Raid of the Reidswire, The

DESCRIPTION: "The seventh of July, the suith to say," A raiding party gathers. Carmichael is the warden. All the folk of Liddesdale gater. Those who participate in the raid are listed.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1712-1724 (Bannatine MS); 1724 (Ramsay); 1803 (Scott) [see NOTES]
KEYWORDS: moniker battle borderballad
Jun 5, 1575 - the Reidswire battle
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Whitelaw-Ballads, pp. 365-370, "The Raid of the Reidswire" (1 text)
ChambersBallads, pp. 64-69, "The Battle of the Reidswire" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: George Bannatyne and James Barclay Murdoch, editor, The Bannatyne Manuscript Compiled by George Bannatyne 1568 (Glasgow: Hunterian Club, 1896 ("Digitized by Intenet Archive")) Vol.IV, Appendix III, #20 pp. 1097-1104, "The Song of the Rid Square Fought on the 7 of July, 1576" (1 text) [added to the MS 1712-1724; see Notes]
Allan Ramsay, The Ever Green [being a collection of Scots Poems, wrote by the ingenious before 1600] (Edinburgh: Allan Ramsay, 1724 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")) Vol. II, pp. 224-232, "The Ballat of the Reid-Squair fought on the 7th July 1576" (1 text)
Walter Scott, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (Edinburgh: Longman and Rees, 1803 ("Digitized by Microsoft")), Vol. I, pp. 111-121, "The Raid of the Reidswire" (1 text)
Michael Brander, _Scottish and Border Battles and Ballads_, 1975 (page references to the 1993 Barnes & Noble edition), p. 91, "Raid of the Reidswire" (1 excerpt); pp. 241-245 (1 full text)

ST MBra92 (Partial)
Roud #2863
NOTES [252 words]: Scott: "This poem is published from a copy in the Bannatyne MS. in the handwriting of the Hon Mr Carmichael, advocate. It first appeared in Allan Ramsay's Evergreen, but some liberties have been taken by him in transcribing it; and, what is altogether unpardonable, the MS, which is itself rather inaccurate, has been interpolated to favour his readings; of which there remains obvious marks" (p. 111). If you compare the three texts -- Bannatyne, Ramsay, and Scott -- line for line you will see differences, but few that affect the meaning.
The Bannatyne MS came into Carmichael's posession in 1712, so the dating of the earliest text we have so far is not earlier than 1712 nor later than 1724, when Ramsay printed it. Keep that date in mind as you compare ll.81-84, without the long-s typography.:
Bannatyne (c. 1712):
Up rose the laird to red the cumber,
Which would not be for all his boast;
What should we doe with such a number,
Five thousand men into ane hoast?
Ramsay (1724)
Up raise the Laird to red the Cumber,
Quhilk wald not be for all his Boist,
Quhat suld we do with sic a Number,
Fyve thousand Men into ane Hoist?
Scott (1802)
Up rose the laird to red the cumber,
Which would not be for all his boast;
What could we doe with sic a number?
Fyve thousand men into a host.
Besides the differences caused by Ramsay's antiquing or scotticizing and Scott's editing, there are a few differences between Ramsay's and Scott's reading of Carmichael's handwriting. - BS
Last updated in version 4.0
File: MBra92

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