Meet the Medieval Mafia #5

By Jon Tait BLACK WALTER’ SELBY AND THE MITFORD GANG If you were going to give the Black Walter Selby story the full Hollywood treatment,you’d want to cast someone like Joe Pesci as the main man. Getting some of that swagger and psychotic stage presence would be essential for the big screen, for sure. StickContinue reading “Meet the Medieval Mafia #5”

Meet The Medieval Mafia #4

By Jon Tait Hutcheon Graham of Gards The Bishop of Carlisle was watching from the ramparts of Carlisle castle whenHutcheon Graham and his crew of border reivers started riding out to plunder theCumbrian countryside following the death of Queen Elizabeth 1 in March 1603.Hutcheon and his fellow horsemen – around 140 of his ‘kinsmen andContinue reading “Meet The Medieval Mafia #4”

Meet The Medieval Mafia #3

By Jon Tait Ellen Charlton of the Bower It should come as no real surprise that Ellen Charlton of the Bower was jailed inNewcastle alongside her son John junior for cattle theft in 1629.Ellen was the wife of a notorious border reiver called John Charlton of the Bower andthe daughter of one of the mostContinue reading “Meet The Medieval Mafia #3”

Meet The Medieval Mafia #2

By Jon Tait Adam Scott of Tushielaw Adam Scott was such a notorious leader of sheep and cattle raiders that he earned the nicknames ‘King of Thieves’ and ‘King of the Border.’ Scott was born sometime in the late Fifteenth century, a son of David Scott in theforest of Ettrick, who had gained possession ofContinue reading “Meet The Medieval Mafia #2”

Meet The Medieval Mafia #1

By Jon Tait Sim Armstrong of Whithaugh He was Scottish organised crime’s Mr. Big TWO CENTURIES before the Sicilianmafia was formed. With links to cattle and sheep rustling, coin counterfeiting, robberies, protectionrackets and murders, Sim Armstrong of Whithaugh was one of the most dangerousand notorious reivers from just over the border in the lonely LiddesdaleContinue reading “Meet The Medieval Mafia #1”