It seems that the Maxwells were pretty much granted hereditary wardenship of the Scottish West March. In 1538, Robert Maxwell served in that capacity and seemed to be a well-regarded administrator by both the people and King James V of Scotland. This is a picture of Caerlaverock Castle, the Maxwell's stronghold and seat of power in the Scottish West March.
Photograph by Philip Halling
CC BY - SA 2.0
At this period in time, Henry VIII decided he would take control of the Borders and appointed a Council of the North, headed by a member of the nobility, to rule the area. Under them, he chose prominent members of the local gentry to rule as Deputy Wardens of each March. Sir John Widdrington was chosen in that capacity for the English Middle March around 1536. Unfortunately, he proved to be ineffectual in quelling the troubled Borders, and Sir John was demoted to the Captain of Berwick by 1541. This is a picture of what remains of the Alnwick Abbey, where Widdrington would have resided during his tenure as Deptury Warden.
Photograph by Michael Dibb
CC BY - SA 2.0
Reynold Carnaby held, among other positions, the title of the Keeper of Tynedale. It seems he was not well liked in the district, perhaps due to his apparent hare stance with the men of Tynedale as well as his ambitions, which took him away from his duties on many occasions, leaving his son Gilbert, the Constable of Langley, to lake charge of his father's duties. Another bone of contention was his receipt of the abbey lands. This didn't actually occur until November of 1538, but eventhough the story line is in the late summer and early fall, I used a bit of poetic license to move the event up a bit. This is a picture of the Carnaby building where Reynold Carnaby lived while Keeper of Tynedale.
Photograph by Mike Quinn
CC BY - SA 2.0
Say something interesting about In Book One, Thunder on the Moor, Robert was told of the death of Johnnie of Gilnockie, laird of the Langholm Armstrongs, at the hands of King James V, so I thought I'd mention him as well. Johnnie was an infamous Border reiver, who King James hanged, without trial, near Carlinrig, Scotland in 1530. See real events for the full story of Johnnie of Gilnockie.
Photograph by Roger https://www.flickr.com/photos/victuallers1/29938364468/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71280922 your business here.
James V was King of Scotland in 1538, and he was not on the best of terms with the average Borderer, attempting on more than one occasion to put them under his thumb. Though he did seem to get along with some of the clan leaders, such as Robert Maxwell and Walter Scott of Buccleugh, (No, not the poet, but his ancestor.) his moves against others, like Johnnie of Gilnockie, would come back to bite him in the future.
Portrait by Corneille de Lyon - Weiss GalleryPublic Domain .
Henry VIII was the ruling monarch in England in 1538. By that point in time, he was sniffing around for his third wife, having divorced Eleanor, beheaded Anne, and lost Jane to death. He'd also installed himself as supreme leader of the Church in England, an act that did not go over well with the Borderers, who were still loyal to the Pope, even if their behavior might not always reflected it. (Though it was said that the Borderers never prayed their beads more fervently than when they were about to embark on a foray, or something to that effect. ) Anyway, this animosity especially came to a head when Henry began the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 and commenced awarding the land to his "loyal" subjects.
Portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger