The story of the Border Reivers
April 11, 2007 7:39 AM   Subscribe

"I curse their head and all the hairs of their head; I curse their face, their brain (innermost thoughts)..." From the 14th to 16th Century, The Border Reivers turned the border regions between England and Scotland into "a permanent battleground" or lawless area much like the American Wild West. Learn more about these strange groups or cheer for the Rugby team.
posted by drezdn (16 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Well, it was certainly odd showig up in Newcastle as an exchange student and seeing that they had an Armstrong Museum (my surname). I think this explains my fsacination with pirates and wool. Nice post!
posted by BillJenkins at 8:31 AM on April 11, 2007

Its a pity that the SRU is closing the rugby team down at the end of the season. Its sad that the regional team of one of the old heartlands of Scottish rugby can not a attract enough of a crowd to support a professional team.

And with the selfish actions of the English and French clubs over the European Rugby Cup who knows what other teams will be dead by the end of next season.
posted by couch at 8:42 AM on April 11, 2007

Awesome! I know my clan (Elliots) were Reivers... I can't wait to check out these pages.
posted by symbioid at 8:44 AM on April 11, 2007

Also, appropriately, the Nixon clan :D
posted by symbioid at 8:46 AM on April 11, 2007

Yay for this post! I can't wait to read the links in full. I'll also be sending this to my dad who grew up around there.
posted by serazin at 9:05 AM on April 11, 2007

Yet another reiver descendent here.
posted by LionIndex at 9:12 AM on April 11, 2007

Cool post!

Hey symbioid, I'm from the Elliot clan too, spelled Eliott, from Stobs. From the grim Hermitage Castle turf. There's a Yahoo group for our clan.

YAYY Mefite Reivers! *Letting out hair raising whoop*.
posted by nickyskye at 10:33 AM on April 11, 2007

Same people who settled in Appalachians and along the Mississippi river and turned into the infamous Hatfields and McCoy blood feuds (cf. Huckleberry Finn).
posted by stbalbach at 10:50 AM on April 11, 2007

nickskye, you mean like this rhyme? Interestingly, I'm actually from a double L and double T, but my Fathers birth certificate got fucked up so I've been with a single T, yet my dad's siblings all have two 'T's...

Yep... Hatfield/McCoy... I personally have a mighty temper. I like to blame my Scottish blood.


The double L and single T
Descend from Minto and Wolflee,

The double T and single L
Mark the old race in Stobs that dwell,

The single L and single T
The Eliots of St. Germains be,

But double T and double L
Who they are, nobody can tell
posted by symbioid at 11:06 AM on April 11, 2007

My wife's another Elliot who didn't know this about her clan.

Would this the inspiration for Firefly's reivers?
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 12:39 PM on April 11, 2007

Hey, where's that Elliott poem from?
posted by serazin at 2:58 PM on April 11, 2007

That curse is serious overkill.
posted by QIbHom at 8:35 PM on April 11, 2007

The farthest back my family is traced is back to the 1500's in Dumfries but my family name is not on any of those lists.
Seriously interesting post about some bad times.
posted by Iron Rat at 10:33 PM on April 11, 2007

Well, my family name isn't on the list either. Most of the folks living in that region were the ones getting robbed and pillaged by the folks on that list.
posted by serazin at 10:42 PM on April 11, 2007

Good stuff. For more on the topic, check out The Steel Bonnets by George MacDonald Fraser (he of the Flashman books).
posted by IndigoJones at 6:00 AM on April 12, 2007

serazin (sorry for the belated reply, just checking in again, now):

I got it from the Elliot Clan Society. I don't know where it originated from
posted by symbioid at 11:36 PM on April 12, 2007

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