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Title: Northumberland Yesterday and To-day
Author: Terry, Jean F. (Jean Finlay)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration]



Northumberland Yesterday and To-day

by Jean F. Terry, L.L.A.


(St. Andrews), 1913.

_To Sir Francis Douglas Blake,
this book is inscribed in admiration of
an eminent Northumbrian._



Contents


 INTRODUCTORY.
 NORTHUMBERLAND YESTERDAY AND TO-DAY
 CHAPTER I. The Coast of Northumberland
 CHAPTER II. North and South Tyne
 CHAPTER III. Down the Tyne
 CHAPTER IV. Newcastle-upon-Tyne
 CHAPTER V. Elswick and its Founder
 CHAPTER VI. The Cheviots
 CHAPTER VII. The Roman Wall
 CHAPTER VIII. Some Northumbrian Streams
 CHAPTER IX. Drum and Trumpet
 CHAPTER X. Tales and Legends
 CHAPTER XI. Ballads and Poems

[Illustration: Bamburgh Castle.]

List of Illustrations

 Bamburgh Castle. _From photograph by J.P. Gibson, Hexham_
 The Priory, Tynemouth. _From photograph by T.H. Dickinson, Sheriff Hill_
 Untitled
 Hexham Abbey from North West. _From photograph by J.P. Gibson, Hexham_
 The River Tyne at Newcastle (showing Swing Bridge Open).
 Untitled
 Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
 Untitled
 North Gateway, Housesteads and Roman Wall. _From photograph by J.P. Gibson, Hexham_
 Untitled
 Alnwick Castle. _From photograph by J.P. Gibson, Hexham_
 The Wreck of the “Forfarshire”. _From illustration kindly lent by B. Rowland Hill, Newcastle_
 Drawing of boat
 Sketch Map Of Northumberland. _From a Drawing by C.H. Abbey_



INTRODUCTORY.


    The following book makes no pretensions to be a mine of deep
    historical research or antiquarian lore; its object will have been
    achieved, and its existence to some extent justified, if haply by
    its aid some of the dwellers in this northern county of ours, with
    its past so full of action, and its present so rich in the
    memorials of those actions, may pass a pleasant hour in becoming
    acquainted through its pages with the happenings which have taken
    place in their own particular fields, their own streets, or by
    their own riverside.

    I am aware that many learned volumes on this subject, representing
    an enormous amount of patient labour and careful research in their
    compilation, are already in existence. To such this little book can
    in no sense be a rival; but there must be many people who have not
    a superabundance of time, to enable them to dig out the information
    for which they wish, from these various sources; nor can they
    always make these volumes their own, to be consulted at leisure.

    Northumbrians have always been interested in the records of their
    own county, and are now-a-days not less so than when, some
    three-and-a-half centuries ago, Roger North found them “great
    antiquarians within their own bounds.” If to such as these this
    little book may perhaps bring in a more convenient form the
    information they seek, and help them to become better acquainted
    with the county which inspired Swinburne to write in stirring
    phrases of “Northumberland,” and to address the home of his people
    as
  “Land beloved, where nought of legend’s dream Outshines the truth”—

    I shall be more than satisfied. I would take this opportunity of
    expressing my grateful thanks to the Rev. Canon Savage, of Hexham,
    for information relating to the tomb of Alfwald the Just, in the
    Abbey, given with courteous readiness; to the Rev. Canon Jeffery,
    of Bywell, for similar kindness regarding Bywell St. Peter’s; to
    R.O. Heslop, Esq., whose profound store of learning on the subject
    of “Northumberland words” was in cases of uncertainty my final
    court of appeal; to E.T. Nisbet, Esq., and J. Treble, Esq., to whom
    I am greatly indebted for their goodness in reading my manuscript,
    and for their generous encouragement following thereupon; to C.H.
    Abbey, Esq., for his kindness in executing the map which
    accompanies these pages; and to Mr. G.P. Dunn, of Corbridge, for
    much helpful criticism, and many suggestions which only want of
    space has prevented my adopting in their entirety.

J.F.T.

    _31st May_, 1913.



NORTHUMBERLAND YESTERDAY AND TO-DAY

CHAPTER I. THE COAST OF NORTHUMBERLAND.


  “We’ll see nae mair the sea banks fair, And the sweet grey gleaming
  sky, And the lordly strand of Northumberland, And the goodly towers
  thereby.”
  —_A.C. Swinburne_.

    Wild and bleak it may be, hard and cruel at times it undoubtedly
    is, but, nevertheless, this north-east coast of ours is at all
    times inspiring, whether half-hidden by storm-clouds, its cliffs
    and hollows lashed by the “wild north-easter,” or seen calmly
    brooding in the warm haze of a summer’s day, its grey-blue water
    smiling beneath the grey-blue sky, and its stretches of sand and
    bents edging the sea with a border of gold and silver.

    In keeping with either mood of nature, the ancient Priory of
    Tynemouth, standing on the sandstone cliffs on the northern bank of
    the Tyne, rearing its grey and roofless walls above the harbour
    mouth, strikes a note that is symbolic of the Northumbria of old
    and the Northumberland of to-day—the note, that is, of the intimate
    commingling of the romance of the warlike past and the romance of
    the industrial present. Here, above the mouth of the river on which
    so many of the most noteworthy advances in industrial science have
    been made, and out of which sail the vessels which are often the
    last word of the moment in marine engineering and construction,
    stand calmly looking down upon them all the fragments of a building
    which was a century old when John signed Magna Charta, and which
    stands upon the site of another that had already braved the storms
    of nearly five hundred years.

    Looking upon the Priory of St. Mary and St. Oswin we are carried
    back to the days when Edwin, the first king of Northumbria to
    embrace Christianity, built a little church here, in which his
    daughter took the veil. King Oswald had the first wooden structure
    replaced by a stone one; and here, in 651, the body of another good
    king—Oswyn—was brought for burial from Gilling, near Richmond in
    Yorkshire, where, disbanding his army, he sacrificed his cause and
    his life to Oswy of Bernicia, with whom he had been about to fight.

[Illustration: The Priory, Tynemouth.]

    When the pirate ships of the Danes swept down upon our coasts, the
    Priory of St. Oswin, conspicuous on its bold headland, could not
    hope to escape their ravages. It was destroyed by the fierce
    invaders; but King Ecgfrith[1] of Northumbria restored the
    shattered shrine. Again, in the year 865, it was sacked and burnt,
    and the poor nuns of St. Hilda, who had already fled from
    Hartlepool to Tynemouth hoping to find safety, were ruthlessly
    slain and earned the crown of martyrdom. It was again restored;
    but, five years later, the destroying hands of the invaders fell on
    the place once more, and for two hundred years the Priory stood
    roofless and tenantless. After the Norman Conquest, Waltheof, Earl
    of Northumberland bestowed it upon the monks of Jarrow. The
    rediscovery of the tomb of St. Oswyn in 1065, had gladdened the
    hearts of the monks, and forthwith the monastery was reared anew
    over the ashes of its former self.

 [1] Pronounced “Edge-frith.”

    Mowbray, the next Earl of Northumberland, re-endowed the building.
    He had quarrelled with the Bishop of Durham, so in order to do him
    a displeasure, he made Tynemouth Priory subordinate to St. Albans
    instead of to Durham and brought monks from St. Albans to dwell
    there. The new buildings were finished in 1110, and the bones of
    St. Oswyn enshrined within them, the right of sanctuary being
    extended for a mile around his resting-place. This right, however,
    was already in existence, and had been appealed to in 1095 by
    Mowbray himself, who fled here pursued by the followers of William
    Rufus, against whom he had rebelled. The King’s men disregarded the
    sanctuary right, captured Mowbray, and sent him prisoner to
    Durham[2].

 [2] See account of Bamburgh Castle.

    In later days the queens of Edward I. and Edward II. visited
    Tynemouth Priory; and it was from Tynemouth that the foolish King
    Edward II. and his worthless favourite Piers Gaveston fled from the
    angry barons to Scarborough. In the reign of Edward III., after the
    battle of Neville’s Cross, David of Scotland was brought here by
    his captors on his way to Bamburgh, from whence he was sent to the
    Tower.

    At the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. the Priory was
    inhabited by eighteen monks with their Prior. They bowed to the
    King’s decree and left the monastery; but the church continued to
    be used as the parish church until the days of Charles II., when
    Christ Church was built.

    The Priory has many times formed the subject of pictures by famous
    artists, the best known being that of no less a genius than J. M.
    W. Turner; and its picturesque ruins are a well-known landmark to
    the hundreds of voyagers who pass it on their journeys, outward or
    homeward bound. Within the last few years the Priory has been in
    some measure repaired and restored.

    There is but little left of Tynemouth Castle, which was built as a
    protection for the monastery against the attacks of the Danes. It
    stands in a commanding position on a neighbouring cliff, and is now
    used as barracks for garrison artillery corps. During the days when
    Scotland harried the English borders, the Priors of Tynemouth
    maintained a garrison here; and later, in Stuart days, Charles I.
    visited the North, and the fortress was strengthened just before
    the outbreak of the Civil War. It was captured, notwithstanding, by
    Leslie, Earl of Leven, after he had left Newcastle. Colonel
    Lilburn, left in charge as governor, shortly afterwards avowed
    himself on the side of King Charles; but he speedily paid for his
    change of allegiance, for the Castle was re-taken by a force from
    Newcastle under Sir Arthur Hazelrigg, and Lilburn lost his life in
    the fight. The Castle has long been used as a dep ôt for the
    storage of arms and ammunition. Behind the Spanish Battery which
    commands the entrance to the Tyne stands a statue of the famous
    North-countryman, Admiral Collingwood.

    Connected with Tynemouth, by the fact that a small chantry
    belonging to the Priory once stood there, is St. Mary’s Island. One
    may walk unhindered at low tide across the rocks to this favourite
    place, but where the chantry stood there is now a lighthouse with a
    powerful lantern, flashing its welcome light to the seafarers
    nearing the mouth of the Tyne, and extending
  “To each and all our equal lamp, at peril of the sea, The white
  wall-sided war-ships, or the whalers of Dundee.”

    Between Tynemouth and St. Mary’s Island lie Cullercoats, Whitley
    Bay, and Monkseaton, and together these places make practically one
    extended seaside town, stretching for three or four miles along the
    sea-front, and joined by a fine parade which leads to open links at
    Monkseaton. Of these places Cullercoats is most noteworthy. This
    picturesque fishing village, with quaint old houses perched in
    every conceivable position on the curve of its rocky bay, is,
    needless to say, a favourite camping ground for artists. The
    Cullercoats fishwife, with her cheerful weather-bronzed face, her
    short jacket and ample skirts of blue flannel, and her heavily
    laden “crees” of fish is not only appreciated by the brotherhood of
    brush and pencil, but is one of the notable sights of the district.
    At Cullercoats is struck a note of the most modern of modern
    achievements—the Wireless Telegraphy Station (225 feet); and here,
    too, is situated the Dove Marine Laboratory, looked after by
    scientists on the staff of the Armstrong College at Newcastle.

    In fine weather the crowds which pass and repass along the top of
    the bold cliffs which overlook the fine stretch of sands between
    Cullercoats and Monkseaton show how many hundreds of Northumbria’s
    busy workers enjoy the fresh breezes from the sea on this pleasant
    and bracing coast. Out at sea, opposite the Parade, vessels built
    in the busy shipyards on the Tyne may be seen doing their speed
    trials over the measured mile. The Peace of St. Oswyn may, in fact,
    be said to brood over Tynemouth, even in these days, for it is an
    increasing custom for those who can do so to remain in Newcastle
    and other busy centres of toil only during business hours, and to
    leave workshop and office every evening for their home by the sea:
    while the tide of noisy, happy, boisterous excursionists has rolled
    on to Whitley Bay, leaving Tynemouth to its old-time sleepy
    content. Northward to Hartley and Seaton Sluice the cliffs are very
    fine. Hartley, with its bright-looking red-tiled houses, once
    belonged to Adam of Gesemuth (Jesmond) who lived in the reign of
    King John. Coming down to modern times, about thirty years ago a
    gallant Hartley man, Thomas Langley, rescued two successive
    shipwrecked crews on the same day, in one case allowing himself to
    be lowered over the cliffs at a terrible risk in the furious storm.

    Seaton Sluice belongs to the ancient family of the Delavals, whose
    house, Delaval Hall, may be seen not far away, peeping from amongst
    the trees which surround it. Seaton Sluice owes its name to the
    Delaval who placed the large sluice gates upon the burn, in order
    to have a strong current which, in rushing down to the sea, would
    be able to wash the mouth of the stream clear from the silt and mud
    brought in by the incoming tide. A later baronet, Sir John Hussey
    Delaval, made the cutting through the solid rock which is so
    striking a feature of the harbour. It was ready for the entrance of
    vessels in March, 1763.

    Delaval Hall is now owned by Lord Hastings, the present
    representative of the Delavals, which family became extinct in the
    male line early in the nineteenth century. The last Delaval, a very
    learned man, was buried in Westminster Abbey in 1814. The Hall was
    built for Admiral Delaval in 1707 to the design of Sir J. Vanbrugh,
    who also designed Blenheim Palace, given by the nation to the great
    Duke of Marlborough about the same time.

    Hartley Colliery, about half a mile away, has a sad interest as
    being the scene of the terrible accident in 1862, when a number of
    men and boys were imprisoned in the workings owing to the blocking
    up of the only shaft by a mass of d ébris, caused by the fall of an
    iron beam belonging to the pumping engine at the pit-head. Before
    the shaft could be cleared and a way opened to the workings, all
    the poor fellows had died, overcome by the deadly “choke-damp.”
    Joseph Skipsey, the pitman poet, in a simple ballad, tells the
    pathetic story.
  “Oh, father! till the shaft is rid, Close, close beside me keep; My
  eyelids are together glued, And I,—and I,—must sleep.”
  “Sleep, darling, sleep, and I will keep Close by—heigh ho.”—To keep
  Himself awake the father strives. But he—he, too—must sleep.
  “Oh mother dear! wert, wert thou near Whilst—sleep!” The orphan
  slept; And all night long, by the black pit-heap The mother a dumb
  watch kept.

    From here, northward, the coast is rather dull and uninteresting,
    although the sands are fine, until we reach Blyth, at the mouth of
    the little river of the same name. This town is growing rapidly in
    size and importance; the export of coal has greatly increased since
    the harbour was so much improved by Sir Matthew White Ridley, and
    now totals some millions of tones a year. The river Wansbeck not
    far north of the mouth of the Blyth, in the latter part of its
    course flows through a district begrimed by all the necessary
    accompaniments of the traffic in “black diamonds,” and reaches the
    sea between the colliery villages of Cambois and North Seaton.

    On the point at the northern curve of Newbiggin Bay stands
    Newbiggin Church, and ancient building, whose steeple, “leaning all
    awry,” is a well-known landmark for sailors. The site of this
    church is in danger of being undermined by the waves, and, indeed,
    part of the churchyard crumbled away many years ago; but such
    defences as are possible have been built up around it,—and the
    danger averted for a time. Newbiggin itself is a large fishing
    village and an increasingly popular holiday resort, for it
    possesses not only good sands but a wide moor near at hand which
    provides one of the best of golf courses; and, also, a short
    distance along the coast, are the attractive Fairy Rocks.

    Newbiggin was a town of some importance in Plantagenet days, with a
    busy harbour, and a pier; and in the reign of Edward II. it was
    required to contribute a vessel towards the naval defence of the
    Kingdom.

    Northward from Newbiggin Point is the magnificent sweep of Druridge
    Bay, stretching in a fine curve of ten miles or more to Hauxley
    Haven. Here, the sands of a warm golden colour, the wind-swept
    bents of silvery-grey, and the vivid green of the grassy cliff tops
    edge the curve of the bay with a line of bright and delicate
    colour, only thrown into greater relief by the brown reefs and
    ridges which stretch out from the rocky shores, and by the deep
    blue-green of the waves rolling inshore in long majestic lines, to
    break into hissing foam on the sharp reefs, or slide smoothly up
    the yellow sands in the centre of the bay. Above, beyond the grassy
    tops of the cliffs, stretch deep woods, with the old pele-tower of
    Cresswell looking out from amongst the trees, fields many-coloured
    with their burden of varying crops, and wide lonely moors, where
    one may walk for half a day without hearing any sound save the wild
    screaming of sea-birds, or the whistle of the wind, with the low
    boom of the waves below sounding a deep-toned accompaniment. The
    bay is not always so peaceful, however, and many wild scenes and
    terrible shipwrecks have taken place here, as everywhere along our
    wild north-east coast. The Bondicar rocks, by Hauxley, and the
    cruel spikes of the reef at Snab Point, near Cresswell, have
    betrayed many a gallant little vessel to her doom. Not, however,
    without bringing on many an occasion proof of the courage which is
    shown as a matter of course by the fisher folk on our coasts. At
    Newbiggin, and Cresswell, for instance, deeds have been done,
    which, in their simple unassuming heroism, may be taken as typical
    of the hardy race which could count Grace Darling among its
    daughters.

    About thirty years ago, a ship drove ashore off Cresswell one
    bitter night in January, and the fisher folk crowded down to the
    shore, watching with sorrowful eyes the hapless crew clinging to
    their unfortunate vessel, which was slowly being broken up by the
    waves. There was no lifeboat at Cresswell then, and all the men of
    the village, except the old men who were past work, had gone
    northward, when the oncoming storm prevented their return. The
    women and girls heard the cries of the schooner’s crew, and mourned
    to each other their inability to help. But one gallant-hearted
    girl, named Peggy Brown, cried out, “If I thowt she could hing on a
    bit, I wad be away for the lifeboat.” But between them and
    Newbiggin, the nearest lifeboat station, the Lyne Burn runs into
    the sea, and spreads widely out over the sands; and the older
    people told Peggy she could never cross the burn in the dark. She
    set off, however, the thought of the drowning men hastening her on.
    For four miles she made her way in the storm and darkness, partly
    along the shore, scrambling over rock’s, and wading waist-deep
    through the Lyne Burn and one or two other places where the waves
    had driven far up the sands, and partly across Newbiggin Moor,
    where the icy wind tore at her in her drenched clothing. She
    pressed on, however, and managed to reach the coxswain’s house and
    give her message. The lifeboat was immediately run out, and the men
    reached the wreck in time to save all the crew except one, who had
    been washed overboard.

    On another occasion one of the fishermen, named Tom Brown, was
    preparing to go out, with the help of his two sons, in his own
    fishing coble to the aid of a ship in distress on the reef. A
    carter had come down to the beach, the better to watch the progress
    of events, and, terrified by the thundering waves, his horse took
    fright, and in its plunging drove the cart against the little boat,
    making a hole clear through one side. “Big Tom,” as he was
    generally called, merely took off his coat, rolled it into a bundle
    and stuffed it against the hole. Then he beckoned to another
    fisherman, saying to him “Sit on that.” The man clambered in, and
    without the loss of another minute these four heroes set off to
    save their fellow creatures’ lives, with a broken and leaking boat
    in a heavy sea. And they did it, reaching the brig only just in
    time, for it went to pieces a few minutes after the shivering crew
    had been safely landed.

    Incidents like these, which could be multiplied indefinitely, bring
    a glow of pride to the heart, and a reassuring sense that the
    degeneration of the race is not proceeding in such wholesale
    fashion—in the country districts, at any rate—as the pessimists
    would have us believe.

    At the northern extremity of Druridge Bay is the little fishing
    village of Hauxley, with the chimneys and pit-head engines of
    Ratcliffe and Broomhill Collieries darkening the sky to the
    south-west. Passing the Bondicar rocks and rounding the point we
    enter the “fairway” for Warkworth Harbour and Amble, where a brisk
    exportation of the coal of the neighbourhood is carried on.

    Lying out at sea, opposite Amble coastguard station, the white
    lighthouse on Coquet Island keeps watch over the entrance to the
    harbour. Some of the walls of the monastery, which stood on the
    island in Saxon days, can now be seen forming part of the dwelling
    of the lighthouse keeper. For many generations, too, hermit after
    hermit went to dwell on this tiny islet, and St. Cuthbert himself
    is said to have inhabited the little cell at one time. The island
    was captured by the Scots in the Civil Wars of King Charles’s
    reign, and held by them for a time.

    The situation of Amble, at the mouth of the Coquet, has been looked
    upon as convenient from very early days, for there are signs which
    tell us of a population here at an early period. Several
    cist-vaens, or ancient stone coffins, have been found near the
    town, and a broken Roman altar was unearthed in the neighbourhood.
    The monastery which stood here, like that on Holy Island, was, in
    later times, inhabited by Benedictine monks, who were under the
    authority of the Prior of Tynemouth. William the Conqueror gave the
    then Prior the right to collect the tithes of the little town.

    A short distance from Amble, and practically encircled by the
    Coquet which here makes a wide sweep, we come upon Warkworth,
    prettiest of villages, combining the beauties of sea-shore and
    river scenery, and rich in the possession of that romantic castle,
    the ruins of which carry the mind back to Saxon times; for they
    stand on the site of an older fortress erected by Ceolwulf, a Saxon
    King of Northumbria. He was the patron of Bede, who dedicated his
    “Ecclesiastical History” to his royal friend. Ceolwulf built both
    the fortress and the earliest church at Warkworth, and a few stones
    of this latter building are still to be seen. In 737, two years
    after the death of Bede, this royal Saxon laid aside his kingly
    state and became a monk on Lindisfarne,
  “When he, for cowl and beads, laid down The Saxon battle-axe and
  crown.”

    It was when the castle was bestowed by Edward III. upon Lord Percy
    of Alnwick that it became, for more than two hundred years, the
    chief residence of that illustrious family; becoming in the next
    reign of historical value as the home of that Hotspur whose valour
    and gallantry made Henry IV. envy the Earl of Northumberland, in
    that he “should be the father of so blest a son.” In Act II., Scene
    3 of “Henry IV.,” Part II., Shakespeare has laid the scene at
    Warkworth Castle, where Hotspur’s wife, troubled by her lord’s
    moody abstraction, tries to win from him the reason of his secret
    care. And after the battle of Shrewsbury, Rumour, flying with the
    news of Hotspur’s death, says:—
  “Thus have I rumoured through the peasant towns, Between the royal
  field of Shrewsbury And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone, Where
  Hotspur’s father, old Northumberland, Lies crafty-sick.”

    Two years after this, the castle was besieged by Henry IV. himself,
    and surrendered to him after a brief bombardment by the newly
    invented cannon. The keep was re-built by Hotspur’s son, after the
    family possessions had been restored to him by Henry V., and it is
    now the only remaining part of the castle which is almost perfect.
    One of the half-ruinous towers remaining is called the Lion Tower,
    from the sculptured lion on its walls; while another rejoices in
    the curious name of Cradyfargus. A strange story is told of a blue
    stone to be seen in the courtyard of the castle. Many years ago, so
    runs the tale, one of the custodians of Warkworth Castle dreamed
    three nights in succession that a large treasure was concealed
    beneath a blue stone in a certain part of the castle grounds. He
    told this dream to a neighbour, and after allowing two or three
    days to pass, finding the dream constantly recurring to his mind,
    he thought he would go to the place indicated, and see what he
    could find. To his disappointment, however, he discovered that some
    one had been there before him; a large hole had been dug, and on
    the edge of it lay the blue stone.

    Needless to say, the hole was empty, nor could the keeper discover
    anything about the treasure in the neighbourhood. It is said that a
    certain family in the village became suddenly rich; and, many years
    afterwards, a large and ancient pot, supposed to have been that in
    which the buried treasure had been contained, was found in the
    Coquet.

    The main street of Warkworth leads straight up to the postern gate
    of the castle, and many stirring sights have the successive
    inhabitants of the little village looked upon, as the fortunes of
    the owners of the castle waxed and waned throughout the many
    centuries in which the lords of Warkworth played a notable part in
    the history of England. They saw Henry Percy, entrusted with a
    share in the safe keeping of the country, set out from Warkworth
    for Durham, to help in winning the victory of Neville’s Cross.

    They saw Hotspur’s force set out for the Cheviots to intercept
    Douglas and his followers, which they did at Homildon Hill, near
    Wooler; and it was the quarrel in connection with the prisoners
    taken on that day which led Hotspur and his father openly to throw
    off their allegiance to Henry IV., so that a few months later the
    peasants of Warkworth saw their idolised young lord set out for
    what was to prove the fatal field of Shrewsbury. They saw Hotspur’s
    father, the first Henry Percy to receive the title of Earl, (a
    title which had been given him at the coronation of Richard II.)
    set out with a brave force after Hotspur’s departure; and they saw
    his return, almost alone, dejected and broken in spirit, having
    learnt that the help so tardily given had come too late, and the
    life of his gallant son was ended.

    They saw the siege train of Henry Bolingbroke laid against the
    castle, directed by Henry in person, provoked into these active
    measures by the open rebellion of father and son, though
    Northumberland had tried to make it appear that he was innocent of
    any treasonable act. After capturing the castle, Bolingbroke
    bestowed it on his third son, John of Lancaster, and the villagers
    saw the young prince riding in and out among them daily so long as
    he made the castle his home.

    Then, in the next reign, they welcomed the return of Hotspur’s son,
    Henry, to the home of his fathers, restored to him by Henry V.;
    and, within a short time, saw him bring home his bride, Eleanor
    Neville, daughter of his friend and neighbour, the Earl of
    Westmoreland.

    In the Wars of the Roses, Warkworth Castle saw many changes of
    fortune, as the tide of victory flowed this way and that. The
    Percies were all Lancastrians, though Sir Ralph Percy changed sides
    twice. The castle fell into the hands of the Yorkists, and the
    great Earl of Warwick, the “King-maker” himself, made it his
    headquarters for a time, while he superintended the sieges of
    Alnwick, Dunstanborough, and Bamburgh, which were all invested at
    the same time. Eventually, after the Wars of the Roses concluded,
    Warkworth was restored, along with the other Percy estates, to its
    original owners.

    Finally, the inhabitants of the little village saw the church
    entered by the Jacobites in 1715, when Mr. Buxton, chaplain of the
    little force, prayed for James III. and Mary the Queen-mother; and
    General Forster, dressed as a trumpeter, proclaimed King James III.
    at the village cross.

    A few miles north from the mouth of the Coquet, the little Aln
    spreads over the sandy flats near Alnmouth, and reaches the sea. It
    has changed its course, for at one time it flowed to the south of
    Church Hill, instead of to the north as at present. The town of
    Alnmouth, viewed from the train just before entering Alnmouth
    Station, looks very picturesque, especially if the rare sunshine of
    an English summer should be lighting up the bay, bringing out the
    vivid red of the tiled roofs against the grassy hills fringing the
    links which lie on their seaward side, and lighting up, also, the
    yellow sands and long lines of sparkling wavelets edged with white.

    Alnmouth depends for its living on a fleet of fishing boats, and on
    the numbers of visitors who seek its fresh breezes and inviting
    shores each summer. Golfers, indeed, find it pleasant all the year
    round, as there is only a scarcely appreciable interval in the
    winter months when their favourite pastime cannot be followed on
    the breezy links. On Church Hill, now crowned by a few old stones,
    once stood a Norman church, dedicated to St. Valery, which, in its
    turn, occupied the site of an older Saxon building, supposed to
    have been the church which Bede refers to as being at Twyford,
    where a great synod of clergy was held in the year 684, and
    Cuthbert appointed Bishop of Lindisfarne. It is a matter of dispute
    whether this Twyford was Alnmouth or Whittingham, but the two fords
    at Alnmouth seem to point to a decision in favour of that place.
    The old Norman church, which fell into ruin at the beginning of
    last century, was fired at by the famous pirate Paul Jones; the
    cannon shot, weighing 68 pounds, missed the church, but struck a
    neighbouring farm house, doing great damage.

    The coast north of Alnmouth becomes rocky and wild, and very
    picturesque, and the villages along the coast are being sought out
    by holiday makers in increasing numbers, year by year. Boulmer, one
    of these villages, was a famous place for smuggling in the old
    days, and many an exciting scene and sharp encounter took place
    between the smugglers and the King’s men. Not far away is Howick
    Dene, a lovely little glen leading down to the sea from Howick
    Hall, the home of Earl Grey.

    Cullernose Point, a striking crag, is formed by the outcrop of a
    portion of the Great Whin Sill, which from here can be traced to
    the south-west, and thence right across the county.

    At Craster, another fishing village and a favourite holiday haunt,
    is Craster Tower, which has been the home of the family of Craster
    since before the Conquest. Not far to the north is the famous
    Rumble Churn in the rocks below Dunstanborough Castle, where the
    waves roll in and out of the caves and chasms with weird and hollow
    rumblings. There is another Rumbling Churn in the cliffs near
    Howick.

    The famous divine of the Middle Ages, John Duns Scotus, was born in
    this parish—that of Embleton; the group of buildings known as
    Dunston Hall, or Proctor’s Steads, is supposed to have been his
    birthplace, and a portrait of the learned doctor is to be seen
    there.

    Dunstanborough Castle stands in lonely grandeur on great whinstone
    crags, close to the very edge of the sea, and on the first sight of
    it, Keats’ wonderful lines spring involuntarily to the lips:—
  “Magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery
  lands forlorn.”

    Forlorn, indeed, though not in exactly the sense conveyed by the
    poem, is this huge fortress now; it abides, says Freeman, “as a
    castle should abide, in all the majesty of a shattered ruin.” The
    primitive cannon of the days of the Wars of the Roses began to
    shatter those mighty walls, and, unlike Bamborough, it has never
    been strengthened since. Simon de Montford once owned this estate,
    and the next lord of Dunstanborough was a son of Henry III., to
    whom Earl Simon’s forfeited estate was given. His eldest son,
    Thomas of Lancaster, took part with the barons in bringing the
    unworthy favourite of Edward II., Piers Gaveston, to his death.
    Under the King’s anger, Lancaster went away to his Northumbrian
    estate, and began to build this mighty fortress, though he already
    owned the castles of Kenilworth and Pontefract. In the Wars of the
    Roses, Dunstanborough Castle was taken and retaken no less than
    five times, and Queen Margaret found refuge here, as well as at
    Bamburgh; but apart from these occasions, Dunstanborough has not
    taken nearly so great a part in either local or national history as
    the other Northumbrian castles of Bamburgh, Warkworth, and Alnwick,
    though greater in extent than any of them. In 1538 an official
    report describes “Dunstunburht” as “a very reuynous howse”; and the
    process of dilapidation was soon aided by enterprising dwellers in
    the neighbourhood using the stones of the forsaken castle to build
    their own homesteads.

    From the castle northward curves Embleton Bay, in which, after
    having been buried in the sand for ages, a sandstone rock was
    uncovered by the tide, having on its surface, chiselled in rough
    but distinct lettering, the name “Andra Barton.” Sir Andrew Barton,
    daring Scottish sea-captain and fearless freebooter, was slain in a
    sea-fight off this part of the coast, in the days of Henry VIII.,
    by the sons of Surrey, one of whom, Sir Thomas Howard, was Lord
    Admiral at the time, and so, in a measure, responsible for the
    defence of the English coast. The loss of his brave sea-captain and
    his “goodly ships” was one of the grievances in the long list which
    led King James IV. to declare war against England, and led to the
    fatal field of Flodden, in which Admiral Sir Thomas Howard and his
    brother took part under the command of their father, the Earl of
    Surrey.

    The wide sweep of grassy common beyond the sands in Embleton Bay
    is, in summer time, covered with a profusion of wild flowers, chief
    amongst them being the wild geranium, or meadow cranes-bill, whose
    reddish-purple blossoms grow in such abundance as to arrest the
    attention of every visitor. A little way back from the sea-shore,
    in the middle of this wide space, lies the village of Embleton,
    which possesses an ancient and interesting church, and a vicarage,
    part of which is formed by an old pele-tower. Embleton would seem
    to have a reputation to keep up in the way of famous churchmen.
    Duns Scotus has been already mentioned; and one of the vicars here
    was a cousin of Richard Steele, the essayist and friend of Addison;
    and he described the country squires of his day in a paper which he
    contributed to the “Spectator” of that date, 1712.

    Another Vicar of Embleton, who lived here from 1874 to 1884, was
    Dr. Mandell Creighton, the learned historian, who became Bishop of
    London.

    The well-known journalist, W.T. Stead, was born in the parish of
    Embleton, though his childhood was passed in very different
    surroundings, in the narrow streets and grimy atmosphere of
    Howdon-on-Tyne. His recent death on the ill-fated _Titanic_ will be
    fresh in the minds of all.

    Newton-by-the-Sea is reached by a pleasant walk along the
    sea-shore. (It is to be understood that in this journey along the
    coast we are moving northward always). There is here a
    cheery-looking white-washed coastguard station standing on the bold
    headland of Newton Point.

    Past this point is Beadnell Bay, with green and grassy Beadnell
    just beyond Little Rock. The small fishing harbour at Beadnell has
    the unique distinction of being the only harbour on the east coast
    whose mouth faces west, and the short pier, running _inland_ from
    rocks to shore, acts as a breakwater against the heavy easterly or
    southeasterly seas and makes the harbour a safe anchorage for
    fishing craft or small yachts. The rocks around this bay are very
    interesting, showing the various strata very plainly, and
    containing many fossils. The striking cliff called Ebbe’s Nook is
    supposed to have been named after the Saxon princess Ebba, sister
    to King Oswald, and the ruins which were discovered on the
    headland, to be all that is left of a chapel erected to her memory.

    At Seahouses is an extensive fish-curing establishment, a fact
    which proclaims itself unmistakably as you near the village,
    especially if the day chance to be at all warm. A little distance
    from the shore is another fishing village, North Sunderland, and
    northward from Seahouses is the inn called The Monkshouse, from the
    fact that it once belonged to the community on Lindisfarne.

    Bamburgh Castle, magnificently placed on a lofty crag rising
    perpendicularly from the greensward on the west or landward side,
    and almost as steeply from the sea which washes the north and east
    sides, lies like a majestic lion on its mighty rock “brooding on
    ancient fame.” The voices of children at play on the sands below
    sound faint and far in the still air; the sea birds, with the
    summer sunshine flashing on their outspread wings, sweep round and
    round; in the far distance a trail of smoke low down on the horizon
    marks the track of a passing steamer; and near at hand, southward a
    little way from the castle cliff, the rocky islets of the Farne
    group lie drowsily asleep on the gently-heaving swell of the
    grey-blue waters. Behind the castle lies the pretty old-fashioned
    village with its quaint hostelries and grove of trees; and from the
    higher parts of the new golf-links the player may look round on a
    view which would be difficult to match, comprising as it does, the
    Farne Islands and Dunstanborough to the south, and northward, Holy
    Island, with its castle and abbey and the bluish haze of smoke
    lying over Berwick; while, on the western skyline, on a clear day,
    may be seen the rounded caps of the Cheviots.

    The beginnings of Bamburgh take us back more than a thousand years,
    to that long-ago summer of 547, when the _cyuls_ (keels) of the
    marauding Bernician chieftain Ida and his followers grounded on the
    shore of our Northland, and the work of conquest began. Ida was not
    slow to grasp the importance of such a commanding site as this
    isolated mass of basaltic crag, and the rude stronghold which
    crowned it. It became in time a formidable fortress, and remained
    for centuries the headquarters of the kings of the North.

    Here reigned Ida and his sons—six of them—for more or less short
    and stormy periods, and Ethelric of Bernicia, who vanquished the
    neighbouring prince of Deira, and thus reigned as the first king of
    Northumbria as Northumbria. The Celtic name of the fortress was
    Dinguardi, or Dinguvardy; and tradition has it that this was Sir
    Lancelot’s castle of Joyeuse Garde, where he had often feasted the
    Knights of the Round Table, and where he, at last, came home to
    die. The fact that Bamburgh is the only pre-Conquest castle in
    Northumberland disposes of the claim of Alnwick.

    “My fair lords,” said sir Launcelot, “wit ye well, my careful body
    will into the earth; I have warning more than I will now say;
    therefore, I pray you, give me my rights.” So when he was houseled
    and eneled, and had all that a Christian man ought to have, he
    prayed the bishop that his fellows might bear his body unto Joyous
    Gard.

    Some men say Anwick, and some men say to Bamborow; “how-beit,” said
    sir Launcelot, “me repenteth sore; but I made mine avow aforetime,
    that in Joyous Gard I would be buried; and because of breaking of
    mine vow, I pray you all lead me thither.” Then was there weeping
    and wringing of hands among all his fellows.

    And so, within fifteen days, they came to Joyous Gard, and there
    they laid his corpse in the body of the quire, and read many
    psalters and prayers over him and about him.... And right thus, as
    they were at their service, there came sir Ector de Maris, that had
    sought seven years all England, Scotland and Wales, seeking his
    brother sir Launcelot.... Then went sir Bors unto sir Ector, and
    told him how there lay his brother sir Launcelot dead.

    And then sir Ector threw his shield, his sword, and his helm from
    him; and when he beheld sir Launcelot’s visage, he fell down in a
    swoon; and when he awoke, it were hard for any tongue to tell the
    doleful complaints that he made for his brother. “Ah! sir
    Launcelot,” said he, “thou wert head of all Christian knights!”
    “And now, I dare say,” said sir Bors, “that sir Launcelot, there
    thou liest, thou wert never matched of none earthly knight’s hands;
    and thou wert the courtliest knight that ever bare a shield; and
    thou wert the truest friend to thy lover that ever bestrod horse;
    and thou wert the truest lover of a sinful man that ever loved
    woman; and thou wert the kindest man that ever stroke with sword;
    and thou wert the goodliest person that ever came among press of
    knights; and thou wert the meekest man, and the gentlest, that ever
    eat in hall among ladies; and thou wert the sternest knight to thy
    mortal foe, that ever put spear in the rest.”

    Then there was weeping and dolor out of measure.
  —_Malory’s Morte d’Arthur_.

    Ethelfrith, who succeeded Ethelric, gave the fort to his second
    wife, Bebba, after whom it was named Bebbanburgh, which soon became
    Bamburgh.

    In the days of King Edwin, who succeeded Ethelfrith, Bamburgh was
    the centre of a kingdom which extended from the Humber to the
    Forth, and as Northumbria was at that time the most important
    division of England, the royal city of Bernicia was practically the
    capital of the country. The reign of King Oswald, though shorter
    than that of Edwin, was equally noteworthy from the fact that in
    his days the gentle Aidan settled in Northumbria, and king and monk
    worked together for the good of their people, and Bamburgh became
    not only the seat of temporal power but the safeguard and bulwark
    of the spiritual movement centred on the little isle of
    Lindisfarne. On the accession of Edwin, Oswald, son of Ethelfrith,
    had fled from Bernicia and taken refuge with the monks of Iona,
    living with them till the time came for him to rule Northumbria in
    his turn. As soon as possible after the inevitable fighting for his
    political existence was over, he sent to Iona for a teacher to come
    and instruct his people in the truths he had learned; and a monk
    named Corman was sent. He, however, was unable to make any
    impression on the wild and warlike Saxons of the northern kingdom,
    and he soon returned to Iona with the report that it was useless to
    try to teach such obstinate and barbarous people. One of the
    brethren, listening to his account, ventured to ask him if he were
    sure that all the fault lay with the people. “Did you remember,”
    said he, “that we are commanded to give them the milk first? Did
    you not rather try them with the strong meat?” With one accord the
    brethren declared that he who had spoken such wise words was the
    man best fitted for the task, and the gentle Aidan was sent to
    Oswald’s help. In such a fashion came the Gospel to Northumbria,
    and Aidan became the first of the long roll of saints whose deeds
    and lives had such incalculable influence on Northumbrian history.
    From Aidan’s arrival in 635 until the death of Oswald the relations
    between the king and the monk who had settled on Medcaud or
    Medcaut, soon to be known as Lindisfarne, and later as Holy Island,
    were those of friend to friend and fellow-worker, rather than those
    of king and subject.

    After the death of Oswald, his conqueror Penda, the fierce King of
    the Mercians, harried Northumbria, and appearing before the walls
    of Bamburgh prepared to burn it down. Piles of logs and brushwood
    were laid against the city and the fire was applied. Aidan, in his
    little cell on Farne Island, to which he had retired, saw the
    clouds of flame and smoke rolling over the home of his beloved
    patron. Raising his hands to Heaven, he exclaimed, “See, Lord, what
    ill Penda is doing!” Scarcely had he uttered the words, when the
    wind changed, and drove the flames away from Bamburgh, blowing them
    against Penda’s host, who thereupon ceased all further attempts
    against the city.

    Not long after this, Aidan was at Bamburgh, when he was seized with
    sudden illness, and died with his head resting against one of the
    wooden stays of the little church. Penda came again the next year,
    and this time both village and church were burnt, all except, says
    tradition, the beam of wood against which Aidan had rested in his
    last moments.

    When the Danish ships appeared off our shores, in the two centuries
    following, Bamburgh was attacked and plundered several times. In
    the days of William Rufus, as we have seen, Robert de Mowbray, Earl
    of Northumberland, rebelled against the Red King, in company with
    his uncle the Bishop of Coutances, Robert of Normandy, and William
    of St. Carileph, Bishop of Durham. Rufus marched into
    Northumberland, but the quarrel was adjusted for the time; though
    private strife between the two Bishops led to Mowbray’s driving the
    monks of Durham from the Priory at Tynemouth and replacing them by
    monks from St. Albans.

    Later, however, Mowbray disobeyed a summons from the Red King, who
    once more marched into Northumberland. He reached Bamburgh, and
    invested it, but failed to make any impression on that impregnable
    stronghold, within whose walls were Mowbray and his young wife, the
    Countess Matilda, and his nephew, who was Sheriff of
    Northumberland. Rufus, finding all attempts to carry the fortress
    useless, began to build a wooden fort, called a _Malvoisin_, or
    “Bad neighbour”; and so anxious was he to have it speedily erected
    that he made knights and nobles as well as his men-at-arms take
    part in the work.

    Mowbray, from the battlements, called out to many of these by name,
    openly taunting those who had secretly promised to join him, or had
    expressed themselves as in sympathy with his disobedience. His
    words gave great amusement to Rufus and the nobles who were truly
    loyal, and much mortification and vexation to those whom he so
    ruthlessly exposed. Rufus left the “Bad neighbour” to continue the
    siege and went southward.

    Mowbray, led to believe that Newcastle would receive him, and take
    his part, stole away from Bamburgh by sea, and reached Tynemouth.
    On proceeding to Newcastle, however, he found he had been mistaken,
    and hurriedly fled hack to Tynemouth, pursued by his enemies. He
    held out against them for a day or two, but was then captured and
    taken to Durham. Meanwhile the high-spirited Countess held Bamburgh
    against all assailants; but Mowbray’s capture gave Rufus an
    advantage he was not slow to use. Returning to the North, he
    ordered Mowbray to be brought before the walls of Bamburgh, and
    threatened to put his eyes out if the Countess did not immediately
    surrender. Needless to say, she preferred to give up the castle,
    and Mowbray’s reign as Earl of Northumberland was over.

    Thereafter Bamburgh was visited by various sovereigns in turn, when
    their affairs brought them to the northerly parts of their kingdom.
    When Balliol, tired of long years of conflict, surrendered most of
    his rights to Edward III., it was at Bamburgh that the convention
    was concluded. In this reign the castle was greatly strengthened.

    In the Wars of the Roses, Bamburgh was held for the queen by the
    Lancastrian nobles of the north country—Percy and Ros—with the Earl
    of Pembroke and Duke of Somerset; but was obliged on Christmas Eve,
    1462, to capitulate to a superior force. The next year the Scots
    and the queen’s French allies surprised it, and re-captured it for
    Henry VI. and his courageous queen; but Warwick, “the King-maker,”
    came upon the scene, and after a stout resistance the garrison
    surrendered.

    When the Union of the Crowns took place in 1603, Bamburgh was no
    longer necessary as a defence against the Scots, and its defences
    were neglected. The Forsters, into whose hands it passed in the
    days of James I., were a spendthrift family, and gradually wasted
    their rich estate, until in 1704 it had to be sold, and was bought
    by Lord Crewe. He was Bishop of Durham at the time, having been
    promoted to that position by Charles II., who liked his handsome
    figure and pleasing manners. When at the age of fifty-eight, he
    wished to marry Dorothea Forster, daughter of Sir William Forster,
    of Bamburgh, the lady, who was many years younger, refused him at
    first; but some years later he renewed his suit, and this time was
    accepted. When the Forster estates were sold and their debts paid,
    there was scarcely anything left for the heirs—Lady Crewe and her
    nephew, Thomas Forster, who afterwards became the General of the
    ill-fated Jacobite rising in 1715, and whose escape after his
    capture was contrived by his high-spirited sister, Dorothy Forster
    the second.

    Lord Crewe, in his will, left a great part of his fortune to found
    the Bamburgh Trust, for which his name will ever be remembered. The
    most notable of the trustees, Archdeacon Sharp, administered the
    moneys in so wise and beneficent a manner that to him most of the
    credit is due for the real usefulness of the Crewe charities. These
    include a surgery and dispensary; schools; the relief of persons in
    distress; the clothing and educating of a certain number of girls;
    the maintenance of a lifeboat, life-saving apparatus, and
    everything necessary for the relief of ship-wrecked persons. A
    lifeboat, kept in the harbour at Holy Island, is always ready to go
    out on a signal from Bamburgh Castle.

    The castle was extensively restored and repaired by the late Lord
    Armstrong; but, sad to say, since his death it has been stripped of
    many of its treasures. The church, dedicated to St. Aidan, stands
    at the west end of the village; but there is no vestige remaining
    of the one built in Saxon times, the present building having been
    erected when Henry II. was king. In the churchyard is the grave of
    Grace Darling, and many hundreds come to look on the last resting
    place of the gentle girl who was yet so heroic, when her
    compassionate heart nerved her girlish frame to the gallant effort
    on behalf of her fellow-creatures in dire peril, when she
  “.... rode the waves none else durst ride, None save her sire.”

    The beautiful monument over her grave is by Raymond Smith, and is
    an exact duplicate of the original one, also by him, which was
    being injured so much by the weather that it was removed to a
    position inside the church. The duplicate was commissioned by Lord
    (then Sir William) Armstrong.

    The island on which yet stands the lighthouse which was Grace’s
    home is the Longstone, almost the farthest seaward of the rocky
    group of the Farnes, lying almost opposite Bamburgh. The Longstone
    is only about four feet above high-water mark, so that in stormy
    weather the lighthouse is fiercely assailed by the heavy seas, and
    the keepers are often driven for refuge to the upper chambers. To
    the Longstone might with truth be attributed the opening lines of
    Kipling’s poem, “The Coastwise Lights”:—
  “Our brows are bound with spindrift, and the weed is on our knees,
  Our loins are battered ’neath us by the swinging, smoking seas; From
  reef, and rock, and skerry, over headland, ness, and voe, The
  coastwise lights of England watch the ships of England go.”

    There are about twenty of these little islets to be seen at low
    tide, and very curious are some of their names—The Megstone, The
    Crumstone, The Navestone, The Harcars, The Wedums, The Noxes
    (Knokys), and The Wawmses. The largest, Farne Island, is the
    nearest to the coast, and is the one to which St. Aidan retired,
    and on which St. Cuthbert made himself a cell, and where he lived
    for some years, leaving Lindisfarne (Holy Island) very often for
    months together, to dwell alone on this almost bare rock and devote
    himself to holy meditation and prayer.

    To this island came King Ecgfrith of Northumbria with Archbishop
    Trumwine and other representatives of the Synod to beg the hermit
    to accept the Bishopric of Hexham; and it was on this island that
    St. Cuthbert died, the monks who had gone to look after him
    signalling the news of his death to his brethren at Lindisfarne by
    means of torches. The island is rocky and precipitous, with deep
    chasms between the high cliffs; and when a north wind blows, the
    columns of foam and spray, from the waters dashing into the chasms
    and over the tops of the cliffs, may be seen from the mainland
    rising high into the air.

    Before the first lighthouse was built on Farne Island, in 1766, a
    coal fire was kindled every night on the top of the tower-like
    building used as a fort. This method of warning passing vessels had
    been used continuously since the days of Charles II. In great
    contrast to this is the modern lighthouse, with its acetylene gas
    lights and its automatic flash apparatus.

    Close to Stapel Island are the three high basaltic pillars, of rock
    called the Pinnacles. On all these islands sea-birds breed, but
    especially on the Pinnacles, the Big and Little Harcar, and the
    islet called the Brownsman.

    Thousands and thousands of them perch and chatter on the rocks and
    fly screaming in the air, amongst them being guillemots,
    kittiwakes, gulls, terns, cormorants, puffins, and eider-ducks, for
    which latter St. Cuthbert is said to have had great affection;
    certainly they are the gentlest of these wild sea-fowl.

    Bidding farewell to the rocky Farnes, we sail past Budle Bay, into
    which runs the Warenburn and the Elwick burn, and underneath whose
    sandy flats is the buried town of Warnmouth, once a busy seaport,
    to which Henry III. granted a charter. Approaching Lindisfarne,
    “Our isle of Saints, low-lying on the blue breast of the curling
    waters, is hushed and silent in the lightly-purple mists of
    morning, like the wide aisles of a great cathedral at daybreak,
    before the feet and tongues of sightseers disturb the solemn
    stillness. The tideway is covered with water, and the footprints of
    the pilgrims who came yesterday to the shrine of St. Cuthbert have
    passed into oblivion like footmarks on the sands of time.”
    (_Galloway Kyle_.) The modern pilgrim to Holy Island generally
    takes train to Beal station, and from there walks to the seashore,
    and crosses the long stretch of sand between Holy Island and the
    mainland. The governing factor in the possibility or otherwise of
    making the journey is the state of the tide, for these sands are
    entirely covered by the sea twice a day, so that Holy Island can
    only be said to be an island at high tide.
  “For with the flow and ebb, its style Varies from continent to isle;
  Dry-shod, o’er sands, twice every day The pilgrims to the shrine find
  way; Twice every day the waves efface Of staves and sandall’d feet
  the trace.”

    There are dangerous quicksands on the way, too, and a row of stakes
    points out the proper course to be taken.

    We have already seen that St. Aidan settled on Lindisfarne and have
    treated of him in connection with Bamburgh. After his death another
    monk of Iona, Finan, succeeded him and carried on his work; and
    after Finan came Colman, who resigned after the Synod of Whitby had
    decided to keep Easter according to southern instead of northern
    usage. St. Cuthbert was Prior of Lindisfarne at this time. Later,
    the seat of the bishopric was removed from Lindisfarne to York,
    when it was held by that restless and able prelate, Wilfrid, for a
    time. Then the bishopric was divided and a see of Hexham formed, as
    well as that of Lindisfarne, which included Carlisle, out of the
    northern portion of the diocese of York.

    St. Cuthbert was bishop of Lindisfarne for two years, having
    exchanged sees with bishop Eata, who went to Hexham. The stone
    coffin in which St. Cuthbert’s body was pieced, after his death on
    Farne Island, was buried on the right side of the altar in the
    Abbey of Lindisfarne, which by this time had arisen on the little
    island. A later bishop, Edfrid, executed a wonderful copy of the
    Gospels, which was illuminated by his successor, Ethelwald. Another
    bishop enclosed it in a cover of gold and silver, adorning it with
    jewels; and, later, a priest of Lindisfarne, Aldred, wrote between
    the lines a translation into the vernacular, and added marginal
    notes. This precious manuscript, a wonderful example of the
    beautiful work done in monastic houses in the north so many
    centuries ago, is now in the British Museum, where it is known as
    the “Durham Manuscript.”

    When the pirate keels of the Danes appeared off our coasts about
    the end of the eighth century, Lindisfarne Abbey was one of the
    first points of attack; and in 793 it was plundered of most of its
    wealth, and many of the monks were slain. For nearly a century
    afterwards it was left in peace, but in 875 the Danish ships
    appeared again approaching from the south, where they had just
    sacked Tynemouth Priory. The bishop, Eardulph, last of the
    Lindisfarne prelates, and the brethren hastily collected their most
    treasured possessions, and with the body of St. Cuthbert, the bones
    of St. Aidan, and other precious relics, they fled from their
    island home, and journeyed north, west, and south for many years
    before they found a resting place at Chester-le-Street near Durham.
    For seven years they carried with them the body of St. Cuthbert;
    and it is said that the final choice of a resting place for the
    body of their beloved saint was indicated to them by supernatural
    means as they approached Durham.

    In 1069 William the Conqueror marched northward to visit with
    sternest punishment the hardy north-men, who were so long in
    submitting to his authority; and the monks of Durham fled before
    the advance of the relentless Norman, carrying with them, as
    before, the body of St. Cuthbert. They reached Lindisfarne in
    safety to find the Abbey in the ruinous state in which it had been
    left by the Danes two centuries earlier. Thus, once again, the body
    of St. Cuthbert rested on the little island where so many years of
    his life had been spent.

    In 1070 the brethren returned to Durham and in 1093 the building
    was begun, almost simultaneously, of the present glorious Cathedral
    of Durham and a new Priory and Church on Lindisfarne, and a strong
    resemblance may be traced between the two buildings The Abbey was
    deserted on the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII., and
    gradually fell into ruins.

    The Castle, which stands on a lofty whinstone rock at the
    south-east corner of the island, is a conspicuous object for many
    miles, whether viewed by land or sea. It is supposed to have been
    built in the reign of Henry VIII., at a time when defences were
    commanded to be made to all harbours. If the Castle has had any
    appreciable share of romantic incidents in its history, the records
    thereof seem to be unknown; but one which has come down to us is
    the account of its daring capture by an ardent North-country
    Jacobite, Lancelot Errington, in 1715. The garrison consisted of
    seven men, five of whom were absent. Errington, who was master of a
    small vessel lying in the harbour, discovered this, and immediately
    made his way to the Castle accompanied by his nephew, and
    overpowered the two men who were left in charge, turning them out
    of the Castle. He then signalled to the mainland for
    reinforcements, but none were forthcoming. A company of King’s men
    came instead and re-occupied the place, Errington and his nephew
    escaping, to wander about in the neighbourhood for several days,
    hiding from pursuit, before they got clear away. The Castle was for
    many years the home of the coastguardsmen, who must have found it a
    most advantageous position for their purpose, as they had an
    uninterrupted view of miles of coast line.

    Northward from Holy Island, but on the mainland, lies Goswick, from
    whose red sandstone quarries came the material for building the
    Abbey of Lindisfarne. Further north we come in sight of the coal
    pits and smoke of Scremerston, while beyond it, Spittal and
    Tweedmouth bring us right up to Berwick-on-Tweed itself, that grey
    old Border town which has seen so many turns of fortune, and been
    harried again and again, only to draw breath after each wild and
    cruel interlude, and go calmly on its quiet way until it was once
    more called upon to fight for its very existence.

    Though definitely forming part of English soil since 1482, it is
    not included in any English county, but, with about eight square
    miles around it, forms a county by itself. Hence the addition, to
    any Royal proclamation, of the well-known words “And in our Town of
    Berwick-upon-Tweed.”

    Sir Walter Scott’s description of the Northumbrian coast, in his
    poem of Marmion may well be recalled here. It will be remembered
    that the Abbess of Whitby, with some of her nuns, was voyaging to
    Holy Island, and we take up the description when
  “.... the vessel skirts the strand Of mountainous Northumberland;
  Towns, towers, and halls successive rise, And catch the nuns’
  delighted eyes. Monkwearmouth soon behind them lay, And Tynemouth’s
  Priory and bay. They marked, amid her trees, the hall Of lofty Seaton
  Delaval; They saw the Blyth and Wansbeck floods Rush to the sea
  through sounding woods; They passed the tower of Widdrington, Mother
  of many a valiant son; At Coquet-isle their beads they tell To the
  good saint who owned the cell. Then did the Alne attention claim, And
  Warkworth, proud of Percy’s name; And next they crossed themselves,
  to hear The whitening breakers sound so near, Where, boiling through
  the rocks, they roar On Dunstanborough’s caverned shore. Thy tower,
  proud Bamburgh, marked they there, King Ida’s castle, huge and
  square, From its tall rock look grimly down And on the swelling ocean
  frown. Then from the coast they bore away And reached the Holy
  Island’s bay.


  As to the port the galley flew, Higher and higher rose to view The
  castle with its battled walls, The ancient monastery’s halls, A
  solemn, huge, and dark-red pile Placed on the margin of the isle.
  In Saxon strength that abbey frowned, With massive arches, broad and
  round.


  On the deep walls, the heathen Dane Had poured his impious rage in
  vain; And needful was such strength to these, Exposed to the
  tempestuous seas, Scourged by the winds’ eternal sway, Open to rovers
  fierce as they. Which could twelve hundred years withstand Winds,
  waves, and northern pirates’ hand.”

[Illustration]



CHAPTER II. NORTH AND SOUTH TYNE.


  “On Kielder-side the wind blaws wide; There sounds nae hunting horn
  That rings sae sweet as the winds that beat Round banks where Tyne is
  born.” —_A.C. Swinburne_.

    Between Peel Fell and Mid Fell, almost the farthest western heights
    of the Cheviot Hills, a little mountain stream takes its rise, and
    flows to the south and east. This little burn is the North Tyne,
    the beginnings of that stream which, deep, dark, and swift at its
    mouth, bears the mighty battleships there built to carry the
    war-flags of the nations round the world. In the wild and lovely
    district where the North Tyne takes its rise, is Kielder Castle, a
    shooting box belonging to the Duke of Northumberland.

    This neighbourhood is the scene of two romantic ballads; that of
    the “Cowt (colt) of Kielder” and the Ettrick Shepherd’s ballad of
    “Sir David Graeme.” The deadly enemy of the young “Cowt,” so called
    from his great strength, is Lord Soulis of Hermitage Castle, on the
    Scottish side of the border. The Cowt, with his followers, was
    enticed into the Castle, where Lord Soulis purposed his death; but
    the gigantic youth burst through the circle of his foes and
    escaped. The evil Brownie of the moorland, however, gave to Lord
    Soulis the secret which safeguarded the young Cowt. His coat of
    mail was sword-proof by a spell of enchantment, and he wore in his
    helmet rowan and holly leaves; but these would all be of no avail
    against the power of running water. The Cowt was pursued until, in
    crossing a burn, he stumbled and lost his helmet, and ere he
    recovered, his enemies were upon him, and they held him under water
    until he was drowned.

    Not far from the mouth of the Bell Burn, which here runs into the
    Tyne, a circle of stones outside an ancient burial ground is known
    as the Cowt’s Grave.
  “This is the bonny brae, the green, Yet sacred to the brave, Where
  still, of ancient size, is seen Gigantic Kieldar’s grave.

  Where weeps the birch with branches green Without the holy ground,
  Between two old grey stones is seen The warrior’s ridgey mound.
  And the hunters bold of Kieldar’s train, Within yon castle’s wall, In
  a deadly sleep must aye remain Till the ruined towers down fall.”

    In the ballad of “Sir David Graeme,” by James Hogg, the lady of the
    story watched out of her window in vain for the coming of her
    “noble Graeme,” who had vowed that the hate of her father and
    brothers would not keep him from coming to carry off his fair lady
    on St. Lambert’s night.
  “The sun had drunk frae Kieldar Fell His beverage o’ the morning dew;
  The deer had crouched her in the dell, The heather oped its bells o’
  blue.

  The lady to her window hied, And it opened o’er the banks o’ Tyne;
  An’ “O! alack,” she said, and sighed, “Sure ilka breast is blythe but
  mine?”

    Her forebodings prove only too true, for her lover’s faithful hound
    seeks her out, and with mournful looks induces her to follow him
    over Deadwater Fell, and guides her to a lonely spot where the body
    of the gallant Graeme, slain by her brothers, is lying.

    In the neighbourhood of these desolate Fells are to be found many
    traces of ancient British Camps.

    The little mountain streams which here help to swell the stream of
    the North Tyne are, on the south side, the Lewis and Whickhope
    Burns, and on the north, the Plashetts and Hawkhope Burns. On both
    sides of the Tyne, near the Whickhope and the Hawkhope Burns are
    many remains of an ancient pre-historic forest, the largest being
    near the Whickhope Burn where the abnormally thick stems of trees
    may be seen.

    The little village of Falstone is set amongst trees, in the midst
    of pleasant meadows, a welcome relief from the bare fells and
    moorlands around it; yet this wild scenery has a distinct
    fascination of its own, and adds not a little to the charm of the
    varied landscape within the bounds of our northern county. At
    Falstone a fragment of an ancient cross was discovered, with an
    inscription carved upon it—in Roman letters on one side and in the
    Runes of the Anglo-Saxons on the other. The inscription states that
    a certain Eamer set up the cross in memory of his uncle Hroethbert,
    and asks for prayers for his soul. The existence of a similarly
    inscribed cross is not known, so that the Society of Antiquaries,
    in whose keeping this cross rests, has in it probably a unique
    treasure.

    The Tarset Burn, upon which stands the village of Thorneyburn, runs
    into the Tyne not far from Falstone, and reminds us of the old
    Border-riding days, when the rallying-cry of the men of the
    district in many a feud with neighbouring clans was—“Tarset and
    Tarret Burn, Hard and heather-bred, yet-yet-yet.” Near the spot
    where the Tarset Burn joins the Tyne is a grassy hill on which once
    stood Tarset Castle, a stronghold of that Red Comyn whom Bruce slew
    in the little chapel at Dumfries, and of whose death Bruce’s friend
    Kirkpatrick said he would “mak’ siccar”!

    The village of Charlton, on the north bank of the Tyne, and the
    mansion of Hesleyside on the other, carry the mind back to the old
    reiving plundering days, for it was at Hesleyside that the incident
    of the ancient spur of the Charlton’s took place, doubtless many a
    time and oft, when the good lady of Hesleyside served up the spur
    at dinner as a gentle hint that the larder was empty, and it
    behoved her lord to mount and away to replenish the same,
    preferably with stock from the Scottish side of the border, or if
    not, a neighbour’s cattle would serve equally well.

    The Charltons, Robsons (possibly the lineal descendants of
    “Hroethbert” of the ancient cross) and Armstrongs, held almost
    undisputed sway over this region, and the district teems with
    reminders of their prowess and traditions of their exploits. The
    men of Tynedale (the North Tyne) and Redesdale were known as the
    fiercest and most lawless in all that wild district. Redesdale is a
    district of monotonous, almost dreary, moorlands, and wild, bare
    fells, where sheep graze on what scanty provender the bleak hills
    afford, finding better fare, however, in the valleys near the river
    banks, where the pasture is fresh and green.

    Bellingham is to-day the most considerable village of the
    neighbourhood; it stands conveniently at the foot of the hills
    where the little Belling Burn, or Hareshaw Burn, joins the main
    stream. In Hareshaw woods is the beautiful Hareshaw Linn, where the
    stream falls down through a break in the sandstone cliffs, and
    forms a picturesque waterfall, fringed with ferns and trees and
    cool mosses. It well repays one for the walk of a mile or so
    through tangled underwoods by the side of the burn. Bellingham
    gives its mime to the family of de Bellingham, whose chief seat,
    however, is now in Ireland and no longer in the little
    north-country town.

    The massive church here, with its roof of stone, bears eloquent
    testimony to the need for fireproof buildings in a village so near
    to Scotland in the days of Border warfare. Outside the churchyard
    wall is the well of St. Cuthbert, or “Cuddy’s Well,” which was
    greatly venerated in early days, and many stories are told of the
    miraculous power of its waters. Inside the churchyard a grave is
    pointed out as the burial place of the robber whose tragic end was
    told by James Hogg in his gruesome story of “The Long Pack.”

    The village itself is plain and bare, as might be expected from a
    settlement which would probably find that unattractiveness in
    either wealth or appearance was a tolerable safeguard.

    Below Bellingham the North Tyne is joined by its longest and most
    noted tributary, the Rede Water, which also rises in the Cheviots.
    Rising in the hills north of Carter Fell, it flows south-east,
    through a wild region, passing, while still high up amongst the
    hills, the little village of Byrness, and the new reservoir at
    Catcleugh, where a supply of pure water is stored for the use of
    the dwellers in distant Newcastle. On its way to the Tyne, it
    passes many an old pele-tower, and the Roman stations of Bremenium
    (Rochester) and Habitancum, near Woodburn. The ancient Roman road
    of Watling Street crosses the Rede at Woodburn, leading from
    Habitancum to Bremenium.

    Many mountain streams, clear and sparkling, or peaty and brown,
    join the Rede Water on its way, amongst others the little Otter
    Burn, by whose banks took place that stirring episode in the
    constant quarrels between the Douglases and Percies known as “Chevy
    Chase,” from which the fierce battle-cries ring down the five
    centuries that have passed since that time, with sounds that echo
    still.

    The pretty village of Redesmouth (or Reedsmouth) stands where the
    Rede Water enters the North Tyne, and a few miles further on the
    rapid little Houxty Burn pours its peaty waters into the main
    stream.

    On the right bank of the Tyne stands Wark, conveniently placed at
    one of the most important fords of the Tyne in former days. Like
    other towns and villages so placed on different streams throughout
    the country, the advantages of its situation have evidently been
    appreciated by the successive inhabitants of the land, for there
    are traces of its occupation by Celt, Roman, and Saxon; and, later,
    the town was the most considerable in Upper Tynedale. During the
    time that this part of England was ceded to the Scottish Kings,
    David and Alexander, it was at Wark that the Scottish law courts
    for Tynedale held their sittings. The mound called the Mote Hill,
    near the river, marks the spot where, in all probability, the
    ancient Celtic inhabitants met together to administer the rude
    justice of prehistoric times, and to make the laws of their little
    settlement, which grew to much greater proportions in later years.
    In fact, it is supposed that the Kirkfield marks the site of a
    church which stood in the midst of the once extensive town.

    A little way up the Wark Burn, above the bridge, there may be seen
    some upright stems of Sigillaria in the exposed face of the cliffs.
    On the opposite side of the river from Wark is Chipchase Castle,
    one of the finest mansions in Northumberland, standing in the midst
    of the beautifully wooded and picturesque scenery which, from this
    point onwards is characteristic of the North Tyne. Of the former
    village of Chipchase scarcely a trace remains, though its name, if
    nothing else, shows that here has been a village or small town,
    important enough to have its well-known, market; for “Chip,” like
    the various “Chippings” throughout England is derived from the
    Anglo-Saxon _ciepan_—to buy and sell, to traffic. In the reign of
    Henry II., Chipchase was the property of the Umfravilles of
    Prudhoe; but later it passed into the hands of the well-known
    Northumbrian family of Heron.

    Not far from Chipchase Castle are the famous Gunnerton Crags,
    formed by an out-crop of the Great Whin Sill. These lofty cliffs
    have been the site of a considerable settlement of the ancient
    British tribes who dwelt in the district in such numbers, as is
    evident from the scores of camps, which may be traced all over this
    part of Northumberland. The naturally strong position on the
    Gunnerton Crags, would be certain to commend itself to a people,
    the first requisite of whose dwelling places was strength and
    consequent safety.

    At Barrasford the making of the railway cutting led to the opening
    up of a large barrow, or burial place, of the ancient Britons; and
    a single “menhir,” supposed to be the solitary survivor of a large
    group of these huge stones, stood near the village school some
    years ago.

    Passing Chollerton and Humshaugh, embowered amongst spreading
    trees, we arrive at Chollerford, the prettiest village of North
    Tyne, lying near the river where it was crossed by the Roman Wall.
    From the bridge which spans the Tyne at Chollerford one of the
    finest views of the river, both up and down the stream, is to be
    seen; and to watch the swift brown stream, after a flood or a
    freshet, foaming through the arches is an exhilarating sight. The
    bridge itself is a modern one, for we know that all the bridges on
    the Tyne, except that of Corbridge, were swept away by the great
    flood of 1771.

    In 1394, that prince of bridge-builders, Bishop Walter de Skirlaw
    of Durham, granted thirteen days’ indulgence to all who should
    assist in rebuilding the bridge at Chollerford; so that already
    there was one here which had evidently fallen into disrepair. Yet,
    in the ballad of “Jock o’ the Side,” the rescuers, with Jock in
    their midst, reach Chollerford, and, after some anxious questioning
    of an old man as to whether the “water will ride,” are compelled to
    swim the Tyne in flood, which their pursuers, coming up, will not
    attempt to do. Now Bishop Skirlaw’s bridges did not usually
    disappear; those of Yarm, Shincliffe, and Auckland have stood until
    to-day, with occasional repairs. Are we then reluctantly to
    question the truth of “Jock o’ the Side”? Surely, if the choice
    remain of the accuracy of the ballad or the fact of the bridge, it
    is the duty of all leal North-country people to swear by the
    ballad. Perhaps the good Bishop did not personally oversee the
    rebuilding of Chollerford Bridge: more probably the Wear and Tees
    do not come down with the angry impetuosity of the Tyne in flood!

    The remains of the great Roman camp of Cilurnum (The Chesters) may
    be seen here within Mrs. Clayton’s park. This was the largest
    military station in Northumberland, Corstopitum, which is very much
    larger, being more of a civil settlement. At some little distance
    below the present bridge some of the piers of the old Roman bridge
    are still to be seen when the river is low.

    Eastward from Chollerford is the little church of St. Oswald,
    standing where the battle of Heavenfield took place. When Penda of
    Mercia, and the British Prince Cadwallon, were warring against
    Northumbria, the greatest Northumbrian King, Edwin, was defeated
    and slain by them; and on their return to the attack, Ethelfrith’s
    eldest son, called back from exile to take the vacant throne, and
    rule in his father’s seat of Bamburgh, also fell before their
    fierce onslaught. His brother Oswald now took command of the
    Bernicians and prepared to lead them against the foe. Oswald posted
    his men in a strong position on the north side of the great Wall;
    and, setting up a huge cross of wood, called upon all his followers
    to bow before the God of whom he had learnt during his exile in
    Iona, and to pray to Him for victory. His army obeyed, and, in the
    battle which followed, Oswald’s forces were completely victorious.
    The Mercians, and their allies, the western Britons, were routed,
    and driven out of Bernicia, and Cadwallon was pursued as far as the
    Denise Burn, and there slain. The Denise Burn is supposed to have
    been the Rowley Burn, which flows into the Devil’s Water, on whose
    banks stands Dilsten Castle. Some time later, on the spot where
    Oswald’s Cross had stood, a church was erected and dedicated to the
    royal Saint. It was served from Hexham Abbey.

    After passing Wall, which, however, is not quite so near the Roman
    Wall as Chollerford is, we come to the pretty village of Warden,
    nestling beneath the woods of Warden Hill; and here, just above
    Hexham, the North Tyne unites with its sister river in the rich
    meadow lands which lie near the old town.

    The South Tyne has journeyed from Cross Fell, where it takes its
    rise, northward through a corner of Cumberland, past Garrygill and
    Alston, until it enters Northumberland where the Ayle Burn on the
    one hand, and the Gilderdale Burn on the other, flow into it. Here
    is Whitley Castle, where was a small Roman station called Alio, and
    Kirkhaugh Church, charmingly placed on the bank of the river, which
    continues its course northward past Slaggyford, Knaresdale, Eals,
    and Lambley, till it flows past the fine Castle of Featherstone,
    and the ruins of Bellister, where it turns eastward to Haltwhistle.

    The little streams which enter the South Tyne up to this point flow
    through wild and romantic glens, two of them owning the Celtic
    names of _Glen Cune_ and _Glen Dhu_.

    The family of Featherstonehaugh is one of the oldest in the North;
    and it was concerning the death of one of this family—Sir Albany
    Featherstonehaugh, who was High Sheriff of Northumberland in the
    days of Henry VIII.—that Mr. Surtees, the antiquary, wrote the
    well-known ballad, which, when Surtees gave it him, deceived even
    Sir Walter Scott into thinking it genuinely ancient. The first
    verse of the ballad shows with what a verve and swing the lines go.
  “Hoot awa’, lads, hoot awa’ Ha’ ye heard how the Ridleys, an’
  Thirlwalls, an’ a’ Ha’ set upon Albany Featherstonehaugh; And taken
  his life at the Deadmanshaw? There was Willimoteswick, And
  Hard-riding Dick, An’ Hughie o’ Hawdon, an’ Will o’ the Wa’ I canno’
  tell a’, I canno’ tell a’ And mony a mair that the de’il may knaw.”

    The ruins of Bellister Castle stand against a sombre background of
    woods, only a little way from Haltwhistle. The Castle once belonged
    to the Blenkinsopp family, who also owned Blenkinsopp Castle, about
    two miles away. The name was formerly spelt Blencan’s-hope—the hope
    being valley or hollow—and the Castle, like many other places, has
    its legendary “White Lady.”

    Haltwhistle is a little straggling town lying on both sides of the
    main road above the South Tyne, where it is joined by the
    Haltwhistle Burn. By going up the valley of this pretty little
    stream we shall arrive near the Roman station of AEsica, on the
    Wall. The town of Haltwhistle is peaceful enough now, but it had a
    stirring existence in the days when Ridleys, Armstrongs, and
    Charltons, to say nothing of the men of Liddesdale and Teviotdale,
    had so strong a partiality for a neighbour’s live-stock and so
    ready a hand with arrow and spear. In the old ballad of “The Fray
    of Hautwessel,” we are told that
  “The limmer thieves o’ Liddesdale Wadna leave a kye in the haill
  countrie, But an[3] we gi’e them the cauld steel, Our gear they’ll
  reive it a’ awaye, Sae pert they stealis, I you saye. O’ late they
  came to Hautwessel, And thowt they there wad drive a fray. But Alec
  Ridley shot too well.”

 [3] But an = unless.

    The most notable feature of present-day Haltwhistle is the finely
    placed parish church, of which the chancel is the oldest part,
    having been built in the twelfth century, so that it was already an
    old church when Edward I. rested here for a night in 1306, on his
    way to Scotland for the last time. When William the Lion of
    Scotland returned from his captivity, after being taken prisoner at
    Alnwick in 1174, he founded the monastery of Arbroath in
    thanksgiving for his freedom, and bestowed on the monks the church
    of Haltwhistle.

    All that remains of the old Castle, or “Haut-wysill Tower,” is the
    building standing near the Castle Hill, which latter has been
    fortified by earthworks. The Red Lion Hotel is a modernised
    pele-tower. The general aspect of the place is singularly bare and
    bleak; but from several points in the town, notably from the
    churchyard terrace, fine views of the river valley may be obtained.

    Henshaw (Hethinga’s-haugh) is a little village which King David of
    Scotland, when he was Lord of Tynedale, gave to Richard Cumin and
    his wife, who afterwards bestowed it on the Cathedral of Durham. It
    lies by the side of the main road to Bardon Mill, which is the most
    convenient station for travellers to alight at who wish to visit
    the Roman Wall and the Roman city of Borcovicus, and the
    Northumberland lakes. Some little distance up the hill from Bardon
    Mill station is a very pretty little village whose name speaks
    eloquently of other invaders than the Romans—the village of
    Thorngrafton (the “ton” or settlement on Thor’s “graf” or dyke).
    Near at hand there are quarries from which the Romans obtained much
    building material for the Wall; and in one of these old quarries
    some workmen discovered a bronze vessel full of Roman coins, a few
    of gold, but most of silver. This was known as the “Thorngrafton
    Find,” and the interesting story of it is told by Dr. Bruce.

    On the opposite side of the South Tyne from Henshaw, Willimoteswick
    Castle stands on the level plains which are as characteristic of
    the south bank of the river as are the steep slopes of the north
    bank. One of the towers of this old Castle yet remains, and forms
    part of the more modern farm-house which stands there.
    Willimoteswick was long in the possession of the Ridleys, and it is
    generally accepted as having been the birthplace of Bishop Ridley,
    though Unthank Hall, nearer to Haltwhistle, and also a home of that
    family, disputes the honour. The Bishop, who suffered death at the
    stake in the troublous times of Queen Mary, in touching letters
    bids farewell to his Cousin at Willimoteswick and his sister and
    her children at Unthank.

    On the same side of the Tyne is Beltingham Church, with some
    wonderful old trees in the churchyard, and Ridley Hall, which takes
    its name from that family, although not now occupied by them. Here
    the Allen flows into the South Tyne, and nowhere in the whole of
    the county is there a more beautiful and romantic scene. By the
    side of the stream the Ridley woods stretch for a mile or two, and
    the delightful mingling of graceful ferns, overhanging trees, tall,
    rugged cliffs, flowering plants, and sparkling waters forms a
    succession of lovely scenes throughout their length, which, with
    the play of lights and shadows on the dimpled surface of the
    stream, and frequent glimpses of grassy glades and cool green
    alleys, make a walk through these enchanting woods an unforgettable
    delight.

    The Allen Burn, which gives its name to the beautiful district of
    Allendale, is, like the Tyne, formed by the junction of two
    streams, the East and West Allen, which rise near each other in
    hills on the border of Northumberland and Durham, down the opposite
    slopes of which run the little streams which feed the Wear. After
    flowing apart for some miles, the East and West Allen unite not far
    from Staward railway station. Both rivers flow, for the first part
    of their course, through a wild and hilly region, rich, however, in
    minerals. On the East Allen are the towns of Allenheads, formerly a
    busy centre of the lead-mining industry, and Allendale Town, which
    lies about 1,400 feet above the sea-level.

    As the lead-mining industry has decreased, Allendale has turned its
    attention to other methods of living, and now caters for the army
    of visitors who, each summer, climb its hills and wander through
    its woods and lanes, and by its riverside, as did the Allendale
    maid whose memory is perpetuated in the simple lines of the little
    poem, “Lucy Gray of Allendale.”
  “Say, have you seen the blushing rose, The blooming pink, or lily
  pale? Fairer than any flower that blows Was Lucy Gray of Allendale.
  Pensive at eve, down by the burn, Where oft the maid they used to
  hail, The shepherds now are heard to mourn For Lucy Gray of
  Allendale.”

    Not far from the village of Catton, the name of “Rebel Hils”
    reminds us that it was a vicar of Allendale, Mr. Patten, who joined
    young Derwentwater in the rising of “The Fifteen,” and was
    appointed chaplain of the little army. He met some half-dozen men
    of the neighbourhood at this hill, when they set off together to
    join the rest of the forces at Wooler.

    On the West Allen is the lonely little hamlet of Ninebanks, with
    Ninebanks Tower, concerning which little is known with certainty;
    and on this stream also are two of the most strikingly beautiful
    places in Northumberland—the delightfully picturesque village of
    Whitfield, and the well-known Staward-le-Peel.

    The ruins of the “Pele” tower stand on a high grassy platform,
    safeguarded on three sides by tall cliffs and tumbled boulders; the
    remains of a ditch may also be traced. From this point a splendid
    view of the river valley, with its steep precipices, overhanging
    pinewoods intermingled with trees of less sombre hue, and the
    bright course of the river, may be obtained. At a point a little
    higher up the valley, where the waters of the stream are held back
    by some huge rocks, they form a deep pool, and then flow onwards
    through a narrow gorge called Cyper’s Linn. Following the stream
    now until it has merged its waters in those of the South Tyne, we
    turn eastward with the main stream and come to Haydon Bridge.

    This considerable village, gradually growing to the proportions of
    a small town, lies on both sides of the river, which is here
    crossed by the substantial bridge from which the village takes its
    name; for the original village of Haydon stood at some distance up
    the hill on the north side of the stream. On the hillside may still
    be seen the ruins of the old church, in which services are
    occasionally held in the summer time. The chancel, apparently
    dating from the twelfth century, and a later little chapel to the
    south of it, are all that are left of the building. Some very
    quaint inscriptions are to be seen in the churchyard, and there are
    many sculptured grave-covers within the church. Many of the stones
    used in the building have evidently been brought from the great
    Wall, or probably from the Roman station of Borcovicus, some six or
    seven miles to the north; and what a rush of bewildering fancies
    crowds upon one’s mind on first discovering that the font was
    originally a Roman altar!

    The old church must have looked down on many a wild and curious
    scene in the days when Scot and Englishman sought only
    opportunities to do each other an injury, and the river-valleys
    were the natural passes through which the tide of invasion, raid,
    and reprisal flowed.

    In the beginning of the reign of Edward III., about 24,000 Scots,
    under Douglas and Murray, crossed the Tyne near Haydon Bridge, and
    rode on to plunder the richer lands that lay to the south and west.
    They reached Stanhope and encamped there for a time. The young king
    set out northwards with a great army to punish these marauders, and
    he was told by his scouts that they had hastily left Stanhope on
    his approach. He and his army pushed on quickly until they reached
    Bardon Mill; and, crossing the Tyne, marched down to Haydon Bridge,
    expecting the Scots to return by the way they went. It was
    miserable weather, and the feeding of so many thousands of men was
    no little problem. They scoured all the country round for
    provisions, getting the most from the Hexham Abbey lands. Meanwhile
    it rained and rained, and no Scots appeared. After a week of
    waiting, Edward, in great disappointment, went to Haltwhistle,
    while his followers reconnoitered in all directions. Finally, he
    had the mortification of learning that the Scots were still at
    Stanhope, but before anything more could be done, they betook
    themselves back to Scotland by a different route, and there was
    nothing left for Edward but to give up the expedition in despair.

    The bridge at Haydon appears to have been the only one for some
    distance up and down the river in the sixteenth century, for we
    read of its being barred and chained, on various occasions of
    marauding troubles in Tynedale, to prevent the free-booters
    re-crossing the river.

    In the days of Charles I. Colonel Lilburn marched to Haydon Bridge
    in command of some troops of the Roundheads, on his way to join
    their comrades at Hexham as a counter-move to the operations of the
    Royalist troops in the North. Little more than thirty years after
    this, when the days of Cromwell’s power had come and gone, and
    Charles II. ruled at Whitehall, the old Grammar School was founded
    at Haydon Bridge in 1685 by a clergyman, the Rev. John Shafto.
    Various changes have taken place in the school from time to time,
    necessitated by the gradual changes and educational needs of the
    passing years; and now, like the Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth
    at Hexham, it has been entirely re-constituted to meet modern
    requirements. John Martin, the famous painter of “The Plains of
    Heaven,” received the beginnings of his education at this school.
    He was born at East Land Ends farm in 1789. In after years the
    authorities of Haydon Bridge Reading Room, wishing no doubt to
    afford a perfect example to future generations of the truth of the
    proverb concerning a prophet and his own country, refused some of
    Martin’s pictures, which the gifted painter himself offered to
    them—an act which their successors have doubtless regretted.

    At a little distance along the Langley Road, which leads past the
    school, a memorial cross is standing. It was erected in 1883 by the
    late Mr. C.J. Bates, the historian of Northumberland, to the memory
    of the last of the Derwentwater family, whose castle of Langley he
    purchased. The inscription on the cross reads:—“To the memory of
    James and Charles, Viscounts Langley, Earls of Derwentwater,
    beheaded on Tower Hill, London, 24th February, 1716, and 8th
    December, 1746, for loyalty to their lawful sovereign.”

    A striking testimony, this, to the fact that freedom in England is
    a reality, and not merely a name. In what other land would an
    inscription such as this have been allowed to remain for more than
    twenty-four hours?

    A couple of miles or more down the South Tyne is Fourstones, so
    called because of four stones, said to have been Roman altars,
    having been used to mark its boundaries. A romantic use was made of
    one of these stones in the early days of “The Fifteen.” Every
    evening, as dusk fell, a little figure, clad in green, stole up to
    the ancient altar, which had been slightly hollowed out, and,
    taking out a packet, laid another in its place. The mysterious
    packets, placed there so secretly, were letters from the Jacobites
    of the neighbourhood to each other; and the little figure in green
    was a boy who acted as messenger for them. No wonder that the
    people of the district gave this altar the name of the “Fairy
    Stone.”

    Between Haydon Bridge and Fourstones are both freestone and
    limestone quarries, which latter have supplied many fossils to
    visitors of geological tastes. Halfway between Fourstones and
    Hexham, the two streams of North and South Tyne unite, and flow
    together down to the old town of Hexham, with its quaintly
    irregular buildings clustering in picturesque confusion round its
    ancient Abbey, which dominates the landscape from whatever point we
    approach.

    Warden Village, already mentioned, lies in the angle formed by the
    meeting of the two streams, and has an ancient church which,
    however, has been largely rebuilt. From High Warden, near at hand,
    a delightful view may be obtained for a long distance up the
    valleys of North and South Tyne. On the summit of this hill there
    are the remains of a considerable British camp, showing that they
    had seized upon this point of vantage, and though the ancient
    British name has not come down to us, it is evident from the Saxon
    name of Warden (_weardian_) that Saxons as well as Britons were
    fully alive to the merits of the situation, “guarding” the valley
    at such a commanding point.



CHAPTER III. DOWN THE TYNE.


    The town of Hexham, standing on hilly ground overlooking the Tyne,
    immediately below the point at which the North and South Tyne
    unite, and spreading from thence down to the levels all round, is
    one of the most ancient in the kingdom. To write of Hexham with any
    measure of fulness would require much more space than can be given
    to it within the limits of a small book; only a mere summary can be
    offered here. Britons, Romans, and Saxons, in turn, have dwelt on
    and around the hill which, in Saxon days, was to be crowned with
    Wilfrid’s beautiful Abbey, which, we read, surpassed all others in
    England at that time for beauty and excellence of design and
    workmanship; nor was there another to equal it anywhere on this
    side of the Alps.

    The name of Hexham is generally understood to be derived from the
    names of two little streams, the Hextol and the Halgut, now the
    Cowgarth and the Cockshaw Burns, which here flow into the Tyne; or,
    as Mr. Bates suggests, it may have been the “ham” of “some
    forgotten Hagustald,” which the name perpetuates. In any case its
    name was Hagustaldesham when King Ecgfrith (or Egfrid) of
    Northumbria gave it to his queen, Etheldreda, who wished to take
    the veil. Queen Etheldreda, however, preferred to go to East
    Anglia, which was her home; she retired to a convent at Ely, and
    bestowed the land at Hagustaldesham on Wilfrid, a monk of
    Lindisfarne, clever, ambitious and hardworking, who had become
    Bishop of York, which meant Bishop of all Northumbria.

    Wilfrid had been to Rome, and seen the churches of that city and of
    the lands through which he travelled; and, on his appointment to
    power, he set himself to make the churches of his diocese worthy to
    compare with those of older civilizations. He did much to the
    cathedral of York, and built that of Ripon; but the Abbey of Hexham
    was his masterpiece. He built a monastery and church, dedicating
    the latter to St. Andrew, for it was in the church of St. Andrew at
    Rome that, kneeling, he felt himself fired with enthusiasm for his
    work, in the same church from which Augustine had set out on his
    journey to Britain some fifty years before. The year 674 is
    generally accepted as the date on which this noble Abbey was
    founded.

    Wilfrid lived in great splendour at York, and ruled his immense
    diocese with a firm hand; in fact, he was the first of that line of
    great ecclesiastics who have moved with such proud, and oft-times
    turbulent, progress through the pages of English history. King
    Ecgfrith’s second wife, Ermenburga, was jealous of the great power
    and magnificence of the Northumbrian prelate, and through her
    influence, Archbishop Theodore was induced to divide the huge
    diocese of Northumbria into four portions—York, Hexham, Ripon and
    Withern in Galloway. Wilfrid, naturally indignant, found all his
    protests disregarded, and immediately set out for Rome, to obtain a
    decree of restitution from the Pope. It was given to him, but
    little cared the Northumbrians for that. Wilfrid was imprisoned for
    nine months, and then banished from Northumbria.

    He went southwards and dwelt in Sussex, where his genius for hard
    work found scope in a mission to the Saxons of the south lands, and
    where he built and founded more churches and monasteries. Readers
    of “Rewards and Fairies” will have made acquaintance with Wilfrid
    in his Sussex wanderings and hardships. On his recall to the North
    by King Aldfrith, he returned to Hexham. On the death of Aldfrith,
    the new King, Edwulf, banished Wilfrid once more, ordering him to
    leave the kingdom within six days; but the friends of Aldfrith’s
    young son, whom Edwulf had dispossessed, obtained the ascendancy,
    and Wilfrid was re-instated in his Abbeys of Hexham and Ripon.

