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    Newsletter for 4th January 2019

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:
    https://electricscotland.com/scotnews.htm

    Electric Scotland News

    Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year.

    At this time the overwhelming thought is about Brexit as what is decided will tell us how Britain will fair in the months and years ahead.

    I personally hope that we'll go for a "no deal" and thus save the 39 billion for ourselves and be free to trade with the world. BUT we shall see what happens over the next three months and get some idea of what is coming when the Parliament vote in January.

    -------

    Here is the video introduction to this newsletter...



    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in newspapers such as the Guardian, Scotsman, Courier, etc. you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish.

    Hunt’s review of British policy on the persecution of Christians is crucial and courageous
    So a review of the Foreign Office’s policy specifically on the persecution of Christians worldwide is extremely welcome.

    Read more at:
    https://www.conservativehome.com/pla...ourageous.html

    Despite Brexit, Britain has never been a better place to live
    It will sound preposterous, but we might well have just had the best year in British history.

    Read more at:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...er-place-live/

    He may have been made a knight but Kenny will always be a king
    Dalglish was honoured in recognition for his services to football, charity and the city of Liverpool after a long campaign

    Read more at:
    https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinio...king-1-4849064

    Civil servant accuses ministers of Project Fear Mark III over no-deal Brexit
    The official, who is involved in drawing up contingency plans, writes in The Telegraph that claims that Britain will crash out in the event of a no-deal Brexit are absolutely untrue.

    Read more at:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics...ect-fear-mark/

    Support for No Deal hardens as it becomes more likely.
    It is hard to believe that No Deal is a more popular option than, say, a Canada-style deal the previous favourite of the survey panel’s policy choices.

    Read more at:
    https://www.conservativehome.com/the...re-likely.html

    More young people should learn to love Auld Lang Syne
    The next generation could let old anthems be forgotten, according to new research which show Auld Lang Syne is not a New Year hit with younger listeners.

    Read more at:
    https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/m...syne-1-4850051

    US ambassador to UK Johnson warns on trade deal
    Donald Trump's offer of a quick, massive, bilateral trade deal will not be possible if Theresa May's EU withdrawal agreement is approved, the US ambassador to the UK has warned.

    Read more at:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46720323

    The top 40 horrors lurking in the small print of Theresa May’s Brexit deal
    We’re closing 2018 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 2: Steerpike on the many problems with May’s Brexit deal:

    Read more at:
    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/1...brexit-deal-2/

    Iolaire tragedy
    Hundreds gather in Stornoway for poignant ceremony

    Read more at:
    https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/i...mony-1-4850830

    Electric Canadian

    The Canadian Horticulturist
    Added volume 9, published by the Fruit Growers Association of Ontario.

    You can read this at: https://www.electriccanadian.com/tra...culturirst.htm

    Canadian Archive Reports
    Added the 1889 report.

    You can read this at: https://www.electriccanadian.com/mak...er_douglas.htm

    The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs
    The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs for 1908 which you can read at:
    https://www.electriccanadian.com/his...nual/index.htm

    Canadian Fisherman
    You can read volume 4 at: https://www.electriccanadian.com/lif...rman/index.htm

    Canada's Hundred Days
    With the Canadian Corps from Amiens to Mons, Aug. 8 - Nov. 11, 1918. Part One. Amiens by John Frederick Livesay (audio file)

    This is an audio file so you get to listen to this story instead of reading it. You can listen to this at:
    https://www.electriccanadian.com/for...rivox_64kb.m3u

    Men and Women of the Time
    A handbook of Canadian Biography edited by Henry James Morgan (1898) (pdf)

    Canadian Who's Who
    First Edition, Edited by Elizabeth Lumley (1910) (pdf)

    The Canadian Dry Goods Review
    Another magazine I've found and bring you three issues for 1892, 1900 and 1919.

    You can read these at: https://www.electriccanadian.com/magazines/index.htm

    Woodsmen of the West
    By M. Allerdale Grainger (1908) (pdf)

    You can read this at: https://www.electriccanadian.com/tra...odsmenwest.pdf

    Electric Scotland

    Children's Rhymes, Games, Songs, and Stories
    A book for Bairns and Big Folk by Robert Ford (1904) (pdf). Added this and another book to Robert Ford's collection of poems which you can read at: https://electricscotland.com/poetry/ford/index.htm

    Lord Gray
    Found four books on the Gray/Grey family which I've added to our Grey page in the Scottish Nation. One covers what started the First World War.

