Wilson’s Tales to go on tour

Andrew Ayre with the tombstone of Border poet John Wilson at Tweedmouth Church.

Andrew Ayre with the tombstone of Border poet John Wilson at Tweedmouth Church.

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Northumberland Theatre Company is to put on one of Wilson’s tales in 2015 and tour with it.

The tale is ‘The adventures of Lancelot Errington and his nephew Mark; A tale of Lindisferne’. It covers an incident in the 1715 Jacobite Uprising when Errington, a Jacobite supporter, took his boat into Holy Island harbour and invited the castle commander and most of his garrison aboard for an evening of food and drink.

When he had them suitably inebriated, he made them prisoners abroad and then took the castle for the cause. He had expected a French fleet to arrive and to be relieved by an uprising of Northumbrian supporters to the cause.

Neither of these things happened and after three days he was compelled to surrender to the troops dispatched from Berwick. He was held in the gaol at Berwick, but managed to escape when a sympathiser smuggled a file in to him and the two Erringtons escaped from the area disguised as Fisher women.

Gill Hambleton from the NTC said: “The whole tale sounds just such a tall story. It is astonishing that it is essentially all based on true events which are well documented.”

Andrew Ayre, who is trying to bring Wilson’s Tales to a new audience, said: “The 300th anniversary of this event comes in 2015 and that will be a good time to retell the tale. It will make a fantastic short play.

“We are supported in this venture by both the Berwick 900 programme and the Northumbrian Jacobite Society who have taken an interest in the project.”

It was part of the original Wilson’s Tales but did not make it through to the edited version.

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