A notable instance occurred, A.D. 1588, when King James V., Buccleugh, Angus, Bothwell, Kerr of Cessford, with the leading borderers on the Scottish side, assembled 6,000 men at Hermitage in order to make an end of the Armstrongs who fled as usual to Tarras Moss with all their livestock and other gear.

The royal forces were soon short of food, for the district had been cleared. Buccleugh had a great mob of sheep and cattle brought in from Teviotdale, and for a time small lots of beasts brought in locally fetched their full market value, i.e., forty shillings for 4-year old oxen, twenty shillings for others, six shillings for sheep, and three for hogrels.

One day three lads with dogs drove in two hundred cattle, fine beasts though very footsore, and departed with four hundred pounds in their pockets. Hardly were they out of sight than with a great baying of sleuth-hounds and blowing of bugles, Thomas Musgrave, Deputy of Bewcastle, and 50 horsemen, arrived full clatter on the " Hot Trodd." The English were naturally amazed to find so great an assemblage, and the Scots at first equally astonished, but when they learnt that the animals had been lifted the previous night from the Drysicke on the English side, Angus had no choice but to pay up 400 again. Musgrave 500, but the beasts would travel no further, and 6,000 men had to be fed.

Anyhow, the law was observed despite grumbling on both sides.

From The Border by William Sitwell

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