Filed under Scottish history

The Plague and the Borders

This is from Highways & Byways in The Border, Away back in the evil ties when the Plague ravaged through Scotland very many its victims were buried in a common grave in Linden churchyard. But the church was demolished after the Reformation and the churchyard gradually feel out of use as a pace of burial … Continue reading

The End of Hare the Bodysnatcher

Most people have heard about Burke and Hare the bodysnatchers and murderers, but I aways assumed they were both hanged. Not so! This is from Highways & Byways in The Border: Ettrick possesses no feature of interest but … in 1818 two harmless-looking hawkers with a cart were wont to call at intervals ostensibly to sell … Continue reading

Border Towers Came in Threes

This is from Highways & Byways in The Border, Up the glen- the Fairy Dene, or Nameless Dene – formed by this stream [the Tweed] lies Glendearg, the ver described in the opening scenes of the Monastery [by Scott]. there are in fact, 3 towers in the glen Hillslap (now called Glendearg), Colmslie, and Langshaw. … Continue reading

Leader Water

This is from Highways & Byways in The Border, which provides some glorious descriptions of the Borders’ landscape, always in good weather of course, which narrows things down a bit. “Sing Erslington and Cowdenknowes, Where Humes had aince commanding; And Drygrance with the milk-white yowes, Twixt Tweed and Leader standing: The bird that flees through … Continue reading

A Changeling at Minto, Scotland

This is another piece from Highways & Byways in The Border: Here at Minto, if credence in the reality of Fairies no longer lingers amongst the  people – one of the writers of this volume records… that he found traces of the belief not very many years ago still surviving Flooded Edge,- at least but … Continue reading

Murder of Sir Anthony Darcy

This is from Highways & Byways on the Border: A little higher up the river than Blanerne we come to Broomhouse, where also once stood a castle In a field on this estate is a spot still called “Bawties’s Grave,” where the body Sir Anthony Darcy – “Le Sieur de la Beaute” – Warden of … Continue reading

Murder at Billy Castle

This is from Highways & Byways in the Borders: In his “Scottish Rivers”, Sir Thomas Dick Lauder sites of Billy Castle as the scene of a grisly tale connected with the Homes. He tells how, to the best of his reckoning about a century prior to the date he wrote, an old lady of that … Continue reading

Early Berwick (upon-Tweed)

This is from Highways & Byways in The Border, i.e. the much disputed region between England and Scotland. This is about the border town Berwick upon Tweed: The town first became part of the kingdom of Scotland when Malcolm II, at Carham fight, won Lothian from Northumbria. That was in 1018.. Thenceforward Berwick was one … Continue reading

The Origin of Rock and Roll

The Origin of Rock and Roll

Recent research suggests that a lot of the early popular songs originated in Scotland. They were the result of poor Scots being thrown off their land by the Highland and Island clearances, so were about longing for home and of going to a promised land, common themes in gospel and early American folk music. But … Continue reading

Scottish Gardens

The Scots have a reputation for avoiding vegetables, with Scottish comic Fred Macaulay once defining a salad as being cold chips. This is from The Social Life of Scotland in the 18th Century: “The courtyard at the homes of smaller lairds was usually formed by the house having a projecting granary and byre on one … Continue reading