Elizabeth Wardlaw

   Elizabeth Wardlaw was a Scotch poet; born in 1677; the second daughter of Sir Charles Halkett, of Pitflrrane. She married in 1606 Sir Henry Wardlaw, of Pitreavie, also near Dunfermline. Her pseudoarehaic ballad, Hardyknute, a fragment, was first published in 1719 as a genuine antique and, expanded from 216 to 336 lines, had been two or three times reprinted, when Percy in the second edition of his Reliques revealed the secret of its authorship. To Lady Wardlaw also Dr. Kobert Chambers in 1859 ascribed Sir Patrick Bpens, The Douglas Tragedy, and many more of the finest traditional Scotch ballads. Endorsed though it be by Professor Masson in his Edinburgh Sketches (1892), the theory is untenable; still our debt to Lady Wardlaw is a heavy one, for Hardyknute, says Scott, was " the first poem I ever learnt, the last I shall ever forget." She died in 1727.