    You can read this at: https://electricscotland.com/history/nation/gray.htm

    Leven and Melville Papers
    Letters and State Papers chiefly addressed to George Earl of Melville, Secretary of State for Scotland 1689 - 1691. THE Revolution of 1688 is the most important event in the Civil History of Great Britain. (1843) (pdf)

    You can read this at: https://electricscotland.com/history...illepapers.pdf

    Life and Letters of Lord MacAulay
    By his nephew the Right Hon. Sir G. O. Trevelyan Bart,. O.M. in two volumes (1908). Added links to these volumes under his 5 volume work on the History of England about half way down the page at:
    https://electricscotland.com/history/england/

    The SAS Self-Defence Handbook
    Elite defense techniques for men and women by John "Lofty" Wiseman (1997) (pdf)

    You can read this at: https://electricscotland.com/history...e-Handbook.pdf

    The Selected Works of Tom Paine
    Edited by Howard Fast. Thomas Paine was an English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of two highly influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain.

    You can read this at: https://electricscotland.com/history...a/tompaine.htm

    The Story

    THE BATTLE OF OTTERBURN

    THE reign of Robert II., the first Stuart king, far from partaking of the troubles and commotions which usually attend the inauguration of a new dynasty, was for the kingdom a season of unusual quiet and repose. The long War of Independence was practically over. The nobles, after an abortive attempt to put forward William, Earl of Douglas—the nephew of the good ‘Sir James,’ the Bruce’s friend and counsellor—as a competitor for the Crown, had acquiesced in the new settlement of the Crown. Even their family feuds, the one great blot in Scottish history, though never entirely silent, were for the moment almost entirely forgotten amidst the general rejoicings which greeted the accession of a new and popular King of kings. The fires of border warfare alone, the last monument of the hereditary antagonism between England and Scotland, continued to burn with unabated fury.

    For centuries the narrow tract of land which bordered on either side of the Cheviots and the Solway, had been looked upon as a species of neutral ground—as natural lists, in fact, where the fiery spirits of either kingdom might distinguish themselves by ‘fair gestes of arms,’ and give free play to those martial instincts, which, in the more central districts of both kingdoms, might have been productive of serious danger to their respective governments. Never, except in cases of unusual gravity and provocation regarded as casus belli, the border raids, if not actually encouraged were, at least, not discountenanced by the executive; and though, in not a few instances, the peace-loving proclivities of individual sovereigns alike in Scotland and England had been seriously exercised to restrain such forays, as not only bad in themselves but as being attended with a useless waste of life and property, never—at least in Scotland—were such influences sufficiently powerful to do more than to induce an increased amount of secrecy in their conduct, and perhaps a little more reticence in the preparation of such expeditions.

    The pacific disposition of Robert II. was notorious; but despite his undoubted hold upon the affections of his subjects, his efforts were powerless to repress the warlike inclination of his proud and turbulent aristocracy. And thus with every succeeding year of his reign the hostilities on the borders had been growing more serious. They were destined to culminate in the year 1388, in the battle of Otterbum.

