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SCOTS M A G A ZINE,

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CONTENTS :

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David Baird, . . . .

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‘8tate of the BARoxieter, in inches and decimals, and of Farenheit's THERMoMETER, in the open air, taken in the morning before sun-rise, and at noon; and the quantity of rain-water fallen, in inches and decimals, from Jan. 26. to Feb. 25. 1808, in the vicinity of

JEdinburgh.

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Barom Thermom. Rain. Weather.

Snow Ditto Cloudy Rain Showers Clear Hain I)itto Ditto Snow Ditto Ditto Ditto Ditto Ditto Clear Ditto Rain Ditto Clear Snow Ditto Clear Showers Cloudy Ditto Clear Showers Clear Ditto Ditto

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March 11. Court of Session risk*

MOON's PHASFS For March 1809. Apparent time at Edinburgh,

ld . ti Full Moon, 2. 3

Last Quar.

Full Moon, 31.

8. l l .41.

New Moon, 16. 4. 1.

First Quart. 24. 7. 3

fol. 57.

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EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY, For FE B R U A R Y 1809.

Historical Account of FERNIHIRST CASTLE.

ERNIHIRST CASTLE was founded about 1490, by Thomas Ker, a branch of the family of Ker, which made long a conspicuous figure in border history, as well as in the general history of Scotland. The Homes, Scotts, and Kerrs, took the lead in all the transactions of that part of the kingdom. The Kerrs were an Anglo-Norman family *, which, there appears reason to suppose, was of great antiquity, both in England and Scotland. It is only from about the year 1330, how

ever, that we receive a distinct genea

logical account of them. At that period, Ralph Kerr settled in Scotland, and obtained possession of the lands lying between the water of Jed and the lands of Straserburgh. He called these by the name of Kershaugh, which continued for some time the chief title of his family. It split in time, however, into two branches; the Kerrs of Cessford, who afterwards rose to the title of Dukes of Roxburgh; and the Kerrs of Fernihirst, who rose to those of Jedburgh, Lothian, and Ancrum. It was about 1490, as we already noticed, that Thomas, eighth in descent from Ralph, founded the castle

* Chalmers's Caledonia, Vol. I. p. 53e.

of Fernihirst, which thenceforth gave name to that powerful branch of the Kerr family. This castle, situated near the border, the scene then of almost perpetual war, was subject to all the vicissitudes of such a situation.— The disasters sustained by Scotland in the battle of Flodden, laid the border open to the incursions of the English. In 1523, the Earl of Surry, with Dorset and Dacres, entered Scotland, and marched to Jedburgh, which he took after an obstinate resistance. He then detached the Lord Dacres to Fernihirst, who reduced that castle, and made prisoners of Sir Andrew Kerr, and the laird of Gradon. After the arrival, however, of French auxiliaries, the Scots acquired the ascendency, and took cruel revenge for English depredation. Of this, the castle of Fernihirst afforded a striking example. The laird, with his retainers, assisted by a band of Frenchmen, assaulted this fortress, “The English archers (we copy the account of Mr Scott, Border Minstrelsy, I. xxx.) showered their arrows down the steep ascent leading to the castle, and from. the outer j, by which it was surrounded. A vigorous escalade, however, gained the base court, and the sharp fire of the French arquebusiers drove the bowmen into the square, keep, or dungeon, of the fortress.Here the English defended themselves, till a breach in the wall was made by miming.

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