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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

T for Turnbull's and Thomas the Rhymer "

Welcome to a Look Around 
"My Scottish Borders"

  T is for: 
Turnbull's and Thomas the Rhymer 

TURNBULL's  along with Armstrong's, Elliot's  and Scott's, were amongst the most notorious of   families in  the turbulent period of the Border Reivers,  Legend has it that the name came about, when William of Rule, near Hawick, saved King Robert  the Bruce by wrestling to the ground a bull that had charged the king.  For this act, he was rewarded with lands and dubbed "Turnebull". 

William Turnebull assumed a bull's head as his heraldic symbol with the motto, "I Saved The King" both of which have been incorporated into the Turnbull clan crest.

Turnbulls are remembered in the church of Bedrule,  near Hawick, the birthplace of William Turnbull, Bishop of Glasgow  who founded Glasgow University in 1451. 


The view from Bedrule Church,  across to Ruberslaw Hill

Earlston, where I live, is best known as the birthplace of  medieval  poet and prophet  THOMAS THE RHYMER , (C.1210-C.1299) , sometimes called Thomas Learmonth,Thomas of Ercildoune,or True Thomas.

He  is said to have gained his powers of prophecy, after falling asleep beneath the triple Hills, whilst hunting.  He met and kissed the Queen of Elfland,  and spent seven years as her guest  before returning to Ercildoune (the old name for Earlston0  then disappearing again for good. 

His prophecies, set down in verse,  included:
  • The death of King Alexander III in 1286, 
  • The Battle fo Banockburn in 1314, 
  • The defeat and death of King James IV at the Battle of flodden in 1513
  • the Union of the Crowns of England and Scotland in 1603.  
 Much of Thomas' life is shrouded in mystery.    Only fragments remain of his  tower hosue, which remains a symbol of the village of Earlston.  He inspired writers like Sir Walter Scott who proclaimed:

                 "Farewell my Father's ancient tower!  a long farewell, said he
              The scene of pleasure, pomp and power, thou never more shall be!"

"Some said to hill, and some to glen their wondrous course had been
                      But ne'er in history o'living men again  was Thomas seen"

The ruins of Rhymer's Tower, Earlston

Follow the next stage of this
A-Z Journey 
through the Scottish Borders

U is for:
A USA Connection and an Unusual Sight 

Do take a look at earlier  posts in "My Scottish Borders

A-Z Challenge Preview
A-Z Challenge A - Abbeys,Abbotsford and Armstrong's
A-Z Challenge B - Border Reivers, Border Ballads and Blackmail
A-Z Challenge C - Common Ridings and Carter Bar 
A-Z Challenge D - Dryburgh Abbey,  Duns Scotus and The Douglas Tragedy 
A-Z Challenge E - Ellio's, Earlston, Enigma Hero and Eyemouth Tart 
A-Z Challenge F - Flodden, Fletcher and Flowers of the Forest  
A-Z Challenge G - A Green & Pleasant Land and Galashiels 
A-Z Challenge H - Hermitage Castle and Hawick  
A-Z Challenge I - Inspirational Land  of James Hogg & Will Ogilvie
A-Z Challenge J - Jedburgh, Jedthart Justice & Jethart Snails 
A-Z Challenge K - Kalaidoscope, Kelso and Kinmont Willie   
A-Z Challenge L - The Fair Lilliard and Leaderfoot Viaduct
A-Z Challenge M - Muckle Mou'ed Meg and Melrose 
A-Z Challenge N - Newark Castle and Nature  
A-Z Challenge O - Oxford Connections - Sir James Murray & Mary Somerville 
A-Z Challenge P - Pele Towers and Princely Connections  
A-Z Challenge Q - Queen of Scots and Queen of Elfland
A-Z Challenge R - Rivers, Rugby and Rumbledethumps 
A-Z Challenge S - Scott's, Sir Walter and 'Scott's View 

1 comment:

  1. The fallen stone tower reminds me of a wonderful stone fireplace we used to have. Only because it is stone, I guess.


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