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The Great Historic Families of Scotland
The Scotts of Buccleuch


SCOTT of Satchells, who published, in 1688, ‘A True History of the Right Honourable name of Scott,’ gives the following romantic account of the origin of that name. Two brothers, natives of Galloway, having been banished from that country, for a riot or insurrection, came to Rankleburn, in Ettrick Forest, where the keeper, whose name was Brydone, received them joyfully on account of their skill in winding the horn, and in the other mysteries of the chase. Kenneth MacAlpin, then King of Scotland, came soon after to hunt in the royal forest, and pursued a buck from Ettrickheugh to the glen now called Buccleuch, about two miles above the junction of Rankleburn with the river Ettrick. Here the stag stood at bay; and the King and his attendants, who followed on horseback, were thrown out by the steepness of the hill, and the morass. John, one of the brothers from Galloway, had followed the chase on foot, and now coming in, seized the buck by the horns, and, being a man of great strength and activity, threw him on his back, and ran with his burden about a mile up a steep hill to a place called Cracra Cross, where Kenneth had halted, and laid the buck at the sovereign’s feet.

‘The deer being curee’d in that place,
At his Majesty’s command,
Then John of Galloway ran apace,
And fetched water to his hand.
The King did wash into a dish,
And Galloway John he wot;
He said, "Thy name, now, after this,
Shall ever be called John Scott.

‘"The forest, and the deer therein,
We commit to thy hand:
For thou shalt sure the ranger be,
If thou obey command;
And for the buck thou stoutly brought
To us up that steep heuch,
Thy designation ever shall
Be John Scott, in Buckscleuch."

* * * *

‘In Scotland no Buckcleuch was then
Before the Luck in the cleuch was slain;
Night’s men at first they did appear,
Because moon and stars to their arms they bear;
Their crest, supporters, and hunting-horn,
Show their beginning from hunting came;
Their names and style, the book doth say
John gained them both into one day.’

This account of the origin of the Scotts of Buccleuch, however it may have originated, though widely believed, is purely fabulous. The lands of Buccleuch did not become the property of the family of Scott until at least two centuries subsequent to the time of Kenneth III.; and it was not until the fifteenth century that the designation of Scott of Buccleuch began to be used by the head of the family.

The cradle of the Scotts was not in Ettrick Forest, but at Scotstown and Kirkurd, in the county of Peebles, which still belong to the Duke of Buccleuch. Several persons of the name of Scott appear as witnesses to charters during the twelfth century, but the first; regarding whom there is certain evidence that he was an ancestor of the Scotts of Buccleuch, is RICHARD SCOTT of Rankleburn and Murthockstone. His ancestors resided at Scotstown, and, according to Satchells, the Cross Kirk of Peebles had been the burial-place of the family for several generations. Richard Scott acquired the lands of Murthockstone (afterwards Murdieston) in Lanarkshire by his marriage to the heiress of that estate. Satchell says—

‘Scott’s Hall he left standing alone,
And went to live at Mordestoun;
And there a brave house he did rear,
Which to this time it doth appear.’

Like many other Scottish nobles, both of native and foreign extraction, Richard Scott took the oath of fealty to Edward I. of England in 1290, and, like his brother nobles, broke his oath on the first convenient opportunity. On his doing homage to the English monarch, the Sheriff of Selkirk was ordered to restore to him his lands and rights, which were then in the hands of King Edward. He must, therefore, have been at that time in possession of Rankleburn and Buccleuch, which were situated in the county of Selkirk. Richard Scott died about the year 1320, and was succeeded by his son, SIR MICHAEL, who must have taken an active part in the war with England during the reign of David II., as he obtained the honour of knighthood. He fought at the disastrous battle of Halidon Hill, 19th July, 1333; and was killed, thirteen years after, at the battle of Durham, where the King was taken prisoner, along with many of his barons and knights. In the genealogical table drawn up by Sir Walter Scott, it is stated that Sir Michael left two sons, ‘the eldest of whom (ROBERT) carried on the family, the second (JOHN) was the ancestor of the Scott of Harden.’ Nothing worthy of mention is known of Robert Scott, or of his son, SIR WALTER, who is said to have been killed at the battle of Homildon, 14th September, 1402. But Sir Walter’s son, ROBERT, exchanged the lands of Glenkery, which were a portion of the lands of Rankleburn, for the lands of Bellenden, which then belonged to the monastery of Melrose. Bellenden, which was a convenient spot for the gathering of the clan from Ettrick, Kirkurd, and Murthockstone, became henceforth the place of rendezvous of the Scotts of Buccleuch when they were mustered for a Border raid. Robert Scott also acquired half of the lands of Branxholm from John Inglis, the laird of Menar, by a charter dated 31st January, 1420, and other lands in the barony of Hawick.

Robert Scott was succeeded, in 1426, by his eldest son, SIR WALTER SCOTT, Knight, who was the first of the family styled ‘Lord of Buccleuch.’ He possessed the family estates during the long period of forty-three years, and added greatly to their extent. His first acquisition was the lands of Lempitlaw, near Kelso, from Archibald, Earl of Douglas, on the resignation of Robert Scott, his father, in 1426. He next obtained, in 1437, the barony of Eckford, also in Roxburghshire, from James II., as a reward for his capture of Gilbert Rutherford, a notorious freebooter; and in 1446 he exchanged the estate of Murthockstone, or Murdiestone, for the other half of Branxholm, of which Sir Thomas Inglis of Manor was proprietor. According to tradition, the exchange took place in consequence of a conversation between Scott and Inglis, in which the latter complained of the injuries that he suffered from the depredations of the English Borderers, who frequently plundered his lands of Branxholm. Sir Walter Scott, who already possessed the other half of the barony, offered him the estate of Murdiestone, in exchange for the lands which were exposed to these inroads. The offer was at once accepted. When the bargain was completed, Scott made the significant and characteristic remark that ‘the cattle in Cumberland were as good as those of Teviotdale.’ He availed himself of the first opportunity to commence a system of reprisals for the English raids, which was regularly pursued by his successors. An amusing reference to the well-known habits of the Scotts is made in the ballad of the ‘Outlaw Murray,’ where Buccleuch is represented as trying to inflame the displeasure of the King against the outlaw, and urging the infliction of condign punishment upon him for his offences :—

‘Then spak the kene Laird of Buckscleuch,
A stalworthe man and sterne was he—
"For a King to gang an Outlaw till,
Is beneath his state and dignitie.

"The man that wons yon Foreste intil,
He lives by reif and felonie!
Wherefore brayd on, my sovereign liege,
Wi’ fire and sword we’ll follow thee;
Or, gif your courtlie lords fa’ back,
Our Borderers sail the onset gie."

‘Then out and spak the nobil King,
And round him cast a wylie ee—
"Now haud thy tongue, Sir Walter Scott,
Nor speak of reif nor felonie:
For had every honest man his awin kye,
A right puir clan thy name wad be!

Sir Walter Scott was cousin to Sir William Crichton, the powerful and unscrupulous Chancellor of James II., and it was, in all probability, through this connection that the Scotts took part with the King in his desperate contest with the house of Douglas. In 1455 the three brothers of the exiled Earl—the Earls of Moray and Ormond, and Lord Balveny—invaded the Scottish borders at the head of a powerful force, but were encountered (1st May) at Arkinholm, near Langholm, by the Scotts and other Border clans, under the Earl of Angus, and were totally routed. Balveny escaped into England, but Moray was killed, and Ormond was wounded, taken prisoner, and executed. Sir Walter Scott was liberally rewarded for his services in this conflict. He obtained a grant of Quhychester and Crawford-John—part of the forfeited estates of the Douglases—expressly for his meritorious deeds at Arkinholm, and a remission of certain sums of money due to the Crown. For the same reason the lands of Branxholm were erected into a free barony, in favour of David Scott, Sir Walter’s son, to be held in blench for the annual rendering of a red rose. In various other ways Sir Walter added largely to the estates of the family, and greatly increased their influence. He was appointed no less than seven times one of the conservators of successive truces with England, along with a number of the most powerful barons in the kingdom. He died before 9th February, 1469, leaving by his wife, Margaret Cockburn of Henderland, [Cockburn of Henderland, probably Lady Scott’s grand-nephew, fell a victim to the raid which James V. made, in 1529, into the Border districts. The pathetic ballad of the Lament of the Border Widow, is said to have been written on his execution.] three sons, and was succeeded by the eldest—

SIR DAVID SCOTT, who was the first of the family that bore the designation of Buccleuch. The marriage of his son, DAVID SCOTT the younger, to Lady Jane Douglas, daughter of the fourth Earl of Angus, and sister of the famous Archibald ‘Bell-the-Cat,’ the fifth Earl, brought him the governorship of the strong castle of Hermitage, in Liddesdale, and must have strengthened not a little the position of the family. The friendship which subsisted between the Scotts and the ‘Red Douglases,’ whom they assisted to put down their ‘Black’ kinsmen, was evidently of a very close kind, for provision was made in the marriage contract that, ‘if David should die, his next younger brother was to marry Lady Jane Douglas, and so on in regular succession of the brothers; and that if Lady Jane should die, David was to obtain in marriage the next daughter of the Earl of Angus, till a marriage was completed—an arrangement which showed the influential position of the Scotts at that period. Notwithstanding this connection, however, they took opposite sides in the contests between James III. and the discontented nobles; and the services which David Scott the younger, and his son Robert, rendered to that unfortunate sovereign, were acknowledged and rewarded by him with extensive grants of land and other favours.

Sir David, who died in March, 1491—2, had four sons. Walter, the eldest, died young and unmarried. David, the second son, also predeceased his father, leaving an only child, who succeeded to the family estates. The Scotts of Scotstown claim to be descended from Robert, the third son. William, the fourth son, died before his father without leaving issue.

SIR WALTER SCOTT of Branxholm succeeded his grandfather, 1492. He held the family estates for a very short period, and was succeeded by his son of the same name, who represented the house for no less than forty-eight years, and by his combined energy and prudence became one of the most powerful barons on the Borders. His retainers fought under the banner of their sovereign at the battle of Flodden, and though very young at that time, it is not improbable that he was present as their leader. The list of the slain included not a few of the clan, among whom was the kinsman of their chief, Sir Alexander Scott of Hassenden, from whom the Scotts of Woll, Deloraine, and Haining are descended. In return for the services which Sir Walter Scott rendered to the monks of Melrose, he was appointed bailie of the abbey lands, an office which became hereditary in the Buccleuch family. Notwithstanding his long-continued alliance with the Douglases, Sir Walter Scott was a supporter of the Duke of Albany, and the French faction, against Queen Margaret and her second husband, the Earl of Angus. She alleged that Buccleuch had retained part of her dower, arising from lands in Ettrick Forest, to the amount of 4,000 merks a year, and she committed Sir Walter and Ker of Cessford prisoners to Edinburgh Castle, giving as her reason that from the feud which existed between these two powerful Border barons, the district was kept in a state of disorder and disorganisation. She asserted that Buccleuch was especially to blame, and that he was notorious for the encouragement that he gave to the Border freebooters, who made frequent inroads into Northumberland and Cumberland. ‘Wherefore,’ she says, ‘I thought best to put them both in the castle of Edinburgh, until they find a way how the Borders may be well ruled, since it is in their hands to do as they will, and not to let them break the Borders, for their evil will among themselves.’ At this time the chronic disorders in these districts were greatly aggravated by the policy of Henry VIII. in encouraging the English Borderers to make inroads into Scotland. Norfolk promised the King that he would ‘lett slippe recently them of Tindail and Riddesdail for the annoyance of Scotlande.’ He piously adds, ‘God sende them all goode spede.’ In the two inroads which followed ‘much insight gear, catall, horse, and prisoners’ were carried off. It need excite no surprise that Buccleuch countenanced the Armstrongs and Elliots, in their retaliatory raids into England.

