Изображения страниц

the coheiresses of Robert de Marmion; and it remains in that family, whose representative is hereditary champion of England at the present day. The family and possessions of Frevile have merged in the Earls of Ferrars: I have not, therefore, created a new family, but only revived the titles of an old one in an imaginary personage.

It was one of the Marmion family, who, in the reign of Edward II., performed that chivalrous feat before the very castle of Norham, which Bishop Percy has woven into his beautiful ballad, “The Hermit of Warkworth.” The story is thus told by Leland:

“The Scottes came yn to the marches of England, and destroyed the Castles of Werck and Herbotel, and overran much of Northumberland marches.

“At this tyme Thomas Gray and his friendes defended Norham from the Scottes. “It were a wonderful processe to declare, what mischiefes cam by hungre and asseges by the space of xi yeres in North... umberland; for the Scottes became so proude after they had got Berwick, that they nothing esteemed the Englishmen. “About this tyme there was a greate feste made yn Lincolnshir, to which came many gentilmen and ladies; and amonge them one lady brought a heaulme for a man of were, with a very riche creste of gold, to William Marmion, knight, with a letter of commandement of her lady, that he should go into the daungerest place in England, and ther to let the heaulme be seene and known as famous. So he went to Norham; wither withyn 4 days of cumming cam Philip Moubray, guardian of Berwicke, havingyn his bande 40 men of armes, the very flour ef men of the Scottish marches. “Thomas Gray, capitayne of Norham, seynge this, brought his garison afore the barriers of the castel, behynd whom cam William, richly arrayed, as al glittering in gold, and wering the heaulme, his lady's present. “Then said Thomas Gray to Marmion, ‘Sir knight, ye be cum hither to fame your helmet: mount up on yor horse, and ryde lyke a valient man to yowr foes even here at hand, and I

[ocr errors]

forsake God if I rescue not thy body deade or alyve, or Imyself wyl dye for it. “Whereupon he toke his cursere, and rode among the throng of enmemyes; the which layed sorestripes on hym, and pullid hym at the last out of his sadel to the grounde. “Then Thomas Gray, with al the hole garrison, lette prikyn among the Scottes, and so wondid them and their horses, that they were overthrowan; and Marmion, sore beten, was horsid agayn, and, with Gray, persewed the Scottes yn chase. There were taken fifty horse of price; and the women of Norham Throught them to the foote men to follow the chase.”

Note XI. Sir Hugh the Heron bold, Baron of Twisell, and of Ford, And Captain of the Hold—P. 30. Were accuracy of any consequence in a fictitious narrative, . this castellan's name ought have been William: For William Heron of Ford was husband to the famous Lady Ford, whose syren charms are said to have cost our James IV. so dear. Moreover, the said William Heron was, at the time supposed, a prisoner in Scotland, being surrendered by Henry VIII., on account of his share in the slaughter of Sir Robert Ker of Cessford. His wife, represented in the text as residing at the court of Scotland, was, in fact, living in her own castle at Ford. See Sir Richard Heron's curious Genealogy of the Heron Family.

Note XII. The whiles a Northern harper rude Chanted a rhyme of deadly feud, “How the fierce Thirwalls, and Ridleys all, &c.” Page 31. This old Northumbrian ballad was taken down from the recitation of a woman eighty years of age, mother of one of the miners in Alston-moor, by the agent for the lead mines there, who communicated it to my friend and correspondent, R. Sur*s, Esquire of Mainsforth. She had not, she said, heard it

for many years; but when she was a girl, it used to be sung at merry-makings, “till the roof rung again.” To preserve this curious, though rude rhyme, it is here inserted. The ludicrous turn given to the slaughter, marks that wild and disorderly state of society, in which a murder was not merely a casual circumstance, but in some cases, an exceedingly good jest. The structure of the ballad resembles the “Fray of Suport,” having the same irregular stanza and wild chorus.

[ocr errors]

II. The auld man went down, but Nicol, his son, Ram away afore the fight was begun; And he run, and he run, And afore they were done, There was many a Featherston gat sic a stun, As never was seen since the world begun.

* See Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. I. p. 250. f Pronounced Awbony.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

* Skelp signifies slap, or rather is the same word which was originally spelled schlap.

f Hold their jaw, a vulgar expression still in use.

f Got stolen, or were plundered; a very likely termination of the fray.

§ Neck. | Punch. T Belly. * Bellowing.

if Silly slut. The Border Bard calls her so, because she was

weeping for her slain husband; a loss which he seems to think might be soon repaired.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

In explanation of this ancient ditty, Mr. Surtees has furnished me with the following local memorandum: Willimoteswick, now more commonly called Ridley Hall, is situated at the confluence of the Allon and Tyne, and was the chief seat of the ancient family of Ridley. Hardriding Dick is not an epithet referring to horsemanship, but means Richard Ridley of Hardriding, the seat of another family of that name, which, in the time of Charles I., was sold on account of expenses incurred by the loyalty of the proprietor, the immediate ancestor of Sir Mathew Ridley. Will o' the Wa’ seems to be William Ridley of Walltown, so called-from its situation on the great Roman wall. Thirlwall Castle, whence the clan of Thirlwalls derived their name, is situated on the small river of Tippell, near the western boundary of Northumberland. It is near the wall, and takes its name from the rampart having been thirled, i. e. pierced, or breached, in its vicinity. Featherston Castle lies south of the Tyne, towards Alston-moor. Albany Featherstonhaugh, the chief of that ancient family, made a figure in the reign of Edward VI. A feud did certainly exist between the Ridleys and Featherstones, productive of such consequences as the ballad narrates. 24 Oct. 22do Henrici 8vi. Inquisitio capt. apud Huut-whistle, sup. visum corpus Alexandri Featherston, Gen. apud Grensilhaugh, felonice interfecti, 22 Oct. per Nicolaum Ridley de Unthanke, Gen. Hugon Ridle, Nicolaum Ridle, et alios ejusdem nominis. Nor were the Featherstones without their revenge; for 36to Henrici 8vi, we have—Utlagatio Nicolai Fetherston, as Thome Nyason, &c. &c. pro homicidio JWillini. Ridle de Morale.

* The Bailiff of Haltwhistle seems to have arrived when the fray was over. This supporter of social order is treated with characteristic irreverence by the moss-trooping poet,

# An irom-pot with two ears.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »