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one; a person feigning so deliberately would either not have mentioned a seal at all, or have given the indications, at least, of one. Moreover, this transcript (for it is Obviously such) is written upon a small piece of parchment in a distinct old-fashioned hand, but possessing none of the characteristics of 1542, nor is the King's signature at the top at all like that of James V. This, too, must be observed, that King William's renewal makes no reference to it, but to good testimony, and an old inventory; and it is registered thirteen years after the date of that renewal, having probably been ill transcribed from the inventory in a state of decay. The ancient writs and evidents of the family of Thirlestane are lost, and I have not been able even to discover the old inventory. Whether that mentioned the circumstance of supporters, which the transcript warrant does not, it is impossible to say,—we must in the meantime take the word of King William and his Lord Lyon for what Mr Riddell condemns as an " unauthorized interpolation of supporters."
When was the forgery committed? why? and by whom ? Was it Sir Francis Scott who did it, or caused it to be done? He was a gentleman of unsullied honour, and high consideration in the country. Or does the charge of forgery point to some period more remote ?— haply to stalwart John of Fala himself, whom our antiquary may picture
"Now forging scrolls—now foremost in the fight,
It must be granted indeed to the learned author of the Tracts, that these moss-trooping Lords of St Mary in the forest were not immaculate, and a vague insinu
ation or so of theft might have been more difficult to parry. But it was as " minions of the moon" that they sinned, and old Satchells tells us,
"Nightsmen at first they did appear,
Mr Riddell, we think, would have been much better employed in affording some elucidation of the interesting fact to which he slightly alludes,—that " the Scotts • of Thirlestane, there is ground to conclude, are a branch of the Buccleuch family, from whom they may have sprung about the middle of the fifteenth century,"—than in his elaborate attempt to give weight to the hasty conjecture of Pinkerton. It is not in ratiocination from such premises that the learned antiquary is either valuable or formidable; but in his curious store of facts derived from a life devoted to genealogical researches. This cadency from Buccleuch is not recorded in the published genealogies of Thirlestane. It is on record, indeed, that Robert Scott of Thirlestane, Warden-depute of the west borders, and eldest son of the hero of Fala, married Margaret, daughter of Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, and sister of that noted Sir Walter who took Kinmont Willy out of the castle of Carlisle, and blew a blast of defiance from its battlements against the Queen of England. In that very achievement, and in all the border chivalry of the period, the name of Howpaslot and Thirlestane is identified with that of Buccleuch.
"Then lightened Thirlestane's eye of flame,
This marriage unquestionably gave to the Lords Napier, as Scott of Thirlestane, the lineage of Buccleuch; but it would be still more interesting to prove that Thirlestane was originally a male cadet of that distinguished and romantic house.
All the genealogical accounts agree in this, and are corroborated by the records, that the Scotts of Thirlestane were in ancient times Scotts of Howpaslot. Their male lineage can be traced upwards from Lord Napier to Walter Scott of Howpaslot, whose name occurs in the records so early as 1493. Nesbit gives the descent of Howpaslot from an Arthur Scottof Eskdale,forwhose existence I can find no authority. Walter Scott of Satchells, author of the curious metrical "History of the right honourable name of Scot," in whose rude pages may be discovered a germ or two of the polished Lay of the last Minstrel, repeatedly asserts that Walter Scott of Howpaslot was the son of William Scott, of the house of Buccleuch, which statement is perfectly consistent with unquestionable records. Satchells lived in the time of Sir Francis Scott, in whose person the armorial augmentation was renewed by King William. Sir Francis appears to have been a friend and patron of Satchells, who dedicates part of his book to him, and "To the truely worthy, honourable, and right worshipful Sir Francis Scot of Thirlston, Knight, Baronet, wishes earth's honour and Heaven's happiness." The poet, indeed, by his own account, was nearly related to his patron, for he says, in a short prefatory account of himself, "it is known that I am a gentleman by parentage, but my father having dilapidated and engaged the estate by cautionry, having many children, was
not in a capacity to educate us at school after the death of my grandfather Sir Robert Scot of Thirlstone; my father living in a highland in Esdail-muir, and having no rent at that time, nor means to bring us up, except some bestial, wherefore, instead of breeding me at schools, they put me to attend beasts in the field ; but I gave the short cut at last, and left the kine in the corn, and ever since that time I have continued a souldier, abroad and at home, till within these few years that I have become so infirm and decrep'd with the gout, which hath so unabled me that I am not able to do the King nor myself service." In this state, and never having been able, as he tells us, either to read or write, he managed, by means of catching school boys for clerks, to record very minute genealogies of the numerous families of Scott, in an exuberant, fantastic, and sometimes romantic web of mingled verse and prose. Often his verse halts miserably, and is downright doggrel; there are times, however, when it flows as if he had watched the stars, as well as flocks in Esdail, with Spencer in his bosom.
"Oh! for a quill of that Arabian wing
Be this as it may, his genealogy of Thirlestane is very minute, and so far as I have tested it by records, appears to be essentially accurate. Of the hero of Fala-muir, (whose story, however, he does not narrate) he says,
"And John of Thirlstone, that brave fellow,
In another passage he says that the father of the first Sir Walter of Howpaslot was William Scott of the house of Buccleuch.
"And David Scot, my author let me know,
This latter is the link that has hitherto been unregarded, and it is important to verify it from the records.
There is a charter dated 21st November 1476, confirmed underthe Great Seal in December following, from Robert Scott of Haining to Thomas Middelmast, the witnesses to Which are, David Scott, eldest son and heir-apparent of David Scott of Branxholm, and William Scott his brother. This proves that David Scott of Branxholm, who sat in Parliament 1487 as Dominus de JSukclewch, and died in 1491, had a younger son of the name of William, who lived towards the close of the fifteenth century; and so far Satchells is corroborated. It remains, however, to connect Walter Scott of Howpaslot (whose name occurs in the public records from 1493 to 1513) with the above William of Buccleuch, by some evidence independent of the family bard and chronicler, whose genealogies become valuable and interesting when so corroborated and confirmed. David Scott, the elder brother of the above-mentioned William, died before his father, leaving a son Walter, who was served heir to his grandfather David, 6th November 1492.* Walter's name appears as one of the witnesses to the infeftinent
* Crawfurd quotes charta penes Ducem de Buckclugh.