Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Union of the Crowns

"A fancied moss-trooper, frc.

This was the usual appellation of the marauders upon the Borders ; a profession diligently pursued by the inhabitants on both sides, and by none more actively and successfully than by Buccleuch's clan. Long after the union of the crowns, the mosstroopers, although sunk in reputation, and no longer enjoying the pretext of national hostility, continued to pursue their calling.

Fuller includes, among the wonders of Cumberland, "The moss-troopers: so strange in the condition of their living, if considered in their Original, Increase, Height, Decay, and Buine. "

The quote above is a note from Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel", which references the Union of the Crowns of England and Scotland.  On March 24, 1603, Queen Elizabeth I of England died at Richmond Palace, to be followed by James VI of Scotland/I of England.  The moss-troopers operated largely during the time of the English Commonwealth, relying of their knowledge of border bogs for stealthy operations.

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