The Sunken Treasure of Broomlee Lough
From Stories of the Border Marches by John Lang and Jean Lang, 1916.
'Tradition tells that a dweller in Sewingshields Castle, long ago, being compelled to flee the country, and unable to bear away with him his hoard of gold, resolved to sink it in the lough. Rowing, therefore, far out into deep water, he hove overboard a chest containing all his treasure, putting on it a spell that never should it be again seen till brought to land by aid of "Twa twin yauds, twa twin oxen, twa twin lads, and a chain forged by a smith of kind."
"Long centuries the treasure remained unsought; yet all men might know exactly where lay the chest beneath the waves, for it mattered not how fierce blew the gale, above the gold the surface of the water was ever unbroken. At last there came one who heard the tradition, and set about the task of recovering the sunken chest. The twin horses, twin oxen, and twin lads he procured readily enough, but to find a smith of kind was not so easy—"a smith of kind" being a blacksmith whose ancestors for six generations have been smiths, he himself being the seventh generation. But this, too, at length was found, and the smith forged the necessary length of chain. Then, taking advantage of a favourable day, when breeze sufficient blew to reveal the tell-tale spot of calm water, the treasure-hunter started in his boat, leaving one end of the chain on shore and paying out fathom after fathom as his boat swept round the calm and again reached shore. Now hitching the yauds to one end and the oxen to the other, the animals were cautiously started by the twin drivers. Slowly the chain swept over the bed of the lough, and tightened, fast in something heavy that gave and came shoreward in the bight of the chain. Cannily the drivers drove, and ever came the weight nearer to dry land. Already the treasure-seeker in his boat, peering eagerly down into the quiet water, fancied that he was a made man; he could almost see that box. But a few more yards and it was his."
"Alas! In his eagerness to secure "a smith of kind" he had made insufficient inquiries into that smith's ancestry. There was (as he discovered when too late) a flaw in his pedigree! Some ancestress, it was said, could not show her marriage lines, or something else was wrong. At any rate, there was a flaw, and that was sufficient to upset the whole thing, for the chain, not being made by a smith of kind, was of course not of the true temper. Hence, just when success was about to crown their efforts, the horses made a violent plunge forward—and the chain parted at a weak link! No further attempts to ascertain the exact bearings of that box have ever been successful. It is, as of old, at the bottom of the lough—at least so says tradition."
The Archaeology (From 'Keys to the Past')
An iron spear-head was found in Broomlee Lough in 1908. It has not been dated.