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Origins According to James Hogg and
The Legend of Lucky Hogg & Sir Michael Scott

Recently, I received several emails from Ian Bartlett who began by sending me information he had found regarding the origins of the name Hogg. This turned into a search for information about Lucky Hogg, the witch, (who I have been searching for information about) and Sir Michael Scott, the famous wizard. Below find the information that Ian sent.

Just a snippet from the biographical sketch of James Hogg in "The Works of the Ettrick Shepherd - Volume 2" which may interest you: "And yet the Hoggs were no vulgar race, as they claimed descent from one Haug of Norway, a gallant reiver and destroyer in his day. The successors of this worthy were the Hoggs of Fauldshope, a farm about five miles from Selkirk, who held their lands in fee of the knights of Oakwood and Harden; and after the Borders had been reduced to tranquillity , these belligerent progenitors of our poet adopted the peaceful occupation of shepherds." Hogg commemorates his ancestor, the Laird of Fauldshope, in a poem "The Fray of Elibank" in his book "The Mountain Bard" and Haug of Norway in "the Pilgrims of the Sun".

I have since looked at "The Pilgrims of the Sun" and Haug of Norway is shown as Hugo of Norroway which seems different to me but the editor of the book (Rev. Thomas Thomson) claims that it is the same person. There is a footnote to the "Fray of Elibank" a propos your appeal concerning info on Lucky Hogg by the editor as follows:

"The author's progenitors possessed the lands of Fauldshope under the Scotts of Harden, for ages; my father says for a period of 400 years: until the extravagance of John Scott occasioned the family to part with these lands. They now form part of the extensive estates of Buccleugh. Several of the wives of Fauldshope were supposed to be rank witches; and the famous witch of Fauldshope, who so terribly hectored Mr Michael Scott by turning him into a hare, and hunting him with his own dogs, until forced to take shelter in his own jaw-hole, was one of the Mrs Hoggs better known by the name of Lucky Hogg. The cruel retaliation which he made in showing his art to her, is also well known"

I hope my e-mails are not too much of an intrusion. I seem to have the bit between my teeth on researching this and now have a fairly full story on Lucky Hogg which means a very long e-mail. It seems from the piece reproduced below which I copied verbatim that the Michael Scott I mentioned in my last Lucky Hogg e-mail also had supernatural powers. Furthermore the footnote I previously quoted also appears in "The Mountain Bard" (of which I have an 1821 copy) in an explanatory piece at the end of "The Fray of Elibank" and would therefore appear to be written by the poet himself and not an editor as does a footnote to "The Queen's Wake" where he tells some local anecdotes about witches. The following is relevant from the latter footnote:

"But the best old witch tale that remains, is that which is related of the celebrated Michael Scott, Master of Oakwood. Sir Walter Scott has preserved it, but so altered from the original way, that it is not easy to recognise it. The old people tell it as follows: There was one of Michael's tenants who had a wife that was the most notable witch of the age. So extraordinary were her powers, that the country people began to put them in competition with those of the Master, and say that in some cantrips she surpassed him. Michael could ill take such insinuations; for there is always jealousy between great characters, and went over one day with his dogs on pretence of hunting, but in reality with an intent of exercising some of his infernal power in the chastisement of Lucky ------- (I have the best reason in the world for concealing her reputed name). He found her alone in the field weeding lint; and desired her in a friendly manner to show him some of her art. She was very angry with him and denied that she had any supernatural skill. He, however, continuing to press her, she told him sharply to let her alone, else she would make him repent the day he troubled her. How she perceived the virtues of Michael's wand is not known, but in a moment she snatched it from his hand, and gave him three lashes with it. The knight was momently changed to a hare, when the malicious and inveterate hag cried out, laughing, "Shu, Michael rin or dee!" and baited all his own dogs upon him. He was extremely hard hunted,and was obliged to swim the river, and take shelter in the sewer of his own castle, from the fury of his pursuers, where he got leisure to change himself again to a man.

Michael being extremely chagrined at having been thus outwitted, studied a deadly revenge; and going over afterwards to hunt, he sent his man to Fauldshope to borrow some bread from Lucky ------- to give to his dogs, for that he had neglected to feed them before he came from home. If she gave him the bread, he was to thank her and come away; but if she refused it, he gave him a line written in red characters which he was to lodge above the lintel as he came out. The servant found her baking of bread, as his master assured him he would, and delivered his message. She received him most ungraciously, and absolutely refused to give him any bread, alleging as an excuse, that she had not as much as would serve her own reapers to dinner. The man said no more, but lodged the line as directed, and returned to his master. The powerful spell had the desired effect; Lucky ------- instantly threw off her clothes, and danced round and round the fire like one quite mad, singing the while with great glee -

"Master Michael Scott's man Cam seekin bread an' got nane"

The dinner hour arrived, but the reapers looked in vain for their dame, who was wont to bring it to them to the field. The goodman sent home a servant girl to assist her, but neither did she return. At length he ordered them to go and take their dinner at home, for he suspected his spouse had taken some of her tirravies. All of them went inadvertently into the house, and, as soon as they passed beneath the mighty charm, they were seized with the same mania, and followed the example of their mistress. The goodman, who had tarried behind setting some shocks of corn, came home last; and hearing the noise ere he came near the house, he did not venture to go in, but peeped in at the window. There he beheld all his people dancing naked round and round the fire, and singing "Master Michael Scott's man," with the most frantic wildness. His wife was by that time quite exhausted and the rest were half trailing her around. She could only now and then pronounce a syllable of the song, which she did with a kind of scream, yet seemed as intent on the sport as ever. The goodman mounted his horse and rode with all speed to the Master, to inquire what he had done to his people which had put them all mad. Michael bade him take down the note from the lintel and burn it, which he did and all the people returned to their senses. Poor Lucky ------- died overnight, and Michael remained unmatched and alone in all the arts of enchantment and necromancy."

We now know what a "jaw-hole" is but one or two other quaint words may still need translating.

Regards Ian Bartlett

I have to thank Ian Bartlett for this. It is so fascinating.

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