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versions. This is a common confusion of the time as various documents would be translated from a range of sources and languages and often spelt phonetically. 1500-1800 Comlongon has played a significant part in the history of the Borders. One of the most notorious examples was the daring raid to free Kinmount Willie, something of a legend at the time. A letter written by Sir John Carmichael, Scottish warden of the Western March, to the English deputy warden, Richard Lowther, intimating his resignation from the wardenship, is dated " Off Cumlungane this Tysday at nycht,12th July, 1592”. In April, 1596, Sir John was again at Comlongon (" Cockpoule "), where he was visited by Huchens Androwe, a noted moss-trooper, and they that night speakand of the purpose howe Kinmont might be lowsed. Huchens Androwe was apparently one of the Grahams of the debatable land. The rescue of Kinmount Willie remains without a match in the stirring annals of Border warfare, and it is “significant to think that Comlongon Tower played its part in the plotting of the well-contrived and brilliantly executed enterprise” Kinmount Willie. William Armstrong of Kinmont or Kinmont Willie was a border Reiver and outlaw active in the Anglo-Scottish Border country in the last decades of the 16th century. Perhaps the best known of the Border Reivers he epitomised the very nature of the Reiver; devious, arrogant, charismatic and seemingly well above the law. William Armstrong of Kinmont`s first major recorded raid was against the Milburns of Tynedale in August 1583, when Armstrong was probably in his forties. In 1585 he accompanied the Earl of Angus`s campaign against the Earl of Arran and pillaged Stirling. Eight years later he was in Tynedale again with 1000 men, carrying off over 2000 beasts and £300 in spoils. A huge amount at the time. Armstrong was captured by the forces of the English Warden of the West March in violation of a truce day in 1596. At the Truce Day all who attended to witness the criminal trials were granted 'safe conduct' for the Day and until the following sunrise. Kinmont, a witness to the trials, was taken against the 'safe conduct' and imprisoned in Carlisle Castle. Walter Scott of Buccleuch ("the Bauld Buccleuch"), keeper of Liddesdale on whose land the arrest had been made, protested to the English Warden, Thomas Scrope, 10th Baron Scrope of Bolton. When Scrope refused to release Armstrong, Buccleuch held a hastily arranged meeting at Comlongon and then led a hastily led party of men on a daring raid into England and broke Armstrong out of the castle with inside help from the English Grahams and Carletons. Elizabeth I of England was furious that one of her Border fortresses had been broken into at a time when peace existed between England and Scotland. Her relationship with James VI of Scotland 7


comlongon_history
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