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Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders

The following is from the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders by Sir Walter Scott:

Notes on Kinmont Willie

On Hairibee to hang him up?--P. 188. v. 1.

Hairibee is the place of execution at Carlisle.

And they brought him ower the Liddel-rack.--P. 188. v. 3.

The Liddel-rack is a ford on the Liddel.

And so they reached the Woodhouselee.--P. 192. v. 1.

Woodhouselee; a house on the border, belonging to Buccleuch.

The Salkeldes, or Sakeldes, were a powerful family in Cumberland, possessing, among other manors, that of Corby, before it came into the possession of the Howards, in the beginning of the seventeenth century. A strange stratagem was practised by an outlaw, called Jock Grame of the Peartree, upon Mr. Salkelde, sheriff of Cumberland; who is probably the person alluded to in the ballad, as the fact is stated to have happened late in Elizabeth's time. The brother of this freebooter was lying in Carlisle jail for execution, when Jock of the Peartree came riding past the gate of Corby castle. A child of the sheriff was playing before the door, to whom the outlaw gave an apple, saying, "Master, will you ride?" The boy willingly consenting, Grame took him up before him, carried him into Scotland, and would never part with him, till he had his brother safe from the gallows. There is no historical ground for supposing, either that Salkelde, or any one else, lost his life in the raid of Carlisle.

In the list of border clans, 1597, Will of Kinmonth, with Kyrstie Armestrange, and John Skynbanke, are mentioned as leaders of a band of Armstrongs, called Sandies Barnes, inhabiting the Debateable Land. The ballad itself has never before been published.

Kinmont Willie


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