Infomotions, Inc.Northumberland Yesterday and To-day / Terry, Jean F. (Jean Finlay), 1865-1951



Author: Terry, Jean F. (Jean Finlay), 1865-1951
Title: Northumberland Yesterday and To-day
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): tyne; northumberland; bamburgh; newcastle; hexham; castle; scots; percy; scottish; earl
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Identifier: etext11124
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Title: Northumberland Yesterday and To-day

Author: Jean F. Terry

Release Date: February 17, 2004 [EBook #11124]

Language: English

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[Illustration: BAMBURGH CASTLE.]

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.


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




ILLUSTRATIONS.


BAMBURGH CASTLE
(_From photograph by J.P. Gibson, Hexham_.)

TYNEMOUTH PRIORY
(_From photograph by T.H. Dickinson, Sheriff Hill_.)

HEXHAM ABBEY FROM NORTH WEST
(_From photograph by J.P. Gibson, Hexham_.)

THE RIVER TYNE AT NEWCASTLE
(_From photograph by T.H. Dickinson, Sheriff Hill_.)

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE

NORTH GATEWAY, HOUSESTEADS, AND ROMAN WALL
(_From photograph by J.P. Gibson, Hexham_.)

ALNWICK CASTLE
(_From photograph by J.P. Gibson. Hexham_.)

WRECK OF THE "FORFARSHIRE"
(_From illustration kindly lent by B. Rowland Hill, Newcastle_.)

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.

[Footnote 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]. [Footnote 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 depot 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 "creel" 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 debris, 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."
  [Footnote 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 Hill" 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]

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] [Footnote
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 L100,000 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 L100,000 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!
  [Footnote 5: Leish = lithe, nimble.]

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

  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."




[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 L11,500 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.

[Footnote 7: Cushat = a wood-pigeon.]
[Footnote 8: Kelpie = a water-witch.]
[Footnote 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.
  [Footnote 10: Glidders = Patches of loose stones on the hillside.]

  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




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 "Thirlwall" 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 Hall" 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 Hal" 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 Mill"

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!" [Footnote 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.

  [Footnote 12: Bughts = sheep-pens.]
  [Footnote 13: Leglin = milk-pail.]
  [Footnote 14 Lyart = grizzled.]
  [Footnote 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:]




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 Hill" 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 swakked 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]


[Illustration: Sketch Map Of Northumberland.]





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