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afterwards (Fuller 313). In Nicholson this name is spelt Da Lovel, p. 304. This seems to be the ancient family of Delaval, of Seaton Delaval, in Northumberland, whose ancestor was one of the twenty-five barons appointed to be guardians of Magna Charta.
Ver. 117. Rugbè.] The ancient family of Rokeby in Yorkshire seems to be here intended. In Thoresby's Ducat. Leod. p. 253, fol., is a genealogy of this house, by which it appears that the head of the family about the time when this ballad was written was Sir Ralph Rokeby, Knt., Ralph being a common name of the Rokebys.
Ver. 119. Wetharryngton.] Rog. de Widrington was sheriff of Northumberland in 36 of Edw. III. (Fuller, p. 311). Joh. de Widrington in 11 of Hen. IV., and many others of the same name afterwards.
-See also Nicholson, p. 331. Of this family was the late Lord Witherington.
Ver. 124. Mongon-byrry.] Sir Hugh Montgomery was son of John Lord Montgomery, the lineal ancestor of the present Earl of Eglinton.
Ver. 125. Lwdale.] The ancient family of the Liddels were originally from Scotland, where they were Lords of Liddel Castle, and of the Barony of Buff (vide Collins's Peerage). The head of this family is the present Lord Ravensworth, of Ravensworth Castle, in the county of Durham.
IN THE BATTLE OF OTTERBOURNE. Page 18, ver. 101. Mentaye.] At the time of this battle, the earldom of Menteith was possessed by Robert Stewart, Earl of Fife, third son of K. Robert II., who, according to Buchanan, commanded the Scots that entered by Carlisle. But our minstrel had probably an eye to the family of Graham, who had this earldom when the ballad was written.-See Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, 1764, fol.
Ver. 103. Huntlay.] This shows this ballad was not composed before 1449; for in that year Alexander, Lord of Gordon and Huntley, was created Earl of Huntley by K. James II.
Ver. 105. Bowghan.] The Earl of Buchan at that time was Alexander Stewart, fourth son of K. Robert II.
Ver. 107. Jhonstone-Maxwell.] These two families of Johnston Lord of Johnston, and Maxwell Lord of Maxwell, were always very powerful on the borders. Of the former family is Johnston Marquis of Annandale: of the latter is Maxwell Earl of Nithsdale. I cannot find that any chief of this family was named Sir Hugh; but Sir Herbert Maxwell was about this time much distinguished.-See Doug. This might have been originally written Sir H. Maxwell, and by transcribers converted into Sir Hugh.-See above, in No. I. v. 90, Richard is contracted into Ric.
Ver. 109. Swynton.] i. e. The Laird of Swintone, a small village within the Scottish border, three miles from Norham. 'This family still subsists, and is very ancient.
Ver. 111. Scotte.] The illustrious family of Scot, ancestors of the Duke of Buccleugh, always made a great figure on the borders. Sir Walter Scot was at the head of this family when the battle was
fought; but his great-grandson, Sir David Scot, was the hero of that house when the ballad was written.
Ibid. Stewarde.] The person here designed was probably Sir Walter Stewart, Lord of Dalswinton and Gairlies, who was eminent at that time.—See Doug. From him is descended the present Earl of Galloway,
Ver. 112. Agurstone.] The seat of this family was sometimes subject to the kings of Scotland. Thus Richardus Hagerstoun, miles, is one of the Scottish knights who signed a treaty with the English in 1249. Hen. III. (Nicholson, p. 2, note.) It was the fate of many parts of Northumberland often to change their masters, according as the Scottish or English arms prevailed.
Page 23, ver. 129. Morrey.] The person here meant was probably Sir Charles Murray of Cockpoole, who flourished at that time, and was ancestor of the Murrays sometime Earls of Annandale.See Doug. Peerage.
Page 23, ver. 139. Fitz-hughe.] Dugdale in his Baron. vol. i. p. 403) informs us, that John, son of Henry Lord Fitz-hugh, was killed at the battle of Otterbourne. This was a Northumberland family.Vide Dugd. p. 403, col. 1, and Nicholson, pp. 33, 60.
Ver. 141. * Harebotell.] Harbottle is a village upon the river Coquet, about ten miles west of Rothbury. The family of Harbottle was once considerable in Northumberland.—See Fuller, pp. 312, 313. A daughter of Sir Guischard Harbottle, Knt., married Sir Thomas Percy, Knt., son of Henry V., and father of Thomas, seventh Earl of Northumberland.
