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William the Lion, which last succeeded to the crown of
Scotland in 1165, and died in 1214.'
From this Petrus de Haga, the present proprietor of
Bemerside is nineteenth in lineal descent. The above
rhyme, which testifies the firm belief entertained by the
country people in the perpetual lineal succession of the
Haig"s, is ascribed to no less an authority than that of
Thomas the Rhymer, whose patrimonial territory was not
far from Bemerside. ' The grandfather of the present Mr
Haig- had twelve daughters before his wife brought him a
male heir.* The common people trembled for the credit of
their favourite soothsayer. The late Mr Haig M^as at length
born, and their belief in the prophecy confirmed beyond a
shadow of doubt.' — Minst. Scot. Bord., vol, iii. p. 209. Ap-
parently the family itself has had not less respect for the
supposed prophecy : they take for their motto, according to
Nisbet, 'Tide what may;' which, however, has, I believe,
been latterly changed to ' Betide, Betide;' both being
obviously in allusion to the Rhymer's prediction.
The family of De Haga is mentioned in The Monastery
by Captain Clutterbuck, who says that his learned and all-
knowing friend, the Benedictine, could tell to a day when
they came into the country. There is a common saying in
the south of Scotland — * Ye're like the lady o' Bemerside ;
ye'll no sell your hen in a rainy day' — probably alluding to
some former Mrs Haig of more than usual worldly wis-
There is a parody on the above rhyme, disparaging a
family of dull good men, resident in the neighbourhood of
Bemerside —
Befa', befa', whate'er befa',
There'll aye be a gowk in ha'.
Goiok being, in plain English, a fool. A story is told of the
representative of this hopeful family having once hinted to
his neighbour, the Laird of Bemerside, the disagreeable
likelihood of the original prophecy failing, on account of
his wanting a male heir ; when the other retorted, in high
pique, that there was little chance of the part which related
to hall ever bringing any discredit on the prophet.
* This gentleman, who bore the Scriptural name of Zorobabel, used to go
out once or twice a-day to a retired place near his house, fall down on his
knees, and pray that God would send him a son.

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