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The Scottish Nation

WEDDELL, a surname derived from the old parish of Wedale, “the vale of woe,” now the parish of Stow, which is partly in Selkirkshire, but chiefly in Mid Lothian. It anciently belonged to the bishops of St. Andrews, and a residence of theirs on the site of what is now the village of Stow originated the latter name, which in the Anglo-Saxon means “a choice place,” “a select station,” and is the well-known designation of several localities in England. Wedale early possessed the privilege of sanctuary, and “the black priest of Wedale” was one of the three persons who enjoyed the privileged law of the clan Macduff. John Harding, when instructing the English king how to rule Scotland, advises him.

“To send an hoste of footmen in,
At Lammesse next. Through all Lauderdale,
And Lammermore woods, and mosses over-rine,
And eke therewith the Stow of Wedale.”

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