Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 6 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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In the year 1596, Mr. Salkeld, the deputy of Lord Scroope, the English warden of the West Marches, and Robert Scott, the representative of the Laird of Buccleuch, then keeper of Liddesdale, held a meeting on the border line of the kingdoms, according to the custom of the times, for the purpose of arranging such differences, and redressing such grievances, as either party might have to allege. On these occasions a truce was always proclaimed, inviolable on pain of death, from the day of the meeting to the next day at sunrise. After the conference in question, as William Armstrong of Kinmonth, a notorious freebooter, whose ordinary style was Kinmont Willie, was returning to his home, accompanied by only three or four persons, he was pursued by a couple of hundred Englishmen, taken prisoner, and in contravention of the truce, lodged in the castle of Carlisle. The Laird of Buc­cleuch sought to obtain the enfranchisement of his client and retainer, through the mediation, first of the English warden, and then of the Scottish ambassador. Receiving no satisfaction, he took the matter into his own hands, raised a party of two hundred horse, surprised the castle of Carlisle, and carried off the prisoner by main force. This dashing achievement was performed on the 13th of April, 1596.
According to a rhymester who celebrated the daring feat of Buccleuch about a hundred years later, Kin­mont Willie was a descendant of Johnie Armstrong of Gilnockie.