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had, by having his effig-y, in the posture he performed this
action, cut out in stone, and placed above the principal
church-door of Linton Kirk, with his name and surname,
which neither leng-th of time nor casual misfortune has been
able to obliterate or demolish, but that it stands entire and
legible to this very day ; with remembrances of the place
where this monster was killed, called the Serpent's Den, or,
as the country people named it, the Worme's Glen ; whose
body, being- taken from under the rubbish, was exposed for
many days to the sight of the numerous multitude that
came far and near from the country to look upon the dead
carcase of this creature, which was so great a terror to them
while it lived, that the story, being transmitted from father
to son, is yet fresh with most of the people thereabout,
albeit it is upward of five hundred years since this action
was performed.'
At another part of the work, the author mentions a popu-
lar misconception of the knight who performed this enter-
prise. ' Some inhabitants of the south,' says he, ' attributing
to William, Baron of Linton, what was done by his father,
albeit they have nothing to support them but two or three
lines of a rude rhyme, w^hich, when any treats of this mat-
ter, they repeat —
Wood Willie Sommervill,
Kill'd the worm of Wormandaill,
For whilk he had all the lands of Lintoune,
And sex mylles them about.'
'Tween Wigton and the to\\Ti o' Ayr,
Portpatrick and the Cruives o' Cree,
Nae man need tliink for to bide there,
Unless he court wi' Kennedie.
This rhyme is remarkably expressive of the unlimited
power wielded by a set of feudal chiefs over a subject terri-
tory, before the laws of the country were enforced for the
protection of individual liberty. The district described is
one of full sixty by forty miles, in the south-west province
of Scotland. The chief of the Kennedies was the Earl of
Cassillis, seated at Cassillis Castle, near Maybole in Ayr-
shire. The principal subordinate chiefs, possessing scarcely
less power, were Kennedy of Colzean, direct ancestor of the

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