English raiders were reported to have hit the outskirts of Edinburgh, and Scottish raids were known as far south as Yorkshire. It did not help that thieving activities were sometimes supported by the very men who were supposed to be keeping the Border Reivers under control. Even when the countries were not formally at war, tension remained high, and royal authority in either or both kingdoms was often weak, particularly in remote locations.

These dogs were valuable, and part of the established forces (on the English side of the border, at least).

2 c. 57),[25] which continued previous acts until 1 September 1757 "and from thence to the end of the then next session of parliament". These villages are … prosecute no one save those who stole from his own district”. Fause Sakelde would never the Kinmont ta’en, When we came beneath the castle wa’. And it was common for these families to straddle the Border. The border was easily destabilised if Graynes from opposite sides of the border were at feud. Border families did practice customs similar to those of the Gaels, such as tutorship when an heir who was a minor succeeded to the chiefship, and giving bonds of manrent. Under section two of the act, the benefit of clergy was taken away from those convicted (generally meaning a death sentence), or otherwise, the notorious thieves and spoil-takers in Northumberland or Cumberland were to be transported to America, "there to remaine and not to returne".[16][17]. The act goes on to list the various Border clans. Their heyday was in the last hundred years of their existence, during the time of the House of Stuart in the Kingdom of Scotland and the House of Tudor in the Kingdom of England. The story of the Reivers dates from the 14th century and continued through into the late 17th century. The march wardens' various duties included the maintenance of patrols, watches and garrisons to deter raiding from the other kingdom. He scarcely dared tae trew his eyes, It concerns the border between the two sovereign countries of England and Scotland.

There’s never a man in Cumberland,

The stories of legendary border reivers like Kinmont Willie Armstrong were often retold in folk-song as Border ballads. The original dress of a shepherd's plaid was later replaced by light armour such as brigandines or jacks of plate (a type of sleeveless doublet into which small plates of steel were stitched), and metal helmets such as burgonets or morions; hence their nickname of the "steel bonnets".

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