The National Archives Uniting the Kingdoms?
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Lawlessness on the border

This letter, written to Lord BurghleyGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window by Thomas Musgrave, in 1583, suggests the frustration of border officials. Evidence from the Border Papers in The National Archives (Catalogue series SP 59) shows that incidents involving reivingGlossary term - opens in a pop-up window families occurred frequently. The Graham family mentioned here were also mythologized in the ballad Hughie the Grahame, which begins:

Gude Lord Scroope's to the hunting gane,
He has ridden o'er moss and muir;
And he has grippit Hughie the Graeme,
For stealing o' the Bishop's mare.

'Now, gude Lord Scroope, this may not be!
Here hangs a broadsword by my side;
And if that thou canst conquer me,
The matter it may soon be tryed.'

Catalogue reference: SP 59/22 no. 197

For the full text of the ballad, visit "Hughie the Graeme" Border BalladExternal website - link opens in a new window.

Lawlessness on the border. Cat ref: SP 59/22
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