    The story of that famous fight—the one great battle of the reign of the first Stuart king—is popularly believed to be embalmed for all future ages in the glowing ballad of Chevy Chase. Perhaps no poem in the English language has had a wider circle of admirers of every class and of every age. 'I never heard,’ said Sir Philip Sidney—no bad judge either of poetry or war—‘the old song of Percie and Douglas, that I found not my heart moved more than with a trumpet, and yet it is sung but by some blinde crowder, with no rougher voice than rude skill.’ ‘I had rather be the author of Chevy Chase' said Ben Johnson, ‘than of all my works.’ ‘Almost within our own day, at the firesides of Northumberland during the long winter evenings, the moving recital of the exploits of the two rival leaders formed a never-sating source of amusement and delight' Yet the poem, despite its powerful appeal to English patriotism and English bravery, is not only unhistorical: it has absolutely no connection with the battle which it is supposed to describe. It is the account of a mere predatory raid for which it is hard to find even a foundation in fact The scene is laid in the time of James I., when both Percy and Douglas were dead and buried. Times, places and persons are confounded in an inextricable mass of jumble and confusion. Somewhat more trustworthy, indeed, is the old ballad, preserved in the Cottonian Library, known by the name of the Battle of Otterburn. Yet here, too, its dramatic merits have destroyed its historical worth. Altered and embellished in its descent from one generation of minstrels to another, its value as evidence is small. But, fortunately for us, the subject had as many attractions for the annalists as for the minstrels. It was like the taste of a forbidden pleasure to the monkish historians of the period to turn from their jejune task of chronicling treaties and councils and the arid details of the records of their respective monasteries to describe the flash and glitter of knightly swords, and the ever-changing movements of an almost heroic conflict And though we see the battle now only athwart the barred windows of the cloister cell, and through eyes dimmed by years of mortification and seclusion from the world, the yellow pages on which its story is written still teem with life, and are still aglow with the stroke and parry of human passion and the surge and flow of chivalrous instincts.

    Early in spring, at a great meeting held at Aberdeen, under the pretext of a solemn festival of the Church, a fresh foray into England was determined upon by the border lords. Summonses were issued for the gathering of the feudal host, and the neighbourhood of Jedburgh was assigned for the place of meeting. The castle of Jedburgh, it is true, was then in the hands of the English. But in the deep forests which encircled it, and in the wild mountain glens which radiated from it in all directions, a large force might muster, it was thought, without attracting attention. So secluded were the dark recesses of its woods, that not many years before, when all the country round was in possession of the English, a body of Scottish nobles with their followers, had, like Robin Hood and his men in Sherwood Forest, resided there in safety for several years.

    On the appointed day an army, such as had not been seen, it was said, for sixty years, assembled at the place of meeting. It consisted of twelve hundred lances, and forty thousand rank and file. The young Earl of Douglas was the first to arrive. After him came John, Earl of Moray, and his brother George, Earl of Dunbar and March; the Earls of Fife, Sutherland and Mar; Douglas, the grim Lord of Galloway, the two Lindsays,— Sir William and Sir James,—Sir John Swinton, Sir John Sandi-lands, Sir Patrick Dunbar, Sir Simon Glendinning, and many another border knight and squire. Each baron led his own vassals. Each knight was attended by two or three squires. Each man-at-arms had his sergeants to hold his horse, to buckle his armour, and to perform the same duties towards him which the squires fulfilled towards the knights. Captains and men-at-arms were alike in the highest spirits, and they encouraged each other with the assurance that they would effect such an inroad as should be remembered by the English for twenty years to come. The more completely to mature their plans, a further meeting was arranged when they had reached the little church of Zedon, a few miles nearer the English border.

    Though his sons, five sons-in-law and a nephew were among the leaders of the host, the project had been as usual, carefully concealed from the Scottish king. It had not, however, ee-caped the notice of the English. Henry Percy, surnamed Hotspur—then in his twenty-third year—the eldest son of the aged Earl of Northumberland, recently appointed by Richard a warden of the English marches, his father and his brother Ralph and all the north-country chivalry, were—by means of spies, who, as heralds and minstrels, travelled with ease and safety throughout the length and breadth of the land—fully as cognisant of their movements as were the Scottish lords themselves. They knew all about the assembly at Aberdeen. They had heard of the muster at Jedburgh. They had observed the unwonted agitation which prevailed through the whole country side ; and very secretly they were in course of making their preparations to resist the threatened attack. Meantime, to gain still more complete information, they resolved to send a spy to the gathering at the foot of the Cheviots.

    A certain squire, well acquainted with the country, was accordingly despatched from Newcastle for the purpose. He reached Zedon as the Scottish barons were in consultation in the church. The Englishman entered and heard their deliberations. But before the meeting broke up he thought it prudent to retire. Leaving the church unobserved he went to look for his horse. It was gone. ‘A Scotsman,’ says Froissart, ‘(for they are all thieves) had stolen him.’ To have made enquiry would have been to risk detection. He, therefore, set out on foot, booted and spurred as he was. But he had scarcely gone about two bow-shots when his appearance attracted the notice of two Scottish knights who were in conversation.

