button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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Page 189:-



MY Printer having, by accident, missed a page in the manuscript, which being an illustration of the history I shall here insert it; it ought to be read in page the 20. - At the time of the Norman conquest, the counties of Northumberland, Westmorland, and Cumberland, were in the possession of the Scots, but soon after taken from them. However, the Scots, for a long time after, continued to claim the said three counties, and we find William King of Scotland demanding them of John King of England. In the 1209, when John was greatly distressed for want of money, he ceded them to William for a 15,000 marks of silver, or, as the Scots Historians say, 11,000, and other conditions, none of which were ever performed. Afterwards Alexander, son of William, demanded of Henry, son of John, the said counties, or to fulfil their father's bargain: after divers messengers being sent from the one to the other, the two Kings themselves met at York in 1237 and settled the differences; Alexander giving up his pretensions to the counties on condition of Henry giving him a pension of 800 marks and 200 librates of land: But Henry neglecting to perform some other part of the agreements, (viz) that Henry's brother, Richard, should marry Alexander's sister, the Court of Scotland grew uneasy, and Henry was obliged again, in the same year, to meet Alexander at York, and bring with him the Pope's legate.
After much conversation and debate, a new convention was drawn up by the legate, to the following purport: That the King of Scots do quit all his pretensions in England, upon the counties of Northumberland, Westmorland, and Cumberland; and grant a full acquitance for fifteen thousand marks borrowed from the late King of Scotland by King John, in consideration of two hundred pounds in land yearly, with the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmorland, with this remarkable provision, That if the revenues of the said counties did not make up two hundred pounds a-year, (exclusive of those towns which had castles in them,) then the King of Scots was to receive the balance in proper lands, out of the adjoining counties; the King of Scots paying, by way of redendo, every year a soar-hawk to the constable of Carlisle. The fide jussor on the part of Henry was the Earl of Warren; on the part of Alexander, the Earl of Monteith. This agreement being made and ratified, the legate signified to Alexander, that he intended to pay him a visit in Scotland: That prince told him, with the true spirit of a Scotsman, that he had never seen a legate in Scotland, either in his father's time or his own; neither would he suffer any to set his foot upon his dominions, if he could prevent it; adding, that if the legate should persist in his resolution, he must take the consequences, since he could not answer for the treatment he might find from his subjects.
  birds of prey

Having spoke of the inhabitants, their manners and customs, likewise the mines, minerals, and waters, it remains to say something of the botanical plants. In that I confess myself very ignorant, and can only say, that our plants are such as are common to other hilly countries. I shall make a few observations on the beasts, (fera naturae) and the birds of prey. The eagle deserves first place: here are several sizes of them, differing in colour; the largest is of a very dark brown, inclining to black on the back and upper part of the neck; the largest I ever knew shot was 6 feet 8 inches between the tip of the wings when extended: This sort is very daring and bold.
Some persons about four years ago, being a woodcock-shooting, one of them shot at a hare, but did not hit her, as he believed; keeping his eye upon her, he saw an eagle seize her, and fly across Ulswater with her in his talons, and light upon the other side. I once shot at one of them at about 30 yards distances; it flew abut 90 or 100, when I got near it and fired at him again, and so a third time, but did not kill it; I had shot No.4, but durst not attempt it again, for whilst I was loading my gun the fourth time, it came within six or seven yards of me, so fierce as if to begin an attack, so I left it. One thing is remarkable of these large eagles, that so soon as they hear the report of a gun, they immediately fly to the place, and often seize the fowlers victim, if he hath not taken it up before their arrival: they have often been known to seize a dead and wounded bird within a few yards of the person who has shot it, and one of them actually fought a sportsman for a widgeon he had killed. Some of the eagle species are fishers, indeed most of them will occasionally catch fish; and, strange to tell! I have seen them fall quick upon the Lake and bring out a fish: This is a fact on which, (if need be,) I will place my credit as an author. It seems odd that the fish, whose sight and motion are so quick in their own element, cannot escape these huge animals whose element is so widely different. At the robbing of an eagle's nest at Wallow Cragg near Haws-water in Westmorland, there were found 35 fish, besides 7 lambs, and other provisions for the young ones; they never have more than two at a time, and many of them breed in these mountains every year. It hath been said by some that they come from Ireland hither to breed, and when the young one are of sufficient strength, they return with them to Ireland again: this assertion I deny, as I have seen them at every season of the year, though they are seldomer seen in Summer than in Winter, when the snow forces them down to the vallies to seek provisions. The lesser eagles are not so common, and are known from the buzzard by their head being less, their neck longer, and their voice. We have only two
gazetteer links
button -- "Cumberland" -- (Cumberland (CL13inc)2)
button -- "Ulswater" -- (Ullswater (CL13inc)6)
button -- "Wallow Cragg" -- Wallow Crag
button -- "Westmorland" -- (Westmorland (CL13inc)2)
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