Murray was a huge man,
said to be seven feet high and, although feared, was respected by the
people who depended on him for their well-being and safety.
He made his own laws
and saw that they were kept. Likely wrongdoers would be aware that Murray
had his very own hanging tree, which he kept in good working order.
Now the king, James IV,
was well liked, and was a tolerant man. Yet he was not prepared to
continue to allow no-go areas within his kingdom and decided that it was
time that Murray must fall in line.
He sent his Earl of
Arran to Hangingshaw and invited Murray to come back to Edinburgh under
safe conduct to declare his allegiance to the king.
Murray declined. He
wasnít prepared to risk his neck in Edinburgh and elected to remain in
the security of Hangingshaw.
Disappointed, but not
surprised, the king assembled an impressive force and declared his
intention of leading a hunting expedition in Ettrick Forest. Murray got
the message and he offered to meet the king to settle their differences.
Being reluctant to challenge Murray in his own ground and very anxious to
avoid bloodshed, the king agreed.
A meeting was held at
Permanscore, a remote spot, in the hills between the Tweed and the Yarrow.
The meeting was a great
success and both men apparently enjoyed each otherís company. As a
gesture of submission, Murray offered the king the keys to his castle,
whereupon the king appointed Murray Sheriff of Ettrick Forest with all the
powers that went with it.
The poacher made a good gamekeeper and the arrangement worked well for both parties and, for many years, Murray served the king, and himself well, until one day he was killed by a Scottís arrow near Newark Castle. The Scotts of Buccleuch had long been at feud.