    While on his way back from Rome, on his last visit, Wilfrid had a
    severe illness, but was granted a vision in which he was told that
    he had four years more to live, and that he must build a church to
    the honour of the Blessed Virgin. The little church of St. Mary,
    which stood close to the walls of the great Abbey of Hexham, was
    erected in fulfilment of this command.

    In the Abbey church itself, all that was known for centuries of the
    original work of Wilfrid was the famous crypt, which is almost
    unique, that of Ripon, also the work of Wilfrid, being the only one
    like it; but recent excavations have brought much more of the
    ancient cathedral to light, and laid bare, not only its original
    plan, but some of the walls, and part of the very pavement trodden
    by the feet of Wilfrid and his fellows so many centuries ago. The
    tomb of Wilfrid, however, is not at Hexham, but at his other
    foundation of Ripon.

    The ancient Abbey suffered much at the hands of the Danes, and in
    later years from the ravages of the Scots, having been burnt
    several times, notably in 1296, when 40,000 Scots ravaged the North
    of England, plundering, burning, and laying waste wherever they
    went, exactly as the Danes had done four hundred years before. Some
    of the stones of the old Abbey yet bear traces of the fires by
    which the ancient building was so often nearly destroyed, and in
    these frequent conflagrations all records, charters, etc., of the
    Abbey, from which might have been compiled a complete history, not
    only of the Abbey but of much of the provincial and national
    history of the times, were lost.

    The Abbey was restored and rebuilt again and again, but for varying
    reasons was without a nave for some hundreds of years. Within the
    last ten years, however, a complete restoration has been carried
    out, under the loving, and, what is more to the point, the capable
    superintendence of Canon Savage and his colleagues, in the spirit
    and manner, as nearly as possible, of the beautiful portions
    already standing; and several disfiguring so-called “restorations”
    of nineteenth century work, which could only detract from the
    beauty and dignity of the noble building, have been removed
    entirely. This work was completed in 1908, and all who have the
    honour of our famous county at heart must rejoice that its noblest
    church is at last more worthy of its own high rank and glorious
    past.

    Among the many deeply interesting objects to be seen in the Abbey
    is the stone Sanctuary seat—the Frid Stool, or seat of peace—at
    which fugitives, fleeing from their enemies, might find refuge. It
    is believed that this was the “Cathedra” of St. Wilfrid himself.
    The arms and back of the chair are ornamented with a twisted
    knot-work pattern. The right of Sanctuary extended for a mile round
    the Abbey, the boundaries being marked by crosses, one at each
    point of the compass at that distance.

[Illustration: Hexham Abbey from North West Hexham Abbey from North
West]

    Other treasures of the Abbey are the beautiful Old Rood Screen,
    dating from the end of the fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth
    century; some wonderful old paintings, especially the portraits of
    the early Bishops of Hexham, Alcmund, Wilfrid, Acca, Eata,
    Frithbert, Cuthbert, and John, which date from the fifteenth
    century; the mediaeval carved and painted pulpit, and the tomb of
    good King Alfwald of Northumbria. Many of the stones used by
    Wilfrid’s builders were of Roman workmanship, and seem to have come
    from the Roman city of Corstopitum, at Corbridge. An inscription on
    one of these old stones in the crypt takes us back some centuries
    before even Wilfrid’s time, for it commemorates the Emperor Severus
    and his two sons, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla) and Publius
    Septimius Geta, and has the name of the latter erased, as was done
    on all similar inscriptions throughout the Empire, by order of the
    inhuman Caracalla, after his murder of his brother.

    A very interesting feature of the building is the stone stairway in
    the South transept, by which the monks ascended to their
    dormitories above.

    Quite near to the Abbey, at the other side of the Market Place, the
    ancient Moot Hall claims attention. The modern visitor to the old
    town walks beneath the gloomy archway, with its time-worn stones,
    which forms the basement over which the Moot Hall stands. Another
    building, grim and dark, near at hand, is the Old Manor House, in
    which the business connected with the ancient Manor of Hexham was
    transacted.

    An old foundation in the town was the Queen Elizabeth Grammar
    School, which, after having fallen into desuetude for many years,
    has been revived in a form appropriate to modern needs, and housed
    in a worthy building, formally opened by Sir Francis Blake on
    November 2nd, 1910. The site on which the new Grammar School of
    Queen Elizabeth stands is one of the finest in the county,
    commanding, as it does, an uninterrupted view of the river valley
    for some distance, and of the rising ground beyond.

    At the beginning of last century, Hexham was famed for its
    glove-making: but that industry has forsaken the town for many
    years. Now, Hexham is surrounded by acres of market-gardens, from
    which the produce of Tynedale is carried far and wide.

    The spacious stretch of level meadow-land below Hexham, rising
    gradually up to the swelling ridges beyond, is said to have been
    the scene which John Martin had in mind when he painted the “Plains
    of Heaven”; though the level reaches above Newburn, unencumbered
    with buildings in John Martin’s time, and then a scene of quiet
    pastoral beauty, also claim that honour.

    Flowing now between well ordered gardens, green meadows, and ferny
    banks, brawling musically over shingly shallows, or crooning gently
    between fringing woods, the Tyne rolls onward to Corbridge,
    receiving on its way the Devil’s Water, a sparkling stream which
    flows through scenes of enchanting beauty, whether between rugged
    cliffs and heather clad hills as in its upper course, through the
    graceful overhanging trees and cool green recesses of Dipton woods
    or between rich meadows and green pasture-land where it loses
    itself in the bosom of the Tyne.

    There is no more delightful experience than to wander through the
    woods of Deepdene (Dipton) on a summer’s day, when it requires no
    stretch of the imagination to believe oneself in an enchanted
    forest, or, on hearing a crackle of twigs, or faint sounds of the
    outside world filtering through the green solitudes, to turn round
    expecting to see a maiden on a “milk-white steed,” or one of the
    Knights of the Round Table come riding by, in bravery of glistening
    armour and gay surtout, and to find oneself murmuring, “Now, Sir
    Gawain rode apace, and came unto a right fair wood, and findeth the
    stream of a spring that ran with a great rushing, and nigh
    thereunto was a way that was much haunted. He abandoneth his
    high-way, and goeth all along the stream from the spring that
    lasteth a long league plenary, until that he espieth a right fair
    house and right fair chapel enclosed within a hedge of wood.”

    On the green meadows of Hexham Levels and near Dilston Castle—two
    spots of more than ordinary historical interest—the Lancastrian
    cause received, in 1464, a blow from which it never rallied, though
    the courageous Queen fought gallantly till the final disasters at
    Barnet and Tewkesbury. The general of her forces, the Duke of
    Somerset, was beheaded in Hexham market-place, and, together with
    several others of rank and station, buried at Hexham. The
    well-known incident of Queen Margaret’s escape into Dipton, or
    Deepdene woods, where she and young Prince Edward met with robbers,
    and afterwards escaped by the aid of another member of that
    fraternity, took place a year before this, after the first battle
    of Hexham in 1463. The year had been one of constant warfare
    between York and Lancaster in the north, the Castles of Alnwick and
    Bamburgh having fallen into the hands of Queen Margaret’s friends
    once more, after having been raptured by Edward of York the year
    before; the Scots with Margaret and King Henry VI., had besieged
    Norham, but were put to flight by the Earl of Warwick and hid
    brother, Lord Montague; the royal fugitives sought safety at
    Bamburgh, whence the Queen, with Prince Edward, sailed for
    Flanders, leaving King Henry in the Castle where he was in no
    immediate danger; Warwick, with his forces, retired southward
    again, and the gentle King remained in his rocky stronghold, and
    enjoyed there nine months of unwonted peace. Shortly after this,
    the Duke of Somerset deserted the cause of York for that of
    Lancaster, and became the leader of the Queen’s forces. In April,
    1464, he and Sir Ralph Percy opposed, at Hedgeley Moor, the troops
    of Lord Montague journeying northward to escort the Scottish
    delegates who were coming to York to make terms with Edward of
    York. Sir Ralph Percy was slain, exclaiming as he fell “I have
    saved the bird in my bosom”—that enigmatic sentence which has given
    rise to so much conjecture, but which is generally held to mean
    that he had saved his honour, by dying at last, after so many
    changes of front, in the service of that King and Queen to whom he
    originally owed allegiance. “Percy’s Cross,” marking the site of
    his death, may be seen by the side of the railway near Hedgeley
    Station, on the Alnwick and Wooler line.

    The rest of the force dispersed, and made their way to Hexham; and
    Lord Montague marching upon them from Newcastle, a sharp engagement
    took place on the Levels, near the Linnels Bridge, with the result,
    as we have seen, of the defeat and death of Somerset, and the
    overthrow of Queen Margaret’s hopes in the north, where she had had
    a strong following.

    The historical interest centred on Dilston Castle brings us to much
    later times, and enshrines a story which possesses a pathetic
    interest beyond that of any other place in Northumberland.
    Originally the home of the family of D’Eivill, later Dyvelstone
    (which explains the name “Devil’s Water”) Dilston Castle came into
    the possession of the Radcliffes by marriage, and in the days of
    the Commonwealth the Radcliffe of the day forfeited his estates on
    account of his loyalty to the house of Stuart. Charles II. restored
    them, and the close attachment between the houses of Stuart and
    Radcliffe continued until the fortunes of both were quenched in
    disaster and gloom. The figure of the young and gallant James
    Radcliffe, last Earl of Derwentwater, holds the imagination no less
    than the heart as it moves across the page of history for a brief
    space to its tragic end. Though born in London, in June 1689, young
    Radcliffe passed his childhood and youth in France in the closest
    companionship with James Stuart, son of the exiled James II. At the
    age of twenty-one he returned to his home in Northumbria, and took
    up his residence there, his charming manners, kind heart, and
    openhanded hospitality speedily endearing him to all classes. His
    servants and tenants, in particular, were passionately devoted to
    him. In the words of the old ballad of “Derwentwater”—
  “O, Derwentwater’s a bonnie lord, And golden is his hair, And
  glintin’ is his hawkin’ e’e Wi’ kind love dwelling there.”

    On his marriage in 1712, the young bride and bridegroom remained
    for two years at the home of the bride’s father, and preparations
    were made for restoring the glories of Dilston on an extensive
    scale. On Derwentwater’s return to his beautiful Northumbrian seat
    in 1714, the death of Queen Anne had excited the hopes of all the
    friends of the house of Stuart, and plots and secret meetings were
    being planned throughout Scotland and the north of England, the
    objective being the restoration of the exiled Stuarts to the
    throne. Derwentwater took little part in these attempts to organise
    rebellion for some time, but at length was drawn into the dangerous
    game, as he was too valuable an asset to be passed over by the
    Jacobite party.

    At last rumours of the projected rising reached London, and a
    warrant was issued for the arrest of Derwentwater, even before it
    was known whether he had actually joined the plotters, his
    well-known friendship with the exiled Prince making it almost
    certain that he would be an important figure in any movement on
    their behalf. For the next few weeks the young Earl found himself
    obliged to remain in hiding, finding safety in the cottages of his
    tenants, and in the houses of friends and neighbours. Finally,
    though his good sense warned him that he was embarking on an almost
    hopeless enterprise, he decided to throw in his lot with the
    Jacobites.

    Tradition has it that his decision was brought about by the taunts
    of his Countess, who, like the rest of the Jacobite ladies, was
    more enthusiastic than the men. Throwing down her fan, she
    scornfully offered that to her husband as a weapon, and demanded
    his sword in exchange. The immediate result was seen on that
    October morning when Derwentwater and his little band of followers
    rode over the bridge at Corbridge with drawn swords, on their way
    to Beaufront, which was their first rendezvous; and from there
    proceeded to Greenrigg, near the great Wall, which had been
    appointed as a general meeting-place.

    There they were joined by Mr. Forster, of Bamburgh, with his
    contingent, and a few from the surrounding district. Rothbury next
    saw the little army, which was joined on Felton Bridge by seventy
    Scots; and thereafter Warkworth, Alnwick, and Morpeth heard James
    Stuart proclaimed King under the title of James III.

    Newcastle was to have been their next objective, but, hearing that
    the city had closed its gates, and intended to hold out for King
    George, the Jacobite force, after some indecision, returned
    northward to Rothbury, where they were joined by a large company of
    Scottish Jacobites under Lord Kenmure. Northward again they marched
    to Kelso, where more than a thousand Scots joined forces with them.

    The little army numbered now almost 2,000, and a council was held
    to determine what their next step should be. On its being resolved
    to enter England, some hundreds of the Highlanders returned home,
    leaving an army of about 1,500 to march southwards to Lancashire.
    On their way they put to flight at Penrith a motley force which was
    raised to oppose them; and, elated with a first success, moved
    forward to Preston, grievously disappointed on the way at the
    failure of the people of Lancashire to rise with them, for they had
    been given to understand that thousands in that county were only
    awaiting an opportunity to declare for “King James.”

    At Preston they barricaded the principal streets, and repulsed
    General Willis; but the arrival of General Carpenter from Newcastle
    changed the face of affairs. Young Derwentwater had fought
    valiantly and worked arduously at the barricades, but Forster—whose
    appointment as General had been made in the hope of attracting
    other Protestant gentry to the Jacobite cause—offered to submit to
    General Carpenter under certain conditions. Carpenter’s reply was a
    demand for unconditional surrender, and the hopeless little
    tragi-comedy was played out. The last scene took place on Tower
    Hill three months later, when the gallant young Earl, then only
    twenty-six years old, laid down the life which, after all, had been
    spent in the service of others, with no selfish purpose in view,
    and which was offered him, together with wealth and freedom, if he
    would forsake his faith and throw aside his allegiance to the house
    of Stuart. Refusing to purchase life at such a price, he was
    condemned, and executed on Tower Hill on February 24th, 1716.

    His brother Charles, who had been by his side throughout the
    rising, had the good fortune to escape from Newgate Prison, and
    passed most of his life abroad. Thirty years later, on his return
    to take up arms on behalf of James’ son Charles—“bonnie Prince
    Charlie”—when he also drew the sword in an attempt to regain the
    throne of his fathers, Radcliffe was captured and beheaded. (For
    account of a monument to the memory of these two brothers see in
    previous chapter paragraph relating to Haydon Bridge.)

    The story of General Forster’s escape from Newgate is told by Sir
    Walter Besant, as all readers of his novel, “Dorothy Forster” know,
    though the author has taken those minor liberties with unimportant
    facts which are by common consent allowable in fiction.

    James Radcliffe’s friends were allowed to have his body, though
    they were forbidden to carry it home for burial; for such were the
    love and esteem borne for the young Earl in the hearts of all his
    North-country friends and dependents, that the authorities feared a
    disturbance of the peace should his body be brought amongst them
    while their rage and grief were still at their height.
    Notwithstanding the prohibition, however, the body was brought
    secretly to Dilston, and buried in the vault of the chapel, which,
    with the ruined tower, are all that remain of the home of the
    Radcliffes. Standing amidst luxuriant foliage, and overlooking a
    romantic dell, the ruins of tower and chapel remain as they fell
    into decay on the death of their luckless owners. The confiscated
    estates were bestowed on Greenwich Hospital, whose agents
    administer them still, with the exception of certain portions
    purchased from time to time by various landowners. No other family
    took the place of the Radcliffes in the deserted halls; but
    tradition holds that the unfortunate Earl and his sorrowful lady
    still revisit their ancient home. The Earl’s body is now at
    Thorndon, in Essex. Below is Surtees’ beautiful ballad, “Lord
    Derwentwater’s Farewell.”

  LORD DERWENTWATER’S FAREWELL

  “Farewell to pleasant Dilston Hall, My father’s ancient seat; A
  stranger now must call thee his, Which gars my heart to greet.
  Farewell each kindly well-known face My heart has held so dear; My
  tenants now must leave their lord Or hold their lives in fear.
  No more along the banks of Tyne I’ll rove in autumn grey; No more
  I’ll hear, at early dawn, The lav’rocks wake the day; Then fare thee
  well, brave Witherington, And Forster ever true; Dear Shaftsbury and
  Errington, Receive my last adieu.
  And fare thee well, George Collingwood, Since fate has put us down;
  If thou and I have lost our lives, Our king has lost his crown.
  Farewell, farewell, my lady dear, Ill, ill thou counsell’dst me; I
  never more may see the babe That smiles upon thy knee.
  And fare thee well, my bonny gray steed, That carried me aye so free;
  I wish I had been asleep in my bed The last time I mounted thee; The
  warning bell now bids me cease, My trouble’s nearly o’er; Yon sun
  that rises from the sea Shall rise on me no more.
  Albeit that here in London Town It is my fate to die; O carry me to
  Northumberland, In my father’s grave to lie. There chant my solemn
  requiem In Hexham’s holy towers; And let six maids of fair Tynedale
  Scatter my grave with flowers.
  And when the head that wears the crown Shall be laid low like mine;
  Some honest hearts may then lament For Radcliffe’s fallen line.
  Farewell to pleasant Dilston Hall, My father’s ancient seat; A
  stranger now must call thee his, Which gars my heart to greet.”

    Near to Corbridge the waters of the Tyne lave the ancient piers of
    the old Roman bridge which led to Corstopitum, the most
    considerable of the Roman stations in this region. The recent
    careful excavations have laid bare the evidence of what must have
    been a most imposing city, and many treasures of pottery, coins and
    ancient jewellery and ornaments, together with large quantities of
    the bones of animals, some of them identical with the wild cattle
    of Chillingham, have been brought to light. The famous silver dish
    known as the Corbridge Lanx, which was found at the riverside by a
    little girl in 1734, had evidently been washed down from
    Corstopitum. It is now preserved at Alnwick Castle. The antiquity
    of Corbridge is thus superior to that of Hexham, as far as may be
    known; but on the other hand, while Hexham in Saxon times grew to
    power, Corbridge declined. Yet, in its time, it was more than the
    home of a famous Abbey; it was a royal city, albeit the date of its
    elevation to royal rank coincided with the decline of the kingdom
    of which it was the final capital. When the fierce and ruthless
    internal quarrels, which rent Northumbria after Edbert’s glorious
    reign, had weakened it so that it fell a prey to the gradual
    encroachments of its northern neighbours, the once royal city of
    Bamburgh was left in the hands of a noble Saxon family, and the
    court was removed to Corbridge, which remained the abode of the
    kings of Northumbria until Northumbria possessed royal rank no
    longer. The tale of the two hundred years during which Corbridge
    was the capital city is a tale of red slaughter and ruin, murder
    and bitter feud, not against outside foes, but between one family
    and another, noble against king, king against relatives of other
    noble houses, amongst which might possibly be found the thegn to
    succeed him, or to murder him in order to bring about his own more
    speedy elevation to a precarious throne.

    So much was this the case, that Charles the Great, at whose court
    the learned Northumbrian, Alcuin, was secretary, said that the
    Northumbrians were worse than the invading heathen Danes, who, by
    this time, had begun their ravages in the land. Amongst the rulers
    of Northumbria in those days, the name of Alfwald the Just, who was
    called “the Friend of God,” shines out with enduring light across
    the stormy darkness of that terrible period; yet even his just and
    merciful rule and noble life could not save him from the hand of
    the assassin. He was buried with much mourning and great pomp in
    the Abbey at Hexham; and during the recent excavations the fact of
    a Saxon interment was verified as having taken place beneath the
    beautiful tomb which tradition has always held to be that of King
    Alfwald the Just. This fact also helped to demonstrate the extent
    of the original Abbey.

    There was a monastery at Corbridge in the year 771, which is
    supposed to have been founded by St. Wilfrid. Of the four churches
    which were erected in later times, only one survives—the parish
    church of St. Andrew, which occupies the site of the early
    monastery. In this ancient church may be seen part of the original
    Saxon work, and many stones of Roman workmanship are built up in
    the structure.

    Like most other old churches in the north, it suffered severely at
    the hands of the Scots, and, as at Hexham Abbey, traces of fire may
    be seen on some of the stones.

    King David of Scotland, on his invasion of England in 1138, which
    was to end at the “Battle of the Standard,” at Northallerton,
    encamped at Corbridge for a time, and terrible cruelties were
    committed in the district by his followers. In the next century,
    King John turned the little town upside down in his efforts to find
    treasure which he was convinced must be concealed somewhere in the
    houses; but his search was fruitless. In the days of the three
    Edwards, during the long wars with Scotland, Corbridge suffered
    terribly, being fired again and again; on one occasion, in 1296,
    the destruction included the burning of the school with some two
    hundred hapless boys within its walls.[4]

 [4] _See_ Bates, p. 149.

    Those heroes of our childhood’s days, William Wallace and Robert
    Bruce, were far from guiltless in these cruelties, though in
    justice to them personally, the wild and lawless character of the
    men who formed their undisciplined hosts must be remembered; and we
    know that Wallace tried to save the holy vessels in Hexham Abbey,
    but, as soon as his back was turned, they were swept away in the
    very presence of the officiating priest.

    During these terrible years most of Northumberland was a desolate
    waste; and divine service had almost ceased to be performed between
    Newcastle and Carlisle, even Hexham being deserted for a time.
    After the battle of Bannockburn, matters were worse, if possible,
    and all the north lay in fear of the Scots, but from time to time
    spasmodic efforts at retaliation were made by the boldest of the
    Northumbrian landowners. In the reign of Edward III., however, many
    of these great landowners thwarted the King’s designs by making a
    traitorous peace with their turbulent neighbours.

    David II. of Scotland encamped at Corbridge for a time during his
    second attempt to invade England but this expedition ended in his
    defeat and capture at Neville’s Cross. Thereafter the north had
    rest for some years, and Corbridge seems to have been left in
    peace. The Wars of the Roses passed it by; and the Civil Wars in
    Stuart days also, except for an unimportant skirmish; and the only
    part Corbridge saw of the Jacobite rising of “The Fifteen” was the
    little cavalcade from Dilston which clattered over the old bridge
    on its way to Beaufront. That bridge is the same which we cross
    to-day; the date of its erection, 1674, may be seen on one of its
    stones, and it was the only one on the Tyne which withstood the
    great flood of 1771, when even the old Tyne Bridge at Newcastle was
    swept away.

    Quite close to the church there is an old pele-tower, which is in
    an excellent state of preservation, little of it having disappeared
    except the various floors. The vicars of Corbridge must have been
    often thankful for such a refuge at hand, where they could bid
    defiance to marauding bands, whether of Scottish or English
    nationality. In the Register of the parish church may be seen a
    most interesting entry, showing the Earl of Derwentwater’s
    signature as churchwarden.

    At a little distance from Corbridge, to the northward, is the
    fortified manor-house of Aydon Castle, standing embowered in trees
    where the Cor burn runs through a little rocky ravine, down whose
    steep sides Sir Robert Clavering threw most of a marauding band of
    Scotsmen who had attacked the grange; the place known as “Jock’s
    Leap” obtained its name from one of the Scots who escaped the fate
    of his comrades by his leap for life across the ravine. The Castle,
    or hall, as it is variously called, has not suffered such
    destruction as might have been expected, seeing that it dates from
    the thirteenth century; but the thickness of its walls, and the
    arrow-slits and narrow windows are obvious proof of the necessity
    for defence which existed when it was first erected in the days of
    Edward I. Many features of great interest, notably the ancient
    fireplaces, remain in the interior of the building.

    Returning down the Cor burn to the Tyne, our way lies eastward by
    the side of the river, which here, after splashing and sparkling
    over the shallows below Corbridge, narrows again to a deeper stream
    of swifter current, and flows between green meadows and leafy
    woods, fern-clad steeps and level haughs, all the way down to
    Ryton, where the picturesque aspect of the river ceases, and it
    becomes an industrial waterway. On this reach of the river are
    several places of considerable interest.

    Riding Mill, a pretty village in a well-wooded hollow, enclosed by
    steep hills which rise ever higher and higher to the moors by
    Minsteracres and Blanchland, stands where Watling Street, or Dere
    Street, leading down the long slope of the country from
    Whittonstall, on reaching the Tyne turned westward to Corstopitum.
    Further down the stream is Stocksfield, where the aged King Edward
    I. halted on his last journey into Scotland, on that expedition
    which was to have executed a summary vengeance upon the Scots; he
    journeyed forward by slow stages, but was taken ill at Newbrough,
    where he stayed for some time, before continuing his journey by
    Blenkinsopp, Thirlwall, and Lanercost to Carlisle.

    On the opposite side of the stream from Stocksfield is the lovely
    village of Bywell, a “haunt of ancient peace,” “sleeping soft on
    the banks of the murmuring Tyne.” This little peaceful spot was at
    one time a very busy centre of life and industry on a small scale;
    in the Middle Ages the inhabitants drove a thriving trade in all
    the necessities for a people who spent a great part of their lives
    upon horseback, especially in the making of the ironwork
    required—“bits, stirrups, buckles, and the like, wherein they are
    very expert and cunning.” The Nevilles, lords of Raby and earls of
    Westmoreland, held Bywell at this time; before that it was in the
    hands of the Balliols, of Scottish fame, who, like the Bruces, were
    Norman knights high in favour with their kings, Norman and
    Plantagenet, though they afterwards became their most determined
    foes.

    Long before the advent of the Normans, a church was built here by
    St. Wilfrid, and in it—St. Andrew’s or the “White” Church—Egbert,
    twelfth bishop of Lindisfarne, was consecrated by Archbishop
    Eanbald in the year 803. More than a thousand years afterwards, in
    1896, an Ordination service was again held at Bywell, in St.
    Peter’s church, when five deacons were ordained by Bishop Jacob.
    And in times yet more remote than Wilfrid’s age, Roman legionaries
    crossed the Tyne at this point over a bridge of their own
    construction, of which the piers might be seen until our own day.
    Bywell, too, had its “find” of Roman silver; in 1760 a silver cup
    was found in the Tyne, bearing the inscription “Desidere vivas”
    around the neck of the vessel.

    When the Nevilles were lords of the manor of Bywell, they began to
    build a castle here, which, however, was left unfinished; the
    ancient tower still standing, with its picturesque draping of ivy,
    was the gate-house of the intended fortress. On the rebellion of
    the northern earls in 1569, Westmoreland’s forfeited lands passed
    to the crown, so that Bywell was held by Queen Elizabeth for a year
    or two, until she sold the estate to a branch of the Fenwick
    family.

    Bywell is unique in Northumberland in possessing two churches side
    by side yet in different parishes. The town of Bywell, we are told
    by the same authority before quoted, lay in a long line by the
    north bank of the Tyne, and was “divided into two separate
    parishes” even then, so that there ought to be traces of former
    buildings westward from the present village. In connection with the
    two churches which adjoin each other so closely, tradition tells
    the well-known story of the two quarrelsome sisters who could not
    agree on the building of a church and therefore each built one. One
    might have imagined, with some show of reason, that there being two
    parishes, the two churches were placed there in sheltering
    proximity to the castle, were it not for the fact that the churches
    were in existence long before the stronghold of the Nevilles was
    contemplated.

    St. Andrew’s, called the “White” church from the fact of its being
    served in later days by the White friars, is the more ancient of
    the two. As we have seen, a church erected by St. Wilfrid stood on
    this site, and a goodly portion of the Saxon work remains in the
    tower. The hagioscope, or “squint” in this church, and the “leper”
    window in St. Peter’s are interesting relics of the Middle Ages.

    St. Peter’s, or the “Black” church which once belonged to the
    Benedictines or Black friars, is of much later date than its
    neighbour, though still an ancient building, being supposed to date
    from the eleventh century. Its most interesting possessions are two
    very old bells, bearing Latin inscriptions, one announcing “I
    proclaim the hour for people rising, and call to those still lying
    down,” and the other reading “Thou art Peter.”

    Bywell suffered greatly in the flood of 1771, when the bridge was
    swept away, many houses destroyed, several people drowned, and both
    churches greatly damaged.

    It is not surprising that this tranquil little village—“the retreat
    of the old doomed divinities of wood and fountain, banished from
    their native haunts,” to quote Mr. Tomlinson’s happy phrase—has
    always been beloved of artists, many of whom have transferred to
    their canvasses the beauties of its mingled scenery of graceful
    woods and sparkling waters, ancient fortress, peaceful meadows, and
    gray old towers. Many noteworthy and fine old trees are to be found
    in and around this artists’ haunt.

    On the opposite side of the river, Bywell’s younger sister,
    Stocksfield, grows apace, reaching out towards the lulls and along
    the eastward lanes, though not as yet in such measure as to cover
    the hillsides with any semblance of a town, being still almost
    hidden amongst the profusion of trees that clothe most of the
    district in their leafy greenery. On the north bank of the stream
    the village of Ovingham now rises into view, its name telling us
    plainly that there was a settlement here in Saxon times “the home
    of the sons of Offa”; and the slope above the river is fittingly
    crowned by the ancient church of St. Mary, whose tower, with its
    curiously irregular windows, is the work of the Saxon builders of
    the original church. The rest of the building, except some Saxon
    work at the west end of the nave, dates from early Norman days.
    Here is the burial place of the famous brothers John and Thomas
    Bewick, who were born at Cherryburn House, just across the river.
    In this delightful spot the boy Thomas Bewick grew up, absorbing
    unconsciously the natural beauties that are to be found here by the
    Tyne and in the little ravine through which the Cherry Burn flows,
    which beauties he so lovingly reproduced on his engraving blocks
    later in life.

    At the fords of Ovingham, Eltringham, and Bywell, the Scots under
    General Leslie crossed the Tyne in 1644, and made their way into
    Durham, leaving six regiments to watch Newcastle.

    The picturesque ruins of Prudhoe Castle, whose lofty towers
    dominate the valley for some distance up and down the stream, stand
    on a commanding rocky ridge above the Tyne. The lands of Prudhoe
    were given, soon after the Norman Conquest, to one of Duke
    William’s immediate followers, Robert de Umfraville; and it was
    Odinel de Umfraville who built the present castle in the twelfth
    century. Its strength was soon put to the test, for a few years
    after it was built William the Lion of Scotland found that the
    place baffled all his attempts to capture it. In his anger he
    determined to reduce the fortress of Odinel, who had spent much
    time at the Scottish court in his youth, the Kings of Scotland
    being at that time lords of Tynedale. The attempt ended in total
    failure, the greatest harm the Scots did on that occasion being to
    destroy the cornfields and strip the bark from the apple trees near
    the Castle; while, a day or two afterwards, Odinel de Umfraville,
    with Glanvile and Balliol, captured the Scottish monarch himself at
    Alnwick.

    Another Umfraville, Richard, quarrelled with his neighbour of
    Nafferton, on the opposite side of the river, for having begun to
    erect a fortress much too near Umfraville’s own. He sent a petition
    to the King on the subject and King John commanded Philip de
    Ulecote’s building operations to cease. The unfinished castle,
    known as Nafferton Tower, remains to this day as Philip’s masons
    left it so many centuries ago.

    Sir Ingram de Umfraville was by the side of Edward II. at
    Bannockburn, when, before the battle, Bruce ordered his men to
    kneel in prayer. Edward looked on the kneeling host, and turning to
    Umfraville, exclaimed “See! Yon men kneel to ask mercy.” “You say
    truth, sire,” answered the knight of Prudhoe; “they ask mercy—but
    not of you.”

    The last Umfraville, who died in 1381, left a widow, the Countess
    Maud, who married a Percy of Alnwick, and so the castle passed into
    the hands of that family, in whose possession it still remains.

    When Odinel de Umfraville was building the keep of his castle,
    every one in the neighbourhood was pressed into the service, and
    all lent their aid except the men of Wylam. Wylam had been given to
    the church of St. Oswyn at Tynemouth, and, as was customary, was
    freed by charter from the duty of castle building, or any other
    feudal service excepting such as were rendered to the Prior of
    Tynemouth as occasion arose. So, in spite of the angry surprise of
    the lord of Prudhoe, the Wylam men quietly held to their charter,
    and not all Odinel’s threats or persuasions moved them one whit.

    The Stanley Burn, which enters the Tyne close to Wylam railway
    station, divides this part of the county of Durham from
    Northumberland, so that from Wylam to the sea the south side of the
    Tyne is in the county of Durham. The most noteworthy object at
    Wylam, or, to be precise, a little way along the old post-road,
    leading to Newcastle from Hexham, is the red-tiled cottage in which
    George Stephenson was born in 1781. It stands on the north bank of
    the Tyne, where it can be distinctly seen from passing trains. Its
    neighbour cottage has been repaired and re-roofed, but Stephenson’s
    cottage remains unaltered.

    Mr. Blackett, who owned Wylam Colliery at the beginning of the
    nineteenth century, took the keenest interest in the question of
    locomotives, and had tried more than one on his estate before
    George Stephenson brought them to the point of practical use. At
    Newburn, just four miles down the Tyne, George Stephenson passed
    many years of his youth; here he learned to read and write, when he
    was old enough to earn a man’s wage and could afford the few pence
    necessary; and here, in the parish church, may be seen, with an
    interval of twenty years between them, the entries of his two
    marriages.

    Newburn is important nowadays for its steel works, within whose
    workshops is incorporated an old building formerly known as Newburn
    Hall; but in days long past its importance arose from its being on
    the ford of the Tyne nearest to Newcastle. This ford was frequently
    made use of, notably by the Scots in the reign of Charles I. Their
    chief camping ground is pointed out to us by the name of Scotswood,
    which also describes what Scotswood was like in those days—a great
    contrast to its present appearance, when the lines of brick and
    mortar stretching out uninterruptedly from Newcastle make it
    practically one with that town. In 1640, the Scottish army, under
    General Leslie, faced the Royalist troops, under Lord Conway, on
    the south side of the river. The Scots mounted their rude cannon on
    Newburn Church tower, and the English raised earthworks along the
    bank of the river, which was here fordable in two places. The two
    armies calmly watered their horses on opposite banks of the stream
    all the next morning, but a shot at a Scottish officer from the
    English ranks precipitated the battle; and the Scottish army,
    having made a breach in both earthworks with their artillery, waded
    across the fords and drove the Royalist troops up the bank, after
    one spasmodic rally, which, however, failed to check the Scottish
    advance. The way was now open for the Scottish army to continue
    down the south bank of the Tyne and attack Newcastle from
    Gateshead. It had been Lord Conway’s task to prevent this, but
    owing to his incapacity or want of whole-hearted enthusiasm for his
    cause, he failed entirely.

    Not until 1644, however, was a Scottish attack on Newcastle
    actually made, for on this occasion Leslie, as we have already
    seen, led his men across the fords higher up the river and marched
    southwards. The earthworks thrown up by Conway’s troops may still
    be seen on Stella Haughs.

    It is supposed that the Romans had a fort here, commanding the
    passage of the river; indeed it would have been strange had this
    not been the case, for the Romans were not the people to disregard
    any point of strategical importance, especially one so near their
    stations of Pons AElii and Condercum. Many stones of Roman
    workmanship have been used in the building of the Newburn church.

    From this point to its mouth, nearly fifteen miles away, both banks
    of the Tyne present an unbroken scene of industry. Between the
    steel works of Newburn and the iron and chemical works, the brick
    and tile works of Blaydon and past the famous yards of Elswick,
    down to the wharves and shipyards of North and South Shields, the
    Tyne rolls its swift dark waters through a scene of stirring
    activity; the air is dusky with soot and smoke, and reverberant
    with the clang of hammers and the pulsing beat of machinery. Some
    old and world-famed works have been closed or removed, like Hawks’
    and Stephenson’s, but others, many others, have opened; and the map
    of the positions of Tyne industries, published under the auspices
    of the Newcastle and Gateshead Chamber of Commerce, is a record of
    resolute toil and brilliant achievement in the many aspects of
    industrial life represented on the river.

    And, apart from the mere prosperity and commercial supremacy of the
    district, there is another cause for pride in the many notable
    inventions which hail from Tyneside; from the locomotive and the
    “Geordie” lamp of Stephenson, the hydraulic machinery and the big
    guns of Armstrong, to the wonderful turbine engines of Parsons; the
    invention of water-ballast, too, belongs to the Tyne, for it was
    the idea of a Gateshead man, and first used at Jarrow.

    And, in connection with ships and seafarers, though not in any
    commercial sense, we may proudly recall the fact that the first
    Lifeboat was launched on the Tyne and named after the river; and
    the first Volunteer Life Brigade was formed at Tynemouth. The Worth
    Eastern Railway is carried across the Tyne by the Scotswood Bridge;
    and it was on this part of the river that the boat-races, for which
    the Tyne was once famous, were rowed. At Newcastle, the river is
    bridged by four huge structures—The Redheugh Bridge, the new King
    Edward VII. bridge, the High Level, and Swing Bridges,—all
    connecting Newcastle with the sister town of Gateshead. An
    interesting sight it is to see the Swing Bridge gradually turning
    on its central pivot, until it lies in a straight line up and down
    the stream, allowing some huge liner to pass, or some new
    battleship, fresh from Elswick, to sail down the river, on its way
    to make its trial trip over the “measured mile” in the open sea at
    the mouth of the river, and thereafter to take its place among the
    armaments of the nations.

    The High Level Bridge allows ships of any height to pass under its
    lofty and graceful arches, which look so light, but are yet so
    strong. This splendid bridge is an enduring monument of Robert
    Stephenson, whose work it was; and the story of its erection, at
    the cost of nearly half a million of money, makes most interesting
    reading. It took nearly two and a half years to build, and was
    opened for traffic in 1849—little more than three years after the
    first pile was driven in. A few months later, in 1850, the newly
    built Central Station, with its imposing portico, was opened by
    Queen Victoria.

    Passing down the Tyne from Newcastle, which requires separate
    notice, and Walker, with its reminiscences of “Walker Pit’s deun
    weel for me,” we arrive at Wallsend, which in twenty-five years has
    grown from a colliery village with a population of 4,000 to a town
    of 23,000 inhabitants. Here are great shipbuilding and repairing
    yards, chemical works and cement works; here, too, are Parsons’
    Steam Turbine Works, where was designed and built the little
    “Turbinia,” on which tiny vessel the early experiments were made
    with the new engines; and here are the famous mines which have made
    “Best Wallsend” a synonym for best household coal all over the
    land. These mines, after having been closed for many years, were
    reopened at the beginning of the century, and now turn out upwards
    of one thousand tons of coal per day.

    The church of St. Peter, at Wallsend, is little more than a hundred
    years old; the old Church of Holy Cross, now long disused, was
    built towards the end of the twelfth century. But Wallsend itself,
    as all the world knows, is of much greater antiquity, for was it
    not, as its name proclaims, situated at the end of the Great Wall?
    Its name then, however, was not Wallsend but Segedunum.

    Willington Quay, further down the river, was, for a time, the home
    of George Stephenson, and here his son, Robert, was born. At
    Howdon, which used to be known as Howdon Pans, from the salt-pans
    there, the painter John Martin and his brothers once worked when
    boys, being employed in some rope-works. Here, too, the Henzells, a
    family of refugees who settled in the district in the days of
    Elizabeth, founded some glass works, for which industry the Tyne
    has been famous from that day to this.

[Illustration: The River Tyne at Newcastle (showing Swing Bridge
Open).]

    Before the railway on the south side of the river was laid down,
    passengers who wished to reach Jarrow had to alight at Howdon and
    cross the river; and a racy dialect song—“Howdon for Jarrow” with
    its refrain of “Howdon for Jarra—ma hinnies, loup oot”—commemorates
    the fact. Willington Quay and Howdon carry on the line of
    shipbuilding yards to Northumberland Dock and the staithes of the
    Tyne Commissioners, where the waggon ways from various collieries
    bring the coal to the water’s edge. Tyne Dock, just opposite, and
    the Albert Edward Dock near North. Shields, provide abundance of
    shipping accommodation, besides what is afforded by the river
    itself; and now the river flows between the steep banks of North
    and South Shields. As the names declare, these two growing and
    prosperous towns once consisted of a few fishermen’s huts, or
    “shielings”; but that was long ago, when the north shore of the
    Tyne was owned by the Prior of Tynemouth, and the southern shore by
    the Bishop of Durham, and the citizens of Newcastle complained to
    King Edward I. that these two ecclesiastics had raised towns,
    “where no town ought to be,” and that “fishermen sold fish there
    which ought to be sold at Newcastle, to the great injury of the
    whole borough, and in detriment to the tolls of our Lord the King.”
    These quarrels between Newcastle and the other settlements on the
    Tyne continued with varying results, until in the days of Cromwell,
    Ralph Gardiner of Chirton, a little village close to North Shields,
    took up the cudgels for the growing towns; and by dint of great
    perseverance, and in spite of much persecution and ill-will,
    succeeded in getting most of the unjust privileges of their
    stronger neighbour abolished.

    There were salt-pans, too, on both sides of the mouth of the Tyne,
    which were worked in connection with the monasteries from very
    early days; and Daniel Defoe, when he visited the north in 1726,
    declared that he could see from the top of the Cheviot “the smoke
    of the salt-pans at Sheals, at the mouth of the Tyne, which was
    about forty miles south of this.”

    North Shields clings haphazard to the steep bank of the Tyne, and
    spreads away up and beyond it, reaching out towards Wallsend on the
    river shore and Tynemouth along by the sea, the older parts by the
    river looking black and grimy to the last degree; but there is a
    silver lining to this very black cloud—not visible, it is true, but
    distinctly audible—in the great shipbuilding and repairing works
    known as Smith’s Dock, one of the largest concerns of the kind in
    Great Britain, where so many hundreds of men earn their daily
    bread; and in the fishing industry, which was the foundation of the
    town’s prosperity, and bids fair to be so for many years to come,
    as it is increasing year by year. The Fish Quay at North Shields is
    a sight worth seeing; and, in the herring season, it is
    increasingly frequented by Continental buyers.

    The fortunes of South Shields and Jarrow, though these towns are
    not in Northumberland, are yet so bound up with the story of the
    Tyne that no one would ever think of that river without them.
    Especially is this the case with Jarrow, which “Palmer’s” has
    raised from a small colliery village to a large and flourishing
    town. In those famous yards, everything that is necessary for the
    building of the largest ironclad, from the first smelting of the
    ore until the last rivet is in place, can be done. All
    Northumbria—Northumbria in the ancient and widest sense of the
    word—owes a debt of gratitude to Jarrow, for was it not the home of
    Bede? The monk of Jarrow, who spent all his long life in the same
    monastery by the Don, coming to it when he was a child of ten, made
    that spot of Northumbrian ground famed to the farthest limits of
    the civilized Europe of his day; and scholars from all over the
    Continent came to learn at the feet of the Northumbrian teacher.
    Beloved and revered by all, and in harness to the last hour of his
    busy life, he died in the year 735, just one hundred years after
    the coming of Aidan to Lindisfarne. “First among English scholars,
    first among English theologians, first among English historians, it
    is in the monk of Jarrow that English literature strikes its
    roots.”—_J.R. Green_.

    The Jarrow of to-day, and all its neighbours of industrial
    Tyneside, possess no beauty of aspect such as the towns that are
    more fortunately situated on the upper reaches of the river; they
    are muffled in clouds of smoke and soot, and darkened by the
    necessities of their toil in grimy ores and the ever-present coal.
    But no one who has ever looked on these smoky reaches of the Tyne
    with a seeing eye, or steamed down the river on a day either of
    gloom or sunshine, can refuse to acknowledge that it has a certain
    grandeur, a stern beauty of its own, that can stir the heart and
    the imagination more deeply than any mere prettiness.

    From the numberless hives of activity on both sides of the river
    clouds of smoke roll heavily upward, and jets of steam from panting
    machinery leap up in momentary whiteness on the dark background;
    the white wings of flocks of wheeling gulls flash in the occasional
    sunshine which lights up the scene, and between the clouds there
    are glimpses of blue sky. Towards sunset, the evening mists drape
    the darkening banks and crowded shipping in a soft robe of gray,
    which, together with the glowing sky behind, produces most
    wonderful Turneresque effects; and the fall of night on the river
    only changes the aspect without diminishing the interest of the
    scene. The blaze from a myriad workshops and forges glows against
    the darkness, the lamps twinkle overhead on the steep banks, and
    the lights from wharf and steamer are reflected in a thousand
    shimmering lines on the dark water, which flows on soundlessly,
    like the river of a dream.

