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Thus warned of the coming danger, the Border proprietors and inhabitants hastened to place their property in the appointed places of security, there to remain till the storm should be exhausted. Certainly, of all such places Staward Peel must have been at once the most unassailable and the most striking. Placed upon the point of a high angular cliff of great extent which was flanked on the right and left by most precipitous ravines, and communicating with the main land only by a narrow ridge which afforded the greatest facilities for defence, and which even now demands the caution of the tourist, this place of refuge might in these days be well deemed to be impregnable. Here then from far and wide were gathered, often in trembling haste, the valuable effects of the assembled people. How often must this now peaceful valley have echoed with the lowing of cattle, the bleating of the lamb, the cries of tender children, the sounding bugle and the din of war! On, on over the creaking drawbridge,-amidst distant murmers of coming foes and the clash of shields and spears, have swept, in continuous array, the anxious crowds of harassed and breathless people, eager to save their cherished and often cumbrous treasures from the hands of the spoiler. What alternations of hope and despair, of gladness and grief, what happy reunions after hours of doubt and dismay, what feats of manly prowess, deadly struggle, and daring skill, of generous courage and stern revenge, this rock must so often have witnessed. These days of desolation, like the resisted foes, are happily departed. But spots like these in the contemplation of those capable of living awhile in the Past are rescued from oblivion and neglect—and though history cannot claim such scenes as the theatres of her great events of national triumph or defeat, upon which hung the destinies of an empire or a world, yet it will not be forgotton that they attest in vivid colours the character of a bygone age, that they relate in touching language " the simple annals of the poor,” and that they associate the most beautiful expressions of natural beauty with the appropriate and eloquent memorials of the Past.

Grey Street.

W. B.

It is natural to suppose that in the vicinity of Staward Peel it should still be a popular belief that many treasures, hastily concealed in the ground by their owners, should never have been recovered and may still excite the industry or the cupidity of the adventurer. There are accordingly several traditions of the discovery of gold and silver by means of dreams and visions, which are too marvellous to relate in this sober age of reason and reality.

It would appear also that a more modern freebooter asserted the right to exercise his vocation in the ruins of the Peel. The following is a tradition on the subject, by which it seems that the art of robbing, like other arts, is capable by the proper application of genius, of progressive adaptation to the exigencies of an altered state of society.

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Dickey of Kingswood.*

N the early part of the last century there lived in Staward Peel a marauder, popularly known by the appellation of “ Dickey of Kingswood." He was a gentleman who prided himself in being able to accomplish his purposes of robbery more by cunning, than mere brute force and bloodshed. And whilst he boasted that he was afraid of no man, he took credit to

himself for being able to exact contributions without bodily harm to himself or his victims. One instance of his tact is as follows:

On passing a farm-house at Denton Burn, near Newcastle, a pair of fat oxen in an adjoining field particularly attracted his attention, and he was resolved to become their possessor, if the thing could be done comfortably. Accordingly, skulking about until night, he entered the field and drove them off. The farmer on discovering his loss the following morning set off in pursuit—but being put upon a false track, travelled toward the Tweed without being able to fall in with theni. Dickey had in the meantime taken a western route and on arriving at Lanercost, in Cumberland, met with an old farmer, who greatly admiring his cattle, bought them. Dickey was very glad to meet with such a customer-partly for thus ridding him of a charge

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that he could not have kept much longer with safety, and partly on account of an excellent mare which the purchaser rode. He accom. panied the old gentleman home, and after partaking of his bottle, asked him to sell his mare. “My mare! no !” was the reply “not for all Cumberland would I sell her-her like is not to be found.” “I cannot blame you,” replied Dickey, “but I would recommend you to keep her close, as unlikelier things have happened—than, that your stable should be empty some morning.” “Stable sir! God bless you—she sleeps in the same house with myself—close at my own bedfoot-I keep her at her manger-and no music can be so sweet as to hear her grinding her corn all the night long close by me.” Dickey recommended his caution, though he inwardly cursed it—as placing startling difficulties in his path, towards the acquisition of the favourite. “But I hope you have got a good lock,” was his next feeler. “ You shall see it,” replied the simple farmer. This was exactly what was wanted, so after a careful survey of the lock—and pronouncing it to be the real thing-just such a one as it ought to be—and one it would be impossible to pick, Dickey partook of another cup-shook hands with his customer and departed.

