To get the title of ‘The Worst Reiver Ever’ you must have been really bad, the worst of the worst. Lang Sandy Armstrong of Rowanburn is known as ‘The Worst Reiver Ever’. He gained this nickname mostly because of his height he was well over six foot tall which was a giant 400 years ago. […]
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 […]
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’.
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.
On the western edge of the village of Eaglesfield in the Scottish Borders lies the ancient church and churchyard of Kirkconnel. There one can find the remains of a medieval church. It is tiny; probably the remnants of a much larger building have long disappeared: the stone, fine and ready cut, having found a better […]
Not all men in the 16th century Border Country were Border Reivers. Many endeavoured to live in peace but were inevitably caught up in the theft, feud and blackmail. It would seem Jamie Telfer was one who fell foul of the animosity and confrontation yet, in this incident, achieved a more than satisfactory outcome.
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 […]