Изображения страниц

advancing in firm array, bore back the crushed wrote ordaining a public thanksgiving that "the and broken ranks of their opponents. A total victory was gained without great loss upon his rout ensued, accompanied by a terrible destruc- side.” tion and loss on the part of the Scots. What Equally great is the conflict of opinion as to added greatly to their confusion and dismay, the relative strength of the armies before the the valets and pages, in order to make sure of battle began. Here again we must allow a their own safety, seeing the Scottish army being considerable margin for English bias. Their routed and driven down the hill, rode off in own authorities affirm that the Scottish force flight with their masters' horses. The English greatly exceeded that of Edward. Referring on the contrary had their own horses in readiness again to the king's letters we find that no such and pursued the Scots, whom, with all the fury inference can be drawn. Had he gained so of old hatred, they slaughtered in large numbers, decisive a victory over superior numbers while as many more were taken prisoners. undoubtedly he would have made special

The English, flushed with success, and eager reference to the fact. Surely it behoved the to complete the conquest, rode past, turned, and victor to emphasise a point of such importance intercepted the fugitives in their flight. In this in giving public thanks to God. Instead of way detached portions of the Scottish army that he makes no mention whatever of the were surrounded and almost exterminated by relative strength of the armies. The Scottish the vastly superior numbers of the victors. In nobility were there in large numbers, and so these circumstances, pitted though they were great was the slaughter of those in high rank against overwhelming odds, feats of heroism and power that it was currently reported amongst were performed by many ofthe Scots, and not a few the English that the Scottish wars were at last of their opponents fell in these desultory and ended, since not a man was left of that nation unequal combats. In some instances indeed who had either power or ability to assemble an they did not wait to allow the English to pass army or direct its operations. and intercept them, but, hopeless of victory, As a necessary consequence of the Battle of though spent with fatigue, they would turn Halidon, Berwick was immediately handed over round, face their opponents, and make a to the victorious Edward, and Baliol was determined stand, only, however, to be ultimately reinstated as monarch of the kingdom. Like overpowered.

his father, however, he was but a vassal king; In the pursuit many persons of note were and, let us charitably assume, less an object of slain; amongst them John Stewart and James censure than of pity-a miserable sinecure Stewart, uncles of the Steward of Scotland. vacillating between the ill-disguised mutterings Malise, Earl of Strathern, John de Graham, of discontent and disloyalty on the part of his Alexander de Lindsay, and other barons were subjects on the one hand, and the imperious will also cut down. It is said that all the way to and haughty spirit of his superior and overlord Ayton, a distance of six miles, the ground was on the other. Scottish patriotism smarted under strewed with their dead bodies.

this dead weight in the guise of monarchy, and It is impossible to state precisely the number those barons who still remained loyal to the of slain on either side. Historians differ widely cause of Scottish independence caused Baliol on this point. English authorities greatly over- much annoyance during his brief reign of seven estimate the Scotch loss. "Anonymous History years. Once more, in 1339, Scotland shook of Edward III.” states the number at 60,000; herself free from the yoke of English dominion. Walshingham gives 25,712; and Barnes quotes It may thus be seen what miserable and transia MS. of Cambridge, which gives 56,640. tory advantage Edward gained by this victory; These are all manifest exaggerations. That the how hopelessly ineffectual and impotent were loss on the part of the Scots greatly exceeded these oft-repeated attempts of Southern that of the English is certain, for in that first aggression to crush the spirit of freedom in the flight of English arrows the Scots must have hearts of the Scottish people. Berwick, it is fallen by hundreds if not by thousands. It is true, was lost to Scotland for ever. That probable that they lost not fewer than 14,000 was the sum total of Edward's achievements. It men. As to the English loss on the other hand was simply a case of balancing accounts on the their own authorities seek to minimise the prevailing principle of “ Might was Right," which number to an extent far below what the circum- then governed the conduct of the two nations. stances of the case warrant. One writer What the one lost the other gained. But the estimates the number at seven, and another at Treaty of Northampton, with all its bright fifteen. This is certainly not borne out by promise of peace and tranquility, was no more. inference from letters which the English king That was a loss, irreparable and profoundly

regretable, common to both England and Scotland without a shadow of compensation to either victors or vanquished.

Neither in ballad nor in song have the brave deeds of the thousands who fell at Halidon Hill been recorded. Such daring and noble selfsacrifice as marked the conduct and spirit of the vanquished are worthy of a better fate-worthy indeed of a place beside the immortal heroes of Bannockburn and Flodden. NO. II. - BATTLE OF OTTERBURN

Will appear next month.