    On a day of wind and sun all these beauties are intensified a
    thousandfold; the smoke is blown hither and thither in flying
    clouds, the current seems to rush more swiftly, and a sense of
    vigorous life permeates the whole scene, giving to the beholder a
    feeling of keen exhilaration, as of new life rushing through his
    veins. Especially is this the case on reaching the mouth of the
    river and meeting the dancing waters of the open harbour, where the
    twin piers of South Shields and Tynemouth reach out sheltering
    arms. Within the wide bay they enclose, the storm-driven vessel may
    always find comparatively smooth water, how wildly soever the waves
    may rage and roar outside.

    It is difficult to believe that so lately as the years 1858-60, the
    “bar” at the mouth of the Tyne was an insuperable obstacle to all
    but vessels of very moderate draught; and that ships might lie for
    days, and sometimes weeks, after being loaded, before there came a
    tide high enough to carry them out to sea. The river was full of
    sand-banks, and little islands stood here and there—one in
    mid-stream, where the ironclads are now launched at Elswick. Three
    or four vessels might be seen at once bumping and grounding on the
    “bar” unable to make their way over. Well might the old song say—
  “The ships are all at the bar, They canna get up to Newcastle!”

    An old map of the Tyne shows a number of sand-banks down the lower
    reaches of the river, with ships aground on each, of them.

    But the River Tyne Commissioners have changed all that, and their
    implement of warfare has been the hideous but necessary dredger. No
    longer need vessels of heavy tonnage desert the Tyne for the Wear,
    as they were perforce driven to do during the first half of the
    nineteenth century, for the Wearsiders had set about deepening and
    widening their river long before the Tynesiders did the same by
    theirs. Considerable and continuous pressure had to be brought to
    bear on the civic authorities at Newcastle before they finally took
    action; but having once done so, the future of the Tyne was
    assured. Now it ranks second only to the Thames in the actual
    number of vessels entering and leaving, and owns only the Mersey
    its superior in the matter of tonnage.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER IV. NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE.


  “Her dusky hair in many a tangle clings About her, and her looks,
  though stern and cold, Grow tender with the dreams of by-gone days.”
  —_W.W. Tomlinson_.

    The outward signs of “by-gone days,” in the Newcastle of to-day,
    with the one notable exception of the Castle, must be diligently
    sought out amongst the overwhelming mass of what is often called
    “rampant modernity,” of which the town to-day chiefly consists. The
    modernity, however, is not all bad, as this favourite phrase would
    imply; much of it is doubtless regrettable and a very little of it
    perhaps inevitable; but no one will deny either the modernity or
    the beauty of Grey Street, one of the finest streets in any English
    town; or the fine appearance of Grainger Street, Blackett Street,
    Eldon Square, or any other of the stately thoroughfares with which
    Grainger and Dobson enriched the town within the last eighty
    years—no one, that is, who has learned to “lift his eyes to the
    sky-line in passing along a thoroughfare” instead of keeping them
    firmly fixed at the level of shop windows.

    The grim old building which, when it was new, gave its name to the
    town, is one for which no search needs to be made; its blackened
    and time worn walls are seen from the train windows by every
    traveller who enters the city from the south. So near is it to the
    railway, that in the ultra-utilitarian days of sixty or seventy
    years ago, it narrowly escaped the ignoble fate of being used as a
    signal-cabin. It was rescued, however, by the Society of
    Antiquaries, and carefully preserved by them—more fortunate in this
    respect than the castle of Berwick, for the platform of Berwick
    railway station actually stands on the spot once occupied by the
    Great Hall of the Castle.

    The site of the New Castle, on a part of the river bank which
    slopes steeply down to the Tyne, had been occupied centuries before
    by a Roman fort, constructed by order of the Emperor Hadrian, who
    visited Britain A.D. 120. He also constructed a bridge over the
    Tyne at this spot, fort and bridge receiving the name of Pons
    AElii, after the Emperor (Publius AElius Hadrianus). This became
    the second station on the Great Wall erected by Hadrian’s orders
    along the line of forts which Agricola had raised forty years
    before. This station shared the fate of others on the abandonment
    of Britain by its powerful conquerors, who had now for more than
    two hundred years been its no less powerful friends and protectors.
    Pons AElii fell into ruins; but so advantageous a site could not
    long be overlooked, and we read of a Saxon settlement there,
    apparently that of a religious community, from which fact it was
    known as Monkchester. All the records of this period seem to have
    perished, for we hear nothing of the settlement during the Danish
    invasions; but a Saxon town of some kind was evidently in existence
    at the time of the Conquest, though in 1073 three monks from the
    south who came to York, and, obtaining a guide to “Muneche-cester,”
    sought for some religious house in that settlement, could find
    none, and were prevailed upon by the first Norman Bishop of Durham,
    Walcher, to stay at Jarrow. The years from 1069 to 1080 were evil
    years for Northumberland, for at the first-named date the Conqueror
    devastated the North, and left neither village nor farm unscathed;
    and, as the desolated land was beginning to recover again, Odo of
    Bayeux and Robert of Normandy relentlessly laid it waste once more,
    partly in revenge for the murder of Bishop Walcher at Gateshead,
    and partly to punish Malcolm of Scotland for his invasion of Norman
    territory.

    It was on his return from this expedition, which had penetrated as
    far north as Falkirk, that Robert, by his father’s orders, raised a
    stronghold on the Tyne on the site of the old Roman fort, in the
    year 1080. His brother, William Rufus, erected a much stronger and
    better one, the Keep of which, re-built by Henry II., stands to-day
    dark and grim, looking out over river and town, as it has stood
    since the Red King ruled the land, and, like his father, the
    Conqueror, found it desirable to have a stronghold at this northern
    point of his turbulent realm, around which a town might grow up in
    safety.

    The roof and battlements of the Keep are modern, but the rest of
    it—the walls, 12 to 18 feet thick; the dismal dungeon, or guard
    chamber, with iron rings and fetters still fastened to the walls
    and central pillar; the beautiful little chapel, with its
    finely-ornamented arches; the little chambers in the thickness of
    the walls; the well, 94 feet deep, sunk through the solid masonry
    into the rock beneath; the arrow slits in the walls; the stones in
    the roof scored with frequent bolts from the besiegers’ crossbows,
    one of which bolts is firmly embedded in the wall opposite one of
    the narrow windows; the ancient weapons and armour—all these
    breathe of the days when the Red King’s castle took its part in the
    doings of our hardy ancestors in those stormy times in which they
    lived and fought.

    The last time the old Keep was called upon to act as fortress and
    refuge in time of war was in Stuart days, after the ten weeks siege
    of Newcastle by the Scottish General Leslie, Earl of Leven, in
    1644, when brave “Governor Marley” and his friends held out in the
    castle for a few days longer, after the town was taken. In memory
    of this stout defence and long resistance King Charles gave to the
    town its motto—_Fortiter defendit triumphans_, which Bates gives as
    having originally been _Fortiter defendendo triumphat_—“She glories
    in her brave defence.”

    Two of the original fireplaces still remain in the Castle, and
    there are besides many objects of great interest which have been
    bestowed there from time to time for safe keeping; and many more
    are to be seen at the Black Gate, formerly the chief entrance to
    the Castle Hall and its surroundings. The Great Hall of the Castle,
    in which John Baliol did homage to Edward I. for the crown of
    Scotland, stood on the spot now covered by the Moot Hall. The Black
    Gate, the lower part of which is the oldest part of the building,
    which has many times been altered and repaired, is now used as a
    museum. There were nearly a dozen rooms in it, and not so many
    years ago the Corporation of Newcastle let these out in tenements,
    until this building also was rescued from degradation by the
    Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, who took down most of the
    dividing walls, and converted it into a museum. Here may be seen
    stored many sculptured stones, altars, and statues, which have been
    brought from the various Roman stations in the north.

    Around the walls of one room are to be seen facsimiles of the
    famous Bayeux tapestry; there is also a model of the Castle as
    originally built, and there are many more exhibits and loans of the
    very greatest interest.

    Of the walls of Newcastle only fragments remain, the most
    considerable portion being found between Westgate Road and St.
    Andrew’s Churchyard; here are also remains of several of the
    watch-towers that stood at intervals around the walls—the Heber
    Tower, the Mordaunt or Morden Tower, and the Ever Tower. Between
    the two first named towers may be seen a little doorway, walled up,
    once used by the Friars, who obtained from Edward II. permission to
    make the doorway in order that they might the more easily reach
    their gardens and orchards outside; but they had to be ready to
    build it up at a moment’s notice on the approach of an enemy. One
    of the towers—the Carliol or Weaver’s Tower—was pulled down to make
    room for the Central Free Library, opened in 1881. Many little
    fragments of the Castle wall are to be seen near the High Level
    Bridge, incorporated in other walls, as far as the South Postern of
    the Castle, which is said to be the only remaining Norman postern
    in England and is the oldest remaining part of the Castle.

    The old streets of Newcastle are fast disappearing to make room for
    the ever-increasing needs of commerce; at the moment of writing it
    is being proposed to pull down more of the historic street called
    the Side, to make room for new printing offices. At the head of
    this curious old street, which curves downward from the Cathedral
    to the river, stood the birthplace of Cuthbert Collingwood, who was
    to become Admiral Lord Collingwood, and second in fame only to
    Nelson himself. Both this house and the one where Thomas Bewick had
    his workshop, near the Cathedral, have gone to make room for new
    buildings.

    At the foot of this street, where it curves to the river front, is
    the Sandhill, facing the Swing Bridge. Here are several old houses
    remaining, with many-windowed fronts, looking out on the river. One
    of these was the house of Aubone Surtees, the banker, whose
    daughter Bessie, in 1772, stole out of one of those little windows,
    and gave herself into the keeping of young Jack Scott, who was
    waiting for her below. The adventurous youth became Lord Chancellor
    of England, and is best known as Lord Eldon; his brother William
    became Lord Stowell, and was for many years Judge of the High Court
    of Admiralty.

    Opposite the old houses of the Sandhill, close to the river bank,
    is the old Guildhall, greatly altered in appearance from the time
    when John Wesley preached from its steps to the keelmen and
    fishermen of the town. It was here that a sturdy fishwife put her
    arms round him, when some boisterous spirits in the crowd
    threatened him with ill-usage, and, shaking her fist in their
    faces, swore to “floor them” if they touched her “canny man.”

    This spot, where the Swing Bridge unites the lower banks of the
    stream, seems always to have been the most convenient point for
    crossing the river, for the present bridge is the fifth that has
    spanned the Tyne at this point: Hadrian’s bridge, Pons Aelii; a
    mediaeval bridge destroyed by fire in 1248; the Old Tyne Bridge,
    swept away in the flood of 1771; the successor of this, which was
    found too low to allow of the passage of such large vessels as were
    able to sail up the Tyne after the deepening of the river bed; and
    the present Swing Bridge, which is worked by hydraulic machinery,
    the invention of Lord Armstrong. We do not know how long Hadrian’s
    bridge lasted, but William the Conqueror, when returning from his
    expedition into Scotland in 1071, was obliged to camp for a time at
    “Monec-cestre,” as the Tyne was in flood, and there was no bridge.

    Some ancient houses are to be found in Low Friar Street, one of
    which, with winged heads and dolphins carved on it, is said to be
    the oldest house in Newcastle. Turning up an opening on the west
    side of this street, all that is left of the ancient Blackfriars’
    Monastery may be seen; some of its rooms are used as the meeting
    places of various Trade Guilds, and the rest form low tenement
    houses, in the walls of which are many Gothic archways and ancient
    window-openings built up. Over the door of the Smith’s Hall is a
    carving of three hammers, and the inscription:—
  “By hammer and hand All artes do stand.”

    This Hall was formerly the Great Hall of the monastery; and here
    Edward Baliol did homage to Edward III. for his crown of Scotland.
    Nun Street, leading out of Grainger Street, reminds us of the days
    when the Nunnery of St. Bartholomew stood in this part of the town,
    and the Nun’s Moor was part of the grounds belonging to the
    establishment. In High Friar Street, which was not then the
    dilapidated lane it now appears, Richard Grainger was born.

    Another part of the town which has fallen from its former high
    estate is the Close, which lies along the river front, westward
    from the Sandhill. Here, at one time, lived many of the principal
    inhabitants of Newcastle—Sir John Marley, Sir William Blackett, Sir
    Ralph Millbank, and others equally important; and here, too, was
    the former Mansion House of the city, where the Mayors resided, and
    where they could receive distinguished visitors to the town.
    Amongst those who have been entertained there were the Duke of
    Wellington and the first King of the Belgians. But in 1836 the
    Corporation of Newcastle sold the house, with the furniture, books,
    pictures, plate, and everything else it contained.

    Eastward from the Sandhill is Sandgate, immortalised in the
    “Newcastle Anthem”—The Keel Row. Its present appearance is very
    different from the green slope and sandy shore of former days; the
    keelmen, too, have vanished, and their place in the commercial
    economy of the Tyne is taken by waggon-ways and coal-shoots. The
    old narrow alleys of the town, called “chares,” are fast
    disappearing; the best known is Pudding Chare, leading from Bigg
    Market to Westgate Road. Many and various are the explanations that
    have been offered to account for its curious name, but the true one
    does not seem yet to have appeared.

    Pilgrim Street owes its name to the fact that it was the route of
    the pilgrims who came in great numbers to visit the little chapel
    or shrine of Our Lady of Jesmond, and St. Mary’s Well. In Pilgrim
    Street was the gateway of a stately mansion, surrounded by
    beautiful gardens, called Anderson Place, from a Mr. Anderson who
    bought it from Sir Thomas Blackett in 1783. It had been built by
    another Mr. Anderson in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, on the site
    where once stood the monastery of the Grey Friars; he, however, had
    named his mansion “The Newe House.” In this house Charles I. lived
    when a prisoner in Newcastle. Anderson Place no longer exists, but
    the Newcastle of to-day has a constant reminder of its last owners,
    for Major George Anderson, son of the Mr. Anderson who purchased it
    in 1783, gave to the Cathedral of St. Nicholas the great bell—known
    on that account as “The Major”—whose deep reverberant “boom” can be
    heard for a distance of ten miles. The bell was re-cast in 1891,
    and in 1892 a new peal of bells was consecrated by Canon Gough.

    Westgate Road is another interesting street; the old West Gate
    stood near the site of the present Tyne Theatre, and from this
    point onward the street follows, almost exactly, the line of the
    Roman Wall.

    Some noteworthy houses in Newcastle are—No. 17, Eldon Place, where
    George and Robert Stephenson lived in the years 1824-25; No. 4, St.
    Thomas’ Crescent, where the celebrated artist, Wm. Bell Scott lived
    when he was headmaster of the School of Art, and to whom Swinburne
    wrote a fine memorial poem; the Academy of Arts, in Blackett
    Street, built for the exhibition of pictures by those well-known
    painters T.M. Richardson and H.T. Parker, and for a short period
    the home of the Pen and Palette Club, which, both here and in its
    new home at Higham Place, has entertained many people distinguished
    in letters, art, and travel who have visited the town of late
    years; and No. 9, Pleasant Row, the birthplace of Lord Armstrong,
    which has only recently been destroyed to make way for the N.E.R.
    Company’s new ferro-concrete Goods Station in New Bridge Street.

    The list of important buildings in Newcastle, exclusive of the
    churches, is a long one; one of the most prominent is the Library
    of the Literary and Philosophical Society, familiarly known as the
    “Lit. and Phil.,” which stands at the lower end of Westgate Road, a
    little way back from the roadway. It is built on the site of the
    town house of the Earls of Westmoreland; and its fine Lecture
    Theatre was a gift to the Society from Lord Armstrong. It is the
    centre of the intellectual life of the city as a whole, apart from
    the work of the justly famed Armstrong College, a teaching
    institute of University rank. This was formerly known as the Durham
    College of Science, and, with the Durham College of Medicine, forms
    part of the University of Durham.

    Other seats of learning in the town are the Rutherford College, in
    Bath Lane, and the Royal Grammar School, which dates from the reign
    of Henry VIII. It was reconstituted by Queen Elizabeth, and has had
    many changes of abode. At one time it occupied the buildings of the
    Convent of St. Mary, which covered the space where Stephenson’s
    monument now stands. While the Grammar School was located there,
    the boys Cuthbert Collingwood, William Scott, and John Scott, who
    afterwards became so famous, attended it; and other distinguished
    scholars were John Horsley, author of _Britannia Romana_, and John
    Brand and Henry Bourne, the historians of Newcastle. The school is
    now situated in Eskdale Terrace and its splendid playing fields
    stretch across to the North Road.

    One of the most interesting buildings in Newcastle is the Hancock
    Museum of Natural History, at Barras Bridge. It contains a
    matchless collection of birds, and some unique specimens of extinct
    species; also the original drawings of Bewick’s _British Birds_,
    and other works of his. The famous Newcastle naturalist, John
    Hancock, presented his wonderful collection, prepared by himself,
    to the museum. Here, too, is a complete set of fossils from the
    coal measures, including some fine specimens of Sigillaria. These
    are only a few of the treasures contained in the museum, which was
    built chiefly through the generosity of the late Lord and Lady
    Armstrong, Colonel John Joicey of Newton Hall, Stocksfield, and Mr.
    Edward Joicey of Whinney House.

    The new Victoria Infirmary, on the Leazes, is a magnificent
    building, and was opened by King Edward VII. in 1906. It was
    erected by public subscription, and when £100,000 had been
    subscribed, the late Mr. John Hall generously offered a like sum on
    condition that the building should be erected either on the Leazes
    or the Town Moor. Arrangements were made to do so, and another
    £100,000 given by the present Lord and Lady Armstrong.

    But fine as all these buildings are, the pride of Newcastle is one
    much older than any of them—the Cathedral church of St. Nicholas,
    with its exquisitely beautiful lantern steeple. This wonderful
    lantern was the work of Robert de Rhodes, who lived in the
    fifteenth century. The arms of this early benefactor of the church
    may yet be seen on the ancient font. The present church was
    finished in the year 1350, says Dr. Bruce; but there was a former
    one on this site to which the crypt is supposed to belong. It has
    undergone many alterations at different times, and has sheltered
    within its walls many and various great personages.

[Illustration: Newcastle-upon-Tyne.]

    In 1451, a treaty between England and Scotland was ratified in the
    vestry. In the reign of Henry VII., his daughter, Princess
    Margaret, attended mass here, with all her retinue, when she stayed
    in the town on her way to Scotland to be married to the gallant
    young king James IV. She was entertained at the house of the Austin
    Friars, which stood where now stands the Holy Jesus Hospital at the
    Manors, near to the Sallyport Tower. When James I. became king of
    England, he attended service here, as he passed through Newcastle
    on his way to his southern capital. In the reign of his ill-fated
    son, Charles I., Newcastle was occupied by the Scots, under General
    Leslie, for a year after the battle of Newburn in 1640; and again
    in 1644 was besieged by them for ten weeks. On this occasion the
    town nearly lost its chief ornament and pride—the lantern of the
    church; for “There is a traditional story,” says Bourne, “of this
    building I am now treating of, which may not be improper to be here
    taken notice of. In the time of the Civil Wars, when the Scots had
    besieged the town for several weeks, and were still as far as at
    first from taking it, the General sent a messenger to the Mayor of
    the town, and demanded the keys and the delivery up of the town, or
    he would immediately demolish the steeple of St. Nicholas.

    “The Mayor and Aldermen, upon hearing this, immediately ordered a
    certain number of the chiefest Scottish prisoners to be carried up
    to the top of the old tower, the place below the lantern, and there
    confined. After this, they returned the General an answer to this
    purpose, that they would upon no terms deliver up the town, but
    would to the last moment defend it; that the steeple of St.
    Nicholas was indeed a beautiful and magnificent piece of
    architecture, and one of the great ornaments of the town, but yet
    should be blown to atoms before ransomed at such a rate; that,
    however, if it was to fall it should not fall alone; that at the
    same moment he destroyed the beautiful structure he should bathe
    his hands in the blood of his countrymen, who were placed there on
    purpose, either to preserve it from ruin or to die along with it.
    This message had the desired effect. The men were kept prisoners
    during the whole time of the siege, and not so much as one gun was
    fired against it.”

    In 1646, when Charles I. was a prisoner in Newcastle for nearly a
    year (from May, 1646, to February 3rd, 1647), this was the church
    he attended; and we may picture him listening perforce to the
    “admonishing” of the stern Covenanters. In this connection occurs
    the oft-told story of his ready wit, when one of the preachers
    wound up his discourse by giving out the metrical version of the
    fifty-second Psalm, with an obvious allusion to his royal hearer:—
  “Why dost thou, tyrant, boast abroad, Thy wicked works to praise?”

    Charles quickly stood up and asked for the fifty-sixth Psalm
    instead:—
  “Have mercy, Lord, on me, I pray, For man would me devour.”

    The good folk of Newcastle with willing voice rendered the latter
    Psalm, doubtless to the discomfiture of the preacher.

    Gray, who published his _Chorographia_, or Survey of
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, just three years after this, describes St.
    Nicholas’ as having “a stately, high, stone steeple, with many
    pinakles, a stately stone lantherne, standing upon foure stone
    arches, builded by Robert de Rhodes.... It lifteth up a head of
    Majesty, as high above the rest as the Cypresse Tree above the low
    Shrubs.”

    The church underwent a terrible despoliation at the hands of the
    Scots in 1644; but more terrible still were the injuries it
    received, a little more than a century later, from those who ought
    to have been its friends. In the years 1784-7 there were many
    alterations made in the building, during which almost all the old
    memorials and monuments perished, or were removed; those which were
    not claimed by the living representatives of the persons
    commemorated being ruthlessly sold, or destroyed; and the brasses
    were disposed of as old metal. The modern alterations and
    restorations have been more happy in their effect, and one of the
    notable additions to the church is the beautiful carved oak screen
    in the chancel, the work of Mr. Ralph Hedley.

    There are many beautiful memorial windows in the church, and many
    memorials in other forms to the various eminent North-country folk
    who have been connected with Newcastle and its chief place of
    worship. The Collingwood cenotaph is the most interesting of all;
    the brave Admiral’s body, as is well known, lies beside that of his
    friend and commander, Nelson, in St. Paul’s Cathedral, but this
    memorial of him is fittingly placed in the Cathedral of his native
    town, within whose walls he worshipped as a boy. There are two
    monuments by Flaxman—one of the Rev. Hugh Moises, the famous master
    of the Grammar School when Collingwood was a boy; and the other of
    Sir Matthew White Ridley, who died in 1813. Of the newer monuments,
    those of Dr. Bruce, of Roman Wall fame, and of the beloved and
    lamented Bishop Lloyd, are particularly fine.

    Near the east end of the church, which was raised to the rank of a
    Cathedral in 1881, is hung a large painting by Tintoretto, “Christ
    washing the feet of the Disciples”; this was presented to the
    church by Sir Matthew White Ridley in 1818. There are many more
    things of interest in the Cathedral, but mention must be made of a
    wonderful MS. Bible, incomplete, it is true, but beautifully
    written and illuminated by the monks of Hexham, and other
    manuscript treasures carefully kept in the care of the authorities.

    The oldest church in the town is St. Andrew’s, supposed to have
    been built by King David of Scotland at the time when that monarch
    was Lord of Tynedale, in the reign of King Stephen. It suffered
    greatly in the struggle with the Scots, whose cannon, planted on
    the Leazes, did it great damage, and some of the fiercest fighting,
    at the final capture of the town, took place close by, where a
    breach was made in the walls. In such a battered condition was it
    left that the parish Registers tell us that no baptism nor “sarmon”
    took place within its walls for a year (1645). But a marriage took
    place, the persons wedded being Scots, who, we learn from the same
    authority, “would pay nothing to the Church.”

    In the church is buried Sir Adam de Athol, Lord of Jesmond, and
    Mary, his wife. It is supposed that this Sir Adam gave the Town
    Moor to the people of Newcastle, though this has been disputed. A
    fine picture of the “Last Supper,” by Giordano, presented by Major
    Anderson in 1804, hangs in the church.

    St. John’s Church ranks next to St. Andrew’s in point of age; there
    are fragments of Norman work in the building, and it is known to
    have been standing in 1297. To-day the venerable pile, with its age
    worn stones, stands out in sharper contrast to its environment than
    does any other building in the town, surrounded as it is by modern
    shops and offices. The memories it evokes, and the past for which
    it stands, are such as the citizens of Newcastle will not willingly
    let die; and when, a few years ago, a proposal was made for its
    removal, the proposition aroused such a storm of popular feeling
    against it that it was incontinently abandoned.

    All Saints’ Church was built in 1789, on the site of an older
    building which was in existence in 1296, and which became very
    unsafe. Here is kept one of the most interesting monuments in the
    city—the monumental brass which once covered the tomb of Roger
    Thornton, a wealthy merchant of Newcastle, and a great benefactor
    to all the churches. He died in 1429. He gave to St. Nicholas’
    Church its great east window; but, on its needing repair in 1860,
    it was removed entirely, and the present one, in memory of Dr.
    Ions, inserted; and the only fragment left of Thornton’s window is
    a small circular piece inset in a plain glass window in the
    Cathedral. He gave much money to Hexham Abbey also.

    Besides the famous men already mentioned in connection with the
    town, Newcastle possesses other well-known names not a few. In the
    Middle Ages, Duns Scotus, the man whose skill in argument earned
    for him the title of “Doctor Subtilis,” owned Northumberland as his
    home, and received his education in the monastery of the Grey
    Friars, which stood near the head of the present Grey Street. He
    returned to this monastery after some years of study at Oxford; in
    1304 he was teaching divinity in Paris.

    Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London in the reign of Edward VI., whose
    Northumbrian birthplace at Willimoteswick has already been noted,
    received his early education at the Grammar School in Newcastle,
    and on going to Cambridge was a student at Pembroke. We are told he
    was the ablest man among the Reformers for piety, learning and
    judgment. As is well known, he died at the stake in 1555.

    William and Elizabeth Elstob, who lived in Newcastle at the end of
    the seventeenth century, were learned Saxon scholars, but were so
    greatly in advance of the education of their times that they met
    with little encouragement or sympathy in their labours.

    Charles Avison, the musician and composer, was organist of St.
    John’s in 1736, and afterwards of St. Nicholas’.

    It was he to whom Browning referred in the lines—
    
                               “On the list Of worthies, who by help of
                               pipe or wire, Expressed in sound rough
                               rage or soft desire, Thou, whilom of
                               Newcastle, organist.”

    These lines have been carved on his tombstone in St. Andrew’s
    churchyard. He is best known as the composer of the anthem “Sound
    the loud timbrel.”

    Mark Akenside, the poet, was born in Butcher Bank, now called after
    him Akenside Hill. His chief work “The Pleasures of Imagination,”
    is not often read now, but it enjoyed a considerable reputation in
    an age when a stilted and formal style was looked upon as a true
    excellence in poetry.

    Charles Hutton, the mathematician, was born in Newcastle in 1737.
    He began life as a pitman; but, receiving an injury to his arm, he
    turned his attention to books, and taught in his native town for
    some years, becoming later Professor of Mathematics in the Royal
    Military Academy at Woolwich.

    John Brand, the antiquary and historian of Newcastle, was born at
    Washington, County Durham, but came to Newcastle as a child. After
    attending the Grammar School, he went to Oxford, by the aid of his
    master, the Rev. Hugh Moises. He was afterwards curate at the
    church of St. Andrew.

    Robert Morrison, the celebrated Chinese scholar, was born near
    Morpeth, but his parents came to Newcastle when the boy was three
    years of age. He died in China in 1834.

    Thomas Miles Richardson, the well-known artist, was born in
    Newcastle in 1784, and was at first a cabinetmaker, then master of
    St. Andrew’s Free School, but finally gave up all other work to
    devote himself to his art.

    Robert Stephenson went to school at Percy Street Academy, which for
    long has ceased to exist. There he was taught by Mr. Bruce, and had
    for one of his fellow-pupils the master’s son, John Collingwood
    Bruce, who afterwards became so famous a teacher and antiquary.

    Newcastle is not, as most southerners imagine, a dark and gloomy
    town of unrelieved bricks and mortar, for, besides possessing many
    wide and handsome streets, it has also several pretty parks, the
    most noteworthy being the beautiful Jesmond Dene, one of the late
    Lord Armstrong’s magnificent gifts to his native town. The Dene,
    together with the Armstrong Park near it, lies on the course of the
    Ouseburn, which is here a bright and sparkling stream, very
    different from the appearance it presents by the time it empties
    its murky waters into the Tyne. Besides these there are Heaton
    Park, the Leazes Park, with its lakes and boats, Brandling Park,
    and others smaller than these; and last, but most important of all,
    the Town Moor, a fine breezy space to the north of the town, of
    more than 900 acres in extent.

    Of statues and monuments Newcastle possesses some half-dozen, the
    finest being “Grey’s Monument”—a household word in the town and
    familiarly known as “The Monument.” It was erected at the junction
    of Grey Street and Grainger Street in memory of Earl Grey of
    Howick, who was Prime Minister at the passing of the Reform Bill.
    The figure of the Earl, by Bailey, stands at the top of a lofty
    column, the height being 135 feet to the top of the figure. There
    is a stairway within the column, by which it can be ascended, and a
    magnificent view enjoyed from the top.

    In an open space near the Central Station, between the _Chronicle_
    Office and the Lit. and Phil., there is a fine statue of George
    Stephenson, by the Northumbrian sculptor, Lough. It is a full
    length representation of the great engineer, in bronze, with the
    figures of four workmen, representing the chief industries of
    Tyneside, around the pedestal—a miner, a smith, a navvy, and an
    engineer. At the head of Northumberland Street, on the open space
    of the Haymarket, stands a beautiful winged Victory on a tall
    column, crowning “Northumbria” typified as a female figure at the
    foot of the column. This graceful and striking memorial is the work
    of T. Eyre Macklin, and is in memory of the officers and men of the
    North who fell in the Boer War of 1899-1902. Two other noteworthy
    statues in the town are those of Lord Armstrong, near the entrance
    to the Natural History Museum at Barras Bridge, and of Joseph
    Cowen, in Westgate Road.

THE KEEL ROW

  As I came thro’ Sandgate, Thro’ Sandgate, thro’ Sandgate, As I came
  thro’ Sandgate, I heard a lassie sing “O weel may the keel row, The
  keel row, the keel row, Weel may the keel row That my laddie’s in
  “O who is like my Johnnie, Sae leish,[5] sae blithe, sae bonnie; He’s
  foremost ’mang the mony Keel lads o’ coaly Tyne He’ll set and row sae
  tightly, And in the dance sae sprightly He’ll cut and shuffle
  lightly, ’Tis true, were he not mine!
  “He has nae mair o’ learnin’ Than tells his weekly earnin’, Yet,
  right frae wrang discernin’, Tho’ brave, nae bruiser he! Tho’ he no
  worth a plack[6] is, His ain coat on his back is; And nane can say
  that black is The white o’ Johnnie’s e’e
  He wears a blue bonnet, Blue bonnet, blue bonnet, He wears a blue
  bonnet, And a dimple in his chin O weel may the keel row, The keel
  row, the keel row, Weel may the keel row That my laddie’s in.”

 [5] Leish = lithe, nimble.

 [6] Plack = a small copper coin, worth about one-third of a penny.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER V. ELSWICK AND ITS FOUNDER.


  Sailed from the North of old The strong sons of Odin; Sailed in the
  Serpent ships, “By hammer and hand” Skilfully builded.


  Still in the North-country Men keep their sea-cunning; Still true the
  legend, “By hammer and hand” Elswick builds war-ships.
  —(_Northumbriensis_).

    For a mile and a quarter, along the north bank of the Tyne, stretch
    the world-famed Elswick Works, which have grown to their present
    gigantic proportions from the small beginnings of five and a half
    acres in 1847. In that year two fields were purchased as a site for
    the new works about to be started to make the hydraulic machinery
    which had been invented by Mr. Armstrong.

    In this undertaking he was backed by the wealth of several
    prominent Newcastle citizens, who believed in the future of the new
    inventions—Messrs. Addison Potter, George Cruddas, Armourer Donkin,
    and Richard Lambert. At that time Elswick was a pretty country
    village some distance outside of Newcastle, and the walk along the
    riverside between the two places was a favourite one with the
    people of the town. In midstream there was an island, where stood a
    little inn called the “Countess of Coventry”; and on the island
    various sports were often held, including horse-racing.

    The price of the land for the new shops, which were soon built on
    the green slopes above the Tyne, was paid to Mr. Hodgson Hind and
    Mr. Richard Grainger; the latter of whom had intended, could he
    have carried out his plans for the rebuilding of Newcastle, not to
    stop until he made Elswick Hall the centre of the town.

    Until the new shops were ready to begin work, some of Mr.
    Armstrong’s hydraulic cranes were made by Mr. Watson at his works
    in the High Bridge.

    All the summer of 1847, the building went briskly on; and in the
    autumn work was started. At first Mr. Armstrong had an office in
    Hood Street, as he was superintending his machinery construction in
    High Bridge, as well as the building operations at Elswick. On some
    of the early notepaper of the firm there is, as the heading, a
    picture of Elswick as it was then, showing the first shops, the
    little square building in which were the offices, the green banks
    sloping down to the waterside, and the island in the middle of the
    shallow stream, while the chimneys and smoke of Newcastle are
    indicated in the remote background. Along the riverside was the
    public footpath.

    The first work done in the new shops was the making of Crane No. 6;
    and amongst other early orders was one from the _Newcastle
    Chronicle_, for hydraulic machinery to drive the printing press.
    The new machinery rapidly grew in favour; and orders from mines,
    docks and railways poured in to the Elswick firm, which soon
    extended its works.

    In 1854, when the Crimean War broke out, Mr. Armstrong was
    requested to devise some submarine mines which would clear the
    harbour of Sebastopol of the Russian war-ships which had been sent
    there. He did so, but the machinery was never used.

    At the same time, in his leisure moments, he turned his attention
    to the question of artillery. The guns in use at that time were
    very little better than those which had been used during the
    Napoleonic wars; and Mr. Armstrong devised a new one, which was
    made at his workshops. It was a 3-pounder, complete with
    gun-carriage and mountings, and is still to be seen at Elswick.

    With the usual reluctance of Government departments to consider
    anything new, the War Office of the day was slow to believe in the
    superiority of the new field-piece; but when every fresh trial
    proved that superiority to be beyond doubt, the gun was adopted.
    And then Mr. Armstrong showed the large-minded generosity which was
    so marked a feature of his character. Holding in his hand—as every
    man must, who possesses the secret of a new and superior engine of
    destruction—the fate of nations, to be decided at his will, and
    with the knowledge that other powers were willing and eager to buy
    with any sum the skill of such an inventor, Mr. Armstrong presented
    to the British Government, as a free gift, the patents of his
    artillery; and he entered the Government service for a time, as
    Engineer to the War Department, in order to give them the benefit
    of his skill and special knowledge.

    A knighthood was bestowed upon him, and he took up his new duties
    as Sir William Armstrong. An Ordnance department was opened at
    Elswick, and the Government promised a continuance of orders above
    those that the Arsenal at Woolwich was able to fulfil. All went
    well for a time, but after some years the connection between the
    Government and Elswick ceased; the Ordnance and Engineering works
    were then amalgamated into one concern, and Mr. George Rendel and
    Captain Noble—now Sir Andrew Noble, and one of the greatest living
    authorities on explosives—were placed in charge of the former.

    Released from the agreement to make no guns except for the British
    Government, Elswick was open to receive other orders, which now
    began to roll in from all the world. Elswick prospered greatly,
    until suddenly there came a check, in the shape of a strike for a
    nine hours day, in 1871. After the strike had lasted for four and a
    half months, work was resumed; but the old genial relationship
    between masters and men had received a rude strain, and was never
    the same as before.

    Shipbuilding had been taken up a year or two before this, but the
    earliest vessels were built to their order in Mr. Mitchell’s yard
    at Walker. The first one was a small gunboat, the “Staunch,” built
    for the Admiralty. In later years the Walker ship-yard was united
    to the Elswick enterprises, and a ship-yard at the latter place was
    also opened.

    Meantime, Captain Noble had been experimenting further in
    artillery, and in 1877 another and better type of gun was produced.
    It was adopted by the Government, and all guns since then have been
    modifications, more or less, of this type. In 1876 the famous
    hundred-ton gun for Italy was made, and was taken on board the
    “Europa” to be carried to her destination; this vessel being the
    first to pass the newly-finished Swing Bridge, another outcome of
    the inventive genius of the head of the Elswick firm. The gun,
    which was the largest in the world at that time, was lowered into
    the “Europa” by the largest pair of “sheer-legs” in existence, and
    was lifted out again at Spezzia by the largest hydraulic crane of
    that day, and all these were the work of the Elswick firm.

    Soon after this the firm became Sir W.G. Armstrong, Mitchell, and
    Co.; and in consequence of the continued increase of business, it
    became necessary to open Steel Works also. This is one of the most
    notable features of the Elswick works; the wonders of ancient
    magicians pale into insignificance before the marvels of this
    department, and no Eastern Genius could accomplish such seemingly
    impossible feats with greater ease than do the workmen of Elswick.

    The works continued to grow still further, and soon Elswick was
    building cruisers for China, for Italy (where works at Pozzuoli—the
    ancient Puteoli—were opened), for Russia, Chili, and Japan.
    Tynesiders took a special interest in the progress of the Japanese
    wars, for so many of that country’s battleships had their birth on
    the banks of the river at Elswick, and Japanese sailors became a
    familiar sight in Newcastle streets. Groups of strange faces from
    alien lands are periodically seen in our midst, and met with again
    and again for some time; then one day there is a launch at Elswick,
    and shortly afterwards all the strange faces disappear. They have
    gathered together from their various quarters in the town, and
    manning their new cruiser, have sailed away to their own land, and
    Newcastle streets know them no more; but, later, Tynesiders read in
    their newspapers of the deeds done on the vessels which they have
    sent forth to the world.

    The ice-breaker “Ermack” is one of the firm’s most notable
    achievements, the vessel having been built and designed in their
    Walker yard, to the order of the Czar of Russia, in 1898, for the
    purpose of breaking up ice-floes in the northern seas, and more
    especially for keeping open a route across the great lakes of
    Siberia.

    The Elswick firm became Armstrong, Whitworth and Co., Ltd., in
    1897, which was also the year of another great strike; and two
    years later, a disastrous fire burned down three of their shops,
    throwing two thousand men temporarily out of employment. Still the
    works continued to grow, and business to increase, until, instead
    of the five and a half acres originally purchased, the Company’s
    works, in 1900, covered two hundred and thirty acres, and the
    number of men on the pay-roll was over 25,000—that is, sufficient
    with their families to people a town three times the size of
    Hexham. And the scope and extent of these works are extending, and
    yet extending; and now Elswick and Scotswood form an uninterrupted
    line of closely-packed dwellings, which stretch without a break
    from Newcastle, and make a background for the immense works on the
    river shore; and one would look in vain for any signs of the pretty
    country lanes and village of sixty years ago.

    The founder of this great enterprise, in the early days of the
    Company, built for his workpeople schools, library, and reading
    rooms, as well as dwellings, and met them personally at their
    social gatherings and entertainments—generally provided by himself;
    but the increasing size of the concern, the excellence and
    capability, amounting to genius, of the various heads of
    departments chosen by him, and his own increasing years and failing
    health, led to his gradual withdrawal from personal attendance at
    Elswick. The last time he appeared there officially was when the
    King of Siam visited the works in 1897.

    One who knew him well has written of him, “His mind was at the same
    time original and strictly practical; he noticed with a penetrating
    observation, and drew conclusions with intuitive genius. Abstract
    speculation had no charm for him; he never cherished wild dreams or
    extravagant ideas. But if his conception was thus wisely
    restricted, his execution of an idea was unrivalled in its
    thoroughness. Whether he was founding an industrial establishment,
    or building a house, or making a road, the hand of the man is quite
    unmistakable. There is the same solid basis, the same enduring
    superstructure. Every stone that is laid at Cragside or Bamburgh
    seems to be stamped as it were with the impression of his great
    personality, and the thoroughness of his work.” All his life long,
    the thoroughness with which he was able to concentrate his mind on
    the one subject which occupied it at the time, was a marked feature
    of Lord Armstrong’s character.

    In the early period of his career, while he was still in a
    solicitor’s office, and when the study of hydraulics was absorbing
    all his leisure hours, he was quizzically said to have “water on
    the brain.” Electrical problems also engaged his attention, and in
    1844 he lectured at the Lit. and Phil. rooms on his hydro-electric
    machine, on which occasion the lecture room was so tightly packed
    that he had to get in through the window. In the following year he
    explained to the same society his hydraulic experiments and
    achievements; in 1846 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society;
    and the next summer, 1847, saw the Elswick Works begun.

    It is difficult to realize the fact, brought home to us on looking
    at dates like these, that Lord Armstrong and Robert Stephenson were
    contemporaries, and that both great engineers were engaged at the
    same time on the works which were to bring them lasting fame. The
    life and work of Robert Stephenson seem so remote, so much a part
    of bygone history, that it strikes the mind with an unexpected
    shock to realise that here is a life which began about the same
    time, yet has lasted until quite recent years; for Lord Armstrong’s
    long and successful career only closed with the closing days of the
    nineteenth century.

    In the later years of his life he was greatly interested in
    repairing and partly re-building the historic castle of Bamburgh,
    which Mr. Freeman calls “the cradle of our race,” and which Lord
    Armstrong purchased from Lord Crewe’s Trustees. Of his personal
    character, the writer above quoted says, “Apart from his
    intellectual gifts, Lord Armstrong’s character was that of a great
    man. His unaffected modesty was as attractive as his broad-minded
    charity. In business transactions, he was the soul of integrity and
    honour, while in private life his mind was far too large to regard
    accumulated wealth with any excessive affection. He both spent his
    money freely and gave it away freely. His benefactions to Newcastle
    were princely, and his public munificence was fit to rank with that
    of any philanthropist of his time.”

    Princely, indeed, were his gifts to his native town, as the list of
    them will show; they embraced either large contributions to, or the
    entire gift of, Jesmond Dene, the Armstrong Park, the Lecture
    Theatre of the Literary and Philosophical Society, St. Cuthbert’s
    Church, the Cathedral, St. Stephen’s Church, the Infirmary, the
    Deaf and Dumb Institution, the Children’s Hospital, the Elswick
    Schools, Elswick Mechanics’ Institute, the Convalescent Home at
    Whitley Bay, the Hancock Museum—to which he and Lady Armstrong
    contributed a valuable collection of shells, and £11,500 in
    money—the Armstrong Bridge, the Armstrong College, and the
    Bishopric Endowment Fund.



CHAPTER VI. THE CHEVIOTS.


    From the crowded, bustling scenes of Tyneside to the solitude of
    the Cheviot Hills is a “far cry,” even farther mentally than in
    actual tale of miles. Yet the two are linked by the same stream,
    which begins life as a brawling Cheviot burn, having for its
    fellows the head waters of the Rede, the Coquet, and the Till, with
    the scores of little dancing rills that feed them.

    Nowhere in this land of swelling hills and grassy fields can one
    get out of either sight or sound of running water. Every little dip
    in the hills has its watercourse, every vale its broader stream,
    and the pleasant sound of their murmurings and sweet babbling fills
    in the background of every remembrance of days spent upon the green
    slopes of the Cheviots. You may hear in their tones, if you listen,
    the shrill chatter and laughter of children, soft cooing voices,
    and the deeper notes of manhood, and might fancy, did not your
    sight contradict the fact, that you were close to a goodly company,
    whose words met your ear, but whose magic language you could not
    understand.

    One little burn of my acquaintance, which runs through field and
    dell to join the Till, I have hearkened to again and again for
    hours, unable to break away from the spell of its ever-varying, yet
    constant music—a sort of wilder, sweeter version of Mendelssohn’s
    Duetto, with the voices of Knight and Lady alternating and
    intermingling amidst a rippling current of clear bell-like
    undertones.

    Down from Cheviot itself, the lovely little Colledge Water splashes
    its way, issuing from the wild ravine called the Henhole, where the
    cliffs on each side of the rocky gorge rise in some places to a
    height of more than two hundred feet. Concerning this ravine, there
    is a legend that a party of hunters, long ages ago, were
    deer-stalking in Cheviot Forest, when on reaching the Henhole their
    ears were greeted by the most ravishing music they had ever heard.
    Allured by the enchanting sounds, they followed the music into the
    ravine, where they disappeared, and were never again seen.

