The Border Reivers

The surname Routledge takes its origin from the words ‘rudd leche’ meaning ‘red stream’.  There are a number of variations in the spelling including Rutledge and De Routluge.  The Routledge’s were based in the English  West Marches near Bewcastle and were one of the less offensive families during the Reiver period.  This gave them the reputation as being  “every man’s prey”.  An old Reiver tale describes how Isabell Routledge, a widow who owned a small house and herd of cattle fell victim to an Elliot raid where 30 men ransacked her home taking her 6 cows, 4 oxen and her only horse.

Reiver history also describes the planned demise of the Routledges by General Dacre, warden of the West March.  General Dacre is said to have assembled a force of over 500 men to destroy the Routledges. However they managed to escape with most of their possessions and relocated to the Tarras Burn area.