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Old Dec 16, 2001, 03:14 PM   #1
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Has anyone heard of the Border reivers?

I am distantly related to border reiver clans. (This can written either riever, reiver or marshtop troopers.) They fought inter-clan warfare and against anyone who came there way.

They existed between 13th century and the 17th century living of whatever they could find, living in semi-permament housing on the wastes/moors during summer with there cattle and returning to the valley bottoms during the winter months.

They essentially were robbers and cattle rustlers. But they did play an important part in Anglo-Scottish border conflict, causing the formalation of an actual border not challenged since.

I also heard some were hired to fight for the Dutch against the Spanish in the Dutch independence wars in 17th century. Can anyone verify this?

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Old Dec 16, 2001, 05:46 PM   #2
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Yes, I have read something similar. At that time the reiver clans were under increasing pressure from the now unified crown and many were pressed into service, deported to Ireland, or went to war on the continent as their old lifestyle at home became more difficult. Some ended up in the Low Countries, fighting the Spanish.
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Old Dec 17, 2001, 09:20 AM   #3
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Interesting, I hadn't even given their waning a thought.

I do know they were an effective force in pillaging the Scottish side of the border. They invented the word "blackmail" and were generally rotten.
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