Thomas Learmonth o Erceldoune (now Earlston) (1220 – 1298) was granted the gift of prophecy after a dalliance with the Queen of Elfland. He was afterwards known as Thomas the Rhymer and is reputed to have been a friend and counsellor of Alexander III.
Thomas was held in popular esteem for centuries after his death. In Scotland, his reputation was higher than that of all other prophets including Merlin, whom the 16th Century pamphleteer of The Complaynt of Scotland denounced for his prophecy of unity under one king which English monarchs used as justification for their claims of sovereignty over Scotland.
Elizabeth Burton explores the romance and the background to Thomas’ life in The Life and Times of Thomas of Ercildune.