    'That fellow,’ said the one, ‘has seemingly lost his horse, and yet he is making no attempt to seek for it’

    ‘On my troth’ replied the other, ‘I doubt much if he belongs to us. Let us follow and question him.’

    He was soon overtaken. They asked him whence he came, whither he was going, and what he had done with his horse. His answers were contradictory and confused, and he was accordingly taken before the council of war. There, under the threat of death, he was made to reveal the purpose for which he had come, and to supply his enemies with much the same sort of information which he had expected to obtain from

    R them. The barons of Northumberland, he said, had determined not to meet the Scotch. But as soon as they had crossed the Border, an English army would enter Scotland and mete out retaliatory devastation upon the lands of the Border lords. If the Scots marched upon Cumberland, the English would advance upon Edinburgh by Berwick If they pressed on towards Newcastle, the English would proceed by way of Carlisle. This was valuable intelligence. The Scottish lords looked at each other but were silent. The prisoner having been removed a spirited debate ensued. It was evident their plans must be changed. A united attack upon England was impossible. The only way to defeat the arrangements of the English was to enter England by both the eastern and the western marches. By such tactics and by such alone could this counter invasion of Scotland be prevented.

    It was agreed to divide the host into two army corps. While the largest division with the baggage, under the command of Archibald Douglas, lord of Galloway, marched upon Carlisle, the other consisting of three hundred picked lances and two thousand infantry, led by the young Earl of Douglas, would invade Northumberland. When both had been united, a fitting time and place would be selected to give battle to the English. After taking an affectionate farewell of each other the two divisions started,—the one marching to the right and the other to the left.

    On Friday, the 7th August, the army of the Earl of Douglas crossed the border of Redeswire. Moving forward over Ottercop's Hill and down by Rothley Crag, it swept silently but swif tly through Northumberland and forded the Tyne above Newburn.2 Journeying through bye roads, attacking neither town, castle, nor manor, it reached the rich bishopric of Durham, without encountering opposition. So suddenly and secretly had the march been conducted that the first intelligence of its arrival which the north-country barons received, was the smoke of burning houses and the crowds of fugitives hastening towards Newcastle. The Earl of Northumberland immediately despatched his two sons—Hotspur and his brother Ralph—to defend the city, while he himself remained at Alnwick to rouse the district. Meantime, the Scots advanced through the fertile tract of country between Durham and Newcastle, levelling peel and fortalice, devastating village and grange, slaughtering and capturing the inhabitants, and driving or carrying away all the booty which they thought worth appropriating.

    The flower of Northumberland had by this time collected within the walls of Newcastle. Barons and knights and squires—all the gentry of the district from York northwards— had rallied round Hotspur’s standard; and the town was filled with more than it could lodge. On the 14th August, the Scottish army encamped before Newcastle, and took up its position on that side of the town which looks towards Scotland. It was the Earl’s intention to have attacked the place. But so strong were its defences, that without the assistance of Archibald Douglas’s division he saw but little prospect of success. For three days he lay waiting for reinforcements. During that time there were almost constant skirmishes between the besiegers and the besieged. Outside the moat which surrounded the town, the English had erected a species of wooden fortification after a fashion which was then common on the continent, and which their recent wars with France had probably taught them. It consisted of upright grated palisades with openings about half a foot wide, and so low that a horse might without much difficulty leap over them. At these barriers the young knights on both sides fought daily. Many valiant deeds were done with lances hand to hand. The two gallant sons of the Earl of Northumberland were always the first to arrive, and generally the last to leave.

    In one of these many encounters, the Earl of Douglas, after a long conflict with Harry Percy, won his spear with its silken pennon attached, adding insult to the injury by the assurance that he would carry it with him into Scotland.

    ‘Nay, Earl of Douglas!’ retorted Hotspur, ‘that shall you never do.’

    ‘You must come this night and seek it then' replied the Earl.

    But the night passed, and no effort was made to redeem the banner. When the morning broke, its pearl-embroidered folds, emblazoned with the white lion of the Percys, was still floating above the pavilion of the Earl of Douglas.3 Long before the sun was up, the Scots were on their way home. About four they reached the castle of Pontelands, which they took and burned. Then turning off in a north-westerly direction, they made through Redesdale to Otterburn, and encamped on a little height, the site of an ancient Roman camp, above Green-chesters.f On the north, their position was somewhat exposed, but on the south and west it was protected by natural woods, some remains of which, in the shape of a few straggling birch and rowan trees, are still to be seen at no great distance from the spotf

    It was now the height of summer, and all over the rich upland pastures the husbandmen were gathering in their hay. The heat, too, was very great, and the Scots, fatigued by their exertions, were not unwilling to rest for the remainder of the day. They had work, too, before them on the morrow. Not far from where they were camped, in the midst of a piece of marshy ground, stood the Tower of Otterbum; and this they were determined to raze. By all the unwritten laws of chivalry the challenge to the Percy would have been incomplete had a single ground of provocation been left untried.

    On the following day, Wednesday the 19th August, 1388, the light had scarcely dawned when their trumpet sounded for the attack. But the peel withstood all their efforts. In the afternoon, weary and worn out, and to say the truth, not a little dispirited at their non-success, the troops returned to their quarters. A council of war was hurriedly called to consider their further movements. Many were of opinion that the at-

    tack should be abandoned, and that the army, leaving its present position, should turn off to join the other division of the Scottish forces. But Douglas took a different view. It was cowardly, he thought, to decamp without accomplishing the enterprise they had undertaken. Besides, he was still in hopes that Hotspur would make an endeavour to recover his pennon before the Scots finally left the country. His views prevailed. The troops proceeded to fortify their position. They entrenched themselves behind a double earth work towards the north. They laid down felled trees wherever their rampart was weak. The baggage and servants, with their booty of sheep and cattle, they placed on the side of the camp at the entrance of the marsh on both sides of the road to Newcastle.

    The twilight came. The sun went down over the Cheviots. Many of the men exhausted with the labours of the day retired to rest The lords were supping in their tents. They had laid aside their armour on account of the closeness of the weather, and were clad in their ‘ side-gowns only.’ All of a sudden, a watchman on an untrapped horse, was seen spurring towards the camp. The enemy was upon them, he cried. His abrupt call to arms threw the whole encampment into confusion. The knights flew to their armour. The Earl of Douglas hurried to marshal hie men. In the disorder which everywhere prevailed cuissarts and greaves and brasiers were forgotten. The Earl of Moray had not time to don his helmet The Earl of Douglas had no leisure to give his own arming a thought Above the din and bustle, the clang of armourers closing rivets up, the bugle calls summoning the troops to their respective standards, the neighing of horses and the tramp of hurrying feet, cries of ‘ A Percy! a Percy!’ were now distinctly heard; and soon on the crest of a hill, disposed in two divisions, with banners flying, and the dying sunset glinting on the bright armour of the knights, the forces of Hotspur might be seen pricking forward to meet their foes. The Percy had at last come to retrieve his pennon.

    Impatient to wipe out the insult to his chivalry, without waiting for the Bishop of Durham, who, eager to avenge the devastation of his bishopric, had collected his vassals and was hastening to his assistance, he had left Newcastle in the forenoon after dinner, and, with six hundred spears of knights and squires and upwards of eight thousand infantry, had travelled the eight short leagues which separated him from the Scots.* With this force, which stood in the proportion of three to one to that of his enemies, victory, he thought, was certain.

    It had been arranged that the first ‘battle,’ consisting of the greater part of the troops, under the command of Hotspur himself and his brother Ralph, should meet the Earl of Douglas if he was disposed to fight. While they were thus engaged, the other, under Sir Matthew Redman and Sir Robert Ogle, would attack the tents and destroy and slay all they found. Percy accordingly pressed on towards the camp; but mistaking the huts of the servants, which were partially concealed by trees, for the pavilions of the lords, his first attack was directed against the cooking-galleys and camp kitchens. For a time those who were in charge were able to withstand the onset of the English, but overpowered at length they were forced to flee. Seeing this Sir Matthew Redman with his followers, immediately started in pursuit, whilst Hotspur, rejoicing in the sight, congratulated himself on having obtained an almost bloodless victory.

