Badds Family Bible is
a distinctive link of the past; for although the version now in
common use dates some 264 years back (1611), this one is older still
and belongs to the period that awoke and moulded our stern, fearless
forefathers of the first covenanting era, and irresistably wafts us
back in thought to that time when
“The sighs and vows
Amoung the knows ”
of the sparce populace of what was then
known as South Calder, mingled with the whispers of conventicles and
the murmurs of persecution, which still in fancy—like as the shell
re-echos the ocean—echos and re-echos through all the vale from
Craigmailin to the CauldStaneSlap; and, from.HeadlawsCross to the
Grasmarket; as well as over every hill and glen through all broad
Scotland. This by the kindness of the R.W.M. of the Thistle Lodge of
West Calder that I have been allowed a private inspection of this
very old and interesting Bible, which is so different from the one
now in use that a short history of the English Bible is necessary to
trace its origin and developement of which this is an intermediate
To Wycliffe or John de Wicliffe, the greatest of all the Reformers
before the Reformation, belongs the honour of first translating the
Bible into the English language about 1378, tho’ this translation
was probably never printed. For one century at least none but
manuscript copies of this Bible could exist; as it was not untill
1472 that Caxton introduced the art of printing into England from
Germany, and I cannot trace that he ever printed a Bible. Luther’s
translation of the .Bible into German was printed in 1522. In 1526,
William Tyndale, an Oxford student, published in Flanders the New
Testament in English, and four years later, some portion of the Old.
This noble martyr to the cause suffered death by fire in 1536. And
in the same year Miles Coverdale of Cambridge, a friend of
Tynedale’s, published the whole Bible in the English tongue. These
were translations from the Latin Version called the Vulgate.
Coverdale’s translation or rather completed edition was chained to a
pillar or desk in every parish church in England.
In 1537, Matthew’s well-known Bible was published, which soon
superceeded Coverdale’s as Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury,
obtained Henry VIII.'s patronage for it, although that king had
In 1539, appeared the Great Bible usually called Cranmer’s because
he had written a preface to it. The text was Tyndale’s revised.
It is said the people received these gifts with joy, and that
families clubed their savings to buy a copy of the sacred volume,
still a costly purchase; and, those who could read were surrounded
by a crowd of listeners earnestly harkening to the words of eternal
life. Thus even in the reign of Henry VIII, the Bible took its place
as the Standard of Protestant Faith in England, but, it was not
untill the reign of James VI. that it firmly took the same place in
Scotland, where a fiercer struggle and ordeal had to be endured.
Thus England was in advance of Scotland in that respect—a result
directly due to her more ancient and renowned seats of learning, for
Scotland does not seem even to have translated any Bible of its own.
In 1557, however, appeared the famous Geneva Bible; so called
because the translation was executed there by several English
Divines who had fled from the persecutions of the bloody Mary. Among
these may be mentioned Grilby, and Whittingham, This edition—the
first printed in Roman letters and divided into verses —was
accompanied by notes which showed aa strong leaning to the views of
Calvin,, and Beza. It was, in consequence, long the favourite
version of the English Puritans and the Scotch Presbyterians. It is,
howerery best known a& the Breeches Bible• on account of the
rendering of Genesis hi. and 7th :— “Then the eyes of them both were
opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed
fig-leaves together and made themselves breeches” What the pattern
or measure of those breeches were, deponent sayeth not, but the
modern version in its effort to-explain the matter calleth them
aprons, the Revised Edition, girdles. Oft I wonder that our modern
Divines pass this subject over so lightly, seeing the first sin man
was charged with was:—“Who told thee that thou wast naked? Are they
afraid of the rich-robed and the jewel-fingered whom they invite to
seats of honour, for the abundance they cast into the treasury!
Now a careful inspection of the Badds Family Bible convinces me that
it is most probably a reprint of the Geneva Bible; for although
Genesis is wanting the rest of the description is most emphatically
applicable to this book which is now 309 years old, and its
dimensions 12½ inches long by 9 broad and 21 thick, weighing 51b
6½oz notwithstanding it wants the first four hooks of Moses, the
first leaf of the New Testament, and sundry other leaves.
The rest of the book is in wonderful preservation, considering its
great age and the dangers it has passed through principally from
The binding which is of thick pasteboard covered with leather is
evidently more modern than the leaves, which are composed of
superfine, durable, handmade paper, and printed with bold
old-fashioned type, in the early English language, with copious
marginal notes, references, and a few Scriptural engravings.
