inoffensive. In gratitude for their free-quarters, they frequently made, from old metal, smoothing-irons for the mistress, and sole-clouts for the ploughs of the master, and spoons for the family, from the horns of rains, or other horns that happened to be about the house ; for all of which they would take nothing. They, however, did not attend the church, while encamped on the premises ; at the same time, they took especial care to give no molestation, or cause of offence, to any about the farm, on Sunday; being, indeed, seldom seen on that day out-side of the door of the house in which they were quartered, saving an individual to look after their horses or asses, while grazing in the neighbouring fields. Their religious sentiments were confined entirely within their own breasts; and it was impossible to know what were their real opinions on the score of religion. However, within the last ten years, I enquired, very particularly, of an intelligent Gipsy, what religion his forefathers professed, and his answer was, that "the Gipsies had no religious sentiments at all; that they worshipped no sort of thing whatever."

Many practised music; and the violin and bag-pipes were the instruments they commonly used. This musical talent of the Gipsies delighted the country-people ; it operated like a charm upon their feelings, and contributed much to procure the wanderers a night's quarters. Many of the families of the farmers looked forward to the expected visits of the merry Gipsies with pleasure, and regretted their departure. Some of the old women sold salves and drugs, while some of the males had pretensions to a little surgery. One of them, of the name of Campbell, well known by the title of Dr. Duds, traversed the south of Scotland, accompanied by a number of women. He prescribed, and sold medicines to the inhabitants ; and several odd stories are told of the very unusual, but successful, cures performed by him.

As in arranging for, and taking up, their quarters, the principal female Gipsy almost always negotiates the transactions which the horde have with the farmer's family, during their abode on his premises. Indeed, the females are the most active, if not the principal, members of the tribe, in vending their articles of merchandise. The time at which, on such occasions, they present these for sale, is the day after their arrival on the farm, and immediately after the breakfast of the farmer's family is over. When there are more families than one in the band, but all of our horde, the chief female of the whole gets the first chance of selling her wares; but every head female of the respective families bargains for her own merchandise, for the behoof of her own family. When the farmer's family is in want of any of their articles, an extraordinary higgling and chaffering takes place in making the bargain. Besides money, the Gipsy woman insists upon having what she calls her "boontith"—that is. a present in victuals, as she is fond of bartering her articles for provisions. If the mistress of the house agrees, and goes to her larder or milk-house for the purpose of giving her this boontith, the Gipsy is sure to follow close at her heels. Admitted into the larder, the voracious Tinkler will have part of everything she sees—flesh, meal, butter, cheese, &c, &c. Her fiery and penetrating eye darts, with rapidity, from one object to another. She makes use of every argument she can think of to induce the farmer's wife to comply with her unreasonable demands. "I'm wi' bairn, mistress", she will say; "I'm greenin'; God bless ye, gie me a wee bit flesh to taste my mouth, if it should no' be the book o' a robin-red-breast." [After recovery from child-birth, the Gipsy woman recommences her course of begging or stealing, with her child in her arms; and then she is more rapacious than at other times, taking whatever she can lay her hands upon. Fur she calculates upon escaping without a beating, by holding up her child to receive the blows aimed at her; which she knows will have the effect of making the aggrieved person desist, till she finds an opportunity of getting out of the way.—Grellmann on the Hungarian Gipsies.—Ed.] If the farmer's wife still disregards her importunities, the Gipsy will, in the end, snatch up a piece of flesh, and put it into her lap. in a twinkling ; for out of the larder she will not go. without something or other. The farmer's wife, ever on the alert, now takes hold of the sorner, to wrest the flesh from her clutches, when a serious personal struggle ensues. She will frequently be under the necessity of calling for the assistance of her servants, to thrust the intruder out of the apartment; but the cautious Gipsy takes care not to let matters go too far : she yields the contest, and, laughing heartily at the good-wife losing her temper, immediately assumes her ordinary polite manner. And notwithstanding all that has taken place, both parties generally part on good terms.

