The Bandits of the English Scottish Border dominated the lands at the extremes of northern England and southern Scotland for over three centuries, from the end of the 13th to the beginning of the 17th. They were both English and Scottish and are known to us as the Border Reivers.
In a country that had been laid waste by 250 years of war between England and Scotland, they resorted to theft of cattle and sheep: the mainstay of an economy which was dictated by the predominantly harsh terrain.Theft led to violence and murder and resulted in the bitter feuds between families and clans. Border authority in the form of March Wardens and the Border Laws, unique in British history, achieved little in eradicating the nefarious raids and counter raids which became the daily bread of the Border people.
It was only the Union of the two Crowns of England and Scotland in 1603 and thus the creation of a United Kingdom under one monarch that slowly brought the Border Reivers to heel.
Yet, hard and obdurate though they were, answering to neither monarchy nor authority and clinging only to the allegiance of their own families, they left many stories of their lives and exploits which are known today.
This little book endeavours to bring to the audience something of how they lived in both fact and folklore.