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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

S for Scotts, Sir Walter and Scott's View in "My Scottish Borders"

Welcome to a Look Around 
"My Scottish Borders"

S is for: 

 THE SCOTT FAMILY were one of the leading protagonists in the period of lawlessness, family feuds, raid and  counter raids, murder and treachery  that marked life for over 300 years in the Scottish Borders up to the early 17th century.  Names such as ~"Wat of Harden" and "Bold Buccleuch?" feature heavily in many a Border ballad telling of their exploits.

Today its head is Richard Walter John Montagu Douglas Scott, 10th Duke of Buccleuch (pronounced buck-loo), whose home is at Bowhill, near Selkirk   

Walter Scott - Project Gutenberg eText 18396.jpgIt is thanks to SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832) that the Borders has become known as Scott Country after the novelist and poet who  was the most renowned writer of his time -  the first English-language author to have a truly international career.  

His most well known titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Heart of Midlothian, Waverley, Lady of the Lake and The Bride of Lammermuir  He was acclaimed as the inventor of  the modern historical novel.  nvolving tales of gallantry and romance.  

Today the pretigious annual Sir Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is awarded at Melrose Book Festival presented in a ceremony at Scott's historic home of Abbotsford. 

Although born in Edinburgh, Sir Walter  often visited the Borders to stay with his grandparent who farmed near Smailholm Tower.  Here Scott  became fascinated with Borders history and Borders culture, culminating in the compilation and publication of his "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders",  a three-volume set of collected Scottish ballads, some of which I am featuring in this A-Z Challenge.

Smailholm Tower, near Kelso
In 1799, Scott was appointed Depute Sheriff at Selkirk - a post he held until his death.  His statue stands outside the Courtroom where he dispensed justice.

Scott's  home at Abbotsford, on the banks of the River Tweed, near Melrose  is now a major visitor attraction major visitor attraction where you can see his library of over 9000 volumes, his writing desk and his treasure trove of  Scottish artifacts and historyLast year a new visitor centre, telling the story of his life,  was opened by the Queen

Abbotsford Morris edited.jpg
Abbotsford in 1880 

Sir Walter Scott died in 1832 and is buried in Dryburgh Abbey. 

En route his funeral cortege stopped at his favourite spot which became known as SCOTTS VIEW.  It remains the economic image of the Scottish Borders.

Scott's View with dusk over the Eildon Hil

"This is my own, my native land" 

Scottish Borders in Scotland.svg

Follow the next stage of this
A-Z Journey 
through the Scottish Borders

T is for:
Turnbulls & Thomas the Rhymer

Do take a look at earlier  posts in "My Scottish Borders"

A-Z Challenge Preview
A-Z Challenge A - Abbeys,Abbotsford and Armstrongs
A-Z Challenge B - Border Reivers, Border Ballads and Blackmail
A-Z Challenge C - Common Ridings and Carter Bar 
A-Z Challenge D - Dryburgh Abbey,  Duns Scotus and The Douglas Tragedy 
A-Z Challenge E - Elliots, Earlston, Enigma Hero and Eyemouth Tart 
A-Z Challenge F - Flodden, Fletcher and Flowers of the Forest  
A-Z Challenge G - A Green & Pleasant Land and Galashiels 
A-Z Challenge H - Hermitage Castle and Hawick  
A-Z Challenge I - Inspirational Land  of James Hogg & Will Ogilvie
A-Z Challenge J - Jedburgh, Jedthart Justice & Jethart Snails 
A-Z Challenge K - Kalaidoscope, Kelso and Kinmont Willie   
A-Z Challenge L - The Fair Lilliard and Leaderfoot Viaduct
A-Z Challenge M - Muckle Mou'ed Meg and Melrose 
A-Z Challenge N - Newark Castle and Nature  
A-Z Challenge O - Oxford Connections - Sir James Murray & Mary Somerville 
A-Z Challenge P - Pele Towers and Princely Connections  
A-Z Challenge Q - Queen of Scots and Queen of Elfland
A-Z Challenge R - Rivers, rugby and Rumbledethumps  


  1. I love that expression "period of lawlessness." I'm sure it points to a specific time, but sometimes I think we're living in it now. HA!

    I remember studying a little bit of Sir Walter Scott in high school and college. Teachers emphasized his contributions to literature but we never spent much time actually reading too much of his works. I'm glad to be reminded of those outstanding titles, and it's good there is a literary award in his name.
    Wendy at Jollett Etc.

  2. What beautiful country. Especially that last view.


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