James Hogg’s Imagined Landscapes of the Covenanters #History #Literature #Scotland

In James Hogg’s novel, The Brownie of Bodsbeck (1818), John Graham of Claverhouse drives off stock in the Yarrow Valley for the reset of fugitives:

riskinhope-and-chapelhopeRiskinhope and Chapelhope © Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse.

‘Upon the whole, there was no proof against Walter. Presumption was against him, but the evidence was rather in his favour. Military law, however, prevailed; and he found that there was no redress to be had of any grievance or insult, that this petty tyrant, in his caprice, thought fit to inflict. His drivers were ordered to take the whole stock from the farms of Kirkinhope [i.e., Riskinhope], belonging to David Bryden, who lived at a distance, because it was proven, that Mr [James] Renwick had preached and baptized some children on the bounds of that farm. That stock he caused to be taken to Selkirk, and sent orders to the sheriff to sell it by public roup, at the cross, to the highest bidder’. (Hogg, Brownie of Bodsbeck, 163-4.)

Later, Hogg informs the reader:

‘The farmer of Riskinhope (David Bryden of Eldin-hope), was ruined by the sequestration of his stock by Clavers, but the shepherds and other servants still lingered about the house for better or for worse. There was not a sheep on that large farm, save about five scores of good ewes, that Davie Tait, the herd of Whithope, had turned slyly over into the hags of the Yokeburn-head, that day the drivers took away the stock.’

Map of Whithope Burn

Map of Yoke Burn

whithope-burn-from-earls-hillThe Whithope Burn from Earl’s Hill © Jim Barton and licensed for reuse.

‘When Clavers made his last raid up by Chapelhope, all the family of Riskinhope fled to the hills, and betook them to cover, every one by himself; and there, with beating hearts, peeped through the heath and the rash-bush, to watch the motions of that bloody persecutor. Perilous was their case that day, for had any of them been found in that situation, it would have been enough; but Davie well knew it was good for him to keep out of the way, for Mr [James] Renwick, and Mr [Alexander] Shields, as well as other wanderers, had been sheltered in his house many a night [at Whithope], and the latter wrote his Hind let Loose in a small house at the side of Winterhopeburn.’ (Hogg, Brownie of Bodsbeck, 272-3.)

Map of Winterhope Burn


For more on James Hogg and the Covenanters, see here.

For more stories and poems on the Covenanters of the 1680s, see here.

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Additional Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine


~ by drmarkjardine on October 20, 2016.

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