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* Border Minstrelsy,” Vol. I. In the Macfarlane MS., among other causes of James the Fifth's charter to the burgh, is mentioned, that the citizens assisted him to suppress this dangerous outlaw.
Note III. Lone Saint Mary's silent lake.—P. 52. This beautiful sheet of water forms the reservoir from which the Yarrow takes its source. It is connected with a smaller lake, called the Loch of the Lowes, and surrounded by mountains. In the winter, it is still frequented by flights of wild swans; hence my friend Mr. Wordsworth's lines:
The swans on sweet St. Mary's lake Float double, swan and shadow. Near the lower extremity of the lake, are the ruins of Dry
hope Tower, the birth-place of Mary Scott, daughter of Philip Scott of Dryhope, and famous by the traditional name of the Flower of Yarrow. She was married to Walter Scott of Harden, no less renowned for his depredations, than his bride for her beauty. Her romantic appellation was, in latter days, with equal justice, conferred on Miss Mary Lilias Scott, the last of the elder branch of the Harden family. The editor well remembers the talent and spirit of the latter flower of Yarrow, though age had then injured the charms which procured her the name. The words usually sung to the air of “Tweedside,” beginning “What beauties does Flora disclose,” were composed in her honour.
Note IV. For though, in feudal strife, a foe Hath laid our Lady's chapel low.—P. 53. The chapel of Saint Mary of the Lowes (de lacubus) was situated on the eastern side of the lake, to which it gives name. It was injured by the clan of Scott, in a feud with the Cranstouns; but continued to be a place of worship during the
seventeenth century. The vestiges of the building can now scarcely be traced; but the burial ground is still used as a cemetery. A funeral, in a spot so very retired, has an uncommonly striking effect. The vestiges of the chaplain's house are yet visible. Being in a high situation, it commanded a full view of the lake, with the opposite mountain of Bourhope, belonging, with the lake itself, to Lord Napier. On the left hand is the tower of Dryhope, mentioned in the preceding note.
Note W. the wizard's grave; That wizard priest's, whose bones are thrust From company of holy dust—P. 54. At one corner of the burial ground of the demolished chapel, but without its precincts, is a small mound, called Binram's corse, where tradition deposits the remains of a necromantic priest, the former tenant of the chaplainry. His story much resembles that of Ambrosio in the “Monk,” and has been made the theme of a ballad, by my friend Mr. James Hogg, more poetically designated the Ettricke Shepherd. To his volume, entitled the “Mountain Bard,” which contains this, and many other legendary stories and ballads of great merit, I refer the curious reader.
A mountain lake, of considerable size, at the head of the Moffat-water. The character of the scenery is uncommonly savage; and the earn, or Scottish eagle, has, for many ages, built its nest yearly upon an islet in the lake. Lochskene discharges itself into a brook, which, after a short and precipitate course, falls from a cataract of immense height and gloomy grandeur, called, from its appearance, the “Gray Mare's Tail.” The “Giant's Grave,” afterwards mentioned, is a sort of trench, 'which bears that haune, a little way from the foot of the cataract. It has the appearance of a battery designed to command the pass.
The Abbey of Whitby, in the Archdeaconry of Cleaveland, on the coast of Yorkshire, was founded A. D. 657, in consequence of a vow of Oswy, King of Northumberland. It contained both monks and nuns of the Benedictine order; but, contrary to what was usual in such establishments, the abbess was superior to the abbot. The monastery was afterwards ruined by the Danes, and rebuilded by William Percy in the reign of the Conqueror. There were no nuns there in Henry the Eighth's time, nor long before it. The ruins of Whitby Abbey are very magnificent.
