Fire of Frendraught, The [Child 196]

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Brothers Lord John and Rothiemay are enticed by Lady Frendraught to stay at Castle Frendraught to end their feud. Their room is set afire by night. Lord John's servant offers to catch him out the window, but it is too late. Lord John's wife is heartbroken
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1794 (Ritson)
LONG DESCRIPTION: The brothers Lord John and Rothiemay are enticed by Lady Frendraught to stay at Castle Frendraught to seal a compact between their feuding families. Their room is set afire by night. Lady Frendraught expresses mild regret for killing Lord John, but none for Rothiemay. Lord John's servant offers to catch him (but not poor Rothiemay) out the window, but it is too late. When Lord John's wife hears the news, her heart is broken.
KEYWORDS: fire feud betrayal brother family trick
October 8/9, 1630 - The Frendraught Fire
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Child 196, "The Fire of Frendraught" (6 texts)
Bronson 196, "The Fire of Frendraught" (4 versions)
Friedman, p. 267, "Fire of Frendraught" (1 text)
OBB 145, "The Fire of Frendraught" (1 text)

Roud #336
Notes: In terms of feud, this wasn't notably worse than much of what passed in Scotland; the survival of the song may be due to its religious associations (this was the reign of Charles I, when Puritanism was on the rise but the king appeared to be so High Church as to be soft on Catholicism).
C. V. Wedgwood writes in The King's Peace,
"In 1630 a principal member of Huntly's family [Huntly was one of the leading Catholics] had perished with several companions in a fire at Frendraught, a house belonging to the Crichtons. The Crichtons, though apparently reconciled, were hereditary enemies of the Gordons, and foul play was suspected. If the horrible business had indeed been a murder and not an accident, it was probably the result of personal enmity and nothing more, but a religious motive was suspected. The Catholics told a tragic tale of the heroism of the young victim who has expounded the true faith to his companions as the flames crept up the tower in which he was trapped." - RBW

Child 196A: The Fire of Frendruahgt

196A.1 THE eighteenth of October,
 A dismal tale to hear
 How good Lord John and Rothiemay
 Was both burnt in the fire.
196A.2 When steeds was saddled and well bridled,
 And ready for to ride,
 Then out it came her false Frendraught,
 Inviting  them to bide.
196A.3 Said, ‘Stay this night untill we sup,
 The morn untill we dine;
\R’\rtwill be a token of good greement
\R’\rtwixt your good lord and mine.’
196A.4 ‘We’ll turn again,’ said good Lord John;
 ‘But no,’ said Rothiemay,
 ‘My steed’s trapand, my bridle’s broken,
 I fear the day I’m fey.’
196A.5 When mass was sung, and bells was rung,
 And all men bound for bed,
 Then good Lord John and Rothiemay
 In one chamber was laid.
196A.6 They had not long cast off their cloaths,
 And were but now asleep,
 When the weary smoke began to rise,
 Likewise the scorching heat.
196A.7 ‘O waken, waken, Rothiemay!
 O waken, brother dear!
 And turn you to our Saviour;
 There is strong treason here.’
196A.8 When they were dressed in their cloaths,
 And ready for to boun,
 The doors and windows was all secur’d,
 The roof-tree  burning down.
196A.9 He did him to the wire-window,
 As fast as we could gang;
 Says, Wae to the hands put in the stancheons!
 For out we’ll never win.
196A.10 When he stood at the wire-window,
 Most doleful to be seen,
 He did espy her Lady Frendraught,
 Who stood upon the green.
196A.11 Cried, Mercy, mercy, Lady Frendraught!
 Will ye not sink with sin?
 For first your husband killed my father,
 And now you burn his son.
196A.12 O then out spoke her Lady Frendraught,
 And loudly did she cry;
 ‘It were grteat pity for good Lord John,
 But none for Rothiemay;
 But the keys are casten in the deep draw-well,
 Ye cannot get away.’
196A.13 While he stood in this dreadful plight,
 Most piteous to be seen,
 There called out his servant Gordon,
 As he had frantic been:
196A.14 ‘O loup, O loup, my dear master!
 O loup and come to me!
 I’ll catch you in my arms two,
 One foot I will not flee.
196A.15 ‘O loup, O loup, my dear master!
 O loup and come away!
 I’ll catch you in my arms two,
 But Rothiemay may lie.’
196A.16 ‘The fish shall never swim in the flood,
 Nor corn grow through the clay,
 Nor the fiercest fire that ever was kindled
 Twin me and Rothiemay.
196A.17 ‘But I cannot loup, I cannot come,
 I cannot win to thee;
 My head’s fast in the wire-window,
 My feet burning from me.
196A.18 ‘My eyes are seething in my head,
 My flesh roasting also,
 My bowels are boiling with my blood;
 Is not that a woeful woe?
196A.19 ‘Take here the rings from my white fingers,
 That are so long and small,
 And give them to my lady fair,
 Where she sits in her hall.
196A.20 ‘So I cannot loup, I cannot come,
 I cannot loup to thee;
 My earthly part is all consumed,
 My spirit but speaks to thee.’
196A.21 Wringing her hands, tearing her hair,
 His lady she was seen,
 And thus addressed his servant Gordon,
 Where he stood on the green.
196A.22 ‘O wae be to you, George Gordon!
 An ill death may you die!
 So safe and sound as you stnad there,
 And my lord bereaved from me.’
196A.23 ‘I bad him loup, I bad him come,
 I bad him loup to me;
 I’d catch him in my arms two,
 A foot I should not flee. &c.
196A.24 ‘He threw me the rings from his white fingers,
 Which were so long and small,
 To give to you, his lady fair,
 Where you sat in your hall.’ &c.
196A.25 Sophia Hay, Sophia Hay,
 O bonny Sophia was her name,
 Her waiting maid put on her cloaths,
 But I wot she tore them off again.
196A.26 And aft she cried, Ohon! alas! alas!
 A sair heart’s ill to win;
 I wan a sair heart when I married him,
 And the day it’s well returnd again.

