Monthly Archives: August 2016

Lance and steel bonnet

Weapons and Warfare

Border Reivers L_tcm4-565625

The Border robber was a specialist, and needed special equipment, the most important part of which was his horse. “They reckon it a great disgrace for anyone to make a journey on foot,” wrote Leslie, and Froissart had noted two centuries earlier how the Scots at war “are all a-horseback . . . the common people on little hackneys and geldings.” The Border horses, called hobblers or hobbys, were small and active, and trained to cross the most difficult and boggy country, “and to get over where our footmen could scarce dare to follow.”

Such precious animals naturally attracted legislation, particularly in England, where horses were in short supply. In the late 1500s their export to Scotland was strictly banned; Hunsdon “condemde sundry” for this treason in 1587, and complained that English gentlemen were involved in the illicit trade. It was a well-broken law in both directions, for Scotland had…

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Innerpeffray: Scotland’s oldest free lending library

Scotland’s oldest library

The Hazel Tree

Innerpeffray 5

“I have erected a Library… which I appoint and ordain to be preserved entire… for the benefit and encouragement of young students…”   

David Drummond

If somebody asked me where was the oldest free lending library in Scotland, I would have hazarded a guess at one of the institutions in Edinburgh – the National Library of Scotland, for example.   I would never in a month of Sundays have thought of a pretty little house by the River Earn in the heart of rural Perthshire.

The early 16th C chapel, where the library was first housed The early 16th C chapel, where the library was first housed

Innerpeffray Library has been lending books to the public since 1680, thanks to the generosity and foresight of David Drummond, 3rd Lord Madertie.   Drummond was a wealthy landowner and brother-in-law of the 1st Marquis of Montrose.  A renowned scholar, he had amassed a valuable collection of books in English, Latin and several other languages, and he…

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