Lindisfarne, an isle on the coast of Northumberland, was called Holy Island, from the sanctity of its ancient monastery, and from its having been the episcopal seat of the see of Durham during the early ages of British Christianity. A succession of holy men held that office; but their merits were swallowed up in the superior fame of St. Cuthbert, who was sixth bishop of Durham, and who bestowed the name of his “patrimony” upon the extensive property of the see. The ruins of the monastery upon Holy Island betoken great antiquity. The arches are, in general, strictly Saxon; and the pillars which support them, short, strong, and massy. In some places, how ever, there are pointed windows, which indicate that the building has been repaired at a period long subsequent to the original foundation. The exterior ornaments of the building being of a light sandy stone, have been wasted, as described in the text. Lindisfarne is not properly an island, but rather, as the venerable Bede has termed it, a semi-isle; for, although surrounded by the sea at full tide, the ebb leaves the sands dry between it and the opposite coast of Northumberland, from which it is about two miles distant.
Note VIII. -
The popular account of this curious service, which was probably considerably exaggerated, is thus given in “A True Account,” printed and circulated at Whitby: “In the fifth year of the reign of Henry II., after the conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy, the lord of Uglebarnby, then called William de Bruce; the lord of Smeaton, called Ralph de Percy: with a gentleman and freeholder called Allatson, did, on the 16th of October, 1159, appoint to meet and hunt the wild boar, in a certain wood, or desert place, belonging to the abbot of Whitby: the place's name was Eskdale-side, and the abbot’s name was Sedman. Them, these young gentlemen being met, with their hounds and boar-staves, in the place before mentioned, and there having found a great wild boar, the hounds ran him well near about the chapel and hermitage of Eskdale-side, where was a monk of Whitby ; who was a hermit. The boar, being very sorely pursued, and dead-run, took in at the chapel door, there laid him down, and presently died. The hermit shut the hounds out of the chapel, and kept himself within at his meditations and prayers, the hounds standing at bay without. The gentlemen, in the thick of the wood, being put behind their game, followed the cry of their hounds, and so came to the hermitage, calling on the hermit, who opened the door, and came forth; and within they found the boar lying dead: for which, the gentlemen, in a very great fury, because the hounds were put from their game, did most violently and cruelly run at the hermit with their boar-staves, whereby he soon after died. Thereupon the gentlemen perceiving and knowing that they were in peril of death, took sanctuary at Scarborough; but at that time the abbot being in very great favour with the king, removed them out of the sanctuary; whereby they came in danger of the law, and not to be privileged, but likely to have the severity of the law, which was death for death. But the hermit being a holy and devout man, and at the point of death, sent for the abbot, and desired him to send for the gentlemen who had wounded him. The abbot so doing, the gentlemen came; and the hermit being very sick and weak, said unto them, “I am sure to die of those wounds you have given me.” The abbot answered, “They shall as surely die for the same.” But the hermit answered, “Not so, for I will freely forgive them my death, if they will be content to be enjoined the penance I shall lay on them for the safeguard of their souls.” The gentlemen being present, bade him save their lives. Then said the hermit: “You and yours shall hold your lands of the abbot of Whitby, and his successors, in this manner: That, upon Ascension-day, you, or some of you, shall come to the wood of the Stray-heads, which is in Eskdale-side, the same day at sum-rising, and there shall the abbot's officer blow his horn, to the intent that you may know where to find him; and he shall deliver unto you, William de Bruce, ten stakes, eleven strout stowers, and eleven yethers, to be cut by you, or some for you, with a knife of one penny price; and you, Ralph de Percy, shall take twenty-one of each sort, to be cut in the same mammer; and you, Allatson, shall take nine of each sort, to be cut as aforesaid; and to be taken on your backs, and carried to the town of Whitby, and to be there before nine of the clock the same day before mentioned. At the same hour of mine of the clock, if it be full sea, your labour and service shall cease; and, if low water, each of you shall set your stakes to the brim, each stake one yard from the other, and so yether them on each side with your yethers; and so stake on each side with your strout stowers, that they may stand three tides, without removing by the force thereof. Each of you shall do, make, and execute, the said service, at that very hour, every year, except it be full sea at that hour; but when it shall so fall out, this service shall cease. You shall faithfully do this, in remembrance that you did most cruelly slay me; and that you may the better call to God for mercy, repent unfeignedly of your sins, and do good works. The officer of Eskdale-side shall blow, Out on