On one of these bargain-making occasions, as the wife of the farmer of Glencotha, in Tweed-dale, went to give a boontith to Mary Yorkston, the harpy thrust, unobserved, about four pounds weight of tallow into her lap. On the return of the good-wife, the tallow was missed. She charged Mary with the theft, but Mary, with much gravity of countenance, exclaimed: "God bless ye, mistress, I wad steal from mony a one before I wad steal from you." The good-wife, however, took hold of Mary, to search her person. A struggle ensued, when the tallow fell out of Mary's lap, on the kitchen-floor. At this exposure, in the very act of stealing, the Gipsy burst into a fit of laughter, exclaiming: "The Lord hae a care o' me, mistress; ye hae surely little to spare, whan ye winna let a body take a bit tauch for a candle, to light her to bed." At another time, this Gipsy gravely told the good-wife of Eachan-mill, that she must give her a pound of butter for her boontith, that time, as it would be the last she would ever give her. Astonished at the extraordinary saying, the good-wife demanded, with impatience, what she meant. " You will," rejoined the Gipsy, "be in eternity (by a certain day, which she named,) and I will never see you again; and this will be the last boontith you will ever give me." The good-wife of Rachan-mill, however, survived the terrible prediction for several years.

[The following facts will show what a Scottish Tinkler, at the present day, will sometimes do in the way of "sorning," or masterful begging. One of the race paid a visit to the house of a country ale-wife, and, in a crowded shop, vaulted the counter, and applied his bottle to her whiskey-tap. Immediately a cry, with up-lifted hands, was raised for the police, but the prudent ale-wife treated the circumstance with indifference, and exclaimed: " Hout, tout, tout! let the deil ta' a wee drappie."

On another occasion, a Gipsy woman entered a country pnblic-house, leaving her partner at a short distance from the door. Espying a drawn bottle of porter, standing on a table, in a room in which were two females sitting, she, without the least ceremony, filled a glass, and drank it off; but before she could decant another, the other Gipsy, feeling sure of the luck of his mate, from her being admitted into the premises, immediately proceeded to share it with her. But he had hardly drank off the remainder of the porter, ere a eon of the mistress of the house made his appearance, and demanded what was wanted. "Want—want?' replied the Gipsy, with a leering eye towards the empty bottle; "we want nothing—we've got all that we want!" On being ordered to "walk out of that," they left, with a smile of satisfaction playing on their weather-beaten countenances.

Such displays of Gipsy impudence sometimes call forth only a hearty laugh from the people affected by them.—Ed.]

The female Gipsies also derived considerable profits from their trade of fortune-telling. The art of telling fortunes was not, however, general among the Gipsies; it was only certain old females who pretended to be inspired with the gift of prophecy. The method which they adopted to get at the information which often enabled them to tell, if not fortunes, at least the history, and condition of mind, of individuals, with great accuracy, was somewhat this :

The inferior Gipsies generally attended our large country " penny-weddings, in former times, both as musicians and for the purpose of receiving the fragments of the entertainments. At the wedding in the parish of Corstorphine, to which I have alluded, under the chapter of Fife and Stirlingshire Gipsies, Charles Stewart entered into familiar conversation with individuals present; joking with them about their sweet-hearts, and love-matters generally ; telling them he had noticed such a one at such a place ; and observing to another that he had seen him at such a fair, and so on. He always enquired about their masters, and places of abode, with other particulars relative to their various connections and circumstances in life. Here, the Gipsy character displays itself; here, we see Stewart, while he seems a mere merry-andrew, to the heedless, merry-making people at these weddings, actually reading, with deep sagacity, their characters and dispositions; and ascertaining the places of residence, and connexions, of many of the individuals of the country through which he travelled. In this manner, by continually roaming up and down the kingdom, now as individuals in disguise, at other times in bands—not passing a house in their route—observing everything taking place in mixed assemblies, at large weddings, and general gatherings of the people at fairs—scanning, with the eye of a hawk, both males and females, for the purpose of robbing them—did the Gipsies, with their great knowledge of human character, become thoroughly acquainted with particular incidents concerning many individuals of the population. Hence proceed, in a great measure, the warlockry and fortune-telling abilities of the shrewd and sagacious Gipsies.

Or, suppose an old Gipsy female, who traverses the kingdom, has a relative a lady's maid in a family of rank, and another a musician in a band, playing to the first classes of society, in public or private assemblies, the travelling spae-wife would not be without materials for carrying on her trade of fortune-telling. The observant handmaid, and the acute, penetrating fiddler would, of course, communicate to their wandering relative every incident and circumstance that came under their notice, which would, at an after and suitable period, enable the cunning fortune-teller to astonish some of the parties who had been at these meetings, when in another part of the country, remote in time, and distant in place, from the spot where the occurrences happened.

In order that they might not lessen the importance and value of their art, these Gipsies pretended they could tell no one's fortune for anything less than silver, or articles of wearing-apparel, or other things of value. Besides telling fortunes by palmistry, [The Kamtschadales, says Dr. Grieve, in his translation of a Russian account of Kamtschatka, pretend to chiromancy, and tell a man's good or bad fortune by the lines of his hand; but the rules which they follow are kept a great secret. Page 206.] they foretold destiuies by divination of the cup, their method of doing which appears to be nearly the same as that practised among the ancient Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Egyptians, perhaps, about the time of Joseph. The Gipsy method was, and I may say is, this : The divining cup, which is made of tin, or pewter, and about three inches in diameter, was filled with water, and sometimes with spirits. Into the cup a certain quantity of a melted substance, resembling tin, was dropped from a crucible, which immediately formed itself, in the liquid, into curious figures, resembling frost-work, seen on windows in winter. The compound was then emptied into a trencher, and from the arrangements or constructions of the figures, the destiny of the enquiring individual was predicted.

[Julius Serenus, says Stackhouse, tells us, that the method among the Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Egyptians was to fill the cup with water, then throw into it thin plates of gold and silver, together with some precious stones, whereon were engraven certain characters, and, after that, the person who came to consult the oracle used certain forms of incantation, and, eo calling upon the devil, were wont to receive their answer several ways: sometimes by particular sounds; sometimes hy the characters which were in the cup rising upon the surface of the water, and by their arrangement forming the answer; and many times by the visible appearsnce of the persons themselves, about whom the oracle was consulted. Cornelius Agripps (De Occult. Philos. LI, c. 67,) tells us, likewise, that the manner of some was to pour melted wax into the cup wherein was water; which wax would range itself in order, and so form answers, according to the questions proposed.—Saurin's Dissertation, 38, and Hudrggtr's Hit. palriar. excrcil. 20.

Fortune-telling is punishable by the 9th Geo. II, chap. 5th. In June, 1806, a woman, of the name of Maxwell, commonly called the Galloway sorceress, was tried for this offence, by a jury, before the Stewart of Kirkcutibright, and was sentenced to imprisonment and the pillory.—Burnet on Criminal Law, "page 173.]

While performing the ceremony, the Gipsies muttered, in their own language, certain incantations, totally unintelligible to the spectator. The following fact, however, will, more particularly, show the manner in which these Gipsy sorceresses imposed on the credulous.

A relative of mine had several servant-girls who would, one day, have their fortunes told. The old Gipsy took them, one at a time, into an apartment of the house, and locked the door after her. My relative, feeling a curiosity in the matter, observed their operations, and overheard their conversation, through a chink in the partition of the room. A bottle of whiskey, and a wine glass, were produced by the girl, and the sorceress filled the glass, nearly full, with the spirits. Into the liquor she dropped part of the white of a raw egg, and taking out of her pocket something like chalk, scraped part of it into the mixture. Certain figures now appeared in the glass, and, muttering some jargon, unintelligible to the girl, she held it up between her eyes and the window. "There is your sweetheart now—look at him— do you not see him?" exclaimed the Gipsy to the trembling girl; and, after telling her a number of events which were to befall her, in her journey through life, she held out the glass, and told her to "cast that in her mouth"—"Me drink that? The Lord forbid that I should drink a drap o't." "E'ens ye like, my woman; I can tak' it mysel," quoth the Gipsy, and, suiting the action to the word, "cast" the whiskey, eggs and chalk [It is not unlikely that the "something like chalk," here mentioned, was nothing but a nutmeg, with which, and the eggs and whiskey, the Gipay would make, what is called, "egg-nogg."—Ed.] down her throat, in an instant. Knowing well that the idea of swallowing the glass in which their future husbands were seen, and their own fortunes told, in so mysterious a manner, would make the girls shudder, the cunning Gipsy gave each of them, in succession, the order to drink, and, the moment they refused, threw the contents of the "divining cup" into her own mouth. In this manner did the Gipsy procure, at one time, no less than four glasses of ardent spirits, and sixpence from each of the credulous girls.

The country-girls, however, never could stand out the operations of telling fortunes by the method of turning a corn-riddle, with scissors attached, in a solitary out-house.

Whenever the Gipsy commenced her work, and, with her mysterious mutterings, called out: "Turn riddle—turn— shears and all," the terrified girls fled to the house, impressed with the belief that the devil himself would appear to them, on the spot.

The Gipsies in Tweed-dale were never in want of the best of provisions, having always an abundance of fish, flesh, and fowl. At the stages at which they halted, in their progress through the country, it was observed that the principal families, at one time, ate as good victuals, and drank as good liquors, as any of the inhabitants of the country. A lady of respectability informed me of her having seen, in her youth, a band dine on the green-sward, near Douglass-mill, in Lanarkshire, when, as I have already mentioned, the Gipsies handed about their wine, after dinner, as if they had been as good a family as any in the land. Those in Fifeshire, as we have already seen, were in the habit of purchasing and killing fat cattle, for their winter's provisions. In a communication to Blackwood's Magazine, to which I will again allude, the illustrious author of "Waverley" mentions that his grandfather was, in some respects, forced to accept a dinner from a party of Gipsies, carousing on a moor, on the Scottish Border. The feast consisted of "all the varieties of game, poultry, pigs, and so forth." And, according to the same communication, it would appear that they were in the practice of stewing game and all kinds of poultry into soup, which is considered very rich and savoury, and is now termed " Pottage a la Meg Merrilies de Derncleugh;" a name derived from the singular character in the celebrated novel of Guy Manuering.

But the ancient method of cooking practised among the Scottish Gipsies, and which, in all probability, they brought with them, "when they arrived in Europe, upwards of four hundred years ago, is, if I am not mistaken, new to the world, never having as yet, that I am aware of, been described. [I published the greater part of the Gipsy method of cooking, in the fife Herald, of the 18th April, 1833.] It is very curious, and extremely primitive, and appears to be of the highest antiquity. It is admirably adapted to the wants of a rude and barbarous people, travelling over a wild and thinly-inhabited country, in which cooking utensils could not be procured, or conveniently carried with them. My facts are from the Gipsies themselves, and are corroborated by people, not of the tribe, who have witnessed some of their cooking operations.

The Gipsies, on such occasions, make use of neither pot, pan, spit, nor oven, in cooking fowls. They twist a strong rope of straw, which they wind very tightly around the fowl, just as it is killed, with the whole of its feathers on, and its entrails untouched. It is then covered with hot peat ashes, and a slow fire is kept up around and about the ashes, till the fowl is sufficiently done. When taken out from beneath the fire, it is stripped of its hull, or shell, of half-burned straw-rope and feathers, and presents a very fine appearance. Those who have tasted poultry, cooked by the Gipsies, in this manner, say that it is very palatable and good. In this invisible way, these ingenious people could cook stolen poultry, at the very moment, and in the very place, that a search was going on for the pilfered article.