 Child 196B: The Fire of Frendruahgt

196B.* * * *
 ‘YE\R’\rLL stay this night wi me, Lord John,
 Ye’ll stay this night wi me,
 For there is appearence of good greement
 Betwixt Frendraught and thee.’
196B.2 ‘How can I bide, or how shall I bide,
 Or how can I bide wi thee,
 Sin my lady is in the lands of Air,
 And I long till I her see?’
196B.3 ‘Oh stay this night wi me, Lord John,
 Oh stay this night wi me,
 And bonny [’s] be the morning-gift
 That I will to you gie.
196B.4 ‘I’ll gie you a Strathboggie lands,
 And the laigh lands o Strathray,
 . . . . .
 . . . . .
196B.5 ‘Ye’ll saty this night wi me, Lord John,
 Ye’ll stay this night wi me,
 And I’ll lay you in a bed of down,
 And Rothiemay you wi.’
196B.6 When mass was sung, and bells were rung,
 And a’ men bun to bed,
 Gude Lord John and Rothiemay
 In one chamber were laid.
 * * * * *
196B.7 Out hes he taen his little psalm-buik,
 And verses sang he three,
 And aye at every verse’s end,
 ‘God end our misery!’
196B.8 The doors were shut, the keys were thrown
 Into a vault of stone,
 . . . . .
 . . . . .
196B.9 He is dune him to the weir-window,
 The stauncheons were oer strong;
 There he saw him Lord George Gordon
 Come haisling to the town.
196B.10 ‘What news, what news now, George Gordon?
 Whats news hae you to me?
 . . . . .
 . . . . .
196B.11 He’s dune him to the weir-window,
 The stauncheons were oer strang;
 And there he saw the Lady Frendraught,
 Was walking on the green.
196B.12 ‘Open yer doors now, Lady Frendraught,
 Ye’ll open yer doors to me;
 And bonny’s be the mornin-gift
 That I shall to you gie.
196B.13 ‘I’ll gie you a’ Straboggie lands,
 And the laigh lands o Strathbrae,
 . . . . .
 . . . . .
196B.14 ‘Now there’s the rings frae my fingers,
 And the broach frae my breast-bone;
 Ye’ll gae that to my gude ladye
 . . . . .
 * * * * *
196B.15 ‘How can I loup, or how shall I loup?
 How can I loup to thee?
 When the blood is boiling in my body,
 And my feet burnin frae me?’
 * * * * *
196B.16 ‘If I was swift as any swallow,
 And then had wings to fly,
 I could fly on to fause Frendraught
 And cry vengeance till I die.’

