Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 6 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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Scottish Songs, i. 91, and Caw's Museum, p. 235, is that of the Evergreen.
"The skirmish of the Keidswire happened upon the 7th of June, 1575, at one of the meetings held by the Wardens of the Marches, for arrangements nec­essary upon the Border. Sir John Carmichael was the Scottish Warden, and Sir John Forster held that .office on the English Middle March. In the course of the day, which was employed as usual in redressing wrongs, a bill, or indictment, at the instance of a Scottish complainer, was fouled (£. e. found a true bill) against one Farnstein, a notorious English freebooter. Forster alleged that he had fled from justice. Car­michael, considering this as a pretext to avoid making compensation for the felony, bade him " play fair!" to which the haughty English warden retorted, by some injurious expressions respecting Carmichael's family, and gave other open signs of resentment. His retinue, chiefly men of Redesdale and Tynedale, the most ferocious of the English Borderers, glad of any pretext for a quarrel, discharged a flight of ar­rows among the Scots. A warm conflict ensued, in which, Carmichael being beat down and made pris­oner, success seemed at first to incline to the English side, till the Tynedale men, throwing themselves too greedily upon the plunder, fell into disorder; and a body of Jedburgh citizens arriving at that instant, the skirmish terminated in a complete victory on the part of the Scots, who took prisoners, the English warden, James Ogle, Cuthbert Collingwood, Francis Russell, son' to the Earl of Bedford, and son-in-law to Forster, some of the Fenwicks, and several other Border chiefs. They were sent to the Earl of Morton, then Regent, who detained them at Dalkeith for some days, till the