top of page

  Death of de la Beaute

(A traditional ballad)

In Fifteen hundred and seventeen

after the Incarnation

Events befel which cast a slur

Upon the Scottish nation.

The belted Home, a Baron bold,

To Edinburgh trysted was;

Tried and condemned by Albany's might

A might above the law


His office of Warden they have given

To Francis D'Arcy, knight

The Merse Homes swore to be revenged.

That they should have their right.


To Langton Castle D'Arcy went

A tumult there to quell.

When Wedderburn heard of this

His vassals all did call.


Now words by blows succeeded were

And D'Arcy looked around;

He saw he was no match for Home

And quickly left the ground.


By Pouterlaney they fled fast

And thro the Corny Sykes*

And by the road that eastward leads

To Duns' Grueldykes.


Tam Boulibacks did follow quick

as his good mare could stand.

At Inglis' Walls she fell dead lame

While D'Arcy met his end,


Sir David Home that stern old carle

Came up and in a trice

As Beautie and his horse were bogged

Did stab him twice or thrice.


Tam Trotter then cut off his head and tied it by the hair upon Sir David's saddle bow:

To Dunse they did repair.

And when they came to that fair Town

The people cried God Speed!


Upon the Tolbooth's highest part

They placed Sir D'Arcy's heed.

To Castle Hume they've ta'en the head

And fixed it to the wall


Where it remained mony a day

Till it in pieces fell.

Sir de la Beautie's headless corpse

They put into a grave

On Broomhouse banks without a mass or prayer his soul to save.



It was reportedly foretold to de la Bastie:

"If e'er you cross the Cornie Syke* The corbies will get your banes to pyke"

Corny Syke = a low lying marshy area with a steam running through it - a very apt description of the area between the present day Gavinton and Pouterlynie

bottom of page