Изображения страниц

Such anothar captayn Skotland within,

He fayd, y-feth huld never be.

Worde ys commyn to lovly Londone

Till the fourth Harry our kyng,
That lord Perse, leyff-tenante of the Merchis,

He lay slayne Chyviat within.


God have merci on his foll, fayd kyng Harry,

Good lord, yf thy will it be!
I have a hondrith captayns in Ynglonde, he fayd,'

As good as ever was he:
But Persè, and I brook my lyffe,

155 Thy deth well quyte shall be.

As our noble kyng made his a-vowe,

Lyke a noble prince of renowen, For the deth of the lord Persè,

He dyde the battel of Hombyll-down:


Wher fyx and thritte Skottish knyghtes

On a day wear beaten down :
Glendale glytteryde on ther armor bryght,

Over castill, towar, and town.


This was the hontynge off the Cheviat ;

That tear begane this spurn:


1. 146. ye feth, MSV, 149, cheyff tennante, MS,

old men that knowen the grownde well yenoughe,

Call it the Battell of Otterburn.


At Otterburn began this spurne

Uppon a monnyn day:
Ther was the dougghtè Doglas flean,

The Persè never went away.

Ther was never å tym on the march partes

Sen the Doglas, and the Persè met,
But yt was marvele, and the rede blude ronne not,

As the reane doys in the Atret.

Jhesue Crift our balys bete,

And to the blys us brynge!
Thus was the hountynge of the Chevyat :

God send us all good endyng!


The stile of this and the following ballad is unconmonly rugged and uncouth, owing to their being writ in the very coarsejt and broadeft northern Dialect.

Most of the sur-names in these two poems, as well as in the modern song of Chevy Chase, will be found either in the lifts belonging to the northern counties in Fuller's Wortbies, or subscribed to treaties preferved in Nicholson's Laws of the Borders. See alse Crawfurd's Peerage.

The battle of Hombyll-down, or Homeldon, was fought Sep. 14. 1402. (anno 3. Hen. IV. j wherein the English, under the command of the E. of Northumberland, and bis fous Hotspur, gained a compleat victory over the Scots.

Vol. III.


[ocr errors][merged small]

The only battle, wherein an Earl of Douglas was flain fighting with a Percy, was that of Otterbourn, which is the subject of this ballad. It is here related with the allowable partiality of an English poet, and much in the same manner as it is recorded in the English Chronicles. The Scottish writers have, with a partiality at leaft as excufeable, related it no less in their own favour. Luckily we have a very circumstantial narrative of the whole affair from Froissart a French historian, who appears to be unbiased. Froisart's relation is prolix; I shall therefore give it as abridged by Carte, who has however had recourse to other authorities, and differs from Froiffart in some things, which I shall note in the margin.

In the twelfth year of Richard II. 1388, The Scots taking advantage of the confufions of this nation, and falling with a party into the well-marches, ravaged the country « about Carlisle and carried off 300 prisoners. It was with a much greater force, headed by some of the principal nobility, that in the beginning of August *, they invaded 6. Northumberland: and baving wasted part of the county

of Durham t, advanced to the gates of Newcastle; where

[ocr errors]

Froidfart speaks of both parties (confifing in all of more than 40,000 men) as entering England at the same time : but the greater part by way of Carlise.

And, according to the ballad, that part of Northumberland called Bamborough-ward (or sbire): a large tract of land la named from the town and castle of Bamburgb.

« in a skirmish, they took a penon or' colours* belonging to Henry

lord Percy, Jurnamed Hotspur, son to the Earl of North« umberland. In their retreat home, they attacked the castle so of Otterbourn: and the evening of Aug. 9. (as the

English writers say, or rather, according to Froissart, Aug. 15.) after an unsuccessful assault were surprized in their camp, which was very strong, by Henry, who at «« the first onset put them into a good deal of confusion. But

James earl of Douglas, rallying his men, there ensued one

of the best-fought actions that happened in that age ; both « armies jbewing the utmost bravery + : the earl Douglas

himself being sain on the spot f; the earl of Murrey mortally wounded; and Hotspur |l, with his brother Ralph Percy, taken prisoners. These disasters on both sides have given oocafon to the event of the engagement's being disputed; Froissart (who derives his relation from a Scotch

knight, two gentlemen of the same country, and as many of Foix +) affirming that the Scots remained masters of the field ; and the English writers insinuating the contrary. These laft maintain that the English had the better of the

day : * This circumstance is omitted in the ballad. Lord Percy and E. Douglas were two young warriors much of the same age.

Froilart says the English exceeded the Scots in number three to one, but that these had the advantage of the ground, and were also fresh from sleep, while the English were greatly fatigued. with their previous march.

I By Henry L. Percy according to this ballad, and our old Eng. lift historians, as Stow, Speed, &c. but borne down by numbers, if we may belive Froilart.

| Henry Lord Percy (after a very parp conflict) was taken prisoner by John lord Montgomery, whose eldest son Sir Hugh was Nain in the same action with an arrow, according to Crawfurd's Peerage (and seems also to be alluded to in the foregoing ballad, p. 13.) but taken prisoner and exchanged for Lord Percy according to this ballad.

+ Froissart (according to the Eng. Translation) says he had hi account from two squires of England, and from a knight and Squire of Scotland, soon after the battle.

Vol. III.

[ocr errors]

C 2

day : but night coming on, some of the northern lords,

coming with the bishop of Durham to their asistance, killed

many of them by miflake, Jupposing them to be Scots; and the earl of Dunbar at the same time falling on another side

upon Hotspur, took him and his brother prisoners, and carried them off while both parties were fighiing. It is at

least certain, that immediately after this battle, the Scots engaged in it made the best of their way home : and the Same party was taken by the other corps about Carlisle.

Cuch is ibe account coll:eted by Carte, in which he seems not io be free from partiality ; for prejudice must orun that Froilsart's circumstantial account carries a great appearance of truth, and he gives the victory to the Scots. He however does justice to the courage of both parties; and represents their mutual generofisy in such a light, that the present age might edify by the example. The Englysfhmen on the one partye, and Scottes on the other party, are good men of warre, for or whan they mete there is a hard fighte without fparynge. There is no hoo * byt wene them as long as speares, Swordes,

axes, or dagers will endure, but lay on eche upon other : and whan they be well beaten, and that the one party, haih

obtayned the victory, they than glorifye so in their dedes of armes, and are lo joyfull, that suche" as be taken, they shall be raunfomed or they go out of the felde t; so that shortely


one with another there is no playe, nor sparynge.' FroilJari's Crorycle (as translated by Sir Johan Bourchier Lord Berners) Cap. cxlij.

The following ballad is printed from a manuscript copy in the Harleian Collection (No. 293. fol. 52.] where it is intitled, A songe made in R. 2. bis tyme of the battele of

« Otter* So in Langham's letter concerning 2. Elizabeth's entertainment at Killingworth Castle, 1575. 12o. p. 61.

" Heer was no bo in cerrut drinking:

fi. e. Tvey fiornio take the advantage, or to keep them lingering in long captivity.







« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »