Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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Percy's Beliques, i. 295.
The Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, after the dispersion of their forces took refuge with the Scots on the Borders. The Elliots drove them from Liddesdale, and they sought the protection of the Armstrongs in the Debatable Land. Northum­berland took up his residence with a man of that tribe called Hector of Harlaw, relying on his plighted faith and on his gratitude for many past favors. By this miscreant the Earl was betrayed for money to the Regent Murray. He was confined in Lochleven Castle until 1572, when he was handed over to Lord Hunsden, and executed at York.
We are assured that this Hector, who had been rich, fell into poverty after his treachery, and became so infamous that " to take Hector's cloak" was a proverb for a man who betrayed his friend.
In Pinkerton's Poems from the Maitland MS. (pp. 219-234) are three bitter invectives on this sub­ject. In one of these we are told that the traitor Eckie of Harlaw said he sold the Earl " to redeem his pledge," that is, says Scott, the pledge which had been exacted from him for his peaceable demeanor.
" The interposal of the Witch-Lady (v. 53) " hath some countenance from history; for, about twenty-five