[Walter Scott team]
the Walter Scott team
They first want to discover the historical facts behind 'Foray of Elibank' and the legend of 'Mucklemouth Meg', from whom Rob's wife is descended. Then they want to find out whether there is any truth in the ballad 'Kinmont Willie'.
how they got on ...
Andrew Scott, owner of Harden, gives a guided tour, including the Scott family tree created by Sir Walter Scott himself, and a portrait of Meg and her husband William Harden. Rob compares it to a photograph of his wife -- both she and Meg have small mouths!
They also see Mucklemouth Meg and William's marriage contract of 1611 -- historical proof of their existence. However, as it is very long and more like a business contract, it appears unlikely that William and Meg had a 'shotgun wedding' as the ballad says.
CARLISLE RECORD OFFICE
They look through the Calendar of Border Papers and F J Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads to find out who the protagonists were, who let the raiders into Carlisle Castle and, ultimately, whose account is 'truest'.
They concentrate on the letters in the Calendar of Border Papers that refer to the subsequent murder of Thomas Carleton, deputy to Scrope, the warden of the English West March; Carlton was also seen with Kinmont Willie at the Liddesdale races. It appears that the affair was a conspiracy between 'bauld Buccleuch' -- the Scottish keeper of Liddesdale -- and his English friends, against Scrope and his other deputy Sakeld, whom they wanted to drive a wedge between. They conclude that Kinmont Willie's escape was an inside job.