Malcolm paid homage to the English King for the two Lothians and Cumberland, and at the same time secured the safety of Edgar Etheling.
A writer in the 'Farmer's Magazine' sums up his account of Scotland at that time in these words: "Except in a few instances, it was little better than a barren waste."* The modern traveller through the Lothians which now exhibit perhaps the finest agriculture in the world will scarcely believe that less than a century ago these counties were mostly in the state in which Nature had left them.
The wild-cat was frequently surprised in the dark ravines or the swampy thickets; and the wolf, already a stranger to the more populous districts of the Lothians, here maintained his ground against the encroachments of man, and was still himself a terror to those by whom he was finally to be extirpated.
From the Lothians, the English influences must have spread slightly into Strathclyde; but the fact that the Celtic Kings of Scotland were strong enough to annex and rule the Lothians as part of a Celtic kingdom implies a limit to English colonization.
The brother of a Scotch King was Prince of Cumbria, as the elder son of an English King was Prince of Wales. Indeed, David of Cumbria, who became David I. of Scotland, was the real consolidator of the Scotch kingdom. Cumbria was no more conquered by the Saxon Lothians than Scotland was conquered by the accession of James I. or by the Act of Union.
That the English blood of the Lothians, and the English exiles after the Norman Conquest, did modify the race over whom Malcolm Canmore ruled, we do not seek to deny. But that it was a modification and not a displacement, a victory of civilization and not of race, we beg to suggest. The English influences were none the less strong for this, and, in the end, they have everywhere prevailed.
The "in-field" was an enclosed patch of illcultivated ground, on which oats and "bear," or barley, were grown; but the principal crop was weeds. Of the small quantity of corn raised in the country, nine-tenths were grown within five miles of the coast; and of wheat very little was raised not a blade north of the Lothians.
He intrenched himself in a fortified camp between Edinburgh and Leith, and took care to remove from the counties of Merse and the Lothians every thing which could serve to the subsistence of the English army.
Kennedy was a native of Galloway, while Dunbar belonged to the Lothians, where we should expect the strongest appreciation of the differences between Lowlander and Highlander. Ayrshire was as really English as was Aberdeenshire; and, if Dunbar is in earnest, it is a strong confirmation of our theory that he, being "of the Lothians himself", spoke of Kennedy in this way.
"An auld done rickle: I've seen a better barn i' the Lothians, and fancy me tryin' to let on that it's a kind o' Edinbro'! Sirs! sirs!