Duncan Frasier

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Duncan Frasier was a “local bard” of whom very little is known. He lived c1270 AD, but depending on which ancient manuscript is believed, he either lived “on Cheviot as a mountain bard” or in Berwick.

His writings are described as being “in Latin”.

The sole work which is attributed to him is The Laidly Worm of Spindleston Heugh of which he is allegedly the author.

It is the tale of a loathsome (or in Geordie dialect, "laidly") giant monster, and was later modified by the Rev. Robert Lambe, Vicar of Norham and many other later writers.

The version by Lambe appears in Rhymes of Northern Bards edited by John Bell and published in 1812.

Among the other early publication relating this tale are the 1809 version in “The Northumberland Garland” and “The Local Historian's Table Book of Remarkable Occurrences, Historical Facts, Traditions, Legendary and Descriptive Ballads, &c., &c., Connected with the Counties of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland and Durham. Legendary Division. Vol. 1.” Collected by M.A. Richardson of Newcastle-upon-Tyne by in 1842.

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