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History of West Calder
Appendix I. Baad’s Family Bible, the oldest Heir Loom in West Calder


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 stage.

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 persecuted Tyndale.

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 fire.

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 March, 1722.

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. "

2nd Marriage.

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., ditto.

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 Friendly Society.

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 door-way :

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 save.”

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?


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