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THE SCOTTS OF BUCCLEUCH.
TAE lonely estate of Buccleuch, from which the noble family of Scott has derived its title, is situated in a remote part of the district of Ettrick, in Selkirkshire, and whatever was its former condition, now hardly contains a single human habitation. Scott of Satchells, in his True History of the Right Honourable Name of Scott, gives the following romantic origin of the chief family and name :-Two brethren, natives of Galloway, having been banished from that country for a riot, or insurrection, came to Rankelburn, in Ettrick Forest, where the keeper, whose name was Brydone, received them joyfully, on account of their skill in winding the horn, and in the other mysteries of the chase. Kenneth Mac-Alpin, then king of Scotland, came soon after to hunt in the royal
est, and pursued buck from Ettrick-heugh to the glen now called Buckleuch, about two miles above the junction of Rankelburn with the river Ettrick. Here the stag stood at bay; and the king and his attendants, who followed on horseback, were thrown out by the steepness of the hill and the morass. John, one of the brethren from Galloway, had followed the chase on foot ; and now coming in, seized the buck by the horns, and, being a man of great strength and activity, threw him on his back, and ran with his burden about a mile up the steep hill, to a place called Cracra-Cross, where Kenneth had halted, and laid the buck at the sovereign's feet. According to Watt's Bellanden,
• The dee: being curee'd in that place,
At his majesty's demand,
And fetched water to his hand.
And Galloway John he wot;
Shall ever be called John Scott.
“ The forest, and the deer therein,
We commit to thy hand;
If thou obey command :
To us up that steep heuch,
Be John Scott in Buckscleuch.",
As the whole of this story is founded on legendary tradition, it cannot now be certified. Agreeably to historical accuracy, the surname of Scott does not come into notice in the chartularies till the twelfth century, about 300 years after the date of the traditionary event; but when it is first mentioned, it appears to have belonged to the family of Buccleuch, at the time in the south and west, and that of Balweary, in Fife. The first heads of the house of Buccleuch seem to have been military adventurers with small properties, acquired by marriage, or grant for good services. The sixth in the main line of the genealogical tree was Sir Walter Scott, a chieftain who possessed the estate of Murdockston, in Lanarkshire, some property in Peeblesshire, and the lands of Buccleuch, in Selkirkshire. Finding his Lanarkshire property in a situation so peaceful that nothing could be done in the way of marauding, he exchanged it, in 1446, for Branxholm, in Teviotdale; and it is said, that after the bargain was completed, he drily observed, that, although he might suffer by his new neighbourhood to the Borders, the Cumberland cattle were as good as those of Teviotdale. From this period, the Scotts of Buccleuch rose into eminence and wealth. Sir Walter having exerted himself in suppressing the rebellion of the Douglasses in 1455, James II. conferred on him a grant of some of their lands ; and by these and other means, he rose high on the ruin of that powerful family. During the early part of the sixteenth century, the clan Scott figured in all the disturbances and wars on the Borders, along with the Elliots and Armstrongs; their depredations on the property of the English residents being countenanced by Buccleuch, Maxwell, and other
heads of families. At length, reprisals followed; the Earl of Northumberland entered Scotland, ravaged the middle marches, and burned Branxholm, the abode of Buccleuch, situated a short way from Hawick. The war between England and Scotland, which commenced in 1542, and lasted till the year 1551, was severely felt by the Scotts and other Borderers, who, however, with the aid of French auxiliaries, finally overcame their assailants, and made themselves once more masters of the fastnesses which they had lost. After the peace of 1551, the Scottish chieftains who had distinguished themselves during the late troubles, received the honour of knighthood. These were the Lairds of Buccleuch, Cessford, Fairnihirst, Littleden, Greenhead, and Cowdenknows. Buccleuch, whose exploits are celebrated in traditionary lore, did not long enjoy his new honours. He was slain in the streets of Edinburgh, by his hereditary enemies the Kerrs, in 1552.