The first leaves being wanting it is fortunate that the dedication
page of the New Testament is complete, as it is very quaint,
interesting, and instructive, being as follows:—“The Halie Bible
carefully transcript from Ebrew and Greek into the vulgar language,
Statute and ordained Be Our Soveraine Lord King James the Sext; to
be red in all Paroc-hin Kirks and Gentlemen’s Houses, within the
Realme, under paine of X pundis : The third part to be given to the
convicters of anie ane failzing to read that Booke, to themselves
for their pains, f.nd the twa part to the help and relief of the
pure of the Parochin. At Edinburgh, Imprented be Thomas Bascum
privilegio This dedication page is of inferior paper, but it bears
on two distinct places the water mark of the broad arrow or
government stamp. Immediately in front of this page are two leaves
of much coarser paper to which I will hereafter refer.
On looking over this Bible—which is before me as I write—I find at
the end of Joshua in a quaint old hand of writing :—“I James Douglas
of Badds aught this book” declaring plainly the ownership of the
b^ok and how Badds was spelt in his day.
Again at the 18th chapter of 1st Chronicles the signature of James
Douglas occurs; and on the opposite side that of Robert his 6th
child. At Nehemiah 5th chapter he signs himself Jacobi Douglass,
with some other words I cannot make out. There is a similar
signature at the 1st chapter of Job.
At the 68th Psalm is the signature of J. Douglas and the same at the
27th chapter of Ezekiel, also at the Book of Esther. At the end of
Malachi (part of which leaf is injured by a knife or sword cut, and
part thereof torn out), the following is written in two distinctive
inks and hand writings:—“ Kinloch aught this, Broun Hill, 1745.”
“Janet Thornton was with Mr Wardrop, 1748, 5th November, 1749.”
We now come to the two leaves of coarse paper already refered to. An
examination of these leaves at once reveals their extra coarsness,
while the water mark on one of them shows the maker’s initials and
date “ C. L. 1808” showing the Bible has been re-bound. On the first
of these leaves and on part of the second the following is recorded
in a plain modern hand of writing :—“This Bible originally belonged
to James Douglas, of Baads, an extensive barony in the parish of
West Calder and county of Edinburgh. After Badds House was burnt
(1736?) it was purchased at a roup there, much injured by the fire,
by Samuel Kinloch of Adie Brounhill in the same parish as appears
from their authography on different places of the Bible.
Jacobus Dougless, 1693.
Samuel Kinloch was born 1700, 1st married to Margaret Morry, 8th
Kinloch, their son, born 19 Feb., 1723.
Samuel & John Kinloch born 15 Feb., 1725,
Thomas Kinloch born 23 May, 1727.
John Kinloch born 3 Jan., 1729.
Henry Kinloch born 19 Sep., 1730.
Janet Kinloch born 15 Oct., 1731.
James Kinloch born 12 March, 1734.
Helen Kinloch born 12 Dec., 1735.
Margaret Kinloch born 23 May, 1738.
Margaret Morry died the fourt (4th) July, 1742. "
Samuel Kinloch was married to Janet Thornton, 5th Nov., 1749, by the
Rev Mr Wardrobe of West Calder.
Their daughter Isoble born--
Their son Peter born —--
Samuel Seggie, grandson of the above Samuel Kinloch by his daughter
Isobel, was born--
Samuel Seggie and Margaret Simson were married at Laggan House,
Island of Islay, by the Rev James Machintosh, minister of Bowmore,
13 April, 1802.
Their daughter Isobella was born Jan. 16th, 1803 and died 28th Dec.,
Mary Simson born Sep. 23, 1804.
Jean Campbell born Nov. 6, 1806.
Mary Simson died Feb. 21, 1808.
Peter Simson born Feb. 19, 1810.
James Simson born Aug. 10, 1812.”
(This Bible must have been in the possession of these Seggies at one
time as the following in pencil is observable on a corner of the
front board at foot:—“Thomas Siggie his Holy Bible, 1827.”)
Then there follows a considerable blank space, and at the foot of
the 2nd leaf in a very shaky but apparently autograph hand there is
written: “Presented to the Thistle Lodge Friendly Society West
Calder by Tho, Bryce, Dykehead, 1867.”
Turning over this leaf, the other page of which is blank, we again
come to the New Testament Dedication Page, on the top of which in a
similar hand but better style, probably owing to the better quality
of paper as well as the 31 years the writer was younger: “ I, Tho.
Bryce, Dykehead, by West Calder, aught this Book, Sept. 1836.”
Passing on through the New Testament, the end of St Luke there is
written in pencil: “Tho. Bryce, Dykehead, aged 42 years, a.d. 1836”
and “Tho. Bryce, Dykehead, aged 69, 1863” evidently one and the same
person who aught and presented this Bible to the Thistle Lodge
At Acts 26 and 30, there is written in old ink and letters: “James
Kennady Douglas, with my hand.”
