Berwick upon Tweed A History of the Town by John Scott
IN the volume now presented
to my readers I have detailed the general history of the town from the
earliest records to the present time; then the history of its Guild. I have
sketched the history of its Streets, its Charters, its Churches, its Grammar
School, its Bridges, its Fisheries, etc. In the Appendix will be found Lists
of its Ancient Burgesses, its Members of Parliament, its Mayors and Town
Clerks, as well as several documents—the most valuable of which are the
Statutes of the Guild and the Orders of the Old and New Establishments.
A tale of two (Scottish
Today the Scottish Borders is largely rural with a few large towns.
But in days gone by the Borders was home to 2 of the biggest most important
CITIES in Scotland...if not the British Isles. What were these 2 cities and
what happened to them?.
The books that have been
consulted are too numerous to name. Access has been had to nearly all the
Record Commission publications, to the calendars of the State Papers of the
various reigns, to the general histories of England and Scotland, to the old
chronicles, to the books of private clubs, as the Camden Society, etc. The
most extensive collection of papers gathered by the late Robert Weddell,
solicitor, and all the papers and books in manuscript in the Berwick
Archives, have been carefully read.
Great assistance has been
rendered throughout the work by Mr. James Hardy, Oldcambus, the secretary of
the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, not only in reading and revising the
MS., but in transcribing and forwarding anything that he found in his wide
researches that bore upon the history of Berwick.
Robert Douglas, Esq., Town
Clerk, with the consent of the authorities of the town, most readily placed
at my service the papers and books under his charge.
Mr. William Wilson, Berwick,
has put me under great obligations in making extracts of many interesting
passages concerning the town, and in lending many books bearing upon the
subject. I have also to acknowledge the kind assistance of the following :
Colonel David Milne Home, of Paxton House; Mr. Edward Willoby, solicitor,
Berwick; and Mr. J. W. Barnes, Durham. My thanks are specially due to the
above as well as to the many Berwick friends who have helped me in various
ways in completing the work.
I can never state my full
obligation to Mr. Robert Weddell, solicitor, the nephew of the gentleman who
was so indefatigable in amassing information bearing upon the history of
Berwick, for the readiness and courtesy with which he placed all his uncle's
papers at my disposal. They have afforded me great help in writing the early
ecclesiastical history of the town in which they have been almost my sole
authority, while the history of the Grammar School has been compiled from a
most elaborate paper upon the subject by the same laborious pen.
The mass of materials
accumulated was enormous. The bringing of it into moderate compass was done
not only with extreme difficulty, but with great regret; for very much that
was interesting and valuable had to be laid aside, and only that which
tended to the clear elucidation of the consecutive history of the old Border
I had intended to treat of
the different races that peopled this district, and of their struggles for
empire one over another for several centuries after the Christian era; and
to show how the early Celt of pre-Christian times was partially displaced by
the Roman; how the Roman was displaced by the Saxon and the Dane; and how
the different waves of population, that surged across the Bernician Kingdom,
left here a mixed race, the basis of which was Celtic, but with a large
infusion of Saxon and Danish blood. In following this out, I would have
entered at some length into the history of the different governing powers
that successively held sway, to show that the Roman had certainly crossed
the district, but had never settled in it; that the Saxon Kingdom, founded
by Ida, soon after the Roman power withdrew, ruled under successive kings
for nearly 300 years over Bernicia, that stretched from Tyne to Forth; that,
after this kingdom was shattered by the Danes, the district became the
common battlefield of Pict, Dane, Saxon, and Scot, until a strong
Northumbrian earldom was established on the south, and a powerful kingdom
began to take root in the north, which at last fought a decisive battle, by
which was determined the dividing-line between England and Scotland for all
Such was my intention; but as
the book began to develop, two reasons were found for the omission of this
preliminary sketch: first, that Berwick itself is never once mentioned in
these early times; second, that all the space at my disposal was required
for what bore directly upon the main subject.
Some space might have been
occupied with the introduction of Christianity into the district by the
active missionaries of the Cross, who planted themselves in Lindisfarne so
early as the seventh century; for, if Berwick existed then at all, we may be
sure that Saint Cuthbert and his coadjutors would have visited the place and
have proclaimed the Gospel of Good News to the people. This would have been,
however, a mere matter of speculation, and so I have preferred to begin the
history of the churches from the rise of the monasteries and the really
historical churches, that were founded in Berwick in the eleventh or twelfth
Of Tweedmouth and Spital
little has been said, as their general history is almost identical with that
of Berwick. To have entered upon their special history would have lengthened
the volume very considerably, and made it too bulky. I regret the omission,
but my regret is lessened by the fact that Raine in his ' North Durham' has
dealt with both places at considerable length.
Owing to indisposition, I
have not been able to give such careful revision to the proof sheets as I
should otherwise have deemed necessary. Some verbal mistakes have, in
consequence, occurred: if any of a more serious nature are found, they may
be apologized for, though not excused, by the fact that the whole work has
been compiled in the odd moments of a very busy life.
Government of the Town by the Guild
Proceedings of the Guild
Legislation of the Salmon Trade
Finances and Accounts of the Burgh
Meadows and Stints
Admission to the Freedom
Martin Garnet, Sketch of
Henry Brearley, Sketch of
Condition of the Streets
Granting of the Charter by James I.
Fisheries in the Tweed
Jubilee of 1887
I. List of Burgers and Community who took
Oath of Fealty to Edward I in 1291 II. List of Burgers and Community who took Oath of
Fealty to Edward III In 1333
III. Taxes granted for one year to repair the pavement of Berwick IV.
The Auntient Statutes of the Towne and Castle of
V. Survey of 1562 VI.
New Establishment VII.
VIII. Charter granted by Robert De Brus to Melrose Abbey IX.
Grant of Henry VIII X.
Members of Parliament for the Burgh XI.
List of Mayors of the Burgh XII.
List of Town Clerks of the Burgh
This comment system requires
you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an
account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or
Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these
companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All
comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator
has approved your comment.