Deadlock and Deliverance by Tom Moss
Scotland’s fight to maintain its independence against England led to almost two hundred and fifty years of warfare between the countries, from 1296 to 1547. Even after, down to 1603, only a state of uneasy truce existed between the two nations.
The constant warfare bore down hard on the people who lived in the Border lands – the lands that lay to the north and south of the Border Line which divided England and Scotland. The Border counties became a buffer zone between two of the most aggressive nations in world history.
Born out of this adversity where the land was left barren as crops were stolen or burnt and beasts were taken to feed marauding armies sprang a special kind of martial man who had no allegiance to either monarch or authority. He answered to the clan or family only and resorted to stealing wherever he could to provide for self and family.
To ‘reive’ is to thieve and thus the Border Reivers appeared throughout the landscape.
Many notable, audacious and aggressive characters were added to the rich history of the Border country in the time of the Border Reivers. None more so than a Scotsman by the name of William Armstrong of Kinmont, known to history as Kinmont Willie.
He was feared by the English of the late sixteenth century yet they did their utmost to capture him.
This is his story.