By the reign of Charles 1, king of both Scotland and England, 1625 to 1649, Border Reiving had been almost eradicated from the English Scottish Border. With some members of a society which was still broken, old habits died hard. Christie’s Will Armstrong was one of a few who still benefited from the product of the ‘reive’.
Sitting at one of the great junctions of Scotland and guarding the road north to the Highlands, is Stirling Castle – towering high on an extinct volcano and dominating the lower reaches of the River Forth. Known as the Brooch of Scotland, it has from time immemorial been a key strategic location securing the kingdom; [...]
Hobbie Noble of the Crew in Bewcastle, Cumberland was disowned by his own folk but found favour across the English Scottish Border in Liddesdale with the mighty Armstrongs of Mangerton. He would be betrayed back to the English by an unlikely source, the Armstrongs of the Mains.
James V of Scotland was determined to subject his Border subjects to his rule. His visit to the Scottish Borders in 1530 would see the end of not only Johnnie Armstrong but also Cockburne of Henderland and Adam Scott, known as the King of Thieves.
The capture and rescue of Kinmont Willie Armstrong brought together three of the most colourful characters in the history of the Border Reivers. The impasse that existed between Sir Walter Scott, probably the most notable person to live on the sixteenth century Border, and Thomas Lord Scrope, English West March Warden, is a story of a clash of personalities of awesome proportions. Kinmont Willie? He was lost in the diplomatic wrangling. His capture changed nothing. He went on to reive until his death in about 1603.
By the middle of the sixteenth century the Border Reivers had a strangle hold on the lands on each side of the English Scottish Border. None more so than the Elliots and Armstrongs of Liddesdale. Murder, theft, arson, blackmail and feud were the canker of the Border Marches. Whatever resources, initiatives or amendments to the [...]
Sir John Carmichael of that Ilk was murdered in June 1600 by a party of Scottish Reivers as he rode from Langholm to Lochmaben to attend a Warden Court. Sir John was born in 1542, son to an illustrious family which hailed from Lanarkshire. He was a direct ancestor of the Earls of Hindford. He [...]
Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie was once one of the most popular, powerful, and feared clan chiefs in the Scottish borders. However, after his execution in 1530 by order of James V, Clan Armstrong have been without a chief for over 450 years. The Border Reivers were a band of raiders along the Scottish-English border from [...]
The BBC has begun the re-broadcast of the series ‘Scotland’s Clans’ with the story of Clan Armstrong. This was broadcast here in the UK on Monday night and is available online on the BBCi Player. I have to say that the presentation was first rate and whilst there will no doubt be a few that [...]