 Child 196C: The Fire of Frendruahgt

196C.1 IT was in October the woe began-+--+-
 It lasts for now and aye,-+--+-
 The burning o the bonny house o fause Frendraught,
 Lord John and Rothiemay.
196C.2 When they were in their saddles set,
 And ready to ride away,
 The lady sat down on her bare knees,
 Beseeching them to stay.
196C.3 ‘Ye’s hae a firlot o the gude red gowd,
 Well straiket wi a wan;
 And if that winna please you well,
 I’ll heap it wi my han.’
196C.4 Then out it spake the gude Lord John,
 And said to Rothiemay,
 ‘It is a waman that we’re come o,
 And a woman we’ll obey.’
196C.5 When a’ man was well drunken,
 And a’ man bound for bed,
 The doors were lockd, the windows shut,
 And the keys were casten by.
196C.6 When a’ man was well drunken,
 And a’ man bound for sleep,
 The dowy reek began to rise,
 And the joists began to crack.
196C.7 He’s deen him to the wire-window,
 And ruefu strack and dang;
 But they would neither bow nor brack,
 The staunchions were so strang.
196C.8 He’s deen him back and back again,
 And back to Rothiemay;
 Says, Waken, waken, brother dear!
 Waken, Rothiemay!
196C.9 ‘Come let us praise the Lord our God,
 The fiftieth psalm and three;
 For the reek and smoke are us about,
 And there’s fause treason tee.
196C.10 ‘O mercy, mercy, Lady Frendraught!
 As ye walk on the green:’
 ‘The keys are in the deep draw-well,
 The doors were lockt the streen.’
196C.11 ‘O woe be to you, Lady Frendraught!
 And ill death may you die!
 For think na ye this a sad torment
 Your own flesh for to burn?’
196C.12 George Chalmers was a bonny boy;
 He leapt the stanks so deep,
 And he is on to Rothiemay,
 His master for to help.
196C.13 Colin Irving was a bonny boy,
 And leapt the stanks so deep:
 ‘Come down, come down, my master dear!
 In my arms I’ll thee kep.’
196C.14 ‘Come down? come down? how can I come?
 How can I come to thee?
 My flesh is burning me about,
 And yet my spirit speaks to thee.’
196C.15 He’s taen a purse o the gude red gowd,
 And threw it oer the wa:
 ‘It’s ye’ll deal that among the poor,
 Bid them pray for our souls a’.’
196C.16 He’s taen the rings off his fingers,
 And threw them oer the wa;
 Says, Ye’ll gie that to my lady dear,
 From me she’ll na get more.
196C.17 ‘Bid her make her bed well to the length,
 But no more to the breadth,
 For the day will never dawn
 That I’ll sleep by her side.’
196C.18 Ladie Rothiemay came on the morn,
 She kneeled it roun and roun:
 ‘Restore your lodgers, fause Frendraught,
 That ye burnd here the streen.
196C.19 ‘O were I like yon trutle-dove,
 Had I wings for to flie,
 I’d fly about fause Frendraught
 Crying vengeance till I die.
196C.20 ‘Frendraught fause, all thro the ha’s,
 Both back and every side;
 For ye’ve betrayd the gay Gordons,
 And lands wherein they ride.
196C.21 ‘Frendraught fause, all thro the ha’s;
 I wish you’d sink for sin;
 For first you killd my own good lord,
 And now you’ve burnd my son.
196C.22 ‘I caredna sae muckle for my good lord
 I saw him in battle slain,
 But a’ is for my own son dear,
 The heir o a’ my lan.
196C.23 ‘I caredna sae muckle for my good lord
 I saw him laid in clay,
 But a’ is for my own son dear,
 The heir o Rothiemay.’

 Child 196D: The Fire of Frendruahgt

196D.1 THE reek it rose, and the flame it flew,
 And oh! the fire augmented high,
 Until it came to Lord John’s chamber-window,
 And to the bed where Lord John lay.
196D.2 ‘O help me, help me, Lady Frennet!
 I never ettled harm to thee;
 And if my father slew thy lord,
 Forget the deed and rescue me.’
196D.3 He looked east, he looked west,
 To see if any help was nigh;
 At length his little page he saw,
 Who to his lord aloud did cry:
196D.4 ‘Loup doun, loup doun, my master dear!
 What though the window’s dreigh and hie?
 I’ll catch you in my arms twa,
 And never a foot from you I’ll flee.’
196D.5 ‘How can I loup, you little page?
 How can I leave this window hie?
 Do you not see the blazing low,
 And my twa legs burnt to my knee?’

 Child 196E: The Fire of Frendruahgt

196E.1 NOW wake, now wake you, Rothiemay!
 I dread you sleep oer soun;
 The bed is burnin us about
 And the curtain’s faain down.