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Elphinstone Kist   Stories for Bairns

The Sivven Sons o Knock Castle (A Scottish Folk Tale)     by: Wheeler, Les

Noo, its bin said by fowk that ocht tae ken better, that the Gordons hid the knack o killin an o bein killt. But they’ve aye bin a gran clan for haein bairns sae ye can kill as mony as ye like an there’ll aye be plenty left! Weel, whither that’s true or no there wis nae excuse for the wye Forbes o Strathgirnoc treated the Gordon loons o Castle Knock. This wis the wye o’t.

Ae day Gordon o Knock gave his loons a shout an said they’d need tae be getting some peats intae the store sae if the winter turnt bad they’d hae plenty for the castle fires. Sae the loons said they wid gyan aff an cut some peats an stack them tae dry afore liftin an storin. Sae the loons set aff wi thir flauchter-spads on thir shooders. (A flauchter-spad is a spad used for cuttin peats) Noo, the loons made the mistake o castin for thir peats on land that belanged tae Forbes o Strathgirnoc.

Forbes hid bin wytin for a lang time tae get revenge on the Gordons. Ye see, at the Battle o the Crabstanes in 1591 Forbes o Strathgirnoc hid bin captured by Henry Gordon o Knock, the brither o the Laird wi sivven sons. Fan Knock’s sivven sons hid set tae wirk they’d bin spied by een o Forbes’s tenant chiels an he wis quick tae tell his maister. Forbes gaithered a puckle men, aa airmed tae the teeth, an set aff tae deal wi the sons o Knock.

The loons could see they hid nae chunce agin this kirn o Forbeses an laid doon thir spads tae see fit wis adee. Forbes wisna for spikkin. He pullt oot his sword an wi his ain haun hackit aff the heid o every een o the sivven loons. Syne, tae mak things even worse, een by een he stuck the heids on the cross-heid o ilka loon’s flauchter-spad. Syne the spads wi the heids on tap wir stuck in a line on the hill that faced Knock Castle. It wis this affa sicht that wis seen by een o the servants o Knock an wint rinnin tae tell his laird.

The Laird wis at the tap o the stairs abeen his ha fin he heard the full horror o fit hid taen place. The shock wis ower muckle for the aul man an he collapsed wi the agony o it an fell heid first ower the bannisters an wis killt in the ha o his ain hoose. Can onybody doot that Forbes hid killt him jist as surely as he’d killt his loons?

Forbes hid tae be dealt wi an the King decided that the Knock lands wid gyan tae Gordon o Abergeldie an forbye that Abergeldie wis tae get Forbes o Strathgirnoc’s land an castle as weel. Abergeldie set aff tae get justice for the Gordons an it didna tak him lang tae capture Forbes an he hung him in his ain hoose tae avenge the murder of the Laird o Knock an his sivven sons. If ye tak the road fae Ballater tae Abergeldie ye can still see Castle Knock an the place far these terrible things happent.



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