E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Ralph de Wilton, being charged with treason, claimed to prove his innocence by the ordeal of battle, and, being overthrown by Lord Marmion, was supposed to be dead, but was picked up by a beadsman, who nursed him carefully; and, being restored to health, he went on a pilgrimage to foreign lands. Now, Lord Marmion was betrothed to Constance de Beverley; and De Wilton to Lady Clare, daughter of the Earl of Gloucester. When De Wilton was supposed to be dead, Lord Marmion proved faithless to Constance, and proposed to Clare, having an eye especially to her rich inheritance. Clare rejected his suit, and took refuge in the convent of St. Hilda, in Whitby; Constance, on the other hand, took the veil in the convent of St. Cuthbert, in Holy Isle. In time, Constance eloped from the convent, but, being overtaken, was buried alive in the walls of a deep cell. In the meantime Lord Marmion was sent by Henry VIII, with a message to James IV, of Scotland, and stopped at the hall of Hugh de Heron for a night. Sir Hugh, at his request, appointed him a guide to conduct him to the king, and the guide wore the dress of a palmer. On his return, Lord Marmion hears that Lady Clare is in Holy Isle, and commands the abbess of Hilda to release her, that she may be placed under the charge of her kinsman, Fitz Clare, of Tantallon Hall. Here she meets De Wilton, the palmer-guide of Lord Marmion. Lord Marmion being killed at the battle of Flodden Field, De Wilton married Lady Clare. (Sir Walter Scott.)
Lord Marmion. The hero of Scotts poem so called is a purely fictitious character. There was, however, an historic family so called, descendants of Robert de Marmion, a follower of the Conqueror, who obtained the grant of Tamworth, and the manor of Scrivelby, in Lincolnshire. He was the first royal champion, and his male issue ceased with Philip Marmion in the reign of Edward I. Sir John Dymoke, who married Margery, daughter of Joan, the only surviving child of Philip, claimed the office and manor in the reign of Richard II.; they have remained in his male line ever since.