These words of Burns conjure up a vivid picture of the troublous times in which our forefathers lived at the end of the thirteenth century.
After the death of Alexander III. The hopes of the people of Scotland rested with the maid of Norway. Her untimely death in 1290 left the country at the mercy of the English King. From that date until the crown was awarded to John Balliol, Edward prosecuted remorselessly his schemes against the independence of Scotland. The Scottish King, as a vassal, paid homage to Edward and, in return, suffered many humiliations at the hands of his overlords. Scottish nobles and gentry - many from our Borderland - were compelled to swear allegiance to the "proud usurper."
However, this reign of tyranny and oppression was destined to be overthrown by one of humble birth. From the West of Scotland came William Wallace, inspired with the fervid patriotism to devote his life to winning back the independence of his country.
No part of Scottish Borderland, perhaps, is more definitely associated with Wallace than the Forest of Ettrick.
Here at Selkirk, supported by nobles and clergy, he was declared Guardian of the Kingdom of Scotland.
And so it in Selkirk, in the 'forest kyrk' (the Kirk of the Forest), referred to in ancient times as the church of St Mary of the Forest, that visitors can now visit this ancient site. It has been the location of the Parish Kirk of Selkirk from these early days until it was abandoned in the mid 1800's.
Next: The Outlaw Murray
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