Definition of mosstrooper in English:



  • A person who lived by plundering property in the Scottish Borders during the 17th century.

    • ‘The Borders were a very dangerous place at that time because of mosstroopers, who were basically little different from the rustlers of the Old West.’
    • ‘The Union of the Crowns in 1603 largely brought about an end to such activities, though mosstroopers and horse thieves were still active in the borders throughout the seventeenth century.’
    • ‘He received a sum of money from the Prince of Orange for the mosstroopers and cattle-drivers from the middle marches whom he despatched to fight against Holland's enemies.’
    • ‘However, lawlessness remained a problem, with bandits known as mosstroopers, very often former Royalist or Covenanter soldiers, plundering both the English troops and the civilian population.’
    • ‘Not far from this well is Tom Smith's Leap, so called from a legend of a mosstrooper who, when pursued, jumped down and was killed rather than fall into the hands of justice.’
    • ‘It was obviously written for the children or grandchildren of the mosstroopers whose exploits it glorifies, a generation to whom appeals to a higher code than their ancestors accepted would have been wholly unintelligible.’
    robber, raider, mugger
    View synonyms