William "Boltfoot" Scott of Harden, 1st Laird

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William "Boltfoot" Scott

Also Known As: "Willy with the Boltfoot"
Death: Died in Scottish Borders, Scotland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Scott, of Strickshaws
Husband of daughter of Kerr, of Fernielee
Father of Walter "Auld Wat" Scott of Harden, 2nd Laird
Brother of Walter Scott and David Scott

Occupation: Warrior
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William "Boltfoot" Scott of Harden, 1st Laird

The second son, WILLIAM SCOTT, was the first laird of Harden, having acquired the estate from Lord Home in 1501. Almost all that is known of this branch of the Scott clan is derived from the researches of Sir Walter Scott, with whom it was a labour of love to draw up the pedigree of the different branches of the family, and to record their exploits. William Scott was called ‘Willy with the Boltfoot,’ from a lameness caused by a wound which he received in battle.

‘The Laird and Lady of Harden, Betwixt them procreat was a son Called william Boitloot of Harden; He did survive to be a MAN.’

‘The emphasis,’ says Lockhart, ‘with which this last line was quoted by Sir Walter Scott I can never forget. Boltfoot was, in fact, one of the ‘prowest knights of the whole genealogy—a fearless horseman and expert spearman, renowned and dreaded; and I suppose I have heard Sir Walter repeat a dozen times, as he was dashing into the Tweed and Ettrick, "rolling red from brae to brae," a stanza from what he called an old ballad, though it was most likely one of his own early imitations:-

"To tak’ the foord he aye was first, Unless the English loons were near; Plunge vassal then, plunge horse and man, Auld Boltfoot rides into the rear."

Boltfoot’s son was the renowned Walter Scott of Harden, commonly called ‘Auld Wat,’ whose marauding exploits have been commemorated in many a Border tradition and ballad.


  1. Scots Peerage. James Balfour Paul. Vol. 7, p. 73
  2. A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great ..., Volume 3. By John Burke. Page 373.


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William "Boltfoot" Scott of Harden, 1st Laird's Timeline

February 1561
Scottish Borders, Scotland, United Kingdom
Scottish Borders, Scotland