Border Life 


Days of Truce


These were held every 40 days or so when the wardens of the two opposite marches met with all their officials to try to resolve differences, to administer justice and to deal with 'bills' or complaints. 

Each warden was required to secure wanted men from their side of the Border and to produce them, together with witnesses. 
A court was convened and a jury would be sworn in.  This consisted of twelve men. The Scots present  picked six Englishmen and the English  selected six Scots.

The whole procedure was conducted under strict rules,  and established procedures were carefully followed with due ceremony.

These meeting were sited near the Border and, during the period before and after the meeting, all wrongdoers were immune from arrest, feuding was to cease, and all in attendance were to go about their business in a peaceful and orderly manner on pain of severe punishment.

Stalls were set up for the sale of goods, drink was freely on sale and there was something of the atmosphere of a fair day about the proceedings. Old friends were greeted and bitter enemies  mingled uneasily.

This arrangement met with a certain degree of success.  Occasionally things went wrong. One notable example was at Redesdale, near the Border at what is now known as Carter Bar.

Go to The Redeswire Affray for the story of that Trace Day disaster. 

Truce Days, however, met, on the whole,  with limited success. successes 


Truce meetings locations.

Lamyford near Kershopefoot.

Gammel's Path near the head of the River Coquet.

Lochmaben now marked by the Lochmaben Stone.


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