Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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THE BONNT EARL OP MURRAY.          119
THE BONNY EARL OF MURRAY. From The Tea-Table Miscellany, ii. 188.
In consequence of a suspicion that the Earl of Murray had been party to an attempt of his cousin, the notorious Bothwell, against the person of the King (James VI.), a commission was issued for bringing Murray before the sovereign for examination. The arrest was inconsiderately entrusted to the Earl of Huntly, Murray's mortal enemy. The young earl was at that time peacefully residing at Dunnibirsel, the house of his mother, Lady Downe. Huntly sur­rounded the place and summoned the inmates to surrender, and the demand not being complied with, set fire to the mansion. Murray escaped from the flames, but was overtaken by his foes and savagely slain. The event took place on the night of the 7th of February, 1592.
The youth, beauty, and accomplishments of the victim of this outrage made him a favourite with the people, and there was a universal clamor for revenge. On the 10th of the month, proclamation was made for all noblemen and barons, in a great number of shires, to rise in arms, to join the King for the pursuit of the Earl of Huntly, who, however, surrendered himself, and was dismissed, on security for his appearance to answer for the crime. The moderation of James gave rise to a scandalous report, that the king countenanced