In the shifting of parties which was continually going on at this time, we find Buccleuch in alliance with the Earl of Angus in 1524, and two years later in arms against the Douglas faction, who had the custody of the young king’s person, and ruled the country in the most arbitrary manner. James himself was impatient of the restraint under which he was placed by Angus, and eagerly sought an opportunity to free himself from it. In the summer of 1526 the Earl made a progress into Teviotdale, taking the King with him. James secretly sent a request to Sir Walter Scott that he would rescue him out of the hands of the Douglases. Buccleuch eagerly complied with the royal injunction, and immediately levied his retainers and friends, comprehending the Elliots, Armstrongs, and other Border clans, to the number of six hundred. Angus had passed the night of July 24th at Melrose, on his way back from Jedburgh to Edinburgh, and Lord Home and the chiefs of the Kers, who had accompanied him in his expedition, had taken their leave of the King, when, in the grey of the morning, Buccleuch and his followers suddenly appeared on the northern slope of Halidon Hill, and descending into the plain, interposed between Angus and the bridge over the Tweed. The Earl immediately sent a messenger to Buccleuch to inquire the reason of his appearance at the head of such a force. He replied that he came to show his clan to the King, according to the custom of the Border chiefs, when their territories were honoured by the royal presence. He was then commanded in the King’s name to dismiss his followers, but he bluntly refused, alleging that he knew the King’s mind better than Angus. On receiving this haughty answer, which was intended and regarded as a defiance, the Earl said to the King, ‘Sir, yonder is Buccleuch, and the thieves of Annandale with him, to interrupt your passage. I vow to God they shall either fight or flee; and ye shall tarry here on this knowe [knoll], and my brother George with you, with any other company you please, and I shall pass and put yon thieves off the ground, and rid the gate unto your Grace, or else die for it.’ Angus then alighted, and commanding his followers also to dismount, hastened to encounter the Scotts, who received them with levelled spears. The battle, though fiercely contested, was short, as the Borderers were unequally matched against the armed knights in the forces of the Douglases; and the Homes and the Kers returned on hearing the noise of the conflict, and, attacking the left wing and rear of Buccleuch’s little army, put them to flight. About eighty of the Scotts were slain in this engagement and the pursuit. The only person of importance who fell on the side of the Douglases was Sir Andrew Ker of Cessford, who was killed by one of the Elliots, a retainer of Buccleuch, while eagerly pressing on the retreating enemy.[An exact parallel to this incident is furnished by the battle between the partisans of King David and the adherents of Ishbosheth, followed by the slaughter of Asahel. See 2 Samuel ii. 18—23. The spot where the battle was fought is between Melrose and the adjoining village of Darnick, and is called the ‘Skirmish Field.’ The place where Buccleuch drew up his men for the onset is termed ‘Charge-Law,’ and the spot where Elliot turned and slew Cessford with his spear is known as ‘Turn-again,’ and is marked by a stone seat which commands a splendid view, and was a favourite resting-place of Sir Walter Scott. The battle has been celebrated in Latin verse by a contemporary writer, Mr. John Johnson, Professor in the University of St. Andrews.] He was lamented by both parties, and his unhappy slaughter on this occasion caused a deadly feud between the Kers and Scotts, which raged during the greater part of a century, and led to the murder of Buccleuch in Edinburgh by the Kers, in the year 1552.

Buccleuch was obliged to retire to France, in order to escape the vengeance of Angus for this attempt to emancipate his sovereign from the yoke of the Douglases. But before leaving the kingdom he was required to give security, under a penalty of £10,000 Scots, that he would not return to Scotland without the King’s permission. He at length received a pardon on the 10th of February, 1528, mainly through the exertions of James himself, and he, at the same time, obtained permission to return from France. On the 28th of May following, the King succeeded, by his own ingenuity, in freeing himself from the power of the Douglases; and on July 6th he made a declaration that Buccleuch, in appearing at the head of his followers at Melrose, had only followed his instructions. Sir Walter became one of his Majesty’s chief advisers in the measures which he adopted against the Douglases, and, in consequence, he was denounced by the envoys of King Henry as one of ‘the chief maintainers of all misguided men on the borders of Scotland.’ When the forfeited estates of Angus were divided among the royal favourites, Sir Walter Scott obtained as his share the lands in the lordship of Jedburgh Forest, ‘for his good, true, and thankful services done to his sovereign.’

The favour which the King cherished towards Buccleuch did not, however, prevent him from imprisoning that chief, along with the Earl of Bothwell, Lord Home, Kerr of Ferniehirst, [This is the manner in which the Ferniehirst family spell their name, which differs slightly from the spelling of the Cesslord Kers.] and other powerful protectors of the freebooters and ‘broken men,’ before undertaking his memorable expedition to the Borders, in which Johnnie Armstrong and other leaders of the marauders were executed. In the course of a few months, however, with the exception of Bothwell, they were liberated on giving pledges for their allegiance and peaceable demeanour.

Strenuous efforts were made by influential friends to heal the deadly feud between the Scotts and Kers, and with this view Sir Walter Scott, who was now a widower, married, in January, 1530, a daughter of Andrew Kerr of Ferniehirst, the head of one of the branches of this clan. A bond was also entered into between the heads of the chief branches of the two clans that, on the one hand, ‘Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm shall gang, or cause gang, at the will of the party, to the four head pilgrimages of Scotland [Scone, Dundee, Paisley, and Melrose], and shall say a mass for the souls of umquhile Andrew Ker of Cessford and them that were slain in his company, in the field of Melrose; and upon his expense shall cause a chaplain saye a mass daily, when he is disposed, in what place the said Walter Ker and his former friends pleases, for the weil of the said souls, for the space of five years next to come.’ The chiefs of the Kers came under a corresponding obligation to make pilgrimages, and to say masses, for the souls of the Scotts who fell in the battle of Melrose. Walter Scott also bound himself to marry his son and heir to one of the sisters of Walter Ker of Cessford.

But, as the Minstrel of the clan wrote with reference to this long-breathed feud—

‘Can piety the discord heal
Or stanch the death-feud’s enmity?
Can Christian love, can patriot zeal,
Can love of blessed charity?
No! vainly to each holy shrine,
In mutual pilgrimage they drew;
Implored, in vain, the grace divine
For chiefs their own red falchions slew;
While Cessford owns the rule of Carr,
While Ettrick boasts the line of Scott,
The slaughter’d chiefs, the mortal jar,
The havoc of the feudal war,
Shall never, never be forgot.’

So, no doubt, felt the members of both clans at this time, and the feud was ultimately quenched in blood.

The Border raids between the two countries continued as usual throughout the winter of 1532. Certain satirical expressions said to have been uttered by Buccleuch against Henry VIII. gave offence to the English, and the Earl of Northumberland, with fifteen hundred men, ravaged and plundered his lands, and burnt Branxholm Castle. Their principal object was to kill or capture Buccleuch himself, but in this they were not successful. It would appear that at this time the Scotts and Kers had been so far reconciled as to make common cause against their ‘auld enemies.’ In retaliation for Northumberland’s inroad, ‘the Laird of Cessford, the Laird of Buccleuch, and the Laird of Ferniehirst,’ at the head of a strong body of their clansmen and other Borderers, estimated at five thousand, made a destructive incursion into England, laid waste a large portion of Northumberland, and returned home laden with spoil.

In 1535 a strange, and, indeed, inexplicable accusation was brought against Sir Walter Scott, that he had given assistance to Lord Dacre and other Englishmen at the time of the burning of Cavers and Denholm. This assistance, it has been conjectured, may have been given in carrying out the feud with the Kers; it could scarcely have originated in sympathy with the English. Buccleuch was summoned before the Justiciary Court to answer for this charge, and was put in ward for a certain time at his Majesty’s pleasure. He was imprisoned a second time, in 1540, for causing disturbances on the Borders, but was speedily set at liberty, and restored to ‘all his lands, offices, heritages, honours, and dignities.’ In return he pledged himself to make Teviotdale, as far as it belonged to him, in time coming to be as peaceable and obedient to the King and his laws as any part of Lothian; and some of his friends became surety for him, in the sum of 10,000 merks, that he would fulfil his engagement.

The French faction, headed by Cardinal Beaton, the Queen-Dowager, and the Earl of Arran, had now gained the ascendancy, and repudiated the treaty with Henry VIII. for the marriage of the youthful queen to his son. To punish the Scots for their refusal to fulfil their engagement, a most destructive inroad was made upon the Border districts, and the estates of Buccleuch in particular were laid waste with fire and sword. The ‘barmkeyne’ at Branxholm Castle was burned, and a very large number of oxen, cows, sheep, and horses were carried away, along with thirty prisoners. Eight of the Scotts were killed. Whalton, the English Warden, shortly after arranged a meeting with Buccleuch, with threescore horse on either side, and strove hard to induce him to embrace the English alliance. Being asked to state what he wished with them, Buccleuch, with a merry countenance, answered that he would buy horse of them and renew old acquaintance. They said they had no horses to sell to any Scottish men, and for old acquaintance they thought he had some other matter, and advised him to show the same, who answered, ‘I ask what ails you, thus to run upon us?’ After farther conversation, he ‘earnestly therewith said that if my Lord Prince did marry their Queen, he would as truly and dutifully serve the King’s Highness and my Lord Prince as any Scottish man did any King of Scotland, and that he would be glad to have the favour of England with his honour; but that he would not be constrained thereto if all Tividale were burnt to the bottom of hell.’ He proposed that they should give him protection from inroads for ‘one month or twenty days, in which time he would know all his friends’ minds.’ This appears to have been the main object he had in view in acceding to this interview with Wharton and his associates. ‘They answered that they had no commission to grant him any assurance one hour longer than that assurance granted for their meeting, nor to grant any of his demands, whatsoever the same were, but to hear what he had to say.’

Lord Wharton soon discovered that there was no hope that Buccleuch would consent to be numbered with the ‘assured Scots,’ who indeed had no intention of keeping their engagements with him. The victory at Ancrum Moor which followed this conference was largely due to the valour and skill of Buccleuch, and avenged, by the total destruction of the English forces under Sir Ralph Evers and Sir Brian Latoun, their barbarous and ruthless ravages of the Border district. The devastation of the Buccleuch estates was repeatedly carried out by these marauders with merciless severity. It is a significant fact that the Kers took part in this destructive raid, although immediately after the battle of Pinkie, at which Sir Walter Scott fought at the head of a numerous body of his retainers, he and Sir Walter Ker, as representing their respective clans, entered into a bond for the maintenance of the royal authority and the defence of the country. But the Kers, instead of keeping their engagement, joined Lord Grey, the English commander on the Borders, and assisted him in devastating the country. Buccleuch himself was shortly after under the necessity of offering to submit to the English monarch, who was now Edward VI., in order to save his tenants and estates from total ruin. It is a curious example of the utter untrustworthiness of the Scottish magnates of that period that this step was taken with the concurrence and permission of the Earl of Arran, the Governor of Scotland. A letter, dated 26th September, 1547, and subscribed by Arran under the signet of Queen Mary, empowers Buccleuch to ‘intercommune with the Protector and Council of England, and sic utheris Inglismen as he pleesses for saiftie of him, his kin, friendis, and servandis for heirschip and distruction of the Inglismen in tyme coming, and for the commoun well of our realme, als aft as he sail think expedient.’ But the Governor makes provision for Buccleuch’s renunciation of his engagement with the English as soon as it had served its purpose. The letter ordains that ‘quhenevir he beis requirit be us or oure said Governour, he sall incontinent thaireftir renunce and ourgif all bandis, contractis, and wytingis made be him to the Inglismen.’

