Border reivers were raiders along the Anglo-Scottish border from the late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. These were rugged, tough people who enforced their own brutal code of conduct in what was to be known as the 300 Year War. There are 77 predominant family names who can claim to have […]
In this series of articles Rodger Moffet at ScotClans looks at some of the symbolism used in clan heraldry and explores their meaning and origin. In this episode we look at the powerful border clan, Armstrong. This blog should probably have the working subtitle ‘just when you thought you knew the answer’. I have to […]
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’.
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.
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.