About 6 miles south of Langholm off the A7.

Kershopefoot, being on the Border, was a convenient place for a warden of the March from each country to meet and to settle international disputes and to dispense justice to wrongdoers. They would bring with them their officials and retainers and would be the joined by friends and supporters of the prisoners. The affair would attract tradesman from far and wide and it would usually be a good day enjoyed by all except, possibly, those convicted.

To the east of Kershopefoot stretched a great area of moorland, crossed by innumerable tracks, many known only  to the moss-troopers.

Much of it is now an equally featureless forest of conifers but many of the tracks are still there.


One day in April 1596, it was on the river bank nearby that the English captured one of their greatest prizes, Kinmont Willie, a dedicated reiver, who had been a thorn in their side for many a long day. 

In spite of the fact that the arrest was quite contrary to the terms of the Truce Day agreed between England and Scotland, as Kinmont had been attending the proceedings, they hung on to him, quite unlawfully.

"upon paine of death  all persons whatsoever that come to these meetings should be safe fra any proceiding or present occaisioun, from the time of meeting of the Wardens, or his deputies, until the next day at the sun rysing."

That was quite clear, but the English had long been after Kinmont and were not prepared to be parted from him now.  They took him to Carlisle and threw him in a cell in the Castle.

The whole affair developed into an international incident, and only after a good deal of delicate diplomacy did the furore die away.


Around and About




The story of Kinmont Willie.


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