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The sable score, of fingers four,
Remains on that board impress’d; And for evermore that lady wore
A covering on her wrist.
There is a Nun in Dryburgh bower' .. .
Ne'er looks upon the sun : There is a Monk in Melrose tower, is!
He speaketh word to none.'
That Nun, who ne'er beholds the day,
That Monk who speaks to none,
That Monk the bold Baron. "
THE EVE OF SAINT JOHN.
BATTLE OF ANCRAM MOOR. Lord Evers, and Sir Brian Latoun, during the year 1544, committed the most dreadful ravages upon the Scottish frontiers, compelling most of the inhabitants, and especially the men of Liddesdale, to take assurance under the King of England. Upon the 17th November, in that year, the sum total of their depredations stood thus, in the bloody ledger of Lord Evers.
Towns, towers, barnekynes, paryshe churches,
bastill houses, burned and destroyed . 192 Scots slain . . . . . . . . . . 403 Prisoners taken . . . . . . . . .
816 Nolt (cattle) . ... .. . . 10,386 Shepe . .......... 12,492 Nags and geldings. ....... 1,296 Gayt . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 Bolls of corn . ... · · · · ·
850 Insight gear, &c. (furniture) an incalculable quantity,
Murdin's State Papers, vol. I. p. 51.
The King of England had promised to those two ba. rons a feudal grant of the country, which they had thus reduced to a desert ; upon hearing which, Archibald Douglas, the seventh Earl of Angus, is said to have sworn to write the deed of investiture upon their skins, with sharp pens and bloody ink, in resentment for their having de. faced the tombs of his ancestors, at Melrose.Godscroft. In 1545, Lord Evers and Latoun again entered Scotland with an army, consisting of 3000 mercenaries, 1500 English Borderers, and 700 assured Scottishmen, chiefly Armstrongs, Turnbulls, and other broken clans. In this second incursion, the English generals even exceeded their former cruelty. Evers burned the tower of Broomhouse, with its lady (a noble and aged woman, says Lesley,) and her whole family, The English penetrated as far as Melrose, which they had destroyed last year, and which they now again pillaged. As they returned towards Jed. burgh, they were followed by Angus, at the head of 1000 horse, who was shortly after joined by the famous Norman Lesley, with a body of Fife-men. The English, being probably unwilling to cross the Teviot while the Scots hung upon their rear, halted upon Ancram Moor, above the village of that name ; and the Scottish general was deliberating whether to advance or retire, when Sir Walter Scott* of Buccleuch came up, at full speed, with
* The editor has found in no instance upon record, of this family having taken assurance with England. Hence they usually suffered dreadfully from the English forays. 'In August 1544, (the vear preceding the battle) the whole lands belonging to Buccleuch, in West Teviotdale, were harried by Evers; the out-works, or barmkin, of the tower of Branxholm, burnt; eight Scotts slain
a small but chosen body of his retainers, the rest of whom were near at hand. By the advice of this experienced warrior, (to whose conduct Pitscottie and Buchanan as. cribe the success of the engagement,) Angus withdrew from the height which he occupied, and drew up his forces behind it, upon a piece of low flat ground, called Panierheugh, or Peniel-heugh. The spare horses, being sent to an eminence in their rear, appeared to the English to be the main body of the Scots, in the act of flight. Under this persuasion, Evers and Latoun hurried precipitately for ward, and, having ascended the hill, which their foes had abandoned, were no less dismayed, than astonished, to find the phalanx of Scottish spearmen drawn up, in firm array, upon the flat ground below. The Scots in their turn became the assailants. A heron, roused from the marshes by the tumult, soared away betwixt the encountering armies: “O !” exclaimed Angus, " that I had here my white goss hawk, that we might all yoke at once !” Godscroft. The English, breathless and fatigued, having the setting sun and wind full in their faces, were unable to withstand the resolute and desperate charge of the Scottish lances. No sooner had they begun to waver, than their own allies the assured Borderers, who had been waiting the event, threw aside their red crosses, and, joining their countrymen, made a most merciless slanghter among the English fagitives, the pursuers calling upon each other o " remember Broomhouse!"-Lesley, p 478. In the battle fell Lord Evers, and his son, together with Sir Brian Latoun, and 800 Englishmen, many of whom veze persons of rank. A thousand prisoners were taken. Among these was a patriotic alderman of London, Read by name, who, having contumaciously refused to pay his portion of a benevolence, demanded from the city by Henry VIII., was sent by royal authority to serve against the Scots. These, at settling his ransom, he found still more exorbitant in their exactions than the monarch.REDPATH'S Border History, p. 553. Evers was much regretted by King Henry, who swore to avenge his death upon Angus, against whom he conceived himself to have particular grounds of resentment, on account of favours received by the Earl at his hands. The answer of Angus was worthy of a Douglas. " Is our brother-in-law offended, "* said he, “ that I, as a good Scotsman, hare avenged my ravaged country, and the defaced tombs of my ancestors, upon Ralph Evers? They were better men than he, and I was bound to do no less and will he take my life for that? Little knows King Henry the skirts of Kirnetable :f I can keep myself there against all his English host.”_Godscroft.
thirty made prisoners, and an immense prey of horses, cattle, and sheen, carried off. The lands upon Kale water, belonging to the same chieftain, were also plundered, and much spoil obtained; 30 Scotts slain, and the Moss Tower (a fortress near Eckford) smoked very sore. Thus Buccleuch had a long account to settle at Ancram Moor. MUKDIN'State Papers, pp. 45, 46