A New Theory of the Catrail.*
*HIS pamphlet as its title page tells us con-

tains a paper read before the Hawick

Archäological Society on Tuesday. I 3th February. In it the author puts forward a new theory regarding the object of the Catrail that peculiar earthwork which is the standing mystery among Border Antiquities. Of theories regarding the object for which it was formed there have been several. It has been suggested, first that it was simply a boundary racial or tribal, secondly, that it was a war fence, offensive and defensive, and thirdly, that it was a strategic road subsidiary to and connecting forts. To these may be added the airy remark of Dr. J. A. H. Murray which is given on the authority of the Rev. J. B. Johnstone of Falkirk who states in his work on the place-names of Scotland that “Dr. Murray informs me that this (the word 'catrail') is an invented name for an invented rampart, both due to the imagination of Chalmers (Caledonia 1807).” It is indeed difficult to understand how a careful philologist like Dr. Murray could make such a statement seeing that as Mrs. Craig points out the word 'catrail' occurs in a work published eighty-one years before Chalmers' Caledonia was issued, to wit the 'Itinerariuni Septemtrionale' of Alexander Gordon. To say that the rampart was invented is absurd for the ditch is there. visible to the naked eve, and the rivulets of Roxburghshire have not the faculty of going up one side of a hill, along the top, and down the other side, so the Catrail cannot be due to aqueous erosion.

Mrs. Craig's idea of the purpose of the Catrail differs widely from all the earlier theories and may be expressed in her own words. She believes it to be a portion of the boundary of “the 'Great Quadrangular area of the Dominion,' mentioned in the Four Ancient Books of Wales,' 'the great central power'-the Ior, or sacred en closure of the Druids, where they trained their

* Enclosures, with special reference to a Border Survival. By M. C. Craig. Hawick, Craw & Edgar, Express Office,

pupils in all manner of mystic lore as wellasin warfare and feats of strength. Indeed, its very name tells us so, for I am of opinion with Williams (Y'Gododin) that the names Catrail and Catraith are one, and as Khat in all the ancient tongues believed to have had one common home, means at once shut, sealed, secret, Raithe means judgment, and Rail, we already know the meaning of, we take it that in the first place it was the sealed or secret place retired from the common things of life, as Khat, the body, was the sealed casquet of the soul ; secondly, it came to mean the judgment of the body as to its fitnesss for warfare, etc. ; and last of all, the warriors boundary. The remains found in the district also favour the idea of mimic warfare, for here the small bronze axes which have been thought only fit to wear as ornamental trappings abound, four of them having been found by a farmer (Mr. Douglas, Essenside) in one field, and one having been found years ago by a member of this society at Northhouse in the very track of the Catrail. It may also be noticed that this territory was called the Reged down to historical times.”

It would of course require a person of special knowledge to contradict this theory and speaking without the information of a specialist we can only say that it seems to have as much probability as the other suggestions above mentioned. We can never know exactly what the Catrail was intended for and Mrs. Craig's theory is as inherently possible as any of the others. Indeed it will be much more plausible provided that Mrs. Craig can show that the Catrail was really once a portion of the enclosing mark of a square tract of country. Hitherto it has been generally believed to be but one more or less straight line but our author remarks that “every writer, since Chalmers, has carefully avoided mentioning the northern portion of the work mentioned by Maitland, with the exception of the late Mr. Kemp of Galashiels, who, after describing the route of the Catrail from that fort to Rink Camp, near Selkirk, says :-‘From the Rink two lines run down to the Tweed, one by Rink House, which can be clearly traced by the side of the old road to the ford,' the other further north, by the Howden burn, he traces round the Crib Hill. the Crib

The former is now entirely obliterated, but the very mention of it as existing in Mr. Kemp's time bears out the statement of Maitland regarding it, for the other is the route followed by modern explorers, this northern portion running from this point to the ancient Henwood, on the banks of the Oxnam, near Jedburgh, once authenticated, the Catrail is not difficult to restore- from Torwoodlee Broch, near Galashiels, along the Yarrow and Ettrick-

for I do not believe the work ever went near Suspension Bridge at Dryburgh, Tom for many Wallace's Trench-to Henwoody on the Borth- years daily occupied the little wooden box wick, from there to Wormscleuch at the head erected for his convenience on the Berwickshire of Deadwater, from thence over hill by Ravens- bank of the Tweed. Few have travelled to or burn and Jed to that other Henwood, the water from Dryburgh during the past fifty years or so itself forming the boundary, as its name implies, without making his acquaintance. In that quiet and from thence through Bowden Moor and corner of the bridge, many jokes were cracked Faldonside to the road mentioned by Kemp.” with passing neighbours, or with gentlemen The crucial point therefore, it will be seen, lies fishers who had dropped in to rest and refresh in the authentication of “ this Northern portion.” themselves, and to most of whom Tom was an Can that be done and if so how? We confess old and esteemed friend. There, too, Tom's we are at a loss for an answer to the question, keen unaffected wit, and dry quaint humour, but there is not in the domain of prehistoric had numberless opportunities of displaying archæology a more industrious scholar than themselves. His humour always quaint, his wit Mrs. Craig and we can only hope that she will just seasoned at times with acerbity enough to continue her researches on the subject. At pres- give it a rare flavour in the mouth of the ent, however, the verdict must be “ Not proven." individual who was not so unfortunate as to be