As might have been expected, Buccleuch did not keep his engagement with the English, and Lord Grey immediately proved himself a vigilant and cruel enemy, as he had threatened. Accompanied by the Kers, on the 3rd of October, 1550, he ravaged and plundered in the most savage manner the lands of the Scotts in Teviotdale. On the 8th he ‘burnt, haryet, and destroyed’ the town of Hawick, and all the towns, manses, and steadings upon the waters of Teviot, Borthwick, and Slitrig pertaining to Sir Walter Scott. On the 19th he pillaged, and devastated, in the same manner, the houses and lands in Ettrick and Yarrow, destroyed the town of Selkirk, of which Sir Walter was Provost, and burnt his castles of Newark and Catslack. At Newark four of the servants and a woman were put to death, and the aged mother of the chief perished in the flames of Catslack.

In the spring of the following year Sir Walter Scott was appointed Governor-General and Justiciar within Liddesdale and part of Teviotdale, and in June he was made Warden and Justiciar in the Middle Marches of Scotland, with the most ample powers, which we may be sure were not left unused, to cause the inhabitants to ‘convene, ride, and advance against "our auld enemies of England," and in the pursuit, capture, and punishment of thieves, rebels, and evildoers to make statutes, acts, and ordinances thereupon to punish transgressors, thieves, and other delinquents within these bounds, according to the laws,’ &c.

But the active and turbulent career of Sir Walter Scott was now near a close. The slaughter of Ker of Cessford was still unavenged, and though it took place in open fight, and upwards of a quarter of a century had elapsed since that unfortunate event occurred, the thirst for vengeance among the Kers was not quenched. On the night of the 4th October, 1552, Sir Walter was attacked and murdered in the High Street of Edinburgh, by a party of the Kers and their friends. The death stroke was given by John Hume, of Cowdenknowes, the head of a branch of the Home family; but the chief of the Kers must have been present, for the murderer called out to Cessford, ‘Strike traitour ane straik, for thy faderis sake.’

‘Bards long shall tell
How Lord Walter fell!
When startled burghers fled afar,
The furies of the Border war;
When the streets of high Dunedin
Saw lances gleam, and falchions redden,
And heard the slogan’s deadly yell—
Then the chief of Branksome fell.’

For this foul deed the Kers were declared rebels, and appear to have suffered severely both from the vengeance of the Scotts, and the efforts of the Government officers to inflict the penalties of rebellion. Their chiefs of Cessford, Ferniehirst, and Hirsell presented a piteous petition to the Governor, setting forth that ‘his servants had seized upon their houses, possessions, and goods, so that they had nothing, unless they stole and plundered, to sustain themselves, their wives and children; and being at the horn, they dared not resort to their friends, but lay in the woods and fells. Their enemies had slain divers of their friends not guilty of any crime committed by them, and daily sought and pursued them and all their friends, kinsmen, and servants for their slaughter, so that none of them dared, from fear of their lives, to come to kirk, market, nor to the Governor to ask a remedy from him.’  Through the influence of their allies, the Homes, the Governor was induced to allow the Kers who were implicated in the murder of Sir Walter Scott to go into banishment in France, with their retainers, to the number of four hundred, as part of an auxiliary force which the Scottish Council were about to despatch to the assistance of the French king.

Sir Walter Scott was married three times. His first wife was Elizabeth Carmichael, of the family of Carmichael of that ilk, afterwards Earls of Hyndford. She died before the year 1530, leaving two sons, both of whom predeceased their father. He married, secondly, Janet Kerr, daughter of Sir Andrew Kerr of Ferniehirst, and widow of George Turnbull of Bedrule. Sir Walter’s third wife was Janet Beaton, ‘of Bethune’s high line of Picardy,’ a relative of Cardinal Beaton, whom she seems to have a good deal resembled in her character. Like Sir Walter, she had been twice previously married, and was divorced from her second husband, Simon Preston of Craigmillar. She was the daughter of Sir John Beaton of Creich, in Fife, and was first married to Sir James Crichton of Cranston Riddell. Having been left a widow, in 1539, she soon afterwards married Simon Preston, the Laird of Craigmillar. In 1543 she instituted a suit of divorce against him, and set forth as the ground of her suit that before her marriage to her present husband she had had illicit intercourse with Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, and that he and Preston were within the prohibited degrees, as the one was the great-grandson and the other the great-great-grandson of a common ancestor. On that plea the marriage was declared null and void; and the motive of the suit immediately became manifest, for on the 2nd of December, 1544, she was married to Sir Walter Scott.

Sir Walter Scott had by Janet Beaton two sons and three daughters. She survived her husband nearly sixteen years. After the murder of Sir Walter, she rode at the head of two hundred of her clan, in full armour, to the kirk of St Mary of the Lowes, in Yarrow, and broke open its doors in order to seize the Laird of Cranstoun, an ally of Cessford. At a later period she was implicated in the intrigues of Queen Mary and Bothwell, and was popularly accused of having employed witchcraft, and the administration of magic philtres, to promote their attachment and marriage. One of the placards issued at the time of Darnley’s murder accuses of the crime ‘the Erle of Bothwell, Mr. James Balfoure, the parsoune of Fliske, Mr. David Chalmers, black Mr. John Spens, who was principal deviser of the murder; and the Quene assenting thairto, threw the persuasion of the Erle of Bothwell, and the witchcraft of Lady Buckleuch.’ Sir Walter Scott, in his ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel,’ in accordance with this superstitious notion, represents Lady Buccleuch as endowed with supernatural powers. But the charms which she employed to promote the schemes of her paramour, Bothwell, were altogether of a mundane and immoral character. It was at one time proposed that Lady Jane Gordon, Bothwell’s wife, should sue for a divorce on the ground of his notorious infidelities; and ‘that no feature might be wanting,’ says Froude, ‘to complete the foulness of the picture, Lady Buccleuch was said to be ready, if required, to come forward with the necessary evidence.’

David, Sir Walter’s eldest son, died before 1544, unmarried. His second son, Sir William of Kirkurd, also died about four months before him, leaving a son WALTER, only three years old, who succeeded to the Buccleuch estates on the death of his grandfather. According to Sir James Melville, he ‘was a man of rare qualities, wise, true, stout, and modest.’ But as he was only three years of age when his grandfather’s death opened the succession to him, and he died at the age of twenty-four, the encomium of the historian must be taken a good deal on trust. Strenuous efforts were made to heal the deadly feud between the Scotts and Kers, and with this view a series of marriages were formally arranged between members of the principal families on both sides, under heavy penalties on the defaulters if these proposals were not carried into effect. But from some unknown reason these marriages did not take place. Liddesdale and the adjoining districts continued to be wasted and plundered by quarrels between the Scotts and Elliots, which were studiously fomented by the English wardens. Referring to these disorders, Sir John Foster wrote to the Privy Council, 22nd June, 1565, ‘the longer that such conditions continue amongst themselves, in better quiet shall we be.’  At length the excesses of these freebooters compelled the Regent Moray to undertake his memorable expedition to the Borders in 1567, in which he burned and destroyed the whole district of Liddesdale, not leaving a single house standing, and hanged or drowned great numbers of the depredators. The barons and chief men of the Border district, including the provosts and bailies of the burghs, followed up this severe action of the Regent by ‘boycotting,’ in 1569, the rebellious people in Liddesdale, Ewesdale, Eskdale, and Annandale. ‘They undertook that they would not intercommune with any of them, nor suffer any meat, drink, or victuals to be bought or carried to them, nor suffer them to resort to markets or trysts, within their bounds, nor permit them to pasture their flocks, or abide upon any land outwith Liddesdale,’ unless within eight days they should find sufficient and respectable sureties; ‘and all others not finding sureties within the said space we shall pursue to the death with fire and sword, and all other kinds of hostility.’ These stringent measures produced comparative peace and security, for a brief space, throughout the Border districts, but on the assassination of the Regent they relapsed into their former condition.

Sir Walter Scott was a zealous partisan of Queen Mary, and supported her cause with the utmost enthusiasm, but as unscrupulously as the other barons who were enlisted on her side. He was undoubtedly cognisant of the plot for the murder of the Regent Moray (25th January, 1569—70). On the morning after that event he and Kerr of Ferniehirst made a marauding incursion into England at the head of a powerful force, and when threatened with the vengeance of the Regent for this outrage, Buccleuch made the well-known remark, ‘Tush! the Regent is as cold as my bridle-bit.’ In retaliation for this unprovoked raid, an English army, under the Earl of Sussex and Sir John Foster, crossed the Border and burnt the whole of Teviotdale, destroying, according to their own account, about fifty strongholds and three hundred villages or hamlets. They blew up with gunpowder the walls of Branxholm Castle, the principal seat of Buccleuch, which was described as ‘a very strong house and well set, and very pleasant gardens and orchards about it.’

Sir Walter Scott was a principal actor in the execution of the plot devised by Kirkaldy of Grange, to surprise the Parliament which met at Stirling in September, 1571. The enterprise, which at first was crowned with complete success, was ultimately rendered abortive by the want of discipline on the part of the Borderers, who dispersed to plunder the merchant booths, leaving their prisoners unguarded. They all, in consequence, made their escape, except the Regent Lennox, who was killed, and the assailants were unexpectedly attacked by the Earl of Mar, who sallied out of the castle with forty men, assisted by the townsmen, and put the assailants to flight, carrying off, however, the horses which they had stolen. Buccleuch, to whom the Earl of Morton had surrendered, was in his turn obliged to surrender to that Earl, along with several of his associates in the raid, but he was speedily set at liberty.

Sir Walter commenced the rebuilding of Branxholm Castle; but the work, though it had been carried on for three years, was not completed at the time of his death, April 17th, 1574; it was finished by his widow, Lady Margaret Douglas, whom he married when he was only sixteen years of age. He had by her a son, Walter, and two daughters. She took for her second husband Francis Stewart, the factious and intriguing Earl of Bothwell, to whom she bore three sons and three daughters. She survived her first husband for the long period of sixty-six years, and died in the year 1640.

SIR WALTER SCOTT, the first of the family who was elevated to the peerage, was only in the ninth year of his age when his father died. He was a man of strife from his youth upwards, having been born and bred among Border feuds. In 1557, when he was only in his twelfth year, the old quarrel between the Scotts and Kers broke out afresh, but was finally set at rest in 1558. Then followed a serious and protracted feud with the Elliots and Armstrongs, in which they were the aggressors, and inflicted great damage on the estates both of Buccleuch and of his mother. The young chief took part in the expedition to Stirling in the year 1585 under the Earl of Angus, in order to expel the worthless favourite, Arran, from the councils of the King, when the notorious Kinmont and the Armstrongs in Buccleuch’s army not only made prey of horses and cattle, but even carried off the very gratings of the windows.’ Sir Walter’s raids into England were punished with a short imprisonment in Edinburgh Castle; but his complicity in the lawless proceedings of his stepfather, the turbulent Earl of Bothwell, was a more serious offence, and was visited, in September, 1591, with banishment to France for three years, but he obtained permission to return to Scotland in November, 1592. When the patience of King James with Bothwell’s repeated acts of treason and rebellion was at length exhausted, and the honours and estates of the Earl were forfeited to the Crown, his castles and baronies were bestowed upon the royal favourite, the Duke of Lennox. After holding them for three years, the Duke resigned them into the hands of the King, who immediately conferred the Bothwell estates, extending over eight counties, on Sir Walter Scott (1st October, 1594) as a reward for his eminent services ‘in pacifying the Borders and middle regions of the Marches, and putting down the insolence and disobedience of our subjects dwelling there, as in sundry other weighty affairs committed to his trust.’ It was afterwards arranged by Charles I. that a great portion of the Bothwell estates should be restored to the family of Earl Francis. Liddesdale and Hermitage Castle, however, remained with the Buccleuch family.

