Edgar, King of Scotland
issues a charter which proclaims the granting of the lands of
Prenderguest to Swain, priest of the ancient parish of Fishwick, who
in turn renounced his title in favour of the Benedictine monks of
Coldingham Priory. The lands of Prenderguest included the village of
Ayton just north of the castle, together with another small village
known as Nether Ayton (Lower Ayton), which stood to the east of the
present churchyard on the south side of the Eye Water and near to
the Roman road, known as the Devils Causeway, which extended from
Newcastle to St Abbs head. It is possible that a third small hamlet
known as Hornford or Horford was included in the charter: this
hamlet was located near the present Jubilee Bridge over the Eye
Water south west of Ayton Village, where the Horn Burn joins the Eye
Water. It should be noted that in the maps associated with Timothy
Ponts studies of Scotland 1610 Ayton and Nether Ayton are detailed
yet Hornford is not.
1166 A Norman Noble family
by the name of De Vesci, came to the village of Ayton, and built a
castle or defensive tower for the protection of the family and
vassals. The De Vescis eventually changed their name to de Eitun and
gained considerable power in the area (the Aytons of Inchdarney in
Fife are supposed to be lineal descendants).
1190-1200 Helio signs a
charter reaffirming the lands pertaining to Prenderguest.
1249-1260 King Alexander
III, during the early part of his reign introduced wealthy Flemings
(Flemish) merchants to the south east of Scotland, including
Berwick. They exported wool and imported silks from their market
places known as Red Halls. During this period Berwick was developed
into an emporium of commerce based on free trade.
1276 Henry, a knight, of
Prenderguest, subscribed to a charter regarding the lands of the
King Alexander III, on
the night of 18th March, falls to his death over the cliffs close to
Queensferry. His only direct heir was his granddaughter, the Maid of
Norway. She died on her way to Scotland whose regency council, as a
consequence, appealed to Edward I of England to judge who should be
Scotland's next King. The choice was between Robert Bruce and John
Balliol. Balliols claim in law was undoubtedly the stronger and
Edward I chose him believing that with diplomacy Scotland was now
added to his list of titles.
district known as the Scottish East March, with its own warden, was
formed. The Parish of Ayton was located in the Scottish East March.
Today we know the Scottish East March as The Eastern Borders or East
King John Balliol reached
the limit of his flexibility with Edward I and raided parts of
northern England. Edward I was quick to retaliate and on 30th March
overran Berwick-upon-tweed in a day, brushing aside the towns
defences with ease. (At this time Berwick was a major port and one
of Scotlands largest towns with a wealthy and established merchant
class grown rich on trade.) Edward I's army sytematically sacked the
town and up to 7 000 of its merchants and citizens were slaughtered.
To prevent further death Sir William Douglas surrendered Berwick
On the 23rd of April
Edward despatched John de Warenne with a mounted contingent to
secure Dunbar castle. Near the castle at Spottismuir, de Warenne was
confronted by King John's army. The English commander did not fight
on the defensive and pushed his men towards the Spott Burn.
The Scots, assuming the
English were about to flee, charged. De Warenne army drove the Scots
back killing hundreds of foot soldiers. Following their defeats at
Berwick and Dunbar the Scottish resistance crumbled culminating in
the humiliation of King John at Montrose where his coat of arms was
torn from him. The sacred Stone of Destiny was pillaged from Scone
Palace, along with the Black Rood of St. Margaret.
The Battle of Falkirk .
Prior to the battle Edward Longshanks' army of 2,500 horse and 12,000
foot moved up the great north road, with an English fleet in close
support. Edward had difficulties feeding his men so they pillaged as
Utilising the expertise
of their archers, Edward's army went on to win the Battle of Falkirk
defeating Scotland's guardian William Wallace and his army, which
suffered considerable losses. The English army, still hungry after
victory, retired south to England laying waste to the Scottish
Borders as they went.