    The range of the Cheviot Hills stretches for about twenty-two miles
    along the north-west border of Northumberland; and as the width of
    the range is, roughly speaking, twenty-one miles, we have a tract
    of over three hundred square miles of rolling, grassy, and
    heath-clad hills, of which about one-third is over the Scottish
    border in Roxburghshire. The giants of the range, The Cheviot
    (2,676 feet high), Cairn Hill (2,545 feet), and the striking cone
    of Hedgehope (2,348 feet), are all near to each other on
    Northumbrian soil, a few miles south-west of Wooler, which is a
    most convenient starting place for a visit to any part of the
    Cheviots, as the Alnwick and Cornhill Railway brings within easy
    reach the heights which lie still farther north.

    The quiet little market town lies pleasantly among green meadows
    almost at the foot of the Cheviots; its low substantial stone
    houses, with few gardens in front, give the place a somewhat
    monotonous appearance, but the newer streets try to make amends by
    blossoming out into brilliant flower-plots in summer-time. Still,
    one would not quarrel with the older buildings; solid and
    unpretentious, they must look much the same as in the days of
    Border turmoil, when the first requisite in house or town was
    strength, not beauty.

    Near to Wooler are many interesting places; within the limits of
    quite a short stroll one may visit the Pin Well, a wishing well of
    which there are so many examples to be found wherever one may
    travel; the King’s Chair, a porphyry crag on the hill above the Pin
    Well; Maiden Castle, or, less euphoniously, Kettles Camp, an
    ancient British encampment on the same hill, the Kettles being
    pot-like cavities in the ravines surrounding it; and the Cup and
    Saucer Camp, just half a mile distant from Wooler. The Golf Course
    is now laid out on these same heights.

    To reach the Cheviots from Wooler, the most usual way is by the
    beautiful glen in which lies Langleeford. The bright streamlet
    known as the Wooler Water runs through it from Cheviot on its way
    to the town from which it has taken its present name; formerly it
    was known as Caldgate Burn. It was at Langleeford that Sir Walter
    Scott stayed, as a youth, in 1791, with his uncle, after they had
    vainly attempted to find accommodation in Wooler. Here they rode,
    fished, shot, walked, and drank the goat’s whey for which the
    district was famous in those days and for long afterwards.

    Cheviot itself, or “The Muckle Cheviot,” is a huge cumbrous-looking
    mass, with rounded sides and flat top, boggy and treacherous,
    where, nevertheless, many wild berries brighten the marshy flats in
    their season. The name “Cheviot” is said to mean “Snowy Ridge” and
    well does this highest summit of the range merit the name, for on
    its marshy top and in the rocky chasms of Henhole and Bazzle, the
    winter’s snow often lies until far into the summer. Down through
    the weird and fairy-haunted cleft of Henhole, as we have seen, the
    little brown stream of Colledge Water splashes its way, breaking
    into golden foam between mossy banks as it reaches the outlet, and
    turns northward to join the Till.

    This little burn is one of the prettiest of mountain streams; and
    in the district surrounding it are perhaps more points of interest
    than any other stream of such inconsiderable dimensions can show,
    saving only its neighbour, the Till. The whole of the surrounding
    country, wild, lonely, and romantic, teems with memories and
    reminders of the past. Sir Walter Scott, while on the visit already
    referred to, found an additional pleasure in the presence of so
    many relics of ancient days in the neighbourhood. “Each hill,” he
    wrote to a friend, “is crowned with a tower, or camp, or cairn, and
    in no situation can you be near more fields of battle.”

    Indeed, the whole district of the Cheviots, and the lower lines of
    swelling hills into which the land subsides as it nears the sea, is
    crowded with the memorials of an earlier race; from every hill-top
    and rocky height they speak with tantalising half-revelations of
    that race which the Romans found here when their galleys brought
    them to the land which was to them Ultima Thule. No convincing
    explanation has yet been found of the concentric circular markings,
    with radiating grooves from the cup-shaped hollow in the middle,
    which are scored on the rocks wherever traces of an ancient camp
    are found; and the numbers of these traces are proof that this
    district was once a very thickly populated part of Britain.

    And when Angle and Saxon were driving the early inhabitants before
    them, westward and southward, these hills and valleys still
    sheltered a considerable population; and Bede tells us of a royal
    residence not far away, at the foot of the well known Yeavering
    Bell, one of the more important hills of the range. It rises to a
    height of more than 1,100 feet, and then abruptly ends in a wide,
    almost level top, grass-grown and boulder-strewn, and crowned near
    the centre with a roughly-piled cairn. The ancient name of
    Yeavering Bell, as given by Bede in his account of the labours of
    St. Paulinus, was Ad-gefrin.

    To recall the days when King Edwin and his queen, Ethelburga, came
    here from the royal city of Bamburgh, we must go back to a time
    nearly forty years after the Bernician chieftain, Ida, established
    himself in that rocky fortress, from whence he ruled a district
    roughly corresponding to the present counties of Durham and
    Northumberland, and known as Bernicia. One of Ida’s successors,
    Ethelric, overcame the tribe of Angles then established in the
    neighbouring district of Deira—the Yorkshire of to-day. His
    successor, Ethelfrith, ruled over the united district, and married
    the daughter of Ella, the vanquished chieftain. Her brother, Edwin,
    he drove into exile, and the young prince found refuge at the court
    of Redwald of East Anglia, where he remained for some years.

    Redwald’s friendship, however, does not seem to have been above
    suspicion, for we find that Ethelfrith’s bribe had on one occasion
    nearly induced him to give up his guest, whose life, however, was
    saved by Redwald’s wife who turned her husband from his purpose. In
    his exile the thoughts of the young prince often turned towards his
    own land; and, once, as he sat brooding over his misfortunes, he
    saw in a vision one who came and spoke comforting words to him,
    saying that he should yet be king and that his reign should be long
    and glorious. “And if one should come to thee and repeat this
    sign,” said the stranger, laying his right hand on Edwin’s head
    “wouldst thou hearken to his rede?” Edwin gave his word, and the
    vision fled. Some little time after this, Ethelfrith of
    Northumbria, as the united districts were now called, fell in
    battle against Redwald, and Edwin, returning northward, became
    ruler of Northumbria, the sons of Ethelfrith fleeing in their turn
    before the new king. Edwin wedded, as his second wife, Ethelburga,
    daughter of that king of Kent in whose days Augustine came to
    England; and being a Christian princess, she brought with her a
    priest to her new home in the north. The priest’s name was
    Paulinus; and one day he went to the King and, placing his right
    hand on Edwin’s head, asked if he knew that sign. Edwin remembered,
    and redeemed his promise. He hearkened to the teaching of the
    earnest monk, with the result that before long he and his court
    were baptised by Paulinus, Edwin’s little daughter, it is said,
    being the first to receive the sacred rite.

    This was at York; and when the king and queen went to the royal
    city of Bamburgh, or to their country dwelling at the foot of the
    Cheviots, Paulinus accompanied them; and wherever he went, he
    laboured to teach the North-country Angles and Saxons the gospel of
    Christ. This country dwelling, to which came Paulinus and his royal
    friends, was Ad-gefrin, or Yeavering; and though it is extremely
    unlikely that any traces of it could remain until our day, yet
    tradition points out a fragment of an old building still standing
    there, as a remnant of the royal residence.

    In the region of Kirknewton, a pretty little village to the
    north-west of Yeavering, where Colledge Water joins the Glen, which
    gives its name to the romantic district of Glendale, Paulinus
    baptised many hundreds of Edwin’s people; and the name of
    Pallinsburn—which is now confined to a house at some little
    distance from the burn—enshrines the memory of yet another scene of
    the labours of the indefatigable monk.

    If we stand on the wind-swept top of Yeavering Bell, we are
    surrounded by the evidences of still more remote days, for the
    whole of the summit was once a fortified camp of the ancient
    Britons. A roughly-piled, but massive wall, now almost all broken
    down, surrounded it, and within its grass-grown oval are two
    additional walls, at the east and the west ends of the enclosure,
    and many hut-circles, evidences of the rude dwellings of our remote
    ancestors. Excavations here many years ago brought to light a
    jasper ball, some fragments of a coarse kind of pottery, and some
    oaken armlets. Evidently the enclosure on the summit was intended
    to be a last resort in time of danger, for traces of many huts are
    to be found outside its encircling wall, which is surrounded by a
    ditch and a low rampart of earth. At the east end, where the
    porphyry crag juts out from the hilltop to a height of about twenty
    feet, full advantage has been taken of this naturally strong
    position.

    Now, instead of advancing foes, the spreading heather climbs
    steadily up the sloping sides of this ancient stronghold, and
    invades the central enclosure at its will; a few hardy sheep that
    have wandered up here from the richer pastures below, and now and
    again a stray tourist, anxious to make acquaintance at first hand
    with one of the more famous of the Cheviot heights, and more than
    satisfied with the glorious view spread out before him, are all
    that disturb the brooding peace of its grassy solitudes. Up here
    the wind blows keenly around us with an exhilarating freshness in
    its breath, and we think regretfully of coats left behind at the
    shepherd’s hospitable dwelling, which, with the rest of the
    cottages clustering round the old farm house, lies sunning itself
    in the warm glow of the September afternoon, in the green fields at
    the foot of the sheltering hills.

    Looking southward now, up the stream, there is stretching away to
    the left the long ridge of Newton Tor, and away behind it Great
    Hetha and Little Hetha; while half-way down the vale the Colledge
    Water tumbles over the rocks at Hethpoole Linn (or Heathpool, as
    the modern rendering has it), breaking into amber spray deep down
    beneath overhanging trees and boulders and golden bracken.

    This brings our thoughts to days comparatively modern, for when
    Admiral Collingwood was raised to the peerage of Great Britain, it
    was by the title of “Baron Collingwood of Caldburn and Hethpoole,
    in the county of Northumberland.” The brave Admiral was fond of
    planting an oak tree whenever he found an opportunity, to secure
    the continuance of those wooden walls which in his hands, and in
    those of his life-long friend, Nelson, had proved such a sure
    defence to his country. In a letter dated March, 1806, he wrote to
    his wife, “I wish some parts of Hethpoole could be selected for
    plantations of larch, oak, and beech, where the ground could best
    be spared. Even the sides of a bleak hill would grow larch and
    fir.” In another letter some months later he told her what
    “agreeable news” it was to hear that she was taking care of his
    oaks, and planting some at Hethpoole; and saying that if he ever
    returned he would plant a good deal there; adding, however, that he
    feared before that could take place both he and Lady Collingwood
    might themselves be planted in the churchyard beneath some old yew
    tree.

    Hethpoole presents us with a link not only with history, but with
    romance as well. An ivied ruin near at hand, with walls of enormous
    strength, is said to be the remains of the castle where the final
    tragedy in “The Hermit of Warkworth” took place. Here, it is said,
    the distracted lover came upon his lady and his brother, who had at
    that moment effected her escape, and not recognising the youth,
    rushed upon the pair with drawn sword, only to discover too late
    his terrible mistake, and lose both brother and bride—for the lady
    received a mortal wound in trying to save her rescuer.

    Turning our eyes now northward across the Glen from Yeavering Bell,
    we are looking towards Coupland Castle, and the fact that it was
    built so late as the reign of James I. bears eloquent testimony to
    the insecurity of life and property on the Borders even at that
    period. The barony either gave its name to, or took its name from,
    a well-known Northumbrian family, of which one of the most
    prominent members was that Sir John de Coupland who succeeded in
    capturing David of Scotland at the battle of Neville’s Cross—not,
    however, before he had lost some of his teeth by a blow from the
    mailed fist of that doughty monarch!

    Beyond Coupland Castle we look across Milfield Plain lying in the
    angle formed by the meeting of the Glen with the deep and sullen
    Till, whose slow windings can be traced as it gleams at intervals
    between the undulations of the lower hills through which it flows
    northwestward to the Tweed. Though a brisk and sparkling stream in
    certain parts of its course, the general characteristics of the
    Till are well borne out by the lines—
  Tweed says to Till “What gars ye rin sae still?” Till says to Tweed
  “Though ye rin wi’ speed And I rin slaw; Where ye droon ae man I
  droon twa.”

    There is yet more of historical and traditional interest to note in
    this view from the top of Yeavering Bell, which, as I saw it last,
    lay warm in the glow of a September afternoon. Nennius is our
    authority for stating that on Milfield Plain took place one of the
    great conflicts in which King Arthur
  “Fought, and in twelve great battles overcame The heathen hordes, and
  made a realm, and reigned”

    And, as we gazed, the level spaces seemed peopled once more with
    charging knights, flashing sword and swinging battle-axe, and the
    intervening centuries dropped away, and Arthur’s call to battle for
    “our fair father Christ,” seemed curiously befitting that romantic
    scene. But, as the shadows lengthened, and the streams took on a
    golden glow in the rays of the September sun, then slowly setting,
    “the tumult and the shouting of the captains” died away, and the
    figure of an earnest monk seemed to stand by the riverside, with
    prince and serf, peasant and warrior for his audience, and the cold
    bright waters of the Glen dripping from his hand, as he enrolled
    one after another into the ranks of an army mightier than the hosts
    of Arthur or Edwin.

    Milfield again emerges into notice out of the obscurity of those
    dark ages, in the days of the Bernician kings who succeeded Edwin;
    for Bede tells us that “This town (Ad-gefrin) under the following
    kings, was abandoned, and another was built instead of it at a
    place called Melmin,” now Milfield. Nothing, however, remains here
    of the buildings which once sheltered the royal Saxons and their
    court. In later days, Milfield has a melancholy interest attaching
    to it from its connection with the battle of Flodden; for, on the
    heights above, King James fixed his camp, in the hope that Surrey
    would lead his troops across the plain below. Of the other
    considerable heights of the Cheviot range, Carter Fell and Peel
    Fell are the best known; they both lie right on the border line of
    England and Scotland, between the North Tyne and the Rede Water. As
    we have already seen, the men of Tynedale and Redesdale bore a
    reputation for lawlessness in the time of the Border
    “Moss-trooping” days, and until nearly the end of the eighteenth
    century the tradesmen and guilds of Newcastle would take no
    apprentice who hailed from either of these dales. The tracks and
    passes between the hills, once alive with frequent foray and wild
    pursuit, are now silent and solitary but for the occasional passing
    of a shepherd or farmer, and the flocks of sheep grazing as they
    move slowly up the hillsides. A quaint survival of the remembrances
    of those days was unexpectedly brought before me one day. A child
    presented me with a bunch of cotton-grass, gathered on the moors
    not far from the Roman-Wall. I asked if she knew what they were
    that she had brought. “Moss-troopers,” she replied.

    Many of the Cheviot heights bear most suggestive and interesting
    names, such as Cushat[7] Law, Kelpie[8] Strand, Earl’s Seat,
    Stot[9] Crags, Deer Play, Wether Lair, Bloodybushedge, Monkside,
    etc., etc.

 [7] Cushat = a wood-pigeon.

 [8] Kelpie = a water-witch.

 [9] Stot = a bullock.

    In these lonely wilds, which occupy all the northwest of the
    county, one may travel all day and meet with no living thing save
    the birds of the air, and a few shy, wild creatures of the
    moorlands; curve after curve, the rounded hills stretch away into
    the distance, grass-grown or heatherclad, with occasional
    peat-mosses; above is the “grey gleaming sky,” and, all around, a
    stillness as of vast untrodden wastes, and a sense of solitude out
    of all proportion to the actual extent of this lonely region. The
    fascination of it, however, admits of no denial, even on the part
    of those newly making its acquaintance; while those who in
    childhood or youth roam over its wild fells, and feel the spell of
    its brooding mystery, retain in their hearts for all time an
    unfading remembrance of its magic charm.
  COLLEDGE WATER.
  My sire is the stooping Cheviot mist, My mother the heath in her
  purple train; And every flower on her gown I’ve kissed Over and over
  and over again.
  The secret ways of the hills are mine, I know where the wandering
  moor-fowl nest; And up where the wet grey glidders[10] shine I know
  where the roving foxes rest.
  I know what the wind is wailing for As it searches hollow and hag and
  peak; And, riding restless on Newton Tor, I know what the questing
  shadows seek.
  I know the tale that the brown bees tell, And they tell it to me with
  a raider’s pride, As, drunk with the cups of Yeavering Bell, They
  stagger home from the English side.
  I know the secrets of haugh and hill; But sacred and safe they rest
  with me, Till I hide them deep in the heart of Till, To be taken to
  Tweed and the open sea.
    —_Will. H. Ogilvie_.
  BY PERMISSION OF MESSRS. W. AND R. CHAMBERS

 [10] Glidders = Patches of loose stones on the hillside.



CHAPTER VII. THE ROMAN WALL.


  “Take these flowers, which, purple waving, On the ruined rampart
  grew, Where, the sons of Freedom braving, Rome’s imperial standard
  flew. Warriors from the breach of danger Pluck no longer laurels
  there; They but yield the passing stranger Wild-flower wreaths for
  Beauty’s hair.” —_Sir Walter Scott._ (Lines written for a young
  lady’s album.)

    Of all the abundance of treasure which Northumberland possesses,
    from a historical point of view—of all its wealth of interesting
    relics of bygone days—ancient abbey, grim fortress, menhir and
    monolith, camp and tumulus—none grips the imagination as does the
    sight of that unswerving line which pursues its way over hill and
    hollow, from the eastern to the western shores of the north-land,
    visible emblem, after more than a thousand years, of the far-flung
    arm of Imperial Rome.

    From Wallsend on the Tyne to Bowness on the Solway Firth it strode
    triumphantly across the land; even now in its decay it remains a
    splendid monument to that mighty nation’s genius for having and
    holding the uttermost parts of the earth that came within their
    ken. As was inevitable, after the lapse of nearly eighteen
    centuries the great work is everywhere in a ruinous condition, and
    in many places, especially at its eastern end, has disappeared
    altogether; but not only can its course be traced by various
    evidences, but it was actually standing within comparatively recent
    years. As lately as the year 1800—lately, that is, compared with
    the date of its building—its existence at Byker was referred to in
    a magazine of the period. Now nothing is to be seen of it excepting
    a few stones here and there, for many miles from Wallsend; but the
    highroad westward from Newcastle, by Westgate Road, as is well
    known, follows the course of the Wall for nearly twenty miles. But
    farther west we may walk along the uneven, broken surface of the
    mighty rampart, or climb down into the broad and deep fosse which
    lies closely against it along its northern side, without troubling
    ourselves with the arguments and uncertainties of antiquaries, who
    have by no means decided on what was the original function of the
    Wall, who was its real builder, why and when the earthen walls and
    fosse which accompany it on the south were wrought, and many other
    smaller controversial points, which afford endless matter for
    speculation and discussion.

    Early references to the Wall show that our forefathers knew it as
    the Picts’ Wall; it is now generally referred to as the Wall of
    Hadrian, the general concensus of opinion yielding to that
    indefatigable ruler the credit of having wrought the mighty work.
    Whether built originally as a frontier line of defence or not,
    opinions are not agreed; but it is very certain that the Wall
    afforded the only secure foothold in the North to the Romans for
    well-nigh two centuries of hostility from the restless Brigantes to
    the southward, and the Picts and Scots to the north; and for
    another century or so after their southern neighbours had become
    friendly and peaceful, it still remained a substantial bulwark
    against the northern barbarians.

    Throughout the whole of its length it steadily holds the line of
    the highest ridges in its course, climbing up slopes and dipping
    down into the intervening hollows with the least possible deviation
    from its onward course. The most interesting, because most
    complete, portion of the Wall, is that in the neighbourhood of the
    three loughs—Broomlee, Greenlee, and Crag Loughs, which, with
    Grindon Lough to the south of the Wall, boast the name of the
    Northumberland Lakes. On this portion of the wall is situated the
    large Roman station of Borcovicus, from which we have gained a
    great deal of our information as to what the life of the garrisons
    on this lonely outpost of Empire was like.

    The station is situated on hilly ground, which slopes gently to the
    south, and is nearly five acres in extent. On entering the eastern
    gateway one cannot but experience a sudden thrill on seeing the
    deep grooves worn in the stone by the passing and repassing of
    Roman cart and chariot wheels. That mute witness of the daily
    traffic of the soldiery in those long-past centuries speaks with a
    most intimate note to us who eighteen hundred years afterwards come
    to look upon the place of their habitation. The station itself is
    of the usual shape of the Roman towns on the course of the
    Wall—oblong, with rounded corners. The greatest length lies east
    and west, in a line with the Wall; and two broad streets crossing
    each other at right angles lead from the north to the south, and
    from the east to the western gateways. Each of the four was
    originally a double gateway; but in every case one half of it has
    been closed up, no doubt when the garrison was declining in
    numbers, and the attacks of the enemy were increasing in severity.

[Illustration: North Gateway, Housesteads and Roman Wall.]

    Considerable portions of the guard-chambers, one at each side of
    each gateway, still remain; and near one of them was found a huge
    stone trough, its edges deeply worn by, apparently, the frequent
    sharpening of knives upon it. Its use has not been determined; Dr.
    Bruce tells us that one of the men engaged in the work of
    excavation gave it as his firm opinion that the Romans used it to
    wash their Scotch prisoners in! The buildings of the little town—a
    row of houses against the western wall, two large buildings near
    the centre of the camp, with smaller chambers to the east of
    them—in which the garrison lived, worked, and stored their
    supplies, are still quite plainly to be traced, although the walls
    are only three or four courses high in most places, and of the
    pillars the broken bases are almost all that remain.

    A considerable number of people dwelt outside the walls of this, as
    of all the stations, sheltering under its walls, and relying on the
    protection of its garrison; the slope to the southward of
    Borcovicus shows many traces of buildings scattered all over it. On
    the northern side, the steep hill, massive masonry, and deep fosse
    would seem to have offered well-nigh insuperable difficulties to an
    attacking force such as then could be brought against the camp; yet
    not only here, but in all the stations whose remains yet survive,
    there is unmistakable evidence that more than once has the garrison
    been driven out by a victorious foe, to re-enter and occupy it
    again at a later period. And when we consider that the Wall and its
    forts were garrisoned by the Romans for a period extending over
    nearly three centuries, a period corresponding to the time from the
    reign of James I. to the present day, it becomes a matter of
    wonder, not that such was the case, but that such occurrences were
    not more frequent than the evidences seem to declare.

    In spite of all the hard fighting, however, the recreations of
    lighter hours would seem not to have been forgotten; on the north
    of the wall is a circular hollow in the ground, evidently a little
    amphitheatre, in which doubtless many a captive Briton and Pict
    played his part. On a little rise to the southward, called Chapel
    Hill, stood the temple where the garrison paid its vows to the
    various deities of its worship. Many remarkably fine altars found
    on this and other sites have been preserved, either at the fine
    museum at The Chesters, or at the Black Gate in Newcastle. One of
    the most striking is the altar to Mithras, the Persian sun-god,
    found in a cave near the camp, evidently constructed for the
    celebration of the rites connected with the worship of Mithras. The
    altar shows the god coming out of an egg, and surrounded by an oval
    on which are carved the signs of the Zodiac.

    The Teutonic element in the garrison is represented by the altars
    to Mars Thingsus, the discovery of which caused great interest in
    Germany, and by the altars to the Deae Matres—the mother-goddesses,
    whose carved figures are shown seated, fully draped, and holding
    baskets of fruits on their knees. They are generally found in sets
    of three; but unfortunately they have been much mutilated, and all
    the examples remaining are headless. The Deae Matres would seem to
    correspond in some degree to the Roman Ceres and the Greek Demeter,
    the bountiful givers of the fruits of the earth. The majority of
    the altars found are, as was to be expected, dedicated to the
    deities of Rome; chiefly, as shown by the constantly recurring
    I.O.M.—_Jovi optimo maximo_—to “Jupiter, the best and greatest.”
    The varying inscriptions which follow as reasons for their erection
    as votive offerings give us glimpses of the life in these
    communities clearer than those afforded by anything else. And as
    most, if not all, of our knowledge concerning the details of the
    Roman occupation of the north-country has to be obtained from the
    inscriptions which the garrisons left behind them, the inscribed
    stones as well as the altars are of the greatest possible interest
    and value. One such stone, found at the Borcovicus mile-castle,
    states that “the Second Legion, the August (erected this at the
    command of) Aulus Platorius Nepos, Legate and Propraetor, in honour
    of the Emperor Caesar Trajanus Hadrianus Augustus.”

    At “Cuddy’s” (Cuthbert’s) Crag near Borcovicus is one of the most
    picturesque bits of scenery to be found on the whole course of the
    Wall. My first acquaintance with it was made on a day of grey mist
    and drizzling rain, which completely hid any view of the
    surrounding country, and of necessity confined our attention to the
    stones (and wet grass!) immediately beneath our feet. But another
    visit was on a day of wind and sunshine, and in the company of a
    group of light-hearted students. We explored the ruins of
    Borcovicus, walked along the broad and broken top of the Wall, and
    climbed up hill and down dale with it under the pleasantest
    conditions, if a trifle breezy on the heights. June was at her
    traditional best, which she does not often vouchsafe to show us;
    flowers waved all around, amongst the grass and in the crannies
    between the stones, and more than once the lines at the head of
    this chapter were quoted by one to another. Again and again our
    progress was stayed while we admired the glorious view spread out
    all around, but especially was this the case at Cuddy’s Crag. We
    looked westward over Crag Lough, its usually dark waters flashing
    in the afternoon sun; the three Loughs were all within view; away
    to the southward, beyond Barcombe Hill, and the site of Vindolana,
    Langley Castle could be seen, “standing four-square to all the
    winds that blew”; and further away again, beyond the valley of the
    South Tyne, to the southwest the faint outlines of Crossfell and
    Skiddaw. Northward it was quite easy to imagine oneself looking out
    over the Picts’ country still, so far do the moorlands stretch, and
    so few are the signs of habitation. Rolling ridges stretch
    northward, wave upon wave, clothed with grass and heather, amongst
    which Parnesius and Pertinax went hunting with little Allo the
    Pict; to the northeast the heights of Simonside showed; and far
    beyond them, though more to the westward, the rounded summits of
    the Cheviots lay on the horizon.

    A short distance westward from the Crag is Hot Bank farmhouse, a
    place which most visitors to the Wall remember with grateful
    feelings; for what is more refreshing, after a long tramp, than a
    farmhouse cup of tea accompanied by that most appetising of
    Northumbrian dainties, hot girdle cakes! The Visitors’ Book at Hot
    Bank is a “civil list” of all the most learned and noted names in
    Great Britain, and many outside its shores, together with legions
    of humbler folk. In this it resembles the one at Cilurnum, which is
    the only other considerable station along the line of the Wall in
    Northumberland.

    This station of Cilurnum, or Chesters, is a little over five acres
    in extent, and is quite near to Chollerford station on the North
    British Railway. To describe Cilurnum in detail, and the
    interesting museum connected with it, filled with a wonderful
    collection of objects found on the line of the Wall, would require
    a book to deal with that alone. The general plan is the same as
    that which we have already seen at Borcovicus, with the same
    rounded corners, and double gateway with guard-chambers at each
    side; the western and eastern walls at Chesters, however, have each
    an additional single gateway to the south of the larger portals. We
    must content ourselves with a short survey of the camp, with its
    two wide streets at right angles to each other as at Borcovicus,
    and the rest of them very narrow—indeed, little more than two feet
    in width; the remains of its Forum and market, its barracks and
    houses, its open shops and colonnades, the bases of the pillars yet
    in position; its baths, with pipes, cistern, and flues; and a
    vaulted chamber which was thought, on its being first excavated, to
    lead to underground stables, for a local tradition held that such
    were in existence, and would be found, with a troop of five hundred
    horses. The vault, however, did not lead further, so that the
    tradition remained unproven. Notwithstanding this, there was a
    grain of fact in it; for Chesters was a cavalry station, and five
    hundred was the full complement of the _ala_, or troop (_ala_ being
    a “wing,” and cavalry forming the “wing” of an army in position).

    Outside the walls of Cilurnum are traces of the usual suburban
    dwellings; and here, near the river, stood the villa of the officer
    in command of the station. The excavation of all these buildings
    and many others took place in the forties and fifties of last
    century, and were due to the energy of Mr. John Clayton, the
    learned and zealous antiquary, in the possession of whose family
    the estate still remains. To Mr. N.G. Clayton we owe the Museum at
    the Lodge gate, which he built for the reception of the notable
    collection it contains of antiquities gathered from all the various
    stations in Northumberland. A very fine altar brought from
    Vindolana at once strikes the eye, and may be taken as a type of
    many others, though not many are so perfect. The gravestone of a
    standard-bearer, from the neighbouring station of Procolitia, shows
    a full-length carving of the dead warrior. Other inscribed stones
    are of great interest, though unfortunately most of them are but
    fragments; still these fragments not infrequently contain a few
    words which enable students of them to confirm a date or a fact
    concerning the garrisons, which must otherwise have been a matter
    of pure conjecture. For instance, it might seem very improbable
    that the same regiments should have been quartered in certain
    stations for over two hundred years; yet one of the inscribed
    stones proves that such was the case at Cilurnum. The inscription
    states that the second _ala_ of the Asturians repaired the temple
    during the consulate of certain persons, which is found to be about
    the year 221. In the _Notitia_, which was not compiled until the
    beginning of the fifth century, the second _ala_ of the Asturians
    is given as the garrison of Cilurnum.

    Another thing which strikes the imagination is the sight, after the
    lapse of so many centuries, of the erasures on various inscribed
    stones—erasures of some emperor’s or Caesar’s name after his death
    by the chisel of a soldier in one of his legions on this far-away
    post of his empire. It is one thing to read one’s Gibbon, and learn
    of the murder of Geta, son of Severus, by order of his brother
    Caracalla, and another to see the youth’s name roughly scratched
    out on a stone in Hexham Abbey crypt; and to read of the
    assassination of Elagabalus does not move us one whit, but to see
    his name erased from a stone in Chesters museum brings the
    tumultuous happenings in ancient Rome very closely home to us.

    Here are also several Roman milestones, with their lengthy and
    sonorous inscriptions, from various points on the Wall; and a
    miscellaneous and deeply interesting collection of smaller
    articles, such as ornaments of bronze, jet, or gold, fibulae
    (brooches or clasps), coins of many reigns, Samian-ware,
    terra-cotta and glass, parts of harness, etc., etc.

    Of carven figures there are several besides the standard bearer
    already mentioned. The best is a figure of Cybele, with elaborate
    draperies, but unfortunately headless; another, of Victory, holds a
    palm branch in the left hand, but the right arm is missing. A
    soldier is shown with spear, shield, and ornate head-piece; and a
    representation of a river-god, the genius of the Tyne, is worthy of
    notice. He is a bearded figure, after the style of the figures of
    Nilus, or the representations in old prints of Father Thames. From
    Procolitia comes an altar to the goddess Coventina, a name not met
    with elsewhere, the presiding genius of the well in that station.
    She is shown reclining on a water-lily leaf, holding in one hand a
    water-plant, and in the other a goblet from which a stream of water
    runs. An elaborate carving of three water nymphs, most probably
    meant to be in attendance on the goddess, is one of the few pieces
    of sculpture that are not greatly mutilated.

    Centurial stones are numerous, having been put up at all parts of
    the Wall to record the building of such and such parts by various
    centurions and their companies. The mark >, which Dr. Hodgkin
    supposes to be a representation of the vine rod, a centurion’s
    symbol of authority, and the sign C or Q, are used to signify a
    century. Thus a stone inscribed Q VAL. MAXI. states that the
    century of Valerius Maximus built that part of the Wall. Two or
    three small altars are inscribed DIBVS VETERIBVS—“To the Old Gods”;
    and Mars Thingsus is well represented.

    A very important relic of Roman times found at Cilurnum was a
    bronze tablet of citizenship, giving this coveted privilege to a
    number of soldiers who had served in twenty-five campaigns and
    received honourable discharge. There have been only three specimens
    of this diploma found in Britain, and all are preserved in the
    British Museum. There are many memorial tablets erected by wives to
    their husbands, and husbands to their wives, which leads to much
    speculation as to how these ladies, high-born Roman, native Briton,
    or freed-woman, liked their sojourn in a small garrison town on the
    breezy heights of a Northumbrian moorland. Those ladies who dwelt
    at Cilurnum, however, had not so much cause to complain, for such
    natural advantages as were to be had were certainly theirs, in that
    sheltered spot. The scenery round about Cilurnum is quiet, peaceful
    and pastoral, altogether different from the wild beauty of Cuddy’s
    Crag, Limestone Corner, or Whinshields.

    Having now noticed the two chief stations on the line of the Wall,
    it will be interesting to follow the course of the rampart itself
    throughout its journey across Northumberland, though to do so in
    detail is impossible within the limits of so small a volume as the
    present one. Neither would it be necessary, or desirable, for the
    last word in detailed description has been said long ago in the two
    wonderfully exhaustive treatises on the subject by Dr. Bruce.

    A list of Roman officials, civil and military, throughout the
    empire has come down to us; in this list—_Notitia Dignitatem et
    Administratem, tam civilium quam militarium in partibus orientis et
    occidentis_—the portion which relates to the Wall is headed, _Item
    per lineam Valli_—“Also along the line of the Wall.” The following
    is a copy of this portion, as given by Dr. Bruce in his _Handbook
    to the Roman Wall_.
  The Tribune of the fourth cohort of the Lingones at Segedunum.
  The Tribune of the first cohort of Cornovii at Pons AElii.
  The Prefect of the first _ala_ of the Asturians at Condercum. The
  Tribune of the first cohort of the Frixagi (Frisii) at Vindobala.
  The Prefect of the Savinian _ala_ at Hunnum.
  The Prefect of the second _ala_ of the Asturians at Cilurnum.
  The Tribune of the first cohort of the Batavians at Procolitia.
  The Tribune of the first cohort of the Tungrians at Borcovicus.
  The Tribune of the fourth cohort of the Gauls at Vindolana.
  The Tribune of the first cohort of Asturians at Aesica.
  The Tribune of the second cohort of Dalmatians at Magna.
  The Tribune of the first cohort of Dacians, styled Aelia, at
  Amboglanna.
  The Prefect of the _ala_ called “Petriana,” at Petriana.
  The Prefect of a detachment of Moors, styled Aureliani, at Aballaba.
  The Tribune of the second cohort of the Lingones at Congavata.
  The Tribune of the first cohort of Spaniards at Axelodunum.
  The Tribune of the second cohort of the Thracians at Gabrosentum.
  The Tribune of the first marine cohort, styled Aelia, at Tunnocelum.
  The Tribune of the first cohort of the Morini at Glannibanta.
  The Tribune of the third cohort of the Nervians at Alionis.
  The Cuneus of men in armour at Bremetenracum.
  The Prefect of the first _ala_, styled Herculean, at Olenacum.
  The Tribune of the sixth cohort of the Nervians at Virosidum.

    Of these stations, with their officers and troops, only those as
    far as Magna are in Northumberland; the rest continue the chain of
    defences across Cumberland to the Solway Firth. Besides these
    stations, there were _castella_ at the distance of every Roman mile
    (seven furlongs) along the Wall, from which circumstance they are
    known as “mile-castles.” They provided accommodation for the troops
    necessary between the stations, which were at some distance from
    each other; and between each two _castella_ there were also erected
    two turrets, so that communication from one end of the Wall to the
    other was speedy and certain.

    All traces of the station of Segedunum (Wallsend) have long since
    disappeared; the Wall from there, beginning actually in the bed of
    the river, ran almost parallel with the N.E.R. Tynemouth Branch, a
    little to the south of it, and climbing the hill to Byker, went
    down the slope to the Ouseburn parallel with Shields Road, crossing
    the burn just a little to the south of Byker Bridge. From there its
    course has been traced to Red Barns, where St. Dominic’s now
    stands, to the Sallyport Gate, and over the Wall Knoll to Pilgrim
    Street; thence to the west door of the Cathedral, and on past St.
    John’s Church, up Westgate Road.

    The station at Pons AElii, it is generally agreed, occupied the
    ground between the Cathedral church of St. Nicholas and the
    premises of the Lit. and Phil. Society. Following the Wall up
    Westgate Road, we are now out upon the highway from Newcastle to
    Carlisle, which, as we have seen, is upon the very line of the Wall
    for nearly a score of miles. At Condercum (Benwell) the next
    station, garrisoned by a cavalry corps of Asturians from Spain, a
    small temple was uncovered in the course of excavating, and two
    altars found still standing in their original position. Both of
    these were to a deity unknown elsewhere, given as Antenociticus on
    one, and as Anociticus on the other. The former was erected by a
    centurion of the Twentieth Legion, the Valerian and Victorious,
    whose crest, the running boar, we shall meet with more than once in
    our journey.

    Westward from here, near West Denton Lodge, faint indications of
    the turf wall (generally called the Vallum, to distinguish it from
    the Murus, or stone wall), come into sight, and traces of a
    mile-castle to the left of the road. After this the Vallum and
    Murus accompany each other for the rest of their journey, with but
    little intermission. The next mile-castle was at Walbottle, from
    which point a delightful view of the Tyne valley and the
    surrounding country can be obtained. Passing Throckley and
    Heddon-on-the-Wall, where the fosse on the northern side of the
    Wall is well seen, and also the Vallum and its fosse, Vindolana
    (Rutchester) is reached; but there is little evidence here that it
    is the site of a once busy and bustling garrison station. Indeed,
    up to this point and for a considerable distance further, a few
    courses of stones here and there are all that is to be seen of the
    Roman Wall, its material having for the most part been swallowed up
    in the construction of the turnpike road on which we are
    travelling. This road was made in 1745 because there was no road by
    which General Wade could convey his troops from Newcastle to
    Carlisle, when “Bonnie Prince Charlie” marched so gaily to that
    city on his way southward, and so sadly, in a month, returned
    again.

    The Wall now makes for the ridge of Harlow Hill, while the Vallum
    goes on in a perfectly straight line past the picturesque Whittle
    Dene and the waterworks, until the Wall joins it again near Welton,
    where the old pele-tower is entirely built of Roman stones. After
    Matfen Piers, where a road to the northward leads to the beautiful
    little village of Matfen, and one to the southward to Corbridge,
    the Wall passes Wall Houses and Halton Shields, where the various
    lines of the Wall, road, and earthworks, as well as the fosse of
    each, can be distinctly seen. Passing Carr Hill, the Wall leads up
    to the station of Hunnum (Halton Chesters), where Parnesius was
    stationed when Maximus gave him his commission on the Wall. It is
    not easy to recognise the site now, but as we follow the road we
    may comfort ourselves with the reflection that at least we have
    walked right across it from the eastern gate to the western.

    A short distance further on is Stagshawbank, famed for its fairs,
    the glory of which, however, has greatly departed since the days
    when Dandie Dinmont had such adventures on returning from
    “Staneshiebank.” It stands just where the Wall crosses the Watling
    Street, which enters Northumberland at Ebchester, and crossing the
    moors to Whittonstall, leads down the long descent to Riding Mill;
    there turning westward to Corbridge, it comes straight on to
    Stagshawbank, leading thence northwestward past the Wall through
    Redesdale to the Borders, which it reaches at Ad Fines Camp, or
    Chew Green, where the solitudes of the Cheviots and the silence of
    the deserted camp are soon to be startled by the rifle-shots of
    Territorials at practice. West of Stagshawbank the earthen ramparts
    are to be seen in great perfection.

    As the Wall nears Chollerford, one may see, a little to the
    northward, the little chapel of St. Oswald, which, as we have seen
    in a former chapter, marks the site of the battle of Heavenfield.
    Just before reaching this point, there is a quarry to the south of
    the Wall from which the Romans obtained much building-stone, and
    one of them has left his name carved on one of the stones left
    lying there, thus—(P)ETRA FLAVI(I) CARANTINI—_The stone of Flavius
    Carantinus_.

    At Plane Trees Field and at Brunton there are larger pieces of the
    Wall standing than we have yet seen. The Wall now parts company
    with the highroad, which swerves a little to the north in order to
    cross the Tyne by Chollerford Bridge, while the course of the Wall
    is straight ahead, for the present bridge is not the one built and
    used by the Romans. That is in a line with the Wall, and therefore
    south of the present one; and as we have already noticed, its piers
    can be seen near the river banks when the river is low. A diagram
    of its position is given in Dr. Bruce’s _Handbook_.

    The Wall now leads up to the gateway of Cilurnum, which we have
    already visited; and after leaving the park, it goes on up the hill
    to Walwick. Here it is rejoined by the road, which now for some
    little distance proceeds actually on the line of the Wall, the
    stones of which can sometimes be seen in the roadway. The tower a
    little further on, on the hill called Tower Tye, or Taye, was not
    built by the Romans, although Roman stones were used in its
    erection; it is only about two hundred years old.

    At Black Carts farm, which the Wall now passes, the first turret
    discovered on the line of the Wall after the excavations had begun,
    and interest in the subject was revived, was here laid bare by Mr.
    Clayton in 1873. At Limestone Bank, not much further on, the fosse
    north of the Wall, and also that of the Vallum, show a skill in
    engineering such as we are apt to fancy belongs only to these days
    of powerful machinery, and explosives for rending a way through the
    hardest rock. The ditches have both been cut through the solid
    basalt, and great boulders of it are strewn around; one huge mass,
    weighing many tons, has been hoisted out—by what means, we are left
    to wonder; and another, still in the ditch, has the holes, intended
    for the wedges still discernible.

    A mile or so further on is Procolitia (Carrawburgh), where is the
    famous well presided over by the goddess Coventina, whose
    acquaintance we have already made at Cilurnum. The remains of the
    station at Procolitia are by no means to be compared with those at
    Borcovicus or Cilurnum; very few of its stones are yet remaining.
    The well was the most interesting find at Procolitia. It was known
    to be there, for Horsley had mentioned it; but the waters which
    supplied it were diverted in consequence of some lead-mining
    operations. Then the stream formed by its overflow dried up, grass
    grew over its course and over the well, and it was lost sight of
    entirely. But the same thing which had led to its disappearance was
    the means of finding it again. Some lead miners, prospecting for
    another vein of ore in the neighbourhood, happened to dig in this
    very spot, and soon struck the stones round the mouth of the well.
    Mr. Clayton had it properly excavated, and was rewarded by coming
    not only upon the well, but a rich find of Roman relics of all
    kinds, which had either been thrown pell-mell into it for
    concealment in a moment of danger, or, what is more likely, been
    thrown in during the course of ages as votive offerings to the
    presiding goddess of the well. There were thousands of coins,
    mostly silver and copper, with four gold pieces among them; and a
    large collection of miscellaneous objects, including vases, shoes,
    pearls, ornaments, altars and inscribed stones, all of which were
    taken to Chesters. The next point of interest on the Wall is the
    farmhouse of Carraw, which the Priors of Hexham Abbey once used as
    a summer retreat. A little further on, at Shield-on-the-Wall,
    Wade’s road crosses to the south of the earthen lines, and parts
    company with the Wall for a little while, for the latter bends
    northward to take the high ridge, as usual, while the road and
    Vallum continue in a straight line. The fragments of a mile-castle
    are standing just at the point where the Wall swerves northward;
    indeed, we have been passing the sites of these _castella_, with
    fragments more or less in evidence all along the route, but those
    which we shall now encounter are much more distinctly to be seen
    than their fellows on the eastern part of the journey, many of
    which have disappeared altogether.

    The high crags which here shoulder the Wall are part of the Great
    Whin Sill, an intrusive dyke of dolerite which stretches from
    Greenhead northeastward across the county nearly to Berwick. The
    military road here leaves the Wall, with which it does not again
    come into close contact until both are near Carlisle, though in
    several places the Roman road will be encountered near the Wall in
    a well-preserved condition. The Wall now climbs another ascent to
    the farmhouse of Sewingshields, which name is variously explained
    as “Seven Shields,” and as “The shiels (shielings, or little huts)
    by the seugh” or hollow—the hollow being the fosse. Sewingshields
    Castle, long since disappeared, is the scene of the knight’s
    adventures in Sir Walter Scott’s “Harold the Dauntless.” And
    tradition asserts that King Arthur, with Queen Guinevere and all
    the court, lies in an enchanted sleep beneath the castle, or at
    least its site. Not only is there no castle, but the Wall also has
    been despoiled to supply the material for building the farmhouse
    and other buildings in the neighbourhood. The Wall climbs
    unfalteringly over the crags, one after the other, until the wide
    opening of Busy Gap is reached. This being such a convenient pass
    from north to south, it was naturally used constantly by raiders
    and thieves; and such an unenviable notoriety did it possess, that
    to call a person a “Busy Gap rogue” was sufficient to lay oneself
    open to an action for libel. Climbing the next slope we look down
    on Broomlee Lough and reach the portion of the Wall we have already
    noted—Borcovicus (Housesteads), Cuddy’s Crag, Hot Bank farmhouse,
    and Crag; Lough.

    The course of the Wall continues, past Milking Gap, along the
    rugged heights of Steel Rig, Cat’s Stairs, and Peel Crag, till on
    reaching Winshields we are at the highest point on the line, 1,230
    feet above the sea-level. Dipping down to Green Slack, the Wall
    crosses the valley called Lodham Slack, and begins to ascend once
    more. The local names of gaps and heights in this neighbourhood are
    highly descriptive, and sometimes weirdly suggestive; we have had
    Cat’s Stairs, and now we come to Bogle Hole, Bloody Gap, and Thorny
    Doors. A little further west from here the very considerable
    remains of a mile-castle may be seen, in which a tombstone was
    found doing duty as a hearth-stone. The inscription recorded that
    it had been erected by Pusinna to the memory of her husband
    Dagvaldus, a soldier of Pannonia.

    Westward from this mile-castle the Wall climbs Burnhead Crag, on
    which the foundations of a building, similar to the turrets, were
    exposed a few years ago; then it dips down again to Haltwhistle
    Burn, which comes from Greenlee Lough, and is called, until it
    reaches the Wall, the Caw Burn. From the burn a winding watercourse
    supplied the Roman station of AEsica (Great Chesters) with water.
    Just here the Wall is in a very ruinous condition; and of the
    station of AEsica but little masonry remains, though the outlines
    of it can he clearly traced. Beyond AEsica, however, is a splendid
    portion of the Wall, standing some seven or eight courses high.
    Here it climbs again to the top of the crags which once more
    appear, bold and rugged, to culminate in the “Nine Nicks of
    Thirlwall,” so called from the number of separate heights into
    which the crags divide, and over which the Wall takes its way.

    At Walltown, on this part of its course, is to be seen an old well,
    in which Paulinus is said to have baptised King Edwin; but the
    local name for it is King Arthur’s Well. Now the Wall descends to a
    level and pastoral country, leaving behind it the wild moorland and
    craggy heights across which it has travelled so long; but
    unfortunately much of it has been destroyed by the quarrying
    operations at Greenhead. Of the station of Magna (Caervoran) little
    can be seen at the present day. This station and Aesica are nearer
    to each other than are any other two stations on the Wall, and a
    line of camps, five in number, stand south of the Wall and Vallum,
    from Magna to Amboglanna, showing that a third line of defence was
    deemed necessary where the natural defences of moorland ridge,
    lough or crag were absent.

    The Roman way called the Stanegate comes from the eastward almost
    up to the station of Magna, which stands a little to the south of
    both Wall and Vallum, between them and Wade’s road, which here
    approaches nearer to the Wall than it has done for many miles.

    Another Roman road, the Maiden Way, comes from the South closely up
    to the Vallum, quite near to Thirlwall castle. The name “Thirlwals”
    was supposed to commemorate the “thirling” (drilling or piercing)
    of the Wall at this point by the barbarians, but this is extremely
    doubtful; though the difficulty of defending the wall on this level
    tract lends an air of likelihood to this supposition. Near here the
    little river Tipalt flows across the line of the Wall on its way
    southward to join the North Tyne.

    Passing Wallend, Gap, and Rose Hill, where Gilsland railway station
    now stands, we follow the Wall to the deep dene of the Poltross
    Burn, which forms the boundary between Northumberland and
    Cumberland. The railway just beyond the burn crosses the line of
    the Wall; and, further on, an interesting portion, several courses
    high, takes its way through the Vicarage garden. Here we will leave
    it to continue its way through Cumberland, and turn our attention
    to the chief Roman ways which cross Northumberland, with other
    stations standing upon them.

    The Watling Street or Dere Street, we have already noticed; and the
    chief station on it, which has also proved to be the largest in
    Northumberland, is Corstopitum, near Corbridge. The recent
    excavations since 1906 have resulted in the finding of many
    interesting relics, including some hundreds of coins, amongst which
    were forty-eight gold pieces, of later Roman date, ranging from
    those of Valentinian I. to those of Magnus Maximus. Pottery in
    large quantities has also been found, most of it, of course, in a
    fragmentary condition, but some pieces, notably bowls of Samian
    ware, almost perfect, and dating from the first century. Several
    interesting pieces of sculpture have been unearthed; one a finely
    sculptured lion standing over an animal which it has evidently just
    killed; this was, no doubt, used as an outlet for water at the
    fountain, judging by the projection of the lion’s lower lip.
    Another piece of sculpture represents a sun-god, the rays
    surrounding his face; and several altars and many inscribed stones
    are also amongst the treasures lately revealed. A clay mould of a
    human figure was also found, which is supposed to represent some
    Keltic deity; but as the figure wears a short tunic not unlike a
    kilt, and carries a crooked club, the workmen promptly christened
    it Harry Lauder! The buildings in this town, for it is much more
    than a military station, have been large and imposing, as is shown
    by each successive revelation made by the excavators’ spades. The
    portion of the Watling Street leading from Corstopitum to the river
    has also been laid bare.

    The Roman road called the Stanegate runs westward from the North
    Tyne at Cilurnum, a little to the north of Fourstones railway
    station, through Newbrough, on past Grindon Hill, Grindon Lough,
    which it passes on the south, and Grindon Dykes, to Vindolana
    (Chesterholm) another Roman town, which lies a mile due south from
    Hot Bank farmhouse on the Wall. Vindolana stood on a most
    favourable site, a high platform protected on three sides, and it
    covered three and a half acres of ground. Here no excavations have
    yet been made, and the site is grass grown and desolate although
    the outlines of the station may be distinctly traced. A ruinous
    building to the west of this station was popularly called the
    Fairies’ Kitchen, a name given to it on account of the marks of
    fire and soot on the pillars. From the station several inscribed
    stones and altars have been taken to the museum at Chesters. One of
    them is dedicated to the Genius of the Camp by Pituanius Secundus,
    the Prefect of the fourth Cohort of the Gauls, which cohort, as we
    have already seen by the _Votitia_, was stationed here. In the
    valley below Vindolana a little cottage is standing. It is built
    entirely of Roman stones, and was erected by an enthusiastic
    antiquary, Mr. Anthony Hedley, for himself. Many of the stones used
    in its construction have inscriptions on them; and in the covered
    passage, leading from the cottage down to the burn, we come upon
    one of them inscribed with the name of our old friend the XXth
    Legion, and its crest, the running boar. The most interesting relic
    of all in the neighbourhood is a Roman mile-stone, standing in its
    original position on the Stanegate.

    Leaving Vindolana, this road goes on westward to Magna, where it
    joins the Maiden Way, another important Roman road, which runs from
    north to south. Coming from the neighbourhood of Bewcastle Fells,
    it enters Northumberland at Gilsland, and leading eastward as far
    as Magna, then turns directly southward past Greenhead.

    In concluding this chapter on the Roman remains in our county,
    _apropos_ of the wholesale destruction of the Wall and larger
    stations which has taken place in the last century or two, I will
    quote the words of two historians on that subject. Dr. Thomas
    Hodgkin says: “In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Camden, the
    enthusiastic antiquary, dared not traverse the line of the wall by
    reason of the gangs of brigands by whom it was infested. The union
    of the two countries brought peace, and peace brought prosperity;
    prosperity, alas! more fatal to the Wall than centuries of Border
    warfare. For now the prosperous farmers of Northumberland and
    Cumberland awoke to the building facilities which lurked in these
    square green enclosures on their farms, treated them as their best
    quarries, and robbed them unmercifully of their fine well-hewn
    stones. Happily that work of demolition is now in great measure
    stayed, and at this day we visit the camps for a nobler purpose, to
    learn all they can teach us as to the past history of our country.”

    None, I think, will disagree with these words of the learned
    Doctor, whether or not they may go as far as Cadwallader J. Bates,
    who, in concluding his chapter on the Roman Wall, gave it as his
    opinion that “unless the island is conquered by some civilized
    nation, there will soon be no traces of the Wall left. Nay, even
    the splendid whinstone crags on which it stands will be all
    quarried away to mend the roads of our urban and rural
    authorities.”

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VIII. SOME NORTHUMBRIAN STREAMS.


  “Come, don’t abuse our climate, and revile The crowning county of
  England—yes, the best.

  Have you and I, then, raced across its moors. Till horse and boy were
  well-nigh mad with glee, So often, summer and winter, home from
  school, And not found that out? Take the streams away, The country
  would be sweeter than the South Anywhere; give the South our streams,
  would it Be fit to match our Borders? Flower and crag, Burnside and
  boulder, heather and whin,—you don’t Dream you can match them south
  of this? And then, If all the unwatered country were as flat As the
  Eton playing-fields, give it back our burns, And set them singing
  through a sad South world, And try to make them dismal as its fens—
  They won’t be! Bright and tawny, full of fun And storm and sunlight,
  taking change and chance With laugh on laugh of triumph—why, you know
  How they plunge, pause, chafe, chide across the rocks, And chuckle
  along the rapids, till they breathe And rest and pant and build some
  bright deep bath For happy boys to dive in, and swim up. And match
  the water’s laughter.”


    Northumberland is fortunate in the number of rivers which, owing to
    the position of the Cheviot Hills, flow right across the county
    from west to east. These Northumbrian streams have a distinct
    character of their own, and are of a different breed from those of
    the southern; counties. They are neither mountain torrents nor
    placid leisurely rivers, such as are met elsewhere in Britain, but
    busy, bright, joyous, and sparkling, never sluggish, never silent,
    even when deep and full, as is the Tyne in its lower reaches. With
    the Tyne and its tributary streams we have already travelled; but
    there are others yet awaiting us, claiming our attention sometimes
    for the romantic scenery through which they run their bright
    course, sometimes for the historic sites they pass on their way,
    sometimes for both reasons. Wansbeck, Coquet, Aln, or Till—each has
    its own interest, as has also the Tweed in that score or so of
    miles along which it can he spoken of in connection with
    Northumberland.

    The source of the Wansbeck, the only “beck” the county possesses,
    is amongst the “Wild Hills o’ Wannys” (Wanny’s beck) a group of
    picturesque sandstone crags which surround Sweethope Lough, a sheet
    of water which covers 180 acres. The scenery of this upper course
    of the Wansbeck is very striking, from the Lough to
    Kirkwhelpington, flowing between bleak moorland and rich pasture,
    and on to Littleharle Tower, which stands secluded in deep woods.

    Another mansion near at hand, and most picturesquely situated, is
    Wallington Hall, lying a short distance away on the north bank of
    the Wansbeck. It is one of the most notable country houses in
    Northumberland, and especially so on account of its unique
    picture-gallery, roofed with dull glass, and containing several
    series of pictures connected with Northumbrian history. One of
    these is a series of frescoes by William Bell Scott, whose name was
    for so many years associated with all that was best in art in
    Newcastle, and whose picture of the “Building of the Castle” may be
    seen at the head of the staircase in the Lit. and Phil. building.
    His pictures at Wallington are:—1. The Building of the Roman Wall.
    2. The visit of King Egfrid and Bishop Trumwine to St. Cuthbert on
    Fame. 3. A Descent of the Danes. 4. Death of the Venerable Bede. 5.
    The Charlton Spur. 6. Bernard Gilpin taking down a challenge glove
    in Rothbury Church. 7. Grace Darling and her father on the way to
    the wreck. 8. The Nineteenth Century—showing the High Level Bridge,
    the Quayside, an Armstrong gun, etc., etc. Another series consists
    of medallions and portraits of famous men connected with
    Northumbrian events, from Hadrian and Severus down to George
    Stephenson and others of modern times; while yet another depicts
    all the incidents of “Chevy Chase.”

    Some miles further eastward, the Wansbeck receives the Hart
    Burn—which, by the way, is larger than the parent stream at this
    point—and, a little later, the Font. The lovely little village of
    Mitford, once important enough to overshadow the Morpeth of that
    day, lies at the junction of Font and Wansbeck. The Mitfords of
    Mitford can boast, if ever family could, of being Northumbrian of
    the Northumbrians, as they were seated here before the days of the
    Conqueror, who made such a general upsetting amongst the Saxon
    landowners.

    The beauty of the two miles walk along the banks of the Wansbeck
    from here to Morpeth is not easy to surpass in all the county,
    though several parts of the Coquet valley may justly compete with
    it. William Howitt has left on record his admiration for this
    lovely region, and said Morpeth was “more like a town in a dream”
    than a reality. Especially is this so when looking at the town from
    the neighbourhood of the river. Before actually reaching Morpeth
    the Wansbeck waters the fair fields that once held Newminster Abbey
    in its pride; now, nothing remains but an arch or so and a few
    stones, to remind us of the noble abbey which Ralph de Merley built
    so long ago. When only half built it was demolished by the Scots
    under King David; but willing hands set to work again, and the
    abbey and monastery were completed.

    In the town of Morpeth, though newer buildings are stretching out
    towards the outskirts, many of the ancient buildings and streets
    remain, and the general aspect of this part of it is much the same
    as when the Jacobites of Northumberland gathered together here, and
    the clergyman, Mr. Buxton, proclaimed James III. in its Market
    Place. Of Morpeth Castle, built by a De Merley soon after the
    Conquest, only the gateway tower remains, but the outlines of the
    original boundary walls can be clearly traced. A company of five
    hundred Scots, whom Leslie had left as a garrison in 1644, held out
    here for three weeks against two thousand Royalists under Montrose.
    After the cannonading received during that siege, the walls were
    not repaired again, and the castle fell into decay. The inhabitants
    of Morpeth have a daily reminder of times yet more remote, for the
    Curfew Bell still rings out over the little town every evening at
    eight o’clock.

    Another walk of three miles along the still beautiful banks of the
    Wansbeck brings us to Bothal, another little village of great
    beauty, embowered and almost hidden amongst luxuriant woods. Its
    curious name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon _bottell_, a place of
    abode (as in Walbottle). The name conjures up memories of the
    knights of old, their loves and their fortunes, fair or disastrous;
    for the best-known version of “The Hermit of Warkworth” tells us
    that it was a Bertram of Bothal who was the luckless hero of that
    tale, though another version avers that he belonged to the house of
    Percy.

    Wansbeck’s fellow stream, the Coquet, has its birth amongst some of
    the wildest scenery of the Cheviot Hills, where the heights of
    Deel’s Hill and Woodbist Law look down on the now silent Watling
    Street and the deserted Ad Fines Camp. In its windings along the
    bases of the hills it is joined by the Usway Burn, said to be named
    after King Oswy, between which and the little river Alwine lies the
    famous Lordship of Kidland, once desolate on account of the
    thieving and raiding of its neighbours of Bedesdale and Scotland.

    Hodgson, in his “Northumberland,” says of this region, “All the
    said Kydlande is full of lytle hilles or mountaynes, and between
    the saide hilles be dyvers valyes in which discende litle Ryvvelles
    or brokes of water, spryngynge out of the said hilles and all
    fallynge into a lytle Rever or broke callede Kidlande water, w’ch
    fallethe into the rever of cockette nere to the towne of
    alwynntonn, w’tin a myll of the castell of harbottell.” The reasons
    for the desolation of Kidland are graphically set forth:—“In somer
    seasons when good peace ys betwene England and Scotland,
    th’inhabitantes of dyv’se townes thereaboutes repayres up with
    theyr cattall in som’ynge (summering) as ys aforesaid, and so have
    used to do of longe tyme. And for the pasture of theyr cattall, so
    long as they would tarye there they payed for a knoweledge two pens
    for a household, or a grote at the most, though they had nev’ so
    many cattalles. And yet the poore men thoughte their fermes dere
    enoughe. There was but fewe yeres that they escaped w’thout a
    greatter losse of their goodes and cattalles, by spoyle or thefte
    of the Scottes or Ryddesdale men, then would have paide for the
    pasture of theyr cattail in a much better grounde. And ov’ (over,
    besides) that, the saide valyes or hopes of Kidlande lyeth so
    distant and devyded by mounteynes one from an other, that such as
    Inhabyte in one of these hoopes, valeys, or graynes, can not heare
    the Fraye outcrye, or exclamac’on of such as dwell in an other
    hoope or valley upon the other side of the said mountayne, nor come
    or assemble to theyr assystance in tyme of necessytie. Wherefore we
    can not fynde anye of the neyghbours thereabouts wyllinge
    cotynnally to Inhabyte or plenyshe w’thin the saide grounde of
    Kydland, and especially in wynter tyme.”

    These reasons were given by the people of “Cockdale” in the
    neighbouring valley, to account for the desolation of Kidland,
    which lay open on the northward to attacks from the Scots, and had
    no defence on the south from the rievers of Redesdale. The
    inhabitants of Coquetdale seem to have been a right valiant and
    hardy fraternity, honest and fearless, well able to give good blows
    in defence of their possessions, for it is left on record that “the
    people of the said Cock-dayle be best p’pared for defence and most
    defensyble people of themselfes, and of the truest and best sorte
    of anye that do Inhabyte, endlonge, the frounter or border of the
    said mydle m’ches of England.” The traces of these days of raid and
    foray are to be found in abundance all over Coquetdale, as indeed
    all over Northumberland, in pele-tower and barmkyn, fortified
    dwelling and bastle house.

    Harbottle Castle would have a good deal to tell, could it only
    speak, of siege and assault from the day when, “with the aid of the
    whole county of Northumberland and the bishopric of Durham,” it was
    built by Henry II., until, after the Union of the Crowns, it shared
    the fate of many of the Border strongholds, and fell into gradual
    decay, or was used as a quarry from which to draw building material
    for new and modern mansions. At Rothbury, a pele-tower has formed
    the dwelling of the Vicars of that town from the time that any
    mention of Whitton Tower is to be found, it being first noticed as
    “Turris de Whitton, iuxta Rothebery.” Rothbury itself occupies
    quite the finest situation of any of the Northumbrian towns.
    Others, besides it, lie on the banks of a pretty river; others,
    too, possess fair meadows and rich pastures; but none other has the
    combination of these attractive features with the finer
    surroundings of hill, crag, and moorland as picturesquely beautiful
    as those of Rothbury. In the old church here Bernard Gilpin, “the
    Apostle of the North,” often preached; and even the fierce rival
    factions of the Borderland were so influenced by the gentle, yet
    fearless preacher, that they consented to forego their usual
    pleasure of “drawing” whenever they met one of a rival family, at
    least so long as Gilpin dwelt among them, and especially to refrain
    from showing their hostility in church.

    There are in Coquetdale, as elsewhere, memorials of the ancient
    British days in the many camps to be found on the summits of the
    hills near the town, on Tosson Hill and the Simonside Hills; and
    not camps only, but barrows, cist-vaens, and flint weapons in
    considerable numbers. The magnificent view to be obtained, on a
    clear day, from Tosson Hill or the Simonsides is one to be
    remembered; to the west and north stretch the vales of Coquet and
    Alwin, with the rolling heights of the Cheviots bounding them;
    northward are the woods surrounding Biddlestone Hall, the
    “Osbaldistone Hals” of Scot’s _Rob Roy_, awakening memories of Di
    Vernon; far to the eastward a faint blue haze denotes the distant
    coastline; while southward, over the dales of Rede and Tyne, the
    smoke of industrial Tyneside lies on the horizon, with the spires
    and towers of Newcastle showing faintly against the heights of the
    Durham side of the Tyne.

    One of the chief sights of Rothbury is the beautiful mansion of
    Cragside and the wonderful valley of Debdon and Crag Hill, as
    transformed by the first Lord Armstrong into a paradise of beauty,
    where art and nature are so blended as to make a romantically
    artistic whole. Another lovely spot on the banks of Coquet is at
    Brinkburn, where the famous Priory stands almost hidden at the foot
    of thickly wooded slopes. A very much larger portion of this fine
    Priory is still standing than is the case with many other religious
    houses of the same age, for it dates from the reign of Henry I. The
    story is told of Brinkburn as well as of Blanchland, that a party
    of marauding Scots on one of their forays passed by the Priory
    without discovering it in its leafy bower; and so overjoyed were
    the monks at their escape that they incautiously rang the bells by
    way of showing their delight. The Scots, who had passed out of
    sight but not out of hearing, immediately returned on their tracks,
    and, guided by the joyful peal, reached the Priory, sacked the
    buildings, and then set them on fire. It may well be that the
    tragedy occurred at both places, on different occasions.

    Farther eastward down the Coquet are two places pre-eminently noted
    as centres for the sport for which the river is famed above all
    other Northumbrian streams, though some of them are worthy rivals.
    These two places are Weldon Bridge and Felton; the old Angler’s Inn
    at the first-named is a favourite rendezvous of the fraternity of
    rod and creel. Fishermen have long known the fascination of these
    two places, and I quote from the “Fisherman’s Garland” two stanzas
    written by two enthusiastic anglers in praise of them. The writers
    are Robert Roxby and Thomas Doubleday.
  “But we’ll awa’ to Coquetside, For Coquet bangs them a’; Whose
  winding streams sae sweetly glide By Brinkburn’s bonny Ha’!”
  _Written in 1821_
  “The Coquet for ever, the Coquet for aye! The _Woodhall_ and _Weldon_
  and _Felton_ so gay, And _Brinkburn_ and _Linden_, wi’ a’ their sweet
  pride, For they add to the beauty of dear Coquetside.”
  _Written in 1826_

    Felton, a charmingly placed little village, on the banks of the
    river where they are overhung by graceful woods, and diversified by
    cliff and grassy slope, stands just where the great North Road
    crosses the Coquet. By reason of this position it has been the
    scene of one or two events of historical interest, notably those
    connected with the “Fifteen” and the “Forty-five.” On the former
    occasion, the gallant young Earl of Derwentwater, with his
    followers, was joined here by a band of seventy gentlemen from the
    Borders, and they rode on to Morpeth to proclaim James III. And
    thirty years later, the soldiers of George II. passed over the
    bridge from the southward, led by the Duke of Cumberland, and
    pressed on towards the Scottish moor where they dealt the final
    blow to the Stuart cause at Culloden. The interesting old church at
    Felton, dating from the thirteenth century, is well worth a visit.
    After leaving Felton behind, the Coquet enters on the most marked
    windings of all its winding course, until, when it enters the sea
    at Warkworth Harbour, just opposite Coquet Island, it has contrived
    to lengthen out its journey to a distance of forty miles.

    The bright clear stream of the Aln also begins its short journey
    across Northumberland from the heights of Cheviot, but in the
    narrower northern portion of the county. Alnham, with its
    pele-tower Vicarage, ancient church, and memories of a castle,
    stands just at the foot of the hills, near the source of the river.
    Some three or four miles eastward along its banks, a walk through
    leafy woods brings us to Whittingham—the final syllable of which,
    by the way, one pronounces as “jam,” as one does that of nearly all
    the other place-names ending in “ing-ham” in Northumberland,
    contrary though it be to etymological considerations—excepting,
    curiously enough, Chillingham, situated in the very midst of all
    the others. The “ing” and “ham” are in themselves a historical
    guide to the days in which the various villages received their
    names, these two syllables being a certain indication of a Saxon
    settlement, the “home of the sons, or descendants of” whatever
    person the first syllable indicates. Thus, Edlingham, only a few
    miles away, is the “home or settlement of the sons of Eadwulf”;
    Ellingham, the “home of the sons of Ella,” and so on. How the
    “Whitt” syllable was spelled we do not know; most probably Hwitta
    or Hwitha—for all our _wh’s_ were _hw_ originally—_hwaet, hwa,
    hwaether_ and so forth.

    This ancient village is in these days a charming and peaceful
    place, lying in the midst of rich meadow lands, and surrounded by
    magnificent trees. It had its romances, too, in the course of
    years; so long ago as the days of the early Danish invasions a
    certain widow in Whittingham, in the reign of King Alfred, had no
    less a person than a Danish prince among her slaves; he was
    ransomed, however, and made king of the Danes in the North, in
    consequence of a vision in which St. Cuthbert had directed the
    Abbot of Carlisle to see this done. Young Prince Guthred’s
    gratitude showed itself in a substantial grant of land to St.
    Cuthbert at Durham. Whittingham Church is supposed to have been
    founded by the Saxon king Ceolwulf, whose acquaintance we have
    already made at Holy Island, and he bestowed the lands of
    Whittingham on the church at Lindisfarne. It still shows some of
    the original Saxon work at the base of the tower, and much more was
    to be seen before the so-called “restoration” of the church in
    1840. The pele-tower on the south side of the river, after its days
    of storm and stress are over, still serves as a shelter in time of
    need, for it is now used as an almshouse for the poor of the
    village, a former Lady Ravensworth having originated the quaint
    idea and seen it carried out.

    Whittingham Fair, now Whittingham Sports, a well-known rendezvous
    of the whole countryside, has lost some of its former splendour,
    but is still looked forward to with great enjoyment in the
    surrounding district. The old coaching road from Newcastle to
    Edinburgh passed through the village, crossing the Aln by the stone
    bridge, from whence it went on through Glanton and Wooler to
    Cornhill.

    In the vale of Whittingham, the little Aln flows placidly along,
    its waters murmuring a soothing refrain, a peaceful interlude
    between its busy bustling beginning and its ending. Before reaching
    Alnwick it flows past the ancient walls of Hulne Abbey, the
    monastery of Carmelite friars so romantically founded by the
    Northumbrian knight and monk after his visit to the monastery on
    Mount Carmel. A considerable portion of the ancient building is
    still standing, and few sites chosen by the old monks, who had an
    unerring eye for beauty as well as safety and convenience in their
    choice of abode, can surpass this one, surrounded by fair meadows,
    and standing on the green hill-side, with the rippling Aln flowing
    through the levels below. In Hulne Park is also the Brislee Tower,
    erected by the first Duke of Northumberland in 1781, on the top of
    Brislee Hill.

[Illustration: Alnwick Castle]

    Alnwick itself, with its quaint, uneven, narrow streets, and grey
    stone houses, looks the part of a Border town even in these days;
    and the grim old Hotspur tower, bestriding the main street like an
    ancient warrior still on guard, helps to give the illusion an air
    of reality. The tower, however, was not built by Hotspur, but by
    his son. The names of the streets, too, are redolent of the days
    when the only safety for the inhabitants of a town worth plundering
    lay in the strength of its walls and gateways. Bondgate,
    Bailiffgate, and Narrowgate, still speak of the days of siege and
    sortie, of fierce attack and stout defence.

    The magnificent castle which dominates the town stands majestically
    at the top of a green slope above the Aln, its vast array of walls
    and towers far along the ridge, fronting the North as though still
    looking, albeit with a seemingly languid interest, for the coming
    of the Scots who were such inveterate foes of its successive lords.
    The principal entrance, however, the Barbican, faces southwards to
    the town, and here the massive gateway, with portcullis complete,
    and crowned by quaint life-size figures of warriors in various
    attitudes of defence, conveys the impression that the huge giant is
    still alert and on guard. The history of Alnwick is the history of
    the castle and its lords, from the days of Gilbert Tyson, variously
    known as Tison, Tisson, and De Tesson, one of the Conqueror’s
    standardbearers, upon whom this northern estate was bestowed, until
    the present time. After being held by the family of De Vesci (of
    which the modern rendering is Vasey—a name found all over
    south-east Northumberland) for over two hundred years, it passed
    into the hands of the house of Percy. The Percies, who hailed from
    the village of Perce in Normandy, had large estates in Yorkshire,
    bestowed by the Conqueror on the first of the name to arrive in
    England in his train. The family, however, was represented by an
    heiress only in the reign of Henry II., whose second wife, a
    daughter of the Duke of Brabant, thought this heiress, with her
    wide possessions, a suitable match for her own young half-brother
    Joceline of Louvain. The marriage took place; and thereafter
    followed the long line of Henry Percies (Henry being a favourite
    name of the Counts of Louvain) who played such a large part in the
    history of both England and Scotland; for, as nearly every Percy
    was a Warden of the Marches, Scottish doings concerned them more or
    less intimately—indeed, often more so than English affairs.

    It was the third Henry Percy who purchased Alnwick in 1309 from
    Antony Bec, Bishop of Durham and guardian of the last De Vesci, and
    from that time the fortunes of the Percies, though they still held
    their Yorkshire estates, were linked permanently with the little
    town on the Aln, and the fortress which alike commanded and
    defended it. The fourth Henry Percy began to build the castle as we
    see it now; but to call him “the fourth” is a little confusing, as
    he was the second Henry Percy, Lord of Alnwick. On the whole, it
    will be clearer to begin the enumerations of the various Henry
    Percies from the time they became Lords of Alnwick. It was, then,
    Henry Percy the second, Lord of Alnwick, who began the re-building
    of the castle; he also was jointly responsible for the safety of
    the realm during the absence of Edward III. in the French wars, and
    in this official capacity, no less than in that of a Border baron
    whose delight it was to exchange lusty blows with an ever-ready
    foe, he helped to win the battle of Neville’s Cross. His son,
    Henry, married a sister of John of Gaunt, and their son, the next
    Henry Percy, was that friend who stood John Wycliffe in such good
    stead, when he was cited to appear before the Bishop of London.
    Henry Percy, who had been made Earl Marshal of England, and the
    Duke of Lancaster took their places one on each side of Wycliffe,
    and accompanied him to St. Paul’s, clearing a way for him through
    the crowd. It does not belong to this story to tell how their
    private quarrels with the Bishop prevented Wycliffe’s
    interrogation, and how he left the Cathedral without having uttered
    a word; we are concerned at the moment with his North-country
    friend, who, the same year, was created Earl of Northumberland,
    which title he was given after the coronation of Richard II. Nor
    was this all, for he was that Northumberland whose doings in the
    next reign fill so large a part of Shakespeare’s Henry IV., and he
    was the father of the most famous Percy of all, the gallant Henry
    Percy the fifth, better known as “Harry Hotspur.” Hotspur never
    became Earl of Northumberland, being slain at Shrewsbury in the
    lifetime of his father, whose estates were forfeited under
    attainder on account of the rebellion of himself and his son
    against King Henry IV.

    King Henry V. restored Hotspur’s son, the second Earl, to his
    family honours, and the Percies were staunch Lancastrians during
    the Wars of the Roses which followed, the third Earl and three of
    his brothers losing their lives in the cause. The fifth Earl was a
    gorgeous person whose magnificence equalled, almost, that of
    royalty. Henry Percy, the sixth Earl of Northumberland, loved Ann
    Boleyn, and was her accepted suitor before King Henry VIII.
    unfortunately discovered the lady’s charm, and interfered in a
    highhanded “bluff King Has” fashion, and young Percy lost his
    prospective bride. He had no son, although married later to the
    daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury, and his nephew, Thomas Percy,
    became the seventh Earl.

    Thereafter, a succession of plots and counterplots—the Rising of
    the North, the plots to liberate Mary Queen of Scots, and the
    Gunpowder Plot—each claimed a Percy among their adherents. On this
    account the eighth and ninth Earls spent many years in the Tower,
    but the tenth Earl, Algernon, fought for King Charles in the Civil
    War, the male line of the Percy-Louvain house ending with
    Josceline, the eleventh Earl. The heiress to the vast Percy estates
    married the Duke of Somerset; and her grand-daughter married a
    Yorkshire knight, Sir Hugh Smithson, who in 1766 was created the
    first Duke of Northumberland and Earl Percy, and it is their
    descendants who now represent the famous old house.

    At various points in the town are memorials of the constant wars
    between Percies and Scots in which so many Percies spent the
    greater part of their lives. At the side of the broad shady road
    called Rotten Row, leading from the West Lodge to Bailiffgate, a
    tablet of stone marks the spot where William the Lion of Scotland
    was captured as we have already seen, in 1174, by Odinel de
    Umfraville and his friends; and there are many others of similar
    interest.

    Within the park, approached by the gate at the foot of Canongate,
    is the fine gateway which is all that is left of Alnwick Abbey. No
    more peaceful spot could have been found than this, on the level
    greensward, surrounded by fine trees which shelter it on all sides
    save one, and near the brink of the little Aln, whose banks are
    thickly covered with wild flowers, while the steep slope on the
    opposite side of the river is overhung with shady woods. The extent
    of the parks may be judged from the fact that the enclosing wall is
    about five miles long. At the foot of Bailiffgate, on the edge of a
    steep ridge above the descent to Canongate and the banks of the
    river, the ancient parish church, dedicated to St. Mary and St.
    Michael stands in a commanding position. The present building dates
    from the fourteenth century, and occupies the site of an earlier
    one, whose few remaining stones have been built into the present
    structure. Two other reminders of long-past days are to be found in
    Alnwick; one is the large stone in the Market Place to which the
    bull ring used to be fixed in the days when bull-baiting and
    bear-baiting took place; and the other, a relic of days still
    further back in the distant years, is the sounding of the Curfew
    Bell, which is still rung here every evening at eight o’clock.
    Altogether there is the quaintest and most unexpected mingling of
    the ancient and modern in the little feudal town.

    Between Alnwick and the sea, the Aln winds its way past Alnmouth
    Station, formerly known as Bilton Junction, and past Lesbury, a
    pretty little tree-shaded village, to the sandy flats by Alnmouth
    where it ends its journey in the North Sea.

    The Till, by whose side we shall next wander, flows in the opposite
    direction, for that historic stream is a tributary of “Tweed’s fair
    river, broad and deep,” and curves from the Cheviots round to the
    North-west, where it enters the larger stream at Tillmouth. It
    begins life as the Breamish, tumbling down the slopes of Cushat Law
    within sight of all the giants of the Cheviot range. The Linhope
    Burn, a fellow traveller down these steep hillsides, forms in its
    course the Linhope Spout, one of the largest waterfalls to be found
    amongst the Cheviots, before it joins the Breamish, which then
    flows through a country of green slopes and grassy levels to
    Ingram. This village possesses an old church with massive square
    tower and windows which suggest the fortress rather than the
    church. The heights which stretch eastward from the Cheviots and
    bound the valley of the Till add not a little to the beauty and
    variety of the scenery in this district.

    The little stream, which turns northward near Glanton railway
    station, moves on in loops and windings past Beanley, which Earl
    Gospatric held in former days by virtue of the curious office of
    being a kind of official mediator between the monarchs of England
    and Scotland when they came to blows; and past Bewick, with its
    little Norman church buried from sight amongst leafy trees. The
    effigy of a lady in the chancel of this church is said to be that
    of Matilda, wife of Henry I. This is the more likely in that the
    lands of Bewick formed part of her dowry, and were given by her to
    the monks of Tynemouth Priory. At Bewick Bridge the little stream
    ceases to be the Breamish, and becomes the Till; as an old rhyme
    has it—
  “The foot of Breamish, and head of Till, Meet together at Bewick
  Mils”

    Some miles to the northward, the Till reaches the little village of
    Chatton, having, on the way, passed a little to the westward of
    Chillingham Castle and Park, where is the famous herd of wild
    cattle. Roscastle, a craggy height covered with heather, stands at
    the edge of the chase, and looks over a wild and romantic scene of
    moorland and pastureland, deep glens and heathery hills. The
    Vicarage at Chatton is another of those north-country vicarages in
    which an old pele-tower forms part of the modern residence. On the
    top of Chatton Law is an ancient British encampment, with inscribed
    circles similar to those on Bewick Hill.

    From Chatton, the loops and windings of the Till grow more
    insistent, and the little stream adds miles to its length by reason
    of its frequent doubling on its tracks; this, however, but gives an
    added charm to the landscape, as the silvery gleams of the winding
    river come unexpectedly into view again and again. It flows on
    through Glendale, with which attractive region we have already made
    acquaintance; and on its banks are the two prettiest villages in
    Northumberland—Ford and Etal.

    Ford Castle, as seen at the present day, is chiefly modern, but the
    northwest tower is part of the old fortress of Odenel de Forde,
    which experienced so many vicissitudes in its time. One of the most
    famous owners of Ford Castle was Sir William Heron, who married
    Odenel’s daughter, and who held the responsible and troublesome
    office of High Sheriff of Northumberland for eleven years, besides
    being Captain of Bamburgh and Warden of the northern forests. The
    castle was burnt down by James IV. of Scotland just before the
    battle of Flodden, which was not by any means the only time in its
    career that it was demolished, entirely or in part, and restored
    again.

    In the village of Ford, the walls of the schoolroom are decorated
    by a series of pictures of the children of Scripture story, for
    whose portrayal it is said the Marchioness of Waterford, the
    artist, took the village children as models. The late Vicar of
    Ford, the Rev. Hastings Neville, has laid all who are interested in
    the rural life of Northumberland, and the quaint and traditional
    manners and customs of the North-country which are so fast
    disappearing, under the greatest obligation to him for his
    interesting and entirely delightful little book, “A Corner in the
    North.” Historical records, and matters of business, ownerships,
    etc., connected with any special area can always be turned up for
    reference when required; but the manner of speech, the customs of
    daily life, the quaint survivals of former usages and
    half-forgotten lore, being entirely dependent on individual memory
    and oral tradition, only too often disappear before any adequate
    record can be made. Hence it is a matter for congratulation that
    such a book should have been written.

    Etal, Ford’s pretty neighbour, also boasts a castle, built only two
    years after that of Ford and by the same masons. A considerable
    portion of the ruins remains, but, unlike Ford Castle, it was never
    restored after James the Fourth’s drastic handling of it, but was
    left to decay. Opposite Ford and Etal, on the left bank of the
    Till, is Pallinsburn House, referred to in another chapter, and the
    village of Crookham; and beyond the woods of Pallinsburn, Flodden
    ridge, with its memories of the disastrous field on which James was
    slain.

    The mansion house of Tillmouth Park, owned by Sir Francis Blake, is
    built of stones from the ruins of Twizell Castle, on the northern
    bank of the Till; the castle was begun by a former Sir Francis
    Blake but never finished. Between the two buildings the Berwick
    Road crosses the Till by Twizell Bridge, over which Surrey marched
    his men southward on the morning of Flodden. Not far from this
    bridge, to the westward, is St. Helen’s Well, alluded to by Scott
    in his account of the battle, in “Marmion”—
  “Many a chief of birth and rank, St. Helen, at thy fountain drank.”

    Sibyl’s well, from which Lady Clare brought water to moisten the
    lips of the dying Marmion, is beside the little church at Branxton.
    Tillmouth, however, has older memories still; for it was to the
    little chapel there that St. Cuthbert’s body floated in its stone
    coffin from Melrose, dating the course of its seven years’
    wandering, ere it found a final rest at Durham.
  “From sea to sea, from shore to shore, Seven years Saint Cuthbert’s
  corpse they bore They rested them in fair Melrose, But though alive
  he loved it well Not there his relics might repose, For, wondrous
  tale to tell, In his stone coffin forth he glides, A ponderous bark
  for river tides, Yet light as gossamer it glides Downward to
  Tillmouth cell.

  Chester-le-Street and Ripon saw His holy corpse, ere Wardilaw Hailed
  it with joy and fear; Till, after many wanderings past, He chose his
  lordly seat at last Where his cathedral, huge and vast, Looks down
  upon the Wear.”
  _Sir W. Scott_—MARMION.

    The “stone coffin” was boat-shaped, “ten feet long, three feet and
    a half in diameter, and only four inches thick, so that, with very
    little assistance, it might certainly have swum; it still lies, or
    at least did so a few years ago, in two pieces, beside the ruined
    chapel at Tilmouth.”—_Sir W. Scott’s Notes to “Marmion.”_

    Three or four miles from Tillmouth, south-westward up the valley of
    the Tweed, and just beyond Cornhill, lies the village of Wark, near
    which the remains of the famous Border castle are still standing.
    The castle was built on a stony ridge of detritus called the
    _Kaim_, which stretches from Wark village towards Carham. In the
    reign of Henry I. all those who owned land in the North were
    seemingly animated simultaneously by a lively desire to secure
    their Borders; Bishop Flambard began to build Norham Castle,
    Eustace Fitz-John, husband of Beatrice de Vesci, built the greater
    part of Alnwick Castle, and Walter Espic raised the mighty
    fortress, the great “Wark” or work (A.S. _were_ or _weare_) on the
    steep ridge above Tweed, in “his honour (seignieury) of Carham.”

    From that time the castle of Wark went through a greater succession
    of sieges, assaults, burnings, surrenders, demolitions, and
    restorations than any other place in England, except, perhaps,
    Norham Castle or Berwick-upon-Tweed. In an age and situation where
    hard blows given and returned, desperate adventures and equal
    chances of life or death were the common-places of everyday
    existence, Wark was probably the place where these excitements were
    to be had oftener than anywhere else.

    The romantic episode which gave rise to the establishment of the
    Order of the Garter is generally allowed to have taken place at
    Wark Castle. The young king of Scotland, David Bruce, had “ridden a
    raid” into England, and ravaged and plundered on his way as far as
    Auckland, after having burnt the town of Alnwick, amongst others,
    but having been repulsed before the castle. King Edward III. was at
    Stamford when he heard of the invasion; but hurrying northward he
    reached Newcastle in four days. The Scots, retreating before him,
    passed Wark Castle, which was held by the Countess of Salisbury and
    her nephew, in the absence of her husband. The young man was loth
    to let so much English booty be carried off under his very eyes, so
    he fell upon the rearguard, and succeeded in bringing a number of
    packhorses to the castle. On this the whole Scottish array turned
    back, and a siege of the castle began; but the Countess spiritedly
    held out, and Edward meanwhile drew nearer. Some of the Scotsmen
    were captured, and from them the Countess’s nephew heard that
    Edward had reached Alnwick. He stole out of the castle before
    dawning in heavy rain, to let the King know where his help was
    urgently needed; and by noon of the same day Edward was at Wark,
    only to find his quarry flown, the Scots having retreated a few
    hours earlier. The King was joyfully received and thanked by the
    grateful Countess; and he in his turn was much struck by the beauty
    and grace of the high-spirited lady, and showed his admiration
    plainly. In the evening, according to tradition, a ball was held,
    at which the incident occurred, so often related, of the accidental
    losing of her garter by the fair chatelaine, and the restoration of
    it by the King, with the remark, as a rebuke to the smiling
    bystanders,—“_Honi soit qui mal y pense._” This he afterwards
    adopted as the motto of the Order he established in honour of the
    beautiful Countess.

    The Garter is the most exclusive of Orders, and consists of the
    reigning Sovereign and twenty-five Companions, of whom the Prince
    of Wales is always one; and it takes precedence of all other
    titles, ranking next to royalty. It is a matter of great pride to
    all Northumbrians that perhaps the only instance of its having been
    bestowed on any except a peer of the realm or a foreign Sovereign,
    has occurred recently in the bestowal of the coveted decoration on
    Sir Edward Grey, a member of the ancient and important Northumbrian
    house of that name.

    Every King of England from Henry I. to Henry IV., seems to have
    been at Wark at some time during his reign, with the exception of
    Richard Coeur-de-Lion and Richard II. After the Union of the
    Crowns, Wark, like most other fortresses in the north that were not
    in use as the dwellings of their owners, was allowed to fall into
    decay. From Wark to Carham is a walk of only two miles along the
    road which follows the course of the river, and ultimately leads to
    Kelso. Carham has the remains of an ancient monastery; and here the
    Danes, after having plundered Lindisfarne, fought a battle in which
    the Saxons, led by several Bishops, were defeated with great
    slaughter. From Carham, having reached the last point of interest
    on the Tweed within the Northumbrian border, we must retrace our
    steps to Tillmouth, and follow the Tweed through pasture land and
    level haughs, until we come in sight of the steep cliffs and
    overhanging woods by Norham Castle.

    Naturally here, the words of the opening canto of “Marmion” are
    recalled to our memory—
  “Day set on Norham’s castled steep, On Tweed’s fair river, broad and
  deep, And Cheviot’s mountains lone The battled towers, the donjon
  keep, The loophole grates, where captives weep, The flanking walls
  that round it sweep, In yellow lustre shone.”

