Erceldoune, Thomas Of Learmont

Erceldoune, Thomas Of Learmont
(fl. ?1220-?1297)
   Also known as Thomas the Rhymer, he is credited with The "Ballad of Thomas the Rhymer" and the metrical romance "Tristrem and the Hunters" (which Sir Walter Scott included in his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border in 1802). Thomas lived in Erceldoune, Berwickshire, present day Earlstoun. The "Ballad" describes how the fairy Queen of Elfland, grateful for his love, gave him the gift of prophesy, with the condition that she would summon him one day. He disappeared after walking out of his tower house and was never seen again. According to legend, he will return again to Scotland's aid in the hour of her greatest need. As a seer he ranks with Merlin, and has been called "The Nostradamus of Scotland." Belief in his predictions were even consulted before the Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745. His prophecies included the death of King Alexander III in 1296, the succession of Robert the Bruce to the throne in 1306, the disastrous Scots defeat at Flodden in 1513, the defeat of Mary Queen of Scots' forces at the Battle of Pinkie in 1567, and the Union of the Crowns in 1603.
   Sources: Britannia Biographies ( Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. Scotch Myth -Thomas the Rhymer ( ). The Ballad of Thomas the Rhymer ( The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 ( The Oxford Book of Scottish Verse. John MacQueen and Tom Scott, ed. Oxford University Press, 1966. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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