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protected lines of communication, by which the province of Valentia was made to present one vast frowning aspect of defiance, could avert the caring incursions of the Britons, which made it a scene of interminable warfare. It is not wonderful, therefore, that among the numerous Roman antiquities found, there are no relics of Roman luxury and superstition, (excepting sacrificial vessels,) neither theatres, baths, nor temples.' Of the stupendous wall, the subject of continual dilapidation for fourteen centuries, the least injured fragment is to be found, our Author says, ' at a place called Glenwhelt, in the neighbourhood of Gilsland Spaw.'
A rapid glance is thrown over the events following upon the final abdication of the Romans; the inroads and ravages of the Scots and Picts, the progress, operation, and establishments northward, of the Saxon invasion, the furious and destructive invasion made upon them, in their turn, by the Danes, who were, however, destined to fall prostrate at last under the victorious arms of Athelstane. After a long series of all manner of barbarous violence, confusion, and change, England and Scotland acquired at length, and nearly with parallel progress, and at the same period, the forms of comprehensive and consolidated kingdoms; these tracts between them, occupied and divided in the proportion of the power of the two great competitors, were reduced to become their respective frontiers, and by the middle of the eleventh century, might be considered as finally settled, nearly according to their present limits. The adjustment might have been widely different, had either of the two monarchies attained its full establishment a little earlier..
• The power of England could scarce be said to be wielded by one sovereign with uncontrolled sway, until William the Conqueror had repressed the various insurrections of the Saxons, subjugated for ever the tumultuary Northumbrians, and acquired a consolidated force capable of menacing the kingdom of Scotland. Had this event happened a century sooner, it is probable all Britain would, at that early period, have been uniced under one monarch. Or had a Scottish monarch existed during the heptarchy, as powerful as Malcolm Canmore at a subsequent æra, it is possible that he might have pushed his limits much further to the south than the present Borders, and would probably have secured to Scotland at least the countries to the north of the Humber. As it happened, the situation and balanced strength of both countries dictated the present limits.'
The Saxons on this northern territory appear to have paid very small attention to military architecture. After their conversion to Christianity, they were very zealous in the erection of ecclesiastical edifices; but even of these Mr. Scott questions whether there are now any genuine remains, a few relics, per
fectly in their style, having possibly been the work of later architects, who sometimes practised it after the introduction of what has been denominated with more than doubtful propriety, the Gothic style.
The feudal system established without ceremony by the Conqueror in England, had made its way more gradually in Scotland, with the great influx of Norman families into tbat kingdom, and by the strong recommendations which it carried in its nature, to the taste of the monarch, and even to that of the ecclesiastics, to whom it assured a firmer tenure, without any addition of burdens. Measures were taken to give it a more formal and complete ascendency during the temporary usurpation of Edward I. But it could never effect the extinction of the more patriarchal Celtic social order of septs, or clanship, of which an interesting description is given at considerable length, discriminating the good features and the bad. The good was infinitely more than countervailed, in this social constitution, by the perpetual inexpugnable possession of the fiend of war. It was held the absolute duty of the rival clans, to fight and slaughter one another, in revenge of every trivial wrong or insult, and in revenge, alternately, of the successive and accumulating revenges. The honour and force of each clan were pledged to maintain even a palpable and confessed wrong committed by any of its members on the neighbouring tribe. The state of highest pride and self-complacency in these clans, appears to have been that wbich they named deadly feud, a state of ferocious hostility into which any two of thein might be plunged at any moment, and in which they fought as if each had deemed itself to be ridding the world of a legion of fiends.
For a long period preceding the invasion of Edward 1., the Borders appear to have been wonderfully quiet, as relatively to the two rival kingdoms, of which the royal families were kept in contented mood by frequent alliances, by offices, sometimes, of personal friendship between the monarchs, and by the courtesies which an obvious policy dictated to the Scottish kings as holding of the English Crown extensive domains in England. During this period, fruitful of monastic institutions, great benefit is judged to have been conferred on the people of the Scottislı Border, by the establishment of the abbeys of Kelso, Melrose, Jedburgh, and Dryburgh, by means of which a large portion of the country most exposed to hostile iproad, was secured in possession and cultivation, hy being placed under the sacred pro
tection of the church.'
• In this point of view,' says our Author, the foundations completely answered the purpose designed ; for it is well argued by Lord Hales, that, while we are inclined to say with the vulgar that the clergy always chose the best of the land, we forget how much their possessions owed their present appearance to the art and industry of the clergy, and the protection which the ecclesiastical character gave to their tenants and labourers, while the territories of the nobles were burnt and laid waste by the invaders.'
This is a very fair and true suggestion, yet it does not invalidate the vulgar notion, which is pointedly repeated and confirined in some of the descriptions annexed to the plates ; whether it is written by the same hand as this introductory bistory, is not, that we have any where observed, distinctly signified.
All the good conferred on the country by this beneficial taboo of the Church, and by the long period of substantial tranquillity, was to sink under a very ordinary fate of early national improvements.