Buccleuch was on the Continent when his clan fought on the side of the Johnstones at the sanguinary battle of Dryfe Sands; and at the raid of the Reidswire—an unfortunate and accidental collision between the English and the Scotts—they were under the command of Walter Scott of Goldielands, who led the clan during the minority of the chief—

‘The Laird’s Wat, that worthie man,
Brought in that sirname weil beseen.’

Buccleuch was, of course, engaged in many a Border raid, and was the leader of not a few destructive inroads into England. The spirited ballad of ‘Jamie Telfer of the Fair Dodhead’ shows that though he held the office of the Keeper of Liddesdale, he was quite ready to take the law into his own hands when any of his retainers had been wronged by the English freebooters. His most celebrated exploit of this kind is commemorated in the ballad of ‘Kinmont Willie,’ which narrates his rescue of a noted Borderer, one of the Armstrong clan, who had been illegally captured by some Englishmen on a day of truce, when he was returning from a warden court held on the borders of the two countries. Armstrong was a notorious depredator, but he was on Scottish ground and protected by the truce when a body of two hundred English horsemen crossed the Liddel, chased him for three or four miles, captured and carried him to Carlisle Castle, where he was heavily ironed and imprisoned. Buccleuch, with whom Kinmont Willie was a special favourite, instantly complained of this outrage in violation of Border law, and demanded the release of his retainer. But Lord Scrope, the Warden, refused, or at least evaded the demand, and so did Sir Robert Bowes, the English ambassador. The ballad describes no doubt pretty correctly what the ‘bauld Keeper’ felt and said when thus outraged and bearded. After striking the table with his hand and ‘garing the red wine spring on hie,’ he exclaimed—

‘O is my basnet [helmet] a widow’s curch [coil],
Or my lance a wand of the willow-tree?
Or my arm a ladye’s lilye hand,
That an English lord should lightly me?

‘And have they ta’en him, Kinmont Willie,
Against the truce of Border tide?
And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch
Is Keeper here on the Scottish side?

‘And have they e’en ta’en him, Kinmont Willie,
Withouten either dread or fear,
And forgotten that the bauld Buccleuch
Can back a steed or shake a spear?’

He swore that he would bring Kinmont Willie out of Carlisle Castle alive or dead, and collecting a select band of his own clan, and of the Armstrongs, and taking advantage of a dark and tempestuous night, they crossed the Esk and the Eden, though swollen by heavy rains, and reached the castle unperceived. The scaling-ladders which they brought with them proved too short, but they undermined a part of the wall near the postern gate, and soon made a breach sufficient to admit a number of the daring assailants one by one. They disarmed and bound the watch, wrenched open the postern, and admitted their companions. Buccleuch meanwhile kept watch between the postern of the castle and the nearest gate of the town. The tumultuous noise which the assailants made, and the sound of their trumpets, so terrified the garrison that they retreated into the inner stronghold.

‘Now, sound out, trumpets!’ quo’ Buccleuch
‘Let’s waken Lord Scroope right merilie! ‘—
Then loud the Warden’s trumpet blew—
O who dare meddle wi’ me?

Meanwhile one of the assailants hastened to the cell of the prisoner, broke open its door, and carried him off in his arms. The ballad describes with a good deal of rough humour the manner in which the moss-trooper made his exit from the prison:-

‘Then Red Rowan has hente him up,
The starkest man in Tiviotdale—
"Abide, abide now, Red Rowan,
Till of my Lord Scroope I take farewell.

"Farewell, farewell, my gude Lord Scroope!
My gude Lord Scroope, farewell,’ he cried—.
"I’ll pay you for my lodging maill [rent],
When first we meet on the Border side."

‘Then shoulder-high, with shout and cry,
We bore him down the ladder lang;
At every stride Red Rowan made,
I wot the Kinmont’s airn’s played clang!

Meanwhile the alarm-bell of the castle rang, and was answered by those of the cathedral and the Moat-hall, drums beat to arms, and the beacon blazed upon the top of the great tower. But as the real strength of the Scots was unknown, all was terror and confusion both in the castle and town. Buccleuch having accomplished his purpose, rode off unmolested with his men, who had strictly obeyed his orders, not to injure the garrison or take any booty. They swam the flooded Eden—

‘Even where it flowed frae bank to brim,’

and carrying off their rescued prisoner in triumph, they regained the Scottish border about two hours after sunrise. ‘There never had been a more gallant deed of vassalage done in Scotland,’ says an old chronicler, ‘no, not in Wallace’s days.’

When Queen Elizabeth heard of this daring exploit she broke out into a furious passion, and demanded, with the most violent menaces, that Buccleuch should be delivered up to her to atone for this insult to her Government. A diplomatic correspondence ensued, which lasted for eighteen months. Buccleuch pleaded that ‘the first wrong was done by the officer of England, to him as known officer of Scotland, by the breaking of the assurance of the day of truce, and the taking of a prisoner in warlike manner within Scotland, to the dishonour of the King and of the realm.’ And King James protested ‘that he might with great reason crave the delivery of Lord Scrope for the injury committed by his deputy, it being less favourable to take a prisoner than relieve him that is unlawfully taken.’ The English Queen, however, was deaf to argument, and, with violent threats, repeated her demand for the deliverance of Buccleuch. It was firmly resisted by the whole body of the Scottish people, nobles, burghers, and clergy, and even by the King himself, though Elizabeth threatened to stop the payment of the annuity due to him. While this affair was still unsettled, a band of the English Borderers invaded Liddesdale and plundered the country. Buccleuch and Cessford immediately retaliated by a raid into England, in which they not only brought off much spoil, but apprehended thirty-six of the Tynedale thieves, all of whom he put to death. Elizabeth’s anger blazed forth with ungovernable fury at this fresh outrage, and she wrote to Bowes, her ambassador in Scotland, ‘I wonder how base-minded that king thinks me that with patience I can digest this dishonourable.... Let him know, therefore, that I will have satisfaction, or else . . . .‘ These broken words of wrath are inserted betwixt the subscription and the address of the letter.

For this new offence Buccleuch and Cessford were tried by the Commissioners and found guilty. As the peaceful relations between the two kingdoms were now seriously endangered, Buccleuch consented to enter into parole in England, and surrendered himself to Sir William Selby, Master of the Ordnance of Berwick; and Sir Robert Ker chose for his guardian Sir Robert Carey, Warden-depute of the East Marches. They were both treated with generous hospitality and great honour. According to an old tradition, Buccleuch was presented to Queen Elizabeth herself, who demanded of him how he dared to storm her castle. ‘What is it,’ replied the ‘bauld Buccleuch,’ ‘that a man dare not do?’ Elizabeth, who, with all her faults, recognised a true man when she met one, turned to a lord-in-waiting, and said, ‘With ten thousand such men our brother of Scotland might shake the firmest throne in Europe.’

During the remainder of Elizabeth’s reign the Borders continued to be the scene of constant raids and feuds; and though Buccleuch, as Keeper of Liddesdale, exerted himself vigorously to repress the destructive incursions of the moss-troopers in the Middle Marches, it was not until the union of the Crowns took place that his efforts were successful. He received the thanks of the King and Council for his important services, and, in 1606, was created a Lord of Parliament by the title of Lord Scott of Buccleuch. After the Union, in 1604, he formed a band of these marauders, two hundred in number, into a company, and led them to the Low Countries, where they fought with conspicuous valour against Spain, under the banner of Prince Maurice of Nassau. In all probability few of them survived to reach their own country again. Buccleuch returned to Scotland in 1609 on the conclusion of a twelve years’ truce between Spain and the United Provinces. He died in 1611, leaving by his wife, a daughter of Sir William Ker of Cessford, the hereditary enemy of his house, a son, who succeeded him, and three daughters.

WALTER, second Lord Scott of Buccleuch, ‘was the first who for the long period of one hundred and forty years had inherited the Buccleuch estates being of full age; since the time of David Scott, in 1470, the Lords of Buccleuch had all been minors at the time of succession.’  Lord Scott was created Earl of Buccleuch in 1619. Like his father, he was fond of a military career, and entered the service of the States-General, as he did, at the head of a detachment of Scotsmen, though, strange to say, only half-a-dozen of them belonged to his own clan and bore his name. He was present at the sieges of Bergen-op-Zoom and Maestricht. As Sir Walter Scott says of him, ‘A braver ne’er to battle rode.’ He was recalled from the Netherlands, in 1631, by Charles I., who desired his presence in London, as his Majesty had occasion for his services, but he subsequently returned to his command in the Netherlands, and was in active service there six weeks before his death.

The Earl was noted for his generous hospitality. Satchells, in his doggrel verse, enumerates with great satisfaction the retainers who were maintained at Branxholm—four-and-twenty gentlemen of his name and kin, each of whom had two servants to wait on him; and four-and-twenty pensioners, all of the name Scott, ‘for service done and to be done,’ had each a room, and held lands of the estimated value of from twelve to fourteen thousand merks a year. Sir Walter Scott, who evidently took the hint from Satchells, gives a picturesque description of the splendour and hospitality of Branxholm in the olden times, as well as of the watch and ward which it was necessary to keep for the protection of the Borders.

‘Nine-and-twenty knights of fame,
Hung their shields in Branksome Hall;
Nine-and-twenty squires of name,
Brought them their steeds to bower from stall;
Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall
Waited, duteous, on them all:
They were all knights of metal true,
Kinsmen to the bold Buccleuch.

‘Ten of them were sheathed in steel,
With hiked sword, and spur on heel:
They quitted not their harness bright,
Neither by day, nor yet by night:
They lay down to rest
With corslet laced,
Pillow’d on buckler cold and hard;
They carved at the meal
With gloves of steel,
And they drank the red wine through the helmet barr’d.

‘Ten squires, ten yeomen, mail-clad men,
Waited the beck of the warders ten;
Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight.
Stood saddled in stable day and night,
Barbed with frontlet of steel, I trow,
And with Jedwood-axe at saddlebow;
A hundred more fed free in stall:-
Such was the custom of Branksome Hall.’

The profuse hospitality of the Earl, and the cost of maintaining so many retainers, together with his large purchases of land, led to the temporary embarrassment of his pecuniary affairs; but, through the able and careful management of Walter Scott of Harden, the Buccleuch estates were ultimately freed from all encumbrances and greatly enlarged.

Earl Walter died in London on the 20th November, 1633. His body was embalmed, and brought to Scotland by sea in a vessel belonging to Kirkaldy, which, after a perilous voyage of fifteen weeks, arrived safely at Leith. After remaining for twenty days in the church of that town, the corpse was conveyed to Branxholm with great pomp, alms being distributed in all the villages and towns through which the cortege passed. The interment, however, did not take place till the 11th June, 1634, seven months after the Earl’s death. The funeral procession from Branxholm to St. Mary’s Church, Hawick, where the remains of the deceased nobleman were interred among his ancestors, was of extraordinary magnificence. [See Balfour’s Ancient and Heraldic Tracts, p.106. The Scotts of Buccleuch, i.264-66.]

