Scott, Walter (1614?-1694?) (DNB00)

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SCOTT, WALTER, of Satchells (1614?–1694?), captain and genealogist, born about 1614, was son of Robert Scott of Satchells, who was a grandson of Walter Scott of Sinton, by his second marriage with Margaret, daughter of James Riddell of that ilk. The captain's mother was Jean, daughter of Sir Robert Scott of Thirlestane. He spent his youth in herding cattle, but, running away in his sixteenth year, joined the regiment which his chief, Walter, first earl of Bucleuch, raised and transported to Holland in 1629. From that time he was, according to his own account, in active military service at home and abroad for fifty-seven years. He is said to have married and had a daughter, whom he named Gustava in honour of the famous king of Sweden. But what is more certain is that at the advanced age of seventy-five he began his rude metrical ‘True History of several honourable families of the right honourable name of Scot, in the shires of Roxburgh, Selkirk, and others adjacent, gathered out of ancient chronicles, histories, and traditions of our fathers.’ He describes himself on the title-page as

An old souldier and no scholler,
And one that could write nane,
But just the letters of his name.

He hired schoolboys to write to his dictation. His work was originally printed in 1688, and later editions appeared in 1776, 1786, 1892, and 1894.

[Preface to the 1894 edition of the ‘True History,’ by John G. Winning.]

H. P.