    Meanwhile the Scottish leaders, observing his error, hastily ordered a body of infantry to join the servants and keep up the skirmish. They themselves having completed their arming and separated their men into three divisions, under the respective pennons of the Earl of Douglas and the two gallant brothers the Earls of March and Moray, his kinsmen, left the camp in silence, and crossing round its rear, marched along a mountain ridge covered with holt and scrub, till they had reached the higher ground. Then falling upon the English flank, with wild shouts and banners displayed,f they charged into the midst of their enemies. Their opponents, taken aback, speedily turned and faced their foes.

    The battle now raged. Cries of ‘A Percy! ’ ‘A Douglas! ’ ‘ St George!’ ‘ St Andrew ! ’ and many another warlike slogan resounded over the field. Lances were shattered, saddles emptied, battle-axes broken. Under the bright light of the harvest moon, the shimmer of flashing swords gleamed on every side. So close was the impact of the contending forces, that the English archers had not room to draw their bows. As the Scots, discomfited in the first onset, were in the act of retiring, Douglas, burning to win renown, ordered his banner to advance. Hotspur and his brother Sir Ralph immediately hastened forward to oppose him. The banners met, and a deadly struggle ensued between the knights and squires on either side. ‘There was no ho between them,’ says Froissart, ‘so long as spears, swords, axes, or daggers endured.’ ‘Cowards there had no place, but hardiness reigned with goodly feats of arms.’ The banner of Douglas with its crowned heart, surmounted by the three stars, was at one time in imminent danger, and would have been captured but for the valiant defence of Sir Patrick Hepburn and his son. At length the Scots, unable to resist the superior number of the English, began to give way. At this juncture the Earl of Douglas, seizing a double-handed battle-axe, closely followed by his warlike chaplain, Richard Lundie, afterwards Archdeacon of Aberdeen, and a devoted handful of his personal friends, dashed, like another Hector, into the midst of his enemies, dealing such blows around him that all rushed from him on every side. Few in the darkness recognised in the ^central figure of that little band, round which the tide of battle now eddied with renewed and everrising vehemence, the gallant leader of the Scottish forces. At last, he fell, pierced by three spears which had been pointed at him at once. He was thrown to the ground fighting desperately. No sooner was he down than his head was cleft

    with a battle-axe. A fourth spear was thrust through his thigh. Then the main body of the English, pressing over his prostrate form, carried the surging wave of combat to another part of the field.

    When all were gone he strove to raise himself, but fell back powerless. He was alone and unattended save by his lion-hearted chaplain, now wounded himself, who, battle-axe in hand, had never left him the whole night through. By his side, covered with fifteen wounds from lances and other weapons, lay the dead body of his squire, Robert Hart. He too had fought by his master so long as the power to fight remained. As he lay there in mortal agony, there came up to him his cousins, Sir John Lindsay and Sir John and Sir Walter Sinclair, and one or two others of his knights and squires.

    ‘Cousin’ said Sir John Sinclair, kneeling by the side of the dying man, ‘how fares it with you?’

    ‘But indifferently,’ he replied. ‘I have little hope of living. My heart becomes every moment more faint But, thanks to God! I die like most of my ancestors, on the field of battle I Raise up my banner,’ he continued, ‘it is lying on the ground, and shout “Douglas!” as if I were with you. They say a dead Douglas will win a field. To-night it shall be accomplished. Farewell’

    He was dead.

    Throwing a cloak over the body, Sir John Sinclair lifted his standard; and once more the cry of ‘A Douglas! a Douglas!’ rallied the disheartened Scots. The knights came spurring together from every part of the field. The Earls of Moray and March, with their banners and men trooped round the uplifted pennon. There was one desperate and collective charge, one crash of splintered lances, and then slowly and sullenly the English commenced to retreat. The dead man had gained the day. Hotspur himself was captured, and like his brother Sir Ralph, had to yield himself prisoner to a Scottish knight.* The pursuit lasted for the remainder of the

    'Sir John Montgomery, son of John, lord of Montgomery, the lineal ancestor of the present Earl of Eglinton. He was soon afterwards exchanged for Sir Hugh Montgomery, and for his ransom built the castle of Penoon in Ayrshire. night,4 and was continued for a distance of five English miles.t When at length the Scots returned to their camp, the numbers of the captured exceeded that of the captors. It was reckoned that the English loss amounted to fifteen hundred men;J while the Scots computed theirs at only a hundred slain, and two hundred taken prisoners.