And lastly, and most impressive of all, we pass on to the end of
that awe inspiring vision: “The Revelation of John the Divine” and
there we find exactly above the words The End, carefully inscribed
in letters of the period, by the hand I think of James Douglas
himself, in an oblong block as if meant to represent the lintel of a
March 30. I Trust in God : God will me Save. 1639.
Beneath this, there follows the record of the Kinloch family, from
which evidently the names and dates have been taken and transcribed
on the two modern leaves already quoted from. Amidst these names on
the last page of the 'New Testament, the united Crown and
Thistle—the ancient Royal Arms of Scotland —are plainly visible,
marking finality and royal seal to The Book, which in its day and
generation doubtless served to console, cheer,
'edify, and sustain the occupants and friends of that solitary
Mansion house that on stood to the southward of the village amid the
wild wastes of Badds, whose inmates, free as dauntless, loved better
to hear the lark sing than the mouse squeak. Badds, around which the
winds sighed, howled, or scarcely"breathed in their ceasless
variations. Where anon the snows of winter lay tlrek and deep ; or
the heath, down, furze, broom, and wild grasses bloomed like one
vast garden in the glorious days of summer; where the cattle lowed,
the horses neighed, the sheep bleated, the faithful dog barked, and
the e’erie wild fowl answered and repeated their lonesome cries;
while the little burn whimpled as it oused and purred within its
half hidden bed, close to the mansion of which not one stone can now
be discovered, and whose exact site must baffle the antiquary, when
those officially connected “with the estate as well as those who
live on or near the exact spat are all alike unable to determine
where it stood. Tradition alone is all that now remains.
Oh! if that Book could only speak!! what tales it could tell.
What little it so silently relates I have told you. We are all more
or less familiar with its printed matter as given to us in our
modern English Bibles, which exist in such countless numbers,
variety, size, pattern, and price. Seeing this is so it is fitting
that each should ask himself and herself:—Do I personally, to the
best of my privileges and power, “read, mark, learn, and inwardly
digest" their sum mum bonum?
I would invite all, who have the opportunity, to inspect this
ancient Bible—remembering the rack, the stake, the firey faggot, the
seas of blood-blood! The sufferings great, the trials, scourgings,
threatenings, mockings, wanderings, imprisonment, banishment,
martyrdom of those who first translated and preached that precious,
priceless treasure—in the vulgar tongue—which they rescued and tore
from comparative oblivion and superstitious rubbish, despite the
deadly hatred and vengeance of zealous if mistaken priests, and
nobles; kings and queens; and yet undauntedly handed down to their
children ; and us their children’s children free, absolutely free.
Remembering the fire and the sword, this book seems to have escaped.
Remembering also that the prattling children, whose innocent hands
have here and there defaced its pages—whether they reach 3d the
years of maturity or no—as well as the sages who owned and read its
treasured lore ; as also those who heard with joy, and those who
despised its winged words shall stand along with you and me amidst
the universal throng gathered in front of The Great Whi Throne and
Him that sits thereon—which St John unvails—there to hear those
final words of doom :—“Well done” “Depart” for weal or woe! May I
not now, then, (though the Bible is so common and the pulpit oratory
and hair-splitting thereof so nice) be excused for bluntly asking
everyone now, e’er too late, to try if they can in truth, verity,
and good conscience, write on their own hearts, as well as on their
door-posts and Bibles, that trusting, confiding motto which James
Douglas of Badds wrote on his—with, me thinks, the dread and solemn
words of St John, which he had just read, ringing in his ears—one
hundred and ninety-two years ago — “I Trust in God: God will me
If any excuse is needed for the semi-sermon-nature of this appendix,
the obvious answer is that it springs from the subject in hand. For
the impression left on my mind, after carefully inspecting this
Bible, is that this-Douglas of Badds seems to have been a Godfearing
man, and that he wrote his name on this book as he advanced through
its pages. And who that keeps in mind the ecclesiastical origin of
West Calder Parish, and the indelible mark this made on its
inhabitants, can forget the pious character for which they were long
distinguished, down even to the days of my childhood, when the
morning and evening Psalm duly ascended to Heaven throughout the
village and parish, followed by the reading of The Word and Family
Prayer. Would that it were so even now I Preached to and lectured,
as they never were before, in denominational multiple, nathlessy I
fear me much this enobling exercise is little practised. And that
this parish, although wealthier and the people better housed,
clothed and fed than their ancestors were, only the more truely
resemble Jeshuran, who waxed fat and kicked. Whose fault is this?
And what, will the end thereof be?