• The savage and bloody spirit of hostility,' says our Historian, which arose from Edward the First's usurpation of the crown of Scotland, destroyed in a few years the improvements of ages, and carried the natives of these countries backward in every art but in those which concerned the destruction of the English and each other. The wars which raged through every part of Scotland in the thirteenth century, were urged with peculiar fury on the Borders. Castles were surprised and taken; battles were won and lost; the country was laid waste on all sides, and by all parties. The patriotic Scotch, like the Spaniards of our time, had no escape from usurpation but by sacrificing the benefits of civilization, and leading the lives of armed outlaws. The struggle, indeed, terminated in the establishment of national independence ; but the immediate effect of the violence which had distinguished it, was to occasion Scotland retrograding to a state of barbarism, and to convert the borders of both countries into wildernesses, only inhabited by soldiers and robbers.'-—The mode of warfare adopted by the Scots themselves, however necessary and prudent, was destructive to property, and tended to retard civilization. They avoided giving pitched battles, and preferred a wasting and protracted war, which might tire out and exhaust the resources of their invaders. They destroyed all the grain and other resources of their own country which might have afforded relief to the Englishmen, and they viewed with great indifference the enemy complete the work of destruction. In the mean while, they secured their cattle among the mountains and forests, and either watched an opportunity to attack the invaders with advantage, or, leaving them to work their will in Scotland, burst into England themselves, and retaliated upon the enemy's country the horrors which were exercised in their own. This ferocious, but uncompromising mode of warfare, had been strongly recommended in the rhymes considered a legacy from Robert Bruce to his successors, and which indeed do, at this very day, comprise the most effectual, and almost the only defensive measures, which can be adopted by a poor and mountainous country when invaded by the overpowering armies of a wealthy neighbour.
" On foot should be all Scottish weir*
Of good King Robert's testament.", One expedient of this defensive system of the Scots, was to destroy the castles on their own border; little thinking what mischief they were thus doing to the future elegant works, in which the fine arts were to display and adorn the picturesque features of their country.
• The good Lord James of Douglas surprised his own castle of Douglas three times, it having been as frequently garrisoned by the English ; and upon each occasion he laid waste and demolished it. The military system of Wallace was on the same principle. And in fine, with very few exceptions, the strong and extensive fortresses, which had arisen on the Scottish Borders in better times, were levelled with the ground during the wars of the thirteenth century. The ruins of the castles of Roxburgh and Jedburgh, and of several others which were thus destroyed, bear a wonderful disproportion in extent to any which were erected in subsequent times.
As, however, the country was not abandoned to the entire and permanent state of a desert, but occupied again at each recession of the enemy, the barons and gentlemen had for their residence an inferior kind of fortresses, often heard of in border history under the denomination of strengths, constructed upon a
limited and mean scale, usually in some situation of natural strength. Having very thick walls, strongly cemented, they
could easily repel the attack of any desultory incursion; but "they were neither victualled nor capable of receiving garrisons sufficient to defend them, except against a sudden assault. The village which almost always adjoined, contained the abodes of 'the retainers, who, upon the summons of the chieftain, took arms either for the defence of the fortress, or for giving battle in the field.' • The smaller gentlemen, whether heads of branches of clans, or
6 * Weir, war.
+ Wear, to defend.
# Dreire, larm or injury.
| Gar, cause.'
of distinct families, inhabited dwellings upon a still smaller scale, called Peels, or Bastle-houses. They were surrounded by an inclosure, or barnkin, the wall whereof was, according to statute, a yard thick, surrounding a space of at least sixty feet square. Within this outer work the laird built his tower, with its projecting battlements, and usually secured the entrance by two doors; the outer of grated iron, the innermost of oak clenched with nails. The apartments were placed directly above each other, accessible only by a narrow “ turnpike” stair, easily blocked up or defended. Sometimes, and in the more ancient buildings, the construction was still more rude. There was no stair at all; and the inhabitants ascended by a ladder from one story to another.'
In the hostile inroads on a large scale, these strengths' were not, nor indeed were they expected to be, of any avail beyond a slight temporary check, to favour the retreat of the inbabitants. The devastations committed in these invasions were frightful. A brief narrative (inserted in the Appendix) of the military operations in Tiviotdale, in 1570, of the forces under the Earl of Essex, Elizabeth's commander in the north, in chastiseinent and revenge of some insults, spoliations, and cruelties committed by the Scottish barons, makes it a matter of wonder how a tract subjected to a repetition of such ravages could maintain its existence as an inhabited country, with considerable towns and villages. This inroad, and that of the Earl of Hertford, in the end of Henry the Eighth's reign, are stated to be the two most dreadful invasions commemorated in Scottish apnals.'
The extreme border on the English side, corresponded to the opposite one in the rudeness of its defences and the utter lawlessness of its inhabitants. But a little further to the south, the country assumed a widely different aspect, in the comparatively flourishing and strongly defended possessions of the high nobility, and the chains of their magnificent castles, of great extent, 6 and fortified with all the art of the age.' Mr. Scott names a number of these structures, and remarks ;
“ All these, and many others miglit be mentioned, are so superior to edifices of the same kind in Scotland, as to verify the boast, that there was many a dog-kennel in England to which the tower of a Scottish Borderer was not to be compared. Yet when Naworth and Brongham castles are compared with the magnificence of Warwick and of Kenilworth, their savage strength, their triple rows of dungeons, the few and small windows which open to the outside, the length and complication of secret and subterranean passages, shew that they are rather to be held limitary fortresses, for curbing the doubtful allegiance of the Borders, and the incursions of the Scottish, than the abodes of feudal hospitality and baronial splendour.'
The English towns also were much better fortified. Yet all this array of superior strength, though of great efficacy against invasion in a formal and extensive shape, could pot guard the