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Showing posts with the label reivers

Scottish? English? Who cared? Only family mattered

"Reive" is an early English word for "to rob", from the Northumbrian and Scots verb reifen from the Old English rēafian, and thus related to the archaic Standard English verb reave ("to plunder", "to rob"), and to the modern English word "ruffian" The reivers gave the words "blackmail" and "bereaved" to the English language. The idea of the Border Reiver has been romanticised over time making it sound like most people were involved in swashbuckling activities but it was bloody and it was frequently barbaric.

The Border Reivers

John Leslie, the Bishop of Ross, wrote of the Border Reivers:
"In time of war they were readily reduced to extreme poverty by the almost daily inroads of the enemy, so, on the restoration of peace, they entirely neglect to cultivate their lands, though fertile, from the fear of the fruits of their labour being immediately destroyed by a new war.whence it happens they seek their substances b…