A Heroic Daughter

Here’s a great story from Highways & Byways of Northumberland, yet another strong young woman showing immense bravery. My question here is why no male relative took such action.

“On the roadside by the hamlet of Buckton [near Tweedmouth] is a plantation called Grizzy’s Clump where Grizzle Cochrane robbed the mail of he warrant for her father’s execution, who was in prison for taking part in a rising against James II. A girl of 18 dressed in men’s clothes, she rode out of Tweedmouth and awaited the clatter of the postboy’s horse:

The warlocks are dancing threesome reels

On Goswick;s haunted links;

The red fire shoots by Ladythorne,

And Tam wi’ the lantern fa’s and sinks.

On Kyloe’s hills there’s awfu’ sounds

But they frighted not Cochrane’s Grizzy.

The moonbeams shot from the troubled sky

In glints o’ flickering light;

The horseman cam scalping thro’ the mire

For his mind was in affright.

His pistol cocked he held in his hand

But the fient a fear had Grizzy.

As he cam’ fornenst the Fenwicke woods

From the whin bushes shot out a flame;

His dappled fill reared up in affright,

And backward over he came.

There’s a hand on his craig, and a foot on his mouth,

’Twas Cochrane’s bonny Grizzy.

“I will not tak thy life,” she said

“But give me thy London news;

No blood of thine shall file my bad

Gin prie’d the warring and away she flew

With the speed an strength o’ the wild curlew.

The delay of 14 days thus gained by the heroic daughter gave Sir John Cochrane’s friends tie to plead his cause and he was pardoned. Over the border at Legerwood her tombstone can still be read, though o mention is made of her exploit at Belford:

Here rests the corps of John Ker

of Morristown who departed this life the 17 of september 1691

in the thresh year of his age

As also the corps of

Grissel Cochrane his lady

who died on the 21 of March

1748 in the 83rd year of her age.

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