‘Luda; A Tale of the Castle of L—.’ by Charles F— (10 July, 1858)

My native village is, I regret to say, very little known. Historians and antiquarians, it would seem, find nothing in or around it worthy of notice. ‘Tis true that it has not the remains of a Cardinal Beaton’s Castle to be ashamed of, neither can it boast of the gorgeous ruins of a Melrose Abbey. It is a quiet, unassuming, little place, with its kirk, kirkyard, manse, and school-house. However, when its antiquities are hunted up from oblivion, it, too, can show that men have been connected with it who have borne their parts in the world’s affairs. ‘Tis not my wish, however, to render it famous; I withdraw from such a task, knowing that abler pens than mine could undertake it. Although many of the readers of the People’s Journal may never have heard of the village already alluded to, yet I trust this short narrative in connection with it may not be found out of place.

On his first entering the village the curiosity of the stranger would be aroused by the old parish church, but not being an antiquary, I cannot pretend to tell the date when this edifice was built; suffice to say that it is still there with its Gothic carved windows, chancel, and belfry, while in its shade lie the dead of many generations. Away to the east, at a short distance from the village, enclosed in a shady wood, stands the ancient mansion house of E—, the seat of a family named Bruce. One of the descendants of this house seems to have borne an active part in the persecution of the Christians; we find at least in Hislop’s “Covenanter’s Dream” the following lines:—

“’Twas the few faithful ones who with Cameron were lying,

Concealed ‘mong the mist where the heath fowls were crying,

For the horsemen of E— around them were hov’ring,

And their bridal-reins rising through the thin misty cov’ring.”

The youngsters of the village are still hushed to peace by the name “Bluidy Bruce,” if at any time they are like to rebel against their grandams! Many a time have I, when a boy, hurried past the gate leading into the avenue, with a timid side-long look, fearing lest “The Bruce” should break forth upon me! I might describe some of the other ancient places in the neighbourhood, but wish to come to the scene of my narrative. Continue reading “‘Luda; A Tale of the Castle of L—.’ by Charles F— (10 July, 1858)”