In these remarks we have only dealt with the its butt. portion of Mrs. Craig's paper which treats direct. A penny each way was, at one time, exacted ly of the Catrail. Her introduction is an elabo. for the passage of the bridge. Moderate as this rate reference to enclosures generally, a subject charge might be, there were those who were of great interest and particulary so to Borderers, only too ready to skulk by without paying it for in some of the towns and villages of the when they could contrive to elude Tom's border, ex gratia, Hawick and Lauder, we have vigilance. undoubtedly traces still remaining of the old On one memorable occasion, a large party primitive village community which existed in composed of members of the Pan-Presbyterian our land long before the Roman invasion and Council had visited Dryburgh, dutifully laying which must be contemporaneous with the dawn down their pennies as they went. On returning, of reason in what is now the human species. however, it was resolved to steal a march on

W. Tom. Hurrying en masse past his box, the

party swarmed on to the slight bridge. Tom, Tom For.

it may be a trifle alarmed, shouted words of “Dryburgh, February 1896.

warning and expostulation in vain. “DEAR MADAM,

"Weel, weel, gang ye'r weys,” he was heard “I give you full permission to use to mutter testily to himself, “ye may ca' ye’rsel's me in any way you may think proper, only dinna Pan - Presbyterians the now, but ye'll a' be mak' me ony blacker than I am, for guidness kens Baptists 'ore lang, or ma name's no Tamn Fox." that's black enough. I hope you are all well, and

At another time, a gentleman remonstrated your father going about.

indignantly against the paying of the return toll. “I am, yours truly, “TAM Fox."

He had, he said, just “ walked from Norham

he had crossed the bridge there, and was only UCH is the reply I received to my question asked to pay one penny for both ways.” Tom

whether or not I might make Tom the heard him out with the utmost patience, then, subject of a magazine article. His letter, in his driest and most caustic tones, asked

short, pithy, and humorous, brings him reflectivelyright before the reader as no number of words “Div ye no' think, sir, div ye no' think ye’rsel' from another pen can possibly do.

na, that ye micht juist gang roond again by Under the inexorable rule of modern educa- Norham?” The gentleman paid his penny tion, native originality is being gradually trimmed without further parley. down to a uniformly conventional standard. Its A friend of mine was one day enjoying a chat sharp shears are busy clipping and pruning from with Tom when a young lady stepped up to the day to day, and the good old-time type of pure bridge. She paid her fare, and stood doubtfully Scottish character is, as a matter of course, fast regarding the airy oscillating structure. dying out.

“ Is it safe?” she asked, hesitatingly. Of this type, the passing of which I deplore, “Quite safe, ma'am.” Another very doubtful Tom Fox is a singularly striking and interesting glance before her--then, specimen.

“Quite safe, you say?" In his office as collector of pontage for the “Perfectly safe, ma'am, perfectly safe.”

Apparently reassured, the young lady moved briskly on. She had not, however, taken more than half-a-dozen steps when she suddenly turned, ran back, and accosted Tom with

“Oh, I hope you are sure that the bridge is quite safe.”

“I assure ye, ma'am, it's perfectly safe; perfectly safe, ma'am." Tom's tones were by this time assuming an ominous sauvity. When, after again essaying to cross, the lady returned for the fourth time with the same query there was a second's pause, then in even unctuous accents came Tom's reply

“It's absolutely safe, ma'am. Oo've a contrac

in common with most strong characters, Tom entertains a profound and ill-concealed contempt for whatever seems to savour of cant. More given to act out his own religion than to undertake the direction of other people's, he views with pronounced distrust all who, as he would probably express it, “like tae hear themsel's speak.” The minister, and none but he, has a right to dictate to any man in the matter of his religion. A member of some lay persuasion or other was unfortunate enough to incur his displeasure. It is to be supposed that this individual had been concerning himself about Tom's future welfare, and that the object of his


From Photo by G. M. Scott.

TOM Fox, wi' the brig, ye see. It's only tae fa' on Tuesdays solicitude bitterly resented his interference. In an' Thursdays—this is Wednesday."

a state of extreme exasperation, Tom at length “Oh, Tom, Tom,” laughed my friend, "that brought him up withwas heavy. You're too severe.”