Earl Walter had by his wife, Lady Mary Hay, a daughter of Francis, Earl of Errol, a family of three sons and three daughters. Walter, the eldest son, died in childhood, and the Earl was succeeded by his second son, Francis. Mr. Fraser mentions that while Earl Walter provided liberally for all his lawful children, he was not unmindful of his natural children, of whom there were three sons and two daughters. The former received donations of lands; the latter were provided with a liberal tocker at their marriage.

FRANCIS, second Earl of Buccleuch, succeeded to the family honours and estates when he was only about seven years of age. He and his brother were educated at St. Leonard’s College, St. Andrews, of which he always cherished a kind remembrance, and greatly augmented its library by his gifts. The young Earl was equally distinguished for his bravery and his piety. ‘From his very youth,’ wrote the Earl of Lothian, ‘he gave testimony of his love to religion,’ and he was one of the leaders in the army of the Covenanters when they took up arms to resist the ecclesiastical innovations of Charles I. and Laud. He was present with his regiment when Newcastle was stormed, and taken, by the Scottish army under General Leslie. [Mr. Fraser thinks it probable that the Bellenden banner, emblazoned with armorial bearings, now preserved in the family, is that which was made for the regiment of Earl Francis, previous to his march into England, in the beginning of 1644. This curious and venerable relic of the olden times was displayed at the celebrated football match, which was played 4th December, 1815, on Carterhaugh, near the junction of the Ettrick and Yarrow, between the men of the parish of Selkirk, and those of the Dale of Yarrow, in the presence of Charles, Duke of Buccleuch, the Earl and Countess of Home, and a great array of the gentry of the Forest. The Earl of Home, the Duke’s brother-in-Iaw, appointed James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, his lieutenant over the Yarrow Band, while the Sheriff of the county (Sir Walter Scott) had under his special cognisance the ‘Sutors of Selkirk.’ The banner bearing the word ’Bellindaine,’ the ancient war-cry of the clan Scott, was carried by Sir Walter Scott’s eldest son, and was displayed to the sound of war-pipes, as on former occasions when the chief took the field in person, whether for the purpose of war or of sport. This gathering of the men of Ettrick and Yarrow was commemorated by Sir Walter Scott in a poem entitled ‘The Lifting of the Banner,’ and by the Ettrick Shepherd in his beautiful verses, entitled ‘The Ettrick Garland to the Ancient Banner of the House of Buccleuch.’]

Earl Francis took part, with the more resolute section of the Covenanters, under the Marquis of Argyll, in opposing the ‘Engagement’ which led to the abortive expedition into England for the rescue of the King, and he brought his clan to the assistance of the levies raised by General Leslie to resist the Engagers. After the execution of King Charles, Earl Francis was one of the last to submit to the authority of the English Commonwealth, and a fine of £15,000 was imposed by Cromwell on his daughter and successor, the Countess Mary—£5,000 more than the sum levied on any other of the party; but, through the intercession of powerful friends, the amount was ultimately reduced to £6,000. After the defeat of the Scottish army at Dunbar, in September, 1650, Cromwell took possession of the Earl’s castles of Newark and Dalkeith; but the muniments, plate, and other valuables had been removed to the fortress on the Bass Rock, where they remained in safety until the year 1652.

During the disorders which resulted from the great Civil War, the moss-troopers, who, after the union of the Crowns, had become somewhat orderly and peaceful, once more resumed their marauding habits. The tenants on the Buccleuch estates were the principal sufferers from their depredations, and the cattle even of the Earl himself were sometimes carried off in considerable numbers. He was appointed, in 1643, justiciar over an extensive district on the Borders, and made vigorous efforts, which were only partially successful, to restrain and control the Armstrongs, the Elliots, and other Border thieves. The indictments and informations presented at the Justiciary Courts, in the years 1645 and 1646, show the nature and extent of the depredations of the Liddesdale men in England; A stalwart Armstrong, called Symon of Whitlisyde, and other four of that clan, ‘did steal out of Swinburne Park, in Northumberland, fifty kye and oxen. The same Symon Armstrong, and his partners, did steal out of the Rukin in Ridsdale, fourscore of sheep.’ Having brought their spoil across the Borders, as far as Kershopehead, the moss-troopers left the sheep, and went in search of food; but the owners had closely followed them, and on the return of the marauders the sheep were gone. A body of the Armstrongs, in open day, carried off three score of oxen out of the lands of Emblehope. The same party shortly afterwards took four-and-twenty horses belonging to the same proprietor, and also ten horses and a mare, and a stallion valued at £20 sterling. They also drove away openly in the daytime ‘twelve or thretteen score of nolt, with a great number of horses and meares,’ belonging to the Charltons of Tynedale. It is no wonder that old Satchells describes these men as ‘very ill to tame.’ They were not, however, without a sense of humour, as the following incident, recorded in these judicial papers, shows:- ‘Lancie Armstrong, called of Catheugh, Geordie Rackesse of the Hillhouse, and several others, had made a successful foray across the English Border, and were driving homeward, on a Sunday forenoon, about eighty oxen which they had seized. At Chiffonberrie Craig a poor English curate, who had some beasts in that drift taken from him, following them, desired them earnestlie to let him have his twae or thrie beasts again, because he was a Kirkman. Geordie Rackessee, laughing verie merrilie, wist he had all the ministers of England and Scotland as far at his command as he had him; and withal bade him make them a little preaching, and he coulde have his beastes again. "Oh !" says the curate, "good youths, this is a very unfit place for preaching; if you and I were together in church I would do my best to give you content." "Then," said Geordie, "if you will not preach to us, yet you will give us a prayer, and we will learn you to be a moss-trooper." This the curate still refused. "If you will neither preach nor pray to us," said Geordie, "yet you will take some tobacco or sneisin [snuff] with us." The curate was content of that, provyding they wald give him his beastes againe, which they did accordinglie, and so that conference brake.’

Earl Francis died in the year 1651, in the twenty-fifth year of his age, deeply lamented. His excellent character and amiable disposition earned for him the designation of the ‘Good Earl Francis.’

It was in his time that the barony of Dalkeith was purchased from the Earl of Morton. The old castle and estate were for many years a possession of the Douglas family, and here Froissart, the famous French chronicler, was entertained by them during his visit to Scotland. It was the principal residence of Regent Morton, the head of a junior branch of the Douglases.

Earl Francis married, in 1646, when he was in the twentieth year of his age, Lady Margaret Leslie, daughter of the sixth Earl of Rothes, and widow of Lord Balgonie, eldest son of the first Earl of Leven. She is said to have been an active and witty woman. Satchells says, ‘She must always have her intents.’ Her conduct shows her to have been selfish, greedy, intriguing, and unscrupulous. In 1650 the Earl made a new settlement of his estates, entailing them on his heirs male, whom failing, on the eldest heir female of his body, whom failing, on Lady Jean Scott, afterwards Countess of Tweeddale, his sister, and her heirs. As the only son of the ‘Good Earl Francis’ unfortunately died in infancy (whose death he ’took very grieffously’), he was succeeded by his eldest daughter, LADY MARY SCOTT, a child only four years of age. About fourteen months after the Earl’s death, the Countess-Dowager married the second Earl of Wemyss, who, like herself, had also been twice previously married, and had buried his second wife only two months before he was engaged to his third spouse.

The tutors of the young heiress of the Buccleuch estates did not co-operate cordially in promoting her interests. Sir Gideon Scott of Highchester, one of them, was jealous of the Earl of Tweeddale, who had married her aunt, and expressed his belief that the Earl entertained sinister designs, which made him bent on wresting the infant Countess and her sister from the guardianship of their mother. In conjunction with that lady, he presented a petition to the Protector, entreating that the children should remain in the custody of the Countess of Wemyss until they had attained the age of eleven or twelve years. Cromwell returned a favourable answer to this request, and the tutors decided unanimously that the children should remain with their mother until they were ten years of age, which was afterwards extended to twelve. The story of the scandalous intrigues of which the Countess was the object, as narrated at length in the ‘Scotts of Buccleuch,’ is a very melancholy one. There seems to have been no end to the selfish schemes for her disposal in marriage. Attempts were made to obtain her hand for her cousin, a son of the Earl of Tweeddale, and for a son of the Earl of Lothian. Highchester alleged that Scott of Scotstarvit, one of her tutors, had a design to marry her to his son, or one of his grandchildren; and when this scheme failed he professed to have the complete disposal of the heiress, and offered her to the son of Mr. Scott of Scottshall, in Kent. John Scott, of Gorrinberrie, a natural son of Earl Walter, and one of the tutors of the Countess, made overtures to her mother to promote her marriage to his son. It appears from a letter of Robert Baillie that there was at one time an expectation that the son and heir of the Earl of Eglinton would carry off the prize; but ‘he runns away without any advyce, and marries a daughter of my Lord Dumfries, who is a broken man, when he was sure of my Lady Balclough’s marriage—the greatest match in Brittain. This unexpected prank is worse to all his kinn than his death would have been.’ Even Mr. Desborough, one of the English Commissioners of the Commonwealth, is said to have attempted to gain the hand of the Countess for his own son.

All these projects, however, were frustrated by the mother of the heiress, her uncle the Duke of Rothes, the notorious persecutor of the Covenanters, and Sir Gideon Scott of Highchester, who entered into a scandalous intrigue to marry the Countess in her eleventh year to a son of Sir Gideon, a boy only fourteen years of age. In order to secure secrecy, the preparations for the marriage were carried out in a most clandestine manner. The Presbytery of Kirkaldy were induced to dispense, illegally, with the proclamation of banns, and to order Mr. Wilkie, the minister of Wemyss, the parish in which the Countess resided, to perform the marriage ceremony, which was accordingly carried into effect on the 9th of February, 1659. Care was taken, in the marriage contract, to secure to the boy husband the life rent of the honours and estates of the earldom, and a most liberal recompense—which they contrived greatly to exceed—to the mother and stepfather of the Countess, with whom she was to reside until she reached the age of eighteen years.

Several of the tutors had been gained over to assist in promoting this nefarious scheme, but the others, among whom were Scotstarvit and Gorrinberrie, along with the overseers appointed by Earl Francis, immediately raised an action for the dissolution of the marriage, in which they were successful. The children so illegally and shamefully united were separated by a decree of the Commissary, Sir John Nisbet of Dirleton, the celebrated lawyer, and the Countess was placed in the custody of General Monck, who then resided at Dalkeith Castle. The poor girl had inherited the amiable and affectionate disposition of her father, and her letters to her husband, of which a great number have been preserved, show that she cherished a very warm attachment to him.

When the Countess attained the ‘legal age’ of twelve (31st August, 1659), measures were at once taken by her unscrupulous relations to obtain the ratification of her marriage, and a declaration of their adherence to it was signed by her and her husband on the 2nd September, at Leith, in the presence of General Monck. The poor child was at that time suffering from the ‘King’s Evil,’ as scrofula was then called, for which she was touched by Charles II., in 1660, of course without effect. She died at Wester Wemyss, on the 11th of March, 1661, in her fourteenth year. The only advantage which her husband derived from his short-lived union was the barren title for life of Earl of Tarras, her unscrupulous mother, in conjunction with the Earl of Rothes, having completely deceived and outwitted him in regard to the last will of his wife, which appointed Rothes and Wemyss sole executors, and universal legatees. They ultimately divided between them the sum of £96,104.

On the death of the Countess Mary, the Buccleuch titles and estates devolved upon her only sister, LADY ANNE SCOTT. Rothes lost no time in obtaining from the King a gift of the ward and marriage of his niece, for which the selfish, grasping knave contrived to obtain the sum of £12,000. The Countess of Wemyss, who was evidently a worthy associate of her unscrupulous brother, only two months after the death of Countess Mary, wrote to Charles II., proposing the marriage of her daughter Anne, then in her eleventh year, to his son James, Duke of Monmouth. As the Countess was the greatest heiress of her day, the offer was readily accepted by the King, and the Countess, who was ‘a proper, handsome, and a lively, tall, young lady of her age,’ was taken up to London by her mother, in June, 1662, and appears to have made a favourable impression upon his Majesty. The marriage was celebrated on the 20th April, 1663, ‘in the Earl of Wemys’ house, being there for the tyme, where his Majesty and the Queen were present with divers of the Cowrt.’ Charles conferred upon his son, on the day of his marriage, the titles of Duke of Buccleuch, Earl of Dalkeith, and Lord Scott of Whitchester and Eskdail, in addition to the Dukedom of Monmouth. The King also became bound to provide £40,000 sterling to be invested in the purchase of land in Scotland in favour of the Duke of Monmouth and his heirs. In 1666, the titles of the Duke and those of the house of Buccleuch were resigned into the hands of the King, along with the family estates, and were regranted by charter under the Great Seal, and were to be held by the Duke and Duchess conjointly and severally, and independently of each other. In this way the right of the Duchess to the ducal honours, which she had previously held from mere courtesy as the wife of the Duke, were vested in her own person by express grant and creation.

In compliance with a royal injunction, the Duke and Duchess of Monmouth remained at Court. But, though she took a prominent place in that gay circle, her Grace conducted herself with such prudence and propriety, that not the slightest imputation was ever made against her character or conduct. Count Grammont says that ‘her mind possessed all those perfections in which the handsome Monmouth was so deficient.’ And Bishop Burnet mentions that the Duke of York ‘commended the Duchess of Monmouth so highly as to say to me, that the hopes of a crown could not work on her to do an unjust thing.’ She bore to Monmouth four sons and two daughters, and though the Duke was not a faithful husband, the Duchess was to him a most dutiful and affectionate wife, and habitually used her influence to counteract the violent counsels of his associates, and to prevent him from engaging in their desperate schemes. As long as he remained in England she kept him from being implicated in their treasonable plots; but, after he retired to Holland, beyond the reach of her prudent advice, he yielded to the solicitations of the men who led him on to his ruin.

Soon after Monmouth had been captured and lodged in the Tower, the Duchess was, by royal command, sent to see him, accompanied by the Earl of Clarendon, keeper of the Privy Seal. ‘He saluted her, and told her he was very glad to see her,’ but he directed the greater part of his discourse to the Earl of Clarendon, whose interest he earnestly implored. In answer, however, to a touching appeal from the Duchess, he said, ‘she had always shown herself a very kind, loving, and dutiful wife toward him, and he had nothing imaginable to charge her with, either against her virtue and duty to him, her steady loyalty and affection towards the late King, or kindness and affection towards his children.’ A few hours before his execution he took farewell of his wife and children. ‘He spoke to her kindly,’ says Macaulay, ‘but without emotion. Though she was a woman of great strength of mind, and had little cause to love him, her misery was such that none of the bystanders could refrain from weeping.’

After the death of the Duke of Monmouth, his English peerages were forfeited, and a sentence of forfeiture against him and his descendants was likewise pronounced by the Court of Justiciary in Scotland which forfeited the Scottish titles held by Monmouth, and might have affected also the rights of his children, though not of the Duchess. To prevent this she resigned her honours and estates to the Crown, 10th April, 1687, and obtained a new grant to herself and her heirs. This re-grant was ratified by the Parliament, 15th June, 1693. In July, 1690, the sentence of forfeiture against the Duke of Monmouth was revoked. But the dukedom of Buccleuch is not inherited, as Sir Walter Scott supposed, under that Recissory Act, but under the re-grant of 1687.

Three years after the death of Monmouth, the Duchess, then in her thirty-eighth year, took for her second husband, Charles, third Lord Cornwallis, with whom she seems to have lived very happily. She had issue to him one son and two daughters. Her education had been greatly neglected, as her letters show; but she could express her opinions and wishes in a clear, terse, and forcible manner. She was a strong-minded, high-spirited woman. Evelyn said of her, ‘She is one of the wisest and craftiest of her sex, and has much wit.’ According to Dr. Johnson, she was ‘inflexible in her demand to be treated as a princess.’ In some of her charters she even adopted the style of ‘Mighty Princess.’ At dinner she was attended by pages, and served on the knee, while her guests stood during the repast. She had a great deal of prudence and good sense, so that though she persisted in retaining in her own hands during her life all her rights, possessions, and authority, she managed her affairs with great discretion, and by her purchases largely extended the family estates. [It is interesting to know that when the Duchess bought the lands of Smeaton from Sir James Richardson, five colliers and twelve bearers to work the Smeaton coal were disposed of as serfs along with the estate.] She had been recommended to transfer to her eldest son, in fee, her estates, reserving to herself only a life rent interest, like the Duchess of Hamilton. But this she steadily declined to do. ‘Till I change my mind,’ she said, ‘I will keep all the rights I enjoy from God, and my forefathers. I did not com to my estate befor my time. I was my sister’s aire; and I bliss God I have children which I trust in His mercy will be mine when I am dead. The Duchess of Hamilton is but a woman, and we are not such wis creatures as men, so I will folow no exampull of that sort, till I see all the nobellmen in Scotland resin to ther sons, then I will consider of the busines.’ In another letter she says, ‘I love my child as well as anie body living ever lov’d ther own flesh and bloud, but will never be so blinded whilst I keepe my reason, as to lessen myself in my own famelly, but will keepe my outhority and be the head of it whilst it pleases God to give me life. I am a man in my own famelly.’

The Duchess accordingly kept a sharp eye even on the minute details of her affairs, and took an interest not only in the appointment of the ministers on her estates, and their assistants, but of the schoolmasters also. On the occasion of a vacancy in the church at Dalkeith, she says, ‘If I may not absolutely choose, I would, however, have the best of the gaung.’ When a minister was about to be appointed to the church of Hawick, ‘Of all the canditats for Hawick,’ she said, ‘I am for the modrat man.’ On making arrangements for the appointment of an assistant to the minister at Dalkeith, her Grace wrote, ‘I have fixed a sume for the minister’s helper at Dakith, as you proposed; so the Kirk will love uss both, but I fear will not reckon uss of the number of the godly.’ When asking Lord Royston to undertake ‘a troublesome business, that of placing a schoolmaster at Dalkeith,’ she says, ‘Choos one qualified for the place as a scholar, and one who is not high flown upon any account.’ Her long residence in England gave rise to an impression that she had ceased to take much interest in her native country, and in the tenantry on her Scottish estates. Against this notion she protested most vigorously. ‘The Scott’s hart,’ she says, ‘is the same I brought to England, and will never chang, as I find by long experience.’ Her extensive purchases of land were’ all made in Scotland. On receiving the arrears of her jointure she remarked, ‘I own I should be glad to buy Scotts land with English money.’ And she declared that she would never part with one inch of ground that ever did belong to her family inheritance.

With all her firmness and strong will, the Duchess had a kind heart. She gave a point-blank refusal to a proposal that she should increase her income by adopting a system of letting her estates which she thought would be injurious to her tenants. ‘You know,’  she wrote to Lord Melville, ‘I think it would rewin the tenants, or else, I am sure, opress them, which I will never do, and I am resolved nobody ever shall do it whilst I live.’ She exerted herself successfully, in 1691, to save the life of a poor man who, when intoxicated, was induced by an innkeeper to drink a treasonable toast. Writing in his behalf, from Dalkeith, to the Earl of Leven, she said, ‘Your Lordship will think me soliciter for all mankind, but whair ther is no murdar I would have nobody dey befor ther time. . . Now I know not which way to endever the presarvation of this poor man, but if it can be don, if you would give derection or helpe in this, do not laugh at me. I am no soldeur, but a poor merciful woman.’

This was not the only instance in which the Duchess interfered to save the life of a Jacobite. Sir Walter Scott relates in his Autobiography that his great-grandfather, ‘Beardie,’ who fought for the Stewarts under Dundee and the Earl of Mar, ran ‘a narrow risk of being hanged, had it not been for the interference of Anne, Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth.’

Her Grace died on 6th February, 1732, at the good old age of nearly eighty-one years. She was the last of the race who exhibited the characteristic traits of the ‘Bauld Buccleuch.’ Her descendants were of a different and milder type—

‘In them the savage virtues of the race,
Revenge and all ferocious thoughts, were dead,’

and they have for successive generations been distinguished for their amiable disposition, their kindness to their tenantry and retainers, their strong common sense, their patriotism, and their generosity in promoting the social welfare of the community, rather than for any ambition to manage the affairs of the state.

JAMES, Earl of Dalkeith, the second and eldest surviving son of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, predeceased his mother in 1705, in the thirty-first year of his age, greatly lamented on account of his many amiable qualities, and Duchess Anne was succeeded by her grandson—

FRANCIS, second Duke of Buccleuch, who married Lady Jane Douglas, eldest daughter of the second Duke of Queensberry, whose titles and estates were inherited by their grandson, the third Duke of Buccleuch. It is somewhat singular that a marriage was at one time proposed between Duke Francis, when Earl of Dalkeith, and another Lady Jane Douglas, the only sister of the Duke of Douglas, whose marriage to Sir John Stewart led to the famous ‘Douglas Case.’ (See THE ANGUS DOUGLASES, i. 91.) If this proposal had been carried into effect, it would, in all probability have united the dukedom of Buccleuch with that of Douglas, instead of Queensberry. It is not improbable that the duel which took place between the Earl of Dalkeith and his intended brother-in-law may have had something to do with this affair. Duchess Anne, who was displeased at the breaking off of the match, imputed the blame to the Duchess of Queensberry, of whom she pungently remarked, ‘She has the same fait which some others has in this worald, more power than they deserve.’ Strange to say, however, the extensive estates, though not the titles of the Douglas family, were inherited by the great-granddaughter of Duke Francis. (See THE HOMES, i. 386.)

The forfeited English titles of the Duke of Monmouth were restored to his grandson, Duke Francis, by Act of Parliament, in 1743, and from that time the Dukes of Buccleuch sit in the House of Lords as Earls of Doncaster. His Grace died in 1751. He had two sons and three daughters by Lady Jane Douglas, who died in 1729. ‘She was as good a young woman as ever I knew in all my life,’ wrote Duchess Anne of her, at the time of her lamented decease. ‘I never saw any one thing in her that I could wish wer otherways.’

Their eldest son, Francis, Earl of Dalkeith, born in 1721, married in 1742 Lady Caroline Campbell, eldest daughter and co-heiress of John, Duke of Argyll and Greenwich, the celebrated statesman and general. The Earl died of smallpox in 1750, in the thirtieth year of his age. His widow married in 1755 the well-known statesman, Charles Townshend, and was created Baroness Greenwich, in her own right, in 1767. She inherited a portion of the unentailed property of her father, and through her Granton and other estates were added to the possessions of the Buccleuch family. By his Countess the Earl of Dalkeith had four sons and two daughters. As he predeceased his father, the Earl’s eldest surviving son—

HENRY, became third Duke of Buccleuch in 1751, and in1810 he succeeded to the titles and large estates of the Queensberry family. He was educated at Eton, and in 1764 his Grace and his brother, Campbell Scott, set out on their travels, accompanied by the celebrated Adam Smith, author of the ‘Wealth of Nations,’ who received an annuity of £300 in compensation for the salary of his chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of Glasgow, which he had of course to resign when he undertook the charge of the young Duke. Their tour, which lasted nearly three years, afforded an opportunity to the philosopher and his pupils to become acquainted with Quesnay, Turgot, D’Alembert, Necker, Marmontel, and others who had attained the highest eminence in literature and science. The Duke’s brother, the Hon. Campbell Scott, was assassinated in the streets of Paris on the 18th of October, 1766, and immediately after this sad event his Grace returned to London. For Adam Smith, who had nursed him during an illness at Compiègne with remarkable tenderness and assiduous attention, the Duke cherished the greatest affection and esteem. ‘We continued to live in friendship,’ he said, ‘till the hour of his death; and I shall always remain with the impression of having lost a friend, whom I loved and respected not only for his great talents, but for every private virtue.’ It was through the Duke’s influence that Smith was appointed, in 1778, one of the Commissioners of Customs in Scotland.

