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William Armstrong - Border Reiver

He took his nickname, Kinmont Willie, from his keep at Kinmont near Canonby in Dumfriesshire. Armstrong
stole cattle from his English neighbours on a grand scale but he was not above raiding his own country, in 1585 he took part in the sacking of Stirling during the Earl of Angus's campaign. He is best remembered for his illegal capture and imprisonment in Carlisle following a truce on 17th March 1596. The failure of diplomacy to secure his release led to a raid on Carlisle Castle by his kinsman Walter Scott of Buccleuch who freed him on 13th April 1596; this incident is skilfully, if bombastically, retold in the ballad Kinmont Willie, which Sir WALTER scott included in the minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.

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