“Wull ye tell me hoo an ignorant man like "Hoots,” replied Tom, with an easy dismiss you has the face tae stand up an' make a ing of the subject, “whae div ye think has time pretence o' preachin' tae folk better learned tae waste on a silly stupid crater like that. than ye’rsel'? The like o' you canna hae Couldna' she hae seen for hersell that half-a- muckle tae say tae onybody yin wud think.” dizzen cattle are alloo’ed on at yince?".

“I can always say that I have been born The fact that the young lady was all un- again," was the mild answer. conscious of Tom's sarcasm adds zest to the “H’m,” commented Tom, drily, “ye wudna story. She was entirely satisfied with the be muckle the waur o' bein' born a third time explanation offered, and made her transit of the in ma opeenion." bridge thereafter with the utmost confidence. The wholesome, work-a-day turn of Tom's mind comes out markedly in the following : season, must be a brisk trade in sweets, biscuits, An excellent lady in the neighbourhood was in and aerated waters, the excellence of which I the habit of talking very confidentially with him. have frequently tested. Discussing a proposed change of residence she His skill in the manufacture of inlaid paper said, referring to a certain house

knives and pretty knick-knacks in carved or “I don't think, after all, that I shall take it, fret-work was for many years turned to good Tom. The rent is really more than I ought to account, and even now occupies a spare moment give. What shall I answer to the Lord on the when the shop does not demand his attention. great day of judgment when He asks me how I The perseverance which he brought to bear on came to pay such a sum for a house?”

whatever his hand found to do, proved how brave “Never fash ye'r heid aboot that, ma leddy," was the heart and how strong the will that could said Tom, naively, “take ma word for't, the so frankly face and defy the bar of unkindly Lord'll never ask ye ony sic question.”

circumstance. Tom is no Egoist. All through A plump volume might be filled with these his own struggle for a living, he has never been and numberless stories of similar character, all able to forget that there were others struggling of them shewing up more or less forcibly the alongside him. His ready hand has helped sound common sense and homely intelligence, many lame dogs over the proverbial stile. His the keen penetration and shrewd thoughtful goodness of heart has been largely and frequently temperament of the man with whom they are drawn upon, and has seldom, if ever, failed to associated.

respond to the demands made upon it. Tom Tom was born at Morebattle in 1824. Ten is modest about his good deeds, like every true years later he migrated to Dryburgh, where, man. None would be more astonished than he with one or two short breaks, he has since to learn that he is looked upon as a hero in the resided.

strife, but as such I have long regarded him. The trade of joiner, for which he received an Childless, and since 1888 a widower, he will early training, was abandoned for that of weaver. yet never be a lonely man. His instincts are It was while pursuing this calling in a Galashiels too truly human to admit of such a possibility. tweed mill, and while still a young man, that he His success in winning the confidence and fell a victim to a painful disorder which partially affection of the feathered tribe is well known in deprived him of the use of his lower limbs, and his own neighbourhood. It is pretty to see made the aid of a crutch or a stick an almost Tom among his friends. I have watched them constant necessity. Weaving was now, for Tom, swoop down in scores, and sit perched in long impossible, and he returned to Dryburgh to rows on an iron fence in front of the toll-bar at make of his life under its altered conditions the bridge, while Tom would stand feeding them what he could, or would.

and talking to them familiarly, as if they were Many natures of weaker calibre would have so many intelligent human beings. The more been for ever embittered by such mischance; daring would fly right in his face, and snatch a but Tom's spirit rose high above his trouble. crumb from his mouth, while all or any would With admirable energy he turned his attention eat confidingly from his hands. What the little to whatever form of industry he found it possible creatures thought, or said among themselves, to pursue in his crippled and half-helpless con- when they found their friend and benefactor no dition. As fisherman and ferryman he kept longer at the bridge end, is undiscoverable. himself busily employed during the long interval What is certain, however, is the fact that they between the destruction of the former bridge speedily discovered him in his new quarters, by wind storm and the building of that now and gave him to understand in their bird fashion standing, in 1872, at which date he took up the that they had no intention of permitting him to office in which he is best and most widely drop their acquaintance. known. In 1887 the County Council came Tom is happy in his surroundings. He is, into power, the charge on the bridge was indeed, a dweller on truly classic ground. The consequently removed, and Tom's services as situation of his cottage is altogether ideal. The collector were no longer required. His resources venerable ruins of the old monastery, wherein as a breadwinner, however, were by no means rests the sacred dust of Scott, though not to be exhausted. A small shop was conveniently seen from this particular spot, are but a stone's built on to the side of his cottage immediately cast distant. From the open door a long vista overlooking the bend of the road which leads of wood, water, and hill delights the eye and by a sharp ascent to the Abbey. Here, on a rests the senses. “Tweed's fair river, broad hot summer's day, the jaded tourist naturally and deep,” flows serenely by on its long march pauses, and here Tom carries on what, in the to the sea, decked on its either side by green

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »