“Kinmont Willie”


Kinmont Willie, a notorious raider, comes to the border under a truce, with few men at his back, and is treacherously taken by a large force under Lord Scroop and others. He is imprisoned as a raider, but finally rescued


Kinmont Willie was a real person, and he caused a major border incident at a time when James VI of Scotland was really trying to stay on good terms with Elizabeth I of England, since he wanted to succeed her.

According to Roaslin Mitchison, _A History of Scotland_ (second edition), p. 158, "In 1597 [her date; Child's extensive note says 1596] there was the international incident of Kinmont Willie. The English broke Border law by capturing him at a day of truce, and refused from personal animosity to the Scottish Warden, Buccleuch, to hand him back. Buccleuch then rescued him from Carlisle castle. The subsequent outbreak of diplomatic huffiness was resolved by a joing English and Scottish commission."

This was typical of the problems of the time: The governments wanted peace, but the borderers wanted to keep on looting. - RBW

Historical references

  • Apr 13, 1596 - Rescue of William Armstrong of Kinmouth (Kinmont Willie) from the castle at Carlisle


  1. Child 186, "Kinmont Willie" (1 text)
  2. Bronson 186, "Kinmont Willie" (1 version)
  3. Leach, pp. 504-509, "Kinmont Willie" (1 text)
  4. OBB 137, "Kinmont Willie" (1 text)
  5. PBB 56, "Kinmont Willie" (1 text)
  6. Gummere, pp. 116-122+327-328, "Kinmont Willie" (1 text)
  7. HarvClass-EP1, pp. 108-114, "Kinmont Willie" (1 text)
  9. Roud #4013
  10. BI, C186


Author: unknown
Found in: Britain(Scotland)