Debatable Lands

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<!-- Image with inadequate rationale removed: -->The Debatable Lands, also known as Debatable ground, batable ground or thriep lands,Maxwell, Sir Herbert (1897). A History of Dumfries and Galloway. Edinburgh : William Blackwood and Sons. p. 161. was land lying between Scotland and England, formerly in question to which it belonged, when they were distinct kingdoms. It signifies the same thing as litigious or disputable ground.


The Debatable Lands extended from the Solway Firth near Carlisle to Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway, the largest population centre being Canonbie. The lands included the baronies of Kirkandrews, Bryntallone and Morton. They were around ten miles (16&nbsp;km) long from north to south and four miles (6&nbsp;km) wide. The boundaries were marked by the rivers Liddel and Esk in the east and the River Sark in the west. For over three hundred years they were effectively controlled by local clans, such as the Armstrongs, who successfully resisted any attempt by the Scottish or English governments to impose their authority. In his history of the Border Reivers (The Steel Bonnets (1971)), George Macdonald Fraser says that the Armstrongs alone could put 3,000 men in the field. They launched frequent raids on farms and settlements outside the Debatable Lands, the profits enabling them to become major...
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