On the commencement of the war with France in 1778, his Grace raised a regiment of 'Fencibles,’ which was called out to suppress the anti-Catholic riots in Edinburgh. Throughout his whole life the Duke showed a marked predilection for the society of literary men, and he was the first President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Dr. Carlyle of Inveresk, who passed several glowing eulogiums on Duke Henry, both in prose and verse, says, at the time when he was about to visit his estates on coming of age, ‘The family had been kind to their tenants, and the hopes of the country were high that this new possessor of so large a property might inherit the good temper and benevolence of his progenitors. I may anticipate what at first was only guessed, but came soon to be known, that he surpassed them all, as much in justice and humanity as he did in superiority of understanding and good sense. In this Duke was revived the character which Sir James Melville gave his renowned predecessor in Queen Mary’s reign, ‘Sure and true, stout and modest.’

Numerous anecdotes are told illustrative of the simplicity, geniality, and generosity of the Duke’s character, some of which have been embodied in verse. He is said to have sometimes paid visits in disguise to the tenants and peasants on his estate. The Border poet, Henry Riddell, puts an allusion to this habit into the mouth of an old man in Glendale, in whose hut the Duke was said on one occasion to have passed a night :—

‘And yet they say he’s curious ways,
And slyly comes among them,
Like old King James; and they say more,
He’s o’er indulgent to the poor—
Ye’d think that needna wrang them.’

It was mainly to the Duke of Buccleuch’s influence that Sir Walter Scott was indebted for his appointment to the office of sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire in 1799, and in 1806 to that of one of the principal clerks of the Court of Session.

The Duke died at Dalkeith House on 11th January, 1812, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. The news of his death caused deep sorrow among all classes, and there was scarce a dry eye among the attendants at his funeral. ‘There never lived a man in a situation of distinction,’ said Sir Walter at the time of the Duke’s death, ‘so generally beloved, so universally praised, so little detracted from or censured. . . . The Duke’s mind was moulded upon the kindliest and most single-hearted model, and arrested the affections of all who had any connection with him. He is truly a great loss to Scotland, and will be long missed and lamented.’

The Duke married, 2nd May, 1767, Lady Elizabeth Montagu, only daughter of the last Duke of Montagu, who survived till 1827. Their eldest son, George, died in infancy. Henry James Montagu, the third son, inherited, in 1790, the estates of his maternal grandfather, and became Lord Montagu. The second son—

CHARLES WILLIAM HENRY, became fourth Duke of Buccleuch and sixth Duke of Queensberry. He was a nobleman of singular amiability and generosity, but unfortunately possessed the family honours and estates only seven years, and was cut off in the forty-seventh year of his age. The Queensberry estates had, under the last Duke (Old Q) been neglected and devastated, the fine old trees cut down, and the mansion house allowed to fall into decay. The new comer set himself energetically to rescue it from dilapidation, and it cost him £60,000 to make it wind and water-tight. He planted an immense number of trees to replace those cut down by the ‘degenerate Douglas,’ and rebuilt all the cottages, in which, as Scott said, ‘an aged race of pensioners of Duke Charles and his wife, "Kitty, blooming, young, and gay," had, during the last reign, been pining into rheumatisms and agues, in neglected poverty.’ It has been calculated that he spent on the Queensberry estates eight times the income he actually derived from them during his brief tenure.

Sir Walter Scott, in his obituary notice of the Duke, mentions a striking example of the disinterested manner in which his Grace administered his estates, and of his generous sympathy with his retainers :—

‘In the year 1817, when the poor stood so much in need of employment, a friend asked the Duke why his Grace did not propose to go to London in the spring. By way of answer the Duke showed him a list of day-labourers then employed in improvements on his different estates, the number of whom, exclusive of his regular establishment, amounted to nine hundred and forty-seven persons. If we allow to each labourer two persons whose support depended on his wages, the Duke was, in a manner, foregoing, during this severe year, the privilege of his rank, in order to provide with more convenience for a little army of nearly three thousand persons, many of whom must otherwise have found it difficult to obtain subsistence.’

The Duke was a warm friend of Sir Walter Scott, and took a deep interest in his welfare. The letters which passed between them show their strong mutual attachment; and when the Duchess passed away ‘in beauty’s bloom,’ it was to the ‘Minstrel of the Clan’ that the Duke at once turned for sympathy and consolation. Sir Walter cherished an unbounded admiration of this lady. On receiving the unexpected intimation of her death (Aug. 24th, 1814), he thus expressed his opinion of her in his Diary: ‘She was indeed a rare example of the soundest good sense, and the most exquisite purity of moral feeling, united with the utmost grace and elegance of personal beauty, and with manners becoming the most dignified rank in British society. There was a feminine softness in all her deportment which won universal love, as her firmness of mind and correctness of principle commanded veneration. To her family her loss is inexpressibly great.’

The ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel,’ which was dedicated to the Duke, was written in compliance with the wish of the Duchess, who was at that time Countess of Dalkeith. In his preface to the edition of 1813, the author says, ‘The lovely young Countess of Dalkeith, afterwards Harriet, Duchess of Buccleuch, had come to the land of her husband with the desire of making herself acquainted with its traditions and customs, as well as its manners and history. All who remember this lady will agree that the intellectual character of her extreme beauty, the amenity and courtesy of her manners, the soundness of her understanding, and her unbounded benevolence, gave more the idea of an angelic visitant than of a being belonging to this nether world; and such a thought was but too consistent with the short space she was permitted to tarry among us.’ Scott proceeds to mention that an aged gentleman near Langholm communicated to her ladyship the story of Gilpin Homer, in which he, like many more of the district, was a firm believer. The Countess was so delighted with the legend, and the gravity and full confidence with which it was told, that she enjoined on Scott, as a task, to compose a ballad on the subject. ‘Of course,’ he adds, ‘to hear was to obey,’ and the result was the composition of the immortal ‘Lay.’

The poet has also commemorated the virtues and graces of the Duchess, and especially her kindness to the poor, in the following beautiful passage in the introduction to the second canto of ‘Marmion,’ which was written while her ladyship was absent from the district, but must have been felt more keenly after her death:-

‘And she is gone, whose lovely face
Is but her least and lowest grace;
Though if to Sylphid Queen ‘twere given
To show on earth the charms of heaven,
She could not glide along the air,
with form more light, or face more fair.
No more the widow’s deafen’d ear
Grows quick that lady’s step to hear:
At noontide she expects her not,
Nor busies her to trim the cot;
Pensive she turns her humming wheel,
Or pensive cooks her orphans’ meal;
Yet blesses, ere she deals their bread,
The gentle hand by which they’re fed.’

The Duchess took a warm interest in the Ettrick Shepherd, who often received from her tokens of her generous sympathy, and after her death obtained from the Duke for life the little farm of Altrive Lake. He considered the poet, he said, as ‘her legacy.’ Her early death was a blow from which the Duke, who was in a delicate state of health, never recovered.

Sir Walter Scott, who observed in 1818, with great apprehension, that the malady under which the Duke laboured was making serious progress, earnestly recommended that he should try a change of climate, for the recovery of his health. In order to cheer his Grace’s drooping spirits, he sent him regularly an ‘Edinburgh Gazette Extraordinary,’ containing the amusing gossip of the day. The Duke sailed for Lisbon in the spring of 1819. Previous to his departure he wrote to Sir Walter, reminding him of his promise to sit to Raeburn for a portrait, which was to be placed in the library at Bowhill. ‘A space for one picture is reserved over the fireplace, and in this warm situation I intend to place the Guardian of Literature. I should be happy to have my friend Maida appear. It is now almost proverbial, "Walter Scott and his dog." Raeburn should be warned that I am as well acquainted with my friend’s hands and arms as with his nose; and Vandyke was of my opinion, many of R.’s works are shamefully finished—the face studied, but everything else neglected. This is a fair opportunity of producing something really worthy of his skill.’

The portrait, however, was never executed, in consequence of the death of the Duke, which took place on the 20th of April, 1819. It was lamented by Scott as an irreparable loss. ‘Such a fund of excellent sense,’ he said, ‘high principle, and perfect honour, have been rarely combined in the same individual.’ He paid a graceful tribute to the Duke’s memory, which was published at first in the ‘Weekly Journal, and later in his ‘Miscellaneous Works.’ It concludes with this high and well merited eulogium-

‘It was the unceasing labour of his life to improve to the utmost the large opportunities of benefiting mankind with which his situation invested him. Others of his rank might be more missed in the resorts of splendour, and gaiety, frequented by persons of distinction. But the peasant, while he leans on his spade; age, sinking to the grave in hopeless indigence; and youth struggling for the means of existence, will long miss the generous and powerful patron, whose aid was never asked in vain, when the merit of the petitioner was unquestioned.’

Duke Charles had by his Duchess—a daughter of Viscount Sydney—three sons and six daughters. The eldest son, George Henry, died in his tenth year, and the second, Walter Francis, succeeded to the family titles and estates.

WALTER FRANCIS MONTAGU-DOUGLAS-SCOTT, fifth Duke of Buccleuch and seventh Duke of Queensberry, was born in 1806, and was left an orphan at the early age of thirteen. His uncle, Lord Montagu, however, watched over him with all a father’s care, and, guided by the advice of Sir Walter Scott, as shrewd as it was affectionate, his lordship made most judicious arrangements for the education and training of his nephew for the responsible position which he was one day to occupy. It appears that the young Duke had naturally some turn for history and historical anecdote, and Sir Walter earnestly recommended that he should be induced to read extensively in that most useful branch of knowledge, and to make himself intimately acquainted with the history and institutions of his country, and her relative position with regard to other countries. ‘It is, in fact,’ he wrote, ‘the accomplishment which of all others comes most home to the business and heart of a public man, and the Duke of Buccleuch can never be regarded as a private one. Besides, it has in a singular degree the tendency to ripen men’s judgment upon the wild political speculations now current.’

The youthful nobleman was sent, in due course, to Eton; but his health unfortunately became delicate in 1821, and it was found necessary for him to take ‘a temporary recess’ from that seminary. It has frequently happened, however, as in the case of the Duke of Wellington, that the strongest and best confirmed health has succeeded in after life to a delicate childhood or youth; and the Duke of Buccleuch enjoyed throughout his whole career, from manhood to old age, uninterrupted good health, to which his temperate habits no doubt largely contributed. He had the good fortune to obtain for his tutor Mr. Blakeney—grandson of General Blakeney, who was governor of Stirling Castle in 1745—an accomplished gentleman, and an old friend and fellow-student at Cambridge of Lord Montagu. The Duke had just completed his curriculum at Eton, when he was called upon, at the age of sixteen, to receive King George IV., on the occasion of that sovereign’s visit to Scotland in 1822. His Majesty was royally entertained at Dalkeith House, and seems in return to have treated his young host with kind and paternal attention. It was probably by Mr. Blakeney’s advice that the Duke, on leaving Eton, instead of being sent to Christchurch, Oxford—the favourite college of the great Tory families—was entered at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of Master of Arts in 1827.

