Britannia, by William Camden

Liddesdale, Eusdale, Eskdale.

Big I IN Liddesdale, we have a prospect of Armitage, seated on high, and so called because it was anciently dedicated to a solitary life. But now it is a very strong Castle, which belonged to the Hepburnes, who deduce their Original from a certain English Captive, whom the Earl of March did greatly enrich, for delivering him out of an imminent Danger. Hepburnes Earls of Bothwell. They were Earls of Bothwell, and for a long time Admirals of Scotland by inheritance. But by a sister of James Earl of Bothwell (the last of the Hepburnes,) who was married to John Prior of Coldingham a natural son of King James the fifth, who had several such issue; both title and estate devolved to their son, ⌈who forfeited for his treasonable design of seising the King’s Person in his own Palace of Holyrood-House, in the year 1593, and passed the remainder of his days beyond the Seas.⌉ Brakensey. Hard by, is Brakensey, the seat of the warlikeLord Bucleugh. Family of Bucleugh, sirnamed Scot; with many little Forts of military men, up and down the Country.

Eusdale. In Eusdale; I should be apt to think, from the affinity of the name, that the ancient UzellumUzellum. mentioned by Ptolemy, lay, upon the River Euse.

Eskdale. In Eskdale, some are of opinion that the HorestiHoresti. dwelt; into whose borders Julius Agricola, after he had subdued the Britains inhabiting this Tract, led the Roman Army: especially, if we read Horesci for Horesti. For the British Ar-Esc signifies a place by the river Eske. (As for Æsica in Eskdale, I have spoken of it before in England, and need not repeat what I have said.)AEsica

⌈But as to the conjecture concerning the seat of the Horesti, it is not by any means probable, if we consider the circumstances of that Action. It was in the latter end of his Government, that he led his Forces against them: whereas, we find, that even in his fourth year, all to the South of that neck of land between the two Friths, was added to the Roman Province; so that we must go further north to seek for them. And Tacitus himself, in effect, forbids us to look after them hereabouts, when he says, that the people against whom Agricola was then fighting, were the Populi Caledoniam incolentes, and Novæ Gentes; namely, those beyond the Friths, who by the fortification of that neck of land, were Semoti velut in aliam insulam; i.e. Driven as it were into another Island.Novae (So that if the relation which the Horesti may have to Esk, be of any moment, it would better suit the people dwelling between South-Esk, and North-Esk in Angus. But that name really seems to imply no more than Greek oresai, the Mountaineers or High-landers.) Add to this, what Tacitus further says, “That Agricola having beat Galgacus near the Grampian hills, brought back the Roman Army to the borders of the Horesti, and having received Hostages from them, he ordered the Commanders of the Roman Fleet to sail about the Isle”. Which cannot agree to Eskdale, a small inconsiderable Country, surrounded with others, and not bordering on the Sea; but seems to be most properly applicable to the Mouth and Firth of Tay, and the Countrey of Angus and Mernis situate thereupon; where the Roman Navy landed their Men, and remained there to receive them at the end of the Expedition. Besides, from this Port to the Grampian Hills, through the large Country of Strathmore, there are still the evident Remains of a great Highway; along which, we may suppose, they marched their Army and Carriages, and by the same way returned to their Ships. But there is no direct continued way between the Grampian Hills and Eskdale; nor could an Army, with such great Carriages, march between those two places.⌉

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52