The old farmer (who was a bachelor), after fastening his mare to her accustomed post betook himself to rest. He awoke towards morning, shivering with cold, and was astonished to find himself without covering of any kind. Arising and providing himself with a light he found his blankets spread upon the floor towards the door, which he found open. Turning towards his bed—the stand of his mare was empty-his favourite was gone! The daring thief had picked the lock--stripped him of his covering—which was spread down to prevent any noise being heard, and had flown with his prize. He roused his servants-commenced a pursuit—but in vain—no trace could be seen beyond a few yards from his own door—so after venting curses innumerable upon the impudent thief, he was obliged to content himself. In the mean time, Dickey (for his was the deed), after clearing the neighbourhood, directed his flight to the East, and such was the speed of his mare that by the break of day he flattered himself that he was safe from all pursuit. On crossing Haltwhistle Fell he was met by a person whom he recognized as the owner of the oxen he had stolen. The honest farmer it appeared had not the slightest knowledge of his real character, enquired if he had seen a yoke of oxen in his travels, describing them most minutely; Dickey, without the slightest hesitation said he had, and directed him to the very place where he had sold them. "You ride a good mare,” said the farmer, “and I am completely knocked up with tramping on foot, will you sell her.” After much chaffering, a bargain was struck, the money paid, and the farmer and Dickey parted; the former to seek his stolen property from the owner of the stolen mare, on which he was riding-and the latter to where ever his genius might direct him.

The farmer on arriving at Lanercost, instantly recognized his oxen grazing in a field, and rode up towards an elderly person whom he supposed to be the master. “I say friend these are my cattle in your field, how did you come by them?” “And I'm d-d,” replied the other “but that is my mare, how did you come by her?” On each describing the person from whom they had purchased their property they discovered that they had been duped by a rogue of no common order. So ludicrous did the whole appear, even to them who were the sufferers by it, that they joined in a loud peal of laughter on the subject, after which they set about putting matters to right. There was evidently no way of accomplishing this but one, seeing that Dickey was not there to refund the cash he had got, so a fair exchange took place, and so overjoyed was each at the recovery of his property, that in the storm of joy, Dickey was forgotten, and quietly allowed to pocket the price of both mare and oxen.


Joseph ATKINSON, of Sunderland bridge, in the neighbourhood of Durham, worked, in his younger days, as a cabinet maker in London. He was one day sent for to mend a bureau, of very curious workmanship. Before he set about his work, he asked the gentleman, who employed him, if he had left nothing of value in the drawers. The gentleman told him, he had taken every thing out of the drawers ;

he however, opened them before him, and then left him to his work. Atkinson judging, from the appearance of the bureau, that there were many private drawers in it, and knowing, as a workman, where to look for the most secret, came at last to one, which the owner (who had not been long in possession of the bureau) had overlooked. It was full of gold pieces, so closely packed, that they could not be discovered by any motion of the bureau. Atkinson seeing the treasure, instantly broke into a prayer, that he might be able to resist the temptation, and ran to call the master of the house. He came and was not more rejoiced than surprised at the discovery which Atkinson had made. He rewarded him with a handsome present. But his best recompence, he says, has been the heart-felt satisfaction, which he had, through the course of a long life, (he is eighty seven years old) from the consciousness of having resisted a temptation to dishonesty, which no human witness could have betrayed.-- Pennington's Moral Annals, 1793.


A Border Ballad.


“ Young

N Jamieson's “Popular Ballads and Songs,"
vol. II. p. 117. and 127, are two ballads,
the one called “Young Beichan and Susie
Pye,” and the other called
Bekie.” They are both given as “From
Tradition," and are versions of the well-
known Northumbrian Ballad, “Lord Bate-
man.” Jamieson says that the two ballads

“are given from copies taken from MRS. Brown's recitation, collated with two other copies procured from Scotland, one in MS; another very good one printed for the stalls; a third in the possession of the late Rev. Jonathan Boucher, of Epsom, taken from recitation in the north of England; and a fourth, about one third as long as the others, which the Editor picked off an old wall [query stall ?] in Piccadilly.” The Scottish copy “printed for the stalls," would probably be either the Berwick or Stirling broad sheet ballad of Lord Bateman, both of which vary but slightly from the English broad sheets with the same title, printed by Hoggett, Durham; and Pitts, Catnach, and others in London. Jamieson remarks, that "it has been suggested that the names should not be Beichan, &c., but Buchan; but as he found them as here given in all the copies,” [MS. I presume, for I never met in print with the name otherwise than Bateman, except in Jamieson's book and copies from it.] “and as they appeared to him to be English Ballads slightly tinctured with the Scottish dialect,” [all Border Ballads are SO] "he has chosen to leave the titles as he found them." Had Jamieson enquired of any of the border peasantry, the English origin of the ballads, would have soon been put beyond a doubt, and he might have been informed, as I have, that the hero's name should be neither Beichan, Bekie nor Bateman, but Bertram, one of that ancient Northumbrian line, of whom it might at one time have been said, with very little hyperbole, “that half Northumberland belonged to them.” In a collection of Scottish Ballads, edited by Robert Chambers, esq., and published by Tait, Edinburgh, 1829, is a version under the name of “ Young Bekie ;” it is from a collation of Jamieson's two ballads, and Mr. Chambers does not appear to have examined the broadsheets. The following version is formed from a collation of several broad sheets, with the two ballads in Jamieson's book, and I have endeavoured to make it as correct as possible, by carefully expunging everything which looked like modern interpolation, and

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