Everyday Life    

The ponies used by the moss troopers were about thirteen hands, stocky and shaggy. They were unshod which ensured they were sure footed on the damp and uneven ground over which they often travelled

A metal helmet (steel bonnet) and padded sleeveless leather jacket ( a jack) a long lance, sword and pistols.

Knapeskill - A steel bonnet often having a peak

Sallat - a spherical head gear often having a visor.  

In the 16th century there were few good roads, no mail deliveries and no facilities for travellers.
Until 1752 Scotland and England used different calendars.
There was then 11 days difference between the dates.
Education was confined to the monasteries and many nobles were illiterate. Lammas - 1 August

Martinmas - 11 Nov

Candlemas - 2 February


In 1782 Parliament repealed the 1747 Act forbidding, among other things, the wearing of Highland dress.

The Border Common Ridings, which are so unusual to visitors to the Borders, are quite  commonplace throughout the region.

Many Border Towns celebrate the custom of Riding the Marches each year. Jedburgh has the Jethart Callants Festival, Langholm, the Common Riding, Duns, the Reivers' Week and so on. 

Each town has its own theme or themes and the event is marked by ceremonial, processions, bands, fairs and a great variety of community events.

The traditional object if to protect the common land and re-establish the town's boundaries. Also remembered are the dreadful wars against the English and especially the  terrible  events of Flodden during which the Borders  lost virtually all their men folk in one day.

They are partly in remembrance of the and also to celebrate the Beating of Bounds, a re-establishment of the town's boundaries.

The activity starts on the Thursday with the Burgh Flag being bussed and delivered by the Braw Lad to a high officer, the Cornet.

Next morning a procession passes through the town, led by the Cornet bearing the Standard and then they ride at full gallop  to St Leonard's.

Don't attend a riding if you like the quiet life, but if you do it will be an experience you are not likely to forget. Book your accommodation well in advance or you'll miss out. Have a good day!


In medieval times, people thought witches were servants of the Devil. They were tortured  to name their associates. Then they were burnt.
The majority of the victims were elderly women whose only crime                        was that they had become a burden to the community.
In 1590, James VI, caught in a fierce storm believed it had been caused by witches. Later he               wrote a book about witchcraft which Shakespeare used as source material for MacBeth.


Another football story.

Those of our visitors who have read the story of the first international football match (Click    HERE   if you havenít), may be interested in another football story

.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .

The game of football steadily increased in popularity and matches took place in many Border locations.

On one occasion, a notable game was played between the men of Yarrow and the men of Ettrick. 

This was quite an event as each side produced a team of a hundred men.
The match lasted some three hours and probably more resembled rugby rather than football.

During one of the more intensive encounters, a voice was heard to say,Ē Never mind the ball, letís get on with the game!Ē

Football is still a passion in the Borders but now usually less physical.


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