    ‘Never since the battle of Bannockburn,’ says Froissart, ‘ did the Scots gain a more complete or gainful victory.’ ‘ It was told me,’ he continues, ‘ and I believe it, that they gained two hundred thousand francs for their ransoms.’ Nor can he, although no friend to their race, abstain from adding a word of commendation to the Scots on their treatment of their prisoners. ‘ When the Scots,’ he says, ‘ saw the English were discomfited and surrendering on all sides, they behaved courteously to them, saying ‘ sit down and disarm yourselves for I am your master, but never insulted them more than if they had been brothers.’ Many of the prisoners were ransomed before they left the field. ‘ Eche of them is so contente with other, that at their departynge curtoysly they will saye, God thanke ye!’

    Yet, after all, when the debit and credit sides of the account are summed up, what had the nation gained by the victory ? It is difficult, indeed, to say. That the engagement had been conducted in strict accordance with those artificial rules of honour which it was the fashion of the times to approve; or that in courage and courtesy both parties had satisfied the most exacting rules of chivalry, was scarcely adequate compensation for the lives of a hundred Scots lost in a battle fought in defence of no principles and undertaken in support of no claim. That it indeed diminished for a short season the severity of the border raids is perhaps the greatest commendation which can be bestowed upon it.

    Before the dawn of day the field was clear of combatants. But with the morning came another danger which it called forth all the manhood and the ingenuity of the Scots to meet The sun had hardly risen when the Scottish scouts posted along the road to Newcastle announced the approach of another English host It was Walter Skirlaw, Bishop of Durham, eager to avenge the defeat of the Percy the night before. Wearied, wounded, and worn out, and cumbered with a multitude of prisoners, resistance seemed out of the question. But what exhausted nature refused to do, stratagem, it was thought, might accomplish. The bishop had advanced within a league of the camp, when a noise which seemed 4 as if all the devils in hell had come thither to join it/ startled his horses and disconcerted his men. The bishop approached half a league nearer. Again , the gruesome cacophony arose, more jarring and discordant than before. Once more the intrepid churchman urged forward his troops, and this time he was permitted to come within sight of the camp. A third time the sounds broke forth, louder, more dissonant, more terrific than ever. The bishop halted and took counsel with his knights. Concealed behind their intrenchments, the Scots could now distinctly see every movement of their enemy. It was plain the bishop was irresolute. Perhaps a fourth blast from their cow-horns would assist him to make up his mind. Wilder, deeper, shriller, lustier, more demoniac than they had heard them yet, the horrid strains echoed and bellowed, clanged and swelled, boomed and shrieked, thundered and reverberated in their ears. At last, after long deliberation, as it seemed, the English were seen to face about. One parting roar from the cow-horns, and the whole force was in retreat With an infinite sense of relief, the Scots retired within their huts and tents to refresh themselves with meat and drink, and to enjoy that rest of which they stood so much in need.

    Later in the day, with the dead bodies of the Earl Douglas Robert Hart, and Sir Simon Glendinning, enclosed in coffin and placed on carts, they withdrew from that position to whose strength, rather than to their infernal minstrelsy, they probably owed their late deliverance. The following day they arrived at Melrose, and there, in the abbey of black monks—in a tomb of stone, with his banner floating above it —they laid the body of their brave commander. Soon after, they dispersed to their various homes. With the almost immediately supervening return of the lord of Galloway and his division of the army, the great Scottish foray of 1388 came to an end.

    And that's it for this week and hope you all have a Very Happy New Year.

    Alastair

  2. Thanks Rick, 1938 Observer thanked for this post.
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  3. Re: Newsletter for 4th January 2019

    Hi, All...As I was reading the above story, I noted the name Henry Percy, known as "Hotspur". He is actually in my genealogy. I remembered the name, as he sort of stands out amongst the others. Just thought I'd mention that! I've always personally thought I had Scots in my family, distant or not! Joan

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    Re: Newsletter for 4th January 2019

    Good to hear you have a personal connection to the story Joan and that you have found your Scots connection.

    Alastair

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