The battle of Melrose (see Introduction, p. xvii.) occasioned a deadly feud betwixt the name of Scott and Ker. The following indenture was designed to reconcile their quarrel. But the alliance, if it ever took effect, was not of long duration; for the feud again broke out about 1553, when Sir Walter Scott was slain by the Kers, in the streets of Edinburgh.
“Thir indentures, made at Ancrum the 16th of March, 1529 years, contains, proports, and bears leil and suithfast witnessing. That it is appointed, agreed, and finally accorded betwixt honourable men; that is to say, Walter Ker of Cessford, Andrew Ker of Fairnieherst, Mark Ker of Dolphinston, George Kerr, tutor of Cessford, and Andrew Ker of Primesideloch, for themselves, kin, friends, mentenants, assisters, allies, adherents, and partakers, on the one part; and Walter Scot of Branxholm, knight, Robert Scot of Allanhaugh, Robert Scot, tutor of Howpaisly, John Scot of Roberton, and Walter Scot of Stirkshaws, for themselves, their kin, friends, mentenants, servants, assisters, and adherents, on the other part; in manner, form, and effect, as after follows: For staunching all discord and variance betwixt them, and for furth-bearing of the king’s authority, and punishing trespasses, and for amending all slaughters, heritages, and steedings, and all other pleas concerning thereto, either of these parties to others, and for unité, friendship, and concord, to be had in time coming ‘twixt them, of our sovereign lord’s special command: that is to say, either of the said parties, be the tenor hereof, remits and forgives to others the rancour, hatred, and malice of their hearts; and the said Walter Scot of Branxholm shall gang, or cause gang, at the will of the party, to the four head pilgrimages of Scotland, and shall say a mass for the souls of umquhile Andrew Ker of Cessford, and them that were slain in his company, in the field of Melrose; and, upon his expence, shall cause a chaplain say a mass daily, when he is disposed, in what place the said Walter Ker and his friends pleases, for the well of the said souls, for the space of five years next to come. — Mark Ker of Dolphinston, Andrew Kerr of Graden, shall gang, at the will of the party, to the four head pilgrimages of Scotland, and shall gar say a mass for the souls of umquhile James Scot of Eskirk, and other Scots, their friends, slain in the field of Melrose; and, upon their expence, shall gar a chaplain say a mass daily, when he is disposed, for the heal of their souls, where the said Walter Scot and his friends pleases, for the space of three years next to come: and the said Walter Scot of Branxholm shall marry his son and heir upon one of the said Walter Ker his sisters; he paying, therefor, a competent portion to the said Walter Ker and his heir, at the sight of the friends of baith parties. And also, baith the saids parties bind and oblige them, be the faith and truth of their bodies, that they abide at the decreet and deliverance of the six men chosen arbiters, anent all other matters, quarrels, actiones, and debates, whilk either of them likes to propone against others betwixt the saids parties: and also the six arbiters are bound and obliged to decreet and deliver, and give forth their deliverance thereuntil, within year and day after the date hereof. — And attour, either of the saids parties bind and oblige them, be the faith and truth of their bodies, ilk ane to others, that they shall be leil and true to others, and neither of them will another’s skaith, but they shall let it at their power, and give to others their best counsel, and it be asked; and shall take leil and aeffald part ilk ane with others, with their kin, friends, servants, allies, and partakers, in all and sundry their actions, quarrels, and debates, against all that live and die (may the allegiance of our sovereign lord the king allenarly be excepted). — And for the obliging and keeping all thir premises above written, baith the saids parties are bound and obliged, ilk ane to others, be the faith and truth of their bodies, but fraud or guile, under the pain of perjury, men-swearing, defalcation, and breaking of the bond of deadly. And, in witness of the whilk, ilk ane to the procuratory of this indenture remain with the said Walter Scot and his friends, the said Walter Ker of Cessford has affixed his proper seal, with his subscription manual, and with the subscription of the said Andrew Ker of Fairnieherst, Mark Ker of Dolphinston, George Ker, tutor of Cessford, and Andrew Ker of Primesideloch, before these witnesses, Mr. Andrew Drurie, abbot of Melrose, and George Douglas of Boonjedward, John Riddel of that ilk, and William Stewart.
WALTER KER of Cessford.
ANDREW KER of Fairnieherst.
ANDREW KER of Primesideloch.”
N.B. The four pilgrimages are Scoon, Dundee, Paisley, and Melrose.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00