    The “castled steep” is still crowned by a massive fragment of the
    old fortress that has braved, in its time, so many days of storm
    and stress. A good deal of the curtain wall, too, is standing, and
    the natural defences of the castle are admirable, for a deep ravine
    on the east and the river with its steep banks on the south made it
    practically unassailable at these points. It was built in 1121, as
    we have seen, by Bishop Flambard of Durham, as a defence for the
    northern portions of his diocese. The necessity for its presence
    there was soon made apparent, for it was attacked by the Scots
    again and again; and by the time thirty years had passed. Bishop
    Pudsey found it necessary to strengthen it greatly. When Edward I.
    was called to arbitrate between the claimants to the Scottish
    throne, he came to Norham and met the rival nobles, who, with their
    followers, were quartered at Ladykirk, on the opposite side of the
    Tweed. It was known as Upsettlington then, however; the name of
    Ladykirk was bestowed upon it long afterwards, when James IV. built
    the little chapel there, in gratitude for an escape from drowning
    in the Tweed. Edward held his interview with the Scottish nobles in
    Norham church, and announced that he had come there in the
    character of lord paramount, and as such was prepared to make
    choice of one among them. Edward did not by any means make up his
    mind quickly, and the various places in which the successive acts
    in the affair took place are widely scattered, for he met the
    nobles at Norham, some time afterwards delivered his decision at
    Berwick, and finally received the homage of John Balliol at
    Newcastle.

    Norham, like Wark, has also its romantic episode—or rather, an
    episode more conspicuously so in a series of them to which the name
    might with justice be applied. It occurred during the time that Sir
    Thomas Gray was holding the castle against a determined blockade of
    it by the Scots in 1318. A certain fair lady of Lincolnshire sent
    one of her maidens to a knight whom she loved, Sir William Marmion
    (whose name probably suggested to Sir Walter Scott the name for the
    hero of his tale of Norham and Flodden). Sir William was at a
    banquet when the maiden came before him bearing a helmet with a
    golden crest, together with a letter from his lady bidding him go
    “into the daungerust place in England, and there to let the heaulme
    be seene and knowen as famose.” Evidently it was well known where
    “the daungerust place in England” was to be found, for the story
    laconically says “So he went to Norham.” He had not been there more
    than a day or two when a band of nearly two hundred Scots, bold and
    expert horsemen, led by Philip de Mowbray, made an attack on the
    castle, rousing Sir Thomas and his garrison from their dinner. They
    quickly mounted, and were about to sally forth when Sir Thomas
    caught sight of Marmion, in rich armour, and on his head the helmet
    with the golden crest; and halting his men, he cried out, “Sir
    knight, ye be come hither as a knight-errant to fame your helm; and
    since deeds of chivalry should rather be done on horseback than on
    foot, mount up on your horse, and spur him like a valiant knight
    into the midst of your enemies here at hand, and I forsake God if I
    rescue not thy body dead or alive, or I myself will die for it.” At
    this Marmion mounted and spurred towards the Scots, by whom he was
    instantly set upon, wounded, and dragged from the saddle. But
    before they had time to give him the final blow they were scattered
    by the rapid charge of Sir Thomas and his men, who quickly rescued
    Marmion and set him on his horse again; and using their lances
    against the horses of the Scots, caused many of them to throw their
    riders, while the rest galloped away. The women of the castle
    caught fifty of the riderless horses, on which more of the garrison
    mounted and joined in the pursuit of the flying Scots, whom they
    chased nearly to Berwick.

    The tables were sometimes turned, however; and on one of these
    occasions the valiant Sir Thomas Gray and his son were enticed out
    of the castle into an ambush laid for them by their foes, and both
    captured.

    In 1513, just before the battle of Flodden, its walls were at
    length laid low by James IV., but not until the famous cannon “Mons
    Meg”—still, I believe, to be seen at Edinburgh Castle—had been
    brought against it. One of the cannon-balls fired from “Mons Meg”
    was found, and is still kept with others at the Castle. It is said
    that the Scots were told of the weakest spot in the fortifications
    by a treacherous inmate of the castle, who doubtless expected a
    rich reward for his information. Indeed, the ballad of “Flodden”
    says he came for it; but the valiant and chivalrous king would give
    him no reward but that which he said every traitor deserved—a rope.

    Afterwards the castle was restored once more, but its more stirring
    days were over; and, to-day, it stands a shattered but dignified
    ruin, overlooking the tranquil river and peaceful woodlands which
    once echoed so continuously to the clash of arms and the shouts of
    besiegers and besieged.

    The village of Norham was in Saxon days known as Ubbanford—the
    Upper Ford of two that were available in those days on the Tweed.
    There was a church here, too, in Saxon times, for Bishop Ecfrid
    built one about the year 830, and in it was buried the Saxon king
    Ceolwulf who became a monk: the present church has a good deal
    remaining of the one built on the same site by Bishop Flambard,
    about the same time as the castle. Earl Gospatric, whom William the
    Conqueror made Earl of Northumberland in return for a considerable
    sum of money—doubtless thinking that to give a Northumbrian the
    Earldom would reconcile the North to his rule—is buried in the
    church porch. Gospatric joined in the resistance of the North to
    William, but returned to his allegiance later. The Market Cross of
    Norham stands on the original base.

    From Norham to Tweedmouth the river sweeps forward between
    picturesque ever-widening banks, and often hidden by a leafy
    screen, past the village of Horncliffe, beneath the Union
    Suspension Bridge, one of the first erected of its kind, until at
    length its bright waters lave the historic walls of
    Berwick-upon-Tweed, and in the quiet harbour there meet the
    inrushing tide from the North Sea.



CHAPTER IX. DRUM AND TRUMPET.


    “The history of Northumberland is essentially a drum and trumpet
    history, from the time when the _buccina_ of the Batavian cohort
    first rang out over the moors of Procolitia down to the
    proclamation of James III. at Warkworth Cross”—_Cadwallader J
    Bates_.

    This sentence of the historian of Northumberland sums up the story
    of our northern county no less admirably than tersely, and it would
    be difficult to find one which should more clearly bring before us
    the whole atmosphere of north-country history and north-country
    doings for many centuries.

    Within the limits of this chapter it is impossible to go into the
    details of every “foughten field” within the county; the most that
    can be done is to indicate the many and treat in detail only the
    few. A goodly number have already been alluded to in connection
    with the place where each occurred.

    After the Roman campaigns, from those of Agricola to those of
    Theodosius the elder and Maximus, and the legion sent by Stilicho,
    the earliest battle story is that of the one in Glendale fought by
    King Arthur. Then the forming of the kingdom of Bernicia with the
    advent of Ida at Bamburgh was the beginning of a long-protracted
    struggle between the various little states, each fighting for its
    life, and surrounded by others equally determined to take every
    advantage that offered against it. The sons of Ida fought against
    the celebrated Urien, a Keltic chief, who almost succeeded in
    dispossessing them of their kingdom of Bernicia. Hussa, one of
    Ida’s sons, ultimately vanquished Urien’s son Owen, “chief of the
    glittering West”; and after Hussa’s death Ethelric of Bernicia, as
    we have seen, overcame the neighbouring chieftain of Deira, thus
    forming the kingdom of Northumbria. His successor, Ethelfrith, in
    the year 603 gained a great victory over a large force of northern
    Britons under a leader named Aedan at a place called Daegsanstan,
    which is thought to be Dissington, near Newcastle. His further
    victories were gained outside the limits of our present survey.

    After the long and glorious reign of Edwin, his successor,
    Ethelfrith’s sons came back to Bamburgh; the eldest, Eanfrid, was
    slain within a year, and his brother Oswald carried on the struggle
    against Penda of Mercia. We have seen how he fought against Penda
    and Cadwallon on the Heavenfield near Chollerford, and gained a
    victory which obtained for him many years of peace. Penda was
    finally slain by Oswald’s successor Oswy in a great battle which is
    supposed to have taken place on the banks of the Tweed.

    Many years afterwards, Sitric, grandson of that Prince Guthred who
    was once a slave at Whittingham, married a sister of King
    Athelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great. When Sitric died,
    Athelstan came northward to claim Northumbria for himself. He
    captured Bamburgh—the first time that stronghold of the Bernician
    kings had ever been taken—and arranged for two earls to govern
    Northumbria for him. They attempted unsuccessfully to oppose a
    force of Scots under Anlaf the Red, who was joined by two earls of
    Bretland (Cumbria); and the whole force encamped near a place
    called Weondune, supposed to be Wandon near Chatton. Athelstan
    advanced against them and challenged them to a pitched battle on
    this ground. They agreed, and with much deliberation the course was
    staked out with hazel wands between a wood and a river (Chillingham
    woods and the Till). The Scots greatly outnumbered Athelstan’s men,
    who set up their tents at the narrowest part of the plain, giving
    their king time to reach a little “burg” (Old Bewick) in the
    neighbourhood. A running fight followed, which was carried on the
    next day, and with the help of two brothers, Egil and Thorold, who
    were Norsemen, it ended in a complete victory for Athelstan. While
    in the north, King Athelstan gave the well-known rhyming charter to
    a certain Paulan of Roddam;
  “I kyng Adelstan giffs hier to Paulan Oddam and Roddam als gud and
  als fair als evyr thai myne war, and thar to wytness Mald my Wiffe.”

    Shortly after this, at the Battle of Brunanburh, Athelstan
    vanquished Anlaf Sitricsson and Constantine, king of the Scots. The
    site of this battle would seem to have been in Northumbria, as it
    was into the Humber that Anlaf and Constantine sailed with their
    large fleet; but the precise spot has never been determined.

    In the reign of Knut the Dane, the Scots obtained the whole of
    Lothian from the Saxon earl of Northumberland, and the vast
    possessions of St. Cuthbert beyond the Tweed seemed about to be
    lost to the church of Durham. Accordingly, the clergy called upon
    all the people of St. Cuthbert from the Tees to the Tweed—all
    those, that is, who dwelt on lands granted by various donors to the
    church of St. Cuthbert—to rise and march northward to fight for
    their lands. This great company set out, in the autumn of 1018, and
    reached Carham on the Tweed, where they were met by Malcolm king of
    the Scots. A comet had been seen in the sky for some weeks and the
    fears inspired by this dread visitant seem to have had more effect
    upon the Northumbrians than upon the Scots. From whatever cause it
    arose, when the two forces joined in battle a panic spread among
    the followers of St. Cuthbert. They were utterly routed, and most
    of the leading Northumbrians as well as eighteen priests were
    slain—thus curiously repeating the experience of the earlier battle
    of Carham.

    For the next three hundred years Northumberland was swept by
    successive waves of raid and reprisal, in the course of which
    occurred the two well-known events, the attack of William the Lion
    of Scotland on Alnwick Castle, and the more famous affair still,
    the struggle between Percy and Douglas known as the battle of
    Otterburn, which was fought in “Chevy Chase” (Cheviot Forest). More
    important poetically than politically, it stands out more vividly
    in the records of the time than many other conflicts of larger
    import. The personal element in the fight, the deeds of gallantry
    recorded, the sounding roll of the chief knights’ names, and the
    high renown of the two leaders, throw a glamour around this
    particular contest which is kept alive by the ballads that chant
    the praises of Percy or Douglas according as the singer was Scot or
    Saxon. Sir Philip Sidney, that “verray parfit gentil knight” and
    discriminating _litterateur_, said “I never heard the old song of
    Percie and Douglas that I found not my hart mooved more than with a
    trumpet: and yet it is sung but by some blynd Crowder,[11] with no
    rougher voyce than rude stile! which beeing so evill apparelled in
    the dust and cobweb of that uncivill age, what wolde it work
    trimmed in the gorgeous eloquence of Pindare!”

 [11] Crowder = fiddler.

    In the endless warfare of the Borders the second of two short-lived
    periods of truce had just expired, and an organised raid on a large
    scale was arranged by the Scots. The main body was to ravage
    Cumberland; and a smaller, but picked force led by Earls Douglas,
    Moray, and March came southward by way of Northumberland. But
    Northumbrian towers and towns knew nothing of their passing; they
    marched rapidly and by stealth into Durham, having crossed the Tyne
    between Corbridge and Bywell, and began to harry and lay waste the
    greener pastures and richer villages of the southern county, the
    smoke of whose burning homesteads was the first intimation to the
    unlucky English of the fact that a Scottish host was in their
    midst.

    The Earl of Northumberland remained at Alnwick in the hope that he
    might be able to attack the Scots on their homeward journey; but he
    despatched his sons Henry Hotspur and Ralph in all haste to defend
    Newcastle. The Scots in due time appeared before the walls.
  And he marched up to Newcastel And rode it round about; “O wha’s the
  lord o’ this castel? Or wha’s the lady o’t?”
  But up spake proud Lord Percy then, And O but he spake hie! “I am the
  lord o’ this castel, My wife’s the lady gay.”

    Douglas challenged Percy to meet him in single combat, and Percy
    promptly accepted. In the duel Percy was unhorsed, and Douglas
    captured his pennon and his gauntlet gloves, embroidered with the
    Percy lion in pearls. This trophy Douglas vowed he would carry off
    to Scotland with him, and set it in the topmost tower of his castle
    of Dalkeith, that it might be seen from afar. “By heaven! that you
    never shall,” replied Percy; “you shall not carry it out of
    Northumberland.” “Come and take it, then,” was Douglas’ answer; and
    Hotspur would have attempted its recovery there and then, but he
    was restrained by his knights. Douglas, however, said he would give
    Percy a chance to recover it, and agreed to await him at Otterburn.
  “Yet I will stay at Otterbourne, Where you shall welcome be; And if
  ye come not at three dayis end, A fause lord I’ll call thee”

    Next day the Scots left Newcastle and marched northward. They took
    Sir Aymer de Athol’s castle of Ponte-land, and the good knight Sir
    Aymer himself, and went on their way, harrying and burning as they
    went. At Otterburn they halted, and rested all night, making huts
    for themselves of boughs and branches. The spot they had chosen was
    a strong one, on the site of a former British camp; and not only
    was it surrounded by trees, but was near marshy ground as well.
    Next day they attempted to take Otterburn tower, but without
    success.

    Meanwhile word was brought to Hotspur that the Scots would spend
    the night at Otterburn; and he, without waiting for Walter de
    Skirlaw, Bishop of Durham, who was expected that evening with a
    strong force, at once set off with 600 spearmen, and a force on
    foot which is variously given as anything from 800 to 8,000. They
    covered the thirty-odd miles by the time evening fell: and as the
    Scots were at supper in their little huts, they were startled by a
    tumult amongst their grooms and camp-followers, and cries of “a
    Percy! a Percy!” and the Englishmen were among them. The Scottish
    leaders had placed their camp-followers and servants at the
    outermost; part of their encampment, facing the Newcastle road; and
    Hotspur’s force, ignorant of this, mistook it for the main camp.
    While they were thus engaged, the Scottish knights were enabled to
    make a detour around the scene of the first attack, and take the
    English in the rear. With loud shouts of “Douglas! Douglas!” they
    fell upon them, and a fierce hand-to-hand struggle began. The moon
    rose clear and bright, and the quiet evening air was filled with
    the din of battle, the ring of steel on steel, the crash of axe on
    armour, the groans of the wounded, and the battle-cries of the
    combatants on each side. Sir Ralph Percy, pressing too rashly
    forward, was captured by a newly-made Scottish knight, Sir John
    Maxwell. The battle was turning in favour of Hotspur, when Douglas
    sent his silken banner to the front and with renewed shouts of
    “Douglas!” the Scots pressed forward and overbore their foes.
    According to Froissart, there was not a man there, knight, squire,
    or groom, who played the coward. “This bataylle was one of the
    sorest and best foughten without cowards or faynte hearts; for
    there was neither knight nor I squire but that did his devoyre and
    foughte hande to hande.” Great deeds were done, and the fame of
    none amongst them is greater than that of the gallant Widdrington;
  “For Witherington my heart is woe, That ever he slaine sholde be! For
  when his legs were hewn in two He knelt and fought on his knee”

    Douglas rushed into the thickest of the fray, and Hotspur tried to
    find him, but in the dim light that was difficult, especially as
    Douglas had, in his haste, come to the fight without helmet or
    breastplate. Presently he was borne to the ground by three English
    spears; and as he lay guarded by his faithful chaplain, Sir John
    and Sir Walter Sinclair, with Sir James Lindsay, came upon him.
    “How fare you, cousin?” asked Sir John. “But poorly, I thank God,”
    answered Douglas; “for few of my ancestors died in bed or chamber.
    I count myself dead, for my heart beats slow. Think now to avenge
    me. Raise my banner and shout ‘Douglas!’ and let neither my friends
    nor my foes know of my state, lest the one rejoice and the other be
    discomforted.” His dying commands were obeyed; and while his
    battle-cry was raised anew, his dead body was laid by a “bracken
    bush,” and the fact of his death concealed from friend and foe
    alike. The furious onslaught of the Scots now carried all before
    them; and Hotspur fell a captive to the sword of Sir Hugh
    Montgomery, a nephew of Douglas, after a fierce hand-to-hand
    encounter. The two chief English leaders being captured, the day,
    or rather the night, was with the Scots, in fulfilment of an old
    prophesy that “a dead Douglas should win a field.”
  “This deed was done at Otterbourne At the breaking of the day; Earl
  Douglas was buried at the braken bush, And the Percy led captive
  away.”

    When the fray was over, the two sides treated their captives with
    knightly courtesy, many being allowed to go to their homes until
    they recovered from their wounds, on giving their word of honour to
    send the amount of their ransom, or themselves return to their
    captors.

    The Bishop of Durham, immediately after having had some refreshment
    at Newcastle, had set out to join the Percies; but as he and his
    men neared Otterburn, they met so many fugitives who gave them
    anything but reassuring accounts of the fortunes of their friends,
    that half of his force melted away, and the Bishop had perforce to
    return to Newcastle; it was scarcely to be expected, indeed, that
    everyone should have that thirst for hard blows which distinguished
    the knights and their immediate followers. The Bishop, however,
    made one capture—Sir James Lindsay, who had ridden so far in
    pursuit of Sir Matthew Redman that he found himself amongst the
    force advancing under the leadership of the warlike prelate.

    When the Scots retired from their camp, they took the body of
    Douglas from the “bracken bush” where it lay, and carried it away
    for burial in Melrose Abbey; and Hotspur, as the price of his
    ransom, built a castle for Sir Hugh Montgomery.

    After this there was peace on the Borders for the next ten years or
    so, when the game began again as merrily as ever. When Sir Thomas
    Gray was absent from his castle of Wark-on-Tweed, attending
    Parliament, the Scots came down upon it and carried off his
    children and servants. Sir Robert Umfraville met and checked
    another company that were harrying Coquetdale. In the year 1400,
    Henry Bolingbroke himself led an army to Edinburgh; but a guerilla
    band of Scots, avoiding his line of march, stole behind him and
    ravaged Bamburghshire.

    Two years after this, a party of Scots under the next Douglas rode
    into Northumberland, coming nearly as far south as Newcastle.
    Hotspur set off from Bamburgh, of which castle he was Constable at
    the time, to intercept them. He awaited them on the banks of the
    Glen, near Wooler; and the archers of his force went out for forage
    meanwhile. When the Scots arrived, they found themselves in the
    presence of an enemy whom they had imagined to be behind them, and
    they immediately occupied Homildon Hill. The archers, returning,
    saw the Scottish force on the hill, and began the attack forthwith,
    letting fly their arrows upon the foe with deadly precision. Flight
    after flight fell upon the Scots, who were completely bewildered,
    and seemed incapable of action. A Scottish knight, Sir John
    Swinton, implored the leaders to charge, passionately exclaiming,
    “What madness has seized you, my brave countrymen, that you stand
    here like deer to be shot down? Follow me, those who will! We will
    either gain the victory, or die like men of courage.”

    On hearing these brave words, Adam de Gordon, Swinton’s deadly foe,
    felt his hatred turn to admiration, and kneeling before Swinton,
    begged that he might receive the honour of knighthood from so
    valiant a hand. The two gallant knights then charged the enemy,
    followed by a number of the Scots; but the showers of arrows forced
    them to retreat towards the river, and thither also moved the whole
    Scottish force, followed still by that grim and deadly hail from
    the English bows. Hotspur would now have charged, but the Earl of
    March, his former antagonist, now his friend, restrained his
    impetuous leader, and persuaded him to let the archers continue
    their effective work.

    The event proved his wisdom; the Scots were utterly routed by the
    archers alone. The unfortunate Archibald Douglas added another to
    his long list of reverses; he was taken prisoner, sorely wounded,
    as was also Sir Hugh Montgomery, and over four-score others of
    importance. It was in connection with these prisoners, whom Hotspur
    refused to deliver up to Bolingbroke, that the quarrel took place
    which eventually led Northumberland and his son Hotspur openly to
    throw off their allegiance to Henry Bolingbroke and join in the
    rebellion of Owen Glendower. Not only did Hotspur refuse to give up
    Douglas and the others to King Henry, but he wished Henry to ransom
    his brother-in-law Mortimer.
  _K. Henry_. But sirrah, henceforth Let me not hear you speak of
  Mortimer. Send me your prisoners with the speediest means, Or you
  shall hear in such a kind from me As will displease you.—My lord
  Northumberland, We licence your departure with your son.— Send us
  your prisoners, or you’ll hear of it.

    (_Exeunt_ K. Henry, Blunt, _and train_)
  _Hotspur_. And if the devil come and roar for them I will not send
  them:—I will after, straight, And tell him so.

  _Worcester_. These same noble Scots That are your prisoners—
  _Hotspur_. I’ll keep them all; By heaven, he shall not have a Scot of
  them; No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not; I’ll keep
  them, by this hand.
  _Worcester_. You start away, And lend no ear unto my purposes. Those
  prisoners you shall keep.—
  _Hotspur_. Nay, I will, that’s flat:— He said he would not ransom
  Mortimer; Forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer; But I will find him
  when he lies asleep, And in his ear I’ll holla “Mortimer!” Nay, I’ll
  have a starling shall be taught to speak Nothing but “Mortimer,” and
  give it him To keep his anger still in motion.
  _The First Part of_ KING HENRY IV., _Act I., Scene 3_.

    The fight at Homildon Hill took place on a Monday in August, 1402,
    and the memory of it is kept alive by the name of the “Monday
    Clough” near Wooler, where the archers commenced the fight.

    More than a hundred years after this, the last, and in many
    respects the greatest, battle ever fought on Northumbrian soil took
    place at Flodden. King James IV. of Scotland had several grievances
    against England, which had rankled in his mind for some time; he
    had not yet received the full amount of the dowry which had been
    promised with his wife, Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII.,
    although they had been married for many years; a Scottish noble,
    Sir Robert Ker, had been killed in Northumberland, and the slayer
    could not be found to be brought to justice—he was outlawed, but
    that seemed to King James very insufficient; a Border raid on a
    large scale, led by Lord Hume, had met with disastrous defeat on
    Milfield Plain at the hands of Sir William Bulmer; and Andrew
    Barton, a notable sea-captain, whom James was looking forward to
    seeing as one of the best leaders of his new navy, had been killed
    in a sea-fight by Thomas Howard, Lord Admiral of England. Added to
    all this, France had appealed to him to invade England in order to
    force Henry VIII. to abandon his French war; the English monarch
    was just then conducting the siege of Terouenne, and the Queen of
    France sent a romantic appeal to James (together with a large sum
    of money) begging him to march “three feet on to English ground”
    for her sake.

    No time could have been more favourable in James’ eyes for the
    enterprise; and in a very short space of time he had an army of
    100,000 men collected, and marched from Edinburgh to the Tweed,
    which he crossed near Coldstream. He laid siege to Norham, and
    captured it after a week’s investment; and thereafter Wark, Ford,
    Etal, Duddo and Chillingham fell before him. He took up his
    quarters at Ford Castle, and on marching later to meet Surrey, left
    it almost in ruins.

    Surrey meantime had gathered a large force from the northern
    counties, much to James’ surprise, for he had taken it for granted
    that nearly every English fighting man would be with Henry in
    Flanders. There were bowmen and billmen from Cheshire and
    Lancashire under the Stanley banner; and James Stanley, Bishop of
    Ely, brought the banner of St. Etheldreda, the Northumbrian queen
    who founded the monastery of Ely. Admiral Sir Thomas Howard brought
    a band of sailors to join his father at Alnwick. Dacre came with a
    strong contingent from the western Marches, men from Alston Moor,
    Gilsland, and Eskdale, and also some from Tynemouth and Bamburgh;
    and Sir Brian Tunstall with Sir William Bulmer led the men of the
    Bishopric under the banner of St. Cuthbert.

    From Alnwick Surrey sent a letter pledging himself to meet James by
    September 9th, and challenging him to battle, a challenge which was
    promptly accepted by the Scottish king. Marching from Alnwick
    towards the Scottish army, Surrey encamped on September 6th on
    Wooler Haughs. James had formed his camp on Flodden Hill, and all
    Surrey’s devices could not induce him abandon this strong position.
    Many of his own nobles advised him not to risk a battle, but to
    withdraw while there was yet time; and some were ready to leave the
    camp and return home, which thousands of the more undisciplined in
    his army had done already, being more anxious to carry off their
    plunder safely than to stay and fight. But James was eager for the
    contest, and felt himself bound in honour to give battle to Surrey;
    he answered haughtily those who counselled retreat, and scornfully
    told Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, that he might go home if he
    were afraid. The old man sorrowfully left the field, but his two
    sons remained with their rash but gallant king, and were both
    slain.

    On the day before the battle took place, Surrey, that “auld crooked
    carle,” as James called him, marched his men northward across the
    Till and encamped for the night near Barmoor Wood. To the Scots
    this looked as though they had gone off towards Berwick, to repeat
    James’ own manoeuvre, and invade the country in the absence of its
    king; and they must have thought that there would be little chance
    of the battle for which James had punctiliously waited taking place
    on the morrow. But Surrey’s purpose proved to be quite otherwise.
    On the following morning he sent the vanguard of his army, with the
    artillery, to make a detour of several miles round by Twizell
    bridge, where they re-crossed to the south bank of the Till; and
    coming south-eastward towards Flodden, they were joined by the rest
    of the army, which had plunged through the stream, swollen by
    continuous rains, at two points near Crookham. The two divisions
    met at Branxton, after having waded through a marsh which extended
    from Branxton nearly to the Till, and which the Scots had thought
    impassable.

    Seeing that the English were about to occupy Branxton Hill, which
    would entirely cut him off from communication with Scotland, James
    was forced to abandon his advantageous position; he gave orders for
    the camp-refuse to be fired, and under cover of the dense clouds of
    smoke marched down to forestall Surrey and occupy Branxton ridge.
    The two armies suddenly found themselves within a few spears’
    length of each other, and the battle was begun by the artillery on
    both sides.
      Sudden, as he spoke, From the sharp ridges of the hill, All
      downward to the banks of Till Was wreathed in sable smoke.
      Volumed, and vast, and rolling far, The cloud enveloped
      Scotland’s war As down the hill they broke; Nor martial shout,
      nor minstrel tone Announced their march; their tread alone, At
      times one warning trumpet blown, At times a stifled hum. Told
      England, from his mountain throne King James did rushing come.
      Scarce could they hear or see their foes Until at weapon-point
      they close.

    Many of the raw levies on the English side fled at the first sound
    of the Scottish cannon; but the master of the ordnance, Lord
    Sinclair, was killed, and his guns silenced. Then the battle
    joined, and the first result was that the English right wing under
    Sir Edmund Howard was scattered and broken before the impetuous
    charge of the Gordons and Highlanders under the Earl of Huntley and
    Lord Home. Sir Edmund narrowly escaped with his life; but Lord
    Dacre bringing up his reserve of horsemen at that moment checked
    the further advance of the Scots. The two central divisions of the
    armies engaged each other fiercely, the Earl of Surrey, with his
    son Sir Thomas Howard commanding the English centre, and King
    James, with the Earls of Crawford and Montrose that of the Scots.
    Sir Thomas, after having been so hard pressed as to send the _Agnus
    Dei_ he wore to his father as a signal for help, afterwards with
    Sir Marmaduke Constable defeated the Earl of Crawford, whose
    division was opposed to him. Dacre and Sir Thomas now charged Lord
    Home and drove him some little way back, but could not dislodge his
    men entirely from their position. The Earl of Bothwell, who
    commanded the Scottish reserves, now came up to the help of the
    king, and the day seemed about to be decided in favour of the
    Scots, when Lord Stanley, on the English left, exactly reversed the
    fortunes of the right wing, and scattered and routed the
    Highlanders led by the Earls of Lennox and Argyle. Then with his
    Lancashire lads he attacked the rear of the Scottish position, as
    did also Dacre and Sir Thomas Howard.
  “They saw Lord Marmion’s falcon fly, And stainless Tunstall’s banner
  white And Edmund Howard’s lion bright All bear them bravely in the
  fight, Although against them come Of gallant Gordons many a one, And
  many a stubborn Highlandman, And many a rugged Border clan With
  Huntly and with Home. Far on the left, unseen the while, Stanley
  broke Lennox and Argyle.”

    Nothing now remained for the Scottish centre, hemmed in on all
    sides, but to make a stubborn last stand; and gallantly did they do
    it. The flower of Scotland’s chivalry surrounded their brave
    monarch, and in the falling dusk fought desperately to guard their
    king.
  “No thought was there of dastard flight; Linked in that serried
  phalanx tight, Groom fought like noble, squire like knight, As
  fearlessly and well. The stubborn spearmen still made good Their dark
  impenetrable wood, Each stepping where his comrade stood The instant
  that he fell.”

    As night fell, the fierce struggle continued until the darkness
    made it impossible to see friend or foe, but the fate of Scotland’s
    bravest was sealed. The king lay dead, covered with wounds, and
    around him a heap of slain; those who were able made their way in
    haste from the field, while the English host encamped where it
    stood. The more lawless in each army plundered both sides
    impartially, and when the king’s body was found next day, it too
    was stripped like many others around it.
  “Then did their loss his foemen know, Their king, their lords, their
  mightiest low, They melted from the field as snow Dissolves in silent
  dew. Tweed’s echoes heard the ceaseless plash While many a broken
  band, Disordered, through its currents dash To gain the Scottish
  land; To town and tower, to down and dale, To tell red Flodden’s
  dismal tale, And raise the universal wail.”

    The tragic effects of that terrible day were long felt in Scotland.
    Every family of note in the land lost one or more of its members on
    the fatal field, besides the thousands of humbler beings who fell
    at the same time. Scotland did not recover from the crushing blow
    for more than a hundred years; and for many a day the people could
    not believe that their gallant king was really slain, but continued
    to hope that he had escaped in the darkness, and would one day
    return.

    There has recently been erected on Flodden Field a simple cross of
    stone as a memorial of that tragic day. It was unveiled on
    September 27th, 1910, by Sir George Douglas, Bart. The inscription
    on the stone is “To the Brave of both Nations.”
  THE FLOWERS OF THE FOREST.
  A LAMENT FOR FLODDEN.
  I’ve heard the liltin’ at our ewe-milking, Lasses a’ liltin’ before
  dawn o’ day; But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning— The
  Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.
  At bughts,[12] in the mornin’, nae blythe lads are scornin’, Lasses
  are lonely and dowie and wae; Nae daffin’, nae jabbin’, but sighin’
  and sabbin’, Ilk ane lifts her leglin[13] and hies her away.
  In harst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering, Bandsters are
  lyart,[14] and runkled, and gray; At fair or at preaching, nae
  wooing, nae fleeching[15] The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.
  At e’en, in the gloaming, nae younkers are roaming ’Bout stacks, with
  the lasses at “bogle” to play; But ilk ane sits drearie, lamenting
  her dearie— The Flowers of the Forest are weded away.
  Dool and wae for the order sent our lads to the Border! The English
  for ance by guile wan the day; The Flowers of the Forest, that fought
  aye the foremost, The prime of our land, are cauld in the clay.
  We’ll hear nae mair liltin’ at our ewe-milkin’; Women and bairns are
  heartless and wae; Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning— The
  Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.

 [12] Bughts = sheep-pens.

 [13] Leglin = milk-pail.

 [14] Lyart = grizzled.

 [15] Fleeching = coaxing.



CHAPTER X. TALES AND LEGENDS.


    Northumberland, as might be guessed from its wild history, is rich
    in tales of daring and stories of gallant deeds; there are true
    tales, as well as legendary ones, which latter, after all, may be
    true in substance though not in detail, in spirit and possibility
    though not in a certain sequence of facts. Now-a-days we look upon
    dragons as fabulous animals, and stories of the destruction they
    wrought, their fierceness and their might are dismissed with a
    smile, and mentally relegated to a place amongst the fairy tales
    that delighted our childhood’s days, when the idea of belief or
    disbelief simply did not enter the question. Yet what are the
    dragon stories but faint memories of those gigantic and fearsome
    beasts which roamed the earth in the “dim, red dawn of man”—their
    names, as we read the labels on their skeletons in our museums,
    being now the most fearsome things about them! No one can deny that
    the ichthyosaurus, plesiosaurus, and all the rest of their tribe
    did exist; and were they to be encountered in these days would
    spread the same terror around, and find man almost as helpless
    before them as did any fierce dragon of the fairy tales. That part
    of the legends, therefore, has its foundation in fact; though from
    the nature of the case, we certainly do not possess an
    authenticated account of any particular contest between primitive
    man and one of these gigantic creatures. That oldest Northumbrian
    poem, however, the “Beowulf,” chants the praises of its hero’s
    prowess in encounters of the kind; and the north-country still has
    its legends of the Sockburn Worm, the Lambton Worm, and the
    “Laidly” Worm of Spindleston Heugh, the two first having their
    _venue_ in Durham, and the last in Northumberland. The
    Spindlestone, a high crag not far from Bamburgh, and Bamburgh
    Castle itself, form the scene of this well-known legend. The fair
    Princess Margaret, daughter of the King of Bamburgh was turned into
    a “laidly worm” (loathly or loathsome serpent) by her wicked
    stepmother, who was jealous of the lovely maid. The whole district
    was in terror of this dreadful monster, which desolated the
    country-side in its search for food.
  “For seven miles east and seven miles west And seven miles north and
  south, No blade of grass or corn would grow, So deadly was her mouth.
  The milk of seven streakit cows It was her cost to kepe, They brought
  her dayly, whyche she drank Before she wente to slepe.”

    This offering proved successful in pacifying the creature, and it
    remained in the cave at Spindleston, coming out daily to drink its
    fill from the trough prepared for it. But the fear of it in no wise
    diminished, and
  “Word went east, and word went west, And word is gone over the sea,
  That a laidly worm in Spindleston Heugh Would ruin the North
  Countree.”

    The news in due course comes to the ears of Princess Margaret’s
    only brother, the Childe Wynde, who is away seeking fame and
    fortune abroad. In fear for his lovely sister, he calls together
    his “merry men all,” and they set to work to build a ship
  “With masts of the rowan-tree,”

    a sure defence against the spells of witchcraft; and hoisting their
    silken sails they hasten homeward.
  “... ... The wind with speed Blew them along the deep. The sea was
  calm, the weather clear, When they approached nigher; King Ida’s
  castle well they knew, And the banks of Bamburghshire.”

    The wicked queen saw the little bark coming near, and knew that her
    guilt was about to meet its reward. In haste she tried to wreck the
    vessel, but the rowan-tree masts made her spells of no avail. Then
    she bade her servants go to the beach and oppose the landing of the
    Childe and his crew; but the servants were beaten back, and the
    young knight and his men landed in Budle Bay. The worm came
    fiercely to the attack, as the Childe Wynde advanced against it;
    but on meeting him, and feeling the touch of his “berry-brown
    sword,” it besought him to do it no harm.
  “‘O quit thy sword, unbend thy brow, And give me kisses three; For
  though I be a laidly worm No harm I’ll do to thee.
  O quit thy sword, unbend thy brow, And give me kisses three; If I’m
  not won ere the sun goes down Won shall I never be.’
  He quitted his sword, and smoothed his brow, And gave her kisses
  three; She crept intill the hole a worm, And came out a fayre ladie.”

    The knight clasped his lovely sister in his arms, and, casting
    around her his crimson cloak, led her back to her home, where the
    trembling queen awaited them. Her doom was spoken by the Childe
    Wynde—
  “Woe be to thee, thou wicked witch; An ill death mayst thou dee! As
  thou hast likened my sister dear, So likened shalt thou be”

    and he turned her into the likeness of an ugly toad, in which
    hateful shape she remained to her dying day, wandering around the
    castle and the green fields, an object of hatred to all who saw
    her. The “Spindlestone,” a tall crag on which the young knight hung
    his bridle, when he went further on to seek the worm in the
    “heugh,” is still to be seen, but the huge trough from which the
    worm was said to drink has been destroyed.

    There are two legends somewhat similar to each other which are told
    of a company held in the spell of a magic sleep, to be awakened by
    certain devices, in which the blowing of a horn and the drawing of
    a sword are prominent. One is the story of “Sir Guy the Seeker,”
    and is told of Dunstanborough Castle. Sir Guy sought refuge in the
    Castle from a storm; and while within the walls a spectre form with
    flaming hair addressed him,
  “Sir knight, Sir knight, if your heart be right, And your nerves be
  firm and true,”

    (fancy “nerves” in a ballad!)—
  “Sir knight, Sir knight, a beauty bright In durance waits for you.”

    The ballad, written by M.G. Lewis, now describes in a painfully
    commonplace manner the knight’s further adventures. He and his
    guide wandered round and round and high and low in the maze of
    chambers within the castle, until at last a door of brass, whose
    bolt was a venomous snake, gave them entrance to a gloomy hall,
    draped in black, which the “hundred lights” failed to brighten. In
    the hall a hundred knights of “marble white” lay sleeping by their
    steeds of “marble black as the raven’s back.” At the end of the
    hall, guarded by two huge skeleton forms, the imprisoned lady was
    seen in tears within a crystal tomb. One skeleton held in his bony
    fingers a horn, the other a “falchion bright,” and the knight was
    told to choose between them, and the fate of himself and the lady
    would depend upon his choice. Sir Guy, after long hesitation, blew
    a shrill blast upon the horn; at the sound the hundred steeds
    stamped their hoofs, the hundred knights sprang up, and the unlucky
    knight fell down senseless, with his ghastly guide’s words ringing
    in his ears—
  “Shame on the coward who sounded a horn When he might have unsheathed
  a sword!”

    In the morning, the unfortunate Sir Guy awoke to find himself lying
    amongst the ruins, and forthwith began his ceaseless and unavailing
    search for the lady he had failed to rescue.

    The legend similar to this in many respects is that of King Arthur
    and his court at Sewingshields, to which allusion has already been
    made in the chapter on the Roman Wall. I cannot do better than give
    this in the words of Mr. Hodgson, who tells the story in his
    History of Northumberland. “Immemorial tradition has asserted that
    King Arthur, his queen Guenever, his court of lords and ladies, and
    his hounds were enchanted in some cave of the crags, or in a hall
    below the castle of Sewingshields, and would continue entranced
    there until someone should first blow a bugle-horn that lay on a
    table near the entrance of the hall, and then with the ‘sword of
    the stone’ (was this Excalibur?) cut a garter, also placed there
    beside it. But none had ever heard where the entrance to this
    enchanted hall was, till the farmer at Sewingshields, about fifty
    years since, was sitting knitting on the ruins of the castle, and
    his clew fell, and ran downwards through a rush of briars and
    nettles, as he supposed, into a subterraneous passage. Full in the
    faith that the entrance to King Arthur’s hall had now been
    discovered, he cleared the briary portal of its weeds and rubbish,
    and entering a vaulted passage, followed in his darkling way the
    thread of his clew. The floor was infested with toads and lizards;
    and the dark wings of bats, disturbed by his unhallowed intrusion,
    flitted fearfully around him. At length his sinking courage was
    strengthened by a dim, distant light, which as he advanced grew
    gradually brighter, till all at once he entered a vast and vaulted
    hall, in the centre of which a fire without fuel, from a broad
    crevice in the floor blazed with a high and lambent flame, that
    showed all the carved walls and fretted roof, and the monarch and
    his queen and court reposing around, in a theatre of thrones and
    costly couches. On the floor beyond the fire lay the faithful and
    deep-toned pack of thirty couple of hounds; and on a table before
    it the spell-dissolving horn, sword, and garter. The shepherd
    reverently, but firmly, grasped the sword, and as he drew it
    leisurely from its rusty scabbard, the eyes of the monarch and his
    courtiers began to open, and they rose till they sat upright. He
    cut the garter; and as the sword was being slowly sheathed the
    spell assumed its ancient power, and they all gradually sank to
    rest; but not before the monarch had lifted up his eyes and hands,
    and exclaimed—
  “O woe betide that evil day On which this witless wight was born, Who
  drew the sword, the garter cut. But never blew the bugle horn!”

    Terror brought on loss of memory, and the shepherd was unable to
    give any correct account of his adventure, or to find again the
    entrance to the enchanted hall.

    Another legend is connected with Tynemouth. Just above the short
    sands was a cave known as Jingling Geordie’s Hole; the “Geordie” is
    evidently a late interpolation, for earlier mention of the cave
    gives it as the Jingling Man’s Hole. No one knows how it came by
    its name; tradition says that it was the entrance to a subterranean
    passage leading from the Priory beneath the Tyne to Jarrow. In this
    cave it was said that a treasure of a fabulous amount was
    concealed, and the tale of this hoard fired a boy named Walter to
    seek it out, when he heard the tale from his mother. On his
    attaining to knighthood, he resolved to make the finding of the
    treasure his particular “quest,” and arming himself, he adventured
    forth on the Eve of St. John. Making his way fearlessly down into
    the cave, undaunted by spectre or dragon, as they attempted to
    dispute his passage, he arrived at a gloomy gateway, where hung a
    bugle, fastened by a golden cord. Boldly he placed the bugle to his
    lips, and blew three loud blasts. To his amazement, at the sound
    the doors rolled back, displaying a vast and brightly-lit hall,
    whose roof was supported on pillars of jasper and crystal; the glow
    from lamps of gold shone softly down on gold and gems, which were
    heaped upon the floor of this magic chamber, and the treasure
    became the rich reward of the dauntless youth.
  “Gold heaped upon gold, and emeralds green, And diamonds and rubies,
  and sapphires untold, Rewarded the courage of Walter the Bold.”

    The fortunate youth became a very great personage, indeed, as by
    means of his great riches he was “lord of a hundred castles” and
    wide domains.

    Of a very different character is the story of the Hermit of
    Warkworth. It is unfortunate that this, the most tragic and moving
    of all Northumbrian tales, should be most widely known by means of
    the prosy imitation ballad by Dr. Percy, whose ability as a poet
    did by no means equal his zeal as a collector of ballads. The hero
    of the sorrowful tale is said to have been a Bertram of Bothal, who
    loved fair Isabel, daughter of the lord of Widdrington. Bertram was
    a knight in Percy’s train, and at a great feast made by the lord of
    Alnwick the fair maiden and her father were amongst the guests. As
    the minstrels chanted the praises of their lord, and sang of the
    valiant deeds by which his noble house had won renown, the heart of
    Isabel thrilled at the thought of her true knight rivalling those
    deeds of fame. Summoning one of her attendant maidens, she sent her
    to Bertram, bearing a helmet of steel with crest of gold. With the
    helmet the maiden gave her mistress’ message, that she would yield
    to her knight’s pleadings and become his bride, as soon as he had
    proved himself a valiant and worthy wearer of the golden-crested
    helm. Reverently Bertram accepted the commands of his lady, and
    vowed to prove his devotion wherever hard blows were to be given
    and danger to be found. The lord of Alnwick straightway arranged
    for an expedition on to Scottish land, in requital of old scores,
    and assembled together a goodly company to ride against the Scots.
    Earl Douglas and his men opposed them, and blows were dealt thick
    and fast on both sides. Bertram was sorely wounded, after showing
    wondrous prowess in the fight; but being rescued by Percy, was
    borne to the castle of Wark upon the Tweed, to recover from his
    wounds in safety. Isabel’s aged father had seen the young knight’s
    valour, and promised that the maiden herself should tend his hurts
    and care for him until he recovered. Day after day passed, however,
    and still she came not. At last the knight, scarcely able to take
    the saddle, rode back to Widdrington, tended by his gallant young
    brother, to satisfy himself of what had become of his lady. They
    reached Widdrington tower to find it all in darkness; and after
    repeated knockings the aged nurse came to the gateway and demanded
    the name of those who so insistently clamoured at the door. Bertram
    enquired for the lady Isabel; and then, indeed, all was dismay. The
    nurse, trembling with fear, told the two youths that her mistress
    had set out immediately on hearing of her lover’s plight,
    reproaching herself for having led him to adventure his life so
    rashly, and it was now six days since she had gone. Weary and weak,
    Bertram rested the night at the castle, and then set out on his
    search for his lost lady. That they might the sooner search the
    country round, he and his brother, who loved him dearly, took
    different directions, one going eastward, and the other north. They
    put on various disguises as they went, Bertram appearing now in the
    guise of a holy Palmer, now as a wandering minstrel As he was
    sitting, despondent and well-nigh despairing, beneath a hawthorn
    tree, an aged monk came by, and on seeing the supposed minstrel’s
    face of sorrow, said to him,
  “All minstrels yet that e’er I saw Are full of game and glee, But
  thou art sad and woe-begone; I marvel whence it be.”

