Monday, 4 August 2014

Black Sheep Sunday: A Public Apology?

You can pick out such fascinating titbits when reading old newspapers  and I came across this entry recently.  

Hawick Advertiser, 25 January 1868:


"I,  Mary Turnbull or Chisholm do hereby declare that I have falsely accused Margaret Thornburn or Wilson, wife of Archibald Wilson of improper conduct, and I do hereby apologies for the same.
Mary Turnbull, Ladylaw Place, Hawick
21st January 1868.”

The mind starts whirling as to what the accusation was!    We shall never know.    


Lookiong down on the mill town of Hawick

 The 1861 census for Hawick identifies an Archibald and Margaret Wilson aged 38 and 40 - no children listed.  Archibald's occupation was given as "wool puller"  in a town that was the centre of the Borders's textile industry.  

A Mary Turnbull married a James Chisholm in Hawick in 1856 - both popular surnames  in the Scottish Borders, so impossible to say if this was the perpetrator.  

Otherwise I have been unable to trace any further background on this story.  It does occur to me - how many ordinary people would be able to read the newspaper in 1868, so how "public" would be the apology. 

[Black Sheep Sunday is one of many daily prompts from to encourage bloggers to write about their family history] 


  1. I wonder if her accusation would appear in the Kirk Sessions?!

    1. That's a thought, Pauleen. Thanks for the suggestion.


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