I had heard of old Bertram a few times but his story has been told and retold so often that I fear changes may have crept in.

Anyway, Betram (or perhaps Bartram) de Shotts lived in the reign of Robert II (or James IV).

He came from Shotts or Salsburgh (but since neither village existed during the reigns of those monarchs, it’s more likely he just resided somewhere in the area).

Shotts was maybe named after him (except maybe not and he was just Bert from the Parish of Shotts except that the Parish of Shotts didn’t come into existence until).

He was a highwayman (but sometimes just an all round bad guy) on the main Edinburgh – Glasgow road (but then highwaymen didn’t really come into existence until the tollroads of the 17th century so maybe not, but to be fair the main route from Glasgow to Edinburgh did run through the area).

He was a giant (or just very tall).

He was finally killed by Laird of Muirhead, who hid alone (or with a group of men), behind a pile of peat stacked there deliberately (or in heather which was growing there unconcerned of its role in history).

Muirhead cut off Bertram’s head (occasionally cutting his hamstrings first) while the giant was drinking from a well (or a spring). Muirhead was subsequently granted the lands of Lauchope by Robert II (or James IV).

Good to have that sorted :-).

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