Elibank Castle, Tweed Valley below Walkerburn


Peebles, United Kingdom

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acrylic on board

Muckle Mou’ed Meg (as sourced and abridged from: www/borderreivers.co.uk)
Young Wat of Harden was not averse to bit of reiving, and from time to time, he brought home welcome additions to his family’s stock.
Sir Gideon Murray lived at Elibank Castle and was locally renowned for the good quality cattle he bred.
One day, Wat mounted a raid on Elibank, but things did not go according to plan, and young Wat found himself a prisoner in Sir Gideon’s dungeon.
Sir Gideon, having recently suffered some annoying losses, decided to make the hanging of Wat a special event as a dire warning to all other potential miscreants, so.due publicity was given to the forthcoming event.
Meanwhile, Lady Murray, being most impressed with the bearing and appearance of the young man in the dungeon, felt that it was such a shame that so desirable a young man should die. Now, the Murrays had several daughters all of which had been successfully married off, with the exception of one, Meg, the youngest. Many suitors had come from afar, showing interest in the Murray’s unmarried daughter, as the Murray were a very respected family and quite wealthy. But when the saw Meg invariably they quickly made their excuses and were off into the distance with embarrassing haste because Meg was ugly, and she had acquired the name of Muckle Mou’ed Meg on account of her huge mouth.
Here was a husband for Meg, decided Lady Murray, and Sir Gideon agree with enthusiasm. Meg’s lack of suitors had been a long burden to bear.
Accordingly, Wat was brought out of his cell and given a choice, marry Meg, or hang.
Now, Wat knew of Meg and indeed had encountered her. This was a choice, he thought, he could not lightly make, and he asked to be returned to the dungeon to consider. However, ife was sweet to Wat, and, weighing all the considerations, he decided that living, even with Meg, was better than dying. He chose to marry Meg.
As the years passed by Meg made an excellent wife and a devoted mother, and……They all lived happily ever after.

Elibank Castle 73 397 363, associated with the Douglases as well as the Murrays, can be found at map reference 73 397 363. South of the Tweed between Walkerburn and Caddonfoot. Access off the minor continuation of B709

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