The Anglo-Scottish border was the site of near constant warfare and low level raiding for centuries, only really ending after James VI of Scotland became James I of England, removing much of the political significance of the borders.
Durham traces the evolution of the reivers, from the Anglo-Scottish wars of Edward I to the 'rough wooing' of Henry VIII and the long period of tension during the reigns of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I.
The largest section of the book looks at the cross border raids, examining the raiders themselves, and their opponents - not just their neighbours across the borders, but the forces of law and order in the two countries and their frequent efforts to stop cross-border raids and less frequent attempts to deal with lawbreakers on their own side of the border.
The text is supported by some excellent photographs, some showing the beautiful remote countryside of the borders and others showing reconstructions of period clothing. This is an interesting look at a lawless time and place.
Life on the Border Marches
Crime and Retribution
Appearance and Equipment
Belief and Belonging
Experience of Battle
After the Battle
The Legacy of the Border Reiver
Author: Keith Durham