In the autumn of 1826, the year before the Duke came of age, Sir Walter Scott paid a visit to him at. Drumlanrig, and entered in his journal the following opinion respecting his young chief. ‘He has grown up into a graceful and apparently strong young man, and received us most kindly. I think he will be well qualified to sustain his difficult and important task. The heart is excellent, so are the talents. Good sense and knowledge of the world, picked up at one of the great English schools (and it is one of their most important results) will prevent him from being deceived; and with perfect good-nature he has a natural sense of his own situation which will keep him from associating with unworthy companions. God bless him! His father and I loved each other well, and his beautiful mother had as much of the angel as is permitted to walk this earth. . . . I trust this young nobleman will be—

"A hedge about his friends,
A hackle to his foes."

I would not have him quite so soft-natured as his grandfather, whose kindness sometimes mastered his excellent understanding. His father had a temper which better jumped with my humour. Enough of ill-nature to keep your good-nature from being abused, is no bad ingredient in their disposition who have favours to bestow.’ The young Duke grew up to be in this respect what his father’s friend desired, and whatever failings he may have had, he had certainly no lack of firmness in adhering to his opinions and purposes.

Although the death of his grandmother, the Dowager Duchess Elizabeth, cast a shadow over the proceedings, the Duke’s coming of age was celebrated in Dumfriesshire with great enthusiasm.

When the Duke of Buccleuch attained his majority, he entered into possession of dignities and estates, in number and extent equalled only by a very few of the old historical families. He inherited the ancient titles both of the Buccleuch Scotts and the Queensberry Douglases, along with the restored titles of his paternal ancestor, the Duke of Monmouth, in all comprising two dukedoms, a marquisate, four earldoms, three viscountys, and five baronies. He inherited the vast estates of the houses of Buccleuch and Queensberry. At a later period the Montagu estates also came into his possession, amounting altogether to 459,260 acres, with a rent-roll of nearly a quarter of a million.

He found, however, the Queensberry estates still in a dilapidated condition. ‘The outraged castle,’ says Sir Walter Scott, ‘in 1810 stood in the midst of waste and desolation, except a few scattered old stumps not judged worth the cutting.’ The Duke carried out on an extensive scale the improvements which his father had commenced on the demesne. ‘The whole has been completely replanted,’ said Sir Walter, ‘and the scattered seniors look as graceful as fathers surrounded by their children. The face of this immense estate has been scarcely less wonderfully changed. The scrambling tenants who held a precarious tenure of lease under "Old Q." at the risk (as actually took place) of losing their possession at his death, have given room to skilful men working their farms regularly, and enjoying comfortable houses, at a rent which is enough to forbid idleness, but not to impair industry.

In the spring of 1828, his Grace was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Midlothian, and shortly after made a short tour on the Continent. On his return he took his seat in the House of Lords as Earl of Doncaster. A few months later he received a sumptuous entertainment at Dumfries from the gentlemen of the district, at which Sir Walter Scott, who was present, predicted for his young chieftain a noble career worthy of his ancestors and his position. Ten years after, the extent to which this anticipation had been realised was shown by the gathering at Branxholm of a thousand of the tenants and representatives from every part of his Grace’s extensive estates, who bore grateful testimony to his unceasing kindness and liberality. In his dignified reply to the commendations bestowed upon him as an enlightened and generous landlord, the Duke spoke feelingly of the responsibilities attached to his position. What had been entrusted to him, he said, had not been given to him that it might be wasted in idle or frivolous amusements, nor would he be justified in wasting the hard earnings of the tillers of the soil, by carrying them away, and spending them in foreign countries. It was his wish to see them employed as the means of producing good to them, and to the country at large. ‘You will find me ready,’ he added, ‘to promote every scheme that is for the benefit of the country. Should I err, do not impute it to any intentional omission; it may be an error of the judgment, it will not be an error of intention.’

It was predicted by Sir Walter Scott, at the Dumfries banquet, that the Duke would be found foremost to support every benevolent measure, and this prediction was most amply fulfilled. In this, as in other respects, his Grace showed that he had inherited the virtues of his immediate progenitors. His father and grandfather were model landlords, and displayed much greater anxiety to discharge faithfully the duties of their high position, than to exact rigorously their rights and rents. They might indeed have sat for the portrait of the generous public benefactor portrayed in the Book of Job. Of them it might have been said, as it was of him, that ‘When the ear heard them it blessed them, and when the eye saw them it gave witness to them; because they delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon them, and they caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.’ Their descendant made it his study to walk closely in their footsteps, befriending the poor, supporting liberally benevolent institutions of every kind, encouraging education, promoting industry and agricultural improvements, and taking a warm interest in everything relating to the comfort and prosperity of the large population settled on his estates.

From his majority to the close of his career, the Duke took a deep interest in all that pertains to practical agriculture. The farm buildings and cottages on his own estates are models of neatness and comfort; the farms are in a high state of cultivation, and the tenants have received every encouragement to carry on improvements. Shortly after coming of age he became a member of the Highland Society; in 1830 he was elected a vice-president, and a year later was appointed president of the society, an office which he held until 1835. An exceptional honour was conferred upon the Duke in 1866, when he was for the second time elected president of the society, and continued to fill the chair until 1869. The Thornhill Agricultural Society has been from its birth under his Grace’s fostering care, and he was also the originator, and chief supporter, of the Union Agricultural Society of Dumfries and Galloway. He was very successful at both local and national shows as a breeder and exhibiter of stock, and contributed not a little by his example to stimulate tenant-farmers in the improvement of their cattle and sheep.

The Duke’s shrewdness, energy, and business habits were displayed not only in the discharge of his duties as a landlord, and an enterprising agriculturalist, but also in the management of county affairs, in which his influence was predominant. To him the country is indebted for the gigantic and costly works within two miles of Edinburgh, on the shore of the Firth of Forth, which were commenced in the year 1835, as Mr. Adam Black said, at a public dinner, ‘with no view to private advantage, but solely on the solicitation of others, for the sake of the community.’ They have made Granton one of the most commodious of modern harbours, which, besides being a ferryboat port for the North British Railway, has a regular steam communication with London, and with Sweden and Norway. His Grace has also taken a leading part, along with the Duke of Devonshire, in the erection of docks at Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, which have transformed a fishing-village into a populous and prosperous commercial town.

The political principles adopted by the Duke may be said to have been hereditary in his family, and his shrewdness and sound judgment, as well as his high rank and vast possessions, naturally led to his becoming the leader of the Scottish Conservative party. This position was rather thrust upon him than sought by him, and he exercised great influence in a quiet, undemonstrative manner. He was, indeed, virtually Minister for Scotland whenever the Conservatives were in office. He seems to have had not much taste or inclination for political office, and the management of his estates and his attention to public social affairs left him little time to devote to parliamentary discussions; but he consented to hold the office of Privy Seal from February, 1842, to January, 1846, in the Ministry of Sir Robert Peel. When Lord Stanley seceded from the Government, and other great landed proprietors offered a violent opposition to the repeal of the Corn Laws, the Duke of Buccleuch wrote to his political chief, ‘I feel it to be my imperative duty to my sovereign and my country to make every personal sacrifice. I am ready, therefore, at the risk of any imputation that may be cast upon me, to give my decided support, not only to your administration generally, but to the passing through Parliament of a measure for the final settlement of the Corn Laws.’ In order publicly to manifest his resolution to give the policy of Sir Robert Peel his cordial support, he accepted the office of President of the Council, which had become vacant by the death of Lord Wharncliffe. His Grace, of course, retired on the defeat of the Ministry in 1846, and never again returned to office.

As the Duke advanced in years, tokens of the universal respect in which he was held were multiplied. While still a youth, the Duke of Wellington created him a Knight of the Thistle—a distinction which he resigned when he received the Order of the Garter from Sir Robert Peel in 1834. In London he was made High Steward of Westminster, and a Governor of the Charterhouse. In 1841 he was appointed to the Lord-Lieutenancy of Roxburghshire, in addition to that of Midlothian. In the following year he had the honour of entertaining the Queen on the occasion of her first visit to Scotland. As Captain-General of the Royal Company of Archers, it was his duty to receive, and to be in close attendance, on her Majesty when she landed at Granton. In recognition of his sympathy with scientific pursuits and aims, he was elected President of the British Association, which met at Dundee in September, 1867. He contributed the handsome sum of £4,000 to the fund for extending the buildings of the Edinburgh University, for which the senatus expressed their gratitude, along with their recognition of the Duke’s eminent position, and general public services, by conferring on him, in 1874, the honorary degree of LL.D. His Grace had previously received the same distinction from his Alma Mater, while Oxford had bestowed upon him its corresponding degree of D.C.L. He was President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; and to crown the honours which he received of this class, on the lamented death of Sir William Stirling Maxwell, his Grace, with the cordial approval of all parties, political and ecclesiastical, was chosen Chancellor of the University of Glasgow.

While the old age of the Duke was thus accompanied by ’honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,’ one of the most gratifying tokens of the esteem in which he was held was afforded by the celebration of his jubilee as a landlord in the Music Hall of Edinburgh, on the 7th of May, 1878. At the banquet, which was attended by between four and five hundred gentlemen of all political parties, and from all parts of the country, his Grace was presented with an illuminated address from seven hundred of his tenants in Scotland, expressing their appreciation of his intimate and personal knowledge of what constitutes good husbandry, and his constant encouragement of every appliance that tends to the agricultural improvement of his estates, always thinking and acting for others, rather than for himself. Referring to the management of his estates, which he had carried out for fifty years, the Duke, in his reply, said he had found it no easy task. Although a labour of love, it had been one of great exertion, and had it not been for the kindly feeling which had always subsisted between his tenantry and himself, he could not have fulfilled the duties and obligations laid upon him. ‘I do not pretend to say,’ he added, ‘that I have done my duty without any omission, but only that I have endeavoured to do it. I cannot but look back upon many opportunities that have been lost, and many occasions of doing good that I have missed, upon things said by me, and done by me which I now bitterly regret. But I have always acted in an open and straightforward manner, without any compromise or subterfuge of any kind. I have acted with political friends, and political opponents, and during the long period of my life I am not aware that I have in any instance lost a friend, or made an enemy.’ His Grace was well entitled to make this statement, which will be cordially re-echoed by all who have ever had the pleasure of co-operating with him, in any public or benevolent undertaking. His manly and touching expression of deep regret for some things he had said and done was well fitted to produce a favourable impression on his political opponents, and especially on that ecclesiastical body with which his Grace had unfortunately come into collision thirty- five years before. The honours which were regarded as merited by the Duke were, however, not yet exhausted. In the course of 1883 a project was set on foot for a national memorial, as a tribute to his Grace’s public and private character, and the manner in which he had discharged the duties of his high position throughout his long and distinguished career. The proposal met with a prompt and cordial response. The sum of £10,000 was subscribed by persons of all political parties, and nearly all classes of the community. It has been resolved that the money should be expended in the erection of a statue of the Duke in Edinburgh, for which an appropriate site has been most readily granted by the Town Council.

The Duke died, after a short illness, on the 16th of March, 1884, in the seventy-eighth year of his age.

His Grace was married in 1829 to Lady Charlotte Anne Thynne, youngest daughter of the second Marquis of Bath, by whom he has had a family of five sons and three daughters. His eldest son, WILLIAM HENRY WALTER, has succeeded to the family titles and estates in Scotland. Henry John Montagu-Douglas-Scott, his second son, has inherited the estates in England, and has been created Baron Montagu, the title held by his grand-uncle.


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