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Crest of Sir Thomas Storey

Copyright © 2007

This page was last updated on
Thursday, 31 January 2008
by Brad Storey


Questions arose during the truce between the inhabitants of the West Marches, not only regarding the right to fishing in the water of Esk, but also the bounds and limits of the Debateable land, and the site, limits and boundary of the monastery of Canonbie, situated in the West Marches. Thomas, Lord Dacre, Richard Salkeld, and John Musgrave, were appointed by Henry VII., on the 16th November, 1493, to inquire into the matter. During the following year, 1494, arrangements were made by the commissioners to meet at Loughmabrenstone on the 8th August, and to put a final end to the controversy and to the fish garth, and all Debateable lands. The result of the deliberation of the commissioners is not known, but it may be concluded that the English failed to prove their right to erect a fish garth, for we find a few years afterwards on the 20th April, 1498, a letter of tack, as follows, was made in favour of Thomas, Lord Dacre:-

"James, be (by) the grace of God, King of Scottis, to all and sundry our lieges and subdities to quhais knawlage thir our lettres sal com greeting. Witness ye that for the tender lufe and fauouris we bere vnto our cousing Thomas, Lord Dacre, lieutenent of the West Marches of England, to haf set and to ferme lattin and to thir our lettres settis and to ferme lattis to the said our cousing Lord Dacre all and hale oure fisching of the water of Esk for the space and termez of three yen's next to cum, efter the date of thir our letters full hale and togidder to be complete."

Another commission was appointed in 1524, and Lord Dacre and others were appointed on the part of England to settle the disputes which had arisen between the subjects of the two realms relative to the fish garth of Esk [Cal. of Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Hen, VIII., Vol. IV., pt. I., No. 968].

In Liddesdale and the Debateable land the most important clan in point of number was that of Armstrong [Vide, Chap. X., p, 175]. The name Armstrong finds its Norman equivalent in Fortenbras. There are forty five variants of the name, Armstrong, met with (p. 175). The arms are on a field argent an oak tree vert, an arm vert grasping the trunk; in the dexter right a crescent gules, and in the sinister base a mullet, gules.

Then there are the Lytills (Littles), Irwings and the Ellots, or Elliots. The Lytills bear on a field argent a cross ragulie or, in base a crescent or. There are seventeen variants of Little; seventy of Elliot, such forms appearing as Dallot, D'Elliot, Aylewoode, EIwaldis, Elioate, Ellath, Ellote, Ellet, Ellnatt, Elvand, Ellwood, Elwaird and Hellwood.

The Elliot arms are a bend Azure on a field sable, a staff argent and ringed or, within the bend. The early border Stories were connected with most of these old families.

Bishop Story took the oath of fealty to Edward V. when Prince of Wales. He and the Bishop of Durham, the Earl of Northumberland and others were among the English commissioners appointed to treat with those of Scotland, at Alnwick, and in the year following at Newcastle, and in 1473 at either of these places or at any other place. In 1474, Dr. Story was again a commissioner in the treaty of marriage between the Prince of Scotland and the Princess Cicely, daughter of Edward IV. See Whellan's "History of Cumberland."