The art of cooking butcher-meat among the Gipsies is similar to that of making ready fowls, except that linen and clay arc substituted for feathers and straw. The piece of flesh to be cooked is first carefully wrapped up in a covering of cloth or linen rags, and covered over with well wrought clay, and either frequently turned before a strong fire, or covered over with hot ashes, till it is roasted, or rather stewed. The covering or crust, of the shape of the article enclosed, and hard with the fire, is broken, and the meat separated from its inner covering of burned rags, which, with the juice of the meat, are reduced to a thick sauce or gravy. Sometimes a little vinegar is poured upon the meat. The tribe are high in their praise of flesh cooked in this manner, declaring that it has a particularly fine flavour. These singular people, I am informed, also boiled the flesh of sheep in the skins of the animals, like the Scottish soldiers in their wars with the English nation, when their camp-kettles were nothing but the hides of the oxen, suspended from poles, driven into the ground.

The only mode of cooking butcher-meat, bearing any resemblance to that of the Gipsies, is practised by some of the tribes of South America, who wrap flesh in leaves, and, covering it over with clay, cook it like the Gipsies. Some of the Indians of North America roast deer of a small size in their skins, among hot ashes. An individual of great respectability, who had tasted venison cooked in this fashion, said that it was extremely juicy, and finely flavoured. In the Sandwich Islands, pigs are baked on hot stones in pits, or in the leaves of the bread-fruit tree, on hot stones, covered over with earth, during the operation of cooking. It is probable that the Gipsy art of cooking would be amongst the first modes of making ready animal food, in the first stage of human society, in Asia—the cradle of the human race. Substitute linen rags for the leaves of trees, and what method of cooking can be more primitive than that of our Scottish Gipsies?

The Gipsy method of smelting iron, for sole-clout for ploughs, and smoothing-irons, is also simple, rude, and primitive. [According to Grellmann, working in iron is the moat usual occupation of the Gipsies. In Hungary it is so common, as to have given riso to the proverb, "So many Gipsies, so many smiths." The same may be 6aid of those in Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldavia, and all Turkey in Europe ; at least, Gipsies following that occupation are very numerous in those countries. This occupation seems to have been a favourite one with them, from the most distant period. Uladislaus, King of Hungary, in the year 1496, ordered: "That every officer and subject, of whatever rank or condition, do allow Thomas Polgar, leader of twenty-five tents of wandering Gipsies, free residence everywhere, and on no account to molest cither him or his people, because they prepared musket balls and other military stores, for the Bishop Sigismund, at Funf-kirchen." In the year 1565, when Mustapa, Turkish Regent of Bosnia, besieged Crupn, the Turks having expended their powder and cannon-balls, the Gipsies were employed to make the hitter, part of iron, the rest of stone, cased with lead.]

] The tribe erect, on the open field, a small circle, built of stone, turf, and clay, for a furnace, of about three feet in height, and eighteen inches in diameter, and plastered, closely round on the outside, up to the top, with mortar made of clay. The circle is deepened by part of the earth being scooped out from the inside. It is then filled with coal or charred peat; and the iron to be smelted is placed in small pieces upon the top. Below the fuel an aperture is left open, on one side, for admitting a large iron ladle, lined inside with clay. The materials in the furnace are powerfully heated, by the blasts of a large hand-bellows, (generally wrought by females,) admitted at a small hole, a little from the ground. When the metal comes to a state of fusion, it finds its way down to the ladle, and, after being skimmed of its cinders, is poured into the different sand moulds ready to receive it.

Observe the Gipsies at whatever employment you may, there always appear sparks of genius. We cannot, indeed, help wondering, when we consider the skill they display in preparing and bringing their work to perfection, from the scarcity of proper tools and materials.—Grellmann on the Hungarian Gipsies.—Ed.


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