A SCOTTISH BALLAD, is founded upon the supposed practice of the Jews in crucifying or otherwise murthering Christian children, out of hatred to the religion of their parents: a practice which hath been always alleged in excuse for the cruelties exercised upon that wretched people, but which probably never happened in a single instance. For if we consider, on the one hand, the ignorance and superstition of the times when such stories took their rise, the virulent prejudices of the monks who record them, and the eagerness with which they would be catched up by the barbarous populace as a pretence for plunder; on the other hand, the great danger incurred by the perpetrators, and the inadequate motives they could have to excite them to a crime of so much horror, we may reasonably conclude the whole charge to be groundless and malicious.
The following ballad is probably built upon some Italian legend, and bears a great resemblance to the Prioresse's Tale in Chaucer: the poet seems also to have had an eye to the known story of Hugh of Lincoln,
a child said to have been there murthered by the Jews in the reign of Henry III. The conclusion of this ballad appears to be wanting: what it probably contained may be seen in Chaucer. As for Mirryland Toun, it is probably a corruption of Milan (called by the Dutch Meylandt) Town : the Pa is evidently the river Po; although the Adige, not the Po, runs through Milan. Printed from a MS. copy sent from Scotland.
THE rain rins doun through Mirry-land toune,
Sae dois it doune the Pa :
Quhan they play at the ba'.
Said, “Will ye cum in and dine ?”
Without my play-feres nine.”
To intice the zong thing in :
And that the sweit bairne did win.
And low down by her gair;
A word he nevir spak mair.
And out and cam the thin;
Thair was nae life left in.
And drest him like a swine,
With zour sweit play-feres nine.”
Bade him lie stil and sleip;
Was fifty fadom deip.
V. 1. It is important to note that Mirry-land toune is a corruption of Merry Lincoln, and not, as Percy conjectured, of Mailand (Milan) town.Editor.
Quhan bells wer rung, and mass was sung,
And every lady went hame :
Bot Lady Helen had none.
And sair, sair gan she weip,
Quhan they were all asleip.
I pray thee to me speik:”
Gin ze zour zonne wad seik.”
And knelt upon her kne:
I pray thee speik to me.” .
The well is wondrous deip;
A word I dounae speik.
Fetch me my windling sheet,
Its thair we twa sall meet.'
Sir Cauline. This old romantic tale was preserved in the Editor's folio MS., but in 80 very defective and mutilated a condition (not from any chasm in the MS., but from great omission in the transcript, probably copied from the faulty recitation of some illiterate minstrel), that it was necessary to supply several stanzas in the first part, and still more in the second, to connect and complete the story in the manner which appeared to him most interesting and affecting.
There is something peculiar in the metre of this old ballad : it is not unusual to meet with redundant stanzas of six lines; but the
occasional insertion of a double third or fourth line, as ver. 31, 44, &c., is an irregularity I do not remember to have seen elsewhere.
It may be proper to inform the reader before he comes to Pt. 2, v. 110, 111, that the ROUND TABLE was not peculiar to the reign of K. Arthur, but was common in all the ages of chivalry. The proclaiming a great tournament (probably with some peculiar solemnities) was called "holding a Round Table.” Dugdale tells us, that the great baron Roger de Mortimer “having procured the honour of knighthood to be conferred on his three sons by K. Edw. I., he, at his own costs, caused a tourneament to be held at Kenilworth; where he sumptuously entertained an hundred knights, and as many ladies, for three days; the like whereof was never before in England; and there began the ROUND TABLE (80 called by reason that the place wherein they practised those feats was environed with a strong wall made in a round form). And upon the fourth day, the golden lion, in sign of triumph, being yielded to him, he carried it (with all the company) to Warwick.”
-It may further be added, that Matthew Paris frequently calls jousts and tournaments Hastiludia Mensæ Rotundæ.
As to wbat will be observed in this ballad of the art of healing being practised by a young princess, it is no more than what is usual in all the old romances, and was conformable to real manners: it being a practice derived from the earliest times among all the Gothic and Celtic nations, for women, even of the highest rank, to exercise the art of surgery. In the Northern Chronicles we always find the young damsels stanching the wounds of their lovers, and the wives those of their husbands. And even so late as the time of Q. Elizabeth, it is mentioned among the accomplishments of the ladies of her court, that the "eldest of them are skilful in surgery.”—See Harrison's Description of England, prefixed to Holingshed's Chronicle, &c.
THE FIRST PART.
There dwelleth a bonnye kinge ;
Men call him Syr Caulìne.
In fashyon she hath no peere;
To be theyr wedded feere.
But nothing durst he saye;
But deerlye he lovde this may. See Northern Antiquities, &c., vol. i. p. 318; vol. ii. p. 100; Mémoires de la Chevalerie, tom. i. p. 44.