William Armstrong of Kinmont was the great grandson of Thomas Armstrong, the 5th Laird of Mangerton.
He was a renowned renegade and reiver, wanted for crimes committed against the English.
was a Day of Truce when officials from both countries met to exchange
grievances and attempt to resolve differences. On that day all where
immune against arrest or harassment of any kind, no matter their
But the officials seeing their most sought after enemy so near and so vulnerable could not resist the temptation to take this opportunity to secure him. Kinmont was a big man but he was heavily outnumbered and unable to avoid capture.
shackled and taken across the Border into England and thrown into a cell
in Carlisle Castle.
Diplomacy was tried, messages were exchanged but the English were determined not to let go their most wanted brigand.
A more direct solution was planned.
gathering a posse of suitable horsemen, composed of Armstrongs, Bells,
Grahams and others The Warden, the Duke of Buccleuch, rode through the
night in dreadful weather across the Border into England, fording the
Eden which was in spate due to the heavy rain, and reached Carlisle
While a few made for Kinmont's prison, the greater force created a diversion making enough noise to suggest their number was huge. No doubt the English, most asleep in their beds felt their blood curdling in fright and resistance to the Scots was weak and confused.
Kinmont Willie was released but still shackled. The huge bulk of Kinmont was carried by Red Rowan, a Bell, to the awaiting horses and the party made for home.
They crossed the swollen Eden safely and only halted at a blacksmith's to have Kinmont's shackles removed.
The Queen was furious and demanded that Buccleuch be surrendered to her for punishment.
After the dust had settled Buccleuch did go to London to make his peace with the Queen. The queen said 'Would that I had in my court......'
punishment was modest. He was placed under house arrest and chose to
stay with the Englishman Robert Cary, deputy warden to Lord Scrope, with
whom he was friendly.
Map ref: 85 371 699
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