    Bertram replied that he served an aged lord whose only child had
    been stolen away, and that he would know no happiness until he had
    found her. The pilgrim comforted him and bade him hope, telling him
    that
  “Behind yon hills so steep and high, Down in a lonely glen, There
  stands a castle fair and strong, Far from the abode of men.”

    Saying that he had heard a lady’s voice lamenting in this lonely
    tower, he passed on, giving Bertram the hope that now at last his
    quest was ended. He made his way to that strong castle, and with
    his music prevailed upon the porter to let him stay near at hand in
    a cavern; for the porter refused to admit him to the castle in the
    absence of his lord, though at the same time giving him food and
    directing him to the cave. He piped all day and watched all night,
    and was rewarded by hearing his lady’s voice lamenting within the
    walls of her prison. On the second night he caught a glimpse of her
    beauteous form, fair as the moonbeams that shone around the tower.
    On the third night, worn with watching, he slept, and only awakened
    as dawn drew nigh. Grasping his weapon, he stole near to the castle
    walls, when to his amazement, he saw his lady descend from her
    window by a ladder of rope, held for her by a youth in Highland
    dress. Stunned at the sight, he could not move to follow them, till
    they had left behind them the castle where the lady had been held
    captive, and were about to disappear over the hill. Silently and
    swiftly then he drew near, and crying furiously, “Vile traitor!
    yield that lady up!” fell upon the youth who accompanied her, who
    in his turn fought as furiously as he. In a few moments Bertram’s
    antagonist lay stretched on the ground; and as he gave him the
    fatal thrust he cried, “Die, traitor, die!” The lady recognised his
    voice, and rushing forward, shrieked, “Stay! stay! it is thy
    brother.” But the sword of Bertram, already descending with the
    force of rage and fury in the blow, could not be stayed until too
    late. The fair maid’s breast was pierced by the sword of the knight
    who loved her, and she sank down by the side of the youth who had
    delivered her. It was indeed Bertram’s brother, who had succeeded
    in his search; and the dying maiden found time to tell of his
    devotion, in rescuing her from this castle of the son of a Scottish
    lord who fain would have made her his bride, before she, too, lay
    lifeless by the side of her brave rescuer, leaving her lover too
    despairing and desolate to seek safety in flight, so that the band
    of searchers from the castle, seeking their prisoner on the hills,
    and dreading their lord’s wrath on his return, bore him back with
    them to the dungeon. Their lord, however, had meantime been taken
    captive by Percy (Hotspur), who, as soon as he heard of Bertram’s
    capture, quickly exchanged the Scottish chief for his friend.
    Bertram’s sorrow lasted for the rest of his days; he gave away his
    lands and possessions to the poor, and retiring to a lovely spot on
    the banks of the Coquet, where rocky cliffs overhung the river, he
    carved out in the living stone a little cell, dormitory, and
    chapel, and dwelt there, passing his days in mourning, meditation,
    and prayer. In the chapel, with its gracefully arched roof, he
    fashioned on an altar-tomb the image of a lady, and at her feet the
    figure of a hermit, in the attitude of grief, one hand supporting
    his head and the other pressed against his breast, leaning over and
    gazing at the lady for ever. The poignant sentence “My tears have
    been my meat day and night,” is carved over the entrance to the
    little chapel. Here, in this beautiful spot, almost under the
    shadow of the castle walls belonging to his noble friend, the
    sorrowing knight, now a holy hermit, spent the remainder of his
    life in the little dwelling he had wrought in the living rock. It
    remains to-day more beautiful, if possible, than ever, overhung by
    a canopy of waving greenery, and draped with ferns and mosses,
    their graceful fronds laved by the rippling Coquet whose gentle
    murmurings fill the still air with music.

    The next tale takes us to the neighbourhood of Belford, and out
    upon the old post road from London to Edinburgh. In the unsettled
    times of James the Second’s reign, one Sir John Cochrane of
    Ochiltree was condemned to death for his part in the rising which
    was led by the Duke of Argyle. Powerful friends, heavily bribed by
    Sir John’s father, the Earl of Dundonald, were working in Sir
    John’s favour, and they had strong hopes of obtaining a pardon. But
    meanwhile, Sir John lay in the Tolbooth at Edinburgh, and the
    warrant for his execution was already on its way northward, in the
    post-bag carried forward by horseman after horseman throughout the
    length of the way. Could the arrival of the warrant only be delayed
    by some means, his life might be saved. In this strait, his
    daughter Grizzel, a girl of eighteen, conceived the desperate idea
    of preventing the warrant’s reaching its destination. Saying
    nothing to anyone of her intentions, she stole away from home, and
    rode swiftly to the Border. Following the road for about four miles
    on the English side, she arrived at the house of her old nurse; and
    here she changed her clothes, persuading the old dame to lend her a
    suit belonging to her foster-brother. Making her way southward, she
    went to the inn at Belford where the riders carrying the mail
    usually put up for the night. Here, the same night, came the
    postman, and the seeming youth watched nervously, but determinedly,
    for an opportunity of finding out whether the fateful paper was in
    his bag or not. No slightest chance presented itself, however, and
    an attempt to obtain the mail-bag during the night failed by reason
    of the fact that the man slept upon it. One thing she did
    accomplish, which gave her hope that the encounter for which she
    was nerving herself might end successfully for her; she managed,
    unseen, to draw the charges from his pistols. Then the courageous
    girl rode off through the dark night to select a favourable spot in
    which to await his coming. For two or three lonely hours she
    waited, the thought that she was fighting for her father’s life
    giving her courage. In the dim light of the early dawn she heard
    the sound of his horse’s hoofs from where she stood in the shadow
    of a clump of trees; and steeling herself for the part she was to
    play, and in ignorance of whether he might have found out that the
    charges had been withdrawn from his pistols and might have
    re-loaded them, she waited until he was almost abreast of her, and
    fired at his horse, bringing it down. Before he could extricate
    himself she was upon him with drawn sword; but promising to spare
    his life if he would let her have the mail-bag, she seized it and
    darted away. He attempted to follow to recover his charge, but she
    reached her horse, and rode off like the wind. When she reached a
    place of safety and examined the contents of the bag, what was her
    joy to find that the warrant was there. It was speedily destroyed;
    and during the time that elapsed before the news of the loss could
    be sent to London and another one made out, the friends of Sir John
    succeeded in obtaining his pardon. “Cochrane’s bonny Grizzy” lived
    to a good old age; and “Grizzy’s clump” on the north road near the
    little village of Buckton keeps green the memory of her daring
    exploit.

    “Bonny Grizzy” was a Scottish maid, though her gallant if lawless
    deed was performed on Northumbrian soil; but there is one
    Northumbrian maiden whose fame will live as long as the sea-waves
    beat on the wild north-east coast, and as long as men’s hearts
    thrill to a tale of courage and high resolve. Grace Darling’s name
    still awakens in every bosom a response to all that is
    compassionate, courageous, and unselfish; and the thoughts of all
    north-country folk bold that admiration for the gentle girl which
    has been voiced as no other could voice it, in the magical words of
    Swinburne—
  “Take, O star of all our seas, from not an alien hand, Homage paid of
  song bowed down before thy glory’s face, Thou the living light of all
  our lovely stormy strand, Thou the brave north-country’s very glory
  of glories, Grace.”

    The story of her gallantry has been many times re-told, but never
    grows wearisome. The memory of that stormy voyage of the
    _Forfarshire_, which ended in disaster on the Harcar rocks in the
    Farne group, remains in men’s minds as the dark and tragic setting
    which throws into bright relief the gallant action of the father
    and daughter who dared almost certain death to rescue their
    fellow-creatures in peril. It was in September, 1838, that the
    ill-fated vessel left Hull for Dundee; but a leak in the boilers
    caused the fires to be nearly extinguished in the storm the vessel
    encountered. It reached St. Abb’s Head by the aid of the sails, but
    then drifted southward, driven by the storm, and struck in the
    early morning, in a dense fog, on the Harcar rocks. Nine of the
    people on board managed to escape in a small boat, which was driven
    in a miraculous manner through the only safe outlet between the
    rocks. They were picked up by a passing boat and taken to Shields.
    Meanwhile a heavy sea had crashed down upon the _Forfarshire_, and
    broken it in half, one portion, with the greater number of crew and
    passengers, being swept away immediately. The remaining portion,
    the fore part of the vessel, was firmly fixed upon the rock. Here
    the shivering survivors clung all that stormy day, the waves
    dashing over them continually. The captain and his wife were washed
    overboard, clasped in each others’ arms; and two little children, a
    boy of eight and a girl of eleven years of age, died from exposure
    and the relentless buffeting of the waves, their distracted mother
    clasping them by the hand long after life was extinct. To a
    terrible day succeeded a yet more terrible night.
  “Scarce the cliffs of the islets, scarce the walls of Joyous Gard
  Flash to sight between the deadlier lightnings of the sea; Storm is
  lord and master of a midnight evil-starred, Nor may sight nor fear
  discern what evil stars may be.”

    Until the morning they endured; and in the stormy dawn the keeper
    of the Longstone lighthouse, William Darling, and his daughter
    Grace saw them huddled in a shivering heap upon the wave-swept
    fragments of the wreck. The girl begged her father to try to save
    them, and to allow her to help in the task, and after some natural
    hesitation he consented. The brave-hearted mother helped them to
    launch the boat, and they set forth.

[Illustration: The Wreck of the “Forfarshire”]

  “Sire and daughter, hand on oar and face against the night. Maid and
  man whose names are beacons ever to the north. ...... all the madness
  of the stormy surf Hounds and roars them back, but roars and hounds
  them back in   vain.
  Not our mother, not Northumberland, brought ever forth. Though no
  southern shore may match the sons that kiss her mouth, Children
  worthier all the birthright given of the ardent north, Where the fire
  of hearts outburns the suns that fire the south.”
  They reached the rock, where nine persons were still clinging to the
  wreck, and
  “Life by life the man redeems them, head by storm-worn head, While
  the girl’s hand stays the boat whereof the waves are fain.”

    With five of the exhausted survivors the boat returned to the
    Longstone; and two of the men went back with William Darling for
    the other four. All were safely housed in the lighthouse and tended
    by the noble family of the Darlings; but the storm raged for
    several days longer, and made it impossible for them to be put
    ashore. When at length they returned to their homes, and the story
    of the rescue was made known, the whole country was moved by it;
    and presents of all kinds, money, and offers of marriage poured in
    upon Grace, who remained quite unmoved by it all, and was still the
    gentle unassuming girl that she had always been. She refused to
    leave her home, though she was offered twenty pounds a night at the
    Adelphi if she would consent merely to sit in a boat for London
    audiences to gaze upon her. Sad to say, she died of consumption
    about two years afterwards, after having tried in vain to arrest
    the course of her sickness by change of air at Wooler and Alnwick;
    and she sleeps in Bamburgh churchyard, within sound of the sea by
    which she had spent her short life.
  “East and west and south acclaim her queen of England’s maids. Star
  more sweet than all their stars, and flower than all their flowers.”

    The actual boat in which the gallant deed was performed was long
    preserved at Newton Hall, Stocksfield; but the owners have lately
    presented it to the Marine Laboratory at Cullercoats.

[Illustration: Drawing of boat]



CHAPTER XI. BALLADS AND POEMS.


    The ballads of Northumberland, as all true ballads should do,
    partake of the characteristics of the district which is their home.
    As we should expect, they treat chiefly of warlike themes, of the
    chieftain’s doughty deeds, the moss-trooper’s daring and skill, of
    the knight’s courtesies and gallant feats of arms, and the feuds of
    rival clans; in fact, they portray for us vividly the time of which
    they treat, and in a few graphic touches bring before us the very
    spirit of the period. In direct and simple phrases the narrative
    proceeds, giving with rare power just the necessary expression to
    the tale.

    These ballads fall naturally into three main divisions. The
    historical ballad is at its best in the famous “Chevy-Chase,” which
    has been the delight of gentle and simple for centuries; and the
    oft-quoted declaration of Sir Philip Sidney concerning it still
    finds an echo in our own day.

    Of the two best known versions of the ballad, the one here given is
    the more poetical by far; the other, however, contains the account
    of the courage of Hugh Widdrington which has made the gallant
    squire immortal.

    The latter version is as evidently English as the former is
    Scottish; or rather, each has grown to its present form as the
    reciters exercised their art to please an English or a Scottish
    audience. In the one version it is Douglas who takes the offensive,
    and challenges Percy, waiting for him at Otterbourne; in the other
    we are told that
  “The stout Erle of Northumberland A vow to God did make, His pleasure
  in the Scottish woods Three summer days to take.”

    On the death of Douglas—
  “Erle Percy took The dead man by the hand, And said, ‘Erle Douglas,
  for thy life Would I had lost my land!’”

    When the battle is over,
  “Next day did many widdowes come Their husbands to bewayle; Their
  bodyes bathed in purple blood They bore with them away; They kist
  them dead a thousand times Ere they were cladd in clay.”

    It was neither of these versions, however, that so moved the heart
    of gallant Sidney, but a much older one, beginning
  “The Perse owt off Northomberlande And a vow to God made he, That he
  wold hunt in the mountayns Off Chyviat within days iii.”

    Other historical ballads are “The Rising of the North,” “The Raid
    of the Reidswire,” “Flodden Field,” “Homildon Hils” and “Hedgeley
    Moor.”

    The next division may be termed semi-historical; that is, they
    treat of events which actually happened, but which have chiefly a
    local interest; and these may therefore be said to be more truly
    Northumbrian than any others. Such are “Jock o’ the Side,” “Johnnie
    Armstrong,” “Hobbie Noble” and “The Death of Parcy Reed.”

    Of the third class, the romantic ballads, we have not so rich a
    store; yet “The Gay Goss-hawk,” the “Nut-browne Mayde” and the
    touchingly beautiful “Barthram’s Dirge” may stand amongst the best
    of their kind.

    “The Gay Gross-hawk” is one of those delightful and imaginative
    productions of which there are so many examples, in which birds and
    hounds share their lords’ and ladies’ secrets, and serve them
    staunchly in hours of peril; they belong to the times when fairies
    were still seen holding their moonlight revels, when witches
    exercised their baleful arts, and fearsome dragons wore still to be
    met and conquered—“and if you do not believe it,” said Dr. Spence
    Watson, “I am sorry for you!”

    The “Nut-browne Mayde” is supposed to have been a Lady Margaret
    Percy, who lived in the reign of Henry VIII.; and the lover to whom
    she was so faithful, notwithstanding his trial of her love by
    declaring that he was an outlaw, and “must to the greenwood go,
    alone, a banished man,” was Henry Clifford, son of the Earl of
    Westmoreland. The inordinate length of this ballad forbade its
    inclusion in the present selection; I am sensible that that
    selection may appear somewhat meagre, but only want of space has
    prevented the inclusion of others that many of my readers would
    doubtless have been glad to see.

    Of songs in dialect, Joe Wilson’s “Aw wish yor Muthor wad cum!”
    stands easily first; and the other, “Sair feyl’d, hinny!” is given
    as an example of the Northumbrian muse in another mood.

    In conclusion, let me say that of the modern verse every example is
    from the pen of a Northumbrian.
  CHEVY CHASE I.
  It fell about the Lammas tide, When muir-men win their hay, The
  doughty Douglas bound him to ride Into England to drive a prey.
  He chose the Gordons and the Graemes, With them the Lindsays, light
  and gay; But the Jardines would not with them ride, And they rue it
  to this day.
  And he has burned the dales o’ Tyne, And part o’ Bamburghshire; And
  three good towers on Reidswire fells He left them all on fire.
  And he marched up to New Castel, And rode it round about; “O wha’s
  the lord of this castel? Or wha’s the lady o’t?”
  And up spake proud Lord Percy then, And O! but he spake hie! “O I’m
  the lord of this castel, My wife’s the lady gay.”
  “If thou art the lord of this castel, Sae weel it pleases me! For ere
  I cross the Border fells, The tane of us sall die.”
  He took a lang spere in his hand Shod wi’ the metal free, And for to
  meet the Douglas there He rode right furiouslie!
  But oh! how pale his lady looked Frae off the castle wa’, When down
  before the Scottish speare She saw proud Percy fa’!
  “Had we twa been upon the green, And never an eye to see, I wad hae
  had you, flesh and fell, But your sword shall gae wi’ me.”
  “But gae ye up to Otterbourne And wait there dayis three, And if I
  come not ere three dayis end, A fause knight ca’ ye me.”
  “The Otterbourne’s a bonnie burn, ’Tis pleasant there to be; But
  there is naught at Otterbourne To feed my men and me.
  “The deer rins wild on hill and dale, The birds fly wild frae tree to
  tree, But there is neither bread nor kale To feed my men and me.
  “Yet I will stay at Otterbourne Where you sall welcome be; And if ye
  come not at three dayis end A fause lord I’ll call thee.”
  “Thither will I come,” proud Percy said, “By the might of Our Ladye!”
  “Thither will I bide thee,” said the Douglas, “My troth I plight to
  thee.”
  They lighted high on Otterbourne, Upon the bent sae brown; They
  lighted high on Otterbourne And threw their pallions down.
  And he that had a bonnie boy, Sent out his horse to grass; And he
  that had not a bonnie boy, His ain servant he was.
  And up then spake a little foot-page, Before the peep o’ dawn— “O
  waken, waken ye, my good lord, The Percy is hard at hand!”
  “Ye lee, ye lee, ye leear loud! Sae loud I hear ye lee! For Percy had
  not men yestreen To dight my men and me!”
  “But I hae dreamed a dreary dream, Beyond the Isle of Skye; I saw a
  dead man win a fight, An’ I think that man was I.”
  He belted on his gude braid-sword, And to the field he ran; But he
  forgot his helmet good, That should have kept his brain.
  When Percy wi’ the Douglas met I wat he was fu’ fain! They swakked
  their swords till sair they swat, The blude ran down like rain.
  But Percy, with his gude braid-sword, That could sae sharply wound,
  Has stricken Douglas on the brow, Till he fell to the ground.
  Then he called on his little foot-page And said, “Run speedilie, And
  fetch my ain dear sister’s son, Sir Hugh Montgomerie.”
  “My nephew good,” the Douglas said, “What recks the death of ane?
  Last night I dreamed a dreary dream, And I ken the day’s thy ain.
  “My wound is deep, I fain wad sleep; Take thou the vanguard of the
  three, And hide me by the bracken bush That grows on yonder lilye
  lea.
  “O bury me by the bracken bush, Beneath the bloomin’ brier; Let never
  a living mortal ken That ever a kindly Scot lies here.”
  He lifted up that noble lord, Wi’ the saut tear in his e’e; He hid
  him in the bracken bush That his merrie men might not see.
  The moon was clear, the day drew near, The speres in flinders flew,
  And mony a gallant Englishman Ere day the Scotsmen slew.
  The Gordons gude, in English blude They steeped their hose and shoon;
  The Lindsays flew like fire about Till a’ the fray was dune.
  The Percy and Montgomerie met, And either of other was fain; They
  swakkèd swords, and sair they swat, And the blude ran doun like rain.
  “Now yield thee, yield thee, Percy!” he cried; “Or else will I lay
  thee low.” “To whom sall I yield?” quoth Erle Percy, “Sin I see it
  maun be so.”
  “Thou shalt not yield to lord or loon, Nor yet shalt thou yield to
  me, But thou shalt yield to the bracken bush That grows on yon lilye
  lea.”
  “I will not yield to a bracken bush; Nor yet will I yield to a brier;
  But I would yield to Erle Douglas, Or Hugh Montgomerie if he were
  here.”
  As soon as he knew it was Montgomerie He stuck his sword’s-point in
  the gronde; The Montgomerie was a courteous knight, And quickly took
  him by the honde.
  This deed was done at the Otterbourne, About the breaking of the day;
  Erle Douglas was buried at the bracken bush. And the Percy led
  captive away.
  JOCK O’ THE SIDE.
  Now Liddesdale has ridden a raid, But I wat they had better hae staid
  at hame; For Michael o’ Winfield he is dead, And Jock o’ the Side is
  prisoner ta’en.
  For Mangerton house Lady Downie has gane, Her coats she has kilted up
  to her knee; And down the water wi’ speed she rins, While tears in
  spates fa’ fast frae her e’e.
  Then up and spoke our guid auld laird— “What news, what news, sister
  Downie, to me?” “Bad news, bad news, for Michael is killed, And they
  hae taken my son Johnnie.”
  “Ne’er fear, sister Downie,” quo’ Mangerton, “I have yokes of owsen,
  twenty and three, My barns, my byres, and my faulds a’ weel filled,
  I’ll part wi’ them a’ ere Johnnie shall dee.
  “Three men I’ll send to set him free, A’ harnessed wi’ the best o’
  steel; The English loons may hear, and drie The weight o’ their
  braid-swords to feel.
  “The Laird’s Jock ane, the Laird’s Wat twa, O Hobbie Noble, thou ane
  maun be! Thy coat is blue, thou has been true Since England banished
  thee to me.”
  Now Hobbie was an English man, In Bewcastle dale was bred and born;
  But his misdeeds they were so great, They banished him ne’er to
  return.
  Laird Mangerton them orders gave, “Your horses the wrang way maun be
  shod; Like gentlemen ye maunna seem, But look like corn-cadgers ga’en
  the road.
  “Your armour gude ye maunna show, Nor yet appear like men of weir; As
  country lads be a’ array’d, Wi’ branks and brecham on each mare.”
  Sae their horses are the wrang way shod, And Hobbie has mounted his
  gray sae fine; Jock his lively bay, Wat’s on his white horse behind.
  And on they rode for the water of Tyne.
  At the Cholerford they a’ light doun, And there wi’ the help o’ the
  light o’ the moon, A tree they cut, wi’ fifteen nogs on each side, To
  climb up the wa’ of Newcastle toun,
  But when they cam’ to Newcastle toun, And were alighted at the wa’
  They fand their tree three ells ower laigh, They fand their stick
  baith short and sma’.
  Then up and spak the Laird’s ain Jock, “There’s naething for’t; the
  gates we maun force.” But when they cam’ the gate untill, A proud
  porter withstood baith men and horse.
  His neck in twa the Armstrangs wrung; With fute or hand he ne’er
  played pa! His life and his keys at once they hae ta’en, And cast the
  body ahint the wa’.
  Now sune they reach Newcastle jail, And to the prisoner thus they
  call: “Sleeps thou, or wakes thou, Jock o’ the Side, Or art thou
  weary of thy thrall?”
  Jock answered thus, wi’ doleful tone, “Aft, aft I wake—I seldom
  sleep; But wha’s this kens my name sae weel, And thus to ease my wae
  does seek.”
  Then out and spake the gude Laird’s Jock, “Now fear ye na’, my
  billie,” quo’ he; “For here are the Laird’s Jock, the Laird’s Wat,
  And Hobbie Noble, come to set thee free.”
  “Now haud thy tongue, my gude Laird’s Jock, For ever, alas! this
  canna be; For if a’ Liddesdale were here the night, The morn’s the
  day that I maun dee.”
  “Full fifteen stane o’ Spanish iron They hae laid a’ right sair or
  me; Wi’ locks and keys I am fast bound Into this dungeon dark and
  dreirie!”
  “Fear ye nae that,” quo’ the Laird’s Jock; “A faint heart ne’er won a
  fair ladie; Work thou within, we’ll work without, And I’ll be sworn
  we’ll set thee free.”
  The first strong door that they cam’ at, They loosed it without a
  key; The next chain’d door that they cam’ at They gar’d it a’ to
  flinders flee.
  The prisoner now upon his back The Laird’s Jock has gotten up fu’
  hie; And down the stair, him, irons and a’, Wi’ nae sma’ speid and
  joy brings he.
  “Now Jock, my man,” quo Hobbie Noble, “Some o’ his weight ye may lay
  on me.” “I wat weel no,” quo’ the Laird’s ain Jock; “I count him
  lighter than a flee.”
  Sae out at the gates they a’ are gane, The prisoner’s set on
  horseback hie; And now wi’ speed they’re ta’en the gate, While ilk
  ane jokes fu’ wantonlie.
  “O Jock! sae winsomely ’s ye ride, Wi’ baith your feet upon ae side;
  Sae weel ye’re harnessed, and sae trig, In troth ye sit like ony
  bride!”
  The night, tho’ wat, they didna mind, But hied them on fu’ merrilie
  Until they cam’ to Cholerford brae, Where the water ran baith deep
  and hie.
  But when they came to Cholerford, There they met with an auld man,
  Says, “Honest man, will the water ride? Tell us in haste, if that ye
  can.”
  “I wat weel no,” quo’ the gude auld man; “I hae lived here thirty
  years and three, And I ne’er yet saw the Tyne sae big, Nor running
  anes sae like a sea.”
  Then out and spake the Laird’s Saft Wat, The greatest coward in the
  companie; “Now halt, now halt, we needna try’t, The day is come we a’
  maun dee.”
  “Puir faint-hearted thief!” cried the Laird’s ain Jock, “There’ll nae
  man die but him that’s fey; I’ll guide ye a’ right safely thro’, Lift
  ye the prisoner on ahint me.”
  Wi’ that the water they hae ta’en; By anes and twas they a’ swam
  thro’; “Here we are a’ safe,” quo’ the Laird’s Jock, “And puir faint
  Wat, what think ye now?”
  They scarce the other brae had won When twenty men they saw pursue;
  Frae Newcastle toun they had been sent, A’ English lads baith stout
  and true.
  But when the land-serjeant the water saw, “It winna ride, my lads,”
  says he; Then cried aloud—“The prisoner take, But leave the fetters,
  I pray, to me.”
  “I wat weel no,” quo’ the Laird’s Jock; “I’ll keep them a’; shoon to
  my mare they’ll be. My gude bay mare—for I am sure She has bought
  them a’ right dear frae thee.”
  Sae now they are on to Liddesdale, E’en as fast as they could them
  hie; The prisoner is brought to his ain fireside, And there o’ his
  airns they mak’ him free.
  “Now, Jock, ma billie,” quo’ a’ the three, “The day is com’d thou was
  to dee. But thou’s as weel at thy ain ingle-side, Now sitting, I
  think ’twixt thou and me.”
  BARTHRAM’S DIRGE.
  They shot him dead at the Nine-stane Rig, Beside the Headless Cross,
  And they left him lying in his blood, Upon the moor and moss.
  They made a bier of the broken bough The sauch and the aspin grey,
  And they bore him to the Lady Chapel, And waked him there all day.
  A lady came to that lonely bower, And threw her robes aside; She tore
  her ling lang yellow hair, And knelt at Barthram’s side.
  She bathed him in the Lady-Well, His wounds sae deep and sair; And
  she plaited a garland for his breast, And a garland for his hair.
  They rowed him in a lily sheet And bare him to his earth; And the
  Grey Friars sung the dead man’s mass As they passed the Chapel garth.
  They buried him at the mirk midnight, When the dew fell cold and
  still, When the aspin grey forgot to play, And the mist clung to the
  hill.
  They dug his grave but a bare foot deep, By the edge of the
  Nine-stane Burn, And they covered him o’er with the heather-flower,
  The moss and the lady-fern.
  A Grey Friar staid upon the grave, And sang till the morning tide;
  And a friar shall sing for Barthram’s soul While the Headless Cross
  shall bide.
  THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND
  It was a knight in Scotland born, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) Was taken pris’ner and left forlorn, Even by the good Earl of
  Northumberland.
  Then was he cast in prison strong, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) Where he could not walk nor lie along, Even by the good Earl
  of Northumberland.
  And as in sorrow thus he lay, (Follow, my love, come over the strand)
  The Earl’s sweet daughter passed that way, And she the fair flower of
  Northumberland.
  And passing by, like an angel bright, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) The prisoner had of her a sight, And she the fair flower of
  Northumberland.
  And aloud to her this knight did cry, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) The salt tears standing in her eye, And she the fair flower
  of Northumberland.
  “Fair lady,” he said, “take pity on me, (Follow, my love, come over
  the strand) And let me not in prison dee, And you the fair flower of
  Northumberland.”
  “Fair sir, how should I take pity on thee, (Follow, my love, come
  over the strand) Thou being a foe to our countrie, And I the fair
  flower of Northumberland?”
  “Fair lady, I am no foe,” he said, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) “Through thy sweet love here was I stayed, And thou the fair
  flower of Northumberland.”
  “Why shouldst thou come here for love of me, (Follow, my love, come
  over the strand) Having wife and bairns in thy own countrie, And I
  the fair flower of Northumberland?”
  “I swear by the Blessed Trinity, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) That neither wife nor bairns have I, And thou the fair flower
  of Northumberland.”
  “If courteously thou wilt set me free, (Follow, my love, come over
  the strand) I vow that I will marry thee, And thou the fair flower of
  Northumberland.
  “Thou shalt be lady of castles and towers, (Follow, my love, come
  over the strand) And sit like a queen in princely bowers, Even thou
  the fair flower of Northumberland.”
  Then parted hence this lady gay, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) And got her father’s ring away, And she the fair flower of
  Northumberland.
  Likewise much gold got she by sleight, (Follow, my love, come over
  the strand) And all to help this forlorn knight, And she the fair
  flower of Northumberland.
  Two gallant steeds both good and able, (Follow, my love, come over
  the strand), She likewise took out of the stable, And she the fair
  flower of Northumberland.
  And to the goaler she sent the ring, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) Who the knight from prison forth did bring, To meet the fair
  flower of Northumberland.
  This token set the prisoner free, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) Who straight went to this fair ladye, And she the fair flower
  of Northumberland.
  A gallant steed he did bestride, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) And with the lady away did ride, And she the fair flower of
  Northumberland.
  They rode till they came to a water clear, (Follow, my love, come
  over the strand) “Good sir, how shall I follow you here, And I the
  fair flower of Northumberland?
  “The water is rough and wonderful deep, (Follow, my love, come over
  the strand) And on my saddle I shall not keep, And I the fair flower
  of Northumberland?
  “Fear not the ford, fair lady,” quoth he, (Follow, my love, come over
  the strand) “For long I cannot stay for thee, Even thou the fair
  flower of Northumberland.”
  The lady prickt her gallant steed, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) And over the water swam with speed, Even she the fair flower
  of Northumberland.
  From top to toe all wet was she, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) “This have I done for love of thee, Even I the fair flower of
  Northumberland.”
  Thus rode she all one winter’s night. (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) Till Edenborough they saw in sight, The fairest town in all
  Scotland.
  “Now I have a wife and children five, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) In Edenborough they be alive, And thou the fair flower of
  Northumberland.
  “And if thou wilt not give thy hand, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) Then get thee home to fair England, And thou the fair flower
  of Northumberland
  “This favour thou shalt have, to boot, (Follow, my love, come over
  the strand) I’ll have thy horse; go thou on foot, Even thou the fair
  flower of Northumberland.”
  “O false and faithless knight,” quoth she; (Follow, my love, come
  over the strand) “And canst thou deal so bad with me, Even I the fair
  flower of Northumberland?”
  He took her from her stately steed, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) And left her there in extreme need, And she the fair flower
  of Northumberland.
  Then she sat down full heavily, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) At length two knights came riding by, And she the fair flower
  of Northumberland.
  Two gallant knights of fair England, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) And there they found her on the strand, Even she the fair
  flower of Northumberland.
  She fell down humbly on her knee, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) Crying, “Courteous knights, take pity on me, Even I the fair
  flower of Northumberland.
  “I have offended my father dear, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) For a false knight that brought me here, Even I the fair
  flower of Northumberland.”
  They took her up beside them then, (Follow, my love, come over the
  strand) And brought her to her father again, And she the fair flower
  of Northumberland.
  Now all you fair maids, be warned by me, (Follow, my love, come over
  the strand) Scots never were true, nor ever will be, To lord, nor
  lady, nor fair England.
  WHITTINGHAM FAIR.
  Are you going to Whittingham Fair (Parsley, sage, rosemary, and
  thyme), Remember me to one that lives there, For once she was a true
  lover of mine.
  Tell her to make me a cambric shirt, (Parsley, sage, rosemary, and
  thyme), Without any seam or needlework, Then she shall be a true
  lover of mine.
  Tell her to wash it in yonder well, (Parsley, sage, rosemary, and
  thyme), Where never spring water or rain ever fell, And she shall be
  a true lover of mine.
  Tell her to dry it on yonder thorn, (Parsley, sage, rosemary, and
  thyme), Which never bore blossom since Adam was born. Then she shall
  be a true lover of mine.
  Now he has asked me questions three, (Parsley, sage, rosemary, and
  thyme), I hope he’ll answer as many for me, Before he shall be a true
  lover of mine.
  Tell him to buy me an acre of land, (Parsley, sage, rosemary, and
  thyme), Betwixt the salt water and the sea sand, Then he shall be a
  true lover of mine.
  Tell him to plough it with a ram’s horn. (Parsley, sage, rosemary,
  and thyme), And sow it all over with one pepper corn. And he shall be
  a true lover of mine.
  Tell him to shear’t with a sickle of leather, (Parsley, sage,
  rosemary, and thyme), And bind it up with a peacock feather, And he
  shall be a true lover of mine.
  Tell him to thrash it on yonder wall, (Parsley, sage, rosemary, and
  thyme), And never let one corn of it fall, Then he shall be a true
  lover of mine.
  When he has done and finished his work, (Parsley, sage, rosemary, and
  thyme), O tell him to come and he’ll have his shirt, And he shall be
  a true lover of mine.
  O THE OAK AND THE ASH.
  A North country mayde up to London had strayed, Although with her
  nature it did not agree. Which made her repent, and often lament,
  Still wishing again in the North for to be. “O the Oak and the Ash
  and the bonny Ivy tree, They are all growing green in my North
  Countrie!”
  “O fain wad I be in the North Countrie Where the lads and the lasses
  are all making hay; O there wad I see what is pleasant to me,— A
  mischief ’light on them enticed me away! O the Oak and the Ash and
  the bonny Ivy tree, They are all growing green in my North Countrie!”
  “Then farewell my father, and farewell my mother, Until I do see you
  I nothing but mourn; Remembering my brothers, my sisters, and others—
  In less than a year I hope to return. O the Oak and the Ash and the
  bonny Ivy tree. They are all growing green in my North Countrie!”
  SAIR FEYL’D, HINNY!
     “Sair feyl’d, hinny! Sair feyl’d now, Sair feyl’d, hinny, Sin’ aw
     ken’d thou. Aw was young and lusty, Aw was fair and clear; Aw was
     young and lusty Mony a lang year. Sair feyl’d, hinny! Sair feyl’d
     now; Sair feyl’d, hinny, Sin’ aw ken’d thou.
  “When aw was young and lusty Aw cud lowp u dyke; But now aw’m aud and
  still. Aw can hardly stop a syke. Sair feyl’d, hinny! Sair feyl’d
  now, Sair feyl’d hinny, Sin’ aw ken’d thou.
  “When aw was five and twenty Aw was brave an bauld. Now at five an’
  sixty Aw’m byeth stiff an’ cauld. Sair feyl’d, hinny! Sair feyl’d
  now. Sair feyl’d, hinny, Sin’ aw ken’d thou”
  Thus said the aud man To the oak tree; “Sair feyl’d is aw Sin’ aw
  kenn’d thee! Sair feyl’d, hinny! Sair feyl’d now; Sair feyl’d, hinny,
  Sin’ aw ken’d thou.”
  AW WISH YOE MUTHER WAD CUM!
  “Cum, Geordy, haud the bairn, Aw’s sure aw’ll not stop lang, Aw’d
  tyek the jewl me-sel, But really aw’s not strang. Thor’s flooer and
  coals te get, The hoose-torns thor not deun, So haud the bairn for
  fairs, Ye’re often deun’d for fun!”
  Then Geordy held the bairn, But sair agyen his will, The poor bit
  thing wes gud, But Geordy had ne skill, He haddint its muther’s ways,
  He sat both stiff an’ num,— Before five minutes wes past He wished
  its muther wad cum!
  His wife had scarcely gyen, The bairn begun te squall, Wi’ hikin’t up
  an’ doon He’d let the poor thing fall, It waddent haud its tung, Tho’
  sum aud teun he’d hum,— ‘Jack an’ Gill went up a hill’— “Aw wish yor
  muther wad cum!”
  “What weary toil,” says he, “This nursin bairns mun be, A bit on’t’s
  weel eneuf, Ay, quite eneuf for me; Te keep a crying bairn, It may be
  grand te sum, A day’s wark’s not as bad— Aw wish yor muther wad cum.
  “Men seldom give a thowt Te what thor wives indure, Aw thowt she’d
  nowt te de But clean the hoose, aw’s sure. Or myek me dinner an’ tea—
  It’s startin’ te chow its thumb, The poor thing wants its tit, Aw
  wish yor muther wad cum.”
  What a selfish world this is, Thor’s nowt mair se than man; He laffs
  at wummin’s toil, And winnet nurse his awn;— It’s startin’ te cry
  agyen, Aw see tuts throo its gum, Maw little bit pet, dinnet fret,—
  Aw wish yor muther wad cum.
  “But kindness dis a vast. It’s ne use gettin’ vext. It winnet please
  the bairn, Or ease a mind perplext. At last—its gyen te sleep, Me
  wife’ll not say aw’s num, She’ll think aw’s a real gud norse, Aw wish
  yor muther wud cum!”
  _Joe Wilson_
  THE AULD FISHER’S LAST WISH
  The morn is grey, and green the brae, the wind is frae the wast
  Before the gale the snaw-white clouds are drivin’ light and fast; The
  airly sun is glintin’ forth, owre hill, and dell, and plain, And
  Coquet’s streams are glitterin’, as they run frae muir to main.
  At Dewshill wood the mavis sings beside her birken nest, At Halystane
  the laverock springs upon his breezy quest; Wi’ eydent e’e, aboon the
  craigs, the gled is high in air, Beneath brent Brinkburn’s shadowed
  cliff the fox lies in his lair.
  There’s joy at merry Thristlehaugh tie new-mown hay to win; The busy
  bees at Todstead-shaw are bringing honey in; The trouts they loup in
  ilka stream, the birds on ilka tree; Auld Coquet-side is Coquet
  still—but there’s nae place for me!
  My sun is set, my eyne are wet, cauld poortith now is mine; Nae mair
  I’ll range by Coquet-side and thraw the gleesome line; Nae mair I’ll
  see her bonnie stream in spring-bright raiment drest, Save in the
  dream that stirs the heart when the weary e’e’s at rest.
  Oh! were my limbs as ance they were, to jink across the green. And
  were my heart as light again as sometime it has been, And could my
  fortunes blink again as erst when youth was sweet, Then Coquet—hap
  what might beside—we’d no be lang to meet’
  Or had I but the cushat’s wing, where’er I list to flee, And wi’ a
  wish, might wend my way owre hill, and dale, and lea. ’Tis there I’d
  fauld that weary wing, there gaze my latest gaze. Content to see thee
  ance again—then sleep beside thy braes!
  —_Thomas Doublerday_.
  A SONNET.
  Go, take thine angle, and with practised line. Light as the gossamer,
  the current sweep; And if thou failest in the calm, still deep, In
  the rough eddy may a prize be thine. Say thou’rt unlucky where the
  sunbeams shine; Beneath the shadow, where the waters creep Perchance
  the monarch of the brook shall leap— For fate is ever better than
  design.
  Still persevere; the giddiest breeze that blows, For thee may blow
  with fame and fortune rife. Be prosperous; and what reck if it arose
  Out of some pebble with the stream at strife, Or that the light wind
  dallied with the boughs? Thou art successful.—Such is human life!
  —_Thomas Doubleday_.
  A VISION OF JOYOUS-GARDE.
  “And so sir Launcelot brought sir Tristan and La Beate Isoud unto
  Joyous-gard, the which was his owne castle that hee had wonne with
  his owne hands.”—_Malory_.
  “Bamburgh ... the great rock-fortress that was known to the Celts as
  Dinguardi, and was to figure in Arthurian romance as Joyous Garde ...
  “—_C.J. Bates_ (History of Northumberland).
    I wandered under winter stars The lone Northumbrian shore; And
    night lay deep in silence on the sea. Save where, unceasingly,
    Among the pillared scaurs Of perilous Farnes, wild waves for ever
    more Breaking in foam, Sounded as some far strife through the
    star-haunted gloam.
    Before me, looming through the night, Darker than night’s sad
    heart, King Ida’s castle on the sheer crag set Waked darker sorrow
    yet Within me for the light, Beauty, and might of old loves rent
    apart, Time-broken, spent, And strewn as old dead winds among the
    salt-sea bent.
    Till, dreaming of the glittering days, And eves with beauty
    starred, Time fell from me as some night-cloud withdrawn, And in
    enchanted dawn, All in a golden haze, I saw the gleaming towers of
    Joyous Garde In splendour rise, Tall, pinnacled, and white to my
    dream-laden eyes.
    While thither, as in days of old, Launcelot homeward came,
    War-wearied, and yet wearier of the strife Of love that tore his
    life;
    Burning, beneath the cold Armour of steel, a never-dying flame: The
    fierce desire Consuming honour’s gold on the heart’s altar fire!
    And thither in great love he brought The fugitives of love, Isoud
    and Tristram fleeing from King Mark. One day ’twixt dark and dark
    These lovers, by fate caught In love’s bright web, dreamed with
    blue skies above Of love no tide Of wavering life may part, or
    death’s swift sea divide.
    But Launcelot, in their bliss forlorn, Fled from the laughter clear
    Of happy lovers, and love’s silent noon; All night beneath the moon
    He strode, his spirit torn For Guenevere! All night on Guenevere He
    cried aloud Unto the moonlit foam and every windy cloud.

    Then faded, quivering, from my sight The memory-woven dream. The
    towers of Joyous Garde shall never more Lighten that desolate
    shore; No longe’r through the night Wrestling with love, beneath
    the pale moon gleam That anguished form!— But keen with snow and
    wind, and loud with gathering storm.
  _—Wilfrid W. Gibson_.
  (In “The Northern Counties Magazine,” March, 1901).
  MY NORTH COUNTRIE.
  O though here fair blows the rose, and the woodbine waves on high,
  And oak, and elm, and bracken fronds enrich the rolling lea, And
  winds, as if in Arcady, breathe joy as they go by, Yet I yearn and I
  pine for my North Countrie!
  I leave the drowsing South, and in thought I northward fly, And walk
  the stretching moors that fringe the ever-calling sea, And am
  gladdened as the gales that are so bitter-sweet rush by. While grey
  clouds sweetly darken o’er my North Countrie.
  For there’s music in the storms, and there’s colour in the shades,
  And joy e’en in the grief so widely brooding o’er the sea; And larger
  thoughts have birth amid the moors and lonely glades And reedy mounds
  and sands of my North Countrie!
  —_Thomas Runciman_.

[Illustration: Drawing]

ANDREW REID & COMPANY. LIMITED, PRINTERS AND PUBLISHERS,
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE.

[Illustration: SKETCH MAP OF NORTHUMBERLAND SKETCH MAP OF
NORTHUMBERLAND]





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software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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