"My Scottish Borders".
|Reiver Statue, Galashiels|
O young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword he weapons had none,
He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
Other ballads I will feature further along this A-Z journey, so look out for:
- The Dowie Dens of Yarrow
- The Douglas Tragedy
- Muckle Mou'ed Meg
This word originated in the Scottish Borders. meaning "black rent" that is an illegal payment whereby ordinary men made a payment (in cash or kind) to a powerful Reiver in return for being left alone - in other words protection money.
More fascinating facts on the Scottish Borders:
- The Border town of BERWICK -UPON-TWEED is in England, but in the Anglo-Scottish Wars, it changed hands 14 times before Scotland relinquished the fight in 1482. As a quirk, though, its football team play in the Scottish League.
- Writer JOHN BUCHAN (1875-1940) grew up in Broughton, Peeblesshire where his father was the local minister. He wrote over 60 books, the best known being "Thirty Nine Steps". He was also a noted lawyer, soldier, historian, politician and diplomant, becoming Governor General of Canada, assuming the title of Lord Tweedsmuir in 1935.
- ISOBEL BAILLIE (1895-1983) was born in Hawick, Roxburghshire and became an internationally renowned soprano, best known for her interpretation of oratorio, especially Handel's "Messiah". In 1933 she became the first British artist to perform at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
- THOMAS BRISBANE, although born on the west coast, had many Borders connections, through his wife Anna Maria Macdougall of Maktersoun, near Kelso. He was a founder member of the Tweedside Physical and Antiquarian Society and built an observatory in the ground of Makerstoun House. A monument to him in the local churchyard is in the shape of a sundial. He became Governor of New South Wales 1821-25, reforming the penal code ad establishing a constitution for the Australian colony. The Brisbane River and the city built on its banks was named after him.
- PLACE NAMES THAT APPEAL - I love names that conjure up an image or that roll off the tongue. In my own area of Roxburghshire in the Scottish Borders there is Bloodhopehead (the mind boggles at what might have happened there!); Brockhoperig - the ridge by the valley with the badgers, and Blackcleuch - with "cleuch" meaning ravine, gorge, cliff, crag. "Ch" is pronounced as the "ch" in loch.
On the other hand would I really want to live in a place called Boghall, Bogfoot or Bogside?
The Scottish Borders
The old counties of Berwickshire, Peeblesshire, Roxburghshire & Selkirkshire