In the person of Sir Walter Scott, the thirteenth head of the house, the family rose to the rank of a lordship. He lived in the reign of James VI., and was employed to suppress the system of rapine which had been so long carried on upon the Borders. Finding, however, that this was no easy matter, he fell upon the ingenious device of drawing off the most desperate of the tribes into foreign war ; and for thus freeing the country of troublesome subjects, he was created Lord Scott of Buccleuch in 1608. Walter, his son, was elevated to an earldom in 1619; and through his son Francis, the second earl, the family, by a grant, acquired the extensive domain of Liddisdale, formerly belonging to the house of Bothwell; also, by purchase, large territories in Eskdale ; and, in 1642, the valuable barony of Dalkeith, from the Morton family. Being thus prepared for the highest rank in the peerage, a new era opened in the family history. Francis left only two daughters, the eldest of whom dying without issue, the titles and estates went to her sister Anne, who had been born in the town of Dundee, at a time when many of the nobility and gentry took refuge in that place in dread of the warfare of Cromwell. In 1663, she was married to James Duke of Monmouth, son of Charles II., by Lucy, daughter of Richard Walter of Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and who was thereupon created Duke of Buccleuch. After a marriage of twenty-two years, her unhappy husband, as the readers of history well know, fell a victim to his uncle James VII. He was beheaded in 1685, leaving his duchess with a family of four sons and two daughters. She afterwards married Lord Cornwallis, by whom she had a son and two daughters, and died in 1732, at her seat of Dalkeith House, where she had occasionally resided in a style of princely splendour. James, her eldest surviving son by the Duke of Monmouth, was entitled Earl of Dalkeith; and he dying in 1705, his son Francis, by the death of his grandmother, succeeded to the title of Duke of Buccleuch, 1732. Notwithstanding the connection with the son of Charles II., the family still preserved the surname of Scott. The above Francis, in 1743, received two of his grandfather's (Monmouth's) titles—namely, Earl of Doncaster, and Baron Tynedale, and was hence a British peer. His Grace, in 1720, married a daughter of James, second Duke of Queensberry, and by this fortunate connection the present Duke of Buccleuch enjoys the estates and titles of the Queensberry family.
The grandson of this personage, Henry, third Duke of Buccleuch, was the greatest and most estimable of his family. With a judicious knowledge, implanted by his friend and tutor Dr Adam Smith, his beneficent talents were directed to other purposes than those which engaged the greater part of the aristocracy of his time. He entered into possession of the most extensive landed property in the south of Scotland, for the improvement of which he adopted the most spirited and wise measures. The melioration of the soil, the planting of trees, the cutting of roads, the improving of the breed of sheep, and the elevation of the condition of the tenantry on his vast estates, uniformly engaged his attention. He was also active in raising a regiment of fencibles, at the beginning of the French war, and was a zealous supporter of the British government. In 1767, he married Lady Elizabeth Montagu, only daughter and heiress of George Duke of Montagu, Earl of Cardigan, by which alliance one of his sons became heir to the Duke of Montagu, but, by limitation of the patent, was only styled Lord Montagu. The grandson of his Grace, Walter Francis, born 1806, is at present Duke of Buccleuch, and possessor of the extensive family domains in the counties of Edinburgh, Selkirk, Roxburgh, Dumfries, and other places. The principal seat of the family is at Dalkeith House, a mansion founded on the ruins of a castle of considerable antiquity, and recommended by its proximity to Edinburgh, and the beauty of its environs.
The supporters of the arms of the Buccleuch family, now two ladies, were formerly a hound and a buck, or, according to the old terms, a hart of leash and a hart of grease. In the shield, there was formerly a hunting-horn, a symbol of the origin of the race, long retained by Scott of Howpasley and Thirlstane. It is said the motto was, Best riding by moonlight, in allusion to the moss-trooping habits of the founders of the family. The modern motto is Amo, which applies to the female supporters.
AN ABSENTEE HUSBAND.
In a work now little heard of, Dr King's Anecdotes of his Own Times, there is presented an account of an eccentric person, who cherished an odd desire of secret watchfulness over his own family, and which must be considered a species of mental hallucination. The following is this strange narrative :
About the year 1706, I knew one Mr Howe, a sensible, well-natured man, possessed of an estate of L.700 or L.800 per annum. He married a young lady of a good family in the west of England; her maiden name was Mallet: