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b/^ M<*W>t$H* 

A Memorial of the 
Royal Visit, 1907. 



(Author of "The Story of the Burning Bush," " St. 
Cuthbert," " Wycliffe and the Lollards," " The 
Ancient Cathedrals of Scotland," " The Story of 
John Knox and his Land," "Robert Burns and his 
Land," " Sir Walter Scott and his Land," 
"Psalms and Paraphrases in the Scottish Church" 
(Lee Lecture), &c., &=<:.) 




eepeof f fecfton 

fl. J. C. 



Commemoration of a quartet 
of a Centura's mtntefrg of 


Marlborough House, 

Pall Mall, 

6th May, 1907. 

Rev. and Dear Sir, 

I am much obliged to you for your 
letter of the ist inst., and in reply I am directed to 
state that the Prince of Wales will have very great 
pleasure in accepting your book, which you have been 
kind enough to say you will give His Royal Highness 
as a memorial of the Royal Visit. 

I remain, 

Faithfully yours, 



THERE have been many royal visits to Newbattle and 
Dalkeith in the course of the centuries, and at any 
rate one Scottish queen lies buried in Newbattle 
Abbey. Queen Victoria, King Edward, and Queen 
Alexandra, the lamented Duke of Clarence, and many 
other royal personages have, within the last generation, visited 
the district, and this volume is a humble endeavour to com- 
memorate the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 
the year of grace, 1907. It is respectfully presented to the 
public in the hope that it may supply a long-felt want, and be 
indulgently received. The writer trusts that any omissions 
or errors will be generously overlooked in an attempt to per- 
petuate the rich historical memories of the Esk valley and its 
great religious house. He desires to acknowledge with the 
deepest gratitude the kind assistance which he has received 
from a host of friends in all classes, who have aided him in 
such a way that without their help his task would have been 
a hopeless and impossible one. 

Minister of Newbattle. 

July, 1907. 

MAR 2 3 1999 


'HE favour with which the First Edition has been received 
encourages me to issue a Second, with considerable 
additions and notes. 

January, 1908. 


7\ THIRD Edition has been called for, and, with large 
additions, is now presented to the public. 

October, 1908. 

























22. CAMP MEG 275 



25. MOORFOOT 328 

NOTES - - 345 






The Abbey of 5t. Mary, Newbottle. 



NONE of the Reforms of the Benedictine Order is more 
illustrious than the Cistercian, to which the monks of 
Newbattle belonged. Deriving its name from 
Citeaux or Cisteaux, in the south of France, 
where the Order was begun by Robert in 1098, it 
received its greatest impetus from its chief ornament, St. Ber- 
nard of Clairvaux, the most impressive and attractive figure 
in the Europe of his time, a great saint, a mighty theologian, 
an impassioned preacher, and known to the humblest Christians 
through his hymns " Jesus the very thought of Thee," 
" Jesus Thou joy of loving hearts," " O Lamb of God once 
wounded," and others. It was he who "made" the Cistercian 
order; he founded also their great Abbey of Clairvaux " the 
Vale of Brightness," in what had once been " the Vale of 
Wormwood." By 1250 the Cistercians had, it is said, 8000 
monasteries and convents. As Cisteaux colonised Clairvaux, 
so Clairvaux colonised four great Abbeys in Northern England 
Kirkstall, Furness, Fountains, and Rievaulx, whence were 
filled the Scottish Cistercian houses of Dundrennan, Glenluce, 
Sweetheart, Coupar-Angus, Sandal in Cantire, Kinloss, Cul- 
ross, Deir, Balmerino, Melrose, and Newbattle. 

The Cistercian Order has now three different "obser- 
vances," viz., I. The Strict, followed by the Trappists; II. 
The Middle, followed by the Congregation of Senanque; and 
III. The common observance followed by many abbeys in 
Austria, and by some in Italy and Belgium. 


The ritual and rites of the Strict observance similar to 
those followed at Newbottle will be found in the " Rituale 
Cisterciense ex Libro Usuum, Definitionibus Ordinus et 
Caeremoniali Episcoporum Collectum," a new edition of which 
was published in Lerins some two years and a half since, in 
octavo, 700 pages and more, price 8 francs. Since it was 
published a change has taken place with regard to the hour of 
dinner, which formerly was sometimes at 12 o'clock, sometimes 
at i or 2, or even 3 and 4 o'clock s according to the time of 
the year, and according as the day was feast or fast. Now 
it is fixed so as never to be later than 12 o'clock. 

The observance follows the " Rituale Cisterciense," except 
in the following particulars : I. The hour of rising is fixed for 
2 o'clock a.m. on the great feasts, 3 o'clock on other days, but 
monks do not retire to rest again after Lauds. II. Each monk 
has a separate cell. III. Dinner is always at 12 o'clock, and 
monks are allowed a small portion of meat on nearly all the 
Sundays of the year, and on some five feast days. IV. Monks 
are allowed to talk to each other for three-quarters of an hour 
on Sundays, except during Lent, and on several feast days. 
V. Monks go to bed at a fixed time, viz., 8 o'clock p.m. in 
winter, and at 8.30 p.m. in summer. VI. Monks say the office 
of the dead, in addition to the canonical office and the office 
of the Blessed Virgin, every day. 

The Cistercian dress, or habit, is a white cassock, black 
scapular and hood, black leather girdle, and the white cuculla 
or cowl, with white hood, which is worn in choir, chapter and 
refectory, during processions, and on all occasions of ceremony, 
such as receiving bishops or other distinguished guests. Shoes 
are worn, not sandals. 

The duties of cook are now performed by one of the 
brethren for as long a period as the Abbot shall deem fit; 
formerly the brethren took it in turns, week about, to act as 

The members of the common observance devote themselves 
in great measure to education in colleges and universities, and 
many in Austria to parochial duties, and consequently cannot 
observe the strict monastic discipline as the other two obser- 
vances do. 


Ordinary Days. 

3.0 Rise. 

3.10 Matins, Lauds B.V. Medi- 
tation, Matins, Lauds of 
the day, Lauds of the 
5.0 Private Masses, at which 

lay brothers assist. 
6.0 Prime, Chapter, mixtum. 
7.0 Clean cells, then study or 

manual labour. 

9.30 Tierce, Conventual Mass. 
10.30 Interval. 

n.o Spiritual Reading. 

11.30 Text. Examination of 

12.0 Dinner. 

2.0 None. 

3.0 Vespers. Manual labour. 

6.30 Meditation. 

7.0 Supper, Conventual Read- 
ing, Compline Examina- 
tion of Conscience. 

8.30 To rest. 


Mornings as in Summer. 


1.30 None. 

1.45 Manual labour. 

4.0 Interval. 

4.15 Vespers. 

6.0 Meditation. 


6.30 Supper, Conventual Read- 
ing, Compline, Examin- 
ation of Conscience. 

S.o To Rest. 


Prime and Chapter, fol- 
lowed by Tierce and 
Sext, then manual la- 
bour or study till 
9.30 None, and Conventual 
Mass Interval. 

H.IO Vespers of B.V. and Ves- 
pers of the day, Examin- 
ation of Conscience. 

12. o Dinner. 

1.45 Manual labour. 

4.15 Interval. 

4.25 Spiritual Reading. 

5.0 Vespers and Matins of the 

5.45 Conference on Dogmatic, 
Moral Theology, or 

6.15 Meditation. 

6.45 Collation, Conventual 
Reading, Compline, Ex- 
amination of Conscience. 

8.15 To rest. 


St. Bernard of Clairvaux, sur- 
named " The Mellifluous Doc- 
tor," theologian, poet, etc. 
1 2th Century. 

St. Stephen Harding, third Ab- 
bot of Citeaux, nth to i2th 

St. Alan, " The Universal Doc- 
tor," orator, philos. theolo- 
gian, 1 3th Century. 

St. Ailred of Rievaulx, theolo- 
gian, 1 2th Century. 

St. Almus of Balmerino, theolo- 
gian, 1 2th Century. 

St. Adam of Kilross, i2th (?) 

St. Arnulph of Melrose, i2th 

St. Baldwin of Exeter, theolo- 
gian, 1 2th Century. 

St. Ethelred, Abbot of Warden, 
script., i3th Century. 

St. Everard of Melrose, histor- 
ian, 1 2th Century. 

St. Gilbert of Swineshead, theol. 

St. Gregory of Bridlington, 
Monk of Glenluce, theologian, 
1 3th Century. 

St.- William Keith, Abbot of 
Kinloss, poet, i4th Century. 



St.Willian Remington of Salley, 
i4th Century. 

St. John of Ford Abbey, script., 
1 3th Century. 

St. Jocelin of Furness, histor- 
ian, iath Century. 

St. Joseph of Dunrainan, i3th 

St. Thomas of Sandal, theolo- 
gian, i3th Century. 

St. John Selro of Fountains, 
1 2th Century. 

St. Henriquez, historian, i6th 

Pope Benedict XII., theologian, 
script., i4th Century. 

Caesarius of Heisterbach, script. 
1 3th Century. 

Boniface Simoneta, theologian, 
philosopher, isth Century. 

Francis Vivarius (Spaniard), 
historian, iyth Century. 

Caspar Jongelin, historian, i7th 

Lawrence of Zamora, theologian, 
scrip, sermons, lyth Century. 

Charles de Visch, theologian, 
1 7th Century. 

Manriquez, theologian and his- 
torian, 1 7th Century. 

William of Benyne, Prior de 
Newbottle, et postea Abbas 
Cupri, in Scotia, Vir insigni 
pictate, nee minori litteratura, 
religiosi voti, diligens observ- 
ator, Scripsit, de Vita S. 
Joannis Scoti, nati in Villa 
Podoen, prope Leyam, in 

* Anglia, deinde, Sancti, An- 
drea E pi sco pi electi, lib. I. 
teste Demstero, lib. II., qui 
pariter asserit, librum alium 
in Scoti-chronico, lib. VI., 
cap. 40, vocari elegantim, et, 
alia plura edidisse, qua ad 
notitiam suam non pervener- 
unt. Vixit amro, 1188. 

(The above note on Benyne is 
taken from " Bibliotheca 
Scriptorum Sacri Ordinis Cis- 
terciensis," by Don Charles de 
Visch, Prior of the Monastery 
of the Dunes, printed in Col- 
ogne, 1656.) 

lean de la Barriere, i6th Cen- 

Cardinal John Bona, 7th Cen- 

Abb6 de Rancd, i7th Century. 


St. Robert, St. Alberic, St. Ste- 
phen Harding, first three Ab- 
bots of Citeaux, and founders 
of the Order. 

St Bernard, "The Mellifluous 
Doctor," first Abbot of Clair- 

St. Almus and Tynna of Mel- 

St. Walter, son of King David, 

monk of Melrose. 
St. Robert of Newminster. 
St. Fenian, hermit, theologian. 
St. William of Bourges. 
St. Bernard of Vich. 
St. John of Valence. 
St. Stephen of Obazin. 


Common observance (Monks), - 19 692 

Middle 5 

Strict - 59 *>33S 

General Total, - 83 2,117 

Monasteries. Choir Monks. Lay Brothers. Total. 



Monasteries. Choir Nuns. Lay Sisters. 

Common observance (Nuns), - 85 1,737 6 7 6 

Middle ,, i 2 5 

Strict - 32 631 670 

General Total, 

- 128 






2,4 J 3 




Grand Total, - 



4.5 10 





Common observance (a) Holy Cross, Rome; () St. Bernard's, Rome. 

St. Anthony's 

St. Bernard's, - 


(a) Holy Cross; (b) Zwettl, 

(a) Ossegg; (b) Hohenfurt, 
Zircz, . ... 
Mehreran in Vorarlberg, 

- Cartona. 


Lower Austria. 







Middle observance N. D. de Senanque, - - - Vauclure. 

,, Fontfroide - - Aude. 

,, Hautecombe, - - Savoy. 

,, Lerins, - - - Alpes Maritimes. 

,, Pont Colbert, - - Seine-et-Oise. 


Strict observance N. D. de La Grande Trappe, - Orne. 

Melleray, - - - Loire Inferieure. 

Port du Salut, - - Mayenne. 

Bellefontaine, - - Maine et Loire. 

Aiguebelle, - - Drome. 

Septfons, - - - Allier. 

Mont des Olives, - Alsace. 

Font Fontgombault, - Indre. 

des Dombes, - - Ain. 

de Bonnecombe, - Aveyron. 

Ste Marie du Mont, - Nord. 

Staoueli, - - - Algiers. 


Mount St. Bernard's, Nottinghamshire 


Mount St Joseph, - Tipperary. 

Mount Melleray - Waterford. 


la Trappe du Sacre Coeur, Wetsmalle. 

Saint Sixte, - - Westvleteren. 

St. Benoit, - - Achel, Liege. 

Scourmont, - - a Forges. 





United States of America. 
N. D. de Gethsemani, Kentucky. 
New Melleray, Iowa. 


x- r> ** r-i XT 

N.D. Petit Clairvaux, Nova 

, T , " 

du Lac, - . Montreal. 

,, St. Norbert, - Manitoba. 
,. Mistassini, - Quebec. 

South Africa. 
[ Marianhill, Natal. 
N D - 1 59 choir religious; 
(170 lay brothers. 


N. D. Sacred Heart, Beagle Bay, 
West Australia. 

N. D. Consolation, Pe-tchi-ly. 

N. D. Val San Tos6, Perales del 
Rio, Madrid. 
San Isidro, Duefias, 



N.D. La Deliverance, Styria. 
Mariastern, Bosnia. 

N D Koeningshoevenj Tilberg. 

N.D. Seven Dolours, Jaffa. 

In the old days the White monks, Bernardines or Cis- 
tercians, were a very powerful Order in Scotland. As previ- 
ously remarked, they were a reformed Order of Benedictines, 
and at the start at any rate rather posed as ascetic in life and 
taste rich decoration, in church, even being forbidden, as well 
as church towers, only a simple low lantern with a 
saddle-back or pyramidal roof, such as can be seen 
in Crichton and Corstorphine Churches, and Borthwick Castle 
and St. Margaret's Chapel on the Edinburgh Castle rock, 
being allowed. Melrose and Newbattle had never more than 
a saddle-back tower as the main feature of the Abbey. In 
course of time the early discipline was relaxed, and as at 
Melrose, rich and ornate architecture came into vogue. What 
happened to the Cistercians happened later with the Friars, 
who began with simplicity of life and style and architecture, 
and ended with luxuriance in all. 

The Cistercian rules and methods in the middle ages 
aimed at simplicity and austerity. The motto of the Order 
an extract from St Bernard was generally carved up over the 
entrance gates of {he house : 

"It is good for us to be here, where man lives more 
purely, falls more rarely, rises more quickly, treads more 
cautiously, rests more securely, dies more happily, is absolved 
more easily, and rewarded more plenteously " words beauti- 
fully versified by Wordsworth. 

Dress Plain white habit of flannel cloth, black scapular 


and hood, black leather girdle, and white cowl ; white hood 
worn in choir, chapter and refectory, in processions and cere- 
monial occasions. Shoes worn, not sandals. Abbey Time- 
Table A.M., 3, Rise; 3.10, Matins, Lauds B.V., Meditation, 
Lauds of the Day, Lauds of the Dead. 5, Private Masses 
at which lay-brothers assist. 6, Prime, Chapter, Mixtum. 
7, Clean Cells, Study, Manual Labour. 9.30, Tierce, Con- 
ventual Mass. 10.30, Interval, n, Spiritual Reading. 11.30, 
Text, Examination of Conscience. 12, Dinner. P.M., 2, 
Nones. 3, Vespers, Manual Labour. 6.30, Meditation. 7, 
Supper, Conventual Reading, Compline, Examination of Con- 
science. 8.30, To Rest. 

The buildings consisted of a church and a cloister 
attached. The cloister consisted of a square, with open space 
in the middle, and in the two-storeyed buildings round it- 
refectory, dormitories, guest-chamber, library, scriptorium, and 
other apartments. There were also an infirmary for the aged 
and sick, several penitential cells, and other apartments. 

Outside there was the Abbot's house, domestic offices, and 
farms and granaries Newton Grange being the farm for New- 
battle Abbey for generations. 

The site of a Cistercian Abbey was uniformly chosen in a 
sequestered and lonely place, near water witness Melrose by 
the Tweed, and Newbattle beside the Esk. The church and 
buildings in early times were always rigorously simple, white- 
wash being freely used, while the stained glass of the church, 
as the fragments of it remaining at Newbattle testify, was of 
the plainest type. The Abbey church was always dedicated 
to St Mary the Virgin, and the sacerdotal vestments were of 
the plainest type, while peals of bells were unknown. 

In Ellis' " Specimens " there is a description of a Cis- 
tercian house : 

" There is a well fair Abbey 

Of white monks and of grey; 

There be bowers and halls, 

shingles all, 

Of church, cloister, bowers, and hall. 

There is a cloister fair and light, 

Broad and long, of seemly sight; 

The pillars of that cloister all 

Be yturned of christal, 

With harlas (plinth) and capital, 

Of green jasper and red coral. 

In the praer [the garthe] is a tree 

Suithe [very] likely for to see." 



The Cistercian rules of the present day have been cited ; 
the rules for the houses of the White monks in Scotland for 
several hundred years before the Reformation may now be 
quoted : " All enter the dormitory after the Salve Regina 
[the hymn, " Hail Queen of Heaven "] and none leave it until 
the vigil of the morrow is rung. Every brother shall sleep in 
his own bed in a cloth habit. The sacristan shall lock the 
doors, and the Abbot shall receive the keys in order that he 
may visit each cell separately. There shall be a strong 
dungeon for offenders, and a cell appointed for the scourge, 
and in addition bread and water fare. [These arrangements 
can be seen at Pluscardine and Kynloss.] Guests are allowed 
to converse only with the Abbot or Prior. Novices are received 
at the age of fourteen, and serve a year on probation. On 
certain days flesh-meat is allowed in the grace-hall. No 
brother is allowed to leave the monastery, except in case of 
absolute necessity or business, and then only for a prescribed 
time and destination." 

How beautiful they stand, 

Those grey old altars of our native land ! 

Amid the pasture-fields and dark greenwoods, 

Amid the mountain's shady solitudes, 

By rivers broad that rush into the sea. 

By little brooks that, with a lapping sound 
Like playful children run by copse and lea : 

Each in its little plot of holy ground ; 
How beautiful they stand, 
Those old grey churches of our native land ! 

Our lives are all turmoil : 

Our souls are in a weary strife and toil, 

Grasping and straining, tasking nerve and brain 

Both day and night for gain ! 

We have grown worldly, have made gold our god, 

Have turned our hearts away from holy things : 
We seek not now the wild flower on the sod ; 

We seek not snowy-folded angel's wings 
Amid the summer skies, 
For visions come not to polluted eyes ! 

Yet, blessed quiet fanes, 

Still piety, still poetry remains, 

And shall remain, whilst ever on the air 

One chapel-bell calls high and low to prayer, 

Whilst ever green and sunny churchyards keep 

The dust of our beloved, and tears are shed 
From founts which in the human heart lie deep ; 

Something in these aspiring days we need, 
To keep our spirits lowly, 

To set within our hearts sweet thoughts and holy ; 
And 'tis for this they stand, 
These old grey churches of our native land ! 



And even in the gold-corrupted mart 

In the great City's heart 

They stand : and chantry dim and 'organ sound, 

And stated services of prayer and praise, 
Like to the righteous ten which were not found 

For the polluted city, shall upraise 
Meek faith and love sincere, 
Better in time of need than shield and spear ! 




THE real centre of missionary influence in Scotland in 
the twelfth century was Old Melrose the home of 
St. Bosil [Boswell], St. Aidan, St. Cuthbert, and 
others. Old Melrose or Eld Bottle the old resi- 
dence of the Christian missionaries is still traceable 
in mounds, carved stones, and traditions, and some account of 
the influence of the place seems to be called for. 

Two English cathedrals owe their existence to Scot- 
land. St. Asaph's, in Wales, was founded by the missionary 
of that name under the direction of St. Mungo or 
Kentigern, and strangely enough that cathedral stands 
in a Vale of Clwyd, as the magnificent Cathedral of 
Glasgow also does. The proper title of Durham Cathedral 
is " St. Cuthbert's." It owes its origin to that great mission- 
ary who began his religious life in Old Melrose Abbey, and 
evangelised a great part of eastern Scotland, founding, amongst 
many other churches, that of St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, the 
site of which is to-day occupied by a stately edifice worthy of 
the great traditions of the past, and no longer deserving, as 
its predecessor was, of Sir Walter Scott's famous sarcasm 
that " St. John's Episcopal Chapel was a pretty toy, and 
St. Cuthbert's its German packing box." With a singular 
appropriateness the new parish church of St. Aidan' s close 
by, and within the ancient parochial boundaries, has been 
named after St. Cuthbert's great teacher, whose holy life 
instigated the youthful Melrose postulant to enter heartily 
into the service of the Church of God; so that as St. 
Cuthbert's spiritual father was St. Aidan, in later days " St. 
Aidan's " becomes the spiritual daughter of " St. Cuthbert's." 
The story of St. Cuthbert carries us back to St. Aidan, 
the first missionary who began with any success the cause of 
Christ in northern England, and who made Holy Island 
or Lindisfarne the centre of his operations. He was not 
exactly the first missionary to Northumbria, for the missionaries 



of lona had sent one of their number, named Gorman, to 
preach Christ in north England, in answer to the earnest 
petition of Oswald, king of Bernicia a kingdom which then 
included the south-east of Scotland and the north-east of 
England. This missionary, however, owing to his austerity 
and uncompromising nature, met with little or no success, 
and returned to lona discouraged and defeated. The fathers 
of lona held a council as to who should be sent to fill his 
place. At that assembly in the Holy Island of the west 
coast, which was even then almost the brightest spot of 
Christian influence in western Europe, and from whose shores 
eventually missionaries were sent to all Scotland, north 
England, France, Germany (Columbanus), Switzerland (St. 
Gall), Iceland, and Greenland at that assembly a missionary 
named Aidari rose up and said, " It seems to me, brother, 
that you were more harsh with your unlearned hearers than 
was reasonable, and did not first, as the Apostle has taught 
us, offer them the milk of less solid doctrine, until, gradually 
nourished by the Word of God, they would have been able 
to accept a more advanced teaching and stricter rule of life. ' ' 

The result of this Council of lona was that Aidan was 
despatched to Northumbria, and was ordained chief missionary 
of these parts, and under his rule Christianity made rapid 
strides. King Oswald fixed the missionaries' house in the 
island of Lindisfarne, or " Holy Island," off the coast of 
Northumberland a bit of rock 2f miles long and i| miles 
broad an island which for ages was the chief centre of 
Christian influence for all that coast and north England 
generally, as well as southern Scotland. The king's chief 
residence was at Bamborough Castle, at Bamborough Head; 
and, doubtless, King Oswald, in fixing the missionaries' home 
in Holy Island, had in view not only his own benefit, in 
being near Christian and civilising influences, but also the 
benefit the missionaries would derive from his protection and 
direct influence. Christianity rapidly spread under Aidan's 
wise and loving rule, and his administration was vigorous 
and effective. He took twelve boys of Northumbria to teach 
in the way of Christ; and when one of these, named Eata, 
had come to manhood, Aidan sent him to found the monastery 
of Old Melrose, on the banks of the river Tweed, near the 
Eildon Hills. This Eata became its first abbot; and it was 



he who received St. Cuthbert into Christ's Church, and set 
him on the missionary's path. It may be added that another 
of these twelve lads was St. Chad, who afterwards became 
Bishop of Lichfield. 

Having mentioned these details as to the connection be- 
tween lona and general missionary work in Scotland, and 
specially in southern Scotland and northern England, I may 
briefly sketch the life of St. Cuthbert, the spiritual child 
both of Aidan and Eata. 

A fourteenth century manuscript preserved in York Cath- 
edral Library gives a strangely fictitious story as to the birth 
and parentage of St. Cuthbert that his mother was an Irish 
king's daughter, &c. This is a legend very frequently invented 
regarding the early missionaries and saints. The great 
authority on St. Cuthbert 's life is the Venerable Bede, in his 
" Ecclesiastical History," written at Jarrow. But, besides 
the historical narration in his great work, Bede wrote a brief 
life of the saint in beautiful English, and likewise penned 
a metrical biography of the man who in things sacred exercised 
the greatest influence over northern England of any who ever 
lived. Bede says nothing regarding St. Cuthbert's birth and 
parents; but probably he was a native of Scotland, and, at 
any rate, was brought up in the Tweed valley at Melrose. 
Bede refers to a good woman whom St. Cuthbert called 
" mother." He must have been born about 637 A.D. 

Tradition says that, when playing one day with his school- 
fellows, a fair young child came to him, and said, " Good 
brother, leave these vain plays ; set not thine heart upon them ; 
mind thy book. Has not God chosen thee to be great in 
His Church?" Cuthbert heeded not. Then the child wept; 
and when Cuthbert tried to comfort him, he said, " Nay, my 
brother, it is for thee I weep, that preferrest thy vain sports 
to the teaching of the servants of God." The child vanished, 
and Cuthbert knew that it was an angel. This incident 
turned his life into a new channel. He became a great 
preacher and missioner, " modest in the virtue of patience 
and affable to all who came to him for comfort." The 
incident of St. Cuthbert and the angel is recorded in the 
first lesson on St. Cuthbert's Day (March 2oth) in the " Aber- 
deen Breviary." As a boy, Cuthbert seems to have been 
fond of sport and games, quick and active, anxious to be 


first in everything. He served as a shepherd in the Tweed 
valley round about Old Melrose, where the abbey had sprung 
up under St Aidan and Eata. One biographer declares that 
for a brief period he was a soldier, and the monkish chronicler 
describes him " living in camp, with the enemy in front, and 
subsisting on scanty rations, yet thriving and flourishing like 
Daniel and the three holy children on their poor fare." 

Cuthbert had suffered from a swelling in the knee, which, 
having been cured, he betook himself to the life of a religious. 
It is related that in answer to his prayers some ships in 
imminent danger at the mouth of the Tyne (the small river 
which enters the sea near Aberlady, in East Lothian) were 
saved from wreck. Later on he was watching his flocks as a 
shepherd on the banks of the Leader (a tributary of the Tweed), 
and by night he had his famous vision of the soul of St. 
Aidan being carried up into heaven in a blaze of celestial 
glory. Bede declares that this memorable vision of his master 
passing Elijah- like into paradise, made him resolve to follow 
him and enter a monastery. From that day he entered Old 
Melrose monastery, not the beautiful Melrose Abbey of a later 
day founded by David I., but a much humbler religious house, 
almost enclosed by the windings of the Tweed, near St. 

A few words regarding Old Melrose Abbey may be inter- 
esting. This monastery was begun by St. Aidan, to whom 
we have already referred, and was the most important religious 
house planted by that great missionary in the south of Scot- 
land. St. Aidan, then Bishop of Lindisfarne, on the north- 
east coast of England -- "the lona of the east coast" 
planted Old Melrose Monastery about 645 A.D. 

The name " Mailros," the old and more accurate spelling 
of Melrose, signifies the "bare headland." It was colonised 
from Lindisfarne, St. Aidan's own monastery, which it must 
be remembered had nothing to do with Rome or Roman 
Catholicism, but was one of the parent seats of the Celtic 
Church. This Old Melrose Abbey became brilliantly famous 
in later days. It became in time the mother of Ripon, as 
we shall see later. The first Bishop of Ratisbon, St. Gailbald ; 
the apostle of the Germans, St. Boniface ; and the Abbot 
of the Benedictines of Pavia, John of Mailros, all studied 
within its walls. In 839 Kenneth II. burned the monastery 



down. When on its way to Durham Cathedral, the body of 
St. Cuthbert rested here. Old Melrose remained for many 
years in ruins, till in 1073 some monks from Winchcombe, who 
had settled for a time at Monk Wearmouth, rebuilt it. Sub- 
sequently the Abbey became dependent on Coldingham Priory 
on the east coast, and thus it remained until 1136. In that 
year David I. granted it to his new Abbey of Melrose further 
up the river the great Cistercian Abbey, made famous by 
Sir Walter Scott and gave in exchange for it St. Laurence's, 
Berwick. In the reign of Robert I. it was again burned 
down by the English. It was afterwards rebuilt, and even 
in the fifteenth century was famous as a place of pilgrimage. 
This Old Melrose Abbey has altogether disappeared, save for 
the fact that in the modern village of Old Melrose the ancient 
Abbey stones can still be traced, with their antique carvings 
and moulded capitals. The site of the building is still called 
" The Chapel Knoll." A particular road led from the north 
exit out to the " sanctuary " or "girth," within which criminals 
were safe. A wall stretched across the narrowest portion of 
the river-peninsula on which the Abbey stood, and can still 
be traced. In later days Old Melrose was dedicated to " St. 
Cuthbert," and the little town of St. Boswells hard by, takes 
its name from the St. Boisil, under whom St. Cuthbert studied, 
and who was connected with the house when the great saint 
of the east coast first took upon him religious vows. The 
only abbots whose names have come down to us in connection 
with this most interesting old Abbey are Eata, a disciple of 
St. Aidan, Abbot of Lindisfarne at a later date, and conse- 
crated to Hexham in 685 ; St. Odunald, who, it is related, 
had on his deathbed the vision of an angel comforting him; 
St. Ethelwald, a disciple of St. Cuthbert, who, in 724, was 
consecrated Bishop of Lindisfarne; St. Theynan, who was 
counsellor to King Eugenius VI., and died on September a6th; 
William Douglas, who was confessor to King Malcolm III., 
and who built the cloister. The glories of Old Melrose soon 
disappeared after the rise of the magnificent Abbey of New 
Melrose, which, under David I., as a Roman monastery, took 
the place of the ancient Celtic house, which did not own the 
Roman doctrine or supremacy. We must regard Old Melrose, 
therefore, as the parent seat of primitive Christianity in this 
part of Scotland. 


It was in the year 651 A.D. that young Cuthbert, after 
all his experiences as shepherd and soldier, entered Old Melrose 
Abbey. Eata was abbot of the house, and Boisil was provost. 
Cuthbert rode to the monastery spear in hand perhaps natural 
in an age of turmoil and ferocity, and perhaps from old 
custom, having to protect his flocks by night from ravaging 
plunderers. When he arrived, Boisil was standing at the 
monastery door, and received him with much kindness. A few 
days after, Eata, the abbot, who had been away, received 
Cuthbert as one of the brotherhood, and from that day 
Cuthbert was numbered as one of the family of Old Melrose. 

It must be distinctly remembered that at this time the 
Church of Scotland had nothing whatever to do with the 
Roman Catholic Church. The Church of Rome entered Scot- 
land with Queen Margaret (who became the wife of Malcolm 
Canmore, circa 1070), and their son, David I., 1124-1153. 
Before that .time the Church was primitive and pure truly 
national and independent of all external rule or authority. 
The authority of the Pope was not acknowledged indeed, 
never thought of and it was not till after a severe and 
prolonged struggle that the ancient Culdee or Columban Church 
of Scotland was conquered, overshadowed, and absorbed by 
the Church of Rome. Old Melrose represents the primitive, 
independent, national Church of Scotland ; New Melrose (the 
existing ruins of which are still beautiful in decay) represents 
the triumphant Church of Rome. 

But to return to St Cuthbert. After his admission to Old 
Melrose he became an earnest missionary. "In reading and 
praying, working and watching," he excelled all his brethren. 
He abstained from everything which would unfit him for 
his laborious work, and even yet his strength and vigour are 

Years passed away, and Eata, the Abbot of Old Melrose, 
took Cuthbert with him to England, and together they founded 
the monastery of Ripon, over which Cuthbert was appointed 
provost. A story is related of him at this time, that one 
morning very early a traveller arrived at Ripon Monastery 
cold, wearied, and hungry. Cuthbert washed his feet, and 
begged the strange visitant to remain till nine in the morning, 
when the brethren had their first meal. The stranger waited. 
When the bells sounded out their summons, Cuthbert left his 



guest, to fetch bread for the refection : on his return the 
guest was gone, and three loaves lay on the table. Then 
Cuthbert knew that the visitor had been an angel. Such is 
the tradition of Ripon Abbey. 

A controversy was then raging in Western Christendom as 
to the right date of Easter, and the Celtic Church generally 
took a different method of calculating it from the Roman 
Church. The controversy reached Ripon, and divided the 
house. Cuthbert and some other brethren decided to return 
to their Scottish home, rather than accept what they believed 
to be an error. In course of time the Roman style of calcu- 
lating Easter came to prevail over all Western Christendom, 
and it does so still the Greek or Eastern Church keeping 
the festival of Christ's Resurrection on a different day, arrived 
at through different methods of calculating. And yet Cuthbert 
was no follower of divisive courses, for he said once, " Have 
no communion with those who err from catholic unity. I 
would rather that you took my bones from the tomb to reside 
wherever God may direct you, than that you should consent 
in any way to the wickedness of schismatics." Another point 
of dispute between the Columban and the* Roman Church was 
as to tonsure the correct way of cutting ecclesiastical hair. 
In that age churches seemed to spend their superfluous energies 
on hair-cutting, to-day they spend them in hair-splitting. 

Returning to Melrose, he found the country devastated 
with plague. Boisil, who had first received him in Christ's 
name for Christ's work, sickened and died of it, Cuthbert 
cheering his closing hours with the Gospel of St. John, reading 
probably from a copy of the very translation which the Vener- 
able Bede had made at Jarrow, and which was almost certainly 
the first English translation of any part of the Bible. Bede 
only translated St. John's Gospel ; and his own closing hours 
and last moments were spent in dictating the precious words 
which in time were to change both England and Scotland into 
bright provinces of the Redeemer's kingdom. Cuthbert like- 
wise sickened ; but with characteristic energy he rose from his 
simple bed, from which he had heard the distant murmur of 
the brethren's voices lifted up in prayer for his sake, and 
said, " Why do I lie here? We cannot think that God will 
despise the prayers of so many good men. Give me my staff 
and sandals." 



Having recovered from his serious illness, Cuthbert was, 
by the unanimous voice of the brethren, elected successor to 
St. Boisil, one of his own spiritual parents. Having assumed 
office, Cuthbert assiduously preached all through the Tweed 
valley, making long journeys to sequestered places, and gradu- 
ally bringing in the heathen peoples of the east and south-east 
of Scotland to the obedience of Christ. " He now," says 
a biographer, " gave full scope to that love of souls which 
his long retreat had fostered, emerging from it, like his Divine 
Master from the desert, to spend and be spent in their behalf. 
As he went about doing good, and proclaiming with many a 
miracle the power of the Gospel, his sunny cheerfulness and 
loving sympathy attracted all men, while the peacefulness of 
his scul and his hatred of all schism won them to find their 
rest in God and His Holy Church." 

Some account must be given here of the visit of St Cuthbert 
to the ancient Priory of Coldingham. Its magnificent remains 
(nowjthe parish church) still stand above the sea cliffs, a few 
miles below Dunbar, near St. Abb's Head, which takes its 
name from Ebba, the Saxon princess who founded it. She 
was the daughter qf Ethelfrid the Ravager, and great grand- 
daughter of Ida, " the Man of Fire," who founded the king- 
dom of Bernicia. It is first mentioned in history in 642 A.D., 
and is one of the most interesting of the early Christian 
churches in Scotland. 

The earliest notice we have of Ebba's monastery from the 
Venerable Bede is in his " Life of St. Cuthbert." When 
Cuthbert was Provost of Mailros, the fame of his holiness 
had reached Ebba, " who ruled a monastery situated in the 
place which is called the City of Colud, and was esteemed by 
all alike for her piety and her nobility. She was the uterine 
sister of King Oswy. She sent to Cuthbert praying him to 
visit her and her community, that they might profit by his 
exhortations. He could not refuse to grant the request of the 
handmaid of God, so he came to the place, and remained 
some days, setting forth the way of righteousness alike by his 
deeds and his words. It was his wont, when all were at rest, 
to go out alone to prayer during the night, and when 
he had thus passed the watches of the night, to return home 
when the community met for morning prayer. One night a 
brother of the monastery saw him going quietly out, and 

B (17) 


curiosity tempted him to follow. Cuthbert went down to the 
sea, on the margin of which the monastery stood, waded into 
deep water till the waves covered his arms and reached his 
neck, and passed the dark hours of the night singing psalms 
to the accompaniment of the melody of the waves. When 
dawn approached, he came to land, and bent his knees in 
prayer on the shore. As he was thus employed, two sea-otters 
came out of the water, lay down before him, and began to 
warm his feet with their breath, and to wipe them with their 
hair. Having rendered him this service, and received his 
blessing, they returned to their native element. He then went 
home, and joined the brethren in the morning lauds. The 
brother who had been watching him was so struck with terror 
that he could hardly find his way home. The first thing he 
did was to prostrate himself before Cuthbert, and with tears 
to entreat pardon, having no doubt that the holy man knew 
all. Cuthbert replied, ' What aileth thee, my brother ? What 
hast thou done? Hast thou been tracing my footsteps in my 
night journey? On this sole condition I pardon thee, that, 
as long as I live, thou never tell any one what thou hast seen.' 
The brother promised, and kept his word; for never, while 
Cuthbert lived, did he speak of the matter to any one." Such 
is Bede's story. 

After Coldingham Priory had" been ruined by the Danes, 
like almost every other coast church in Scotland, the place lay 
deserted for two centuries, save only for the screams of the 
sea-fowl, the same to which Ebba and her sisters had listened ; 
and the roll of the North Sea, the old accompaniment to St. 
Cuthbert's nocturnal psalm. After some two centuries it was 
rebuilt as a Benedictine monastery further inland, and dedi- 
cated to St. Cuthbert. Founded and endowed in noo by 
Edgar, King of Scots, he gave it, as the charter says, " To 
God and to St. Cuthbert, to the church of Durham, and the 
monks serving God, and to them who should hereafter serve 
Him in that church, for ever, and for the souls of his father 
and mother, and for the health of his own soul and body, 
of his brothers and sisters, and for all his ancestors, and 
successors. ' ' 

Another incident is related of St. Cuthbert's missionary 
work and labours in Scotland. When journeying, probably 
near the river Teviot, accompanied by a boy, without any 



provisions, Cuthbert asked the lad, " Are you thinking who 
has prepared your dinner for you to-day?" The boy answered 
in the affirmative. " Be assured, my son," said St. Cuthbert, 
" that the Lord will provide food for those who trust in 
Him, for He has said, ' Seek ye first the kingdom of God 
and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added 
unto you.' And again in the Prophet, ' I have been young 
and am now old, yet saw I never the righteous forsaken, nor 
his seed begging their bread ' ; ' For the labourer is worthy 
of his hire.' " He had just spoken when an eagle came in 
view bearing a large fish caught from the river. The lad ran 
forward and brought the fish to St. Cuthbert, who chided 
him, saying, " Why did you not give part to our hungry 
fisherman?" Then the lad gave the eagle part of the fish, 
and the rest they took themselves, giving thanks to God for 
His loving-kindness and tender mercies. 

We now reach a new period of St. Cuthbert's life. Hav- 
ing spent many years at Old Melrose, and ruled it as provost 
with great ability, preaching the Gospel in all parts of the 
east and south of Scotland, and planting churches everywhere, 
many of which are still dedicated to his memory, as in the 
case of the venerable and sacred establishment beneath the 
shadows of the Castle rock, St. Eata, Prior of Old Melrose, 
thought it right that St. Cuthbert should be transferred from 
the south of Scotland to the north of England from Old 
Melrose to Lindisfarne. St. Cuthbert's influence can still be 
traced in Scotland in many ways. Scores of churches in the 
east and south of Scotland were dedicated to him; in almost 
every Scottish cathedral an altar stood to St. Cuthbert. The 
name of a great county is called after him " Kirkcudbright," 
or the " Kirk of Cuthbert," and the Tweed valley and east 
coast of Scotland are still redolent of his memory. An honour- 
able perpetuation of the name and worth of the great mission- 
ary is the stately church recently restored in Edinburgh, on the 
site of one which, as Skene believed, and there is no reason 
to doubt, was planted by St. Cuthber-t's own hands. 

In Scotland the early Christian, Celtic, or Culdee Church 
was vigorous, powerful, and catholic; and it was not till a 
corrupt age (the eleventh century) that the Church of Rome 
stepped in and ousted the ancient branch of Christ's Church 
in Scotland. It may be intesesting to mention the chief seats 



of this primitive Church in Scotland : Whithorne (" Candida 
casa ") in Galloway also Kirkmadrine near it; Hoddam, 
Jeddart, Old Melrose, Lindisfarne, Coldingham, Tyninghame, 
Abercorn, Edenburg (" St. Cuthbert's "), Cathures (Glasgow's 
ancient name), Dumbarton, Kilpatrick (near Glasgow), Bute, 
Jura, Himba, Oronsay, lona, Mull, Tiree, Eigg, Lismore, 
Skye, Applecross, Dornoch, Rosmarky, Deer, Inverness, 
Monymusk, Aberdeen, Abernethy, Laurencekirk, Fordun, 
Brechin (where a Celtic round tower stands), Monifieth, 
Methill, Strathfillan, Dunblane, Kilrymont (St. Andrews), 
Lochleven, Isle of May, Inchcolm, Inchkeith, Dunfermline, 
Culross. These were the chief of the early seats of Chris- 
tianity in Scotland ages before the Church of Rome was known 
in the land and this Christianity was fostered and spread 
by St. Columba and the Culdees and the other leaders of 
the Celtic Church " Meek Eata, prophetic Boisil, austere 
Cuthbert " by St. Mungo in Clydesdale, and, in an earlier 
age, by St. Ninian in the extreme south-west of Scotland. 

To resume St. Cuthbert's story. On being transferred 
to England, he was appointed Provost of Lindisfarne, " the 
Holy Island of the east coast," whose beacon fires answer 
the holy isle of the west coast in the proclamation of the Cross. 
St. Aidan had been seventeen years Bishop of Lindisfarne 
the chief seat and centre of Christianity for the Angles of 
Bernicia (a kingdom extending from the south-east of Scotland 
down to the middle of Yorkshire, on the coast, and half-way 
inland). His successor, Finan, built in Holy Island " a 
church worthy of the see," but it was only composed of split 
oak shafts covered with reeds, a very primitive affair. This 
was probably the church to which St. Cuthbert fell heir in 
Lindisfarne, and of which in time he became bishop. 

The island, according to tradition, was infested by evil 
spirits before he came, but " his presence dispelled them." 
He dug a well in the island, and supported himself by his 
own hands, preaching to the heathen inhabitants " modest in 
the virtue of patience and affable to all who came to him for 
comfort." For long St. Cuthbert was Bishop of Lindisfarne, and 
from this lonely " Holy Isle," near Longstone island, famous 
in later days for its Grace Darling, he evangelised the north 
of England with such singular success that his name is found 
associated still with scores of the parish churches of North- 



umber land, Cumberland, York, and Durham, and northwards 
as far as Edinburgh, where, at the foot of the Castle Rock, 
he planted the earliest church in Dunedin. As the one 
saved with her lifeboat many shipwrecked mariners on that 
storm-scourged coast, so the other by the Ark of Christ's 
Church rescued multitudes in the northern kingdom from the 
darkness and peril of heathendom. That little island, seen 
for a moment from the windows of the " Flying Scotsman," 
or from the deck of a passing steamer, or by the devoted 
pilgrim from the sandy beaches of the mainland, stretching 
out at low-tide so far that, as a few years ago, a band of 
three thousand pilgrims could wend their way through the salt 
pools and rippled sandbanks almost dry-shod to the ruined 
church, which still rises like a sentinel from the lonely group 
of rocks that little island must always possess for the reverent 
mind a singular charm, second only to that of Holy lona on 
the west coast of Scotland. 

This Scottish pioneer of Christianity passed quietly away 
to the bosom of Christ in the year A.D. 687, and his body was 
laid to rest in the church which afterwards became Durham 
Cathedral, where also rests the Venerable Bede, one of the 
earliest translators of the Gospels into English, who died liter- 
ally with the pen in his hand. 

A most romantic story attaches to the remains of St. Cuth- 
bert. During the incursions of the Danes they were stolen, 
and after many vicissitudes and changes were at last restored 
to their old resting place, where they lie at this moment, behind 
the altar, as the Venerable Bede's dust sleeps in the Galilee 
Chapel, at the west end of the Cathedral. A special charm 
was supposed to belong to the communion cloth which St. 
Cuthbert used, and for centuries it was brought forth on great 
and momentous occasions, and used as a banner in battle. 
When his coffin was opened in 1827 to satisfy curiosity, a small 
Greek cross was lying on his breast, proving that ecclesiasticism 
was a less thing to him than Christendom, that his sympathies 
were abroad, and that he held communion, as we learn from 
other sources, with the Eastern Church, and was not a bigoted 
partisan of the Western. 

It is pleasant to think that Durham Cathedral, so long 
associated with a distinct, and yet a liberal, Christianity, and 
which mourns still the loss of its Bishop Lightfoot, who 



combined both the missionary zeal of Cuthbert and the critical 
scholarship of Bede, should owe its existence and be dedicated 
to the Scottish missionary " The Cathedral Church of St. 
Cuthbert, Durham." It is also pleasing to think that, not 
only during the Middle Ages, when the North of England and 
Scotland were under one episcopal rule, till the latter became 
a separate Church with a separate organisation, but down to 
later times, even to our own day, there should be a friendly 
and charitable relationship between two parts of the island 
which owe their conversion to the same burning spirits. The 
appointment of another Scotsman to be Archbishop of York, and 
of Dr Davidson to be Primate of all England both brothers 
of elders in the Church of Scotland will not lessen the kindly 
feeling between the two countries and Churches. 

In a little volume of sacred poems on the early Scottish 
missionaries, published some years ago, the writer has this 
hymn opposite St. Cuthbert's name, written amid the pillared 
calm and dim religious light of Durham Cathedral : 

"What shrine can be more glorious 

Than that where Cuthbert rests in peace? 

Beneath the altar's holy shade 
He waiteth for his full release, 

Until through vault and aisle shall ring 

The final summons of the King. 

" Grand place of rest for him who spent 

His days the soul of man to save, . 
On rugged moor, on lonely isle 

Where wild birds soar above the wave, 
Strange Patmos, where, far o'er the sea, 
Float echoes from eternity. 

" What worship should be ours, what prayers, 

What praises and what triumph high, 
Where towards the east sleeps Cuthbert blest, 

Where at the west St. Bede doth lie ; 
O sure a guard of angels bright 
Must keep the shrines of saints in light. 

" But chiefest, Lord, we praise Thy name, 

Who show'dst Thy saint the glorious road, 
And planted him within Thy fold 

' None other than the House of God.' 
And thus most blest, to him was given, 
To find it too ' the gate of heaven.' 

"And now what recks he of the storms 

That broke upon the lonely isle? 
What recks he of temptation fierce, 

Of trials sore and fears meanwhile? 
Now round him spread the waters still, 
The pastures 'neath the Holy Hill. 



" Full soon shall shine the glassy sea 

Upon those saintly eyes that sleep ; 
Full soon the victor's harp-notes clear 

Across its crystal depths shall sweep ; 
Full soon : now peacefully they wait 
Their summons through the golden gate !" 

The grandest monument to St. Cuthbert in Great Britain 
is this stately, glorious Cathedral of St. Cuthbert's, Durham, 
occupying the summit of a peninsula, overlooking the River 
Wear on the east and on the west, with rapid declivities reach- 
ing down to the river, and covered over with hanging v;oods 
and gardens; its great central tower, 212 feet high, and the 
two western towers, 143 each; its length 420 feet, and its 
glory such that only York and Westminster excel it. The 
seeds of this magnificent structure were laid there by the great 
Scottish saint who evangelised both northern England and 
southern Scotland and there is a delightful appropriateness 
in the fact that his ashes rest under these stately cathedral 
towers, arches, and pinnacles, along with the ashes of the 
Venerable Bede, with the words of whose translated Gospel 
of St. John, Cuthbert had in his early career comforted the 
dying spirit of St. Boisil, his master, at Old Melrose. There 
is also a delightful appropriateness in the fact that probably the 
finest panegyric on St. Cuthbert was written by one of his 
successors the lamented Bishop Lightfoot of Durham, whom 
the Christian world still mourns. " What was it," said the 
scholarly Bishop of Durham of our day, " that won for Cuth- 
bert the ascendency and fame which no churchman north of 
the Humber has surpassed or even rivalled? He was not a 
great writer like Bede ; he was not a great preacher like Aidan ; 
he founded no famous institution; he erected no magnificent 
building ; he was not martyred for his faith or for his Church. 
His Episcopate was exceptionally short (two years) and undis- 
tinguished by any event of signal importance. Wherein, then, 
this transcendent position which he long occupied, and still 
to a certain measure maintains? He owed something, doubt- 
less, to what men call accident. He was on the winning side 
in the controversy between the Roman and English observances 
of Easter. Moreover the strange vicissitudes which attended 
his dead body served to emphasise the man in a remarkable 
way. But these are only the buttresses of a great reputation. 
The foundation of the reverence entertained for Cuthbert must 
be sought elsewhere. Shall we not say that the secret of his 



influence was this : The ' I ' and ' Not I ' of St. Paul's great 
antithesis were strangely marked in him? There was an 
earnest, deeply sympathetic nature in the man himself ; and 
this strong personality was purified, was heightened, was sancti- 
fied by the communion with, the indwelling of, Christ. His 
deeply sympathetic spirit breathes through all the notices of 
him. It was this which attracted men to him; it was this 
which unlocked men's hearts to him. We are told that he 
had a wonderful power of adapting his instructions to the 
special needs of the persons addressed. He always knew 
what to say, to whom, when and how to say it. This faculty 
of reading men's hearts, sympathy alone can give; and Cuth- 
bert's overflowed, even to dumb animals. The seafowl which 
bear his name (the eider-duck, called ' St. Cuthbert's duck,' 
which breeds on the Fame Islands) were his special favourites. 
[When the saint's tomb was opened in 1827, figures of these 
birds were found worked in cloth of gold on the episcopal 
vestments which wrapped his body.] Other tales, too, are 
told perhaps not altogether legendary which testify to his 
sympathy with, and power over, the lower creation. We are 
reminded by these traits of other saintly persons of deeply 
sympathetic nature of Hugh of Lincoln' followed by his tame 
swan; of Anselm protecting the leveret; of Francis of Assissi 
conversing familiarly with the fowls of the air and the beasts 
of the field, as with brothers and sisters. But if the ' I ' was 
thus strong and deep, the ' Not I ' was not less marked. 
' Not I, but Christ liveth in me.' His fervour at the celebra- 
tion of the Holy Sacrament manifested itself even to tears. 
' He imitated,' says Bede, ' the Lord's Passion, which he 
commemorated, by offering himself a sacrifice to God in con- 
trition of heart.' He died with Christ that he might live with 

This Old Melrose seems to have been the original home 
of Christian influence in the south of Scotland. The present 
village of Old Melrose is full of carved stones and ecclesi- 
astical relics of this once world-famous seat of Christianity. 
This Old Melrose became a Cistercian foundation under 
David I., that " sair sanct for a croon," who raised churches 
and abbeys everywhere. Wyntoun, the famous Scottish 
chronicler who says that " Scotland always loved a way of her 
own," says of King David : 



" He illumynyd in his dayis 
His landys wyth kyrkys and wyth abbayis. 
Abbays he founddit nyne or ten, 
And set in thame relygyws men." 

In Old Melrose the chief names of Abbots were St. Eata, 
a disciple of St. Aidan, Abbot of Lindisfarne, consecrated to 
Hexham in 685 ; St. Odunald, who had a vision of an angel 
comforting him on his death-bed ; St. Ethelwald, a disciple 
of St. Cuthbert (696), who in 724 was consecrated Bishop of 
Lindisfarne; St. Theynan, counsellor to King Eugenius VI., 
who died on September 26th, but the year is not stated; and 
somewhere after 1000 A.D., William Douglas, confessor to 
Malcolm III., who built the Abbey cloister. 

The great and beautiful New Melrose Abbey, founded 
by David I., some three miles further up the Tweed, for the 
vigorous and popular Cistercian Order, on April ist, 1136, has 
become famous as the mother-house of Balmerino, Cupar, 
Kinloss, Mauchline, Newbottle, and other Cistercian seats, 
but the wizard wand of Sir Walter Scott has invested it with 
a charm and attraction of which, compared with the beautiful 
and wonderful Cistercian houses of Kirkstall, Fountains, 
Rievaulx, and others, it is quite unworthy. There can be 
little doubt that Melrose is the parent seat of the Cistercian 
houses of Scotland, and that New Melrose Abbey, founded in 
1136, having become too full, the fathers overflowed, and, 
headed by one Ralph, a person of beautiful presence, travelled 
up the Gala Water and through the Borthwick valley, and at 
last settled down in the Newbottle valley on the Esk shore, 
so reminiscent of the original home on Tweedside, with the 
silvery river and soft rolling hills and genial climate. Melrose 
and Newbattle in all these respects are practically identical. It 
has been said that the Newbattle Cistercians came not from 
Old Melrose (the Eldbottle some three miles down the Tweed 
from Melrose Abbey), but from Eldbottle on the east coast 
near Dirleton. The Cistercians had a house at Gullane, the 
beautiful remains of which are still standing ivy-clad as you 
enter beautiful Dirleton village, and this bore the name of 
Elbotil or Eldbotel (the old dwelling), and was dedicated to 
Ss. Mary and Nicholas. It was a cell from North Berwick, 
and was founded by David I., who also founded the abbey here. 
Two things seem to militate against the' view that the Cistercian 
fathers of Newbottle came from this Eldbottle, namely, first, 



that the two houses were founded by the same sovereign, 
David I., about the same time, so that the one was about as 
old as the other; and secondly, the Eldbottle at Gullane was 
not a house for men at all, but for the white-robed Cistercian 
nuns, who had houses also at Coldstream, Haddington (St. 
Mary's in Nungate), Eccles, Muiravonside, and elsewhere in 
Scotland. The Cistercian settlement at Old Melrose was of a 
much earlier date, and was intimately associated with the early 
Christian missionaries like St. Cuthbert, St. Aidan, and St. 
Boisil (whose name appears in the modern " St. Boswell's "). 
This old Christian settlement, the home of St. Cuthbert and 
St. Boisil, St. Odunald, St. Ethelwald, St. Theynan, and 
the other Christian missionaries of the seventh century, "almost 
enclosed by the windings of the Tweed," at what is now called 
Old Melrose, was colonised from Lindisfarne in 854, and was 
the mother of New Melrose Abbey, founded in 1136, and of 
Newbattle, founded in 1141. That at any rate is the final 
verdict of Mr Cosmo Innes in his admirable preface to the 
Newbattle Chartulary, published by the Bannatyne Club 
(1848), under the guidance of the learned and accurate Dr 
David Laing. 

The great and beautiful Cistercian foundation at New 
Melrose, every arch and pillar of which has been lined out 
in gold by the magic pencil of Sir Walter Scott, was really 
the mother house of all the Cistercian houses in Scotland, of 
some of which a cursory notice may be given. 

The Abbey of Balmerino in Fife was one of the earliest 
Cistercian houses to be founded from Melrose, and was dedi- 
cated to St. Mary and Edward the Confessor. It stood on 
the south side of the Firth of Tay, and commanded a beautiful 
view of the Firth and of the Carse of Cowrie. A few ruins 
still remain of this once-famous establishment. 

Probably somewhere about 1142 a band of Cistercian 
fathers came up from the rich and beautiful Abbey of Rievaulx 
in North England, and settled at Dundrennan. Newbattle 
was an offshoot from Melrose in 1140 or 1141. In 1164 
another band of monks from Melrose crossed the Firth of 
Forth and settled down at Cupar in Fife [Cupar- Angus], where 
King Malcolm the Maiden gave them his patronage and aid, 
as he also did at the very same time to Manuel and Soutra. 
The church stood within a Roman Camp, and some few traces 
of it are still in evidence. 



Dundrennan in Galloway, near the Solway Firth, was 
founded in 1142 from Rievaulx by David I., who also founded 
Newbottle. While all the Orders had his royal patronage, 
the Cistercians were specially favoured by him. The remains 
of Dundrennan are extensive, and rich from an architectural 
point of view. The beautiful ruined pile rises up on the 
bank of a rocky, sparkling burn, surrounded by hills, and 
over the walls there has gathered a beautiful pale grey moss. 
It was within these walls that Mary Queen of Scots spent her 
last night on Scottish soil. No less than two Abbots of 
Rievaulx became Abbots of Dundrennan, one of them Silvanus 
(1167), having, it is believed, when a monk at Melrose, com- 
posed the earlier part of the famous chronicle bearing his 

Kynlos, or Kynflos, was founded on i3th May, 1156, 
from Melrose. This beautiful sanctuary near Elgin was a 
mitred Abbey, and received its name from the miraculous 
flowers which blossomed near the place where the body of 
King Duffus lay hidden. Boece says the house was famous 
for the splendour of its buildings, which were so massive as 
almost to suggest fortifications, as well as for the exemplary- 
lives of the inmates. The stones were largely used in 1652 
to build the citadel of Inverness. King Edward was at 
Kynloss in 1361, and kept Christmas there. One of its abbots, 
Nerins, who previously was Abbot of Melrose, was invoked as 
a saint by pilgrims and travellers because he restored to life 
two men who were killed on their pilgrimage to some holy 
place. A branch house was started at Deir by the fathers in 
1219 by Abbot Ralph, who had the vision of the huge 
" JEthiop passing through a closed window and smelling with 
delight the breaths of the sleeping abbots who were attending 
a general council, and through the inadvertence of the cook 
had eaten broth into which some fragments of meat had been 
strained.' 3 In 1274 the Prior of Newbottle was made Abbot. 
Thomas Chrystal, Abbot in 1530, was a munificent benefactor 
of the house, and gave many vestments and ornaments, as 
well as adding to the conventual library a number of French 
books, a Bible in six volumes with glosses, Chronicles of 
Antony, St. Jerome's Epistles, the writings of St. Augustine, 
St. Ambrose, St. Chrysostom, St. Gregory, St. Bernard, the 
sentences in the Canon law. 



The Cistercian house of Deir was an offshoot from Kynlos, 
as Newbattle was of Melrose. It was founded in 1200 by 
the Earl of Buchan. Deir is more intimately associated with 
the earlier Culdee Church, for St. Columba called the primitive 
religious home there " the Monastery of Tears," because of 
his sorrowful parting with St. Drostan. James VI., after 
the Reformation, gave the sacred site to the Earl Marischal 
Keith, but his wife besought her lord to have nothing to do 
with the sacrilege. The striking legend of the House of Deir 
tells the tale of how the sacrilege was avenged. The Countess 
dreamt that she saw a vast crowd of white-robed monks sur- 
round the huge crag on which their house, Dunnottar Castle, 
stood, and cut it up with their monastic knives. In her dream 
she ran to her husband to stay the destroying mob of white 
religious, but when she returned from her search she saw to 
her dismay that the rock over the German Ocean had fallen, 
carrying the castle with it, and a few fragments tossing on 
the waves of the sea, which makes the Bullers of Buchan 
sound. The sacrilege received its reward in 1715, when the 
noble family fell. One Abbot gave his office up and returned 
to Melrose, preferring the sweet, green Tweedside sanctuary 
to " that poor cottage of the monks of Deir." Robert Keith, 
the Abbot in 1543, died in Paris; while the Prior, who was 
a distinguished mathematician, and regarded as a magician, 
died in 1567, and was buried at Roslin. 

Glenluce "the vale of light" in Galloway, was founded 
on February i6th, 1192, on the east side of the river of Luce, 
by Rothland de Galloway, Constable of Scotland, and colon- 
ised from Melrose or Dundrennan. Michael Scott, the 
magician, who cleaved the Eildon Hills into three peaks, lies 
buried with his magic books among the walls, and tradition 
says that some one who disinterred his skeleton found it in a 
sitting posture, and the sight drove him mad. 

On St. Matthew's Day, 1217, the Cistercian Abbey of 
Culross was founded, dedicated to Sts. Mary, Andrew, and 
Serf, on " the back of the peninsula," commanding a fine 
view of the Firth. St. Thenaw, mother of St. Mungo, had 
been driven thither from her father's home underneath the 
shadow of Traprain Law. King Loth, who gives his name 
to the Lothians, banished his daughter Thenaw (whose name 
still appears in St. Enoch's Station in Glasgow), and her son 



was born at Culross, which in after centuries had the prescrip- 
tive right to forge girdles for Scotland. St. Servanus, or St. 
Serf, had so strong an influence over Culross that on every 
first of July, long after the Reformation, the people walked 
in procession through the town, carrying green boughs, early 
in the morning, in memory of St. Serf. Culross Abbey, 
which is now being restored, was colonised by Kynloss, and 
to-day is an imposing and beautiful ecclesiastical edifice. 

The lonely Cistercian Abbey of Sandal, or Saggadil, 
stands on the eastern shore of Cantire, and very few remains 
of the establishment exist. Founded by Reginald, son of 
Somerled, King of the Isles and Lord of Argyle, in 1220, 
and colonised from Rushen, it was raided in 1263 by Haco 
of Norway. The church measured 136 by 24 feet, and the 
transept 78 by 24 feet. The dormitories, study, and cloister 
garth can still be traced. James IV. in 1507 annexed the 
abbey to the Bishopric of Argyll. 

Sweetheart or New Abbey, seven miles from Dumfries, 
was founded in 1275 by Devorgilla, daughter of Alan de 
Galloway, in the valley of the Nith, almost at the foot of 
Criffell. Melrose contains the heart of Bruce, Rouen Cath- 
edral the heart of Richard Cceur de Lion, Shelley's heart 
after burning remained whole, and Devorgilla took the em- 
balmed heart of her husband, John de Balliol, and having 
shrined it in silver and ivory, placed it in an aumbry near 
the altar. At first the Abbey was founded on Loch Kender 
' ' Sweetheart ' ' but on removal to the site in the Nith valley 
the name was changed to New Abbey. The Abbey has a 
saddle-back tower as usual, and a crow-stepped gable. The 
cellarage and chapter-house also remain. The arms were two 
pastoral staffs in saltire : in chief a heart : and the motto 
" Choose time of need." Abbot John made submission to 
Edward I. Sweetheart or New Abbey seems to have been 
colonised originally from Dundrennan. 

There were also several Cistercian priories under the same 
rule and order. Friar's Carse (meaning " a watered plain") 
was a cell from Melrose, and was granted by the last com- 
mendator to the Laird of Ellisland, a district made famous 
for ever through the trials and struggles of Robert Burns. 

Hassendean or Hassingdean was another cell from Mel- 
rose, where was a beautiful Norman church. Mauchline in 



Ayrshire, nine miles from Kilmarnock, was also a cell from 
Melrose, founded by the Stewarts and David I. in 1165. 
There are no traces left of it, and tradition says that it was 
dedicated to Sts. Mary and Cuthbert. There was also a 
peculiar order of " Val de Choux " founded in 1193 at Val 
de Choux in Burgundy, and brought to Scotland in 1230 by 
the Bishop of St. Andrews, W. Malvoisin. It was a very 
strict order, and between worship, work, and self-abnegation, 
the whole twenty-four hours were amply employed. " Sack- 
cloth was worn next the flesh, and over it a thick woollen 
habit; at night a tunic with a girdle, a cowl and boots. No 
bolsters were allowed. From Matins until the working hours, 
and from Vespers to sunset, reading, prayer, and meditation 
were to occupy all the time." 

Another Priory was Ardchattan St. John the Baptist's 
on the shore of Loch Etive, near Connell Ferry, and within 
sight of the mysterious Falls of Lora. A very fair amount 
of the old establishment remains, and is well preserved. Robert 
Bruce held a Parliament here, and Gaelic was spoken on the 

Beauly or Beaulieu, ten miles from Inverness, was another 
Cistercian Priory, and extensive remains still exist. It was 
founded in 1232, and the church to-day is surrounded by 
venerable elms and rich historic memories. Oliver Cromwell 
made it a quarry for a fort at Inverness. 

Pluscardine (" the hollow in the hills ") was founded. 
in 1230, in Morayshire, six miles from Elgin, by King Alex- 
ander II., and was colonised direct from " Col de Choux." 
It is still a beautiful seat of worship, and full of richest 

The Cistercian Order, in addition to these various mon- 
asteries and priories, had about a dozen houses for women 
white nuns. At Coldstream the house of St. Mary in the 
Merse, founded by Cospatrick, Earl of March, was famous, 
more especially through the royal residence of Queen Margaret 
in 1515. In Edinburgh, St. Mary's in St. Mary's Wynd, 
founded in the twelfth century, was famous. Marion Clark 
in 1530 was drowned 1 in the " Quarrel Holes," close by, 
because she concealed the fact that she was plague-stricken. 

Eccles, in Berwick, founded by the Countess of March in 
1155, is still traceable. Elbotil ("the old dwelling"), Sts. 



Mary and Nicholas, in Dirleton, was founded by King David 
for Cistercian nuns. Elcho, in Strathearn, was founded by 
David Lindsay of Glenesk, who went to the Crusades with 
St. Louis and his mother. The Earl of Ross in 1346 assas- 
sinated Reginald of the Isles in Eccles Monastery. 

Manuel is well-known as a station on the North British 
Railway, which traverses very much the old Roman (Antonine) 
wall between the Clyde and Forth. The proper name of the 
place is Emmanuel St. Mary's Emmanuel, in Muiravonside, 
near Linlithgow, and was founded by King Malcolm IV. the 
Maiden, for ladies of rank. The west end of the nave remains. 
In 1788 the south walls were swept away by a flood. Em- 
manuel finally became " Manuel," and was erected into a 
lordship for the Earl of Linlithgow. 

Gullane is famous now more for its golf than its monas- 
teries, and yet the beautiful ruin of St. Mary's, at the entrance 
to Gullane, commemorates the ancient Cistercian house of 
sisters who lived and served and prayed there. It was a cell 
of South Berwick, and was founded by King David, as 
Newbattle was. 

Haddington had its Cistercian convent of nuns St. Mary, 
Nungate, founded by the mother of King Malcolm IV. 
Ada, Countess of Huntingdon. At the dissolution there were 
eighteen nuns. The village of Garvald, built round the 
conventual grange, had a peel tower, and was called Nun- 

Halystan, St. Leonard's, near Berwick, was another 
Cistercian nunnery, in which Edward III. erected an altar 
to St. Margaret after the victory of Halidon Hill. St. 
Leonard's, Perth a hospital and priory was also a Cistercian 
house. South Berwick convent was founded by King David I., 
and was suppressed by King Robert III., as it was loyal to 
England, in 1391. St. Bothan's, in the Lammermoor Hills 
in Berwickshire, was another, a cell from South Berwick, 
and dedicated to St. Bothan, who was a cousin of St. 
Columba. A mile away from St. Bothan's the convent 
of Trefontanez, or the three fountains, stood founded by 
David I., and a cell of South Berwick, the lands of which 
were in 1436 given to Dryburgh Abbey. 

In lona there was a Cistercian convent, where the white- 
robed missionaries prayed and laboured, and were a source 


of Christian influence and blessing to the islands and lands 
all around. The " lona Press," under skilful and patriotic 
guidance, has produced many beautiful works the results of 
native effort, regarding the Columban Church and missionary 
labour. One lona hymn sung by the children in Gaelic may 
be translated as showing the simple spirit of the sacred island 
and its aspirations : 

"We infants, feeble and mild, are gathered, 
We come to seek knowledge of Thee ; 
In the morning of our day, 
O Father of Mercy, 

Whose magnificence knows no bounds, 
Look Thou down in kindness 
On the babes of lona. 

In the days of St Columba 

This was the happy isle : 

It was reputed for its learning, 

As the learned do aver : 

O Father of Mercies, 

Still in Thy infinite dignity, 

Look down in kindness 

On the babes of lona. 

Though humble our dwellings, 
'Mid hills and 'mid glens; 
Thine Own Son was in trouble, 
Without rest for His head : 
For His sake O may Thou, 
In Thy infinite dignity, 
Still in kindness look down 
On the babes of lona." 

In beautiful Lochawe, with its many islands, like Loch 
Lomond, and its wonderful play of sunshine and shadow, the 
lovely green island of Innishail, " Holy Island," rests in 
the centre, under the shadow of Ben Cruachan, and before 
the gloomy Pass of Brander is reached, one of the old resting- 
places of the Cistercian nuns in the Highlands. The whole 
place is redolent of interest and piety. St. Conan drove the 
dragon from the district, and Bera the fairy huntress of the 
hills which gather round Ben Cruachan, throws her poetic 
charm over the place. The sweet, green island stands as the 
witness of Christian faith and hope and love amid the dark 
frowning glories of Cruachan and Brander, and speaks of 
peace and joy and gladness. 

Restful and green the Holy Isle 
Sleeps in the summer sunshine smile ; 
A guard of firs close gathered stands 
Above the rippled rocky strands. 



And the ruined walls of the abbey gray, 
Where the holy nuns spent many a day 
Of prayer and praise, rise there alone, 
Though the Cistercian robes are flown. 

The gray old cross of lona stands, 

And still lifts up its time-worn hands ; 

And the sculptured stones with their figures quaint 

Lie, covering many an unknown saint. 

Three knights in armour carved lie still, 
And sleep their long sleep in that holy hill. 

Sweet Innishail ! a fragrance sweet 
Lingers around thy mercy seat, 
Where piety for ages dwelt, 
And drew to Christ the untutored Celt. 

And if the world in time to come 
Shall doubt and e'en with boldness some 
Shall sneer at Christ, and never quail 
An answer comes from Innishail. 

For here with nought to cheer or bless, 
No homely ties or tenderness, 
Sweet lives were spent which found all loss 
Save what had glory from the Cross. 

The charming island of Innishail still contains in its 
limited area the ruins of the Cistercian convent, with some three 
fine lona. crosses. It was here that Philip Gilbert Hamerton, 
the artist-poet, set up his home, living largely under glass 
in a conservatory-house built by himself, with his young 
French wife, watching the wonderful play of light and shadow 
on the hills and moors and waters of Lochawe. Many years 
earlier, Duncan Ban Macintyre, whose cenotaph overlooks 
Lochawe at the Kilchurn Castle end, sang in Gaelic of the 
inspiration of the place where the white-robed Cistercians sang 
their lay. To-day a Cistercian house stands at Jaffa, where, 
at the end of the Mediterranean, after fifteen hundred miles 
of journey, the pilgrim lands in surf and confusion, and is 
welcomed by the white- robed brothers. It is a far cry to 
Lochawe, but it is a farther cry to Jaffa ; but in both places 
the white-robed Cistercians were to be seen, and at Jaffa or 
Joppa are to be met still. Such was the influence of the Order 
which made its aim nearness to God, likeness to Christ, and 
service to man. 




BOTH St. Benedict and St. Bernard sought as sites for 
their monasteries spots withdrawn from the haunts 
of men. But they differed in the character of the 
localities which they affected. The great Benedic- 
tine monastery crowns the summit of an Italian Rigi 
Monte Cassino for St. Benedict loved heights and towers 
that rose to heaven, whence a wide prospect could be com- 
manded. The writer has more than once been profoundly 
impressed by the spacious majesty and reposeful splendour 
of Monte Cassino. St. Bernard, on the other hand, preferred 
valleys girt round with trees and woodland and pleasant meads 
and streams. All Cistercian Abbeys are thus situated, and 
Newbattle was an ideal spot for a house of the white-robed 
fathers. " The Abbey," says Mr Cosmo Innes, " was not 
placed so as to command a prospect. It lies where the South 
Esk, escaped from the green hills of Temple and the woody 
ravines of Dalhousie, widens its valley to give room for a 
long range of fair level haughs. At the very head of these 
meadows, and close to the brook, the Abbey stands. Behind, 
to the north are the remains of the ancient monastic village, 
once occupied by the hinds and shepherds of the convent, but 
separated from the Abbey gardens by a massive stone wall 
ascribed to the time and personal care of William the Lion 
(1165-1214), which still forms the boundary of the park on 
that side. The river banks have probably always been covered 
with a growth of native oak. What was the clothing of the 
level lawn of old we can only conjecture. As it is, situated 
at the bottom of its narrow valley, close by the brook, hidden 
among beeches and venerable sycamores, it gives an idea of 
religious seclusion such as St. Bernard sought at Citeaux." 
The South Esk has its rise in the beautiful glen of Powbate 



or Bowbate, in the Moorfoot Hills, some ten miles up country. 
In course of time the Newbattle fathers came into possession 
of this charming hill-country, with its green rolling mountains 
rising to a height of some twelve hundred feet, and built a 
convent and chapel, which they called Morthwaite or Moor- 
foot, the remains of which still stand surrounded by venerable 
trees. The old shepherd of Lord Rosebery's Moorfoot farm 
is full of reminiscences of the convent and the Herondean. 
The Earl referred the writer to him for reminiscences of the 
place. The Powbate Glen is an ideal place for the geologist 
to study the action of the glaciers, the dunes and rounded 
stones and smooth hills all carrying one back to the ice age. 

A small glen, also with a stream, unites with the Powbate 
between the hills known as the Kipps, and bears the name 
of the Herondean or Hirendean, from the fact that it then 
was, and still is, the favourite haunt of herons, which sought 
for the minnow in the two sweet streams flowing from the 
two glens and uniting at the foot, passing the ancient convent, 
and then hurrying into the great Gladhouse reservoir, with its 
two islands and lovely expanse the main source of the water 
supply of Edinburgh. Herondean Castle, a picturesque ruin, 
stands on a knoll above the water bearing that name, and even 
in recent years was inhabited. The Newbattle fathers had 
admirable fishing in these Moorfoot streams, while the green 
hillsides provided magnificent pasture and cover for game of 
all sorts. The South Esk escapes from the Gladhouse reser- 
voir and flows through rich woodlands and romantic glens, 
till it reaches Newbattle, where it assumes larger proportions, 
and then continues its journey, till below Dalkeith Palace it 
unites with the North Esk, and, together, the united rivers 
journey on their way to the sea, running beneath the ancient 
Roman bridge at Musselburgh, which was crossed by Prince 
Charlie and his Highlanders, and thence to the German Ocean. 

The Powbate or Bowbate glen, where the South Esk has 
its rise, has a curious legend. Thomas the Rhymer's prophecy 
that Powbate, which legend says completely fills the great 
hill in which it is situated, will yet break out and flood all 
the country around, refers in its last line to Newbattle Abbey : 

" Powbate an ye break, 
Tak' the Moorfoot in yer gate, 
Moorfoot and Mauldslie, 
Huntleycote, a' three, 
Five kirks and an abbacie." 



The five kirks are Temple, Carrington, Borthwick, Cock- 
pen, and Dalkeith ., the abbacy being Newbattle. 

Newbattle Abbey, the 15 2nd House in the roll of the 
Cistercian Order, was founded by David I., the " sair sanct 
for the Croon." The following is its earliest Charter of 
foundation : " David, King of Scots, to the Bishops, Abbots, 
Knights, Barons, representatives, and to all his faithful in 
his whole kingdom, greeting. Be it known unto you that I 
have given and made this grant forever to God and Holy Mary, 
and to Monks of Newbattle. In witness whereof, Ruchal ; 
Alwinus, Abbot of Edinburgh ; Gilbert, prior ; Edward, chan- 
cellor ; Duncan, knight ; Hugo de Morewyll ; and Macbeth 
of Liberton. Given at Edinburgh." It was founded in 1140 
or 1141 for Cistercian monks, brought from Melrose, which 
had grown too full, hence the necessity of founding a new 
colony [Newbattle, or more properly, Newbottle : new resid- 
ence ; cf. Morebattle, &c.], Melrcse being the old residence. 
Melrose had become so full in the new Cistercian revival and 
enthusiasm that it could not contain the numbers of those 
who sought in its cloisters at once a refuge from the temptations 
of this world and a rule of life under which they might be fitted 
for a better : " the children which thou shalt have .... shall 
say again in thine ears, the place is too strait for me; give 
place to me that I may dwell." Accordingly, Ralph and a 
small party of Cistercians said farewell to Melrose and jour- 
neying up the Gala Water, arrived at the Esk side, and called 
the place Newbottle. The name is spelt in more than three dozen 
different ways. There are several places called " Newbottle " 
in the north of England, one parish in Durhamshire, the best 
known township of which is Fencehouses, and letters fre- 
quently arrive there which are intended for the Midlothian 
parish ; one in Northamptonshire, and one in Germany. 

In volume I. of " Originum Cisterciensium," by Father 
Leopold lanauschak, O. Cist, professor of ecclesiastical history 
and of Canon Law in Vienna, Newbattle Abbey is described 
as No. 152 of the Cistercian abbeys of the world, and the 
different names of the monastery are to be found in various 
manuscripts existing in public libraries and private collections 
throughout Europe thirty-six in number. 

I quote this learned Cistercian writer's list verbatim : 
"Neubottelium, Newbottle, Newbattle, Newbottel, Newbottell, 



Newbottele, Newbothelium, Newbothele, Newbotil, Newbottil, 
Newbottill, Newbode, Nembode, Nembodt, Nembodel, Neu- 
bode, Neubote, Newbothe, Neubotle, Neubolla, Neubothle, 
Neublothe, Neublot, Neobotle, Neubothel, Neubothelle, Neu- 
botel, Neubotil, Neubotile, Neubotyl, Neubottil, Neubatil, 
Neubattle, Neuboune, Neurotel, Maria Neunboil." 

After enumerating these names which ring the changes 
exhaustively and exhaustingly, and which would make an 
excellent mathematical puzzle for our higher grade schools, as 
they certainly are a striking proof of the easy methods of 
mediaeval spelling, he adds in Latin, " This house (the name 
of which comes from a Saxon word ' bottle ' that is ' villa ' 
as at Eld-bottle (Old-bottle) in East Lothian), Newbottle 
is on the shore of the South Esk, not far from the town of 
Dalkeith, in Mid-Lothian, and in the diocese of St. Andrew 
in Scotland, and was founded by David I., King of Scotland 
the mother-house being Melrose (of the line of Claravallis, 
or the Vale of Light), and in the calendar the date is given as 
1140. First among the many prelates who occupied the post 
of chief pastor was Ralph, to whom, as with his successors, 
writers refer as having been exceedingly strict in discipline." 

From the foundation of Newbattle in 1140 until the 
Reformation of 1560, there were in all thirty-six abbots, which 
gives an average of about twelve years' rule for each. 

The first abbot, Ralph or Radulphus was " a person 
of beautiful presence. He was continually occupied in divine 
meditation, for from his youth he had loved his Creator with 
all his heart. It is said that once, when he was engaged in 
prayer in his cell, the devil appeared to him as black as pitch." 
It is a stretch of more than seven hundred years between Abbot 
Ralph and " Camp Meg," the eccentric horse-doctor, who early 
in the nineteenth century lived a solitary life on the Roman 
Camp hill above Newbattle, and yet these two shake hands 
across the ages as having had each a personal vision of the 
Prince of Darkness, only to the half-witch he made his com- 
pearance, not " black as pitch," but in colours. Some time 
before 1150 Ralph took part in the adjustment of terms of 
peace between the Abbots of Kelso and Holyrood, in a con- 
ference at the Crag of Treverlen. In all probability Ralph's 
old association at Melrose with the neighbouring Kelso, and 
his new association with the neighbouring Holyrood, accounts 



for the fact of his being called upon to arbitrate between the 
two contending abbots and abbacies. Pope Innocent II. 
granted the Abbey entire immunity from tithes during his 
rule, and ratified the grants of land already made by King 
David. It was a wonderful church-founding and church- 
building age. The saintly Queen Margaret imbued her son 
David with the desire to establish the Christian Church more 
thoroughly than had been the case with the earlier Culdee or 
Columban Church, and it was she who supplanted the some- 
what effete and decaying Culdee ecclesiastical rule and polity 
by the vigorous missionary Church of Rome, which up till her 
reign had had no place in Scotland, the Church of S. Columba 
being independent of the Roman see. Mother and son divided 
Scotland into dioceses with bishops, parishes with Roman 
priests, and founded monasteries all over the land. It was 
an age of revival all over Europe, the age when many of the 
great universities were founded, and when the Knights Tem- 
plar and other Crusaders were on fire to rescue the Holy 
Sepulchre from the grasp of the infidel, whose officers are 
still sitting, as the writer recently noted with sorrow, at the 
entrance to that wonderful Jerusalem Tomb-Church, reading 
aloud prayers from the Koran and raising their voices higher 
as humble Christian pilgrims enter the holy place, where they 
believe the Lord was crucified and buried. 

Many years later the Crusading Knights-Templar founded 
a house farther up the Esk from Newbattle, called Balant- 
radoch, and latterly called Temple, which with Torphichen 
formed one of the chief homes of those martial-monks, who 
combined the life of devotion with a military ardour in the 

When Ralph became Abbot of Newbottle the house must 
have been of the very simplest description. Whether there 
was a Culdee Church there already or not is hard to say, but 
St Mungo's influence in the district spread far and wide, and 
there are traditions that a Culdee religious establishment 
existed there prior to the arrival of the Cistercians. The 
country around was the rough, wild Caledonia pictured by 
the Roman soldiers, the thick Caledonian forest of short, 
stunted oaks, some remnants of which can still be traced in 
Newbattle and Dalkeith. 

Here is a description of Caledonia by a Greek writer of 


the sixth century, whose information evidently came from the 
reports of Caesar's returned legions. " On the North side 
of the Wall of Hadrian, all is different, insomuch that it 
would be impossible for a man to live there, even for half-an- 
hour. Vipers and serpents innumerable, with all other kinds 
of wild beasts, infest that place. And, what is most strange, 
the natives affirm that if any one passing that Wall should 
proceed to the other side, he would die immediately, unable 
to endure the unwholesomeness of the atmosphere ; death also 
attacking such beasts as go thither, destroys them. They say 
that the souls of men departed are always conducted to this 
place, but in what manner I will explain immediately, having 
frequently heard it from men of that region, relating it most 

Is it not rather strange to read these words of the Byzan- 
tine historian, Procopius, reproducing the awe-struck sentiments 
of the Roman sentry on the Scottish Wall, as he peered out 
into the dim unknown land, a land to-day possessed of two 
great cities, one of which rivals Rome in population, and the 
other Athens in culture. But such were their views of poor 
Scotland ; and so, wearied of the constant feuds with the in- 
domitable Picts, the Roman eagles went south and made way 
for the standard of the Cross, and the soldiers of Caesar were 
supplanted by the soldiers of Christ. 

No sooner did the legions leave than the missioners of 
Jesus arrived : and what Rome with all its power could not 
effect, the peaceful faith of Christ accomplished, and savage 
Scotland, which had set its teeth against Caesar's spearmen 
and archers, threw its soul at the feet of Emmanuel. 
" Nazarene," as the Emperor Julian said on dying, feeling 
himself powerless against the calm power of the religion of 
peace and goodwill, and unable to do what it could do 
" Thou hast conquered ! " " fv TOVTU vectors," to echo the 
other church legend " in this (the Cross of Christ) thou shalt 
be victorious !" 

Possibly the Roman soldiers who tramped all over Mid- 
lothian, and whose roads and camps and bridges, notably the 
Maiden Bridge over the South Esk at Newbattle, and the Old 
Bridge of Musselburgh, over which in a later age Prince 
Charlie and his Highlanders passed, may have brought some 
notions of Christianity to the district, as they did to other 



places. St. Mungo's wide influence all over the Lothians had 
definite results in various places in the foundation of churches. 
In Midlothian alone half-a-dozen churches are dedicated to 
him. The remains of his cross are still traceable at Borthwick. 
So that it is extremely probable that a simple religious 
house, as tradition declares, stood by the shore of the South 
Esk, where the Culdee faith was preached and the Nazarene 
was worshipped. 

The country around was then in its primeval roughness. 
The vast Caledonian forest, with its stunted oaks, stretched 
all over the Esk valley. The few people who existed were 
rude and uncivilized. There still remains at Crichton an 
underground dwelling, the only one in Midlothian where a 
primitive family lived, secure from the attacks of the wild 
beasts which then infested the woods wolves, boars, and 
other beasts of prey. How strange must that early man's 
feelings have been, as with sunrise on the sea and the golden 
bars across the sky, he rose from his bed of death, this earth- 
tabernacle, and gazed out in wonder on the Moorfoots and the 
Pentlands, with their traces of the ice age in rounded hills and 
dunes, and of volcanic activity in the sugar-loafed Carnethy, 
and the other extinct burning mountains around. At the very 
time that the wonderful and magnificent natural developments 
were in progress, earthquake and upheaval, glacier movements 
and ice pressure, there were few eyes to behold the 
wonderful miracle of world-building. The solitary human 
being looked out in awe on the magnificent panorama, of 
which he knew nothing. His rude wonderings as to God 
were to receive a fresh direction by the advent of the 
Cross and the preaching of the Crucified, and Newbattle 
is the mother church of the district, for in the Esk 
valley was constituted the first important settlement for the 
diffusion of the Christian faith, and the civilization of the 
race, which had so long pined in darkness. One can hardly 
wonder at Ralph having a vision of the Power of Darkness 
when one thinks of the gross darkness which then covered the 

The second Abbot was Alfred, who took office in 1159. 
The simple ecclesiastical establishment of Ralph by the banks 
of the Esk must have felt keenly the removal of its semi- 
inspired head. A beautiful picture might be drawn of the 



decease of the one who founded the place, and brought celes- 
tial influences to bear upon the valley. One might quote the 
lines of the American poet Will Carleton when he describes 
the last journey and death of the roving pastor in the back- 
States, who amid many discouragements tried to influence the 
backwoodsmen for God and Heaven, and to whom his people 
had given a holiday to Switzerland to recruit his enfeebled 
health : 

"Our parson lay 'mid garden's smiling scent, 

And the patient face within it preached a final sermon to us ; 

Our parson had gone touring on a trip he'd long been earning, 

To that Wonderland whence tickets are not issued for returning. 

O faithful, true-heart shepherd, your sweet smiling lips half- 

Told of scenery that burst on you just the moment that you started ; 

Could you speak once more among us, you could tell us without 
fearing ; 

You could tell us tales of glory we should never tire of hearing." 

Alfred took part in 1173 in a synod of abbots and bishops 
which was held in St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, one of the 
oldest seats of Christianity in the Scottish Metropolis, and 
probably founded by the Saint of Lindisfarne himself, and 
his name is mentioned several times in connection with it. He 
was a true abbot, and enriched Mewbattle in many ways. 
He acquired many saintly relics, which were then in large 
request, and made a religious house famous and great, and 
had them enclosed in a silver chest. He adorned the chapter- 
house, the foundations of which, like the church, were a few 
years ago unearthed by the Marquess of Lothian, with handsome 
seats and " menologies," and he himself died on October i7th, 
1179, after a rule of about twenty years, during which the 
Abbey greatly increased in power and reputation. 

Abbot Hugh succeeded him, and his life seems to have 
been spent very largely in settling civil and ecclesiastical con- 
troversies. On Mid-lent Sunday, 1180, he attended the Court 
of William, King of Scots, held at Haddington, and assisted 
in the settlement of a fierce quarrel between the monks of 
Melrose and the lords of Lauderdale regarding their rights 
in the forest which stretched between the Gala Water and the 
Leader. In the Acts of the Scottish Parliament the whole 
controversy is detailed. In 1190, another controversy took 
place between the monks of Kelso and the rector of Liliscleue 
regarding ecclesiastical jurisdiction; and' so hot at last did the 
quarrel become that it was carried to the Vatican and settled 



by the Pope himself, an interesting side-light on the subject 
of the ecclesiastical position of the Scottish Church, which the 
late Pope in a pastoral declared to have been " the special 
daughter of the Roman see," and subject directly to the Bishop 
of Rome, without any intervening authority. Baronius (xii. 
833) says : " St. Andrews, Glasgow, Dunkeld, Dunblane, 
Brechin, Aberdeen, Moray, Ross, and Caithness, are immedi- 
ately subject to the Apostolic see " : while Gervase of Tilbury 
says: "In our time the sees of Scotland are enrolled as 
immediately dependent on our lord the Pope " ; adding bitterly 
that in this respect Scotland is better off than England. This 
special position of the Scottish Church arose from the disputes 
with the see of York, which claimed Scotland; and the very 
division of the island into two nearly equal parts accounts, 
doubtless, for the double Primacy of the English Church : the 
somewhat secondary position of York nowadays being due to 
the fact that the largest part of the original arch-diocese is 
cut off. 

In the dispute referred to, the Pope appointed three 
commissioners to report, John, Bishop of Dunkeld; Symon, 
Archdeacon of Glasgow ; and Hugh, Abbot of Newbottle, 
and these three settled the controversy to the satisfaction of 
all parties. Hugh also assisted in settling a controversy be- 
tween the monks of Jedburgh and Adam Fitzger, regarding 
Hutton Church; another between William the Lion and 
Jocelin, Bishop of Glasgow, regarding Hassendean Church 
and its patronage, which resulted in the patronage being given 
to Melrose ; and a third between the Prior of St. Andrews and 
the Newbottle monks regarding the lands of the latter in 
Haddingtonshire. Abbot Hugh brought Newbattle Abbey into 
public notice, and his name stands out, not so much as a home 
administrator like Alfred, but as an ecclesiastical judge and 
disposer of disputes. In 1201 he resigned. 

Adam succeeded him, being promoted from the post of 
master of the lay brethren, whose duty it was to till the fields 
and look after the general interests of the monastery. It was 
probably about this period that the event took place which 
Sir Walter Scott has immortalised in his poem, " The Gray 
Brother." It was certainly one monk about this time who com- 
mitted a grave moral offence, and Heron of Burndale, near 
Gilmerton, in revenge had him and a confederate burned to 



death. In the Melville estate the House of Burndale or Burnt- 
dole once stood. The story has been immortalised by Sir 
Walter Scott's " Gray Brother." Sir John Herries was 
Baron of Gilmerton in the reign of David II. His beautiful 
daughter, Margaret, being of a strong religious disposition, 
frequented Newbattle Abbey and she and a young monk there, 
although Sir Walter Scott makes him the Abbot, became enam- 
oured of one another. In the valuable work, " Memory of 
the Somervilles," it is said, " this rascal by his devillish 
rhetoric and allurements so far prevailed upon the simplicity 
of this gentlewoman that at length he betrayed her." Sir 
John Herries discovered that a guilty intrigue was being carried 
on between his daughter and the young monk, with the conniv- 
ance of her nurse, a widow, who lived at what is now called 
Burndale, and threatened Margaret that if ever again she fre- 
quented the grange, death would be the result. One dark 
night he discovered both his daughter and the widow-nurse 
in an intrigue there with two Newbattle monks, and, filled 
with rage, he and his servants set fire to the thatch, and all 
those inside were burned to death. The place was ever after- 
wards called Burntdool or Burndale, and the lodge of Melville 
Castle on the roadside is called to-day Burndale Cottage. 
Sir Walter Scott's account in the "Gray Brother "one of 
his earliest attempts, written when he lived at Lasswade Cot- 
tage close by is a vivid and striking pictorial description of 
the scene. For burning these two monks, an act of sacrilege, 
Sir John Herries or Herring had to flee the country, and 
his estate was forfeited to the king. His friend, Sir Walter 
Somerville, interceded with the Abbot of Newbattle, and re- 
presented the scandal of those two monks which fell on the 
whole order. Sir John Herries and his other daughter, Giles, 
went to live at Sir Walter Somerville's castle at Conthally, 
and the latter, who was a widower, fell in love with Giles, 
and bargained with her father that if he procured his pardon 
he would get his daughter as a reward, and that " half the 
lands of Gilmerton should be settled on him and his wife and 
the heirs of that marriage, or any other marriage past or to 
come, irredeemable for ever." Sir John Herries was pardoned 
on these terms : " That Sir John should make over for him 
and for his, the merk lands of the Grange where the murder 
was committed, to and in favour of the abbey of Newbattle, 



claiming no right therein, neither in property, superiority, nor 
vassalage, in all time coming : and further that the said Sir 
John Herring (Herries) should, bareheaded and barelegged, 
in sackcloth, crave the absolution at the bishop's and abbot's 
hands, and stand in the same manner at the principal door of 
St. Catherine's chapel every Sabbath and holy day for one 
year, paying forty pennies at every time to the poor of the 
parish, and one hundred merks to the monks of Newbattle to 
pray for the souls of those who died through his transgression." 
Sir John agreed, received the king's pardon, was absolved by 
bishop and abbot, and had his estates restored. Sir Walter 
then married the other daughter, Giles, who became heiress to 
her father's properties, although half of the lands of Gilmerton 
were disposed to Sir John Herring's nephew, Patrick Herring. 
Thus both the Drum estate and part of Gilmerton passed from 
the house of Herring or Herries into that of Somerville. 

Sir Walter Scott in his poetic romance makes the Abbot 
the offender, , and he escapes death by burning and fled 
and sought to get absolution for his sin ; and at last 
in St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome knelt with the mul- 
titude in worship. And the story goes how the Pope, 
celebrating "the high, high mass," became aware of the presence 
of a grievous sinner ; and being found out, the penitent begged 
absolution. The reply was, that only the " Gray Brother," 
i.e., Death, could absolve him. The Abbot, after many 
wanderings, returns to Newbattle : 

"And the convent bell did vespers tell 

Newbottle's oaks among, 
And mingled with the solemn knell 
Our Ladye's evening song. 

" The heavy knell, the choir's faint swell, 

Came slowly down the wind ; 
And on the pilgrim's ears they fell, 
As his wonted path he did find. 

" Deep sunk, in thought, I ween, he was, 

Nor ever raised his eye 
Until he came to that dreary place, 
Which did all in ruins lie. 

" He gazed on the walls so scathed with fire 

With many a bitter groan 
And there was aware of a gray friar 
Resting him on a stone. 

" The pilgrim kneeled him on the sand, 

And thus began to saye : 
When on his neck an ice cold hand 
Did that gray brother lay." 



The old story still goes in Newbattle that on certain nights 
of the year the " Gray Brother " is seen moving among the 
brushwood round the " Mary Burn," and the great oaks and 
beech trees which still form the glory of the Newbattle valley. 
Nothing could exceed in beauty the loveliness of the Newbattle 
valley, especially in May, with the marvellous variety of colour 
and richness of foliage. Artists from every corner of Britain 
have vied with one another in endeavouring to reproduce the 
lovely fresh olive and green tints, and the rich colours of lilac 
and laburnum and rhododendron. It is no wonder that Sir 
Walter Scott spoke of it as the most beautiful valley in Scot- 
land. The wonderful transformation scene of Autumn, with 
the woods touched by the early frost's fiery finger, is truly 
a divine revelation. 

Alan succeeded Hugh, having previously been sub-prior 
at Melrose, but he only remained a year, returning to Melrose 
on June 8th, 1214, and spending the rest of his days there. 

According to a frequent custom, which showed the im- 
portance of the office, if the holder of it was an expert in viands 
and household provisioning, the cellarer (Richard) was pro- 
moted to fill Alan's place, in 1214. It was a compliment to a 
good housekeeper, and a token of the monks' appreciation 
of his culinary efforts on their behalf, to give him the highest 
office. The cellarer was a most important functionary, and no 
names are more frequently referred to in monastic chronicles 
than those of good and tasteful caterers. It is interesting to 
note in this connection that the Scottish names Durward and 
Usher are simply forms of the names of two other monastic 
officials, viz., the " Door- ward " or door-keeper a unique 
office, which in Arbroath Abbey passed altogether into the 
hands of one family ; and the usher or beadle, of which name 
also Wishart and the French " Huissier " are but varieties. 

So successful were Richard the Cellarer's efforts that, on 
his retirement in 1216, the cellarer was again promoted to the 
abbot's chair, still further proof of the taste of the Newbattle, 
as of the Melrose, monks in good cheer. Within recent years, 
in excavations round the Abbey, great ash-pits filled with huge 
oyster-shells have been discovered, the oysters having been 
brought inland from the monastic seaport at Morison's Haven, 
some four miles off, to which the old " Salters' Road " 
still runs, as in early monastic days. Oyster-shells are to be 



found built into many of the walls, having been used by the 
Cistercian monks where the modern mason uses a piece of slate 
between stones which do not exactly fit. Seakail is to be seen 
carved out on several pillars and stones. The monks had 
deer forests near Callander, and excellent fishing in the River 
Esk, which flows beside the Abbey, and used to overflow and 
flood the crypt. These are trifles, but at the same time are proof 
of the monks' careful housekeeping and interest in the tem- 

Adam Halcarres, for such was this Abbot's name, was 
placed in the abbot's chair on the i3th September, 1216. He 
was one of those who, in 1218, went to York to have the 
national interdict and curse, under which Great Britain then 
lay, removed. In 1219 he was made Abbot of Melrose, where 
he died, covered with honours, in 1245. His character might 
be well summed up in the language of the old Battle Abbey 
chronicle, which describes, in quaint and most beautiful langu- 
age, the life and death of an abbot whose reign was in the 
same century : 

" Though he continually governed those who were under 
his authority, yet he himself was subservient to the rules, and 
commanded no one as a master. He sustained the infirmities 
of others, and called them forth to strength. His acts cor- 
responded with what he taught. His example preceded his 
doctrine. He inculcated a prompt attendance on Divine Ser- 
vice, and, supporting his aged limbs on his staff, preceded his 
young men to it. Ever first in the choir, he was ever last to 
quit it. Thus he was a pattern of good works, a Martha 
and a Mary, a serpent and a dove. He governed the clean 
and the unclean. He knew how to bear with Ham, and how 
to bestow his blessing on Shem and Japheth. Like a prudent 
husbandman, he caused occupied lands to be promptly culti- 
vated, and those that lay waste he added in, and by this 
means increased their value by the sum of twenty pounds. 
Meanwhile he overlooked not the spiritual husbandry, tilling 
hearts with the ploughshare of good doctrine in many books 
which he wrote ; and although his style was homely, it was rich 
with the beauty of morality. Neither his racking cough, or 
his vomiting of blood, nor his advanced age, nor the attenuation 
of his flesh, availed to daunt this man, or to turn him aside 
from any purpose of elevated piety. But, lo ! after many 



agonies and bodily sufferings, when he was 84 years of age, 
and had been a monk 60 years and 36 days, the Great House- 
holder summoned him to the reward of his day's penny." 

His successor, Richard, had, like Abbot Adam before him, 
been master of the lay brethren, and was elected in 1219, dying 
on April pth, 1220, after a very brief term of office. Another 
Richard succeeded him in 1220; he had been a prior. During 
his reign, on May ipth, 1223, Alexander II., King of Scots, 
visited the Abbey the first royal visit; though in after ages 
Newbattle Abbey was a favourite resort of Scottish kings and 
queens. Alexander bestowed on the house many valuable gifts, 
and his queen lies buried still within its precincts. 

Marie de Couci was the second wife of Alexander II., 
King of Scotland. On the last day of August, 1241, the 
young Queen made a kind of will, and bequeathed her body 
to be buried in the ' Abbey Church of Newbattle ' ; and for 
this privilege, as well as to provide the monks with a 'pittance' 
on the King's birthday (St. Bartholomew's Day), and on the 
day of the Nativity of the Virgin, the most solemn festival 
in Cistercian Abbeys (of which Newbattle was one, and which 
were all dedicated to St. Mary), the King granted to the Abbey 
' the vale of Lethan (Innerleithen), with all the streams that 
flow into it.' After Alexander's death she married again. 
Her second husband was John de Brienne, son of the Emperor 
of the East. But the rest of her life is unrecorded in history. 
It is, however, stated that she came from the East and visited 
Scotland, in 1272, along with her brother, Enguerran de 
Couci, in order to place her young nephew, the heir of Guines, 
at the Scottish Court. We do not know whether she ever left 
Scotland again or not. It is asserted by some historians that 
she died in France, and that her body was brought over to 
Scotland; but it is certain that, wherever she breathed her 
last, her dust was laid to rest in the Abbey Church of New- 
battle, under the pavement, and a splendid monument was 
erected over it, which was one of the sights of the old monas- 
tery, consisting of a foundation of six marble lions, and over 
the monument her effigy in marble, the whole surrounded with 
an iron grating. It must have been a striking object on enter- 
ing the splendid church, with its two long rows of massive 
pillars, to see the tall white figure bent in perpetual tears over 
a dust which no human power could ever vivify. For nearly 



300 years it stood there, a sermon in stone, a preacher in 
marble. The effect which its perpetual presence in their midst 
must have had on the monks, the weeping form above, and 
the supporting lions below, the one speaking so eloquently 
of human grief and broken hearts, the other of the strength 
of God and the powerlessness of death to destroy the soul, 
would be very much akin to the effect produced on a visitor 
to Westminster Abbey as he sees around him the crowd of 
still stone figures in a hundred various attitudes, and especi- 
ally that marble monument to a famous English Duchess, 
one of the most awe-inspiring and affecting pieces of sculpture 
ever produced, in which Death, a hideous skeleton, is repre- 
sented as having burst open a black iron gate below, and is 
crawling up on all fours to the upper elevation, where two 
white figures, a man and a woman, are described. He 
is aiming, with his hand of bare bones, a dart at a dying 
woman who rests on her husband's knee. The husband 
has his hand stretched out pleadingly, and with a fearful 
earnestness, to shield his dying wife from the horrible spear 
which the relentless monster from below is aiming only too 
unerringly. No one can ever see the poise of that out- 
stretched hand, speaking so wonderfully the language of an 
affection which would do anything and everything to save its 
object, and forget it. It was something similar which stood 
above Queen Marie de Couci's vault in Newbattle Abbey : but 
who knows how much teaching that sorrowful figure may have 
accomplished, and who knows but that the thought, of which 
it was so pregnant, of the vanishing frailty of all earthly 
pomps and royalties, may have led some worshipper up to 
those higher realities over which Death has no power, but which 
live on through the ages and survive the wrecks and ravages of 

Now, alas ! the fair queen's resting-place is unremem- 
bered, unhonoured, and, save for its general locality, unknown. 
How true it is, true both for king and commoner, that ' the 
dust returns to dust.' But the lion on her tomb spoke of the 
'Lion of the tribe of Judah,' who has vanquished Death: 
who is the ' strong Son of God, immortal Love ' : who is the 
' King of kings and Lord of lords.' ' 

About a dozen years ago, when important changes were 
being made in Newbattle House at the corner of the Abbey 



next the Esk, so as to form an entrance to the new billiard- 
room, a quantity of human remains were found in the wall, 
and in the floor of that crypt (the most complete part of the 
Abbey extant), just between the central pillar and the wall 
next the billiard-room, a tomb was discovered, placed as usual 
from east to west, and bones inside it. The opinion of some 
antiquarians was that this was the royal tomb. For more 
than three hundred years the monks enjoyed the royal pittance. 

Another royal personage is buried in Newbattle Abbey, 
Catherine Mortimer, the paramour of David Bruce, King of 
Scots; she was stabbed by a hired assassin employed by the 
Scottish lords, as she journeyed from Melrose to Soutra : 
" whereupon," according to the chronicler, " Bruce took great 
dolor, and caused her to be buried honourably at Newbattle." 
It is said that his father, King Robert the Bruce, owned a 
field in Newbattle. 

Alluding to distinguished people buried in the Abbey pre- 
cincts, I may add that in the Abbey churchyard (now the 
flower-garden) the famous Douglasses of Dalkeith are buried 
in many cases, having been great benefactors of the monks. 
On St. Bride's Day, February ist, 1329, " good Sir James 
Douglas," on the eve of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land 
with the heart of Bruce, bestowed on the monks of Newbattle 
his half of the lands of Kilmad, the other half of which they 
had already received from Roger de Quincey ; and in return 
the monks had to sing a mass at St. Bridget's altar, on her 
festal day, " yearly for evermore," and to feed thirteen poor 
folk, so that the saint might make special intercession for the 
weal of the good knight. He was buried at the foot of St. 
Bridget's altar. The Scots were great pilgrims, and probably 
performed these acts of devotion from the days of St Columba. 
They were well-known figures on the Continent as they made 
their way to Rome or the Holy Land. But for every one who 
went to foreign parts, hundreds must have gone to holy places 
in the homeland. It was not, however, till the fifteenth 
century that any detailed account was to be found. After 
the birth of James IV., his mother, and perhaps his father, 
set out with a large retinue on a pilgrimage to the shrine of 
St. Ninian at Whithorn, which already had a great reputation. 
Judging from the elaborate preparations which were made; it 
must have been looked on as a pleasant trip rather than a pene 
D (49) 


tential exercise. Of the visits which James IV. paid almost 
annually to Whithorn, there are many interesting par- 
ticulars, the extracts from the Accounts casting a vivid and 
sometimes amusing light on the modes of life and travel in 
these days. Only second in fame to the shrine of St. Ninian 
was that of St. Duthac at Tain, which was the refuge of the 
wife and daughter of Robert the Bruce when they were com- 
pelled to flee from Kildrummy. Of the journeys thither many 
details could be gathered from the Accounts, the routes taken, 
the time the journey took, and so on. The pilgrimage of 1507 
was rather remarkable. It was probably the one alluded to 
by Lesley, who stated that His Majesty rode 130 miles in one 
day. The Accounts, without actually confirming that state- 
ment, proved the great rapidity of the journey. On the 3ist 
of August the King was at Perth on the way north, where his 
horse required shoeing, and on the i4th of September a man 
was sent to Aberdeen " to speir of the King's incoming," 
which seemed to show that his attendants were not sure of his 
movements. The incident was a curious illustration of the 
impetuosity of the young King, and of his personal activity. 
It was nonsense to call James IV. a debauchee, as had some- 
times been done. The roads must have been wonderfully good 
to allow a man to ride 130 miles in one day, as he seems to 
have done. There were other places scarcely less venerated, 
but as they were within easy reach of Edinburgh, there were 
fewer references to them in the Accounts. Whitekirk, in East 
Lothian, was at one time a place of much resort. In 1413 
no fewer than 15,563 pilgrims visited the place, and the offer- 
ings were equal to 1422 merks. In 1430 James I. had houses 
built for the reception of the pilgrims, and it was likely that 
his successors visited it from time to time. The Isle of May was 
another place of resort. But these did not nearly exhaust the 
list of places which James IV. visited ; in fact, he never passed 
a holy place without remembering it. These pilgrimages were 
by no means on ascetic lines, and were really equivalent to our 
modern summer trips. Falcons, horses, dogs, and weapons 
of the chase were invariably part of the Royal equipment, and 
the days were spent in hunting and hawking, as was shown 
by such entries in the Accounts as " 2/8 for pokes to put the 
laverocks in," while the amusements of the evening were sup- 
plied by the King's troop of Italian minstrels, or by local 



harpers, singers, and story-tellers, while the King himself 
would occasionally touch the lute. Cards and chess were also 
played to pass the time. Of the religious influence and sig- 
nificance of these pilgrimages, it was impossible to judge in 
our day. Among the thousands of pilgrims, many no doubt 
felt their spiritual life quickened and edified. As to King 
James IV. himself, though we could hardly call his life 
saintly, there was nothing necessarily insincere in these acts of 
devotion. The mediaeval mind was a curious mixture ; pleasure 
and penance followed each other in quick succession. In 1390, 
this pilgrim, Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith, made a will, dated 
September 30th, in which, commending his soul " to God and 
to the Blessed Virgin Mary and All Saints," he ordered his 
body to be buried at Newbattle Abbey, beside his first wife, 
Agnes of Dunbar. He bequeathed the monks an " ouche " 
or jewel of St. John, worth 40 merks, and in addition .23, 
6s 8d for the building of the Abbey Church and wages to 
masons. For the refectory he gave 12 solid silver dishes 
costing 1 8 pounds 6 shillings sterling, and left orders that 
none was to remove them, but that they were to be a possession 
for ever. He left ^10 to the monks to pray for his soul, and 
26, 133 4d for an offering, and lights and other necessities 
for his funeral. 

In 1230, Abbot Richard, under whose rule Alexander II, 
visited Newbattle Abbey (the first royal visit of many, the 
latest being those of Queen Victoria and of the lamented Duke 
of Clarence, who planted a little tree, which still struggles 
to grow, under the shadow of the church), was succeeded by 
Constantine, under whose rule the great Abbey Church, hitherto 
small and poor, was -dedicated to Almighty God on March 
1 6th, 1233, by the Bishop of Moray. The foundations of 
that church were, in 1878, re- discovered, for at the Reforma- 
tion the church was moved and re-built a stone-throw off. 
Many of the ancient fragments remain in sculptured stones 
and pillars; and the present parish church is mainly composed 
of the stones of the old abbey church. 

In 1237, Roger, who had been cellarer at Melrose, was 
elected ; he afterwards went to France and died at Vaudey 
in 1256. During his reign, the Lord Chancellor of Scotland, 
Robert de Keldelach, having become implicated in the " Dur- 
ward Plot," was obliged to resign his high office; and, dis- 


gusted with the world, he retired to the shelter of Newbattle 

In 1257, William succeeded, and acquired for the Abbey 
properties in Leith and Greenside. Adam, cellarer at Melrose, 
succeeded him, and eventually became Abbot of Melrose. As 
Newbattle sprang from Melrose, so the intimate connection 
between these two sets of Cistercian brothers seems never to 
have been lost. 

In 1260, the Abbey porter, Guido, succeeded; Patrick 
followed him; then Walter; then Waldeve, another Melrose 
cellarer. His death is thus described: " Dom Waldeve, of 
pious memory and holy conversation, abbot of Neubotle, going 
the way of all flesh, with blessed end, departed to the Lord, 
leaving his house in full peace and excellent condition, both 
in its spiritual and its temporal affairs, in the third year of 
his government, on February 3rd, 1275 : whose body was 
interred with due reverence, as became one holding the office 
of father abbot, on the eve of Agatha, virgin and martyr." 

John succeeded him in 1275, and during his reign Edward 
I. was at Newbattle Abbey in his career of so-called conquest 
of Scotland, 5th June, 1296. Gervase succeeded in 1312 a 
prelate who sat in the Scotch Parliaments at Cambuskenneth, 
1314, and at Ayr in 1315. After Bannockburn he was one 
of those who met at Cambuskenneth Abbey and cursed the 
enemies of Scotland and all who had fought against Bruce. 
In 1328, William succeeded, and during his reign, the Lords 
of Melville granted the monks of Newbattle free passage 
through their lands, on condition that they received a Newbattle 
wagon or cart made by the monks, round whose abbey there 
clustered a village composed of carpenters, smiths, joiners, 
&c., who served all the country for miles around, and whose 
village can still be traced in the abbey park. 

Andrew succeeded in 1345 : he acted as commissioner 
for the Pope regarding the rights of the Cluniac monks in 
Scotland. William succeeded in 1362, and Hugh in 1367. 
In his reign, in 1385, the Abbey was burned down by the 
English under Richard II. and his uncle, John of Gaunt, who 
destroyed many Scotch abbeys and minsters. This was a 
great disaster to the Abbey, and all was lost, many of the monks 
being taken prisoners. The tower was injured, and the monks 
took flight. The great seal of the Abbey at this period is still 
in existence. 



In 1390, Nicholas succeeded, and the Abbey was restored. 
John Gugy succeeded in 1409, and he was followed by William 
Manuel in 1410, William Hyreot in 1458, and Patrick Meadow 
(licentiate in theology) in 1460. He was a royal commissioner 
for holding and continuing Parliament. In 1470 John 
Crichtoune, one of the best of the abbots, succeeded, under 
whose rule the Abbey regained its old magnificence. In 
Glasgow University records (1474) he is referred to as " a 
venerable father in Christ, John Crichtune, Abbot of the Mon- 
astery of Newbotil," and, in the same year, " Patrick Sluth- 
man, a monk of the convent." In 1494, Andrew succeeded. 
Under his rule, in 1503, the famous visit of Princess Margaret 
of England, daughter of Henry VII., took place, the maiden 
crossing from the east coast by the " Salters' Road " (still 
existing), and entering the Abbey precincts possibly by the 
" Maiden Bridge," which, though probably an ancient arch 
raised by the Roman soldiers who overran all this district, and 
of whom many traces are still to be found in camps, roads, 
bridges, and forts, may have received its name from the fact 
that the future Scottish queen of James IV. may have crossed 
it on her way to the Abbey as a maiden. A constant tradition, 
however, declares that the Princess Margaret, with her cavalcade 
of 500 horsemen led by the Earl of Surrey, passed through the 
" Queen Margaret Gate," " the great gates," the pillars of 
which are still standing inside the policies below Kippilaw, a 
little south from the Maiden Bridge, and downwards through the 
woods to the river, which they forded at the " old ford " below 
the present flower garden, and so into Newbattle Abbey. It 
was while staying at Newbattle Abbey that James IV., the 
royal bridegroom, visited her daily from Edinburgh. This is 
certainly the most renowned and historical royal visit of the 
neighbourhood, as the future relations of England and Scot- 
land hung over the issue of the suit. She was then affianced 
to the Scottish King James IV. (1488-1513), and in 1503 
she had, with a gorgeous retinue, set out for Edinburgh. At 
Lamberton Kirk, on the Borders, the Archbishop of Glasgow, 
and the Scottish nobles, including the Earl of Morton, met 
the princess, and, the marriage contract having been signed, 
accepted custody of her person. The journey proceeded by 
Fast Castle, on the German Ocean, where a night's stoppage 
was made, then through Dunbar to the church of Haddington, 



thence to Newbattle by the Salters' Road. This marriage 
laid the foundation for the future union of the two crowns, 
and by the marriage treaty a peace was concluded with Eng- 
land, which remained unbroken until Flodden, when the Scot- 
tish King and the flower of the nobility and army fell on the 
field. This famous royal visit v of the Princess Margaret to 
Newbattle Abbey, which lasted from August 4th to 7th, 1503, 
has been made the subject of a most beautiful modern Italian 
painting in bright colours, framed in golden ecclesiastical work, 
as a mantelpiece in the present mansion of Newbattle, repre- 
senting the arrival of the princess with her retinue and richly- 
caparisoned horses at the Abbey door, at which the Abbot and 
fathers, in their white flannel Cistercian habits, stand waiting 
to welcome her to a house to which royalty was always 
attracted, and where two Scottish royalties still lie buried 
the queen of Alexander II. and the paramour of David II. 
The Abbot has his hand raised in blessing, and the scene 
altogether is a most charming imaginative painting of a great 
historical occasion, the imagination coming out most strongly 
in the delineation of the Pentland Hills, which, instead of 
being low in the distant horizon, are represented as towering 
in blue masses above the very monastery door, the princess 
herself reining her horse in, as she descends the imaginary 
declivity, for all around the Abbey there is flat, plain grass 
land. On the corresponding mantelpiece in the beautiful 
drawing-room of the present Newbattle House, it may be men- 
tioned that there is a similar painting, similarly treated in 
every way, of the laying of the foundation stones of the 
Abbey, 1140 or 1141 A.D. both beautiful specimens of the 
modern florid Italian style of painting. In 1512, John 
succeeded. In his reign James V. visited the Abbey, 
on April 22nd, 1526, and it was while staying there 
that the king granted the monks the right to make a harbour 
at Prestongrange, where the monks shipped their coals. They 
were the first coal-workers in Great Britain, and are thus the 
fathers of Britain's commercial greatness. A Belgian priest, 
writing about this period, says " The monks of Newbattle 
give the poor lumps of black stone as a present." The work- 
ings of the monks in the Esk banks are still observable. 

In 1526 Edward Shewill was abbot. In the chartulary 
he grants feu-charter for Craighouse lands to Hugh Douglas. 



In 1531 James succeeded. It was he who developed coal- 
mining at Newbattle, and made contracts with the monks of 
Dunfermline as to Prestongrange workings. In 1540, John : 
in 1542 James Hasmall, or Haswall, or Haswell, under 
whom, in 1544, the Abbey was again ruthlessly burned by the 
English under the Earl of Hertford, who wrecked all the 
abbeys of the south of Scotland. The church was never thor- 
oughly rebuilt. 

The first connection which the Haswells had with New- 
battle was when " Dominus Ricardo de Haswell " appears as 
a witness to " carta Willelmi Lysurs, dominus de Gouerton." 
(Charter No. 36, Newbattle Abbey.) From the fact that this 
charter is undated, it would appear to be a very early one. 
In the time of Alexander III., we find a John de Heswel 
witnessing a Melrose Abbey Charter; in 1296, William de 
Hessewell signs the Ragman Roll ; and in the reign of David 
II. a charter is granted in favour of John Heswel. I 
presume the Ricardo de Hessewell was contemporaneous 
with, or earlier than one or other of these, as from the time 
of Robert III., when a charter was granted to Robert Haswell 
onward, the name is spelt Haswell. 

The next Newbattle Haswell is well known, viz., James 
Hasmall or Haswell, who was abbot iust before the Refor- 
mation. His arms, " A, a boar's head erased S, on a chief 
dancettee of the last three mullets of the first," appear 
on the font at Newbattle, and are contiguous with 
those of James V. and Mary of Guise. There are also still 
extant several seals of this abbot. There were at the time 
Haswells, both of Dirletdn and Jedburgh, and I am inclined 
to think that the abbot belonged to the former, which seems to 
be a branch from the Border lot, although I have not as yet 
succeeded in discovering when they branched off. There are 
still Haswalls in the parish of Newbattle at the present day. 

The ruinous condition of most of the Scotch abbeys is due, 
not to reforming zeal and bigotry, but to English fire and 
invasion. The fire of 1544 was the last stroke, and the Abbey 
never fully recovered; and somewhere about 1547 Mark Ker, a 
layman, was appointed abbot, although Haswall was still alive 
and exercised his functions until 1554 Mark Ker not being a 
priest. The Reformation crash came, and Mark Ker was 
appointed " commendator " or caretaker of the lands, the aged 
monks were pensioned, and the Abbey was at an end. 



Mark Ker, son of Sir Andrew Ker of Cessford, was 
lay Abbot at the Reformation of 1560. He became a Re- 
former at the dissolution of the monasteries, and was made 
Commendator of the lands, and thus became the founder of 
the House of Lothian. He was among those lords and barons 
who subscribed the ' ' contract to defend the liberty of the 
Evangell of Christ " at Edinburgh on the 2?th April, 1560. 
In the roll of the Parliament on the ist August of that year 
which ratified and approved " The Confession of the Faith 
and Doctrine believed and professed by the Protestants of 
Scotland," he is styled " Commendator " [or caretaker until 
the troubles of the time had passed over] of Newbottle." In 
course of time he married Helen Leslie, of the House of 
Rothes, and died in 1584. He was buried in a vault now 
called the Lothian Vault," and over which the new church, 
- that of Leighton, was raised, where generations of his 
descendants sleep, and where the body of the beheaded 
Marquess of Argyll lay for two months. Mr Mark Ker left 
the Abbey and its properties, of which he was temporary care- 
taker, to his son, but to make assurance doubly sure, he had 
been " provided " to them by Queen Mary in 1567. Since 
then Newbattle Abbey has been the residence of his descend- 
ants, the Kers or Kerrs of Newbattle, now represented by 
the Marquess of Lothian. It is a fine stately residence, the 
original ecclesiastical walls and buttresses being covered over 
with a facing of plain stone, with oblong windows to give 
the ecclesiastical buildings a baronial and domestic appear- 
ance. The fine vaults, consisting of kitchen, cellarage with 
small pillars and arches and barrel-roof, have recently been 
restored from end to end of the house, and are very impressive. 
But the church is wholly effaced, having been removed to the 
site a stone throw off, and thence again to its present position. 
The late Marquess of Lothian, whose antiquarian and ecclesi- 
astical tastes were refined and learned, had the foundations 
of the church excavated and marked out in gravel, so that 
walls, pillars, doors, &c., can be easily traced. The church 
must have strongly resembled the parent Melrose Abbey, and 
the stones of it are to be met with all over the valley. Many 
of the remains of its furnishings, pieces of stained glass, 
portions of the great bell (which was found smashed on the 
ground amongst the charred ruins), earthenware vessels, uten- 



sils, and implements, have been recovered. The Abbey never 
really recovered the fire of 1544, and with the troubles of 
the Church, and the shadow of destruction resting upon her, 
no one had the heart to begin the re-building and restoration. 
The Reformation of 1560, therefore, found Newbattle Abbey 
partially a blackened ruin, and hasting to decay of every 

In a small room off the dining room in Newbattle House 
as it at present stands, there are several interesting pictures 
and portraits. Chief among these are the cabinet-sized panels 
representing Mark Ker, Abbot, and afterwards Commendator 
and owner, of Newbattle, father of the first Earl of Lothian ; 
and the companion portrait of his wife, second daughter of 
the fourth Earl of Rothes, works that are both ascribed to 
Sir Antonio More. The Commendator is seen in half-length, 
with his face in three-quarters to the left. He wears a black 
cap, and is clad in a plain black dress, with small white collar 
and ruffles at throat and wrists. The hands are both visible 
in front, the left holding a brown glove, and wearing, on the 
index finger, a gold ring set with a skull in white enamel. The 
face, with its short brown beard, dark blue eyes, and long, 
firmly-set mouth, wears a particularly resolute expression, and 
one can believe the original of the picture to have been quite a 
man apt to bear hardly upon the poor expelled monks, who 
complained that he " wald nevir gif thame worth ane penny 
ti leif on." His spouse is a pleasant, house-wifely little 
figure, wearing a prim white cap and a black dress with crimson 
sleeves. Her left hand supports a small black tablet or slate, 
upon which musical notes are marked in white, and she points 
towards it with the forefinger of her right. Both pictures 
bear the date of 1551, but the inscriptions have hardly the 
appearance of being contemporary with their execution ; and in 
the year named the painter to whom the works are ascribed had 
not yet been in England. More came to London about three 
years later, just before the marriage of Mary Tudor, on the 
25th of July, 1554, when he was commissioned by Philip II. 
of Spain to paint the portrait of that Queen, which is preserved 
in Madrid. It has been suggested that the Commendator may 
have visited Holland in 1551, and been then painted by More, 
and that the portrait of his wife may have been executed in 
Scotland by another artist, though on a similar scale, and as 
a companion work. 



The statement in Douglas's Peerage that Mark Ker took 
holy orders seems to be a mistake. It appears probable that 
he was never more than lay Abbot of Newbattle, for on his 
appointment on the 5th of December, 1547, the original man- 
date for which is reprinted, from the Papal archives, in 
Maziere Brady's " Episcopal Succession," the jurisdiction and 
the revenues (except such part of them as was necessary to 
enable him to maintain the dignity of his office), were especially 
reserved to his predecessor, John Hasmall, who was alive and 
exercising his functions in 1554. This would account for 
Ker's appearance in the picture in a civil, not an ecclesiastical, 
dress, and accompanied by his wife in a similar panel, indicat- 
ing that his marriage did not date from a period after he had 
cast in his lot with the Reformers, and figured, as recorded 
by Throckmorton, in the Scottish Parliament of 1560, which 
overthrew the Roman hierarchy. The fact is further corro- 
borated by our knowledge that his son, afterwards first Earl 
of Lothian, was of sufficient age in 1577 to be appointed Master 
of Requests. The date of the marriage is, however, doubtful. 

The church, having fallen into decay, was rebuilt a stone- 
throw from its ancient site (at the spot now known as the 
Lothian Vault), and was again removed and rebuilt where it 
now stands, the same stones for the most part as constituted 
the old Abbey church. 




THE earliest worship in the Newbattle valley is shrouded 
in the deepest obscurity. Whether St. Mungo or any 
other of the earliest Christian missionaries proclaimed 
Christ in the valley cannot now be determined. Cer- 
tainly the early Culdee Church had its place and 
footing all over Eastern Midlothian. Some account of it and 
of the transition to the Roman period of Scottish Church his- 
tory seems to be called for. 

The Roman period of the Church of Scotland, when it 
came under the shadow of St. Peter's, stretches from noo- 
1500. In the old church of Ruthwell, a few miles from 
Dumfries, there stands an enormous stone cross more than 
seventeen feet high, which has a history of almost unparalleled 
interest and charm. It is a richly-carved Runic cross, similar 
in appearance to those which are found in lona and the West 
Highlands, and is all covered over with sculptures and writing. 
So strong had the Puritan influence from England grown in 
Scotland, about the middle of the seventeenth century, that the 
General Assembly of the Church ordered this cross, which from 
time immemorial had stood inside the church of Ruthwell, to 
be removed, as a monument of idolatry. The relic was 
ignominiously thrown down on its face, and left lying for 
about a hundred years on the pavement of the church; but in 
1772 some zealous parishioners took "the accursed thing" 
out and threw it into the graveyard, where it was broken into 
several pieces, and where it lay for many long years, as 
neglected and forgotten as the ancestral graves which formed 
its resting-place. No one knew or cared to know what a 
priceless witness to the faith of Christ, whose distinctive 
emblem and crest it was, an emblem of which no true 
Christian can ever feel ashamed, lay covered up with rubbish 
and overgrown with grass in that neglected God's Acre. 

But in the year 1802, Dr Duncan, the enterprising 
and enlightened pastor of the parish, the founder of 



savings - banks, raised it up and pieced it together, 
and lately it has been re-erected in its pristine position 
inside the church, where it had stood before for nearly 
a thousand years. The deciphering of what has now become 
famous as " The Ruthwell Cross " is a marvellous story, and 
one of the greatest triumphs of scholarship in modern times. 
The stone is all covered with sculptures of Scripture scenes, 
most of them from the life of our Lord; but round the edge 
of the arms of the cross are long lines of inscription in Runic 
letters, and the interpretation of these has been at last arrived 
at in the following extraordinary manner. In the year 1823, 
a German scholar was making a literary pilgrimage through 
Northern Italy, and in the old conventual library of Vercelli 
he by accident came upon an ancient yellow parchment, on 
which, among other things, was written, in the Anglo-Saxon 
language, a short poem, entitled " The Dream of the Holy 
Rood." He felt deeply inteiested in discovering this scrap 
of old English sacred minstrelsy in a land so far away, and in 
so unlikely a quarter; and after rendering it carefully into 
modern English, he saw to his infinite surprise that it was 
almost identical with the hypothetical translation of the Runic 
letters on the old stone in the Dumfriesshire church. After 
a great deal of elaborate research, it has been finally settled 
that the Runic writing on the Ruthwell Cross is a copy of an 
ancient English poem, composed probably by Caedmon, and 
was carved about the year 665 A. p. Indeed, on the top of 
the cross the words are written " Caedmon made me." It 
was therefore about the close of the seventh century of our 
Christian era that this religious poem which seems to have 
been quite current and popular in England and the south of 
Scotland was put into a more durable form on this stone cross. 
It is the " Story of the Cross," as told by a British Christian 
of the seventh century, in simple language, and with genuine 

Here is the Ruthwell inscription put into modern English. 
The idea is that a Christian falls asleep, and sees the Cross, 
in a vision, surrounded by angels ; and the Cross breaks forth 
into a soliloquy, and tells the story of what happened to it 
and its Divine Bearer on the ever-memorable Crucifixion Day 
the darkest day in history : 



" 'Twas many a year ago, 
I yet remember it, 
That I was hewn down 
At the wood's end. 

Then men bare me upon their shoulders 
Until they set me down upon a hill. 
Then saw I tremble 
The whole extent of earth. 
He mounted me ; 

I trembled when He embraced me ; 
Yet dared I not to bow earthwards. 
I raised the powerful King 
The Lord of the Heavens. 
They pierced me with dark nails. 
They reviled us both together. 
I was all stained with Blood, 
Poured from His side, 
The shadow went forth 
Pale under the welkin. 
All creation wept, 
They mourned the fall of their King." 

This is the " testimony of the rocks " to the faith of 
Christ, a sermon in stone, preached twelve hundred years ago ; 
but still its voice is heard proclaiming that faith wherein we 
stand, the faith of the Church of Scotland of to-day, as it 
was in that early Christian age. It is the same old Gospel 
to-day as it was yesterday, and as it will be for ever. 

Towards the middle of the eleventh century (about 1060) 
the Culdee Church, however, which was then about five hun- 
dred years old, showed unmistakable signs of decay and 
dissolution. Scottish Christianity seems to march in epochs 
of five hundred years : five hundred years of heathen dark- 
ness ; five hundred years of the Culdees ; five hundred years of 
Rome; and now we are in the midst of another such cycle. 

But the old enthusiasm of the first lona missionaries had 
gone off, and the torch which they had lit showed signs of 
flickering ; the Story of the Cross as was told by them with 
so much zeal and fire to the heathen Picts, ceased to interest 
them. Their numbers fell off; their doctrines became loose 
and erroneous, and they ceased to perform their ministerial 
functions with vigour and effect. There was a dead pause' 
in the history of Scottish Christianity in the last half of the 
tenth and the early years of the eleventh centuries ; Christianity 
ceased to spread, and there was a danger of a lamentable 
relapse into heathenism. In many cases the monasteries were 
deserted, and the revenues which had accumulated in course of 
ages were used and enjoyed by laymen. At Dunblane 



(founded by the Culdee, St. Blane), religion sank so low that 
the voices of devotion ceased altogether, save for one solitary 
chaplain who mumbled off a lifeless office in a roofless church. 

And now, when the Scottish Church showed symptoms 
of failing health and vigour, Rome stepped in. The Church 
of Rome was then by far the most vigorous, as it was also 
the largest branch of Catholic Christendom, and as yet it was 
almost entirely free of those peculiar errors which afterwards 
disfigured it, and finally worked its doom. Its monastic 
orders were spreading all over Europe, and by their vigorous 
preaching and earnest lives of devoted self-denial, were bring- 
ing in the nations one by one to the obedience of the Church. 
And thus the " Shadow of St. Peter's " stretched westwards 
and westwards, till, first the Gallican Church of France, which 
used to be distinct and independent of Rome, came under the 
Pope, and then the shadow crossed the narrow silver streak 
that separates our little rocky isle in the north-west of Europe 
from the great mainland, and next the Church of England, 
which for ages had been free and national and self-ruled, of 
which the thirty-seventh article of the English Church was 
quite as true then as it is now, " that the Bishop of Rome 
hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England," was drawn 
in, and the Roman Ritual ousted the ancient Saxon character- 
istics; and then the shadow moved northwards, and covered 
Scotland, so that by the end of the twelfth century, almost 
every trace of the old Culdees had vanished, and the Church 
of Caledonia, like the Church of the South, had conformed 
to the law and order of what was really the strongest, the 
greatest, and the most missionary Church of mediaeval ages ; 
and the end of it was that all Europe, save Russia, Turkey, 
and Greece, lay under the shadow of St. Peter's. 

In the Acts of the Apostles it is related how, when St. 
Peter walked abroad at eventide in Jerusalem, his shadow, 
as it fell on the sick and maimed in the streets of the Holy 
City, caused them to be healed. They even brought the sick 
out and laid them on couches in the streets and lanes, " so 
that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by, might over- 
shadow some of them." Whatever evil and deadly influence the 
shadow of that Church which claims to be founded on St. 
Peter may have had in later times, however true it may be 
that it became a deadly night-shade, its influence at this 
time was all for good. 



Wherever the shadow reached, it left behind it enduring 
memorials of its presence. We are still surrounded by, and 
many of us worship every Sunday in, stately sanctuaries built 
by her hands; the present parishes of Scotland were all plan- 
ned and mapped out by her; three out of the four Scottish 
Universities, and most of our great schools, were her creations ; 
almost all our national institutions were of her invention; 
the very soil on which we live, and which is nourishing us 
to-day, was reclaimed by her assiduity from being a rocky 
dreary waste, covered over in many places with the impene- 
trable Caledonian Forest, into a rich agricultural possession ; 
the monks of Newbattle were the first workers of coal in 
Scotland, and by developing the resources of the earth, became 
the fathers of Britain's industrial greatness; all over the coun- 
try still, there are remains of her wisdom, her energy, her 
unwearied and well-directed labours. " This land that was 
desolate is become as the garden of Eden." We dwell in that 
land which God gave to our fathers, and we have entered into 
their labours. 

This was how the great ecclesiastical change from Culdee- 
ism to Rome was effected. After the Norman Conquest of 
England (1066) thousands of Englishmen sought refuge in 
Scotland from the tyranny of William the Conquerer; and 
these brought with them across the Border their customs, their 
rites, and in some cases their priests, who, like the whole of 
England, had become subject to Rome. But the proximate 
cause was the marriage of Malcolm Canmore, King of Scots, 
in 1070, to Margaret, the granddaughter of an English king. 
She too had been brought up in the English Church, and she 
became the great leavener of Scotland. 

Her name signifies "a. pearl," and a pearl she was, for 
her life, though spent in the luxury of the Royal Court of Scot- 
land, never dimmed its saintly lustre; in the midst of her 
manifold queenly avocations, her pure and beautiful soul often 
stole away to Him who had bought it with His precious blood. 
Her heart was firmly fixed where true joys were alone to be 
found. In the midst of a beautiful country, of which she was 
the beloved sovereign, she sighed for a better country, that 
is an heavenly. Though wearing the crown of a land of 
heroes and patriots, Duncan and Macbeth, Ossian and 
Columba, she reached forth to the Crown that fadeth not 



She built numberless churches and monasteries, and placed 
a useful and vigorous ministry in them, sweeping out the few 
weak and corrupt Culdee clergy that were left ; she would not 
rest until she saw the laws of God and His Church observed 
throughout all her realm. She was devoted to her husband, 
and when on her dying bed she received news that he and 
her three sons were slain on the'battlefield, she gave God thanks 
in these words: "I thank Thee, O my God, that in this 
last period of my life, Thou makest my soul pass through 
terrible trials. But I hope they will serve to cleanse and refine 
it, and consume the dross of my sins. O, my Saviour Jesus, 
who by the will of my Father, and co-operation of the Holy 
Ghost, didst blot out my sins and deliver me from my evils, 
by Thy Sacred Body and Precious Blood, grant that I may 
adhere to Thy holy commandments, and never suffer me to 
be separated from Thee." And having whispered, " Lord 
Jesu, deliver me," she gently took her departure to the Bosom 
of Christ ! 

She was laid to rest in Dunfermline Abbey, which she 
herself had built in the place where her royal nuptials had 
been celebrated, and it was a great shrine for pilgrims for ages. 
Her dust was afterwards laid in the chapel in Edinburgh 
Castle, still called " St. Margaret's Chapel," from which, 
it is said, there breathed out the fragrance of odorous spices 
and the flowers of spring. She was for several centuries 
regarded as the Patron and saintly Protectress of Scotland, as 
she undoubtedly was the restorer of the Faith of Christ in 
our land. There is a legend that before the battle of Largs 
(1263) a poor crippled soldier saw her in a vision, with crowned 
head and stately steps, and followed by a train of the white- 
robed, going seawards to do battle for Scotland, her beloved 
fatherland; just as once, at Glastonbury in England, the 
monastery sacristan at dusk entertained two strangers in white, 
who declared they had to be off betimes in the morning, to 
strike for Scotland at Bannockburn. It was firmly believed 
long ago that it was through St. Margaret's influence that the 
Norse galleys were swept on to the fatal rocks, and that the 
land of the Thistle and the Heather, and the Burning Bush, 
remained free and unfettered as the waves that boom around 
its iron-bound coasts ! 

After her death, the work of establishing the Church was 


taken up with almost as much vigour by David L, well called 
by his successor in the throne, " the sair sanct for the Croun," 
because of the enormous sums which he spent from the royal 
excehequer in erecting bishoprics, and building and endowing 
cathedrals and monasteries. The whole country had been 
divided into parishes, the same as exist to-day, and in hundreds 
of cases the same old gray arching roof covers God's worship- 
ping children as covered their ancestors in that dim and distant 
age of long ago. 

But the greatest step of all was the division of Scotland 
into dioceses, over which a bishop or chief pastor was placed. 
St. Andrews was founded by Queen Margaret about 1090, and 
in time it became the " Canterbury of Scotland," and the 
seat of the Archbishop of all Scotland north of the Forth. It is 
chronicled that its ritual and discipline and learning were un- 
equalled all over the world. One of its earliest bishops was 
described on a stone slab which was raised near the high altar, 
as " a straight pillar of the Church, a bright window, a sweet 
censer, and a melodious bell." Ever after 1329 the Arch- 
bishop of St. Andrews had the right of crowning the kings 
of Scotland on the old coronation-stone at Scone. 

The See of Glasgow was established about the year noo, 
and in time it became the seat of the Archbishop or Primate 
of all Scotland south of the Forth. The noble cathedral of 
St. Mungo, as it now stands, " The Salisbury of Scotland," 
though preceded by several stately churches, was built in 
1225, with the proceeds of a collection made all over Scotland, 
in every church, by order of the Provincial Council. Vast 
sums came in from other countries ; indeed it may be said that 
it was built with the offerings of universal Christendom. The 
Bishoprics of Galloway, Aberdeen, and Moray were founded 
by Queen Margaret about 1080-1090; Caithness in 1153; 
Brechin, Dunblane, Dunkeld, Dornoch, and Ross by King 
David, "the sair sanct," about 1150. For long the Orkney and 
Shetland isles were under the Norwegian Bishops, and were 
quite separate from ecclesiastical Scotland; their Cathedral 
was Christchurch in Bergen. Every new bishop on coming 
over from Norway was first put to the test of draining, at one 
draught, an ancient goblet, which was said to have belonged 
to St. Magnus, the Orcadian patron. In 1471 these northern 
isles were joined to the Scottish Church and made into z 
Bishopric under the primacy of St Andrews. 
E (65) 


It was not without a struggle, but in course of time the 
Roman Canon law and constitution became universal, and were 
found to work well. A great question, however, arose in the 
twelfth century as to the ecclesiastical authority to which the 
Church of Scotland was amenable. The Archbishop of York 
claimed to have jurisdiction over all Scotland, and asserted 
his right to consecrate the Scottish bishops. After a severe 
contest, in which Scottish national feeling was more strongly 
intensified and consolidated than ever it had been before, and 
King, bishops, priests, and people all stood shoulder to 
shoulder, as one man, for their land and liberties, it was 
decreed by Rome that the Church of Scotland should be re- 
sponsible to no ecclesiastical power whatever, but be directly 
subject to the Pope, and be his special child. The late 
occupant of the Papal chair (Pope Leo), in a recent famous 
pastoral, says : " The Roman Pontiffs took these sees under 
their especial protection, and treated them with special favour, 
and the Church of Scotland was the special daughter of the 
Apostolic See, and subject to no other." Hence, pilgrimages 
to Rome became very frequent on the part both of prelates 
and nobles, as also to the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. So 
that just as wise men came from the distant East to see where 
Christ was born, so devout men journeyed from the far West 
to see where He had been buried ! 

During all this age, we are told that preaching could not 
be heard for the sound of hammers and trowels, so great was 
the zeal and energy of the Church in rearing ecclesiastical 
edifices. The stately houses of God, which to-day are dotted 
all over this land of mountain and of flood, were largely the 
offspring of this age of wonderful activity, and absolutely 
unparalleled generosity and self-sacrifice. God received the 
best of everything ; the Church did not keep her alabaster box 
all to herself; she gladly broke it over the Redeemer's feet; 
and the House of God was filled with the odour of the oint- 

I have not space to speak of the Monastic system, which 
became so widespread, so powerful, and so useful. The 
white-robed Cistercian Monks were found at Melrose, New- 
battle, Sweetheart, Culross, &c. ; the black-gowned Benedic- 
tines at Dunfermline, Arbroath (whose good-hearted abbot 
hung the renowned Inchcape bell to warn storm-tost mariners 



off the fatal rock), Coldingham, &c. ; the Cluniacs at Paisley 
and Crossraguel ; the Augustinians at Jedburgh, Holyrood, 
Cambuskenneth, Scoon. Hundreds of such religious houses 
were scattered over broad Scotland from lonely Kirkwall in 
the far north, to the yellow Solway shore; and they were 
for long centuries centres of learning and labour, of sweet- 
ness and light, both in spiritual and temporal affairs, homes 
of devotion and contemplation, calm refuges for human spirits 
wearied of the world. 

These men combined both the pious and the practical ; 
they were both Marthas and Marys, serpents and doves; their 
crest was not a mere bent knee, but an uplifted hand as well. 
They looked well to their spiritual harvest, and yet neglected 
not the husbandry of the fields around them, which, even after 
the lapse of three centuries, are still rich and bountiful. 

" It is good for us to be here," was the inscription written 
over the arched doorway of every Cistercian monastery, 
" where man lives more purely, falls more rarely, rises more 
quickly, treads more cautiously, rests more securely, dies more 
happily, is pardoned more easily, and rewarded more plente- 
ously." It was by one of the same Cistercian Order which 
colonised Melrose and so many other southern Abbeys, that 
the beautiful hymn (so great a favourite in the Church of 
Scotland to-day) was written, " Jesus, the very thought of 
Thee, with sweetness fills my breast." If you look up on 
one of the transept walls of Melrose Abbey, you will see an 
inscription, which embalms and embodies the same exalted 
sentiment and everlasting truth, carved up by some old monk 
of Melrose ages ago; it still stands, though worn and weather- 
beaten, in these words, " When Jesus comes, the shadow 
goes!" In the stately pile of St. David's, lying at the foot 
of the green swelling Eildon Hills, over which Thomas the 
Rhymer had roamed, the writer of that line may have watched 
the ever-changing lights and shadows sweeping across the hills 
on a summer day, with the sweet breath of the snow-wreathed 
hawthorn blossom coming in at his little groined window, and 
the thought occurred to him, that when Jesus, . " the Light of 
the world," shines into the soul, the shadows flee away, just 
like the fleeting patches of darkness on these rolling hills, as 
the day strengthens. Or it may have been at night, when the 
gloom was over mountain and valley, and the silvery Tweed 



rippled on in the darkness, singing its grand old eternal song 
of " men may come and men may go, but I flow on for ever," 
as it is doing just now as I write by its banks, when all at 
once the monastery bell rang out for the midnight office; and 
on that ancient altar, beneath which Bruce's heart lay buried, 
and before which many a Scottish king had thrown his soul 
at Christ's feet and begged succour for battle and pilgrimage, 
the tapers slowly twinkled into flame, and the great dark echo- 
ing house of God was brightened with the kindly glow ; so 
Christ, thought that solitary watcher, is the light of the world 
and of the soul. " O happy lights," was the language of his 
heart (the language of a great soul only lately removed from 
being an ornament in the same communion), as he knelt in 
adoration, making intercession for the silent world, which lay 
asleep around him, 

" O Happy Lights ! O Happy Lights ! 
Watching my Jesus livelong nights, 
How close you cluster round His Throne, 
Dying so meekly one by one 
As each his faithful watch has done! 
Could I with you but take my turn, 
And burn with love of Him, and burn 
Till Love had wasted me like you, 
Sweet Lights, what better could I do? 

" O Happy Flowers ! O Happy Flowers ! 
How quietly for hours and hours, 
In dead of night, in cheerful day, 
Close to my own dear Lord you stay, 
Until you gently fade away ! 
O Happy Flowers, what would I give 
In your sweet place all day to live, 
And then to die, my service o'er, 
Softly as you do, at His door !" 

For five hundred years the Church of Rome permeated 
with its institutions the whole of Scottish life ; but towards the 
close of that period, what happened five centuries before to 
the Culdees, happened to Rome, the shadow of St. Peter's 
began to be a shadow of death and decay, and Scotland began 
to languish under it. Secondary doctrines of the Church were 
exaggerated into importance, and doctrines which had no 
right whatever to be there, and which Christ and the 
Apostles never sanctioned, took up the chief place in the Roman 
Theology, to the humiliation, if not practical exclusion, of 
Him who is the centre of Christianity, for Christianity is 
Christ and Christ only. The Church had built its tabernacles, 
and beautiful tabernacles they were, on the hill of vision, but 



it began to look at Moses and Elias and the poor human follow- 
ers of the Saviour, rather than at " Jesus only !" And so it 
happened to them, as it will always happen under similar 
circumstances, in whatever Church and age it may be, that 
the old Melrose inscription was reversed, " Jesus went, and the 
shadow came!" 

In its best and purest days the worship of the Cistercians 
at Newbattle consisted of the stated observance of the "Hours" 
at which all the brethren were expected to be present by day 
and night. Nocturns at midnight were said in memory of 
Christ's Nativity, when " It came upon the midnight clear, 
that glorious song of old." At three in the morning Lauds 
were sung in remembrance of Christ's Betrayal and Resurrec- 
tion. At six in the morning came Prime, recalling Christ's 
Mockery before Pilate, at which the hymn, " Jam lucis," 
was sung, as well as Psalms i., ii., cxix., with a few prayers. 
Terce succeeded at 9 a.m., in commemoration of Christ's sen- 
tence to death and the descent of the Holy Spirit, when Psalm 
cxxi. and the hymn, " Nunc sancte nobis spiritus," were sung. 
At mid-day Sext was offered, in memory of the Crucifixion, 
at which were sung the hymn, " Rector potens," and Psalm 
cxxv. Nones followed at 3 p.m., in memory of Christ's Death, 
" the ninth hour," when the hymn, " Rerum Deus tenax 
rigor," and Psalm cxxxviii. were sung. Vespers came at six 
in the evening, in commemoration of the Descent from the 
Cross ; and the sacred day, every day was sacred, was com- 
pleted, with Compline at 9 p.m., to recall the rest of Jesus 
in the grave, with Psalms iv., xci., cxxxiv., and the beautiful 
hymn, " Te lucis ante terminum." Masses of all kinds for 
the living and the departed were celebrated at the various 
altars of the Abbey, many of them having special provisions 
and endowments for their support, some of them from royal 

During meals the brethren heard read to them lives of 
the saints and martyrs. At various intervals during the day 
they had a respite for spiritual communion and meditation. 

The rest of the day was taken up with manual labour of 
various kinds, agriculture, building, writing and illuminating, 
carpentry, tree-planting, mining, mechanical labour of various 
kinds. In a word, the whole day was filled up with work and 
worship, acting on the belief that for a happy life, as the 
present Pope declares, worship and work are the two essentials. 



The voice from Rome corresponds with the voice from New 
York, for Henry Ward Beecher in a memorable passage de- 
clares, " It is not work that kills men, it is worry. Work 
is healthy ; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can 
bear. Worry is rust upon the blade. It is not the revolution 
that destroys the machinery, but the friction." 

In the seventeenth century a monk who had travelled 
much in Scotland described the race as an indolent and lazy 
one. Among the curious letters in the latest volume of the His- 
torical Manuscripts Commission, the manuscripts of the Duke 
of Portland, preserved at Welbeck, is one from Denis de 
Repas, an ex-Capuchin monk, to Sir Edward Harley. It is 
dated September 13, 1672, and gives an amusing account of 
his wanderings in Scotland. This is how he writes of the then 
residents beyond the Border : " I may assure your honour 
that in all my travels whereof you shall have an account 
hereafter I never saw a nation in general more nasty, lazy, 
and least ingenius in matter of manufactures than they are, 
as by word of mouth I may in time the better relate to your 
honour. In several places, though nature doth afford them 
all manner of materials to build houses, they are so lazy that 
they had rather lay in cabins covered hardly with earth and 
turfs, and so be exposed to the injury of the weather, than 
to take the pain to build, as they do anywhere else; nay, 
amongst the Highlanders they live like savages, and go half- 
naked." The Scotch people were so lazy, the monk goes on 
to say, that they did not so much as bake bread, " though they 
may have plenty of corn." "They make nastily a kind of stuff 
with oat half-grinded, which they do call, cake, which hath 
no more taste or relish than a piece of wooden trencher. I 
was forced for two months' time, in the north, in a place called 
Rothimay, to live altogether upon pap for want of bread. The 
Scotchmen and the Scotch horses live altogether upon the same 
diet, I mean upon oats, for there is not a horse in thirty to 
whom hay is afforded ; their bread is made with oats, and so 
is their bonny ale. The monk adds that if he was to give 
his friend a " whole" description both of their humours and 
of their " nasty way of living," he would have matter enough 
for a dozen letters. 

Certainly in the best days of Newbattle Abbey there was 
no idleness, and this description could not apply. Worship 
and work were constant and unremitting, and the enormous 



practical works in fields and mines and otherwise which were 
carried on, bear the most ample testimony to the zealous acti- 
vity and strong intellectual power of these old Cistercian 
fathers, whose motto seems to have been, 

" Worship as if thou wert to live for aye, 
Work as if thou wert to die to-day." 

It has often been remarked how the monastic chronicles 
are silent regarding the great events of contemporary history, 
but record trifling details of the Abbey's inner history, 
proving the truth of the proverb, "Blessed is the nation which 
has no history." And yet in history, the true life of a nation 
is nourished, fostered, and developed in these years of halcyon 
calm ; wars are the physic peace is the health of a people ; 
happiness, like light, is colourless when unbroken. In the 
monastic annals there is not one single reference to the epoch- 
making Battle of Poitiers in 732, which effectually checked 
the spread of Mohammedanism across Europe, and saved the 
west from being brought under the sway of the Crescent in- 
stead of the Cross ; but these cloister chronicles teem instead 
with small petty details, temporal and spiritual, of the life 
of great calm and peace divine, spent in the dim retreats of 
many a Gothic monastery. And who shall say which events 
are the more important, the story of war or the story of 
worship, and which the more useful in the history of a nation 
or an individual, the life of stir or the life of silence ! 

In Longfellow's " Golden Legend," the monk whose 
meditation that day was on the eternal joys of heaven listens 
to the bird's song in the greenwood tree, and so enraptured 
was he that a hundred years passed away, and when he re- 
turned to the monastery every face was changed. So quietly 
and silently the years passed over the old house of Newbattle 
in worship and work. The old spirit comes back as one thinks 
of their life of quiet, steady duty : " This have I done for 
thee; what doest thou for Me?" Stenburg's great picture, 
which has moulded history: " Hadst thou not gone I had 
fled " the voice of the Master to the father who in his cell 
was rivetted by the vision of Christ, when the Abbey bells 
called him away to feed the poor at the gates, and on his 
return the vision was there still with a new message and call 
to duty. A hundred such thoughts crowd into the mind as 
one thinks of these quiet days which were summed up in the 
motto, " laborare est orare." 



THE great business abilities and resources of the Cister- 
cian fathers came out in nothing more remarkably 
than in their acquisition and management of their 
very many estates. These included not only the 
whole of the Newbattle Valley, but many properties 
close at hand, while they gradually acquired vast stretches of 
land further away, where they developed their agricultural, 
industrial, pastoral, or mining industries, teaching the people 
their arts and raising chapels on the various estates for divine 
worship. The rule of the Order prescribed manual labour as a 
portion of every day's work, and it did not matter what it was, 
digging a field, building a wall, constructing a cart, winning 
the coal, or herding the sheep, so long as the motto of the 
Order was carried out, " In all things let God be glorified." 
The angel whom the Almighty sent to sweep a street-crossing 
was as highly honoured by High Heaven as the angel who was 
sent to rule an empire. One can see through the dim distance 
of the centuries the white-robed field worker dropping his hay- 
rake and implements and on bended knee repeating the celestial 
annunciation, as at noon the Angelus bell rang out from the 
grey saddle-back Abbey tower, and called the soul for a 
moment from the withered grass, so typical of life, to the 
angelic lily of immortal beauty and everlasting glory. 

In their Newbattle property, besides working the fields 
and planting trees, they worked the coal from the face of the 
river-bank, marks of these horizontal or diagonal workings 
being traceable in the banks, both of the South Esk at New- 
battle, and of the North Esk near Melville, the holes in the 
banks being undoubtedly primitive attempts at coal-mining. 
The well-known historian, ^Eneas Sylvius or Piccolomini, who 
resided in Scotland for two years, and spent the winter of 1413 



amid our mists and storms, describes Scottish life in the first 
quarter of the fifteenth century very vividly, the small hardy 
men, the fair complaisant women, the ox-hide doors of the 
cottages, the thatched houses, and unwalled towns. But more 
wonderful to him than anything was the relief given to beggars 
at church doors in the form of black stones or coal, the great 
discovery of the Newbattle fathers. 

Cockpen (Kokpen) was an adjoining Abbey property, and 
the sweet and charming ruin covered with ivy, which to-day 
stands not far from Dalhousie Castle, was a chaplaincy of 
Newbattle. The fathers had also a large and imposing resi- 
dence at Newton, a mile or two from Dalkeith, which still 
stands and bears the name of Monkton Hall. The lower part 
of the house is arched. The two large mansion-houses at 
Inveresk, known as Inveresk Lodge and Halkerston Lodge, 
were residences for the Newbattle abbot and fathers, giving 
them a pleasant change from the mild, soft air of the New- 
battle valley, and a breath of the sea breezes, as well as a 
place from which they could carry on their extensive agricul- 
tural and mining enterprises along the coast. Their coal was 
shipped at Morison's Haven, where they had a good harbour 
and quite a small fleet of vessels for carrying their coals. 
Further down the Firth, at Prestongrange, they had another 
residence and extensive coal and salt industries. And so down 
the coast other small properties were dotted, until Haddington 
was reached, where they owned a considerable estate. 

In Leith they owned considerable property, to-day covered 
by great store-houses ; also at Greenside, in Edinburgh, these 
having been acquired in 1256 by Abbot William. It is said 
they had also the right of cutting wood in Glenartney, which 
even yet is famous for its "hazel shade." The Newbattle 
monks were famous as carpenters, and a " Newbottle cart " 
was considered about as good and workmanlike a production 
as could be had in that age. There must have been large 
numbers of these carts about the Abbey, as many would be 
needed for conveying coals, field work, bringing salt from 
Prestongrange, and otherwise. Grangemouth had its name 
from the " Abbot's Grange," still standing in that enterprising 
shipping town, which owed its origin to the mining industry 
of the Newbattle fathers. Newton Grange was another and 
nearer property, and was the special farm of the monastery. 



The Abbey property included practically all the Moorfoot 
Hills, and the remains of the chapel and convent of Moorfoot 
are still traceable at the farm bearing that name, situated at 
the foot of the Powbate glen. 

From an interesting work, " Folk-lore of Scottish Lochs 
and Springs," by James M. Mackinlay, M.A., F.S.A. (1893), 
I take the following extracts : " A singular superstition is 
or was till lately cherished, that Powbate Well completely 
fills with its water the high hill on which it is situated." 
Chambers, in his " Popular Rhymes of Scotland," gives the 
following particulars about the spring : " The mouth, called 
Powbate E'e, is covered over by a grate to prevent the sheep 
from falling into it ; and it is supposed that if a willow wand 
is thrown in, it will be found some time after, peeled, at the 
water-haugh, a small lake at the base of the hill, supposed 
to communicate with Powbate. Of course, the hill is expected 
to break some day like a bottle and do a great deal of mischief. 
A prophecy, said to be of Thomas the Rhymer, and bearing 
evident marks of his style, is cited to support the supposition : 

" Powbate an' ye break, 

Tak' the Moorfoot in yer gate, 
Moorfoot and Mauldslie, 
Huntleycote, a' three, 
Five kirks and an abbacie." 

In explanation of this prophecy, Chambers remarks, 
" Moorfoot, Mauldslie, and Huntleycote are farm towns in 
the immediate neighbourhood of the hill. The kirks are under- 
stood to have been those of Temple, Carrington, Borthwick, 
Cockpen, and Dalkeith ; and the abbacy was that of Newbottle, 
the destruction of which, however, has been anticipated by 
another enemy." 

The other portion of the Moorfoot Hills, with the fine 
Herieth or Heriot glen, was also the property of Newbattle 
Abbey, and there a chapel stood to serve the district. The 
shepherds, ploughmen, and artizans belonging to Moorfoot 
and Heriot were directed by fathers skilled in pasturage and 
agriculture, who brought, according to the Cistercian rule, their 
practical skill to bear on the lands and hillsides around them. 

Over the Moorfoot Hills, which practically all belonged 
to Newbattle Abbey, on the other side there was another rich 
pastoral possession, the Vale of Leithen, which leads down 
to the picturesque town of Innerleithen, the " St. Ronan's 



Well " of Scott. The valley was gifted to the Newbattle 
monks by Alexander II., King of Scots, as a return for the 
privilege of having his Queen, Marie de Couci, buried in 
the Abbey. King Alexander was the Abbey's chief royal 
patron, and bestowed upon it many gifts and privileges. 
On i pth May, 1223, he visited the Abbey, Abbot Richard 
being then reigning, and ever afterwards he entertained the 
warmest affection for it. Marie de Couci was his second wife, 
and he married her in 1239. In 1241 the young queen said 
that in the event of her death she had a strong desire to be 
buried in the Church of Holy Mary at Newbottle. Her 
husband died before her, and she married again, her second 
match being with John de Brienne, son of the Emperor of the 
East. It is supposed that she died in France, but it is certain 
that her body was brought to Scotland, in performance of her 
vow; and she was buried in the Abbey which her first husband 
dearly loved, and which both he and she had enriched with 
princely benefactions. In what part of the Abbey she was 
buried is a vexed question. A mediaeval writer, quoted by 
Father Hay, says : " In the midst of the Church was seen 
the tomb of the Queen of King Alexander, of marble, sup- 
ported on six lions of marble. A human figure was placed 
reclining on the tomb, surrounded with an iron grating." Mr 
Innes, in his preface to the Ballantyne Club's Chartulary of 
Newbottle, says she was buried in what is now the flower 
garden. The princely gift of the Vale of Leithen was the 
offering of Alexander to the religious house, which was to 
guard his queen's remains. A chapel, the ruins of which are 
still traceable, stood in the Vale, which was a great pastoral 
land then, as now. 

The whole of the Moorfoots would in these medieval 
centuries be rich in game, large and small. In all probabilitv 
the wolf, the boar, and the wild cat were denizens of the 
glens and lonely rock-retreats of Powbate and Leithen, while 
even at the present day game of all kinds abounds, and in 
the streams among the hills there is the best of fishing. The 
Hiiendean glen, just above the ruined Moorfoot convent, form- 
ing one line of defence for the old castle, still beautiful in 
decay, had its name from the fact that herons in large numbers 
made it their home, drawn to the shelter and hill streams, with 
their abundant minnow and trout. The fathers would leave 



none of these resources unutilised, but would find scope for 
energy and skill, and even enjoyment, in the grand hillsides 
and moorlands of the Moorfoot, or Morthwaite, as it was some- 
times spelt. 

Newbattle owned several large estates in Haddington, for 
which the Abbot paid " suit and service at the Three Head 
Sheriff Courts." On July 13, 1540, Alexander Belsis, a tenant 
of Newbattle, appeared in the Burgh Court with a Commission 
of Bailleny to repledge a certain man (name omitted) to the 
Court of the Abbot of Newbattle; the prisoner was, I am 
certain, only one of the Abbot's tenants, as if he had been 
a monk it would have been noted. 

Even in hilly, well-watered Peeblesshire the Newbattle 
fathers' estates were to be found, more especially at Romanno 
Bridge, the story of which may be told. Among the 
Anglo - Normans who settled in Scotland during the 
twelfth century was a person named Vermel, or Uermil, 
who received from David I. a grant of the lands of Romanoch. 
His son, Philip de Vermel, granted a portion of the lands to 
the monks of Newbottle between 1179 and 1189, and there 
were similar grants to the canons of Holyrood. One of the 
oldest spellings of the name is Rothmaneie, meaning in Gaelic 
the dwelling of the monk. There is no record nor trace of 
ecclesiastical building. Two braesides, one of which is still 
on the shrunken estate, while the other has been sold, suggest 
by their terraces that monkish agriculture has been there. At 
a mile's distance, a small hamlet with a U.F. kirk is called 
Mountain Cross for Monkton Cross. The original estate of 
the de Vermels had evidently included that spot, with its 
cross roads and cross, though there are now neither cross nor 
cross roads. 

The great coal and iron district in the West of Scotland, 
known as Monkland, received its name from the monks of 
Newbattle, whose property it was. The population of the 
two present-day parishes of Old and New Monkland is some- 
thing like 20,000, and it is interesting to think of the Newbattle 
fathers as having laid the earliest foundations of the giant 
commercial enterprises of that part of Scotland. From the 
Monkland Wall at Newbattle, they carried a road across coun- 
try to Linlithgowshire and Lanarkshire, and gradually annexed 
fresh properties of great commercial value. All the tract of 



ground from West Lothian to the Barony parish of Glasgow 
seems to have been granted by Malcolm IV. to the monks of 
Neubotile. Hence its name. But no remains of the monks' 
rule here exist, save the name. The monks do not seem to 
have settled here. They had indeed a chapel, about a couple 
of miles from New Monkland Church, but it seemed to have 
been used for the most part for levying their rents and the like. 
This district was distinguished for its Reformational zeal, and 
therefore, I presume, every trace of the monks' presence has 
been obliterated. With the changed conditions of the popula- 
tion of the two parishes of the Monklands, there is not even 
a legend of them extant in this parish. The Monkland Well 
still exists. It is about half a mile from the Manse of New 
Monkland. The mineral workings have, however, diminished 
its flow greatly. It is now but a small affair. At the begin- 
ning of last century it seems to have had considerable vogue 
for its medicinal qualities. It gave its name, " The Virtue 
Well," to a famous seam of coal, and that has done more to 
perpetuate its fame than its own virtues have done. 




THE growth of Newbattle Abbey as an ecclesiastical pile 
was a gradual affair through the centuries, and when 
in 1385 it was burnt down by Richard II. of England 
it had accommodation for eighty monks and seventy 
lay brethren. There was ample room for guests, and 
very often the Bishop and the whole Synod of the Diocese were 
entertained by the Abbot. The Abbey, indeed, at the height 
of its greatness and magnificence, was a favourite residence 
of royalty. In 1544 it was burned down for the second time 
during the disastrous expedition dispatched by Henry VIII. 
to punish the Scots for their refusal to betroth the infant Queen 
Mary to his son. On that occasion the bonfires of what were 
known as the "bloody betrothal" were a line of blazing 
abbeys from Holyrood to Dunbar. 

An old record says : " Upon the i5th day of May the 
horsemen raid to Newbottill and brynt it, and oversaw Dal- 
keith be the moyane of George Dowglas, and brynt many 
other tounes theirabout. Na skaith was done to any kirks, 
exceptand thae destroyit the Abbey of Newbottill, and the 
same nicht they returnit to Leith." The burning of such a 
pile of masonry was perhaps but a partial destruction. In 
any case, it is related that a few years after the rough handling 
it received from the English, the Abbey buildings were suffi- 
ciently restored to be thought a convenient place for the 
reception of a Convention of the Lords of the party, which 
the Queen Dowager in person held there preparatory to declar- 
ing war against England in 1557, an interesting historical 
occasion which connects Newbattle with the great international 
history. The subsequent disappearance of the ancient Abbey 
buildings cannot be accounted for in the usual way by alleging 
the violence of a Reformation mob. The Abbot of Newbattle 
of that day, Mark Ker, whose portrait hangs in the mansion- 



house, embraced so heartily the principles of the Reformation 
that his dwelling would probably have been respected by the 
most zealous reformers ; and as Newbattle has been a mansion 
for his descendants continuously since, we may rather seek the 
cause in a preference for modern comfort in a newer building, 
to the picturesque architecture and pious and historical associ- 
ation's of the old Abbey. 

At the time of the Reformation, Mark Ker, as has been 
said, was Abbot of Newbattle. He was the second son of 
Sir Alexander Ker of Cessford. Renouncing the Roman 
Faith, he expelled the monks, giving the aged ones a pension 
for life, and retained the lands as " Commendator of New- 
bottle," which title, with all its privileges, was confirmed 
to him by the Scottish Parliament in 1581. Scott of Scots- 
tarvit states that Mark Ker and his eldest son of the same 
name, who, in 1606, was created first Earl of Lothian, " did 
so metamorphose the building, that it cannot be known that 
ever it did belong to the Church by reason of the fair new 
fabrick and stately edifices built thereon, except only that 
the old name and walls of the precincts stand"; and more 
recent members of the house of Lothian have further extended 
and modernised the structure, the late Marquess having added 
a sumptuous robing room and other buildings for the visit of 
Queen Victoria and the Duke of Clarence, besides otherwise 
beautifying and adorning the mansion. 

The form and design of the ecclesiastical buildings were 
of the usual Cistercian type, and almost identical with Melrose 
Abbey. The Gothic Church stood with its great west door, 
pillars and arches, and at the side near the river the quadrangle 
with its open court surrounded by cloisters, probably in two, 
possibly in some places in three storeys. On the south side 
of the court was the Refectory, and on the east side the official 
apartments stood, consisting of chapter-house with pillars con- 
nected by a pillared arcade with the great hall. The library, 
scriptorium, and guest-chambers were probably quite near. 
The exact measurements of the Abbey are kindly supplied 
by Mr John Ramsay, clerk of works at Newbattle estate, who 
had much to do with the recent excavations and explorations 
as to site, architecture, and otherwise. 

Church Extreme length east and west outside walls, 253 ft. 3 in. 
Extreme length east and west inside walls, 239 ft. 3 in. 



Extreme width north and south outside walls, 66 ft. 7 in. 

Extreme width north and south inside walls, 57 ft. i in. 

Extreme length of nave, 161 ft. 6 in. 

Extreme width of nave, 31 ft. 

Extreme width of aisles, 13 ft. o in. 

Extreme length of crossing, 41 ft. 9 in. 

Extreme length of chancel, 36 ft. 

Extreme width north and south between transepts, 117 ft. 

North and south transepts, east and west (inside), 45 ft. 6 in. 

North transepts, north to south, 32 ft. 3 in. 

South transept, north to south, 28 ft. 2 in. 

North wall in north transept is 8 ft. thick. 

Other walls in church and transept, 4 ft. thick. 

South wall of church, next cloisters, 3 ft. 6 in. thick. 

West front wall of church, 6 ft. 6 in. and 8 ft. thick. 

Buttresses on the north aisle, 4 ft. by 5 ft. out from wall. 

Angle buttresses at north transept, 16 ft. 4 in. by 10. ft. 4 in. 

Corner buttresses at east end of church, 12 ft. by 3 ft. out from wall. 

Buttresses north and south side of chancel, 8 ft. by 3 ft. out from 

Buttresses east of chancel, 6 ft. by 3 ft. out from wall. 

Octagon Base of four pillars under the great tower, 10 ft. by 10 ft. 

Base of two pillars in chancel, 10" ft. by 10 ft. 

Base of pillar in north transept, 7 ft. 10 in. by 8 ft. 3 in. 

Refectory, length inside, 106 ft. 

Refectory, width, 33 ft. 6 in. 

Kitchen, 33 ft. 6 in. by 12 ft. 6 in. 

Cloister quadrangle, 125 ft. 10 in. by 123 ft. 10 in. 

Width of chapter house, 28 ft. Extreme length inside, 57 ft. 

Width of great hall, 43 ft. Length inside, 144 ft. 

Width of sacristy, 18 ft. 

From the north wall of the Abbey Church to the south boundary wall 
of the river is 378 feet 4 inches, and from the south boundary wall to 
the wall at the culverts is 186 feet 6 inches. 

The present mansion-house occupies a portion of the area 
of the ancient monastery ; and though ingeniously hidden by 
modern improvements, the ancient masonry is still visible at 
parts of the walls, while here and there an antique moulding 
peeps out from its later setting. The picturesqueness and 
variety of line of the mansion-house show that it has gradually 
and in only a half-premeditated way grown to its present 
dimensions. The details of the architecture bear an Early 
English character, and have been assigned by a high authority, 
Professor Wills, of Cambridge to the middle of the thir- 
teenth century. This seems to show that the superstructure 
at least of the old Abbey survived the successive burnings by 
the invading armies, the marks of whose fire are still traceable. 

The excavations for the church were begun in 1878, with 
the result that nave, aisles, and south transept were found. In 
1892 the north transept was discovered, with two angle but- 
tresses similar to those of Furness, in Lancashire. These 
landmarks are now laid out in gravel, revealing the great thick- 
ness of the east wall and chancel pillars. 



Extensive excavations were again continued in 1893 and 
1894, both in the interior of the mansion-house and round 
about it. In the former case the excavations were connected 
with the complete restoration of the crypt. Those who know 
Newbattle will remember that from the entrance hall a grand 
wooden staircase leads to the spacious vestibule on the first 
floor, where are hung so many of the valuable art treasures 
of the mansion. But on each side of the grand staircase there are 
flights of stairs leading down into the stone-vaulted and stone- 
ribbed crypts. Part of these had been dealt with in a former 
excavation ; now the crypts have all been opened up, and 
extending across the mansion-house from north to south, form 
a beautiful addition to this interesting pile. The crypts, both 
on the south and north sides of the portion immediately behind 
the grand staircase, had been built up, and certain portions 
of them used as servants' rooms and lumber stores. The 
whole, as has been said, has been cleared out from end to 
end, with, beautiful artistic effect. Arches, where necessary, 
were thrown over the openings, and in the course of the work 
the bases of the old pillars were revealed in line with those 
now remaining in the crypt, which had a connection with the 
south transept of the church. After being hidden for centuries, 
these bases are still in perfect preservation, with the masons' 
marks upon them. Masons' marks are still to be traced on 
many of the old Abbey stones still preserved under the neigh- 
bouring yew trees, and elsewhere in the valley. At this, 
the north end, in what is called the Armour Crypt, an old 
chimney was discovered, which measured about 8 feet at the 
under side. At another place was discovered the old kitchen 
chimney, the under side of which measured 12 feet 6 inches 
by 6 feet. Both flues had the smoke of the old fires still upon 
them. The crypt pillars are octagonal. The plain shaft 
measures 3 feet 6| inches in length, and each side of the pillar 
7 inches. From the top of the capital, or spring of the arch, 
to the floor, is 6 feet. From the pillar to the foot of the 
corbel, going from east to west, measures 13 feet i inch ; from 
pillar to pillar, going from north to south, 9 feet 7 inches. 
The arches are circular. The ribs show five plain sides, each 
measuring 5 inches. The keystones, now all plain may 
possibly have been at one time enriched with bosses, as some 
fine specimens of bosses were found while excavating the crypt. 
F (81) 


One of these old bosses is preserved and placed inside the 
crypt. From the keystone of the rib to the floor measures 
12 feet. The inside length of the crypt now open from north 
to south is 100 feet, by 27 feet 7 inches wide. The crypt, 
it is conjectured, had extended from the south transept south- 
wards towards the river for about 200 feet, inside measurement. 
The bases of the pillars of the great hall and chapter-house 
are preserved. 

The whole of the crypts, save one, have been laid with 
polished oak, and, being appropriately furnished, they form 
quite an addition to the show portion of the mansion-house. 
The exception made is a small crypt on the west side, which 
apparently was the old Abbey kitchen, for it was here that 
the great chimney was found, and at one side of it is also 
an ancient oven. The flooring of this has been treated in 
quite a novel way. During the excavations at Newbattle 
Abbey, a large number of old and curiously-shaped flooring 
tiles were found. They were hand-cut, from ij to | inch 
thick, with a fine glaze or enamel of various colours, such as 
yellow, green, red, black, and brown of different shades. 
These, of course, along with other curiosities found, have been 
carefully preserved. The Marquess instructed his clerk of 
works to have the floor of the kitchen crypt, as it may be 
called, covered with an inlaid wooden floor, the pieces of wood 
of which were to be made of the size and shape of the old 
tiles found. No pattern was to be used, unless there was an 
old tile design to correspond to it. The designs were geo- 
metrical in character, but some of the tiles had inlayings in 
the shape of fleur de lys, conventional roses, &c. The work 
of reconstructing a design for the flooring conformable to the 
old patterns was a task of great difficulty, but it was success- 
fully accomplished, and the greater part of the inlaid flooring 
was laid with effective results. The flooring was made and 
laid by Mr John Ramsay, on whose taste it reflects great 
credit. All the wood used was grown in the park ; and a fine 
effect has been secured by using various coloured veneers, such 
as yew, oak, maple, laburnum, plane tree. The great fireplace 
has been boarded over, carved screens set at each side; and 
with a step up from the floor, where the great hearth of the 
fire had been, the little crypt, which is well lighted by modern 
windows on the front of the mansion-house, has assumed quite 



an ecclesiastical appearance, and is now the private chapel, 
consecrated by the funeral of the late Marquess of Lothian. 

Passing outside again, it may be noted that at the west 
end of the Abbey Church, towards the south, were found the 
foundations of the west wing, with a portion of the old stair 
leading from the dormitory to the church. The width of this 
wing inside the walls is 28 feet 6 inches. About the centre 
of this wing, 80 feet from the north wall of the Abbey Church, 
the main entrance to the cloisters was found. Outside the 
doorway were three steps, 5 feet 6 inches by loj by 6 inches 
deep, and the size of door between the jambs was 4 feet 9 
inches, and the width of passage through to the cloister garth 
was 6 feet 2 inches. The walls were of ashlar work. The 
outside wall of this wing is 3 feet thick, and of that next the 
cloisters 2 feet 6 inches thick. One of the chambers south 
from this entrance to the cloisters was 68 feet long by 23 feet 
9 inches wide ; it seems to have been groined, and would 
possibly be a continuation of the dormitory. The bases of 
four pillars were found in this chamber, and as all were of 
different design, the shafts would also be different. The one 
next the south was like a quatrefoil ; the second to the south 
was circular, with zig-zag moulding round the base; the third 
from the south was octagonal ; and the one at the north end 
was a circle, with dog-tooth moulding round the under shaft. 
About 40 feet from the end of this chamber, a wall was found 
extending east and west, having on each side a stone-built 
arched culvert of ashlar work, 2 feet 6 inches wide by 2 feet 
6 inches high. It was about 4 feet from the present surface, 
and had evidently been the old underground waterway for 
cleansing purposes of the Abbey. The foundations of the 
refectory walls were found extending east from this chamber, 
not north and south as they usually are placed. They con- 
tained a fine moulded doorway near the south-west corner 
of the cloister quadrangle. The moulded jambs had a bay of 
3 feet from the door outwards. The jamb moulding was 
Early English Gothic. Unfortunately, these excavations were 
right in front of the main doorway of the mansion-house, and 
after careful examination had all to be covered again with soil. 
The door just mentioned was found right in the middle of 
the carriageway; but of it a full-sized drawing was made by 
the clerk of works. The south boundary wall was found 



extending east and west by the bank of the South Esk, near 
to which the Abbey stands, while the boundary wall from the 
west wing already referred to extended southward and joined 
the other by the river bank. They were 3 feet in thickness. 
As the excavations proceeded, Mr Ramsay, clerk of works, 
made most careful measurements of the walls and foundations, 
and from these he has prepared a ground plan of this grand 
old Abbey, which, if not quite complete, is approximately so. 
and gives one a true appreciation of the dimensions of this 
ancient pile. The length of the great hall and the size of 
the chapter-house cannot be ascertained, as the east end of 
both are covered by the present mansion. As already stated, 
the walls and pillars and transepts of the church have been 
carefully marked on the lawn over the buildings. A brown 
glazed fireclay edging, unobtrusive in colour, has been used. 
The great door on the west front has also been outlined with 
this edging. 

The foundations of the outside wall of the old burial 
ground, which was on the east and north of the church, were 
also found, not straight, but with a gentle curve from north 
to east by south. They were three feet thick. While digging 
in this portion of the ground, a number of stone coffins were 
found, principally outside the chancel and north transept. 
These were mostly of loose slate. One coffin of polished 
ashlar was discovered near the south transept entrance from 
the cloisters. One or two of the coffins were opened, and 
were found to contain the bones of well-built men. All the 
coffins disturbed were carefully replaced, and like the other 
excavations, this part has also the grass growing upon it again. 
In the cloister quadrangle was found an old stone-built well, 
3 feet in diameter and 14 feet deep. Below that it was full 
of rubbish. Several interesting relics of the last burning of 
the Abbey were found in the shape of pieces of the charred 
beams and of the old bell of St. Marie de Newbottle, which 
had been molten by the fierce heat. One of these pieces weighs 
about 16 Ibs., and there were many other fragments, pieces 
of stained glass windows, pottery, nails, tools, &c., were also 
found. A small silver coin of the reign of James IV. of 
Scotland, whose young bride, Margaret Tudor, was entertained 
at Newbattle on her journey to Edinburgh, was also found. 

A fine arch still survives, covered with ivy, near the river, 


the end of what was probably a subterranean passage be- 
tween the Abbey and the river, a means of getting water 
from the Esk when the house was attacked or blockaded. It 
is said that a subterranean passage also existed between 
Newbattle Abbey and the Moorfoot property, but this on the 
face of it seems to be impossible. The "subterranean passage" 
idea has been in this case, as in many others, carried out to 
an ideal extent. 

The Abbey Scriptorium was a room of no little importance, 
for there the fathers copied manuscripts, breviaries, missals, 
and all sorts of ecclesiastical books. Many of these are 
preserved in Newbattle House to-day, some of them of great 
beauty and value. In mediaeval times it was considered a 
special act of grace, worthy of special divine favour, to copy 
a Gospel manuscript. The Jewish proverb, " blessed is he 
that planteth a tree," was transmuted into, " blessed is he 
that copieth a Gospel." 

The guest-chamber was an important room in the house, 
for here the weary pilgrim and sojourner was entertained. 
One can imagine the peace and calm and rest of a worn-out 
traveller, who, arriving at the Abbey, could claim refreshment 
and hospitality. The beautiful words which are hung on many 
a modern inn, so suggestive of Leighton, seem appropriate 
for such a home of rest arid house of peace : 

" Sleep sweetly in this quiet room, 

O thou, whoe'er thou art, 
And let no mournful yesterdays 
Disturb thy peaceful heart. 

Nor let to-morrow mar thy rest 

With dreams of coming ill ; 
Thy Maker is thy changeless Friend, 

His love surrounds thee still. 

Forget thyself and all the world : 

Put out each garish light : 
The stars are shining overhead 

Sleep sweetly then good-night !" 

Especially if after the solemn evensong the pilgrim had come 
to rest, with praise and prayer in his heart, whether he had 
journeyed from lonely Soutra on the Lammermuirs, or from 
some other distant shrine and home, he would have the feeling so 
beautifully expressed by Phillips Brooks, Bishop of New York, 
and author of the beautiful hymn, " It came upon the mid- 
night clear," " Pray the largest prayers. You cannot think 



of a prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish 
that you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches, but for 
wings. Pray that, whatever comes, trial, doubt, failure or 
success, hope, joy, it may all work together to make your 
soul fit, first to receive, and then to shine forth with the light 
of God 1" 

The water-passage and tunnels conveying water from the 
Esk are undoubtedly of monkish origin, also the fish-pond, 
now the Lothian private burial-ground. In the old Monkland 
wall and elsewhere in the valley, many of the old monastery 
stones are to be found, some of them with the masons' marks. 
All along the park from the Abbey to the Maiden Bridge, 
traces can be found of the monastic village for shepherds, 
masons, wrights, and artizans of all kinds, who served the 
Abbey. The " Monkland Wall " surrounding the Abbey on 
one side is the most striking and picturesque remnant of the 
old days, along with the " Maiden Bridge," which may pos- 
sibly go back to the days of the Roman soldiers. Near the 
river, and beside the present billiard-room, there are many 
remains of the old institution, two figures of ecclesiastics with 
their heads knocked off, clad in ecclesiastical robes, carefully 
worked out, alb and amice and cope, besides a realistic carved 
representation of wine-making, with grapes, barrel, bag, spoon, 
and strainer. There are also some other ecclesiastical remains 
in the shape of wells, store-houses, conduits, &c. 




COAL and limestone mining in Newbattle has been 
pursued from an early period, and indeed the monk* 
of Newbattle may be said to have been the pioneers 
of mining in Scotland, not only in the parish of 
Newbattle itself, but in the surrounding district. In 
one respect, indeed, the Newbattle fathers may be regarded as 
the pioneers of Britain's industrial greatness, discovering the 
mineral which has made Britain great by land and sea. The 
early workings of the monks can still be traced in the banks 
of the river Esk, the methods used to recover or " win " the 
coal being of the very simplest description. A hole was driven 
into the bank where the black traces of the mineral were 
observable, and the coal hewn out with chisel, hammer, spade, 
and drill. It was Abbot James (1531) who, however, de- 
veloped this monastic industry, and in the Chartulary there is 
an entry of the contract made with the monks of Dunfermline 
regarding the Prestongrange workings. The coals were driven 
down in the famous Newbattle carts, and shipped in wherries 
belonging to the monks to various places on the coast. Their 
little harbour is now called Morison's Haven, and the road 
leading from Newbattle to Morison's Haven and Prestongrange 
[" the grange of the priest's town "] is still a right-of-way, 
and is to-day known as the Salters' Road, from the fact that 
along this highway salt was brought from the salt pans of 
Prestonpans, probably in the same carts which had driven the 
coals down from Newbattle to the sea. In order to superintend 
the various industries of Newbattle Abbey along the coast, the 
Abbot held two houses in tiie Inveresk or upper part of 
Musselburgh, which are still standing, and are to-day known 

* The facts and figures regarding the Newbattle coal mines have 
been generously furnished by Mr John Morison, one of the directors 
of the Lothian Coal Company, and formerly manager of Lord 
Lothian's collieries, and may therefore be accepted with the fullest 
confidence, as coming from one so eminent in his profession. 



as Halkerston Lodge and Inveresk Lodge, splendid solid 
mansions, with thick walls, and containing crypts, chambers, 
and subterranean passages. Father Hay in his gossipy letters 
mentions as a curious fact that the monks of Newbattle gave 
to the poor "black stones." Before the coal was discovered 
or largely used, the fuels used were wood, of which there was 
abundance in the Esk valley from the presence of a great 
portion of the Caledonian primeval forest, of which traces 
are still met with in the Newbattle and Dalkeith policies; 
and peat, which even yet is abundantly met with on the moor- 
land parts in the neighbourhood, vast reaches of it spreading 
in the Moorfoot property of the Newbattle fathers at the foot 
of the Moorfoot Hills, beside the present Gladhouse Reservoir, 
which is Edinburgh's main source of water supply. In all pro- 
bability the Newbattle fathers were also the pioneers of mining 
in Lanarkshire, the wide mineral district of Monkland receiving 
its name from the Newbattle monks, who held wide properties 
all over that part of Lanarkshire, to which they drove a road 
direct from their home by the Esk, where, even yet, the great 
primitive-looking wall, portions of which are still standing 
opposite Newbattle Church, is called the " Monkland Wall," 
from the fact that the road to the west ran alongside of it. 
In the ecclesiastic records of various Monkland and other 
Lanarkshire parishes there are frequent references to the New- 
battle monks' presence and coal industry. 

The industry has been continuously pursued since their 
days, and, fostered by the enterprise of successive proprietors 
of the land, has always provided employment for a large 
proportion of the population of the parish, and maintained 
the position of a large and leading centre of coal mining in 

The early discovery and working of the seams of coal is 
due to a very large extent to the geological formation which 
exists in the neighbourhood of Newbattle, whereby not only 
are the seams of coal numerous, thick, and of high quality, 
but, owing to the inclination of the strata, they become one 
and all exposed at the " outcrop," although lying where now 
worked at very great depth, the deepest pit in Scotland being 
at present situated on the Newbattle estate. 

Owing to this conformation, the seams of coal were at 
their " outcrop," proved with little expense, and absolute 



knowledge gained by gradual experience of the nature and 
value, as well as of the best methods of working the various 

The coal seams worked are entirely embraced in the for- 
mation described in the geological survey as the carboniferous 
limestone formation. The base of this formation is known as 
the No. i Limestone, which corresponds with the D'Arcy 
limestone at present being worked near the village of West- 
houses. The seams of coal in ascending order from this basis 
which are workable, are as follows : 

The " Parrot " Seam - 3 feet 3 inches thick. 

The " Kaleblades " Seam - about 4 feet to 5 feet thick. 

The " Splint " Seam - 4 feet thick. 

The " Coronation " Seam 3 feet 6 inches thick. 

The " Siller Willie " Seam - 2 feet 6 inches to 4 feet thick. 

The " Diamond " Seam i foot 10 inches thick. 

The " Great " Seam - 7 feet 6 inches thick. 

The " Parrot " seam embraces a band of cannel-coal, used 
for enriching gas, and of dry, high quality. 

The " Kaleblades " seam varies in workable thickness 
owing to a band of fireclay which is contained between two 
beds of the seam; which in parts of the coal-field thickens 
to such an extent as to render the two beds of the seam 
unworkable together. 

The whole of the remaining coals are of a bituminous, 
non-caking nature, of good quality. 

The outcrop of the No. i Limestone which has been 
referred to may be seen in the old quarry near D'Arcy Farm 
steading, the full dip of the strata being towards the River 
South Esk. At the Lady Victoria Pit the vertical depth from 
the surface of the same seam of limestone is about 1860 feet, 
showing a " dip " of the strata between the two points of 
1860 feet, the corresponding dip on the surface formation 
being about 320 feet. 

Along the course of the Roman Camp hill the exposed 
strata may be observed for some distance to be flat, and then 
on the other side of the hill to dip in the opposite direction, 
on towards the valley of the Tyne. 

In places the strata has been bent over without breaking, 
in others it has cracked, leaving fissures. At one point along 



the Roman Camp hill a quaquaversal dip of the strata has 
been produced ; that is to say, the strata dips in every direction 
from a common centre. There are various explanations by 
geologists to account for the position and dip of the minerals, 
these, however, are too long to enter into. The most reason- 
able theory appears to be that at an epoch in their formation, 
and when supported by a mass of molten lava, the various 
dips were produced by the volcanic eruptions which were at 
the time taking place in the vicinity of Arthur Seat, the Pent- 
land Hills, and other volcanic hills in the neighbourhood. 

The outcrops of the various seams of coal occur at 
intervals, according to the position of the seams, between the 
road near Mansfield and the old house known as Maisterton. 

The history of the working and opening up of the seams 
in the earliest years of the industry would, if details could be 
obtained, be a very interesting one. Such details as may be 
obtained from old existing books in connection with the work 
are necessarily devoid of details further than those necessary 
for keeping accounts ; but extracts from some such books which 
exist in the nature of pay books so far back as 1744, or 150 
years ago, may prove interesting to the reader, and are as 
follows : 

ist Extract from an old pay book, embracing the period 
from June, 1744, to November, 1745 



Hendray Drayodel 


To 559 lod and 3 ., 

Robrt Mitchel 


3 countos 

Thomas Shanban 


i At tu pns p Lod 





Hendray Nesmeth 


To 37 bols of Lime 

James Dick 



James Smeth 


2 At 2 pns p bol 



Charals Smeth 









(Opposite page of book.) 


To James Wilson Col grive 

To Robert Dick redsman 6 days to the reding at 

4 pns p day as the on half of his weag 
To the above man one pound of candls 
To the 2 therds of 4 carts of Lim col at 6 pns p 


To Charles Smeth for working foull col 
To James Smeth for working foull col 
To on pound of candls for veouing the work 
To James Dick on day with the birer 




2nd Extract from an old pay book, embracing the period 
from January, 1744 to July, 1746 : 

(Left page of book.) 



John Duncan 



zoth July 

Charles Campble 


Run away from ye worl 

John Penman 


Run away 

David Richardson 


Run away 

James Thomson 


Run away 

William Watson 


Run away 

Andrew Weir 


William Young 


Run away 

Andrew Young 


Run away 

David Penman 


Run away 

David Allan 

Run away 

Peter Robertson 




To said . . . 154 loads sold at 4d. each 

2 1 II 4 

By Ballance Deu to Creditor 

9 9i 

(Right page of book.) 


s. d. 

By Robt Wilson Coal grieve and overseer of said work 

By Tho. Begbie Cheque 

By John Duncan assistant below Ground 

By Alexr Young 5 days taking down Stone 

By John Allan 5 days Redding ye Rooms 

By Will Robertson 6 days Redding ye Levell 

By John Thomson 6 days at Do 

By Andrew Weir 2 days Redding of Mynd 

By John Duncan 2 days at Do 

By James Brown 2 days Bearing from Do 

By Hanna Wilsson 2 days at Do 

By Helen Wilsson 2 days at do 

By Janet Robertson 3 days bearing Wood 

By 5 pound candles to above work people 

14 July. By for mentioned 12 men for working and 
bearing ye forsd 154 loads at 3 half d lod 

By on shillg givn to ... in Dalkeith as Justice- 
mount (?) money account Sir John Ramsay of 
Whitehill for Detaining ye Coaliers 

By 3d for new pylling (?) strong 

By Coals to ye family this week pr actt 

































3rd Copy of pay bill, April, 1788 : 


To the Coal Grieve - -070 

To the Check - -050 

To James Thomson Banksman . o 7 4^ 

To Geor Heasty pit bo tarn man - o 7 4^ 

To Geor Heasty and the other 2 redsmen - - o 19 4^ 

To And Richardson 2^ fath in the level - -089 

To Thos Weddell 9 foott in the leven head - -030 
To James Brown for earring the pinch to the mynd 006 
To 3 oncost bearers - o i o 

To James Brown for sclute - o o 10 

To Thos Weddell for do - o a & 

To John Richardson for do - -009^ 

To Geo Young for do - -009^ 

To David Richardson for reding - 030 
To Helen Penman 3 darg - o i o 

To 7 pound of candle - -044^ 

To Jo Wilson for takeing care of the work - -026 

To James Stewart 6 darg at the gin - -030 

To John Hunter 6 do at the pin - 050 
To Da. Richardson for ale and meat to the Coaliers i i o 

To Do for Drink to the oncost men - -080 

To the Coalbearers - -076 

To halters and binders to the gin horses - - o o io 

To the workmanship of the Coal - - 10 4 8 

Carriages to New pr Geo Adamson 6 tubs - -050 

16 8 2 

The books from which the foregoing extracts are made 
are in good preservation, and have been carefully kept. It 
would appear that able-bodied men were paid at the rate of 
lod per day, and the women who worked as bearers in 
carrying the coal out from the workings were paid about 3d 
per day. Little or no change appears to have been made 
in the rate of pay up to 1788. It would appear, however, 
from the entries in the latter pay book, that attempts were 
being made at the latter date to lighten the labour of bearing 
the coal by the use of " gins." This apparatus was worked 
by a horse, and consisted of a rough upright post working in 
sockets, and with a cross tree attached, to which the horse was 
yoked, and similar apparatus was used until steam engines 
were brought into use at mines for raising the material. 

The system of working in the earliest times would appear 
to have been by driving in near the outcrop of the coal seam 
and carrying the coal out, the women of the family being 
used for this purpose. As the coal which could be so 
obtained got deeper, drainage would have to be provided, and 



pits sunk, up which the coal was carried. Drainage would 
be provided by cutting in a level mine by which the water 
ran off. By this means the workings appear to have attained 
a considerable depth ; indeed, a level drainage mine, of which, 
so far as can be ascertained, the date of commencement is not 
known, is driven from the " peth " below Mill Hill right up 
to Bryans pit, a distance of about 500 yards. From the 
marking on the sides of this mine, which is known as the 
Newbattle day level, it must have been driven at great labour 
with very inferior tools, and without explosives, and must 
have involved great patience in its projectors and the workmen 
employed. It had, however, the effect of entirely draining 
the minerals without pumping to a depth of 180 feet at Bryans 
pit, and is still made use of to that depth. 

Reverting to the early workings as shown in the pay 
books, it would appear that in 1744 the colliers were working 
under laws by which they were practically slaves. 

In Bryans' pay book for the week following the one which 
is here extracted, it is recorded against the names of all the 
colliers who " ran away," " All in Dalkeith Prison except 
Pet Robertson and Andrew Young." It is not recorded 
whether these individuals escaped ultimately or were forgiven 
for " running away." 

It appears to have been enacted in 1775 (the i5th Geo. 
III., ch. 28), that this state of servitude or bondage should 
come to an end, and this would alter the condition of the 
workers in the Newbattle mines. The preamble of the Act 
referred to is as follows: "Whereas by the statute law of 
Scotland as explained by the judges of the courts of law 
there, many colliers and coal bearers and salters are in a state 
of slavery and bondage, bound to the collieries or saltworks 
where they work, for life transferable with the collieries and 
saltworks, etc." 

The emancipation, however, was to be gradual, and vary- 
ing from three to ten years for those already employed, but no 
person commencing work as a collier thereafter was to be 

The Act of 1775 does not appear to have been completely 
effective in freeing the colliers, as it was found necessary in 
1799 to pass another Act, which enacted " that from and after 
the passing of this Act all the colliers in that part of Great 



Britain called Scotland, who were bound colliers at the time 
of the passing of the said Act, shall be, and they are hereby 
declared to be, free from their servitude." 

The moral effect of such degradation upon the colliers at 
this period may be easily conceived. It is not therefore to 
be wondered at that by improving the condition of employ- 
ment a gradual change on the condition of the employees in 
the mines has had the effect of transforming the colliers from 
what they were in 1744 to their present condition in Newbattle, 
and at the present time in every respect the colliers in New- 
battle will compare favourably with any artizans or workmen 
in any other trade in any other district. In many respects, 
moral, physical, and intellectual, they stand far in advance 
of similar industrial communities. 

It is recorded that in 1837 the workings in Newbattle 
were suspended for four months, owing to a strike for higher 
wages. The working of the minerals and their development 
has since 1744 been vigorously pursued by the Marquesses of 
Lothian in succession. The first large development appears 
to have been in the vicinity of the present Bryans pit, where 
a mine was cut to the Parrot seam, and large quantities worked. 
Following this, Bryans pit and the two pits at Lingerwood 
have been sunk and developed, the new extensions having 
apparently at all times kept pace with the times. 

In 1890 the minerals were taken over by the Lothian Coal 
Company, Limited, in conjunction with other coal fields, and 
since that time, by extensive sinkings, notably the Lady Victoria 
pit, to reach large areas of coal, works have been developed 
which promise for many years to come to maintain in the 
parish of Newbattle the reputation which it has had for so 
many years as one of the leading mining centres of Scotland. 

According to the most recent computations, there are 
5,000,000,000 tons of coal in the Edinburghshire portion of 
the Lothian coalfield, which extends from the Firth of Forth 
inward to Penicuik, a distance of 17! miles. The field is 
between four and five miles broad, and contains thirty-seven 
seams, with an aggregate thickness of 105 feet of coal. It 
represents the richest coal district in Scotland, and taking 
into account the coal to be worked under the Firth of Forth, 
and calculating on the present output as a basis, there is 
enough coal in the district to last 2000 years. 




THERE are many things to connect the two historical 
parishes of Inveresk and Newbattle. If the inter- 
esting old church of St. Michael is the " visible 
church " a city set on a hill, that of Newbattle 
(or, more properly, Newbottle new residence, Mel- 
rose Abbey being the " old bottle," or old residence, from 
which the Newbattle monks came) deserves the title of the 
" invisible church," lying deep down in the Esk valley, sur- 
rounded on all sides by great woods, and hemmed in on every 
side by gentle undulating hills. Such were the sites always 
chosen for their monasteries by the Cistercian monks. An- 
other connection lies in the river Esk, the South Esk flowing 
past the old monastery, whose inmates used to love a Thurs- 
day's fishing in view of a Friday's fast, and which, after 
uniting with the North Esk below Dalkeith, expends itself 
at Musselburgh, bearing itself past Delta Moir's monument, 
and the quaint old-world town which has three mussels and 
the word *' Honesty " for its crest. " The honest toun " is 
surely not only proud in its possession of " the visible kirk," 
but also a little bold in its historic utterance, 

" Musselburgh was a burgh 

When Edinburgh was nane ; 
And Musselburgh '11 be a burgh 
When Edinburgh's gane." 

Another interesting connection between the two places is 
in the Roman remains to be found in both. Across the Esk 
at Newbattle there is built the " Maiden Bridge," favourite 
haunt of artists, probably built by the Roman soldiers. The 
route by which the great road from Newbattle Abbey to the 
east coast passed was not over this bridge, but by a road which 
can still be traced a little higher up, and entering the grounds 
near the present East Lodge, and thence passing to the Esk 



opposite the Abbey, where a ford made a connection between 
the two sides of the river. The great gates of the Abbey stood 
near the East Lodge. A minor road passed across the park 
through the monastic village, and over the Maiden Bridge 
towards Dalkeith, in all probability. A vigorous controversy 
has been waged over the name of this bridge, which, crossing 
the South Esk about a mile from the Abbey, so picturesquely 
reminds one of the Brig o' Doon in Ayrshire. Various 
antiquarians have held various views about it ; but possibly 
the bridge, whether the work of the Roman soldiers or not, 
and there was a Roman camp on the hill, was baptised the 
" Maiden Brig " after the great historical event so beautifully 
depicted in the Italian painting which adorns one of the 
mantelpieces in the drawing-room ot the present mansion. 
Robert Burns sets one of his sweetest songs to the air, " Dal- 
keith's Maiden Bridge." Some are of opinion that it is the 
" Madonna Brig " or " Bridge of our Lady," to whom the 
Abbey was dedicated, and that the Princess Margaret never 
crossed it at all, but entered by the " Queen Margaret 
Gate," still standing. Musselburgh, too, has its Roman 
bridge, deeply interesting to antiquarians. In fact, the 
whole district lives with memories of the Roman legion- 
aries. The " Roman Camp " above Newbattle can still 
be traced, and even in names of neighbouring places, 
such as " Chesters " (castra camp), " Dalhousie Ches- 
ters," Chesterhill (the old name of Edgehead the camp 
hill), &c., the influence can be seen. A chain of Roman 
camps seems to have run across this whole district. "Jupiter" 
Carlyle is undoubtedly right in declaring that St. Michael's 
Church, Inveresk, was built on the site of a Roman camp on 
the hill, and of the very bricks and stones of the older 
structure. The praetorium is still traceable. Roman remains 
have frequently been discovered on the hill, and the fact that 
the church was built on the hill, so far away from Musselburgh, 
is almost certainly due to the existence of the building materials 
already there. Probably St. Baldred, the apostle of East 
Lothian, brought Christianity to this district in the sixth 
century, and the early Saxon monastery of Tyningham, dedi- 
cated to St. Balther, had diocesan authority over all East 
Lothian. The chain of camps can be traced from Inveresk 
Hill to the Roman Camp Hill of Newbattle, thence to " The 



Chesters," near Tynehead, and thence to Heriot, on one of the 
hills of which there are still remains of an extensive camp. 

There are some other interesting points of connection 
between Inveresk and Newbattle. When Archbishop Leighton 
was incumbent of the latter parish, Mr Colt ministered to the 
former. Complaining of his "heavy charge" at Mussel- 
burgh, Colt received the pleasant and humorous reply from 
Leighton " It is too bad to put such a heavy load upon a 
Colt," one of the many grave pleasantries attributed to the 
saintly divine. 

Three battlefields, all disastrous to Scotland, surround 
Inveresk Hill Pinkie (1547), at the very foot; Carberry 
(1567), where Mary surrendered to the lords; and Prestonpans 
(1745), where Colonel Gardiner fell. It has come down by 
tradition, that when the last of these was being fought, a 
number of people belonging to Newbattle ran along the ridge 
of the Roman Camp Hill till they came within sight of the 
battle, which they followed with eager interest. 

There are few belonging to the district who have never 
heard of " Camp Meg," a sort of witch who lived on the 
Roman Camp Hill at Newbattle early in last century, and, 
dressed in man's clothing and armed with a scythe or a sickle, 
rode astride her white mare to all the fairs and races in the 
neighbourhood, the terror of the district. She was univer- 
sally regarded as an uncanny person, and lived in absolute 
solitude in the loneliness of the Camp Hill. A curious sight 
it must have been to see her riding her white mare at Mussel- 
burgh races, as she sometimes did. 

A much more intimate connection, however, than any of 
these, existed between Newbattle and Inveresk; for the abbot 
and monks of Newbattle Abbey had, amongst their many 
other possessions, two residences in Inveresk. These were to 
some extent coast-houses for the fathers, just as Pinkie House 
was originally built for the abbot and monks of Dunfermline, 
into whose possession Musselburgh was given by royal charter. 
This practice of a monastery having an extra or dependent 
house is quite common still on the Continent. The great St. 
Bernard monastery in the heart of Alpine snows has a depend- 
ent house at Martigny, at the head of the rich and beautiful 
Rhone valley, to which the sick and aged of the St. Bernard 
monks in the upper house are sent for refreshment and change. 
G (97) 


But the Newbattle monks had these houses not only for plea- 
sure; they carried on, as we shall see later, an extensive trade 
in the district, v;orking coal in the near neighbourhood of 
Inveresk, carting coals from Newbattle, where the monks first 
discovered and worked the mineral, shipping the coals to other 
places, exporting and importing various products of the soil,, 
and generally carrying on commerce with the outside world. 
The two houses of which the abbot and monks were proprietors 
are known to-day as Inveresk Lodge and Halkerston Lodge, 
but these names are comparatively recent. Built in the old 
Scottish style of architecture, with high pitched roofs and 
crow-step gables, they have all the appearance of great 
antiquity and monastic origin. Two shepherds' houses beside 
them are also monastic. 

Inveresk Lodge, the property now of the Wedderburn 
family, was the residence of General Sir William Hope, Bart., 
C.B., before he succeeded to the baronetcy of Craighall, his 
lady being a Wedderburn. It is a commodious house inter- 
nally, and shows that the early churchmen had sound ideas 
of domestic economy and architecture. Like most ancient 
buildings, there is a diversity of levels in different parts of 
the house. It is even at the present day, however, a fine 
residence, and the arrangements of three or four hundred years 
ago are found to be suitable even for the present generation. 
There is a large wine-cellar in the house, and the whole air of 
the building is monastic and mediaeval. It reminds one very 
strongly of the monastery of St. Maurice on the banks of the 
Rhone, a few miles above Bex, which both in internal arrange- 
ments and general style and size is very like it, a curious 
" cross " between a monastery, properly speaking, and a good, 
serviceable dwelling-house. 

The same is true of Halkerston Lodge, which has one or 
two dark chambers in it, which, it is believed, were used for 
the confinement of those guilty of breaches of discipline. A 
subterranean passage is believed to exist between the two 

In the rent-roll of Musselburgh for 1561 the Abbot of 
Newbattle stands chargeable with 2o/, probably the feu pay- 
able for these two houses. In the same roll the town of 
Edinburgh figures for ^5, and Haddington for 40 /. Blaen's 
atlas, published about 1600 at Amsterdam, shows the road by 



the Esk which connected Newbattle with Inveresk, and that 
the policies of Dalkeith Park only extended to where the north 
and south Esks meet, near the stables. Here, then, were the 
two residences of the Newbattle monks only a small portion 
of vast possessions which stretched down to Gala water and 
Peebles, and Monkland in Lanarkshire, and even to the pine- 
olad slopes of Glenartney. 

This part of Midlothian was famous for its wealthy 
religious houses. The canons-regular had Soutra monastery, 
" the St. Bernard's of Midlothian," built not only to offer 
a life of peaceful meditation to the religious, but as a shelter 
in snowstorms and rains to the wearied travellers coming from 
the south across the bleak moors of the Lammermuir and 
Moorfoot Hills towards Edinburgh, a useful hospice then, 
as, even now, something of the kind might be, as has been 
proved by many travelling disasters in that very region. Such 
monastic resting-places were by no means uncommon in our 
islands. For example, at the barest and most dangerous part 
of Glenshee there is still standing the " Spittal of Glenshee," 
the hospital or hospice where once a monastery stood, and 
where weary travellers were housed and fed by the monks. 
The " Spittal of Glentilt " also recalls a monastic hospice 
which once stood in that treeless, solitary Highland val- 
ley. The village of Spittal has a similar origin. In 
Ireland, Lord Morris of Spittal has his title from a similar 
hospice; in London, Spitalfields recalls the same connection. 
Soutra Monastery, of which only a small aisle stands, though 
the whole hillside is marked with mounds and ruins, was 
wealthy, and had Trinity College, Edinburgh, as a depend- 
ency, and eventually as a superior. 

Crichton College, beside Crichton Castle, was wealthy. 
The fine old building still remaining, with its curious carvings 
of monks laughing, crying, sneering, and winking, is interesting 
as the last building constructed by the Church before the 
Reformation; the crash came in 1560, and the church was left 
half-built. Borthwick is notable, like Crichton, not only for 
its castle inseparably associated with Queen Mary, as its manse 
is with Dr Robertson, the great Scottish historian, but also 
for its church, a portion of which remains full of interest and 
historic charm. 

Temple has its beautiful story of the Knights Templars 
clinging around its ivy-clustered walls, as the memory of these 



martial monks lingers in the lovely valley which has its name 
from men of war who took refuge in this beautiful vale of 
peace. Mount Lothian, away out on the moors beyond 
Rosewell and Carrington, has its interesting tale. Roslin 
College (St. Matthew's) is world-famous. Restalrig Abbey, 
originally a great place, of which only the chancel remains, 
the Nether-Bow of Edinburgh having been built of the stones 
of its nave and transepts after the Reformation, was wealthy 
beyond many, and had Lasswade as a chapel under it. 

Many another rare old abbey dotted this part of Mid- 
lothian, and became a centre of civilisation and energy and 
light. But not only the most wealthy, but the most powerful 
socially, was the Cistercian Abbey of St. Mary, Newbattle; 
and some account of its works, chiefly in connection with 
Inveresk and Musselburgh, may interest the reader. 

The monks of Newbattle took a great part in the culti- 
vation of the ground, and of fruits, vegetables, crops, and 
trees. Almost all the rich forests in Midlothian had their 
beginnings thus. The Cistercians always planted their abbeys 
in low-lying places near rivers, and the primeval woods were 
trained and extended till vast forests covered hill and valley. 
The one great exception to this is, of course, the " Caledonian 
Forest," which in pre-Christian, and in early Christian ages 
covered the great heart of Scotland, and of which traces can 
still be seen at Rannoch, at Cadzow, and elsewhere, 
as well as at Dalkeith and Newbattle. This was 
the original rugged oak - forest which clothed savage Scot- 
land, and into which the rude Caledonians rushed on the 
approach of the Roman legions. Now the great forests of 
Scotland are in many cases made up of imported trees. For 
example, larch forests cover vast tracts of Perthshire to-day, 
ten thousand acres in Athole alone; but the first two larches 
ever introduced into Scotland were brought thither from the 
Tyrol so recently as 1737, and were nurtured in flower-pots 
placed in a green-house. These two trees are still growing 
a little to the west of Dunkeld Cathedral. Birnam Woods, 
and the other vast forests which clothe Scotland with verdure, 
are all to be dated within the last few hundred years. The 
great beech tree in Newbattle the largest beech tree in Great 
Britain is only one of multitudes planted in the Esk valley by 
the Cistercian monks of Newbattle, one of the principles of 



whose life was that every brother should engage in manual 
labour. " Blessed is he who plants a tree," was their motto. 
Doubtless many of the fine trees in and around Inveresk and 
Musselburgh had monastic origin. The rich forests, as well 
as the richly-cultivated fields of Midlothian, have these men 
for their fathers and first patrons. Doubtless the monks of 
Dunfermline, who owned Musselburgh, did much in the same 
direction. The trees around Pinkie House, originally a 
country seat of the abbots of Dunfermline, probably owe 
much to their fostering care, as also the trees round the Inver- 
esk hill to the care of the Newbattle abbots, whose residences 
still remain under the names of Inveresk Lodge and Halkerston 

" Delta Moir," the poetic genius of Musselburgh, sings of 
the natural beauties of the district in these words : 

" Down from the old oak forests of Dalkeith, 
Where majesty surrounds a ducal home, 
Between fresh pastures gleaming thou dost come 
Bush, scaur, and rock and hazelly shaw beneath ; 
Till, greeting thee from slopes of orchard ground 
Towers Inveresk, with its proud villas fair, 
Scotland's Montpelier, for salubrious air 
And beauteous prospect wide and far renowned. 
What else could be, since thou with winding tide 
Below dost ripple pleasantly, thy green 
And osiered banks outspread, where, frequent seen, 
The browsing heifer shows her dappled side, 
And 'mid the bloom-bright furze are oft descried 
Anglers, that patient o'er thy mirror lean?" 

It was largely owing to the monks that in late years Scot- 
land became so famous for its trees. If Cadzow has its 
Caledonian oaks, and Fortingall, at the base of Ben Lawers, 
its yew tree 3000 years old (as some allege), centuries before 
Roman soldiers ventured the Grampians, or Pontius Pilate (of 
whom tradition declares that he was born there, the son of a 
Roman general serving in Britain) was born, the trees of which 
the monks were directly or indirectly the fathers can be widely 
traced all over the country. The oaks and yews at Keir, near 
Stirling, Queen Mary's sycamore at Scone Palace, still stand- 
ing, and said to have been planted by her, and, hard by, an oak 
planted by James VI. ; the last two trees of great Birnam 
Wood, near Dunkeld, one of them an oak, 18 feet in girth, 
the other, a sycamore 19^ feet in girth; the great yew trees 
beside Dunkeld Cathedral, which some date back to the Cul- 
dees, who had one of their oldest seats there ; the great beech 



hedge of Meikleour in Perthshire, 80 feet high, 580 yards long, 
planted in 1746; the Newbattle beech, the largest beech in 
the west of Europe, and the survivor of a magnificent pair 
which even so late as the middle of last century adorned 
the grounds of Newbattle Abbey can all be traced more or less 
to monastic influence, culture,, and care. Auchmore, a seat 
of the Marquess of Breadalbane, boasts the Kinnell Vine 
(Black Hamburg), at the old house of Kinnell, planted in 
1832, and now the largest in the world, filling a glass-house 
170 feet long. It is about fifty years old, and is still in 
fine bearing condition. It, too, is undoubtedly the child 
of the monasteries. When Professor Blackie saw this tree 
he was so affected that he has written, " I made a vow on the 
spot, whenever I might be troubled with low and vulgar imagin- 
ations, to think upon this vine." He also wrote the follow- 

" Come hither all who love to feed your eyes 

On goodly sights, and join your joy with mine, 
Beholding, with wide look of glad surprise, 

The many-branching glory of this vine, 
Pride of Kinnell ! The eye will have its due, 

And God provides rich banquet, amply spread, 
From star-lit cope to huge Bens swathed in blue, 

And this empurpled growth that overhead 
Vaults us with pendant fruit. Oh, I would take 

This lordly vine, and hang it for a sign 
Even in my front of estimate, and make 

Its presence teach me with a voice divine 

Go hence, and in sure memory keep with thee, 
To shame all paltry thoughts, this noble tree !" 

Scotland, though once far behind England and other 
lands in arboriculture, through the labours of the monastic 
orders, became a great home for trees, and the children of 
what the monks sowed are to-day the wonders of modern 

There can be no doubt whatever that the richness of the 
agricultural lands around Inveresk and throughout Midlothian, 
and along the east coast, a fecundity so proverbial that it is 
believed to be the richest tract of land in Europe, is owing 
to the agricultural skill of the monastic fathers, who divided 
their day between the altar and the plough. We reap what 
they sowed. The monastic village round Newbattle Abbey, 
which can still be traced, consisted of a long street of cottages 
for smiths, carpenters, shepherds, &c., and these latter were 
sent out into all the lands round about to break new ground, 



and to instruct the people in the arts of agriculture, gardening, 
and forestry. The carts made at Newbattle Monastery were 
in the Middle Ages so famous that they came to be counted 
in payments, and mentioned in charters and agreements. These 
carts would often be seen in Musselburgh in the olden days, 
and would convey coals from the mines at Newbattle to the 
ports along the east coast. 

It has been stated that the well-known and deservedly- 
famous " Musselburgh leek " was originated by the monks. 
To verify this, I ventured to submit the question to our 
ablest and best known Scottish gardener and authority, and 
was indebted to his great courtesy and genial friendliness for 
the following reply. Mr Malcolm Dunn, late gardener to the 
Duke of Buccleuch, says : 

"It is well known that the ecclesiastical bodies were the great 
patrons of gardening in the Middle Ages, and laid out gardens near 
their religious houses, in which the monks and their retainers culti- 
vated, with more or less success, many of the plants, fruits, and 
vegetables in use at the present time. Of course, since that period 
great improvement has been wrought on the varieties of fruit and 
vegetables, but still many of the identical varieties of them cultivated 
in monkish times are still to be seen in the neighbourhood of ancient 
ecclesiastical edifices. All this, and much more connected with the 
subject, is found in gardening literature; but although I have a fairly 

food collection of books on gardening, I am sorry to say I cannot 
nd anything in them bearing directly on horticulture as -practised 
by the monks at Newbattle. I am not aware that there is any record, 
except oral tradition, of the introduction of the leek to this part of 
Scotland by the monks of Newbattle ; but it is quite within the bounds 
of probability. The leek is a native of Switzerland, and it is known 
to have been cultivated in Britain in the fifteenth century, but it is 
likely to have been introduced at a much earlier period, and would 
no doubt be cultivated by the monks at Newbattle in the heyday of 
their prosperity. From the Abbey gardens it would readily pass into 
those of the wealthy of the period, and gradually spread through 
farmer and cottager, till it reached Musselburgh, in the rich, deep 
soil and mild climate of which it ultimately developed into that 
famous modern horticultural product, the Musselburgh Leek. So far 
as the name of that leek is concerned with monkish times, it can only 
be through a long ancestry, beginning in a primitive form of the 
modern succulent vegetable. The variety now known as the ' Mussel- 
burgh Leek ' is a selection of the older type of ' Scotch Leek,' and 
received its name by being largely grown around Musselburgh in 
private and market gardens. It has been known by that name among 
gardeners for about sixty years, and is recognised as the hardiest type 
of leek now in cultivation. 

" I am sorry I cannot give you any list from a safe source of the 
fruits and vegetables cultivated by the monks of Newbattle ; but 
perhaps you might find some mention made of them in old records 
concerning the Abbey. I have never looked through Newbattle 
grounds to see if there are any of the old fruit trees that may have 
come down from monkish times, but such trees exist at or near other 
monastic sites, such as Jedburgh, Dryburgh, Melrose (?), New Abbey, 



Falkland, Lindores, Fife, and several other places ; a notable instance 
of which we saw at Pluscardine Priory, in Morayshire, last month, 
where there is a pear-tree from which it is said the monks gathered 

The neighbourhood of Musselburgh and Prestonpans is 
exceptionally favourable to growth, being the part of Scotland 
least visited by rain and most genial, being, like the Moray 
Firth, touched by a branch of the Gulf Stream. 

The mills of Musselburgh were famous, and there can be 
little doubt that they were begun by the monks for the purpose 
of grinding the corn grown on their lands. The Dunfermline 
abbots seem to have had disputes frequently with the vicar 
of Inveresk (who was, of course, under his diocesan bishop) 
as to the tithes of fish and mills. Chalmers relates the story 
of one of these disputes, and the diocesan bishop decreed that 
"the small tithes and the offerings ot the altars of Mussel- 
burgh, excepting the fish of every sort, and the tithes of the 
mills belonging to the monks, were to be given to the vicar, 
for which he was directed to pay yearly 10 merks." 

Newbattle Abbey had three or four mills, and these, like- 
wise, were great sources of profit, and, like the mills of Mussel- 
burgh, testified to the practical shrewdness and agricultural 
energy of the monks. Probably, however, the mills of Mussel- 
burgh all belonged to the Abbot of Dunfermline, who, by the 
charter of Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret, his queen, 
was made proprietor, a charter confirmed by David I., who 
added as an additional gift, " Great Inveresk," or Mussel- 
burgh, " with the mill, the fishing, and the church of Inveresk, 
its tithes, and the port of Esk-muthe." 

The zeal and energy of the Newbattle monks was not, 
however, confined to agriculture; they were the first coal- 
workers of Scotland, and are thus the fathers of Britain's 
commercial greatness. As is well known, they did not sink 
shafts into the ground, but wrought the coal from the outside, 
into the face of the hill. Many of these coal-holes can still 
be traced in the banks of the Esk at Newbattle. Father 
Hay, in his letters, speaks of the curious fact, that the 
Newbattle monks gave gifts to the poor of " black stones," 
meaning coal. They worked the coal in this primitive way 
so successfully that their trade and interests rapidly extended. 
They acquired, by royal gift, vast tracts of land in Lanark- 
shire, the name " Monk-land " being given to their property. 



It is interesting to know that the vast Black Country of Scot- 
land was first developed by these men, who in time raised 
churches all over the Monkland district, drawing the revenues, 
and appointing the vicars. Indeed, their coal-fields were not 
confined to Newbattle and Monkland, for in the Newbattle 
chartulary there is a grant made of a coal mine near Inveresk 
by Seyer de Quinci, the date of which must be between 1210 
and 1219. The following is a translation of this interesting 
document : 

"To all the sons of the Church of St. Mary, Seyr de Quinci, 
Earl of Wyntoun, greeting : know that I have given and have con- 
firmed by this my charter, to God and the Church of St. Mary of 
Newbottle, and to monks serving God in that place, for an uncondi- 
tional and perpetual gift, and for the increase of the church, which 
Robert my father bestowed on the same, to wit, in the territory of 
Tranent, the full half of the marsh extending from west to east as 
far as the river Whitrig, that is to say, that portion which lies nearei 
to the cultivated land. Further, the Coal Heuch and quarry (carbon- 
arium et quarrarium) between the aforesaid river Whitrig, and the 
bounds of Pinkie and Inveresk, and in the ebb and flow of the sea. 
Therefore I will and direct that no one of my men may have any 
share either in the pasture or in the Coal Heuch, or in the Quarry, 
which are situated within the bounds of Prestongrange, with- 
out the consent of goodwill of the same monks. Before these 
witnesses, W., Bishop of St. Andrews, Ingram of Ballia, Simon de 
Quinci, Alexander of Seton, and others. And note the seal which this 
charter has, different from others." William was Bishop of St. 
Andrews in 1202 ; Simon de Quinci set out for Palestine in 1218, and 
died there in 1219; hence the date of this charter is approximately 
fixed from 1202 to 1218. Newbattle Chartulary, p. 53. 

In 1531 there was a contract between the abbots of Dun- 
fermline and Newbattle, by which the latter became bound 
to " drive the coill of Preston Grange to the bounds of Pinkin 
(Pinkie) and Inveresk." 

The Newbattle coal, as well as the coal wrought by the 
Newbattle monks at the coast, was shipped away to various 
parts from Eskmuthe, though generally from Port Seton, Mori- 
son's Haven, and other small ports east of Musselburgh. 

The coal trade of the Newbattle monks must have been 
a very vigorous one, for they actually went to the expense 
of constructing a great road from Newbattle Abbey across 
country to the coast, which can still be traced in what is known 
as the " Salters' Road." By this highway the Newbattle coal 
was taken in carts made by the monks themselves, to the sea, 
and there shipped. Probably much of the Newbattle coal 
was shipped at Musselburgh and Morison's Haven, while the 
coals acquired at the pits belonging to the Abbot of Newbattle, 


between Pinkie and Tranent, were shipped at the smaller ports 
to the east. 

The carts returning from Musselburgh did not come home 
empty. These old fathers were far too wise to permit unremuner- 
ative labour. Consequently the carts were often filled with mus- 
sels and oysters, of both of which the fathers seem to have been 
very fond. Over and over again round Newbattle Abbey great 
pits filled with oyster shells have been come upon, and the 
writer has a considerable number of these in his possession. 
They could only have come from Musselburgh. The com- 
mercial instinct was thus early manifested, which in our own 
day results in cheap foreign fruit, vessels going out from our 
British ports with coal to Spain, and returning with copper, 
which, being heavy and less bulky than the black diamonds, 
leaves a great space in the hold of the ship, which is filled up 
with melons, &c., thus making these fruits very cheap. Oysters 
were the return cargo of the Newbattle carts, besides fish of 
all kinds for the monks' use, and nets for their gardens. It 
is remarkable how often in the inland monasteries and churches 
of Midlothian, the oyster, sea-kail, and star-fish appear as 
ornaments. In Roslin Church there is quite a study in sea- 
produce on the pillars and arches, as there is also of the plants 
and flowers of the Esk valley. The sight of the sea produce 
seems to have been a refreshment to the inland dwellers, as 
it still is even to the little child, who carries home from the 
sounding sea beach a kerchief-ful of shells. 

Another import, too, came through Musselburgh to New- 
battle, namely, wine from the Continent, brought by ships from 
the French ports. The Cistercian Order began at Citeaux 
(hence the name), in the Burgundy district of France, and 
the wines made by the Order became famous. 

In the midst of the celebrated vineyards of Romanic, 
Richebourg, La Tache, &c. the wines of which were brought 
into fashion by Louis XIV., for whom they were exclusively 
prescribed by the royal physician Fagon as a means of restoring 
his strength and about seven miles from the chief city of this 
wine-country and vineyard-garden, Nuits, a town to-day of 
some 3000 inhabitants stand the ruins of the celebrated abbey 
of Citeaux, which gave the name to one of the most powerful 
of all the monastic Order the "Citercians," or "Cistercians." 
The abbey was founded by Robert de Molesme in 1090, and 



within its walls the great St. Bernard assumed the cowl in 
1113. This abbey became the mother-house of the Cistercian 
Order all over the world; it gave four Popes to the Roman 
See, and was the mother of no fewer than 3600 houses of the 
Order. To-day only a few ruins of the ancient abbey exist, 
but the vineyards and oliveyards which the monks planted are 
still famous. The prince of Burgundy wines " Clos de 
Vougeot " is still made from the monastic vineries. The 
monks never sold it, but made gifts of what they could not 
use to their friends. The average annual produce of this 
vineyard is 200 hogsheads, and some 450 vintagers are em- 
ployed at vintage time. This is the land, too, of " Beaune " 
wine, the chief wine of the Burgundy district; and the most 
celebrated wines and vineyards of the world are to be found 
within a few miles of the old abbey walls. The lands around 
the ancient Abbey of Citeaux are probably the richest in the 
world. About a mile south-west of Dijon begins a chain of 
hills known as the " Cote d'Or " a wall of hills sheltering 
innumerable vineyards. In richness of flavour, in all the more 
delicate qualities of the juice of the grape, the vines of this 
department of France rank highest of all ; so much so, that 
the old Dukes of Burgundy were designated Princes des bans 
vins. The choicest red wines of the Cote d'Or are the " Clos 
Vougeot," " Nuits," "Beaune," " Volnay," "Poniard," 
" Chambertin," " Richebourg," " Romance," and "St. 
George." Their beautiful colour and exquisite flavour and 
aroma make them valuable beyond all others, and one need 
hardly wonder that the kings of France coveted this rich Bur- 
gundian territory. The development of this industry, the 
cultivation of this magnificent soil, and the perfecting of the 
vine, were all the work of the Cistercian monks who made 
Citeaux their earliest home. They began there the industrial 
work which became a characteristic of their Order in every 
succeeding age, and all over the world. 

The French wines claret and Burgundy especially - 
were largely shipped to Scotland, and the Newbattle monks 
brought these in carts from Musselburgh overland to their 
monastery, some six miles inland. Doubtless these French 
wares were highly prized, and served to connect the Cistercian 
fathers of Newbattle in a very genial way with the fathers of 
the parent-house at Citeaux. The rich red Burgundy, carried 



by cart and ship over land and sea, would remind the New- 
battle fathers, in days of snowstorm and sleet, when the river 
would overflow its banks and flood the ancient crypt, still 
standing, of the brighter skies, the genial vineyards, and 
warmer airs of sunn^. France, where their brethren laboured 
and prayed. 

In Newbattle Abbey there is still preserved a very fine 
bas-relief representing! wine-making a wine-vat, net, ladle, 
cluster of grapes, ancl the implements of wine-making the 
sculpture as clear and distinct as on the day on which it was 
carved. * Even in later days, the French wines thus introduced 
by the monks continued to be the wines of Scotland, John 
Knox himself being partial to good French claret. 

Doubtless, too, the old monks of Newbattle often fished 
their way down the Esk to Musselburgh and the sea. The 
connection altogether between old Newbottle, " all to the tae 
side," and " the honest toun " of Musselburgh is deeply inter- 
esting, and invested with a large amount of historic charm. 




A MOST curious and instructive instance of the vicissi- 
tudes of manuscripts has just come to light in con- 
nection with the chartulary of Newbattle Abbey a 
small close-written folio volume, bound in wooden 
boards with strings, and which now reposes in the 
Advocates' Library in Edinburgh. On the board of this 
priceless volume the record for more than four hundred years 
of all the doings and life of one of the greatest Cistercian 
abbeys in Britain, which gave sepulture to sovereigns, and 
entertainment to almost every royalty in Scottish history there 
is the inscription " Bought from Ja. M'Ewan, 23rd April, 
1723, for ;i2, i2s. D.H." The present librarian has 
courteously furnished a copy of this inscription, 1 and adds 
" In 1723, Spottiswoode was librarian. Who ' D.H.' was I 
do not know, but he was very probably the one from whom 
the library acquired it either by gift or purchase, but of this 
we have no record, unless the old treasurer's accounts have a 
note of it, supposing it was bought. I am not sure if the 
accounts of that date exist. The MS. is entered in Ruddi- 
man's catalogue of 1742." 

The mystery of how the chartulary of Newbattle came to 
find its way to the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh, instead 
of being found, as one would naturally expect, in the library 
of Newbattle House, already so rich in priceless mediaeval 
parchments, is one of the romances of literature. It must be 
remembered that at the Reformation the abbey quietly de- 
veloped into a mansion-house, where in the course of genera- 
tions not only a magnificent library, but also a unique collection 
of antiquities, ecclesiastical and civil, has gathered. There 
was no rude hand to destroy the peculiarly valuable historic 
record of the religious house, and as a matter of fact, till the 



year of the Revolution (1688) the Newbattle chartulary formed 
the historical prize of the Earl of Lothian's library. Through 
the courtesy and kindness of the late Marquess of Lothian, 
we are now enabled to print, for the first time, the letters (still 
preserved in the archives of Newbattle House) which tell the 
story of the chartulary 's disappearance from Newbattle, and 
its subsequent reappearance in the Advocates' Library, Edin- 

Very curiously, the hand by which the chartulary passed 
away from Newbattle was the hand of a Roman Catholic 
priest. Father Hay is well known from his gossipy letters 
which preserve a great deal of floating information regarding 
the state of religion and religious houses in Britain as he viewed 
matters about the beginning of the last quarter of the seven- 
teenth century. Father Hay came of the family of Yester 
Hay, being the grandson of Sir John Hay of Barra, of the 
family of Fala, Lord Clerk Register in the Reign of Charles ; 
who was lineally descended from Sir Edmund Hay of 
Limplum, younger brother of Sir David Hay of Yester, 
ancestor of the Marquess of Tweeddale. This Sir John Hay 
was tried in Edinburgh for high treason, and, it is said, only 
escaped the scaffold by bribing the Earl of Lanark with the 
rents of his estate during his life. He retired latterly to Dud- 
dingston, and died there on November 2oth, 1654. His second 
son by his second wife, Thomas Hay of Hermiston, was the 
first of the Hays of Alderstone; and his third son by the 
same wife was the father of Richard Hay, who is known to 
historians, antiquarians, and ecclesiologists as " Father Hay." 
Richard Hay was born in Edinburgh in 1601, and, as he says 
himself, was " thrust " into the Scots College in France in 
1673. He left France in 1686 to establish a society of canons 
regular in Scotland, and while there he borrowed the Newbattle 
chartulary from the Earl of Lothian in order to inspect several 
of the old charters. The Revolution of 1688 suddenly broke 
out, and he had to retreat to France, carrying with him the 
Newbattle chartulary, and while in Paris in that year he 
suddenly sank and died. 

On his deathbed he dedicated the following declaration, 
which has been copied direct from the original deed in Lord 
Lothian's possession : 

I, Mr Richard Hay, Canon Regular of St. Geneveve att Paris, 


do hereby testify and declare to all concerned that the Chartulary 
Book of the Abbacy of Newbottle belonging to the Most Honble. the 
Marquess of Lothian his family, was putt into my custody in the 
year 1688 in order to read and explain some charters contained therein, 
and upon my being obliged to leave this kingdom in the year 1689 
the same was putt into the hands of Sir James Dalrymple of Borth- 
wick in order to be restored to the Marquess of Lothian in the same 
case and condition which I then putt down in writing in my pockett 
book, and is as follows : A book of records of Newbotle consisting 
of eighty-seven leavs, the first six being an Index. On the first side 
are these words De terris sitis infra constabularium de Edinbough, 
and afterwards De Situ Abbatue Carta Regis David. Betwixt the 
Table and first Charter of King David are three leavs. The last leaf 
contains a charter Hagonis Duglas feodi fismae (?). The last witnesses 
are Onus. Thomas Reid, Onus. Robertus Spictale. The sixteen last 
leavs seem to have been written by order of Patrick Abbot of Newbotle. 
On the broad att the end of the book I find Adam Adamson manu 
propria. It is bound in timber broads covered with black stampt 
leather. The broads are spoilt with the worms. The book is thin 
it does not exceed an inch. It is part of an old character and 
part of a new. [This being end of first page is signed] Richard Haye. 
It. is in pretty good order. The charters are sett down by the Shires 
wherein the Lands are seated, the order as follows : First, the lands 
that lye within the Shire of Edr. ; then those that lye within the 
Constabulary of Haddingtoun ; third, those that lye within the Sher- 
ifdome of Peebles ; fourthly, those that lyes in the Shire of Lanerk. 
Those charters are not so exactly sett down, but now and then the 
writter mixes one with the other. The book contains severall Bulls, 
charters, instruments &c., and belongs to the Earl (now Marquess) 
of Lothian, and in testimony of the truth of the whole preemisses, I 
have subscribed thir presents, consisting of this and the page pre- 
ceeding, befor these witnesses, Mr George Crawfurd, brother to the 
laird of Carseburn, and William Douglas, yr. of Glenbervie, writter 
hereoff att Edinbr. the twenty-third of ffebruary? and thirty one years. 

Geo. Craufurd witness. 

Will. Douglas witness. 

The dying priest's wishes were not carried out, for along- 
side of Father Hay's last declaration, in the bunch of letters 
regarding the chartulary now in Newbattle House is the follow- 
ing letter from the Earl of Ancram addressed to Sir John 
Dalrymple, into whose hands as a relative of Father Hay the 
chartulary had fallen : 

NEWBATTLE, Feb. 20, 1740. 

SIR, I have my Father's orders to call for any papers that belong 
to his Family in whosoever hands they may be; I have accordingly 
informed myself very exactly about the Chartulary of the Abbacie of 
Newbattle, and find that it was in your hands, and as I propose to 
have all my Father's papers together before he comes to this country, 
I must desire you will send the Chartulary as soon as possible. I am, 
Sir, &c., ANCRAM. 

Sir John Dalrymple's reply (undated) is as follows : 

MY LORD, I found the Chartulary yr. Lo/ mentions with a great 
many other ancient records in my father's- possession at his death, 



and as I had no tast for that study wh. he delighted much in, and 
knew not how he had com by them I put them into such hands as I 
thought could make a better use of them. The Chartulary of New- 
bottle I believe was given into the Advocates' Library, who have 
several others of these ancient Chartularies. I offer my humble 
respects to my Lady Ancram, &c. I am, my Lord, 


And thus the Newbattle chartulary found its way into 
the Advocates' Library, of which it is now one of its greatest 
treasures, though Newbattle House would seem to be the 
natural resting-place of so historical and valuable a volume. 
At any rate, thus closes another of the romances of literature 
and of the vicissitudes of manuscripts. 




SOME little account of the origin of the house of Lothian 
will prove interesting. The title of " Lord Ancrum " 
(or " Ancram ") was first conferred on Sir Robert 
Ker of Ancrum in Roxburghshire, the poet and 
courtier, and himself the descendant of Sir Andrew 
Ker of Ferniehirst, a Border chief who acted a prominent 
part in the reigns of James IV. and James V. in resisting 
the incursions of the English. 

The name "Ancrum" is derived from " Alncromb " or 
" Alncrumb," meaning the crook of the Ale or Aln, and de- 
scribes very vividly the situation of the little village of Ancrum, 
which stands on a curve of the land formed by the river Ale 
immediately before it joins the Teviot. Lilliard's Edge, near 
the village, is famous for the battle fought there with the 
English in 1544, who were commanded by Sir Ralph Evers 
and Sir Brian Latoun, and, as everyone knows, the young 
Scotswoman named Lilliard made herself celebrated in history 
by following the Scots army, and when she saw her lover fall, 
threw herself into the breach, and by her gallantry turned 
the fight in favour of Scotland. Slain in the encounter, her 
name and fame are commemorated in the old stone which 
every Borderer knows well. 

The Sir Robert Ker who was made the first Earl of 
Ancrum, and who is the direct male ancestor of the house of 
Lothian, was born in 1578. Charles I., in 1625, made him 
Lord of the Bedchamber, and in 1633 created him Earl of 
Ancrum and Lord Ker of Nisbet. He distinguished himself 
during that troubled age by his devotion to the King, and 
after Charles' execution was compelled to take refuge in Hol- 
land, where, after being reduced to the deepest poverty, he 
died in 1659. 

Not only as a courtier and politician, but also as a sweet 
and melodious poet, his name is remembered to-day. His 
H ("3) 


" Sonnet in Praise of a Solitary Life," addressed to Drum- 
mond of Hawthornden, the muse of the Esk valley in 1624, 
which is always printed along with the accompanying letter 
in the works of the great Royalist bard, is singularly melli- 
fluous, and in its love of seclusion seems to echo the monastic 
aspirations of those who founded the noble house of Newbattle, 
with which his heirs became so intimately allied. 

The troubles of the time seem to have driven the Border 
nobleman to the same intellectual position as Archbishop Leigh- 
ton, who sighed with many others after a life free of bloodshed 
and contest and dispute, and whose pacific writings, many of 
them penned at Newbattle during his eleven years' ministry 
there, are the echo of the thoughts and feelings of the noblest 
spirits of his age. 

The last Abbot of Newbattle monastery, one of the 
wealthiest houses in Scotland, was Mark Ker, second son 
of Sir Andrew Ker of Cessford. He became Abbot in 1546, 
and in the troubles of 1560 threw in his lot with the Reformers, 
and after the dissolution of the monasteries, held Newbattle 
Abbey and lands as Commendator. In course of time the com- 
mendatorship was transformed into a secular lordship, the 
lands and property going along with it. 

A fine portrait of this last Abbot of Newbattle, and earliest 
founder of the Lothian family, hangs in the present residence, 
alongside of the hundreds of other priceless gems of art, 
including Vandyke's great pictures of Charles I. on horseback, 
Charles I.'s head in three different positions, besides paintings 
by Rembrandt, Albert Diirer, &c., &c. Mark Ker was one 
of the lords who met on Queen Mary's side at Hamilton in 
June, 1567, and in 1569 he was appointed one of the three 
judges " in all actions for restitution of goods spoiled in the 
recent troubles." He sided with Athole and Argyle against 
Morton in 1578, and died in 1584, leaving four sons and one 

His third son, George, seems to have embraced the Roman 
faith, for Robertson refers to him as an emissary " from the 
Catholic noblemen of Scotland to the Court of Spain in 1592." 
The eldest son, Mark, was created Baron Newbottle (Newbottle 
being the original and correct name, signifying the " new 
residence," as " Morebottle " signifies "the large residence," 
Melrose having been the original abode of the Cistercian 



monks of the south, and Newbottle the new offshoot), and on 
pth October, 1604, was created Earl of Lothian. His third 
daughter, Lady Margaret Ker, was the founder of Lady 
Yester's Church in Edinburgh. 

Robert, second Earl, had, by his Countess, Lady Anna- 
bella Campbell, second daughter of the seventh Earl of Argyle, 
two daughters, and being without male issue, he made over 
his estates to the elder of them, Lady Anne Ker and her heirs. 
His next brother, however, assumed the title, but was inter- 
dicted in 1632 by the Lords of Council. Anne, Countess of 
Lothian, married William, eldest son of Robert Ker, first Earl 
of Ancrum, and thus carried the title into the house of Fernie- 

The origin of the Ferniehirst Kers was in Ralph Ker, 
who settled in Teviotdale in 1330, and obtained some lands on 
the banks of the Jed, calling them " Kershaugh." His 
descendant in 1520 was made Sir Andrew Ker of Ferniehirst, 
whose descendant again in 1562, Sir Thomas Ker of Fernie- 
hirst, took Queen Mary's side ; whose eldest son, Sir Andrew 
Ker, got a grant of Jedburgh Abbey lands and baronies, and 
the title of Lord Jedburgh. 

On his brother's death, Sir James Ker of Crailing became 
second Lord Jedburgh, dying in 1645 ; and his son, third 
Lord Jedburgh, obtained from Charles II. a confirmation of 
that peerage to him and his male heirs, " to whom failing, 
to William, Master of Newbottle, son of the Earl of Lothian, 
and his heirs." He died in 1692 without issue, and the title 
and privileges of Lord Jedburgh devolved on William, Lord 

The representation of the family in the male line came to 
Robert, Earl of Lothian, descended from Robert Ker of 
Ancrum, third son .of Sir Andrew Ker of Ferniehirst, the 
famous Border chief. Robert's son, William Ker of Ancrum, 
was assassinated by Robert Ker, younger of Cessford, in 1590, 
and his eldest son was Sir Robert Ker, first Earl of Ancrum. 
Lord Ancrum's eldest son, William, married Anne, Countess 
of Lothian, and with her he got the Lordship of Newbottle. 
Thus came the mingling of titles and the double succession, 
and the union of Newbottle with the Borders. 

This union of the houses of Ancrum and Newbottle re- 
sulted in a permanent succession for both; for this eldest son 


of Lord Ancrum, on his marriage to the Countess of Lothian, 
was created third Earl of Lothian, 3ist October, 1631, and 
distinguished himself by taking the Covenanters' side, he and 
Argyle commanding the forces against Montrose. His eldest 
son was made Marquess of Lothian in 1701, and sat as Lord 
High Commissioner to the Church of Scotland in 1692, was 
one of the Privy Council of King William, and Justice-General 
of Scotland. His son, William, the second Marquess, was 
active in bringing about the union of England and Scotland, 
married the daughter of the beheaded Duke of Argyle, and 
lies buried in Westminster Abbey. His son, the third 
Marquess, was also Commissioner for eight years to the Church 
of Scotland, and his son, Lord Robert Ker, a youth of 
great promise, was in 1746 killed at the battle of Culloden, 
" falling," we are told, " covered with blood and wounds." 
The fourth Marquess was a distinguished military officer, 
and was wounded at the battle of Fontenoy. The fifth Mar- 
quess, through his marriage in 1735 with Lady Caroline 
D'Arcy, great-granddaughter of the celebrated Duke of Schom- 
berg, who fell at the battle of the Boyne in 1690, brought 
the names of Schomberg and D'Arcy into the family of 
Lothian. One ancestor of the late Marquess of Lothian 
was a friend of Drummond of Hawthornden, and was a poet 
himself, and to him in his banishment Drummond wrote : 
" Honour is that jewel which neither change of Court nor 
climate can rob you of; you were born to act great parts on 
this theatre of the world ; as your Prince is wise, so am I 
assured he is well read in man, and knows you are not one 
to be lost." Of the seventh Marquess, Sir Walter Scott wrote, 
with reference to a kindly action which he had performed : 
' ' Ay, Lord Lothian is a good man ; he is a man from whom 
any one may receive a favour, and that's saying a good deal 
for any man in these days." This was the father of the two 
brothers who succeeded each other, the one dying in 1870 
and the other in 1900. John William, seventh Marquess of 
Lothian, in 1831 married Lady Cecil Chetwynd, daughter of 
Charles Chetwynd, the second Earl Talbot. 

The eighth Marquess was the distinguished Christ Church 
scholar, whose long period of invalid health, together with 
his great gifts as a scholar, and his beautiful character as a 
man, are fresh in the public memory. 



William Schomberg Robert Ker, the eighth Marquess, born 
in 1832, who succeded his father in 1841, was one of the 
most distinguished scholars ever turned out by Christ Church, 
Oxford. His contemporaries have borne warm testimony to 
his ripe knowledge of English and Continental literature, 
more particularly the Classics of Spain and Italy. The 
library of Newbattle House was greatly enriched by him with 
literature of this kind. Soon after his marriage to Lady 
Constance Harriet Mahonesa, second daughter of Henry John 
Chetwynd, third Earl Talbot, and eighth Earl of Shrewsbury, 
ill-health came over this most charming personality, and for 
years his devoted wife wheeled him in a bath-chair drawn by 
a donkey all over the beautiful policies, which even yet are 
redolent of that devoted pair. The touching nature of the 
case, the deep and real devotion which existed between the 
two, the accomplishments and learning of one who, destined 
to great purposes, spent many years of his life going round 
the routine of life " like a gin-horse," as his friend, Bishop 
Wordsworth, described his life of compulsory mechanicalism, 
brightened only by the sweetness of his wife's devotion, the 
beauty of the woodlands and its walks with their snowdrops, 
primrose beds, daffodils, rhododendrons, and the rest all in 
turn as the seasons rolled round, comes home still to many 
hearts. A fine portrait of this great scholar, who at last passed 
away in 1870, hangs in the house to-day. He is buried in 
Jedburgh Abbey, and the appropriate text was uttered at the 
time, in the words of Job, by one who knew him well, and 
did much to cheer the monotony of his life, " All the days 
of my appointed time will I wait till my change come." His 
devoted wife, who with him took a delight in visiting the 
sick and sorrowful, passed away some half-a-dozen years ago, 
and shortly before her decease wrote to the present writer, 
" Looking back on these many years of loving waiting, my 
only regret is that I was not able to do more for him and 
others." One of the many things which occupied his attention 
was an edition of Archbishop Leighton's works in six volumes. 
His ancestor, William, third Earl of Lothian, a strong Coven- 
anter, declared that he never " did get more good from any 
that stood in a pulpitt." 

I find in Carlyle's Life in London, vol. 2, p. 294, the 
following reference to his visit to Lord Lothian, in August, 



1865, when he spent about a week examining the Cromwell 
and other letters, of which the house is full : 

" Newbattle is fine of its kind, and finely Scotch. Nobody there 
but the two poor inmates. [Footnote says Lord Lothian had been already 
struck, in the midst of his brilliant promise, by the slow creeping 
malady which eventually killed him] and a good-humoured painter 
(Leslie) doing portrait of the lady. The lady took me out to walk, 
talked like a sad, serious, enquiring, and intelligent soul ; the sad- 
dest, thin, kindly, anxious face you could anywhere see. The 
Marquis did not appear till luncheon ; a truly beautiful young man, 
body and mind, weaker than ever, hands now shaking, eyes begin- 
ning to fail, but heart as lively as ever. We had a great deal of 
innocent, cheerfully reasonable talk, and T daresay any advent might 
be a kind of relief, like a tree in the steppe, in the melancholy 
monotony of such a life. Had you and my lady been fairly ac- 
quainted, they would have liked you well !" 

This is part of a letter to his wife, written from Scotsbrig. 
Remembering Archbishop Leighton's saintly life, Lord Lothian 
arranged a fine six-volume edition of his works, and otherwise 
endeavoured to wile away the hours of a life which, as Lord 
Selborne the hymn - writer said, was "a living death," 
" like one of the ancient lamps which burn through the years 
underground." Dean Ramsay of the " Scottish Reminis- 
cences " was a very frequent visitor, and cheered the invalid. 

In Christchurch Cathedral, in Oxford, there is a mag- 
nificent transept window in brilliant colours and of large and 
daring design, to this Marquess's beautiful memory, the sub- 
ject being " St. Michael driving the dragon and Fallen Angels 
from heaven." It was presented by his brother to the cathe- 
dral in his memory, a Christchurch foundationer, in 1876, 
and is one of the most striking and beautiful ornaments of 
the cathedral, which forms the chapel of the great and historic 
College of Cardinal Wolsey. 

Schomberg Henry Ker, ninth Marquess of Lothian, was 
born in 1833, being the second son of John William, the 
seventh Marquess, and Lady Cecil Chetwynd, and died in 
January, 1900. 

The late Marquess thus succeeded to the title, having 
already (in 1865) married Lady Victoria Alexandrina Montagu 
Douglas Scott, the eldest daughter of Walter Francis, the fifth 
Duke of Buccleuch. It is no exaggeration to say that there 
were few Scotsmen, not to say Scottish noblemen, who were 
better known, and whose character for culture, courtesy, and 
high sense of honour, was more widely recognised and more 
thoroughly appreciated. His career was an active one, and 
all along he proved himself a most patrotic Scot, interested 



in everything that concerned the well - being of his native 

He was educated at New College, Oxford, and thereafter 
entered the Foreign Office. In 1857 he enlisted as a Volunteer 
under Sir James Outram in the Persian war, and obtained a 
medal for distinguished service. Part of the household in 
which young Lord Schomberg Ker lived when in Persia still 
survives, and remembers him as a bright and joyful youth of 
23, " how fond we all were of him, how bright and loveable 
he was, with his fair hair and boyish appearance, he was 
sometimes called ' baby.' His presence in the house was very 
pleasant, a great addition in every way, so different from 
some of the attachees." The Persian war over, he resumed 
the diplomatic life, and was on the British Embassy at Frank- 
fort, Madrid, and Vienna. On becoming Marquess of Lothian 
he still continued his public patriotic life, as well as looking 
after his Midlothian and Border estates. 

In 1874 he was made Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of 
Scotland; in 1876 he was cordially elected President of the 
Royal Society of Scottish Antiquaries, a society in which 
he had always been keenly interested, antiquities being Lord 
Lothian's personal hobby and forte. His antiquarian re- 
searches at Newbattle Abbey have been of the most valuable 
and interesting description. In 1878 Lord Lothian received 
the knighthood of the Thistle. 

Some of his Lordship's other honours may be briefly sum- 
marised : 1878-89 Lieutenant - Colonel, 1889 Honorary 
Colonel of the 3rd Battalion Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) ; 
Captain- General of the Royal Company of Archers; Governor 
of the National Bank of Scotland, on the notes of which an 
admirable portrait is engraved; in 1882 LL.D. of Edinburgh 
University; in 1883, and again in 1886, a member of the 
Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts; in 1885 a 
Deputy-Lieutenant of Roxburghshire, in which county, close 
to Jedburgh, the abbey of which was his property, lies Mon- 
teviot, which was Lord Lothian's favourite residence; in 1886 
a Privy Councillor; from 1887-92 Her Majesty's Secretary 
for Scotland, during which period he accomplished great 
reforms in the West Highlands in connection with light- 
houses, roads, piers, and crofts, his labours in this con- 
nection having earned for him an honourable name all through 


the Highlands; Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland; Vice- 
President of the Scotch Education Department; from 1887-90 
Lord Rector of the University of Edinburgh; in 1894 Pre- 
sident of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. 

The Forestry Exhibition in Edinburgh twenty years ago 
practically owed its existence to the Marquess, and appropri- 
ately so, when we recall that some of the finest beeches and 
oaks in Gieat Britain rise around the precincts of the Ker's 
beautiful and interesting residence. 

Of the Marquess's own family of nine children, seven 
survive, a son of a year old having died in infancy in 1870, 
while the other blank was occasioned a few years ago by the 
distressing death of the Earl of Ancram while A.D.C. to His 
Excellency the Earl of Jersey in New South Wales. Of the 
surviving children, the heir, Lord Jedburgh, Robert Schom- 
berg (born 1874) is the only remaining son, and in personal 
appearance bears a strong resemblance to his distinguished 

Some years later Lord Lothian took a long voyage on 
board H.M.S. "Majestic" with his brother, Lord Walter 
Talbot, Vice-Admiral of the Fleet. Another brother, Lord 
Ralph-Drury, C.B., Major-General in the Army, resides close 
to Newbattle House, at Woodburn, a picturesque mansion 
associated with the name of " Christopher North," whose 
brother resided there for many years. Besides Lady Cecil- 
Elizabeth, who died in 1866, a second sister survives, and is 
the wife of T. Gaisford, Esq., of Offington, Sussex. 

Of the six daughters, Lady Cecil Victoria Constance is 
married to her cousin, the Hon. John Walter Montagu, eldest 
son of Baron Montagu of Beaulieu. 

The late Marquess of Lothian had the following titles : 
Baron Newbottle, the ancient name of the place, conferred 
in 1587 ; Earl of Lothian, 1606 ; Baron Jedburgh, 1622 ; Earl 
of Ancram, 1633; Baron Ker of Nisbet, Longnewton, and 
Dolphingston, 1633; Marquess of Lothian, 1701; Earl of 
Ancrum, Viscount of Brien, Baron Ker of Newbottle, Oxnam, 
and Jedburgh, 1701; in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, 
1821, Baron Ker of Kersheugh. 

Living in close proximity to the capital of Scotland, Lord 
Lothian took a deep interest in all national affairs, and was 
frequently seen at public gatherings in the city. When the 



agitation was begun, some sixteen years ago, with the object 
of securing greater attention to Scottish affairs at Westminster, 
Lord Lothian, in common with the great bulk of representative 
public men in Scotland, threw himself into the movement, and 
he was selected to preside at the great national gathering held 
in the Free Assembly Hall, Edinburgh, in January, 1884, 
which resulted in the creation of the office of Secretary for 
Scotland. On that occasion his Lordship, referring to the 
representative character of the assemblage, said they looked 
upon the question at issue as a national question, as a matter 
dear to the hearts of the Scottish people, and that they were 
willing to forego the credit which might otherwise have been 
due to their party in order that they might all stand, all 
parties and all sections of the Scottish people, upon one 
firm and solid ground. In concluding his address from the 
chair, his Lordship voiced the feeling of the large and repre- 
sentative assemblage by declaring that " the great object they 
had in view was to urge, almost demand, from the Government 
that a Secretary of State for Scotland should be appointed 
for the management of Scottish affairs. They recognised the 
great blessings which had accrued to Scotland and England 
from the Union, and they loyally abided by the terms of the 
Union, but they wanted to assure for themselves in the future, 
what their forefathers in signing the Treaty of Union had 
assured to them, that Scottish business should be managed 
independent to a certain extent of English business. While 
they wanted more union, they objected to anything in the shape 
of absorption." 

Lord Lothian's memory will long linger in Scotland as 
a precious possession. It was he who practically instituted the 
much-needed office of Secretary for Scotland, and speaking of 
the work he said, on one occasion : 

"Some of the work I have had is of great national importance; 
but there are other things which are not of such national importance 
but I think that is one of the very advantages of the Scottish Office. 
Before the Scottish Office was in existence, all these small things, 
all those matters affecting smaller communities, were ignored and left 
alone, and now I hope that the experience of the Scottish people is 
and I am bound to say that I think they have discovered it that 
they can get their wants attended to, or, at any rate, their wishes 
heard and made known at Dover House ; and anything I can do that 
may add to the feeling and make the people understand that they 
can look to Dover House as their centre, I will certainly to the 
utmost of my power create and foster. .To my mind there is no 
interest, however small, there is nothing which can affect beneficially 



or adversely, even the very smallest community, which ought not 
to receive attention at the hands of a public Minister. And I think 
the question of attention to the smaller interests of the community 
is one which is receiving day by day more attention from the public." 

In the summer of 1889, Lord Lothian, as Secretary for 
Scotland, opened the new Scottish National Portrait Gallery 
in Queen Street, Edinburgh, gifted to the nation by the late 
Mr J. R. Findlay, in the presence of a distinguished company. 
His Lordship spoke of the value of such institutions as the 
highest incentive to true patriotism that could possibly be had. 
Only a few years ago Lord Lothian was, along with his suc- 
cessor in the office of Scottish Secretary, Lord Balfour of 
Burleigh, presented with the freedom of the city of Dundee. 
On that occasion Lord Provost M'Grady spoke in eulogistic 
terms of Lord Lothian's public services, his high personal 
character, and his great amiability of disposition, which had 
given him a high position in the regard of his fellow-country- 
men, altogether irrespective of politics. In his reply, Lord 
Lothian urged that commercial centres should show their inter- 
est in the welfare of the Empire by contributing to schemes 
which proved that the development of English victories and 
the spread of English civilization over the world were not 
used for our own advantage, but for the civilization and the 
prosperity of the countries over which we have gained control. 

Lord Lothian was one of the most popular men of the 
day. He was always most genial and kindly, with a remark- 
able charm of manner. Lord Lothian was a fine scholar, and 
he had a strong taste for literature, and was learned as an 
antiquary. He was a man of exceptional business capacity, 
and, as Secretary for Scotland, he was a conspicuous success, 
several most important questions having been settled by his 
zeal and tact in a manner which gave universal satisfaction 
in the north. He was a distinguished authority on questions 
relating to the procedure of the House of Lords. His admini- 
strative capacity, which was of a very high order, was also 
displayed in the management of his large estates. He was 
a very liberal landlord, and most enterprising in carrying out 
improvements, while he also spent large sums on restoring 
Jedburgh Abbey and Ferniehirst Castle. 

There are very few Scotsmen indeed who will not feel 
a sense of loss at the decease of Lord Lothian, the first Secret- 
ary for Scotland, well known in the Throne gallery of the 
General Assembly and at Holyrood, a munificent friend to the 



Church of Scotland. He was a Scottish patriot in every sense 
of the word, and when prominent peers closely related to him 
went against, the creation of a Secretaryship for Scotland, and 
still more against the inclusion of that Secretary in the Cabinet, 
the Marquess of Lothian consistently defended both positions ; 
and during his term of office took the keenest interest in the 
crofters and Highland fisheries and industries. 

Many a lighthouse and beacon in the West Highlands of 
Scotland owe their existence to the courteous, generous noble- 
man whose historic crest is the " Rising Sun," and whose 
family motto is " Sero sed serio " (" late but in earnest "). 
His interest in his native land showed itself also in his devotion 
to the Franco-Scottish Society, which he to a great extent 
founded, the French members of which, only a few years ago, 
were entertained by him at Newbattle Abbey, and shown the 
costly artistic treasures, including the famous " Three Heads 
of Charles," by Vandyke, which was presented by the King 
on the eve of his execution to his bosom friend, the Earl of 
Strafford. The French visitors, many of them of the highest 
rank, were touched with the magnificent white marble statuary 
groups with which the French Government presented the 
Marquess's mother as a thank-offering for her goodness to the 
French refugees in 1870-71. 

A touching memorial grows quite close to Newbattle 
House, in the shape of five young trees, which the writer saw 
planted in 1885 by the Duke of Clarence, the Marquess of 
Lothian, General Lord Mark Ker, and the Earl of Ancram 
(Lord Lothian's heir) respectively, all of whom, strange to say, 
are now deceased, the first being the chief of a group of 
prominent young men, all of whom died somewhat tragic deaths 
within a few months of each other, including the Earl of 
Dalkeith, the Earl of Ancram, and the Prince Imperial. And 
now Lord Lothian, who loved his trees, the great beech-tree 
of Newbattle, beneath which the Cistercian fathers of the great 
royal Eskside Abbey used to rest, and the gnarled remnants of 
the great Caledonian forest which still survive, has passed 
away, and leaves Scotland unspeakably the poorer. 

Curiously, one of his last acts was to construct a small 
private chapel in the crypt of Newbattle House, a monument 
to his taste and devotion, which got its first public consecra- 
tion at his own funeral. 



In everything connected with the Church of Scotland 
Lord Lothian took the keenest and most sympathetic interest. 
His family have given the Church several elders, and at least 
two Lord High Commissioners. The third Earl of Lothian was a 
staunch Covenanter, and a vigorous defender of the Scottish 
Church. The fourth Earl was Lord High Commissioner, while 
his son married the daughter of that Earl of Argyle who was 
beheaded for his adherence to the Covenant, and whose last 
words at Edinburgh Cross were, " I had the honour to set 
the Crown upon the King's head, and now he hastens me to 
a better Crown than his own." Lady Margaret Ker, whose 
first husband was the seventh Lord Yester, daughter of the 
first Earl of Lothian, was the founder of Lady Yester's Church 
in Edinburgh. All through, the association between the 
Church of Scotland and the House of Lothian has been a most 
intimate one, several of them being elders of Newbattle 
Church. Though not a member of the Church of the country, 
the late Marquess was a generous friend and supporter and 
sincere well-wisher. 

In the restoration in 1895 of Newbattle Church (itself 
built of the ancient Abbey stones, and consecrated by the 
memory of Leighton, who was the bosom friend in 1652 of 
William, Earl of Lothian), the Marquess took the keenest 
interest, taking, with the Very Rev. Dr Scott, the 
leading part in the dedicatory services. There are 
few who will forget his feeling address when with a silver 
key he opened the Ancram aisle in memory of his son. 

Jedburgh Parish Church and manse, the finest in the 
South of Scotland, were built entirely by his munificence ; 
while the Church of Scotland in many other ways, public and 
private, has cause to-day to remember Lord Lothian with 
gratitude and love. 

His own personal life was one of simple, unselfish, self- 
sacrificing devotion to duty and to his family. There was no 
condescension or patronage or pride about Lord Lothian, but 
a fresh, frank, fearless truthfulness and honour. Both at 
Newbattle and in Jedburgh his visits to and interest in the 
poor and the suffering were well known. He never forgot an 
old friend, however humble or obscure, but with that genial, 
cultured brightness and perfection of refined feeling which 
made him all along so attractive, he drew all hearts to him. 



When Lord Lothian, as a young man, served in Persia, he 
stayed with a private family, and was godfather to their son, 
who died only a few years ago, an event which gave the 
Marquess much grief. It said much for both sides that, after 
a lapse of so many years, both should entertain so affectionate 
a remembrance for each other. To a private friend who, at 
the time of Lord Ancram's death, sympathised and condoled, 
the Marquess said: "It is one of those things which one 
never gets over, though outwardly matters appear to go on as 

" He dropped the shuttle, the loom stood still, 

The weaver slept in the twilight grey ; 
Dear heart, he will weave his beautiful web 
In the golden light of a longer day." 

On the simple grave which he lately prepared for himself, 
facing the windows of his ancestral mansion, in that historic 
valley where Scottish royalties lie sleeping, besides many a 
brave and good soldier of the Crown, father of the Church, 
servant of the State, and within hearing of the old church 
bells, which have never ceased their music in the beautiful 
wooded valley of the South Esk for nine hundred or a thou- 
sand years, this great Scottish nobleman awaits the reddening 
of the East and the advent of that Lord whose earthly worship 
he so loved, and whose sanctuaries were so dear to him. 

Lord Lothian's death was a great sorrow to Scotland. One 
intimately associated with him said : " It is a very great 
sorrow to lose so bright and gifted a head of the family, one 
whom till this fatal illness arose, had hardly a touch of age upon 
him. He and his elder brother were always deeply attached, 
and he ever endeavoured to carry out things that he thought 
were his wishes, such as the magnificent work at Jedburgh 
Abbey." To this may be added the beautiful Gothic gateway 
on the Dalkeith side of the grounds, a direct copy of a gateway 
in Rome. On his death, one of his own brothers wrote the 
writer in these terms : " We hardly know yet what is the void 
left by the loss of one who through a long life has been such 
a brother. My great comfort is to look back on his life, and 
to realise his upright character and his unvarying habit of 
confessing his belief in God in all his public and private acts, 
which is no small thing in these days of indifference and 
scepticism which are so lamentably prevalent." Lord Lothian 
died within a few days of John Ruskin, and of both of them 


it might be said that while the outward man gradually perished 
and decayed, the inward man was renewed day by day by 
the Spirit of God. 

The station of the Lothian family may be summarized 
in the language of the various Peerage authorities : 

Two families of Kerr, of Anglo-Norman lineage, descended, it 
is said, from two brothers, settled in Scotland in the i3th century, 
and neither yielding superiority to the other, formed two separate 
races of warlike borderers. Of the family of KERR of Cessford, the 
Duke of Roxburghe is the chief ; and of the KERRS of Ferniherst, the 
noble house of which we are now about to treat is the representative. 

MARK KERR, and son of Sir Andrew Kerr, of Cessford, entering 
into holy orders, was promoted, in 1546, to the dignity of Abbot of 
Newbottle, in which station the Reformation found him in 1560, when 
he adopted the new doctrines, and held his benefice in commendam. 
He had the vicarage of Lintoun, co. Peebles, for life, in 1564; and 
was appointed one of the extraordinary lords of Session in 1569. He 
m. Helen, 2nd dau. of George, 4th Earl of Rothes, and had issue, 

I. MARK, his successor. n. Andrew, of Fentoun. 

ill. George, who is mentioned by Robertson as an emissary from 
the Catholic noblemen to the court of Spain in 1592. 

iv. William. 

I. Catherine, m. to William, Lord Herries. 
He d. in 1584, and was s. by his eldest son, 

MARK KERR, an extraordinary lord of Session, and master of 
requests, who had the abbacy of Newbottle erected into a temporal 
barony, with the title of Baron, 28 July, 1587 ; and obtained a charter 
of the Baronies of Prestongrange and Newbottle, united into the 
lordship of Newbottle, with the title of a lord of parliament, 15 Oct. 
1591. He was appointed one of the commissioners for holding the 
parliament in 1597, and created Earl of Lothian, 10 Feb. 1606. His 
lordship m. Margaret, dau. of John, Lord Herries, and had, with 

i. ROBERT, his successor. 

II. William (Sir), of Blackhope, who, on the death of his brother, 

assumed the title of Earl of Lothian, but was interdicted 
from using it by the lords of council, 8 March, 1632. 
in. Mark (Sir). iv. James. 

The earl was s. at his decease, in 1609, by his eldest son, 

ROBERT, 2nd Earl of Lothian. This nobleman m. Lady Annabella 
Campbell, dau. of Archibald, "jth Earl of Argyll, by whom he had 
two daus., Anne and Johanna; but having no son, his lordship ob- 
tained permission from the crown to transfer his titles and estates to 
his elder dau. at his decease ; which event taking place in 1624, that 
lady became 

ANNE, Countess of Lothian, and married, 

SIR WILLIAM KERR, Knt., who, in consequence, was elevated to the 
peerage, 24 June, 1631, by the title of Earl of Lothian. His lordship 
was only son (by his ist wife, Elizabeth, dau. of Sir John Murray, 
of Blackbarony) of 

ROBERT KERR (descended from Thomas Kerr, of Kerrsheugh, who 
built a house in the middle of Jedburgh Forest, and naming it 
Fernihirst, was designated by that title in the records of par- 
liament, 1476), who was created EARL OF ANCRUM, Lord Kerr, of 
Nisbit, Longnewton, and Dol-phington, 24 June, 1633, with 


remainder to the male descendants of his 2nd marriage ; and in 
default of those, to his issue male whatsoever. His lordship m. 
2ndly, Anne, only surviving dau. of William (Stanley), Earl 
of Derby, and widow of Sir Henry Portman, of Orchard Port- 
man, co. Somerset, by whom he had a son, Charles, and several 
daus. Lord Arcrum was the confidential friend of King 
CHARLES I., who, when Prince of Wales, was the means of bring- 
ing about his marriage with the Lady Anne Stanley. In 1620, 
he had the misfortune to kill, in a duel, Charles Maxwell, whose 
brother was a member of the king's family, and was obliged, in 
consequence, to fly to Holland, but was received into royal 
favour in the next year. He d. in 1654, and was s. according to 
the limitation, by the son of his second marriage, 
CHARLES, 2nd Earl of Ancrum ; at whose decease, without issue, 
the title devolved upon his elder and only brother, the Earl of 

His lordship, by his marriage with Anne, Countess of Lothian, had 
five sons and nine daus. ; and dying in 1675, was s. by his eldest son, 

ROBERT, 4th Earl of Lothian an3 3rd Earl of Ancrum. This 
nobleman was one of the privy council to King WILLIAM, justice- 
general of Scotland, and high commissioner to the General Assembly. 
His lordship was created MARQUESS OF LOTHIAN, Viscount of Briene, 
Lord Ker of Newbottle, &c., 23 June, 1701. He m. Jane, dau. of 
Archibald, Marquess of Argyll, by whom he had (with five daus.), 

WILLIAM, his successor. 

Charles, who was appointed director of the Chancery in 1703. He 
m. Janet, eldest dau. of Sir David Murray, of Stanhope, and 
dying in 1735, left issue, 

John, an officer of rank in the army. 

Mark, general in the army ; d. unm. 

James, d. unm. 
His lordship d. in 1703, and was s. by his eldest son. 

WILLIAM, 2nd marquess ; who had previously succeeded, in 1692, at 
the demise of his kinsman, Robert Kerr, 3rd Baron Jedburgh (a peer- 
age conferred upon Sir Andrew Kerr, 2 Feb. 1622), to that barony, 
by virtue of special limitation in the patent of creation. His lordship, 
who was knight of the Thistle, one of the representative peers, and 
a major-general in the army, m. Jane, dau. of the unfortunate Earl of 
Argyll, who was beheaded in 1685 ; and dying in 1722, was s. by his 
only son, 

WILLIAM, 3rd marquess, K.T., one of the representative peers, 
high-commissioner of the General Assembly, and lord-register in the 
court of Session. His lordship m. ist, Margaret, dau. of Sir Thomas 
Nicholson, Bart, of Kempney, co. Aberdeen, by whom he had, 

WILLIAM, his successor. 

Robert, a gallant officer, who fell at Culloden. 

Jane, d. young. 

He m. 2ndly, Jean Janet, eldest dau. of Lord Charles Kerr, of Cra- 
mond, by whom he had no issue. He d. in 1767, and was s. by his 
elder son, 

WILLIAM- HENRY, 4th marquess. This nobleman m. in 1735, Lady 
Caroline D'Arcy, only dau. of Robert, Earl of Holdernesse, and great 
granddau. of the celebrated Duke of Schomberg, who fell at the battle 
of the Boyne, in 1690 ; by whom he had issue a son, William-John, 
and two daus.; Louisa, m. in 1759 to Lord George Lennox; and 
Wilhelmina-Frances, m. in 1783, to Major-General John Macleod. 
His lordship was a distinguished military officer, and attained, 
through the various gradations, from that of cornet, which he held in 
1735, the rank of a general officer in 1770. He fought, and received 


a wound, at the battle of Fontenoy, in 1745 ; commanded the cavalry 
on the left wing of the royal army at Culloden; and subsequently 
accompanied the Duke of Cumberland to the Continent. He was one 
of the representative peers, and a Knight of the Thistle. His lordship 
d. in 1775, and was s. by his only son, 

WILLIAM- JOHN, 5th marquess. This nobleman, who was also a 
general-officer in the army, colonel of the nth regiment of dragoons, 
and knight of the Thistle, m. in 1763, Elizabeth, only dau. of Chiches- 
ter Fortescue, Esq. of Dromisken, co. Louth, and granddau. of Richard 
(Wellesley), ist Lord Mornington, by whom he had issue, 
I. WILLIAM, 6th marquess. 

n. Charles-Beauchamp, b. ig July, 1775; m. Elizabeth, dau. of 
William Crump, Esq. of Farnham, Surrey, by whom (who d. 
in 1830), he left issue at his decease, 20 March, 1816, 

1 Charles-William-John, in holy orders; b. in 1801. 

2 Mark-Henry-James, in holy orders; b. 9 Nov. 1802. 

3 Beauchamp, b. in 1806; late captain 55th foot; m. 15 Aug. 

1832, Caroline-Elizabeth, youngest dau. of the late James 
Irwin, Esq., E.I.C.S., and has issue. 

4 William-Henry, b. in 1811; m. 17 Nov. 1841, Maria, young- 

est dau. of the late Richard Power, Esq. of Cork. 
i Caroline, m. 4 April, 1826, to Thomas Pearce, Esq. of 

Highway House, Froyle, Hants. 2 Charlotte. 

3 Frances, m. in 1834, to R.-G. Hubbock, Esq. 
4. Elizabeth, m. in 1835, to Capt. Edgar Bayly. 
ill. Mark Robert, vice-admiral, R.N. ; b. 12 Nov. 1776; m. 18 July, 
1799, Charlotte, late Countess of Antrim, by whom (who d. in 
1835), he left at his decease, 9 Sept. 1840, surviving issue, 

1 Hugh-Seymour, Earl of Antrim, an officer in the army. 

2 Mark, b. in 1814; comm. R.N.; m. in 1849, Jane-Emma- 

Hannah, dau. of Major Macan, of Carriff, and has Wm.- 
Randal, b. in 1851 ; and Mark-Henry-Horace, b. in 1852. 

3 Arthur-Schomberg, b. in 1820; m. 16 March, 1846, Agnes- 

Steuart, youngest dau. of J.-H. Frankland, Esq. of Eash- 
ing House, Surrey, and has issue. 

1 Letitia-Louisa. 

2 Georgiana, m. in 1825, to the Hon. and Rev. F. Bertie. 

3 Caroline, ;. in 1826, to the Rev. Horace-Robert Pechell, 

chancellor of Brecon. 

4 Charlotte-Elizabeth, m. in 1835, to Sir G.-R. Osborn, Bart. 

5 Fanny-Frederica-Augusta, m. n March, 1841, to Montagu, 

Earl of Abingdon. 

6 Emily-Frances, m. in 1839, to Henry Richardson, Esq. of 

Somerset, co. Derry. 

IV. Robert, a lieut.-col. in the army; b. in 1780; m. in 1806, Mary, 
dau. of Rev. Edmund Gilbert, of Windsor House, Cornwall, 
and d. 23 June, 1843, having had issue, five sons and five 

1 WILLIAM- WALTER-RALEIGH, b. in 1809 ; auditor-general at the 


2 Charles-Hope, b. in 1818; in the army; d. in 1841. 

3 Henry-Ashburton, b. in 1821 ; comm. R.N. 

4 Robert-Dundas, lieut. royal engineers; b. in 1824; m. in 

1852, Harriett-Marianne, dau. of John Arnold, Esq. 

1 Elizabeth-Anne, m. in 1830, to Lieut. -Gen. Sir William 

Maynard Gomm, K.C.B. 

2 Louisa-Grace, m. 4 May, 1841, to Colonel William-Henry 

Cornwall, Coldstream-guards. 

3 Mary-Frances, m. 3 Jan. 1846, to E. Hammond, Esq. 

4 Emily-Caroline Fortescue, m. 17 July, 1841, to Morton Carr, 

Esq., barrister-at-law. 5 Lucy-Maria. 



i. Elizabeth, m. to John, late Lord Dormer; and d. in 1822. 
ii. Mary, m. Gen. the Hon. Fred. St. John; and d. in 1791. 
in. Louisa, m. to Arthur Atherley, Esq. ; and d. in 1819. 
His lordship d. in 1815, and was s. by his eldest son, 

WILLIAM, 6th marquess, K.T., lord-lieutenant of Midlothian and 
Roxburghshire, and colonel of the Edinburgh militia; who was en- 
rolled amongst the peers of the United Kingdom, 17 July, 1821, as 
Baron Kerr, of Kerrsheugh, co. Roxburgh. His lordship m. ist, in 
1793, Henrietta, dau. of John, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire, and by 
her (who d. in 1805), had issue, 

i. JOHN-WILLIAM-ROBERT, 7th marquess. 

II. Henry-Frances-Charles, in holy orders, rector of Dittisham, 
Devon; b, 17 Aug. 1800; m. 10 Sept. 1832, Louisa-Dorothea, 
only dau. of the Hon. Gen. Sir Alexander Hope, G.C.B., and 
has surviving issue, 

1 William-Hobart, b. 25 July, 1836. 

2 Henry-Schomberg, R.N. ; b. 15 Aug. 1838. 

3 Francis-Ernest, b. 10 Aug. 1840. 

1 Henrietta-Mary-Emma. 

2 Mary-D'Arcy. 3 Alice-Dorothea. 
i. Isabella-Emily-Caroline. 

The marquess m. 2ndly, i Dec. 1806, Harriet, dau. of Henry 3rd Duke 
of Buccleuch, and by her (who d. 18 April, 1833) had issue, 

i. Charles-Lennox, b. in 1814; an officer in the 42nd regt., and 

aide-de-camp to the lord-lieutenant of Ireland ; m. in Oct. 

1839, Charlotte-Emma', sister of Sir John Hanmer, Bart., and 

has issue, 

1 Charles-Wyndham-Rodolph, b. Nov. 1849. 

2 John-Hanmer, b. 7 May, 1851. 3 Another son, b. 1852. 
i Harriet-Georgiana-Edith. 2 Florence-Elizabeth. 

3 Amy- Frances. 

II. Mark-Ralph-George, b. 15 Dec. 1816; major in the army. 

in. Frederick- Herbert, b. 30 Sept. 1818; capt. R.N. ; m. 13 Jan. 
1846, Emily-Sophia, dau. of General Sir Peregrine Maitland, 
governor of the Cape of Good Hope ; and has, Emily- 
Georgina, Sidney-Catherine, and Edith-Harriet. 

I. Elizabeth-Georgina, m. 25 Oct. 1831, to Lord Clinton. 

II. Harriet-Louisa, m. 13 June, 1834, to Sir John-Stuart Forbes, 


ill. Frances, m. n June, 1848, to George Wade, Esq. 
iv. Anne-Catherine, b. 19 May, 1812; and d. 6 Dec. 1829. 
v. Georgiana-Augusta (to whom King GEORGE IV. stood sponsor), 

m. 25 July, 1849, to the Rev. Granville-Hamilton Forbes, 

rector of Broughton, Northamptonshire. 
The marquess d. 27 April, 1824, and was s. by his eldest son, 

JOHN- WILLIAM ROBERT, 7th marquess ; lord-lieutenant of the co. of 
Roxburgh, and col. of the Edinburgh militia; b. i Feb. 1794; m. 19 
July, 1831, Lady Cecil Chetwynd Talbot, only dau. of Earl Talbot, 
and had issue, 


ii. Schomberg-Henry, b. 2 Dec. 1833. 

in. Ralph-Drury, b. n Aug. 1837. 

iv. Walter-Talbot, b. 28 Sept. 1839. 

V. John-Montagu-Hobart, b. 24 April, 1841. 

i. Cecil-Elizabeth. n. Alice-Mary. 

WiLLUM-SCHOMBERG ROBERT, 8th marquess, b. Aug. 12, 1832; m. 
12 Aug. 1857, Lady Constance-Harriet-Mahonesa-Talbot, dau. of i8th 
Earl of Shrewsbury. He d 4 July, 1870, and s. by brother next. She 
d. 10 Oct. 1901. 

I (129) 


SCHOMBERG-HENKY, gth marquess, Knight of Grace of the Order 
St. John of Jerusalem in England ; b. 2 Dec. 1833 ; m. 22 Feb. 1865, 
Victoria-Alexandrina, eldest dau. of Walter Francis, 5th Duke of 

i. Walter -William-Schombergj Earl of Ancram ; b. 29 Mar. 1867 ; 
d. 15 June, 1892.. 

n. Schomberg- Henry-Mark, b. 4 Aug. 1869; d. Sept. 1870. 

ill. Robert-Schomberg, loth marquess. 

Daughters Cecil, Margaret, Mary, Helen, Victoria, Isobel. 

Creations Baron Newbottle, 15 Oct. 1591. Earl of Lothian, 10 
Feb. 1606. Baron of Jedburgh, 2 Feb. 1622. Earl of Ancrum, 24 
June, 1633. Marquess, &c., 23 June, 1701 in Scotland. Baron, 17 
July, 1821 in the United Kingdom. 

Arms Quarterly : ist and 4th, az., the sun in splendour, ppr., a 
coat of augmentation, for the title of LOTHIAN; 2nd and 3rd, gu., on a 
chevron, arg., three mullets of the field, for the lordship of JEDBURGH. 

Crest The sun, as in the arms. 

Supporters Dexter, an angel, ppr., vested, az., surcoat, vert, 
winged and crined, or ; sinister, an unicorn, arg., armed, maned, and 
unguled, or, gorged with a collar, gu., charged with three mullets, 

Motto Sero sed serio. 

Seats Newbottle, Mid-Lothian; and Mount Teviot Lodge, Rox- 




NEWBATTLE House to-day is a rich treasure-house 
of Vandyke paintings, including the famous " Three 
Heads of Charles I." the King's gift to the Earl 
of Strafford before his execution. The Earl of 
Strafford's peer's robe, in which he went to the 
block, is still preserved in the Newbattle treasure-chests, and 
the collar bears the blood marks yet. It is the royal robe of 
the garter worn by Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, on the 
scaffold in 1641 and the purple and the star are well pre- 
served. Among other " Vandykes " are Charles I.'s triumphal 
entrance into London, and several others. Rembrandt, 
Albert Diirer, and other great masters are represented. A 
picture of the building of Noah's Ark by Pietro de Cosimo 
is painted on a tablecloth, the artist being too poor to procure 
canvas. The house is rilled with all kinds of historic and 
antiquarian treasures, the old Abbey font (in which Mary 
Queen of Scots was baptised), a Spanish Armada iron chest, 
a Venetian bride's gold-covered chest with lovely paintings, 
a pre-historic urn for the ashes of the dead, declared by Dr 
Phene to be unique in age and interest, dating back to the 
time of Moses in Egypt, missals, breviaries, pontificals, prayer- 
books (unlimited), an original copy of the Solemn League and 
Covenant signed by the Earl of Lothian, the original gold and 
painted marbles of Assyrian kings from Nineveh, gifts and 
pictures, books and memorials of all kinds in such profusion 
that days would be required to see only a tithe of the treasures. 
The Abbey Chartulary lies in the Edinburgh Advocates' Li- 
bary. Among many valuable MSS. in the house may le 
mentioned the Charter appointing the Earl of Arran Regent 
of Scotland, with the seals of peers, bishops, and abbots, 
including the Abbot of Newbattle. 



A small bronze cannon given by Mary Queen of Scots 
to Sir Thomas Ker of Ferniehirst, engraved with the arms 
of France and Scotland, surrounded with thistles, and with 
the monogram " M," was exhibited at the Glasgow Exhibition. 
In the dining room there is hanging a magnificent silver shield, 
rarely embossed, the gift of the King of Bohemia to an Earl 
of Ancrum generations ago, as a recognition of his services 
at the Bohemian Court during the King's illness, when sent 
on a visit of condolence by James VI. in 1629. The fine 
portrait of the three great English admirals, Drake, Hawkins, 
and Cavendish, hangs over the fireplace, while at the windows 
are lovely wreaths of flowers carved in wood. The Vandyke 
painting of " The Three Heads of Charles I." was painted 
in order that a bust of the king might be made from them in 
Rome. The bust was made, and is now in the Vatican, while 
the picture was returned to Charles I., who, before his execu- 
tion, presented it to his dear friend and companion, the Earl 
of Strafford. The picture came into the possession of the 
Lothian family through marriage with the house of Castlereagh. 
Lady Castlereagh, the late Lord Lothian's aunt, left this pic- 
ture and all her property, including Blickling Hall, Norfolk- 
shire, to him. The very fine octagonal baptismal font has 
on its sides the carved shields of, ist, Ramsay of Dalhousie; 
2nd, Margaret, Queen of James IV. (daughter of Henry VIII. 
of England); 3rd, Magdalene, Queen of James V. (daughter 
of Francis I. of France); 4th, Royal Arms of Scotland; 5th, 
Mary of Guise, second Queen of James V. ; 6th, Edward 
Schewall, Abbot 1526 - 1530. This decipherment is kindly 
given by Sir Balfour Paul, Lyon King at Arms. The font 
was found at Mavisbank in 1873, when Mavisbank House was 
being enlarged. In excavating the foundations, the workmen 
came on the font buried in the garden. When Captain Arbuth- 
not of Mavisbank knew it was the old Newbattle font he 
returned it to Lord Lothian. 

We enter a small apartment adjoining the dining-room, 
in which are hung some of the most interesting of the earlier 
pictures of the collection. Among these a very distinguished 
place is occupied by a " Madonna and Child," by Albert 
Diirer, which, in a moment of the rarest good fortune, was 
discovered by the present Lord Lothian in a furniture shop 
in Edinburgh, and purchased by his brother, the late Marquess. 


It is stated to have been formerly in rooms in Holyrood Palace 
which were occupied by the Earls of Buchan. This is one of 
the very few genuine works of the master that have found their 
way to Great Britain ; according to Thausing, indeed, the 
standard authority on the subject, only one other of his 
undoubted productions exists in this country, a portrait of the 
painter's father, preserved at Sion House. This critic fully 
admits the authenticity of the present picture; but he refers 
to it, we quote from Eaton's English translation of his 
Life of Diirer, as " containing an almost life-sized Virgin," 
and as having been shown " at the Royal Academy Old 
Masters' Winter Exhibition in 1871," both of which statements 
are inaccurate. The figures are greatly under the scale of 
life, and it was in 1870 that the picture was exhibited in 
London. The date that it bears, 1506, proves that it was 
painted in Venice, during the happy days of Diirer's visit 
to that city, when he enjoyed the friendship of John Bellini, 
" a very old man, indeed, but the best of them all," as he 
writes of him to his friend, Pirkheimer, and when he looked 
forward with something like horror to his return to the chilly 
North, " Alas ! how shall I live in Nuremberg after the bright 
sunny Venice? Here I am the lord, at home only the hanger- 
on." To the same correspondent the painter writes that Bellini 
had " praised me before many gentlemen, and asked me to 
do him something, and he will pay me well for it;" and it 
is possible enough that this may be the very picture which he 
executed for his aged artist friend. The subject is just such as 
that "pious man" would naturally have chosen; and the 
supposition gains in force from the manifest influence of 
Bellini's style, which is visible in the handling, and in the 
quiet, accurately-balanced composition of the work, and even 
in such little circumstances as the appearance of the painter's 
monogram and inscription upon a white label counterfeiting 
a folded piece of paper, as in many of Bellini's own works 
in, for instance, his " Doge Loredano," his " Madonna 
and Child," and his " St Peter Martyr," in the London 
National Gallery. 

In Lord Lothian's picture, the seated figure of the Ma- 
donna is seen against a crimson curtain, on either side of which 
we catch a glimpse of landscape, wooded, on the right, and 
with steep cottage roofs appearing above the trees, and, on 


the left, occupied by one of those half -ruined manors or farms, 
which are of frequent occurence in Durer's engravings. Her 
golden - haired face has no special charm of beauty, the 
painter, great master as he was, seldom attained any very high 
ideal of female loveliness, but the countenance is informed 
by a quiet pathos, and possessed by a homely charm. Two 
quaint winged cherubs, whose bodies end abruptly in flakes 
of cloud, one of them turning towards us the rotundity of his 
great bald head, are crowning the Virgin, but with no royal 
diadem of flashing gems and beaten gold ; they set upon her 
head 'only a simple wreath of the poet's " votive fruits and 
symbol flowers." On her lap is seated the Divine Child, 
holding a bird-lure in his right hand, and sporting with the 
yellow songster that perches fearlessly upon his left wrist. To 
the right, St. John, bearing his slender cross of reeds, is 
bringing a younger child to present his humble offering of 
lilies of the valley. The picture is full of poetic charm, of 
brilliant transparent colouring, and, in the expression of its 
details, of searching and elaborate draughtsmanship. The 
handling of the plumage of the various wings that appear in 
the picture is here, as always with Diirer, especially masterly ; 
and altogether the work is one of which any collection might 
be justly proud. 

Over 'the fireplace is hung an interesting little example 
of early Italian art, a picture by the Cavaliere Dello Delli, 
a Florentine sculptor and painter, whose works are to be 
found in the cloister of Santa Maria Novello, in his native 
city, and whose portrait is introduced in the figure of Shem 
in the fresco of the drunkenness of Noah, in the same place, 
painted by his friend Paolo Uccello. The present example 
of Delli's work is a narrow oblong panel, which has evidently 
formed a side of one of those chests, or caskets, in which the 
Florentine brides carried their wedding gear to their new homes. 
It forms a pleasant relic of " the season of art's spring-birth, 
so dim and dewy," when the distinction between the fine and 
the decorative arts was less sharply marked than now, and 
the painter of the throned Madonna over the high altar did 
not disdain to touch the homely things of domestic life, and 
make them lovely. The subject of this panel is the appropri- 
ate one of " The Triumph of Love and the Triumph of 
Chastity." To the left, round the car on which the potent 



god Amor is borne by fiery steeds, young and strong, and 
armed with his mighty bow and deadly shafts, is gathered 
a company of gay, richly-clad men and women, the merry 
people of the world; and to the right, a band of wise virgins, 
stoled in white, attend the chariot where Chastity, a stately 
maiden, holding a palm branch for reward, stands enthroned, 
with cupids bound and captive at her feet. Her car is 
drawn by gravely- stepping unicorns, the mediaeval symbols 
of purity (it was fabled that the unicorn could purge a 
poisoned spring if it but dipped its horn in the water), which 
appear as such in II Moretta's portrait of Alphonso I. and 
Laura Eustachio, in the Belvedere, and beside the exquisite 
half-draped girl on the obverse of the lovely medal of Cecilia 
Gonzaga, by Pisano to whose St George, in his picture in 
the National Gallery, one of the figures in Delli's present work, 
that towards the left wearing the broad Tuscan hat, bears a 
curiously close resemblance. The picture is full of pleasant 
and dainty fancy, and is distinguished by its spirited and 
varied action, and by its beautiful colour, profusely height- 
ened with gold. 

Among the other examples of the Italian schools in the 
room is a " Virgin and Child/' by Botticelli, of that circular 
form which was frequent with the master, with particularly 
rich and full colouring in the yellow and red drapery which 
forms its background, and with much yearning pathos in the 
attitude and expression of the clinging Babe and the mother 
who bends over him. Here, too, is a semi-circular, " Enthrone- 
ment of the Virgin," by Filippo Lippi. Recent research tends to 
discredit the stories of this painter's wild and wayward life, 
related by Vasari, and adopted by Mr Browning in one of 
his most brilliant poems, and of his retributive death by 
poison; certainly the present work is full of tenderness and 
of pure devotional feeling in the angelic forms on either side 
that lift the curtain, and in the sweet figure of the Virgin, who 
bows meekly to receive the diadem from her Son. The colour- 
ing of the work is delicate, cool, and silvern, and has little 
of the glow and warmth that we associate with our memories 
of the artist's best-known works. 

In this country there are said to be but three important 
works by Pietro de Cosimo in private hands, and one of these 
is known to relatively few connoisseurs, and goes unnoticed in 



the 1898 edition of Mr Berenson's " Florentine Painters." 
One of the very few public allusions that have been made to it 
was that of Mr Roger E. Fry, The picture belongs to the 
Marquess of Lothian, and is in the gallery of Newbattle 
Abbey, Dalkeith. Like " Hylas and the Nymphs," in Mr 
Robert Benson's collection, it v is painted on a tablecloth, for 
in those early days Pietro, being poor, took the first texture 
that came to hand. It represents, reputedly in the na'ive 
fashion, an imagined battle of the Stone Age, and was pro- 
bably executed about the time Pietro painted the lovely land- 
scape in the fresco of his master, Cosimo Rosselli, in the 
Sixtine Chapel. If it reveal anything like the inventiveness 
of " Hylas and the Nymphs," to say nothing of the wonderful 
" Combat of the Centaurs in the Lapithse," it deserves to be 
far more widely known than it is at present. If I learn 
aright, no photograph of the Marquess of Lothian's picture has 
been published. 

There are multitudes of valuable pictures scattered all 
over the house, Vandykes, Rembrandts, Titians, Murillos, &c., 
besides any quantity of valuable portraits. 

In the great and magnificent drawing-room, built over 
the cloister quadrangle, and beautifully ornamented in the roof 
by Italian artists, there are many fine portraits of various 
members of the House of Lothian, including the late Marquess 
in his robes. Warwick Castle is the only rival of Newbattle 
Abbey in the matter of Vandyke portraits. 

There are more literary and artistic treasures in Newbattle 
House than probably in any other house in Scotland, not even 
excepting Drummond Castle and Dalkeith and Hamilton 
Palaces. In the Abbey are preserved the famous Catalogue 
of Honour and " Album Amicorum " of Sir Michael Balfour, 
besides countless works of mediaeval interest. 

Among the many interesting family memorials, there is 

a thin folio in the handwriting of William, Earl of Lothian, 

containing a journal of his travels in 1624-5 through France 

to Italy and Switzerland, entitled, " Itinerario fatto anno 

1625 ch'era quella dal Qubeleo Urbano Octavo Papa Bar- 

berini." His father had sent him to Paris to finish his 

education, and before returning home allowed him to travel a 

little. He left Paris with his tutor on 6th November, 1624. 

There is also preserved an interesting " Correspondence 



of Sir Robert Ker, ist Earl of Ancram, and his son, William, 
3rd Earl of Lothian " (May 26, 1616, Sept. 13, 1650), con- 
taining many varied letters, including those of the Bishop of 
Caithness to Sir Robert Ker, letters by Leighton, the Marquess 
of Argyll, and many others. 

A very touching family record is still preserved in the 
Lothian charter - chests, which are brim - full of interesting 
memorials, in which the then Earl of Lothian gives a eulogy 
of Anne, Countess of Lothian, who died on 26th March, 1667. 
After giving a list of his children, the Earl adds, " Anne, 
Countess of Lothian, the goodly and worthy mother of these 
children, sickened and took bed the 2oth of March, Wednes- 
day, 1667, and died upon the 26th of the same month Tues- 
day. Ane woman extraordinary in all the qualifications of 
goodness, vertue, modesty, piety ; a good wyfe, a good mother, 
a good woman ; excellent in the government of her family 
and the ordering and provyding for it, and augmenting the 
estate of her house in the revenues of the lands, with the 
addition of wenning of coals by long labour and much charge 
and expenses ; and a great inlarger of the House of Newbattle, 
by faire newe buildings from the ground, and with much orna- 
ment and addition peffyting a begune worke, and beautifying 
the entries and accesses by many walls and inclosures and plan- 
tations of trees of all kyndes ; a woman honoured and beloved 
singularly of her husband, her children, friends, kindred, 
neighbours, vassals, tenants ; affable and charitable to the poor ; 
regraitted in her death by all, and of memory sweate and 
fragrant. This is attested by her most sadde and widowed 
husband, Lothian. The 6 Aprile, 1667." It was in all pro- 
bability this Countess Anne who made the modest old New- 
battle Abbey a stately mansion, and planted many of the mag- 
nificent trees and plantations which are still the glory of the 

The library of Newbattle House is extraordinarily rich 
in Spanish and Italian literature, the invalid Marquess, who 
died in 1870, having beguiled his weary hours by study of 
Continental literature. In addition, the collection of MSS. of 
Cromwell, Monk, and many others is priceless. The library 
of missals, breviaries, martyrologies, and other sacred manuals, 
is quite unique. 




THE parish of Newbattle has no fewer than five separate 
places of burial. The ancient chapel of Bryans, 
which has been incorporated along with the ecclesi- 
astical buildings into the present farm bearing that 
name, stood on the hillside above the Esk valley. 
A stone holy-water basin was quite recently recovered from 
amid the farm buildings which cover the site of the ancient 
place of worship. The churchyard can still be traced by the 
large and aged trees surrounding the site. The byre of Bryans 
farm is paved mainly with the old tombstones, which have 
their inscribed faces turned downwards. Bryans chapel was 
the church of the small parish of Maisterton, of which the 
massive baronial tower still stands, an important landmark 
by sea and land. Some are of opinion that Bryans was even 
an older ecclesiastical foundation than Newbattle Abbey. The 
Marquess of Lothian has as one of his titles, Viscount of 
Brienne or Brien. The old chapel stair with its foot-worn 
steps is still standing. The "Lady's Tree" in the farm policies 
is a survivor of a number of great trees which shaded the 
churchyard. Two ladies who were in possession of the Mais- 
terton estate at the Reformation gave the present churchyard 
as a present to the parish. The old Bryans chapel and church- 
yard are the scene of an annual open-air service to keep alive 
the sacred memories of the place. 

In the flower garden of Newbattle Abbey, and around 
the walls and vicinity of the house, skeletons of monks with 
fragments of their white habits have frequently been found, 
laid to rest under the shadow of St. Mary's pile, as the 
ecclesiastical dignitaries found their final repose beside the 
altar. Inside the Abbey were the grave and monument of 
Mary de Couci, Queen of Alexander II. The Abbey was, 
in its palmy days, not only the favourite resort of Scottish 
royalty, but also a specially desired resting-place for royal 
and noble dust. 



Father Hay (Dipl. Col. III. 34. i. 10), quoting an older 
authority, says : " In the midst of the church was seen the 
tomb of the queen of Alexander, of marble, supported on six 
lions of marble. A human figure was placed reclining on the 
tomb, surrounded with an iron grating." 

Only about a hundred yards from the original site of the 
Abbey, now marked out in the gravel, the Abbey church was 
rebuilt; and it was in this second church that Leighton 
preached. The church was, in 1727, removed once more to 
its present position and rebuilt, about a hundred yards towards 
the south, so that in a triangular space, with each side about 
a hundred yards in length, the church has stood successively 
at each point of the triangle. The only remaining portion of 
Leigh ton's church is a small vault, probably constructed of 
the stones left over after the second rebuilding of the Abbey 
stones into the present edifice. 

The Marquess of Argyle (eighth earl and first marquess), 
who was beheaded with the maiden at the Cross of Edinburgh, 
on May 27th, 1661, is closely associated with the Lothian 
family, which, like the house of Argyle, was warmly attached 
to the Reformed and Covenanting cause. His second daughter, 
Lady Jean, became the wife of the first Marquess of Lothian. 
After Argyle 's execution his head was exposed on the west 
side of the Tolbooth. His body was carried first to St. 
Magdalene's Chapel in the Cowgate, and thence to Newbattle, 
where it rested for a few weeks in the old church. The head 
remained on the Tolbooth spike for a fortnight, when Charles 
II. having given a warrant for its removal, the body was 
brought from Newbattle, and they were together laid in the 
family sepulchre of St. Mund at Kilmun. 

This vault or " isle " (as a marble slab on the outside 
of the door describes it) became the place of sepulture for the 
Lothian family all through the eighteenth and part of the nine- 
teenth century. Possibly the vault may have existed beneath 
the church as a family burying-place for the house of Lothian. 
On the front of the vault there have within the last few years 
been erected two white marble slabs built into an ornamental 
wall-door with the names of the various members of the house 
interred within. Around this vault the trees are particularly 

The following inscriptions are on the tablets of what 


used to be called the " Lothian Isle," the only remaining 
portion of Leighton's church : 

" The front of this isle was enlarged by Gen. Lord Mark 
Kerr A.D. 1888. Jean, Marchioness of Lothian, built this 
isle in the year of our Lord 1705. (I. Tablet.) Mark Kerr 
of Newbattle (the last abbot) died August 26, 1584. Lady 
Helen Leslie, wife of Mark Kerr, d. Oct. 26, 1594. Mark 
Kerr, i Earl of Lothian, d. 1609. Lady Anne Kerr, Countess 
of Lothian, d. Mar. 26, 1667. William, 3 Earl of Lothian, 
d. Oct. 1675. Robert, i Marquess of Lothian, d. 16 Feb. 
1703. Lady Jean Campbell, wife of the ist Marquess, d. 
31 July 1712. Lady Jean Campbell, wife of 2nd Marquess, 
d. Dec. 27, 1787. William Henry, 3 Marquess, d. 28 July 
1767. William, 4 Marquis of Lothian, d. April 12, 1775. 
(II. Tablet.) Lady Caroline D'Arcy, wife of 4 Marquess, 
d. Oct. 1778. William, 6 Marquess, d. 2 April 1824. Lady 
Henrietta Hobart, wife of 6 Marquess, d. 1805. Lady Jean 
Kerr, Lady Cranston, d. of 2 Marquess of Lothian. Mistress 
Jean Cranston, d. of Jean, Lady Cranston. Lord Robert 
Kerr, son of 3 Marquess of Lothian, killed at Culloden, April 
1 6, 1746. Col. Lord Robert Kerr, son of 5 Marquess of 
Lothian, d. 1843. Lady Robert Kerr, d. 1859. Four chil- 
dren of Lord and Lady Robert Kerr." 

The present churchyard of the parish is one of the most 
picturesque in all Scotland, surrounded as it is with magnificent 
trees, and laid out and kept with the most devoted care, a 
wonderful contrast to its condition in older days, when the 
grass was allowed to grow knee-deep and the sacrilegious sheep 
dined off its rank growth. Sir Walter Scott, when residing 
at Lasswade, used frequently to visit this ideal resting-place 
for "Old Mortality." Newbattle churchyard was a hunting- 
ground with the Edinburgh resurrectionists. Only within 
recent years has the old resurrection-house been swept away. 
The only specimen of the class now surviving in the district 
is that in Dalkeith New Burying Ground, a very complete 
specimen of the kind, with its round red sandstone tower, 
battlemented top, and narrow port-holes round and round. 
The Newbattle house was built against the east wall, half-way 
down, and was roofed. 

At the bottom of many of the old graves the heavy irons 
are still come upon, which were used to bind the coffins down 



to the earth, and thus assist in baulking the body-stealers. 
Traditions are still numerous of fights with the body-snatchers, 
and it is certain that at least one death resulted from these 

Among the many relics connected with the ecclesiastical 
establishment of Newbattle, Leighton's library, communion 
plate, hour glass, &c., there is the " funeral hand-bell," 
with " ( 1616 X M A ) " as an inscription, signifying " James 
Aird, minister." The bell, which is of coarse construction, 
has an iron handle in the shape of a leg-bone. Before a 
funeral took place the sexton paraded the parish, ringing his 
tocsin, and announcing all particulars of hour, place, &c. The 
old funeral road from Dalhousie to the churchyard (though 
now closed to the public) can still be easily traced, and with 
its magnificent avenue of tall trees on each side, forms what 
is known as the " Kirk-brae," one of the most charming and 
admired pieces of scenery in Mid-Lothian. Some of the old 
funeral palls are still in existence, of rich, heavy black velvet 
with woollen fringes, often referred to in the session-records 
as " mortcloths," used to cover the coffin, which was carried 
to the grave in any sort of conveyance. 

Beginning with the tombstones at the east corner of the 
churchyard, beside the present gravedigger's tool-house, there 
is a group of monuments to the Watsons of Crosslea which is 
worthy of notice, the most interesting of them to " George 
Watson, son of Robert Watson, tenant of Westhouses, who 
died 2oth January, 1708, aged twenty-two years." The usual 
skull and cross-bones adorn the memorial, and the inscription 
"memento mori " ; but in addition there is a reclining figure 
of a youth reading a book, evidently referring to the studious 
habits of this young man cut off in his prime. Another, of 
date 1724, has hour glass, cross spades, and bones and skull ; 
while the stone, dated 1623, with the initials " T.W. : 
M.P.R.W. : DM." is similarly adorned. The pose of the 
child and the peace of the place suggest the beautiful verses : 

" When the day is past and over, 
With its labour and its play, 
When the little feet grow weary, 
And the toys are put away : 
Like an angel in the gloaming, 
As the shadows round her creep, 
There is One who keepeth yigil 
When the children fall asleep. 



" For the faintest cry she listens, 
On her lips a tender prayer, 
For a mother's love is nearest 
To the love the angels bear : 
Some in simple-hearted gladness, 
Some with bitter tears to weep, 
Watch the mothers in the shadow 
When the children fall asleep ! 

" When Life's little day is over, 
When on us the shadows fall, 
Hear our prayer, O Heavenly Father, 
Keeping vigil over all : 
Guard us through the vale of shadow, 
While the Night is dark and deep : 
Grant us calm and peaceful slumber 
When Thy children fall asleep !" 

A little further up the same eastern wall there are several 
monuments with the inevitable pillars and cross-bones, fol- 
lowed by a curious rude stone, with the earliest date of all 
in the churchyard, which bears the inscription : " Here lyes 
Jon Duncan weaver in Newbattle who parted this life in 
1607 aged 82," with the letters " T.B X I.D " and the 
weaver's shuttle and stretchers. Beside it is a stone with 
a face very rudely carved, little else than a face-curve and 
holes and eyes, and the inscription, " Here lyis Andrew 
Blair 1632." 

On the upper part of the east wall there is a pillared 
monument with skull above and the letters " T.C : E W " and 
the inscription, " Here lyeth James Chirnsyde sone to James 
Chirnsyd Bailie In Newbatell who departed this life the 4th 
Nov. 1682 of age 12 years." 

On this Chirnsyde tomb there is a verse of reflection : 

In this frail life how soon cut of are wee 

All that on earth do live must surely die. 

Mount up O soul to that seraphick spheere 

Eternal life if thou wolds have a share. 

Sure God doth for the blisid it prepare, 

Caelestial joy that can compare with the 

Here nothing is but grif and vanitie. 

Invieous death that could not hurt the soulle 

Ripened for glory though the grave did moulle 

Natour and strength, yea youth thou soon can kill 

So here thou did accomplish divine will, 

Yet where are nou thy furious darts, thy sting, 

Death cannot stop the soul from taking wing 

Eternally with God above to sing. 

Elaborate scrolls flank this youth's monument, and cross- 
spades, cross-bones, and an hour glass occupy a panel at the 


On the south wall is a rather stately pillared monument 
of seventeenth century date, with an effective diamond orna- 
ment along the base, and the inscription : 

Heir godliness with virteu in ane tombe 
Mare and Martha are interred in this tombe. 

referring either to two sisters or one excellent woman who 
combined the virtues of both the sisters of Bethany. 

A pillared square monument comes next to it, with the 
inscription, " 1629 TH X HL." Beside it, wreathed in 
summer with the sweetest of " Gloire-de-Dijon " roses, is the 
grave of John William Turner, first professor of Surgery in 
Edinburgh University, who died in 1835, and of his relative, 
Dr Aitchison, whose researches in Afghanistan thirty years 
ago rendered him famous, his fine botanical and zoological 
collections having their home in the South Kensington Museum. 

The old escutcheoned stone next it is remarkably interest- 
ing for its carving and symbolism, a child's tomb of 260 
years ago. Above is an elaborate coat of arms, surmounted 
by a man with a club, while the sentences and symbols of 
death are carefully worked out, including " hodie mihi, eras 
tibi," " memento mori," and skull, hour glass, cross-bones, 
&c. On the top of the pillars there is a human head, an axe 
on one side, and a skull on the other. The inscription reads, 
" Here lyeth Frances Murray, one of the House of Black 
Baronnie who deceast the i4th February 1641 aet. suae 8." 
She was the child of Sir Archibald Murray of Blackbarony 
in Peeblesshire, a progenitor of Lord Elibank. Andrew 
Murray of Blackbarony appears in charters in 1552, and his 
ancestors had been seated at Blackbarony for five generations 
previously. His son, Sir John Murray, was brother of Sir 
Gideon Murray, Lord High Treasurer of Scotland and a Lord 
of Session (father of Patrick, first Lord Elibank), and of 
Sir William Murray of Clermont, Fife. Sir John Murray's 
son and heir, Archibald Murray of Blackbarony, was made a 
baronet of Nova Scotia in 1628, in James VI. 's reign. He 
married a daughter of Dundas of Arniston, and this child of 
eight was buried in Newbattle churchyard, owing to her 
maternal connection with the parish, which includes a con- 
siderable portion of the Arniston estate. 

A curious flat-faced obelisk built into the wall records 
a life spent amid a sea of troubles : 


" Annexe uxor Samuel Elliot obiit Sept. aoth 

1772 aet. 73. 
Afflictions sore 
Long time I bore 
Much tears I spent in vain 
Till God did please 
By death to ease 
And ridd me of my pain. 

Here lyes the remains of Samuel Elliot Sergnt, who 
died Nov. 14, 1777, aged 90 years; also Anne second wife 
of Samuel Elliot, who died April 14, 1786, aged 60 years." 

The most interesting historical monument in Newbattle 
Churchyard is unfortunately also the most scanty and dimin- 
ished. It is to the memory of of the Rev. William Creech, 
the father of William Creech, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the 
great bookseller, who was one of the best of Robert Burns' 
friends, and who himself published the Ayrshire plough- 
man's second edition of " Songs and Poems." The only 
memorial left is a portion of a stone built into the southern 
wall, surmounted by a flower-ornament, and an open book 
on which is inscribed the text from Job xix., 25, with the 
inscription " M.S.D. Gulielmi Creech ecclesiae apud New- 
battle fidelissimi .... pietate, prudentia, ma 

hominem or The stone is almost entirely broken, and 

the small remaining fragment has been in recent years built 
into the churchyard wall. The Rev. William Creech entered 
the incumbency in 1739, succeeding the Rev. Andrew Mitchell, 
and died aist August, 1745, the year of the battle of Preston- 
pans. A new stone has just been erected to the memory of 
father and son, and a memorial brass placed in the church. 

One of the finest, probably the finest of all the monuments, 
is associated with the name of Welsh, connected both with 
John Knox the Reformer and also with Thomas Carlyle. It 
is in the south-east corner of the churchyard, and is an elabo- 
rate table with ornamentation of bones and skulls and faces. 
The monument, from an architectural point of view, is a very 
interesting one, and was an object of much interest to the late 
Marquess of Lothian. From the "4" mark, the monument 
is probably to a merchant, but the inscription is illegible. 

Of the other monuments, little need be said. That on 
the south wall, next Creech's tomb, of date 1634, with its 
skull and cross-bones, to "Carles Campbell of Neu- 
batell," a former minister of the parish; the Aitchison 



monument, recently restored, of date 1728, with the usual 
insignia, are interesting: the Thomson tomb (1739), with 
the same insignia and scroll commemorating " John Thom- 
son portioner in Newbattle 1739 " : that to Nicoll Simpson, 
1662, beside it all these have their family interest, but little 
beyond it. 

In the centre of the churchyard there are several old 
stones to miners, weavers, &c. A spirit of economy seems to 
have taken hold of two colliers of Langlaw in the parish, for 
one family takes one side of the stone and the other the reverse. 
" Here lyeth Robert Allan son to John Allan Coalzier at 
Longlau died Nov. 29th 1752. Jesus said, ' suffer little chil- 
dren to come unto Me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.' ' 
On the other side " Here lyeth William Douglas Coalzier 
at Longlau, husband to Margaret Patterson and two children 
who died 1741." The insignia of the pick, mash, and wedge 
are over both inscriptions. Another monument is to " Jenot 
Bounkyll spouse of Robert Graham, weaver in Easthouses who 
lived together 57 years and departed 23rd June 1798 aged 
77." The Crooke's monument of 1663 is also interesting. 

The stone of a smith, 1741, is remarkable for the high 
relief of carving. The crowned hammer is flanked by two 
human heads with curly hair, and by two hour glasses, and 
skulls surmount the pillars at the sides. 

The similitude of the insignia on the i?th and i8th 
century stones makes it unnecessary to pursue the subject fur- 
ther, some having the crown and hammer, others the emblems 
of a weaver's, a brewer's, a farmer's, or a miner's life, while 
most have only the symbols of our frail mortality. 

Tradition says that there was a small churchyard at one 
time at Westhouses in the days when it was a large village 
with a school. 

The latest of Newbattle burying-places is the new family 
cemetery of the house of Lothian, laid out beside the river 
Esk and near the great gate where, beside an uncle and aunt, 
the late beloved and distinguished Marquess of Lothian sleeps. 
A fine Celtic cross has been raised over the grave. 




ON the ist of January, 1651, the Marquess of Argyll 
put the crown on the head of Charles II. at Scone, 
and when the King resolved to invade England and 
win it back again for his family, it was Argyll who 
dissuaded him from doing so, an advice which the 
defeat of Worcester amply justified and verified. Everyone 
is familiar with the historical facts of Argyll's complications 
with Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth, and the strong 
suspicions which were entertained by the Crown party of his 
tendencies in favour of the Roundheads and the Protector ; 
but it was hard that when he went up in 1660 to London to 
congratulate the Sovereign, whom he had crowned in Scotland, 
on his Restoration to the throne of the entire island, he should 
have been suspected of conspiracy, thrown into the Tower, 
and condemned to be sent down to Scotland for trial on treason. 
It was on the 27th of May, 1661, that he was publicly 
beheaded at the Cross of Edinburgh with the Maiden, declaring 
with his dying breath that he was " free from any conspiracy 
against his late Majesty's death " ; and as to Charles II., he 
declared in words which have become almost classical, 
" I had the honour to set the crown on the King's head, and 
now he hastens me to a better Crown than his own." 

His head was fixed on a spike on the west side of the 
Tolbooth, on the very same spike on which his rival Montrose's 
head had been exposed, and from which it had only recently 
been removed, while his trunkless body was carried to St. 
Magdalene's Chapel in the Cowgate, where the first General 
Assembly of the Church of Scotland had been held under John 
Knox, and where the latter's colleague, John Craig, once Prior 
of Bologna, lectured in Latin to the learned men of Edin- 
burgh on the Reformed doctrines till he recovered the know- 
ledge of his native tongue, which he had forgotten during his 
long residence abroad. 



How long his body remained in the Magdalene Chapel, 
which is still standing, and forms part of the Edinburgh 
Medical Mission buildings, is uncertain, but probably it lay 
there for only a few days, as the Earl of Lothian, a keen 
Covenanter, like Argyll, made arrangements that the headless 
body should be removed to his own private vault at Newbattle, 
until preparations were made at Kilmun, the burying-place 
of the Argylls, to receive the remains of the chief of the 
Clan Campbell. 

An original copy of the Solemn League and Covenant 
is still hanging in the ancestral house of Newbattle, and the 
signatures both of Argyll and Lothian are appended to it, 
along with many another famous name of the time. There 
was, therefore, something appropriate in the Earl of Lothian, 
Nicodemus-like, begging the body of the great Marquess, with 
whose house his own was afterwards to be so closely allied, 
not only in sympathy, but by marriage. Argyll's body was 
brought out from the Magdalene Chapel in the Cowgate, and 
driven in a carriage by the old Edinburgh road out to New- 
battle, where it was laid in the vault beneath the church, 
where only eight years before Leighton had ministered. That 
church was removed in 1727 to the other side of the road and. 
rebuilt into the present church of the parish. But the vault 
still remains, and even during the present generation has 
been used as a burial-place for members of the Lothian family. 
It stands immediately behind the ancient Monkland. wall, built 
by William the Lion as a protection to the Abbey, and the 
old trees round about it are strongly reminiscent of the church- 
yard which once surrounded it. The vault to-day bears the 
inscription on three marble facings, " The front of this Isle 
was enlarged by General Lord Mark Kerr A.D. 1888. Jean, 
Marchioness of Lothian, built this Isle in the year of our Lord 
1705," while the long list of names of members of the House 
of Lothian succeeds, beginning with Mark Ker, the last Abbot 
of Newbattle, who, with his son and successors, lie buried 
there. A stone staircase leads down to the vault, and a single 
slab of stone remains as a memorial of the old church which 
once rose above it, in which Leighton preached those wonderful 
sermons from which the then Earl of Lothian declared that 
he got " more good from them than from those "of any other 
that ever stood in a pulpit." That church, pulpit, communion 



plate, library, &c., were all removed to the other side of the 
Monkland wall, as also was the burying-place of the parish. 

In this vault, then, consecrated by so many memories, 
Argyll's body rested probably for a month, under the protection 
of the Earl of Lothian. Thereafter, probably under cover 
of night, it was removed in a carriage and four and driven 
across Scotland to the Clyde, where, somewhere about Old 
Kilpatrick, a vessel belonging to the Argyll family was in 
waiting to transport the body of the chief to the family bury- 
ing-place at Kilmun, St. Mund's, on the Holy Loch, which 
got its name from the fact that a vessel bringing earth from 
the Holy Land foundered in its waters. Argyll's head re- 
mained on the spike at the Edinburgh Tolbooth until 8th June, 
1664, when a warrant was obtained from Charles II., whom 
Argyll had crowned with his own hand, for taking it down 
and burying it with his body. The present Duke of Argyll 
related to the writer how, when the ancient sepulchre of his 
ancestors was opened for the burial of his father, " we found 
the head with the hole through it made by the spike on which 
it had been fastened." 

The Clyde was then little more than a mountain torrent, 
a few inches deep at Glasgow, and winding its way down to 
Dumbarton Rock, with its martial memories, with no preten- 
sions to being a river. Probably the little harbour from which 
after its long cross-country journey, following the line of the 
old Roman road and wall, the body of Argyll was transported 
to the wherry, was somewhere between Bowling and the shore 
below Old Kilpatrick. And thus the great Marquess had his 
passing like one of Tennyson's heroes or as in the old Norse 
Sagas, across the dim, mysterious tide to his everlasting rest. 
The close link thus formed between the Earl of Lothian and 
the Marquess of Argyll was further strengthened by the mar- 
riage of the former to Jane, daughter of the executed peer. 

Curiously, the great Marquess's son, Archibald Campbell, 
the ninth Earl of Argyll, had in almost every detail the same 
passing, rest, and final interment. On June 3oth, 1685, he 
was executed at Edinburgh on. the Maiden, before which he 
made a short, grave speech, and, finally, so great was his 
composure, brought out a little ruler out of his pocket and 
measured the block, and, seeing that it did not lie even, 
notified the carpenter and had it rectified. He had already, 



the day before his execution, composed a poetical epitaph to 
be placed over his grave. After all was over, his body was 
brought out to Newbattle and laid in the same Lothian vault 
in which his father's ashes had rested for a month or so, 
only fate decreed that his remains should rest there for nearly 
twenty years, from 1685 until the loth of April, 1704, when 
they were taken, along with the body of the first Duke of 
Argyll, down to Kilmun, and buried with their kindred dust 
in St. Mund's lonely chapel. Curiously, his daughter married 
the Marquess of Lothian, and thus a second link was formed 
between Lothian and Argyll. 

The collegiate church of St. Mund was founded in 1442 
for a provost and six prebendaries by Sir Duncan Campbell 
of Lochawe. It has, however, an even earlier ecclesiastical 
glory and position than this, for in the early Columban or 
Culdee Church, Kilmund ranked with Dunblane, Dunkeld, 
and Abernethy, as one of the great seats of the early pre- 
Roman Church of Scotland. It was on the 4th of August, 
1442, that it was dedicated as a collegiate church with seven 
Highland clergy to the memory of the Culdee Abbot, St. 
Mund, but of the great building to - day only the tower, 
forty feet high, and the burial vault remain. The church 
was founded on the spot where the vessel carrying soil from the 
Holy Land for the foundation of Glasgow Cathedral was 
stranded, and casting out its precious freight, gave the name 
of Holy Loch to that arm of the Firth of Clyde for ever. 
The Paradise of Chichester Cathedral and other churches re- 
ceived soil from Palestine, but the accidental foundering of 
the vessel in the loch, which is surrounded by the steep frown- 
ing glories of " Argyll's bowling-green," gave the name to 
the Holy Loch, on whose shore rest the generations of the 
Argylls, who, in calm and stormy weather, sought to serve 
their country and their God. Beside the silent sea, the 
Campbell clansmen in their generations have waited for the 
muffled oar, which brought home their noble dead; but never 
under such pathetic circumstances as when, first the father 
and then the son of the Argyll house was borne from the 
scaffold, first to their friendly rest among the greenwood of 
Newbattle, and thence to the sweet chapel by the shore of the 
Holy Loch. Sunset and evening star, -scarlet bars in the sky 
above the rolling, rugged mountains which overshadow the 



loch, have gleamed many a time over the strange burial 
scenes of a romantic house, but never over such pathetic 
obsequies as these. 

It was a strange fate which led the daughters of 
the Marquess and Earl of Argyll, respectively, to become 
united with the heads of the House of Lothian. Fine por- 
traits of the two executed Argylls hang in Newbattle House 
to-day, alongside of the martial Kers, and of the wonderful 
Vandykes, which are the priceless treasure of the place. " The 
three heads of Charles I.," painted by Vandyke, in order that 
a bust of the author of the " Eikon Basilike " might be 
made for the Pope, and given by the King as a parting 
gift to his bosom friend, the Earl of Strafford, who finally 
also went to the block, his peer's robe, with the blood on the 
collar, still lying in the crypt at Newbattle, is in fitting com- 
pany, for it was round that first execution that the storm 
began to rage, which sent both the Argylls to the Maiden, 
and distressed two nations for nearly half a century. 

In reference to these interesting historical events, the late 
Very Rev. Principal Story, of Glasgow University, was good 
enough to add the following touching incident to my nar- 
rative : 

" Several years ago it came to my knowledge that an old widow 
near Garelochhead said she possessed the blanket in which the Mar- 
quess of Argyll's body had been wrapped after his execution. On 
mentioning this to the late Duke of Argyll, I found that he believed 
that he had the blanket at Inveraray. The old woman, however, was 
positive, and could trace the blanket as coming to her late husband's 
possession through a succession of forebears who had been servants 
to the Argyll family, and the first of whom had been ghillie to the 
decapitated Marquess. After some negotiation, the Duke agreed to 
buy the blanket from the widow, and it was duly sent to Inveraray. 
On careful examination, it was found it was a half of the plaid of 
which the other half was the portion in the Duke's possession. The 
two fitted into each other exactly, and were, when this correspondence 
was established, sewn together by Princess Louise. The two halves 
thus restored to each other after a long and romantic separation, 
which had taken one to the Castle of the Argylls and left the other 
as a treasured memento in the humble dwelling of the ghillie of the 
great Marquess. If you write anything further with regard to him, 
you might relate this anecdote." 




THE discussion as to the date and place of John Knox's 
birth was bound to come, and the pleasant rivalries 
between the Haddingtonshire claimants are, perhaps, 
the best compliment that could have been paid to 
the memory of the Reformer whose statue adorns the 
front of the Knox Institute in the town of the " Lamp of 
Lothian." The ancient seat of the family was Ranfurlie, 
near Paisley, and the most prominent living representative of 
the historic house is the Earl of Ranfurlie, Uchter John Mark 
Knox, K.C.M.G., the fifth to bear the title, who till recently 
was Governor-General of New Zealand, and with the Parlia- 
ment and people of the Brighter Britain of the southern 
hemisphere, answered the rejoicings of Great Britain's enemies 
by a magnanimous offer of unlimited assistance in the South 
African war. The Ranfurlie lands seem to have been granted 
to the Knox family by Uchtred, the second Earl of North- 
umberland, and the family names have generally been John, 
Uchter, and William. Whether the connection of the family 
with Haddington was older than with Ranfurlie is another 
point in dispute, for in a conversation with the Earl of Both- 
well, whose house had an ancient interest in Haddingtonshire, 
the Reformer said : " My Lord, my great-grandfather, gude- 
sire, and father have served your Lordship's predecessors, and 
some of them have died under their standards, and this is a 
part of the obligation of our Scottish kindness." At any rate, 
the two families were intimately related, and both can claim 
a share in the ancestry of him " who never feared the face of 

The connection of Knox with Haddingtonshire, Edin- 
burgh, and other places is so familiar, that, without his name 
and influence, a great part of their history would disappear. 
There are, however, some sidelights which can be thrown on 


the Reformer's house and immediate relatives by several of the 
parishes which border on the Esk in Mid-Lothian, Newbattle in- 
cluded. Whether he was a brother or a nephew of the Reformer, 
William Knox, who was first Reformed minister of Cockpen, 
seems to be another doubtful point. In a valuable volume 
of " Knox Genealogy," prepared by " a lineal descendant," 
it is categorically stated that " William Knox, elder son of 
the laird of Gifford and brother of the Reformer, who was a 
merchant in Preston," was the father of William Knox, the 
first Reformed minister of Cockpen (1567-1592); while the 
Rev. Mr Thomson, of Rosslyn or Roslin Chapel, in his work on 
"Roslyn and Hawthornden," and others, describe the first min- 
ister of Cockpen as John Knox's brother; the late Mr Peter 
Mitchell, session-clerk to the parish, and author of " Cockpen 
in the Olden Time," who had access to records, and was a good 
antiquarian, describes him as ' ' brother, or, as some would 
have it, nephew, of the Reformer." 

From the " Genealogy of the Knoxes," referred to by 
M'Crie in his " Life of Knox," which passed directly down 
from generation to generation, and finally was found in 1838 
amongst the belongings of Miss Charlotte Knox, the last sur- 
vivor of the William Knox family, it is pretty clear that the 
first Reformed minister of Cockpen was not the brother, but 
the nephew of the Reformer. William Knox, laird of Gifford, 
had two sons, William, who became a merchant in Preston, 
and John, who became the Reformer. William Knox, the 
Preston merchant, had one son, William, who seems to have 
become the first Protestant minister of Cockpen (1567-92). In 
the records of the Presbytery of Dalkeith, his name frequently 
appears in connection with the Reformation movements in the 
neighbourhood. On 27th February, 1589, he was censured 
by the Presbytery for baptising the Laird of Rosslyn's child, 
and compelled to confess his fault, " notably because the said 
kirk was bot ane house and monument of idolatrie and not ane 
place appointit for teiching the word and ministratioun of ye 
sacramentis, ane act for which he suld ask God's forgiveness 
for yt. his offence baptizing ye bairne in yt. place." 

Rosslyn Chapel seems to have given the more ardent 
Reformers of the neighbourhood a good deal of concern in 
William Knox's time, just as the other collegiate church of 
Restalrig, at the foot of Arthur's Seat, did in 1560, when the 


General Assembly, the only instance of the kind on record, 
gave orders that " the kirk of Restalrig as monument of 
idolatry, be razed and utterly casten down and destroyed." 
Such is the Assembly's minute of 2ist December, 1560, 
almost the first minute of the first Assembly of John Knox, 
and the explanation of the strong measures taken is that Restal- 
rig was a popular place of pilgrimage, where diseases of the 
eye were supposed to be cured, one of the most renowned cures 
being that of John, Bishop of Caithness, who in 1200 jour- 
neyed from Scrabster, blinded, and with his tongue cut out 
by Earl Harold of Orkney (as the old Saga relates), and his 
pilgrimage, it was averred, restored him to sight. At the 
other collegiate church of Rosslyn, the laird resolutely refused 
to remove the images and altars of the saints, and the Pres- 
bytery being informed by him that " he would defend them as 
he might, .... judgit the laird not sound in his religion." 
Mr George Ramsay, minister of Lasswade, was in 1590 for- 
bidden by the Presbytery to bury Oliver St. Clair's wife in 
the chapel, and Mr Ramsay, on 24th September of that year, 
reported how he had gone to Rosslyn and found six altars 
standing undemolished, as well as some broken images, and 
when he expostulated with the laird he got no satisfaction. 
The laird was then summoned before the Presbytery to " sub- 
scribe to the heids of religion and also to have himself injoined 
to destroy the monuments of idolatry." The laird declined 
to do so, " as to ye monumentis of idolatrie ye Laird of 
Rosling says he will not demolish thame nouther gif King nor 
Kirk command him." After being summoned before the 
General Assembly, and after the Presbytery's threat of ex- 
communication, the upper stones of the altars were removed, 
but the bases were left still standing undemolished. The laird 
was again ordered to compear before the Dalkeith Presbytery 
on Thursday, August i7th, 1592, at nine in the morning, " and 
have himself summarily excommunicated in ye Kirk of Dal- 
keith," the sentence to be pronounced from the pulpit of Lass- 
wade Kirk. At last he gave way, and on 3ist August, 1592, 
Mr George Ramsay reported that the altars were demolished, 
" till ane stane or twa hight, and yt the acts of the Generall, 
Provinciall, and Presbyteriall Assemblies were fully satisfiet. 
For the qlk the breither praysit God." 

1592 was the closing year of William Knox's ministry 


at Cockpen, when Rosslyn Chapel was finally declared free of 
altars and images, his death taking place in that year. He 
was succeeded in his ministry at Cockpen by his second son, 
William, who served the parish until 1623, dying in his 
fifty-fourth year. His eldest son, John, became minister first 
of Lauder and afterwards of Melrose, while his youngest, 
James, who was elected one of the Regents of Edinburgh 
University in 1598, was minister of Kelso from 1605 until 


The second minister of Cockpen, William Knox, the son 
of the nephew of the Reformer, left six sons, the eldest of 
whom, John, was minister of Carrington from 1619 until 1661. 
It was he who ordained Robert Leighton, afterwards Principal 
of Edinburgh University, Bishop of Dunblane, and Archbishop 
of Glasgow, to the ministry of Newbattle parish. The ex- 
tracts from the records of the Presbytery of Dalkeith bearing 
upon the ordination of the saintly Leighton to Newbattle are 
sufficiently interesting to bear repetition. " Dec. 2, 1641. 
Compeared ye parishioners of Newbottle and testified their 
accepting Mr Robert Lichtoune to be their minister." Dec. 
7, 1641. Returned Mr Robert Lichtoune his two theses: 
endorsed. Compeared the parishioners of Newbottle and ac- 
cepted." " Dec. 16, 1641. Admission Mr Robert Lichtoune. 
Whilk day (being appointed for ye admission of Mr Robert 
Lichtoune) preached Mr Johne Knox, Hebrews xiii., 17, 
' Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves ; 
for they watch for your souls as they that must give account : 
that they may do it with joy and not with grief : for that is 
unprofitable for you.' Whilk day after sermon Mr Johne Knox 
put to Mr R. Lichtoune and ye parishioners of Newbottle 
sundry questions competent to ye occasion, and after imposition 
of hands and ye solemne prayer was admitted minister at 
Newbottle. Abssent Mr James Porteous, elder. Mr Robert 
Rodger to intimate on Sunday next ye translation." The 
presbyters who assisted John Knox's namesake, and great- 
grand-nephew in ordaining the famous divine and peacemaker 
to his first charge at Newbattle were Andrew Cant, his im- 
mediate predecessor in the cure, who had been called to Aber- 
deen ; Oliver Colt, of Inveresk, the founder of the Colt family, 
which gives its name still to Coltness, and of whom it is related 
that when complaining of the heaviness of his charge at Mus- 



selburgh, Leighton, with his quaint wit, said, " It is too 
much to lay upon a colt." To which the Inveresk divine 
replied, " To the minister of Newbattle it would be a light 
'un." Hew Campbell, William Calderwood, Patrick Sibbald, 
J. Gillies, Adam and Gideon Penman, Robert Couper; and for 
elders, James Porteous, elder at Newbattle, and ancestor of 
the famous Bishop Beilby Porteous, of London, who wrote 
the " Christian Evidences," and who, with three others, pre- 
sented the four ancient Communion cups still in use in New- 
battle Parish Church, of solid virgin-silver, hammer-beaten. 
Other elders present were Alexander and James Rotson and 
John Logan, and the ordination took place in the old church, 
beneath which, at a later day, for some two months the remains 
of the beheaded Argyll were kept, prior to their removal to 
the family burial-place at Kilmun, under the protecting care 
of the Earl of Lothian, whose sympathies with the Covenanting 
cause were shown by his signing the Solemn League and Cove- 
nant, an original copy of which still hangs in Newbattle House. 

John Knox's great-grand-nephew, minister of Carrington, 
thus took the leading part on that gloomy December day, which 
the Christian Calendar marks with " O Sapientia," in the 
ordination of one whose wisdom, learning, and spirituality are 
the admiration of all branches of the Christian Church. 

In the course of events this John Knox became frail, 
and his son, John, was appointed his colleague and successor 
in the pastorate of the sweet village by the Esk, called then 
Carrington or Kerington, though also by the softer and more 
poetic name of Primrose, thus connecting it with the House 
of Rosebery, the old family residence of which lies close by, 
surrounded by its great old trees, and within hearing of the 
plash of the great reservoirs which refresh the capital of Scot- 

The ministerial descendants of Mr William Knox, the first 
Reformed minister of Cockpen, were legion ; but it is inters 
esting to note these four generations which served first in the 
ancient chapel of Cockpen, now standing in ruins, covered 
with masses of ivy, and sheltering the marble obelisk which 
rises over the greatest Viceroy of India who ever lived, the 
Marquess of Dalhousie, and the two last in the peaceful hamlet 
of Carrington, where the early primroses to-day speak of the 
sweetness and appropriateness of its ancient name. 



ON the 1 6th of December, 1641, a memorable event 
took place in Newbattle, memorable both for the 
parish, the country, and Christendom at large. On 
the afternoon of that day, within the walls of the 
older Newbattle Church, now inside the Marquisial 
grounds, the ruins of which are now used as a vault, Robert 
Leighton was ordained to the holy ministry of the Church of 
Scotland, and to the pastorate of Newbattle parish. That old 
church was built of the stones of the demolished Abbey; and 
when it, in turn, fell into decay, or proved too small for the 
parish, the stones were carted away a second time, in 1727, 
and built up again into the present Parish Church, the older 
portions of which are all composed of the ancient monastery 
stones ; and on some of these, especially in the steeple, carvings 
and figures may still be traced. 

We may therefore very well hold these stones dear, when 
they have such a memorable history behind them ; and to the 
old question of Israel, "What mean ye by these stones?" 
we can reply by telling the story of their fates and fortunes, 
and how, to successive generations for 700 years, they have 
been like the stones which Jacob raised at the place where he 
saw the vision of angels, witnesses to and of the near presence 
of God Almighty. They bear the marks of where the ends 
of the heavenly ladder rested ; to many they have been the 
pillars of the gate of Paradise, through which, in spirit, they 
have passed into the world unseen. " Behold a ladder set 
up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven ; and 
behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 
And, behold, the Lord God stood above it. And Jacob called 
the name of the place Bethel, God's house !" Sacred is the 
place where the stumbling soul of man climbs up to the Father 
above, and, above all, where the Father above condescends 


to meet His children below. I cannot understand any truly 
religious man not having a deep and sacred affection and awe 
for the visible courts of God's House. " Her saints take 
pleasure in her stones : Lord I have loved the habitation of Thy 
house, and the place where Thine honour dwelleth !" 

While, therefore, we do not worship in the same church 
as that in which Leighton ministered, nor in that oldest sanctu- 
ary of all, where, for 500 years, the lights of devotion burned 
with remarkable clearness ; still we can call the stones and walls 
of our present sanctuary to witness that they have heard 
Leighton's voice, and looked down on the solemn and ornate 
functions of the ancient Cistercian Abbey. 

The figure that received ordination on that dark December 
afternoon, more than seven generations ago, was small, frail, 
slight, and insignificant. The face bore evidences of care 
and anxiety, though its owner was only thirty years of age. 
A word about his previous history. His father, a medical 
doctor, who lived at the beginning of these troublous times when 
Episcopacy and Presbytery fought between themselves for 
supremacy, had his ears cut off and his nose slit for writing a 
controversial book, entitled "Zion's Plea against Prelacy," in 
which he used language of terrible severity against the bishops 
who then ruled the Church of Scotland. Further punishment 
followed, for he was thrown into prison, and was not released 
till the year when his son was ordained at Newbattle (1641). 
The son might well look care-worn after such a terrible 
domestic trial. 

Robert was born in London in 1611, and though the family 
was Scotch, he was reared in England. But at the age of six- 
teen he was sent home to Scotland and enrolled as a student in 
Edinburgh University. While at Edinburgh College, which 
had not been very long founded, and of which he was after- 
wards to be Principal, he got into trouble, which he explains 
in the following letter written to his father : 

It is addressed "To my kind and loving father, Mr Alexander 
Leighton, Dr of Medecine, at his house on the top of Pudle 
Hill, beside the Blacke Friars Gate, near the Kinges Wardrobe 
there, London : 
" Sir, 

" The buisnes that fell out with me, which I cannot without 
sorrow relate that such a thing should have fallen out, yet having 
some hope to repe good out of it as yow exhort me it, I say, was 
thus. There was a fight betweene our Classe and the Semies, which 
made the Provost to restraine us from the play a good while ; the boyes 



upon that made some verses, one or two in every classe, mocking the 
Provost's red nose. I, sitting beside my Lord Borundell and the Earl 
of Ha[dington's] son, speaking about these verses which the boyes had 
made, spoke a thing in prose concerning his nose, not out of spite 
for wanting the play, neither having taken notice of his nose, but 
out of their report, for I never saw [him] before but once, neither 
thought I him to be a man of great state. This I spoke of his name, 
and presently, upon their request, turned it into a verse thus : 

' That which his name importes is falsely sad, His name is 

That of the oken wood his head is made, Okenhead. 

For why, if it had bein composed so, 
His flaming nose had fir'd it long ago.' 

"The Verses of Apology not onely for myself e but for the rest 
yow have in that paper. I hope the Lord shal bring good out of it 
to me. As for the Primare and Regents, to say the trueth, they 
thought it not so hainous a thing as I my selfe did justly thinke it. 
Pray for me as I know you doe, that the Lord may keepe me from 
like f als ; if I have either Christianity or naturality, it will not suffer 
me to forget yow, but as I am able to remember yow still to God ; and 
to endeavour that my wayes greive not God and yow my deare 
Parentes, the desire of my heart is to be as litle chargeable as may 
be. Now desireing the Lord to keepe yow, I rest, ever endeavouring 
to be, 

"Your obedient Son, 


" I pray yow, Sir, remember my humble duety to my mother, my 
loving brethren and sisters : remember my duety to all my friendes. 
EDENBROUGH, May 6, 1628.", 

He passed thence to the Continent, where he spent ten 
years, and there he received the impulse that guided his whole 
after-life. While in France he came into close contact with 
the Jansenists and the great leaders of the religious movement 
known as Quietism, the chief idea of which was that religion 
should bring about peace and quiet in the soul : the essence 
of Christianity is a quiet inner life. Quietism was then only 
in its infancy, but a few years after Leighton left the Con- 
tinent it came to a climax, when Madame Guyon, the greatest 
of the Quietists within the Church of Rome after Archbishop 
Pension, was thrown into the Bastille in Paris, and allowed 
to languish' there in solitude, as she wrote herself while in 

jail : 

"A little bird I am 
Shut out from fields of air ; 
But in my cage I sit and sing 
To Him who placed me there; 
Well-pleased a prisoner to be ; 
Well-pleased because it pleases Thee !" 

Leighton caught the calm, peaceful, elevated spirit, which 
possessed him all through life, as the per fume- incense possesses 
the violet, from these good people. He carried it with him 
untainted in an age of fierce controversy and most unchristian 


temper ; when there was much talk and warring about religion, 
but very little real, practical religion; when people seemed 
to lay more stress on pure Christianity than applied Chris- 
tianity. When almost everyone else on both sides chose as his 
crest the thistle or the briar, or some other of the offensive tribe, 
Leighton carried the white flower of peace and love, and a 
blameless life. 

It was from these early Quietists that he learned how to 
possess his soul in patience, and to have his spirit kept in 
perfect peace. " In quietness and confidence shall be your 
strength !" His life-principle is summed up in the lines by 
Madame Guyon, who has been already quoted, and who, 
though a Roman Catholic, held the same deep principle of 
faith : 

" Yield to the Lord with simple heart 
All that thou hast and all thou art ; 
Renounce all strength but strength divine, 
And peace shall be for ever thine. 

" Confess Him righteous in His just decrees, 
Love what He loves, and let his pleasures please ; 
Die daily : from the touch of sin recede; 
Then thou hast crowned Him, and He reigns indeed !" 

In 1641 Robert Leighton returned from Paris and was 
at once ordained to Newbattle, where he remained for eleven 
years. The present manse is where he lived, and was built 
in 1625, and bears the weather-beaten inscription, " Evangelic 
et posteris," " For the Gospel and Posterity." 

Extract from the Records of the Presbytery of Dalkeith : 

"Dec. 2, 1641. Compeared ye parishioners of Newbottle and 
testified their accepting Mr Robert Lichtoune to be their minister." 

"Dec. 7, 1641. Returned Mr Robert Lichtoune his two theses 
[i.e. trial sermons] : endorsed. Compeared ye parishioners of New- 
bottle and accepted." 

" Dec. 16. Admission Mr Robert Lichtoune. Whilk day (being 
appointed for ye admission of Mr Robt. Lichtoune) preached Mr 
Johne Knox : Hebrews 13. 17. Whilk day after sermon, Mr Johne 
Knox put to Mr R. Lichtoune and ye parishioners of Newbottle, 
sundry questions, competent to ye occasion, and after imposition of 
hands and ye solemne prayer, was admitted minister at Newbottle. 
Absent Mr James Porteous, elder. Mr Robt. Rodger to intimate on 
Sunday next ye translation." 

The following list of some of the ministers of Dalkeith 
Presbytery while Leighton was at Newbattle has been gathered 
together out of the dim and faded pages of the Presbytery 
Records, written in curious twisted hands, and the ink faded 
away with two-and-a-half centuries of age : 



Rev. Andro Cant. 

Rev. Oliver Colt (Inveresk). 

Rev. Hew Campbell. 

Rev. John Knox. 

Rev. Wm. Calderwood. 

Rev. Patrick Sibbald. 

Rev. J. Gillies (previously Bishop, Lasswade). 

Revs. Adam and Gideon Penman ; Mr Robt. Couper ; Mr James 
Porteous, elder at Newbattle ; Alexander Rotson ; John Logan ; James 
and Alexander Rotson, elders. 

He carried out in his ministry there those deep principles 
of love and peace which had been instilled into him abroad, 
and which are the two great fruits of the Spirit. For eleven 
years, from the very pulpit which is still in regular use (made 
of dark oak beautifully carved), those principles were earnestly 
and eloquently preached. A distinguished critic of to-day 
says that, of all the sermons of the period, alike Covenanting 
and Episcopal, his are the only ones which will bear reading, 
and which are still true and useful. He was a man " born 
out of due time." He lived before his age. While nothing 
whatever was heard in the Church and society but the battle- 
cry and the shouts of parties and sects which delighted in war, 
he sent forth from his peaceful retreat his peaceful and moder- 
ate advices to the Church of the land, advices which, if they 
had been taken to heart sooner (as they are at last being taken 
now), it would have fared better with all concerned. 

While in Newbattle he wrote several of his great religious 
works, his " Exposition of St. Peter " and his theological 
and other treatises, all of which are of the first value to the 
scholar and divine even yet. You cannot take up any collection 
of religious sayings and maxims, any modern devotional 
manual, any guide to heaven, without seeing Leighton's name 
occurring over and over again with far greater frequency than 
any other, ancient or modern. Most of these thoughts were 
matured amid the beautiful surroundings of Newbattle. A 
contemporary of his, writing a few years before his death, 
says of his preaching: "There was a majesty and beauty 
in it that left so deep an impression that I cannot yet forget 
the sermons I heard him preach thirty years ago " (Arch- 
bishop Burnet). He brought similes from the wide domain 
of his reading, of nature, and of life, he knew not only 
what was in Scripture but what was in man. But the grand 
spring of his life was peace. He may very well be called 
"Scotland's Apostle of Peace!" and he well deserves the 



eulogy of Professor Flint and Principal Tulloch, that " he 
was the greatest saint Scotland has had since the Reforma- 

Here is a description of this wonderful man from the 
pen of a great living poet : 

" A frail slight form, no temple he, 
Grand, for abode of Deity : 
Rather a bush, inflamed with grace, 
And trembling in a desert-place; 
And unconsum'd with fire, 
Tho' burning higher and higher. 

" A frail slight form, and pale with care, 
And paler from the raven hair, 
That, folded from a forehead free, 
Godlike, of breadth and majesty; 
A brow of thought supreme 
And mystic glorious dream ! 

" Beautiful spirit ! fallen, alas ! 
On times when little beauty was ; 
Still seeking peace amidst the strife, 
Still working, weary of thy life ; 
Toiling in holy love, 
Panting for heaven above. 

" For none so lone on earth as he 
Whose way of thought is high and free, 
Beyond the mist, beyond the cloud, 
Beyond the clamour of the crowd ; 
Moving where Jesus trod, 
In the lone Walk with God !" 

He has left us, in a note, the principle of his ministerial 
life here : " The Sunday's sermon lasts but an hour or 
two, but holiness of life is a continued sermon all the week 
long." " I had as lief be a martyr for Love's sake as for 

During the last few years of his ministry here, the very 
strong Covenanting section in the Church of Scotland, who 
were instigated by the English Puritans, headed by Cromwell, 
who held and said that Presbytery was " of divine right," 
and that Episcopacy and all other forms of Church govern- 
ment were of the devil, devilish, and who, to illustrate the 
strength of their convictions, beheaded King Charles, this 
ultra- Presbyterian party, which really was as exclusive and 
absurd as modern Ultramontanism, had grown the dominant 
party, and had over-ridden the more moderate and sensible 
men, who held with Leighton that " the best Church govern- 
ment is that which is best administered," in a word, the 
principle of the Church of Scotland to-day, that no form 
L (161) 


of church government is of divine right, but that that is best 
and most divine which in practice is found to be most work- 
able and beneficial. 

Leighton hated the narrowness of the Puritans on the 
one side, and on the other, and just as much, the intolerance 
of the Episcopalian party. He held that both forms of gov- 
ernment had proved themselves good and useful, but he denied 
point-blank that any one of them was more divine than the 
other. God's Spirit would not, he said, be dictated to; you 
cannot say to it, " Flow here, but do not flow there !" As 
to that Spirit, he held Christ's doctrine as given by St. John 
the divine, whom he so much resembled, that " thou canst 
not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth !" 

But in 1653 the English Puritan party had got so strong 
within the Church, and were so quickly and utterly destroying 
all our grand old Scottish traditions, bringing in Cromwell's 
crude off-hand ideas and phantasies as to doctrine and ritual, 
that Leighton was glad to retire from the ministry : and so 
he left Newbattle in that year, giving as a reason " the weak- 
ness of his voice " ; but the other was the real reason. And so 
he was appointed Principal of the University of Edinburgh, 
a post which he held for eight years. 

In December, 1661, Charles II. tried to force Episcopacy 
on Scotland, and sent for four Scottish ministers, Sharp, 
Hamilton, Fairfowl, and Leighton ; and these having gone 
up to London, were consecrated bishops for the northern king- 
dom in Westminster Abbey. The conception of the whole thing 
was bad, and the execution worse. Principal Robert Leighton 
resigned his University honours, and was appointed Bishop of 
Dunblane. While he never objected to Episcopacy in itself, 
he did not like the intolerance of his co-bishops, especially 
Sharp; and he showed unmistakable signs of vacillation. But 
he remained as Bishop of Dunblane for ten years, doing 
splendid service for Christianity, and still continuing to act 
as the Apostle of Peace to poor, troubled Scotland. The 
ancient Cathedral of Dunblane is still redolent of his memory, 
and the " good Bishop's walk " is still pointed out where, on 
the riverside, he continued those sublime and beautiful medita- 
tions, begun many years before in Newbattle. His Episcopal 
library is still in existence in Dunblane, and the books are 
all covered over, as I have seen, with his notes and markings. 



That noble Cathedral was restored by Mrs Wallace of Glas- 
singal and by the public; it is a noble monument to the 
man who is its greatest memory and ornament : its restor- 
ation is a hopeful augury of the restoration of " whatsoever 
things are peaceable" in the Scottish State- Ecclesiastic. 

From Dunblane he was translated in 1671 to Glasgow, 
where he was made Archbishop. He laboured in Glasgow 
as the highest dignitary of the Church, along with the Arch- 
bishop of St. Andrews, for three years; and then, in 1674, 
he gave up his charge and retired into private life, wishing 
to end his days in peace ! Though he had in all states kept 
a soul unruffled, and a spirit absolutely untainted with malice 
or bitterness or pride, he had passed through a troubled age, 
the mad .whirl and dim confusion of ecclesiastical strife, 
which is the worst of all, the Covenanting struggle, the Epis- 
copal riots, the universal unrest and bigotry and bitterness of 
the Scottish dark ages ; and his one remaining desire and 
modest wish was that " at eventide there might be light," 
that after life's long day of storm and tempest, the sunset 
glories might appear stretched out in peace and calm and still- 
ness. He left Scotland for ever, and retired to the home of 
his only sister at Broadhurst, in Sussex, where he passed ten 
years of well-earned repose, looking back upon a life of aston- 
ishing vicissitudes, and amid beautiful natural surroundings, 
which must have reminded him very much of his earliest pas- 
toral charge on the oak-clad banks of the Esk. 

He had long expressed a great desire that he should end 
his days in a wayside inn; " it looked," he said often, " like 
a pilgrim going home, to whom this world was all as an inn, 
and who was weary of the noise and confusion in it ! " He 
got his wish ; for, going on a visit to London in June, 1684, 
alone, he suddenly took ill by night in the Bell Inn, Warwick 
Lane, and died during his sleep on the night of the 25th. 

The half-finished dome of the new St. Paul's Cathedral, 
built by a tax on coal, which Leighton would associate 
with his old parish, rose above the old inn from which his 
gentle spirit passed. By a strange and many-sided providence, 
he was born and consecrated and died in London, which, 
as he himself had passed through fire and worry and harsh- 
ness, had only just emerged from the great plague, the great 
fire, and the great frost. 



His biographer relates the circumstances of his decease, 
which are very pathetic. " He often used to say that if he 
were to choose a place to die in, it would be an inn. It looked 
like a pilgrim going home, to whom this world was all as an 
inn, and who was weary of the noise and confusion in it. 
He added that the officious tenderness and care of friends 
was an entanglement to a dying man, and that the unconcerned 
attendance of those that could be procured in such a place 
would give less disturbance. And he obtained what he desired, 
for he died at the Bell Inn in Warwick Lane, London." An- 
other of his biographers writes : " Such a life, we may easily 
persuade ourselves, must make the thought of death not only 
tolerable, but desirable. Accordingly it had this noble effect 
on him. In a paper left under his own hand (since lost) he 
bespeaks that day in a most glorious and triumphant manner ; 
his expressions seem rapturous and ecstatic, as though his 
wishes and desires had anticipated the real and solemn cele- 
bration of his nuptials with the Lamb of God. He sometimes 
expressed his desire of not being troublesome to his friends at 
his death ; and God gratified to the full his modest, humble 
desire, for he died at an inn in his sleep. So kind and con- 
descending a Master do we serve, who not only enriches the 
souls of His faithful servants with His treasures, but often 
indulges them in lesser matters and giveth to His beloved even 
in their sleep." 

It was a peaceful ending to a peaceful life; but what 
was the peace of earth, which he had tried so hard to bring 
about, or even the peace of death, which comes sooner or later 
to hush up all strifes and lay low all combatants, to that 
peace of heaven on which he has entered long long ago, " the 
peace which passeth all understanding?" 

In connection with the residence of Leigh ton at Broad- 
hurst, the accompanying letter from the present rector of 
Horsted Keynes, where the good Bishop lies buried, is inter- 
esting : 

" Horsted Keynes Rectory, 

" East Gr instead. 

" I write on behalf of my father to enclose the inscription on 
the outside wall of our church, as also the inscription on the modern 
tomb erected in the churchyard. I believe Archbishop Leighton's 
remains were originally inside the church, but the church was altered, 
and then, I suppose, the inscription was inserted in the outer wall 
as now to be seen. There is a curious old farmhouse about one mile 
from the church where the Archbishop spent the last ten years of his 



life with his sister, Mrs Lightmaker, and it is said he preached his 
last sermon in our church, but I don't think the original pulpit exists. 
He died at an inn in London, though he left Horsted Keynes in his 
usual health, I believe ; but, as perhaps you know from his life, he 
had always wished to die at an inn. He laid great stress on regular 
attendance at church, especially if wet, for fear he might seem to 
countenance the habit of letting trifles hinder attendance at God's 
house. We have the diary of Giles Moore, rector here at the time, 
but he does not mention the Archbishop ! 


The following are the inscriptions on the ancient monument 

beneath the crest : 



Archiepiscofi glasguensis 

A-pud scotas 

Qui obiit xxv.; die Junij 

Anno dmj 1684 

Etatis suce 74. 

On the modern monument are these words : " Here rest 
the remains of Robert Leighton, Bishop of Dunblane, after- 
wards Archbishop of Glasgow. In an age of religious strife he 
adorned the doctrine of God his Saviour by a holy life, and by 
the meek and loving spirit which breathes throughout his writ- 
ings. He spent in this parish the latter years of his life in 
devout preparation for his heavenly rest. Born 1611, died 
1684. This memorial was placed here 1857." 

Some years ago the writer paid a visit to the Bell Inn, 
Warwick Lane, London, where Robert Leighton died, and had 
an interesting conversation with the tenant of No. 35 Warwick 
Lane, which is next door to the old "Bell," now pulled down. 
He was a Perthshire man, past the prime of life, and seemed 
to cherish very warmly the memory of the great Scotsman who 
died in so affecting a manner just at his door two hundred years 
ago. In Hare's "Walks about London," the old "Bell" is re- 
ferred to, and its connection with Leighton. " There is still/' 
wrote the Rev. Dr Stoughton, the famous preacher, some years 
ago, ' ' in the narrow thoroughfare called Warwick Lane, return- 
ing out of Newgate Street, an old inn bearing the sign of ' The 
Bell.' The writer never passes it without thinking of Leigh- 
ton; for there he died." It was with a strange feeling that I 
stood on the very spot where he breathed his last, hundreds 
of miles away from his quiet pastorate on the banks of the 
Esk. Mr Murray, who keeps a baker's shop in that narrow 
wynd, gave me a number of very interesting particulars. The 



"Bell Inn" was, in 1851, when he knew it first, exactly as 
it had been since the sixteenth century ; in this state it remained 
till 1878, when it was pulled down. A massive gateway led 
from Warwick Lane, under the shadow of St. Paul's Cathe- 
dral, and opposite " Amen Court," the time-honoured resi- 
dence of the canons and clergy of St. Paul's, into a court 
where the " Bell " stood, with its quaint old sign. It was 
surrounded by the booths of butchers, and Mr Murray and 
several other inhabitants of the place with whom I conversed, 
remember seeing joints of meat hanging in great quantities all 
round it. It was for several centuries the great inn for car- 
riers from the country, and for country people generally ; and 
hence Leighton, coming up from Broadhurst in Sussex, put 
up there, partly because it was the great country people's inn, 
and partly because it was within the precincts of the Cathedral, 
and near the ecclesiastical residences. The rooms of the inn 
were very small and exceedingly dark; the staircases were very 
wide, and had thick wooden banisters; there were large bal- 
conies outside. When Leighton visited London the present 
Cathedral of St. Paul's was just building, and he had only 
to go to the end of the alley to see the sheds and blocks 
and rubbish, and the half-built dome. The old people in the 
neighbourhood still cherish the associations of the great Scottish 
divine whose spirit passed away from out of the midst of 
the tumult and bustle of busy London into the calm and still- 
ness of the heavenly rest. " I endeavoured," Mr Murray 
writes me, " to find out which room he died in, but it is 
not known." The site of the inn is now a spacious yard for 
lorries and vans. Mr Murray appends to these interesting 
details a verse from the poet Shenstone, which was suggested 
to his mind, and which is scratched on a pane of glass in 
the old Red Lion Inn at Henley, a sentiment beautifully 
enlarged upon by Washington Irving : 

" Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round, 

Where'er his wanderings may have been, 
Will sigh to think he still has found 
His warmest welcome at an inn." 

Many incidents are still floating regarding Leighton's life 
and ministry at Newbattle. When charged by the Dalkeith 
Presbytery with not " preaching to the times " (meaning 
" preaching controversy "), he replied that " when so many 
were busy preaching to the times, surely one poor brother might 



be allowed to preach for eternity." In the old days, travellers 
passing by night through " the Path," the glen reaching up 
from Newbattle village to Newtongrange, always stopped in 
the middle of the darkness and repeated the Lord's Prayer, 
probably a remnant of Leighton's influence and practice. Two 
instances of his dry humour may be given. When Bishop of 
Dunblane, a lady called upon him, and, with great earnest- 
ness, said she had a special message to deliver to him, and 
declared that in a vision she had seen him pointed out as her 
future husband. The pale little prelate, whom nature de- 
signed to be what the Highland divinity student called " a 
chalybeate," was rather taken aback at the " too suddenness " 
of the revelation. Very shortly after, however, he regained 
composure, and said that, after giving the matter prayerful 
consideration, he thought that their best plan was unitedly 
to wait until a similar vision had been vouchsafed to him. 
The angel, however, seemed to tarry in making the second 
revelation, and Leighton lived and died a mere man and a 
storm-tossed bachelor. 

When Colt was minister of Inveresk he complained to 
Leighton of his heavy charge, and jokingly added that to the 
minister of Newbattle it would be a " light J un." The motto 
of the family was " Light on," and the emblem a blazing 
torch. It was curious that he should have been the minister 
and close friend of the Earl of Lothian, whose crest was " the 
rising sun." 

After his retirement to Sussex, sick of the controversies 
and persecutions which were then making Scotland a veritable 
battlefield, he lived with his sister at Broadhurst, and made 
it his duty to attend the Parish Church regularly, especially 
on wet days, as an example. The diary of the rector, Mr 
Giles, is still extant, but contains no reference to Leighton, 
who is buried inside the Parish Church of Horsted Keynes, 
two monuments recording the fact. His sister was a Martha 
in Israel, and had a large family. On one occasion, losing 
patience with her peaceful and meditative brother, she rather 
warmly twitted him on being a bachelor, and that it was easy 
to be holy and saintly with no family cares ; to which jibe the 
good man calmly replied that it was quite the reverse, for in 
Genesis v., 22, it is recorded that " Enoch walked with God 
and begat sons and daughters," a reply which i^ut the saddle 
on the other horse. 



On one occasion at Dunblane, his man-servant left early 
in the morning for a day's fishing in the Allan Water, and 
locked his master in the house. On his return, all that the 
peaceable prelate could bring himself to say was, " John, 
when you next go a-fishing, remember to leave the key in the 

Leighton's doctrine may be summed up in his own 



Question i. What is naturally man's chief desire? 

Answer. To be happy. 

Q. 2. Which is the way to true happiness? 

A. True Religion. 

Q. 3. What is true religion? 

A. The true and lively knowledge of the only true God, and of 
him whom he hath sent, Jesus Christ. 

Q. 4. Whence is this knowledge to be learned? 

A. All the works of God declare his being and his glory; but 
clearer knowledge of himself and of his Son, Jesus Christ, is to be 
learned from his own word, contained in the Holy Scriptures of the 
Old and New Testament. 

Q. 5. What do those Scriptures teach us concerning God? 

A. That he is one infinite, eternal Spirit, most wise and holy, and 
just and merciful, and the all powerful Maker and Ruler of the world. 

Q. 6. What do they further teach us concerning God? 

A. That he is three in one, and one in three, the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 7. What will that lively knowledge of God effectually work 
in us? 

A. It will cause us to believe in him, and to love him above all 
things, even above ourselves ; to adore and worship him, to pray to 
him, and to praise him and exalt him with all our might, and to yield 
up ourselves to the obedience of his commandments, as having both 
made us, and made himself known to us for that very end. 

Q. 8. Rehearse then the articles of our belief. 


Q. 9. Rehearse the ten commandments of the law, which are the 
rule of our obedience, and so the trial of our love. 

Q. 10. What is the summary our Saviour hath given us of this 

A. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thy- 

Q. ii. What is the effectual means of obtaining increase of faith 
and power to obey, and generally all graces and blessings at the hand 
of God ? 

A. Prayer. 

Q. 12. Rehearse that most excellent and perfect prayer that our 
Saviour hath taught us. 


(?. 13. In what estate was man created? 

A. After the image of God, in holiness and righteousness. 

Q. 14. Did he continue in that estate? 

A. No; but by breaking the commandment which his Maker 
gave him, eating of the fruit of that tree which was forbidden him, 
he made himself and his whole posterity subject to sin and death. 



Q. 15. Hath God left man in this misery without all means and 
hopes of recovery? 

A. No ; for " he so loved the world that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have 
everlasting life." 

Q. 1 6. What then is the great doctrine of the Gospel? 

A. That same coming of the Son of God in the flesh, and giving 
himself to the death of the cross to take away the sin of the world, 
and his rising again from the dead, and ascending into glory. 

Q. 17. What doth that Gospel mainly teach and really persuade 
all the followers of it to do? 

A. It teacheth them to deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts, 
and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world." 

Q. 18. How hath our Lord Jesus himself expressed the great 
and necessary duty of all his disciples? 

A. That they deny themselves, and take up their cross and follow 

Q. 19. Rehearse then some of the chief points wherein we are 
to follow our Lord Jesus Christ? 

A. I. To surrender ourselves wholly to our heavenly Father, and 
his good pleasure in all things, even in the sharpest afflictions and 
sufferings, and not at all to do our own will, or design our own praise 
and advantage, but in all things to do his will, and intend his glory. 

II. To be spotless, and chaste and holy in our whole conversation. 

III. To be meek and lowly, not to slander or reproach, to mock 
or despise any ; and if any do so to us, to bear it patiently, yea, to 
rejoice in it. 

IV. Unfeignedly to love our Christian brethren, and to be char- 
itably and kindly affected toward all men, even to our enemies, for- 
giving them, yea, and praying for them, and returning them good for 
evil ; to comfort the afflicted, and relieve the poor, and to do good to 
all as we are able. 

Q. 20. Is it necessary that all Christians live according to these 
rules ? 

A. So absolutely necessary that they who do not in some good 
measure, whatsoever they profess, do not really believe in Jesus Christ, 
nor have any portion in him. 


Q. 21. What visible seals hath our Saviour annexed to that 
Gospel, to confirm our faith, and to convey the grace of it to us? 

A. The two sacraments of the New Testament Baptism and the 
Lord's Supper. 

Q. 22. What doth baptism signify and seal? 

A. Our washing from sin, and our new birth in Jesus Christ. 

Q. 23. What doth the Lord's Supper signify and seal? 

A. Our spiritual nourishment and growth in him, and trans- 
forming us more and more into his likeness, by commemorating his 
death, and feeding on his body and blood under the figures of bread 
and wine. 

Q. 24. What is required to make fit and worthy communicants of 
the Lord's Supper? 

A. Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and repentance towards God, 
and charity towards all men. 

Q. 25. What is faith in our Lord Jesus? 

A. It is the grace by which we both believe his whole doctrine,, 
and trust in him as the Redeemer and Saviour of the world, and 
entirely deliver up ourselves to him, to be taught and ruled by him 
as our Prophet, Priest, and King 



Q. 26. What is repentance? 

A. It is a godly sorrow for sin, and a hearty and real turning 
from all sin unto God. 

Q. 27. What is the final portion of unbelieving and unrepentant 
sinners ? 

A. The everlasting torment of devils. 

Q. 28. What is the final portion of them that truly repent and 
believe, and obey the gospel? 

A. The blessed life of angels, in the vision of God for ever. 


Q. Whereas you were in your infancy baptised into the name of 
Jesus Christ, do you now, upon distinct knowledge, and with firm and 
pious affection, own that Christian faith of which you have given an 
account, and withal your baptismal vow of renouncing the service of 
Satan, and the world, and the lusts of the fiesh, and of devoting your- 
self to God in all holiness of life? 

A. I do sincerely and heartily declare my belief of that faith, 
and own my engagement to that holy vow, and resolve, by the assist- 
ance of God's grace, to continue in the careful observance of it all 
my days. 

Rather than dwell on the details of Leighton's Newbattle 
life, I purpose to quote the various references in the Pres- 
bytery, Synod, and Kirk-Session books to his ministry. 




The National Covenant signed in August 1639 by Mr Andrew 
Cant, Newbottle, and other ministers in the Presbytery of Dalkeith, 
by the Earls of Lothian and Dalhousie, Thomas Megot of Maisterton, 
and other ruling Elders and several Expectants, in all about 100 per- 
sons, is preserved in the volume of Records, 1639-1652. 

1639, Oct. 10. Mr Andrew Cant (and others absent), are excused, 
being appointed by the Synode to attend with the rest of the brether 
in Edinburgh during the Parliament. 


Dec. 3. Quhilk day the Presbyterie of Aberdeen sent be Mr 
William More ane letter desyring the bretheren to dimit freelie Mr 
Androw Cant to the vacant kirk of Aberdein, conform to the act of 
transport given by the late General Assemblie holden theire ; to the 
quhilk the brether returned thair an^uer and mynd be theire missive 
letter sealed, and given in the said Mr William' his hands. 

Dec. 17. Quhilk day Mr Androw Cant exhibit ane letter written 
from the Armie desyring him to returne, quha requested the brether 
to supplie his place during his absence. They ordane the catalogue 
of the bretheren to goe on, and begin whair it left. 


March 25. This day Mr Andro Cant having returned from the 
Armie, thanked the Brether hartilie for suppleing his kirk in his 
absence, and desyred thaine to continnew till his returne from Aber- 
dein ; quhilk they accorded to. 


June 17. The Earle of Lauthian desyred the Presbyterie by letter 
to supplie the kirk of Newbotle for two or thrie Sondayes ; quhilk suit 
was granted. 

July 15. Mr Robert Lichtone appointed to adde, and to bring a 
testimoniall from Edinburgh the nixt day. 

July 22. Exercised Mr James Porteous younger, and Mr Robert 
Lichtone. Rom. ii., i, 2, 3. They approvin. 

Mr Robert Lichtone produced a testimoniall from the Presbyterie 
of Edinburgh. 

July 29. Exercised Mr Robert Lichtone and Mr R. Cowper. 
Rom. ii. 4. Doctrine approvin. 

Mr Robert Lichtone appointed to preach at Newbotle. 

Aug. 5. Reported Mr Robert Lichtone, that he had preached at 

Sept. 23. [Mark Cass or Carss] Cokpene produced, in name of the 
Erie of Lauthian, a presentation to Newbotle in favours of Mr ROBERT 
LICHTONE. Mr Robert Lichtone appointed to preach the next day. 
Math. xxv. i, 2. 

Se-pt. 30. Preached Mr Robert Lichtone, Math. xxv. i, 2, and 
approvin. He ordained to have the common heid De profagatione 

Oct. 28. Mr Robert Lichtone had the common heid De profa- 
gatione Peccati, and approvin. Ordained to susteine disputes the 
next day. 

Nov. n. Mr Robert Lichtone susteined disputes, and approvin. 
This day fyfteine dayes appointed the last dyet for his farther tryall. 

Nov. 25. Mr Robert Lichtone tryed in the languages, chronologic, 
and difficult places of Scripture. Approvin. 

Ordains ane edict to be served for Mr Robert Leightone at the 
kirk of Neubotle on Sonday nixt. 

Dec. 2. Reported Mr Robert Lichtone that his edict was served, 
and returned it indorsed. Compered the parochiners of Newbotle, 
and testified their accepting Mr Robert Lichtone to be their minister. 

Ordains a second edict to be served. 

Dec. 9. Returned Mr Robert Lichtone his second edict indorsed. 
Compered the parochiners of Neubotle, and accepted. 

Ordains the last edict to be served on Sonday next. 

The next Thursday appointed for his admissione. 

Mr Hew Campbell appointed to preach in Newbotle on Sonday 
next, and the moderator (Mr Jhone Knox) at Mr Robert's admissione. 
Ordains the clerk to write to Edinburgh and Hadintone for their con- 
currence to the said actione. 
Dec. 16. At Newbotle. 

Quhilk day (being appointed for the admission of Mr Robert 
Lichtone) preached Mr Jhone Knox, Heb. xiii. 17. Commissioners 
from Edinburgh, Mr Robert Dowglas, Mr Archbald Neutone ; from 
Hadentone, Mr Robert Ker, Mr Wil. Trent. 

Quhilk day, after sermon, Mr Johne Knox posed the said Mr 
Robert Lichtone and the parochiners of Newbotle with sundry ques- 
tions competent to the occasion. Mr Robert, with imposition of hands 
and solemn prayers, wes admitted Minister at Newbotle. 

Dec. 30. Quhilk day, the brethren subscryvit Mr Robert Lich- 
tone's collatione and took his oath of alledgiance, and that he hath 
maid no privat pactione to the prejudice of the Kirk. 


(Leighton often absent this year.) 

June 30. Lichton was one of the Commissioners to the General 
Assembly. In his turn, he made the usual exercise and addition 
before the Presbytery, on July 7 and 14, on Rom. vi. i, 4. 

Oct. 6. He and other two members ordained to speak to the Earl 
of Louthian about one James Ramsay, guilty of murther. 



The quhilk day, Mr Robert Lighten gave advertisement to the 
brethren that the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly was to meet 
the 1 8th of October. 


Feb. 2. Exercised Mr Robert Lichtoun, Rom. viii. 12, and 

Feb. 9. Becaus Mr Rot. Lichton was seik, appoynts Mr William 
Thomson to adde. 

Feb. 29. Mr Robert Lichtone ^being present) ordained to give 
James Ramsay the first admonition out of pulpit, according to the 
Book of Discipline. 

March g. Long minute about James Ramsay of Southsyde, 
charged with the murther of William Otterburne. Reported Mr 
Robert Lichtone that he had given the first admonition out of pulpit. 

March 16 and June i. Mr Robert Lighten absent. 

July 20. (He being present) Annabell Hall in Carrington con- 
fessed that siie had made a covenant with the Divell, and had received 
his mark and his name, and ratified whatsoever she had confessed to 
he/ own minister, in presence of the brethren ; whose confession the 
biethren subscyved, that it might be presented to the Counsell. 

July 27. Helen Ingliss in Carrington does the same. 

Sept. 7 and 14. Exercised Mr Robert Lighten. Rom. ix. 19-23. 


Feb. 8, 29, March 7 and 28. Mr Robert Lichton one of those ab- 
sent. On the 7th of March he had been ordered to supply Lasswade. 

April 4. Patrik Eleaz (Elice) of Plewlands gave in a bill to the 
brethren, wherein he desired them earnestlie to put him in possession 
of that seat in Newbotle Church quhilk belonged to the lands of Easter 
Southsyde, the quhilk lands he had now purchased. But because Mr 
Robert Lighten, the minister of the parish, was not present, the 
brethren would doe nothing in this businesse till Mr Robert was pre- 

April n. Patrik Eleaz and Alexander Lawsone wer desyred to 
be heir this day eight days to heare it decerned who had best right 
to the seate in Newbottle Church now in question. 

April 1 8. Reported Mr Oliver Colt, that the Commissioners of 
the General Assembly ordained that we should gee on in the processe 
against James Ramsay, manslayer, and cause summons him at the 
Corse oi Edenbrugh and peire of Leith, to compeir before us and 
answer his murther within threescor dayes. 

June 6 and 13. Exercised Mr Robert Lichton, Rom. xi. 26-32. 

July 18. Reported Mr Robert Lightone that he had preached in 

Aug. i. Compeired James Gibsone, of the parishe of Neubottle, 
supplicating theyr helpe in respect of the burning of his house. Refers 
him to the several kirks. 

Aug. 22. Mr Robert Lightone appointed to preach in Edinburgh 
at the Synode. 

Sept. 5. Reported the Commissioners that the Committee of the 
General Assemblie advysed them to continue all farther processing of 
James Ramsay till it be instructed that he is living. Mr Robert 
Lightone appointed to acquaint the partie perseuar to use diligence 

Sept. 12. No exercise this day because of Mr Robert Lighton's 
seiknes, who should have had the common heid. 

Sept. 26. Mr Robert Lighten had the common heid, De Christi 

Dec. 19. No addition becaus of Mr Robert Lighton's sickness, 
Mr Robert Carson ordered to mak, and Mr Robert Lighten to adde, 
if health permit. 




Jan 2 and 16. Exercised Mr Robert Lighten. Rom. xiii. 5-9. 

Jan. 16. Quhilk day, was presented ane Catalogue of books given 
by William, Erie of Lauthian, to be ane begining of a librarie to 
belong in all tyme comeing to the paroche kirk of Newbottle for the 
use of the Minister; which the Brethren thankfullie accepts for a 
good work and good example to uthers, and heartilie thanks his Lord- 

July 17. Mr Robert Lightoun appointed to adde. 

Oct. 2 and 9. Exercised Mr Robert Lichtoun. Rom. xv. 12-14. 


Feb. 19. Exercised Mr Robert Lichton. Rom. xvi. 20, 21. Ap- 

Feb. 26. Exercised Mr Robert Lichton. Rom. xvi. 23, 24, 25. 

May 29. Mr Robert Cowper, minister of Temple, being accused 
of excessive drinking : the brethren and ruling elders were severally 
desyret to informe themselves the best way they cane quhairin Mr 
Robert has miscariet himself in his calling and conversation. " Mr 
Robert Lichtoun declared that ther was an surmise of his scandalous 
drinking in the Stobhill upon an certain day. The brether desyret 
Mr Robert Lichton to try the verity thereof, and report the next day." 

June 18. Mr Robert Lichton appoynted to go ther (to Ormiston) 
the next day. 

June 24. Reported Mr Robert Lichton he had preached at Or- 

As for Mr Robert Lichton, to whom was recomendit the tryell of 
(Mr Robert Cowper) his drinking in Stobhill, reported, that he was 
informet that on an certaine day he wes drinking in ane Simeon Wil- 
son's in the Stobhill. 

July 2. Mr Robert Cowper objects to Sir James Dundas sitting 
as a judge. The most of the brethren thought he should not sit. 
" Wherewith he not being well pleaset, the brether sent forth Mr 
Oliver Colt and Mr Robert Lichton to deill with him, and requeist 
that he would not sit as an judge in that busines ; quhilk when he 
refuset, they desyret (he being callet in) that he would giv his oath 
that in his cariag in this particular he wes free of malice and splen, 
and had nothing before his eye bot the glory of God." 

July 16. The said day Mr Robert Lichton informet the bretherin, 
that ther wes an who informet him that ther wes an William Hoge 
and his wyf in Laswad, who would witnes against Mr Robert Cowper 
that he wes drunk, if they should be callit thereto. 

[These extracts refer to a long trial of Mr Robert Cowper, who 
is accused by Sir James Dundas of Arnoldston (Arniston) of excessive 
drinking. The depositions of the various witnesses are recorded, and 
Cowper is finally acquitted ; but having, on his acquittal, broken out 
into a violent invective against Sir James Dundas, he is suspended.] 

August 20 and 27. Exercised Mr Ro. Lichton, i Cor. iii. 1-4. 

Oct. i. In a dispute about the settlement of Borthwick, and the 
presentation in favour of Mr Alexander Wedderburn, between the 
heritors and presbytery, each party, "after long debate and confer- 
ence, nominate three candidates, viz., Mr Robert Lichton, Mr John 
Stirling, Mr Alexander Wedderburne for the heritors of Borthwick, 
Mr Alexander Verner, Mr David Lidle (Liddell), Mr William Clyd, 
were nominate by the presbitery." On the i5th Wedderburn de- 

Oct. 15. Mr Robert Couper "most humbly did supplicate the 
brethren of the pressbitery that he should be relaxit at this time from 
his suspension." It was the mynd of the wholl members of the pres- 
bitery and commissioners (from Edinburgh and Haddington, who had 


been summoned to advise and assent) except Mr Robert Lichton and 
the Laird of Arnolston, he be presently relaxet upon the humble ac- 
knowledgment of his offence (against) God and his brethren, and 
purging himself of all malice against the Lard of Arnolston. Quher- 
upon Mr Robert Lichton and Arnoldston desyret their voyces should 
be market as disassenters, in respect they thought it should be referret 
to the judgment of the Synode. 


Ormiston, Jan. 14. The said day ther was an act of the com- 
mission producet be the clerk, ordaining Mr James Robertson and 
Mr Robert Lichtoun to preach to the Parliament the 24 of Januar, 
and Mr Oliver Colt and Patrick Sibbald to preach the last of the 
said month ; quhilk they promisset to obey. 

Feb. 25. Exercised Mr Robert Carson, i Cor. vi. 12, 13, &c., and 
wes approvin. There wes no addition, because Mr Robert Lighten 
wes sent for by his Father, who was lying sick at Londoun. 

22 A-pril. The said day Mr James Fairly, moderator, delaitit one 
named Stephen Askine, who wes a known malignant, and wes in 
actuall service with James Graham, and had purchaset an testimoniall 
from the schollmaster of Newbotle, declaring that he wes an honest 
man, and that ther wes no blemish found in his conversation except 
that he had been with James Graham, for which he had satisfiet the 
kirk-session of Newbotle, and was absolvet this last Sabboth be Mr 
John Sinclair, who preachit ther for Mr Robert Lichton. 

May 13. Forasmuch as Mr James Aird was not lawfully sum- 
monded for giving a testimonial to Steven Askine, who was received 
for his complying with the rebels in the Church of Newbatle, con- 
trary to the Acts of the Generall Assembly, he was ordained to be 
summonded again the next day, with certification. 

May 20. Mr Robert Lightoune present. 

The which day, being called, compeared Mr James Aird, and 
declared that the Session of Newbotle, to which he was clerk, gave 
orders to him for the giving up the name of Steven Askine to Mr John 
Sinclair, who did occasionally preach there by the absence of Mr 
Robert Lightoune, for receiving his satisfaction for his compliance 
with the rebels ; and whereas he was received, not being first at the 
presbytery, Conform to the Act of the Generall Assembly, it was onely 
done b}' him out of ignorance. Wherefore he was admonished to be 
more circumspect afterward, and because the Session was concerned 
in that businesse, they ordained the elders thereof should be present 
the next day to declare themselves. 

May 27. (Steven Askine, who was a parishioner of Lasswade, 
compears in sackcloth.) 

June 3. The which day it was declared by Mr Robert Lightoune, 
in name of the elders of the Session of Newbotle, that whereas they 
ordained Steven Askine to satisfy for his compliance with the rebels, 
contrary to the Actis of the Generall Assembly, they did it out of 
ignorance of the said Actis. 

Sept. 16. The which day Mr Robert Lightoune made a reference 
to the presbytery, of a processe of adultery, from the session of New- 
battle, of John Howy and Katherine Alane, which they denied. 

(Long process and examination of witnesses and confronting of 

[From May 20, 1647, when the sederunts began to be entered in 
full, till March 23, 1648 (between which date and March 30 Leighton 
went to England) there were 41 meetings of presbytery" (several of 
them being merely visitations in distant parishes), at 29 of which I find 
Leighton was present. There were few more regular attenders.] 


Jan. 20. Mr Robert Leightone having given in Theses de 
Oratione atque Invocations Sanctorum, was appointed to handle that 
commonplace, the next Thursday. 



Jan. 27. The which day Mr Robert Leighton handled the com- 
monplace De Oratione atque Invocations Sanctorum, and was ap- 

March 16. This day came from the Commission of the General 
Assembly, 16 Declarations and ane Act, for the reading of them by 
every brother the next Sabboth. 

(This declaration evidently was connected with the " unlawfull 

March 30. Mr Robert Leightoun, who should have added, being 
absent in England for some necessary businesse, Mr Robert Alisonne 
appointed to adde the next day. 

April 6. This day, the brethren (being interrogated by the Mod- 
erator), (as also the two days before) declared that they had all read 
the Declaration themselves the first Sabboth after they got it. Onely 
Robert Porteous, the elder of Newbotle, declared that Mr Robert 
Leightoun had made the Precentor read it, and that because of the 
lownesse of his awne voice, which could not be heard thorow the 
whole kirk. The clerk was ordained to report this in writt to the 
Commission of the General Assembly. 

A-pril 27. Absents from the Synod, tried. Mr Robert Leightoun, 
because in England, could not give his excuse. 

At Edinburgh, in the New Church, May 3. The quhilk day, the 
bretheren and ruling-elders being removed quhill ther presbyteris 
book wes a trying, did mak choise of Mr James Robertsone and Mr 
Robert Lichtoun to preach to the Parliament Sunday come a moneth ; 
and in case Mr Robert Lichton his not home-coming, Mr Patrick 
Sibbald to supplie his place. 

June 15. The quhilk day, according to the ordinance of the Pro- 
vinciall Assembly, the moderator did demand Mr Robert Lichton 
i. Why he did not read the Declaration himself. 2. Why he went 
away to England without obtaining libertie from the Presbyterie, 
seein ther wes Acts of the Generall Assembly expresly prohibiting 
ministers to be absent from their charge thrie sabbothes togidder, 
under the paine of deposition, unlese they have obtainet libertie from 
ther Presbyterie. 

To the first he answered, That that Sabboth quhen the Declaration 
wes to be red, he wes so troubled with ane great defluction that he 
was (not) able to extend his voyce, and therfor was necessitat to do 
that farr, by his intention, bot it shall be helpet in tyme coming. 
To the 2d he ansueret 

1. That quhen he went away he intendit onlie to have been absent 
two or thrie Sabbothes at the most, and he humbly conceavet ther 
had bene no expresse Act why an minister might not have bene absent 
for that short space. Bot if ther be any such Act, he wes sorrie 
that he should have downe anything that might appeir contrarie to 

2. Hoc -posito he had remainit longer away than these few Sab- 
bothes togedder, he affirmed, that he did acquaint som of the brether 
with it, and desyret them to excuse him. 

3. Quhen he cam to York he found an busines of an neir friend's, 
bot non of his own, that necessitat him to go further and stay longer 
than he intendit. 

4. He no sooner came to York bot als sone he wrote an letter of 
excuse to the Brether, notwithstanding it did not come to ther hands 
befor his coming home. 

5. Quhen he came home he was surpryset with seikness, and was 
not able to come to the presbyterie for the space of 14 days. 

He being removit, and his excuses being considerit and they 
charitablie constructed, did appoynt him to be gravlie admonishit 
to amend; which was accordinglie done be the Moderator, after his 
incalling, and receavit by him humblie, and promisit be the grace of 
God to amend. 


June 22. The quhilk day, list being made for choising the com- 
missioners to the Generall Assemblie, Mr John Knox, Mr John Sin- 
clair, and Mr Robert Lichton wes choisen, and my Lord Borthwick 
rulling elder; which being intimat be the Moderatour to them, they 
did all accepe of the commission and gave ther oath of fidelitie, except 
Mr Robert Lichton, who gave these Reasones why he could not accept 
of the commission : 

1. Because he had an great charge. 

2. He had his people to examine. 

3. He wes bot shortlie come home from England. 

4. It was not long since he was commissioner to the Generall 

5. The great attendance of the commission : And therfor he could 
wish they would not insert his name in the commission. 

The forsaids reasons, after his removall, being consideret be the 
Brethren, and withal laying to heart the bad consequence that might 
follow upon his refusall or not accepting of the commission, being 
orderlie choisen, uthers might do the lyk, and so ther should be no 
Generall Assemblie if the allegit reasones of every commissioner 
should be accepted as relevant : And therefor they did adhere unto 
ther former voyces in choising of him commissioner, and desyret 
him to think upon it till the day 14 days, and then to be present and 
accepe upon oath as the rest. 

July 6. The quhilk day, the brethren and rulling elders that 
were present finding that Mr Robert Lichton was not ther to accepe 
the commission to the Generall Assembly ordainet his name to be 
expungit be the clerk out of the commission. 

Aug. 5. (Mr Robert Lichton present arrangement made for 
copying and reading the Declaration against the Engagement and two 
Acts of the Assembly.) 

August last. The quhilk day, Mr Robert Lichton wes poset, Why 
he did not come to the presbyterie that Thursday immediately preced- 
ing the sitting downe of the Generall (Assembly) and embracit his 
commission to the said Assemblie, conforme to the appoyntment of the 
Presbyterie. Ans. He was so troubled with an distillation that he 
was not able to come for the space of two or three days. 

Also being poset, Why he did not embrace the commission? Ans. 
He was conscious of his own weaknes for the managing of that 
busines, and could have wisht that they would construe it so. 

2. He declared that he wes very infirme, and feared that he should 
not have been able to have waited upon the sitting of the Generall 
Assembly. And withall he assured them, that if he had suspected 
that they would not have choisen another in his place, notwithstanding 
of all his weakness of bodie, yea, although it had tendit to the great 
prejudice of his health, he would have embraced it, for he resolvit 
never to be refractarye to anything which they commandit him, and 
he lookit they would think so of him. 

The forsaids reasons being ponderet be the Bretheren and found 
somwhat weak, they thought him censurable, but quhat his censure 
should be, they continued the same to the nixt Thursday that the com- 
missioners of the Generall Assemblie be present. 

Se-pt. 7. The quhilk day, the bretheren and ruling elders (after 
Mr Robert Lichton his removall) having divers tymes hard his reasons 
red be the clerk, and charitably consideret them, why he did not accepe 
of the commission to the General Assemblie the first day quhen he wes 
choisen, neither cam the second day conforme to the presbyteries 
ordinance, having gotten tyme to think upon it : And finding that 
it wes not disaffection unto the cause of Christ, neither out of any 
disrespect unto the ordinance of his bretheren, but judging it modestie 
in ther brother and infirmitie in bodie that movet him to it, did ordaine 
him gravly to be admonishit be the Moderator for his imprudent 



cariage, and to beware of the lyk in tyme coming : Which was accord- 
ingly downe, and wes modestly taken by him, and withall promiset 
be the grace of God to amend. 

Sept. 28 Nov. 2. (Mr Robert Whyt, expectant, charged with not 
being " weil myndit to the Covenant," and suspected of not praying in 
the Lugton family (where he seems to have been tutor) against the 
Engagement. He admitted he did not pray against the engagement, 
gave his reasons, and after long process was ultimately suspended.) 

Nov. 2. (A report on the state of the various Kirks of the Presby- 
tery occurs here in the Register.) That of NEWBATTLE is very brief, 

"The parish therof four miles in lenth, and in bredth two; com- 
unicants about 900 ; provydet with manse and glybe and stipend, payet 
be the Erie of Lowthean, patron, 4 chalder of victuals, 40 bolls thereof 
oats, 8 bolls wheat, and 16 bolls beir, with 400 merkes of moneys." 

(At the Synod held at Edinburgh, Nov. 7, 1648, a commission, of 
which Mr Robert Lightoune was a member, was appointed for " trying 
of any members of the Assemblie had bein active promoters of the last 
sinfull ingadgement, or had accession thairto, or had hand in carieing 
on the samen, or if any of the brethren had contryvit subscrivit or had 
hand anywayes in a supplication that was caried on befoir and at the 
tyme of the last Generall Assemblie, and is reported to haue been 
contrarie to the public resolutions of the Generall Assemblie." 

The Committee reported that "they had cleared their number," 
but report that there " are fyve ruling Elders who have had accession 
to the ingagement." 

[The strict examination of the Presbytery books by the Synod, pre- 
cluded the possibility of any minister being habitually absent.] 

Dec. 21. (Mr Robert Leightone present.) This day, the brethren 
being particularly enquyred by the Moderator, If they had observed 
the fast, and renewed the Covenant according to the directions given 
by the Commission of the Generall Assemblie, answered all, that they 
had so done ; which Mr Jhone Knox was ordained to report to the 

Dec. 28. Exercised Mr Patrick Sibbald and Mr Robert Leightone, 
upon the i5th of the ist Epistle to the Corinthians, from the 6th verse 
unto the gth. 


Jan. 12. Exercised Mr Robert Leightone and Mr Jhone Knox, 
expectant, upon the i5th ch. of the ist Epistle to the Corinthians, from 
the gth verse unto the i2th, and were approven. 

April 12. This day, the Presbytery having diligently revised and 
examined Mr John Pringle, his whole processe could find none of these 
declarations that were given in against him clearly and directly 
proven, &c. (he was "an expectant," or probationer, and was charged 

with thinking the Engagement lawfull) Mr Robert Leightone 

and Mr Jhone Sinclare did declare that, to their best sense and judg- 
ment, he had testified to them and evidenced true signs of sorrow and 
repentance for his errors and miscarriages in relation to the late En- 
gagement ; the Presbytery suspended him from preaching till he 
should give furder signs and evidences of repentance. (This and 
other notices are sufficient to show the incorrectness of Burnet's state- 
ment, that Leighton in the year 1648 had declared himself in favour 
of the Engagement for the King.) 

Over and over again there are references in the Presbytery 
books to Leighton's request to be allowed to go to England. 
Probably the occasion of these absences was to visit his father, 
who, though a Confessor sorely maimed, lived to an old age. 
He generally remained away three months, and would pick 

M (177) 


up the London stage-coach at the " Sign of the Sun" Inn 
near the manse, which is still standing. His father left him 
;iooo, which he lost through the failure of a merchant. In 
March, 1650, the year after his father's death, he again 
got leave to go to London " on weightie business," on this 
occasion to try and rescue some of the money, the loss of which 
greatly hampered one who never had much of this world's 
goods, and who at his death had nothing, ' ' the provision and 
the pilgrimage ending together." 

1649, May 31. (Mr Robert Lighten present.) 

-The Moderator having inquyred of everie brother severally, if 
they had red the Declaration, and bbserved the day of public thanks- 
giving, found that everie one had discharged thaimselfs cheerfullie. 

June 14. The which day, Mr Robert Lighten declared that his 
Father, being under seakness, had written for him, and thairfor de- 
syred libertie to goe and visite him. 

The Brethren judget his desyr reasonable, graunted the same, de- 
syring him to returne with all possible diligence to his charge, and to 
provide some to supplie his plaice induring his absence ; quhilk he 
promised to be cairfull off. 

June 21. Erie of Louthian chosen rewling elder to the Assemblie. 

July 12. At Glencorss Visitation, the people said they were abun- 
dantlie satisfied of their minister [Mr Robert Allison] in his life, and 
much edified by his doctrine, and that he had preached according to 
the exigence of the times, and particularlie against malignants and 

Se-pt. 6. (Mr Robert Lighten present, first time since June.) 

This day the Presbyterie appoynted everie brother to give in the 
names of all quho in their parishes had bene upon the lait unlawful 
Ingagement, and had not as yet nather satisfied nor supplicate. 

Sep. 20. Mr Robert Leighton excused for his absence last day 
(Sept. 13). 

Nov. 8. The Provinciall Assemblie of Lowthian and Tweeddale 
" requeists my Lord Lowthian to speak to the Committie of Estaits, 
that ther Lordships may give ordour to their clerks to issue out com- 
missiounes for tryall and burning of witches, gratis." 

Nov. 29 Dec. 6. The which day, exercised Mr Robert Leightoun, 
2 Cor. i. 6-1 1, and was approven. 


Jan. 24. The which day Marjorie Paterson of the parioch of 
Newbottle (and others), confessing witches, had their depositions at- 
tested by the Moderatour. 

Every minister ordained to see that his kirk was provided accord- 
ing to the Act of Parliament. Mr Hugh Campbell to speak to my 
Lord of Lothian for the settling of the stipend of Newbottle. 

Feb. 7. The which day, reported Mr James Robertsoune, that my 
Lord Lothian had provided the kirk of Newbottle with a stipend, ac- 
cording to the Act of Parliament, to wit, 4 chalders victuall, of wheat, 
bear, and oats, foure hundrethe pounds of money, with 40 pounds for 
the elements, with 4 sowmes grass, when the minister shall demand it, 
with manse and gleib. 

March 14. The which day, Mr Robert Leightoun did show the 
Presbyterie that a weightie businesse did call for him to England, and 
obtained libertie from the Presbytery to goe, upon condition he should 
take a course for the providing of his kirk till his return, which he 
told the Presbyterie he had alreadie done. 

May 21. Mr Robert Leightoun's name reappears at this date. 

May 30. This day, Mr Robert Carsan complained of Robert 
Walter his precentour, for malignant speeches that he should have 


vented in my Lord Lothian's family. Mr Robert therefore, and Mr 
John Sinclar, were ordained to try my Lady Lothian anent his 

June 20. This day, Mr John Sinclar reported that Mr Robert 
Carsan, and he could learn nothing of the malignancy of Robert 
Walter, the precentour in Newtoun, at Newbottle. 

June 27. This day, Robert Ker, having been 12 years in Germany, 
and having come to the country within thirteen dayes, and having his 
father dwelling in Newbotle, was ordained to be received to the cove- 
nant by Mr Robert Leightoun, after triall. 

(One Andrew Alexander, signs a declaration, expressing his sor- 
row for having condemned set prayers, and the use of the Lord's 
Prayer, and admits that it may be lawfully used, both in public and 
private, and he " heartilie detests and abhorres the errour of those 
who condemne the use therof as sinfull.") 

" Moreover, forasmuch as the said Andrew declared he was scar- 
cely satisfied that sett prayers were lawfull, and desired he were clear- 
ed from Scripture, Mr Robert Leightoun and Mr John Sinclar were 
ordained to conferre with him.") 

Ther wes no meiting of the Brethren from 25 Julii 1650, untill 
the 15 day of Junij 1651, into which there wes anything judicially 
done. The Brethren resolved to meet at Cockpen, and choose Commis- 
sioners to the Generall Assembly.) 


June 22. The meeting was held at Cokpen. 

Nine members were present, including Mr Robert Lichton. 
(One or two leaves wanting here, till Oct. 30, 1651.) 

1651, Nov. 4. Adjourned to January 6, and then to March 1652 : 

Proceedings of the Synod. 

No Presbytery Books except Linlithgow, because, through the cal- 
amities of the times, the meetings of Presbyteries had been very unfre- 
quent. Long proceedings about differences in the Presbytery of Lin- 
lithgow. A committee, of which Robert Leighton was a member, 
appointed to consider what should be done by the Synod. 

A committee appointed to consider "what is expedient to be done 
in relation to our Brethren prisoners in the Tower of London and 
about that city." 

Committee for healing present ruptures in the Kirk, and Act of 
Synod thereanint. 

A committee of which Robert Leightoun was a member, appointed 
to present this Act to the brethren differing in judgment from its Pro- 
vinciall Assembly. 

(Committee on Mr Edward Wright's processe appointed : Robert 
Leighton one of the members.) 

Overtures anent the Brethren Prisoners in England. 

The committee appointed in relation to our brethren, prisoners 
in England, proposed (i.) That a generall letter should be written 
to them, showing sympathie and fellow-feeling. (2.) " That a fitt man 
of the Synod be pitched upon, to be sent to London with com- 
mission to negotiat their liberation and freedome, by all possible and 
lawfull meanes, quho may take advice of the minister of St Andrews 
and Edinburgh, the Lord Warristoune, and Mr John Livingstoune, 
anent his carriage in that business, quho shall have 50 peeces (50 
peeces 600 merks) allowed toward his charges, te be payed by the 
Presbyteries of the Synod proportionally. (3.) That some be directed 
from the Synod to acquaint the Magistrats of Edinburgh, and the 
persons in nearest relation to the prisoners, with this resolution. 

(Mr Robert Ker and the clerk to draw out the letters and commis- 
sion, and a committee, of which Mr Robert Leightoun was one, to 



acquant the Magistrats and nearest relations with the Synod's pur- 
pose.) Proportions payable by the Presbyteries fixed. 

Mr Robert Leightoun is unanimously chosen and earnestly desired 
by the Synod to undertake the charge of repairing to London for ne- 
gotiating and enlargement and fredome of our imprisoned brethren 
in England ; quhilk he accepted. The commission being presented 
and read, was aproven ; the tenor quhairof followeth. 

The Provinciall Assembly taking to consideration the sadd con- 
dition of their brethren now prisoners in England, and the dutie 
incumbent to this Assembly in relation to them, found themselves 
obliged as to hold them up in prayer to God in privat and publict, 
so to use all lawfull meanes for their enlargement and libertie ; and 
having found it expedient for that end, that on should be sent up to 
London, doe unanimouslie appoynt their reverend brother, Mr Robert 
Leightoun, minister at Newbottle : hereby giving him power and com- 
mission to repair to London for negotiating the freedome and enlarge- 
ment of their said brethren ; and doe appoint the Presbytrie of Dal- 
keith to take course for supplie of his place, that the people of his 
charge sustaine no prejudice during the time of his absence : lykewise 
the drawght of the letter to the brethren imprisoned, being presented 
and read, was approven, the tenor quhairof followeth : 

REVEREND AND DEARE BRETHREN, [4th November, 1651]. 

Neither our condition nor yours will permitt us at this time fullie 
to expresse the thoughts of our hearts toward yow in your suffering, yett 
we thought it our dutie to give yow some testimony of our remembrance 
of yow ; and therefore, being by the Lord's good providence mett here 
in our Provinciall Assembly, the brotherlie affection we carry to yow, 
and the Christiane sympathie we have with yow, hath put us to a 
resolution of assaying all possible and lawfull meanes of your en- 
largement ; for this effect we have desired our reverend brother, Mr 
Robert Leightoun, to repair to London, giving power to negotiate in 
that matter, as God sail be pleased to blesse any meanes for that end, 
there shall be no earthly thing more acceptable to us : for obtaining 
hereof we have appoynted prayers to be made throughout the churches 
of our bounds : in the meanwhyle assure yorselves our souls desire to 
God shall be for yow, that his consolation may abound in yow, and 
his strength support yow : to his rich grace we commend yow, and are 
in him 

Your loving Brethren and most affectionat 

ASSEMBLY OF LOTHIAN, &c. in their name. 
(A Fast appointed.) 

1652, March 3. Mr Robert Leightoun appointed by the Synod one 
of a committee " To consider of the marriage and fornication of our 
women with the English souldiers, and the baptizme of children gotten 
betwixt them in fornication ; and whether ministers are to accompt the 
personnes so maried of the number of their congregation ; also how to 
cary in case of their suteing proclamation, and to present their thots 
anent these things to the Synod," &c. &c. 

March 4. Report : Mr Hew M'Kaile Mr Robert Trail! and he 
having moved the English Commissioner for freedome or maintenance 
to our brethren prisoners in England, speciallie those who are in the 
Tower, that they found no hopes at all of the former, and but little 
for the latter. 

The Synod nominats and appoints Messrs William Dalgliesh, 
George Leslie, Oliver Colt, Robert Ker, to concurre with the brethren 
of Edinburgh in dealing with Mr Leighton, to the intent of the com- 
mission given him for repairing to London, to negotiat for the breth- 
ren in prisone there. 



Dalkeith, November 14. In supplying Borthwick during the 
vacancy occasioned by the death of Mr James Porteous, it was or- 
dained, that (after six members who are named) it should be done by 
those who should have suppliet Mr Robert Lichton's place during his 
abod at England, if he went not away before that tyme. 

(Few meetings of the Presbytery were held about this time.) 


January 22. No exercise, because of the English comissioners 
at Dalkeith, and the great confluence of soldiery, both of horse and 

The said day the brethren appoynted ther next day of meeting 
to be at Cokpen this day 20 days, fearing the insolencie of the soul- 
diers at Dalkeith. 

At Cokpen : There was no thing judicially downe, because there 
wes bot few brether came ther, and therfore it wes resolvet that the 
place of meeting should be at Dalkeith againe. In respect they were 
credibly informed that they might als safely meet at Dalkeith as at 

April i. An act of the Sessione of Borthwik laid on the table, 
showing that the heritors and elders had unanimouslie chosen Mr John 
Weir as their minister. The brethren having pondered the premess, 
approved of the same, and " appointed Messrs James Fairlie, Robert 
Lichton, to concurre with the heritors of Borthwick for his transport- 
ation from Leith to Borthwick, and for that effect to appear before 
the Presbytrie of Edinburgh. 

April 15. The quhilk day, reported Mr James Fairlie and Mr 
Robert Lichton, that they had been at the Presbyterie of Edinburgh, 
for the lousing of Mr Johne Weir from his charge he had at Leith, 
and that they had loused him from his charg ther without relation 
unto any place. 

Weir having accepted this call to Borthwick : the call, among 
other things, says, " and that it will be your studie- not to break, bot 
entertaine and preserve, the union and harmonie of this Presbyterie, 
quhairin they are so singularly happie in this distracted tyme." 

At Znneresk Kirk, April 29. The quhilk day, ther came an letter 
from Mr Robert Lichton, desyring the brethren to have an cair of 
suppliing his place during his abod in England, in respect he wes 
going to sie if he can obtaine any sort of libertie to these Ministers 
who wer keepet in the Tower and uther places. 

The brethren condescendit to his desyr, and ordainit Mr James 
Robertsone to preach at Newbotle upon Sonday com 8 days, and after 
him the wholl brether to preach ther per vices, according to their 
standing, expressed in the Presbyterial Roll. 

July 15. Also it was informed by some of the brether, that Mr 
James Robertsone, at the marriag of the Erie of Lowthian's daughter, 
had both in the kirk prayet, and at the table in Newbotle Castell 
craved an blessing before supper, and given thanks also, Swinton being 
present, who is excommunicat ; and therfor Mr James being posit if 
it wer so, as wes alledget, An. : That if Swinton wes in the kirk it 
wes more than he knew of, for he did not sie him ther. As for his 
being at the table, it wes an long tyme before he did perceave him, 
he being at an larg distance from him, and many betwixt them, as 
also it being in the evening. Bot quhen he perceaved him ther, he wes 
much weighted then, as also now, for his imprudent and inconsiderat 
carriag. As for his giving of thanks, it wes after Swinton's rysing 
from the table, uthers having downe the lyk befor, and taking the 
opportunitie at his absence, did give thanks. 

The brethren having ponderat the premisses, and finding that he 
had not careit himself as it became an man of his place and age, 
ordainet him to be publicly rebuiket, and to be more circumspect in 



tyme to come ; which, after his incalling, wes accordingly down, and 
the same rebuik well accepted of by the said Mr James. 

(Leighton appears to have remained in England from May till 
about the end of November 1652.) 

December 16. A letter frome Mr Robert Lichtone, presented be 
Mr Hew Campbell, quhairin he dimits his charge of his ministrie at 
Newbotle : Quhilk the Presbyterie refused to accept. Appoints the 
Moderator to writ to him, and to desyre him to returne to his charge. 

December 30. Ressavit from Mr Robert Lichtone ane letter, 
quhairin he divests his charge de no-vo, quhilk the Presbyterie refused 
to accept. Appoints the Moderator to writ to him. 


Januar 13. Appoints Mr James Robertsone to preach in Newbotle, 
and to speik to the Earl of Lauthian about Mr Lichtone and Mr Robert 
Alisone the nixt day. 

Reported the Moderator that he had written to Mr Lichtone. 

Januar 27. Compeared Mr Robert Lichtone, and desyred to be 
lowsed from his charge. 

Compeared Andrew Brysone, in name of the towne of Edinburgh, 
shewing that the Councell of Edinburgh had given Mr Lichtone a call 
to be Principall of the Colledge ; and his commissione being requyred, 
he undertook to produce it at the nixt meeting. Appoints the nixt 
meeting to be this day eight dayes, and then to give ane answer to 
both : but no exercise that day. Appoints Mr Robert Carsane to 
preach in Newbotle, to mak publick intimation to the parishioners, 
that if they had any thing to say against the lowsing of their Minister, 
they might appear befor the Presbyterie the nixt day. 

February 3. Reported Mr Robert Carsane that he had preached 
in Newbotle, and made publick intimation, as was appointed the last 
day. The parochiners of Newbotle called, compeared not. 

Ane letter presented be Andrew Brysone from the Councell of 
Edinburgh, desyring that Mr Lichtone might be lowsed from his 
charge at Newbotle, and transported with all conveniencie to Edin- 
burgh Colledge, to be Principall there ; and ane Act of Councell lyke- 
wyse presenting the said Mr Lichtone to the said place. Mr Lichtone 
being posed, if he wold embrace the foresaid charge, answered, that 
he wes not yet fully resolved. 

The quhilk day the brethren of the Presbyterie convened, accord- 
ing to the appointment of the day preceding, anent the desyre of our 
brother, Mr Robert Lichtone, to be lowsed frome his ministrie at the 
kirk of Newbotle, by reason of the gritnes of the congregatione farre 
exceeding his strength for discharging the dewties thereof, especially 
the extreme weakness of his voice not being able to reache the halfe 
of them when they are convened, which hes long pressed him very 
sore, as he had formerly often expressed to us : And to give ane 
answer to the Commissioner from the Councell of Edinburgh, anent 
his call from them to be Principall of Edinburgh Colledge, that he 
may be released from his ministrie ther to that effect. And having 
ordained the parish of Newbotle to be warnit by public intimation 
from pulpit to heir and see quhat they could object against the said 
desyre and call. The Brethren this day having called the said 
parish, and they not compearing, nor any in their name, and having 
hard our said Brother renew his desyre, as also having red the letter 
and commissione from the Councell of Edinburgh, directed to us by 
Andrew Bryson, thesaurer to the said toun, anent his foirsaid call, 
did, after mature deliberatione, unanimouslie conclude, that the said 
Mr Robert Lichton shall be lowsed, and by thir presents, doe actually 
lowse him from his ministrie at the said kirk of Newbotle, declaring 
the kirk thereof to be vacant, and transports him to that charge. And 
ordains publick intimation to be made heirof the next Lord's Day at 



the said kirk of Newbotle, by Patricke Sibbald, minister at Penni- 
cooke, and ordains ane extract heirof to be given to the said Androvy 
Bryson, and to Robert Porteous, younger, in Newbattle. 

Appoints Mr Patrick Sibbald to preach in Newbotle, and to con- 
vene the Session, and to desyre them to pitch with all conveniencie 
upon ane honest and able man. 

[Mr Alexander Dickson, afterwards Professor of Hebrew in the 
University of Edinburgh, was admitted Leighton's successor on the 
7th of October, 1653.] 



1643, March 12. The whilk day the Heritoures of the parochine 
of Newbattell, with Minister and Elders, being convenit in the kirk 
thereof viz., Mr Robert Lightone, Sir John Murray, Mark Cass of 
Cokpen, Thomas Megot of Maisterton, Mr Robert Preston, Robert 
Porteous, elder and younger, Mr Mark Ker, John Trent, James Ker, 
with uthers divers, condescendit and agreed, with ane consente, to 
pay to thair reader and schoolmaster, Williame Hamilton, the soume 
of tua hunder marks yearly, at tua times in the year proportionally, 
Witsonday and Martimes viz., Be the Right Honourable William 
Earle of Lowthean fourtie punds, be the toune of Newbattell nftie 
marks, and the rest of the tua hunder marks to be payit out of land- 
wart viz., Fordell and Coatis twentie-fyve marks, Eisthousses elevin 
markes, Westhousses sextein pundis, Southsyde seven pundis ten schil- 
lings, Murtoun fiftie shillings, Arniston for Newbyres ten marks, 
and the tuo milnes to pay the rest that wantis of the forsaid tuo hunder 

April 9. Given for a lock to the gate of the kirkyard, 00-14-00 
May. (Arrangements connected with the communion. The com- 
mencement is torn away, which related to " preparations befoir," and 
"for provision of the elementes." This last by "John Trent and 
Archibald Broune." It then says) " Also for," 

The First Sabbath. The Second Sabbath. 

Thomas Megot, Andrew Abernathie, 

Robert Prestoun, James Ramsay, 

Robert Porteous elder, Samuell Davidson, 

Robert Porteous younger, Johne Trentt, 

Thomas Steill, ' Thomas Russell, 

John Hutcheson. George Huntar. 

For Dooris. For Tikattis (Tickets). 

John Borthwik. Archibald Broune. 

James Ker. James Trentt. 

Ther is also appointed be the session for the first dayes elementis, 
tuo gallonis of vyne and two dusson of breid. 

Memorandum. That after the communion there sail be ane ac- 
compt taken of the pooris money in the box, becaus this tuo year no 
accompt has been taken. 

June 26. The which day, all the collections and distributions 
from the loth Oct. 1641 till his 26th June, 1643, being all layit and 
competit, thar remainit undistribut of good money in the poor's box 
121 pundis. (See Cash Book.) 



August 14. The minister and elders of the parochin of Newbat- 
tell, considering the manie evillis that follow upon the neglect of bring- 
ing up childring at school, and especially and that it is not only ane 
maine cause of thair grosse rudness and incivility, bot of thair un god- 
lines and ignorance of the principillis of religion, and makis them 
also almost unteaehabell, have ordained that all parents within the 
said paroch be careful, so soon as thair childring com to capabill 
yeiris, to send them to some schooll, that thay may learne at the leist 
to read, and that, whosoever sail be found within this paroch to fail 
heirirf, sail be obliged to pay as give they did send thair childring to 
schooll according to the number of thame, or be utherwayes cens(ured) 
as the session sail think fitting. 

Oct. 15. It was related be the elders that searchit, that thair was 
tuo wes drinking in James Erskine's in tym of divin service, and 
ordainis the said James Erskin to be sumoned against next Saboth 
to compeir befoir the session. 

Nov. 5. The quhilk day, it was with universall consent, both of 
minister and elders, condescendit upon that thair sould be built befoir 
the pulpet ane convenient seatt of timber for the reidar as is in uther 
kirkis : and the elders to sit at the tabill or boord befoir the pulpett. 

Nov. 12. It was relatit that John Burrowman in Easthousses did 
carie his aill and small drink oft and divers tyms throw the parochin 
upon the Sabbath day, and thairfoir is to compeir befoir the session 
the next Sabbath that he may be decernit to satisfie for the same. 

1644, Feb. n. After dividing the parish into districts, and nam- 
ing an elder for each, it is added That everie ane be cairfull within 
thair owin boundis designit to visit frequently, as once in fyfteen 
dayes, and to inquyr about family exerceise in every house, and the 
conversation of the people. Especially to tak ordour with cursing, 
swearing, or scolding, and excessive drinking give any such dis- 
ordour be fund amongst tham ; and to be cairfull in visiting the seik, 
and sik as ar in want to give notice of thame to the minister and 

March 13. The which day, it was condescendit upon be the 
elderis and heritours, at thair meeting in the kirk of Newbattell, that 
thair sould be the soum of ane thousand pundis of stent imposit upon 
the heritours of the said parochin for repairing of the said Kirk. 

March 17. The which day, it was condescendit upon be the mini- 
ster and the wholl session, that Captain Andrew Abernethie sould 
have the roome and place whair Abraham Hereis' dask and seatt 
stood, to build and place tuo pews in. Also Patrik Eleis (Elice), now 
of Southsyde, gave in his bill and petition to the session desyring 
Alexander Lawson in Westhousses to remove out of that seat that 
belongit to him next to my Lord's Isle, on the west syd thairof. 
Patrik Eleis referrit himself to the arbitriment of the session ; bot 
Alexander Lawson declynit the session and appealit to the presbiterie. 

The which day, it was condescendit at the meeting of elders and 
heritouris, that thair sould be the soume of ane thousand punds of 
stent for the repairing of the Kirk of Newbattell imposit upon the 
heritours of the parochin of Newbattell. 

March 26. The heritours and elders being also convenit, being 
inquyred whom they thought most fitt for collecting of the former 
soume, did appoynt Thomas Megot of Muirtoun collectour for the 
toun of Newbattell, and Robert Porteous, younger, collectour for the 
gentilmen in landward. 

June 16. Appointed to attend upon the committee in Edinburgh 
everie Monday, vicissim tours about, Thomas Megot, James Ramsay, 
Robert Porteous elder and younger, John Trent, Thomas Russell, and 
Johne Hutchison. 

(No meetings of Session held from December, 1644, to May, 1645.) 



Eodem. Thair lent out of the -pooris money to the Minister, 
with consent of the Session, 500 marks Scottis. 

(This entry is erased by a pen being drawn through it, the money 
having either been repaid, or perhaps not required.) 

Mair to James Ramsay, 100 marks. 

Mair to Thomas Russell in Newbattell, 100 marks, quhairof the 
annuelrent was payit till Candelmas 1646. 

Mair to Sir John Murray, 300 marks. 

(The next and only other entry in the book is dated 4th January, 
1646, so that during 1645 there were apparently only two meetings 
of session held). The foregoing minutes appear to be principally in 
the handwriting of William Hamilton. 

Another volume commences in the handwriting of Mr James 

March 17, 1646. (On two fly-leaves at the beginning of the vol- 
ume are the following entries) : 

" A Catoluge of Bookes given by William Earle of Lothiane to 
the Parisch Kirk of Newbattell, to be ane abiding librarie for the use 
of the Ministers thereof successively. 

"Also of such bookes as uthers well affected hath given for the 
increase of the same librarie." 

(The catalogue has been torn away, but in the Presbytery Records 
there is a list of the books. On the other fly-leaf are the following 
entries) : 

Record of Wescheles (vessels) and such like that pertaine to the 
Parosch of NEWB. 

1646, 29 May. The whilk day, was given by Robert Porteous 
younger, a silver cup for service to the Kirk. 

Likewise by Alexander Kaitnes, another of that same faschion. 
Likewise by Patrick Ileis of Southsyde. 

1647, May 2. The whilk day, Sir John Murray was chosen ruling 
elder for the ensuing Synod. 

May 16. The whilk day was Patrick Ileis of Southsyd receaved 
by Mr James Fairlie from the place of public repentance, where he 
had sitten from the aforenamed day, and entred (continued) to sit 
without intermission in sackcloth. 

(Leighton was absent from February till this time.) 

1647, Nov. 21. The whilk day Helen Smith was exhorted by the 
Minister, in presence of the Session, to have a care of herself and 
house, that she walked Christianlie. Because schoe was reported to 
have had ane unrulie and uncivill house, which cold not be throughly 

1648, Feb. 27. And Didhop and Isobell Watt were reseaved pub- 
licly for a scandall they had given by being out in a yaird together, 
which in some circumstances had some presumptions ; yet because the 
Session cold not knaw no more but that they were happily preveined 
from adulterie, did appoint them to acknowledge their scandall pub- 

March 27. Bessie Lawsone and Marjorie Nicolsone humbled 
themselves on their knees before the Session for scolding, and were 
referred to the magistral. 

June 4. Jon Clerk was punished by the civil magistrat for 

1648, i-jth Sept. is the last entry of the Session proceedings in 
this volume. No other volume is extant of its proceedings during 
Leighton's incumbency. His successor seems to have begun a new 
volume when he came in 1653. There is, however, one page containing 
short Sessional notices, extending from $d Dec. 1648 to Sept. 23, 1649, 
a.nd another containing notices from May. to July 1650. 

On a fly-leaf 'is a " Coumpt of charges given for the building of 
the Eastern loft, beginning the 21 of June 1646." Among other items 


is one of 2, for " mending the doore of the kirk and the loaupping- 
on stone." 

The Term of Mertemes 1650. 

The quhilk day Robert Porteous did dischairg himself off the 
money quhilk he was dew to the schurch off Newbottell, and his de- 
bursment is all allowet. He restet off fre money the soume off ane 
thousand merks Scotis quh'itch wes delyverit to Mr Lichtoune, minister 
thaire, for the quhitch he hes gevane his bond to pay interest; and 
now at this terme off Witsonday 1651, the said Mr Lichtoune hes de- 
burset the half yeir's interest from Mertenmess 1650 to Wltsounday 
1625, at dispositione off the elders. And to testefie thir premisses, we 
the Elders underwretten hes subscryvet with our hands. 



JOHNE TRENT, Witness. 


Some extracts from the Session's Accounts during Leigh- 
ton's incumbency may be interesting. 


July 31 Given at command of Session for ane horse to s. d. 

to the Minister, 01800 

23 August Given to James Johnson, wright, on command 

of the minister, for mending the pulpett, i 10 o 

,, Mair to Nicoll Simpson for making and dress- 

ing of the grein cloath to the pulpett, - - i 16 o 

3 Septr. Given to the Paintor, at command of Session, 

for collouring the pulpett, - - 434 

4 Septr. Accompt of the pulpett cloath : 

Item, for ane ell and quarter of cloath at 3 

markes the ell, is - - 6 13 4 

,, Item for 8 ell fustian at i6s. the ell, - - -680 

,, Item for 3 ell and ane half silk fringes, - - 6 14 4 

4 Septr. That same day given by Minister to Andrew Lun, ^300 
14 Sept. Given to James Jonson for ane footgang to 

serve for the communion, - - - -001200 
16 October Mair given out for pulpit cloath, - - - 20 oo oo 
Robert Cuthbertson beadle at this time. 
William Hamilton schoolmaster of the parish. 
There was also a schoolmaster in Stobhill, Thomas 
Smebeard ; and another in Westhouses, David 

28 May Mair to Robert Porteous to buy ane cave, to 

keip our communion wyne in, - - - - 13 10 o 
,, For carrying cave from Edinburgh, - -060 

24 Septr. Given out of the collections of the poore's money, 
for ane Psalm-book to serve the kirk, and for 

binding the Bybill, 3 15 o 

22 Octr. Given for the Acts of the Assembly, - - o 13 4 

,, Mair for the Covenant, 040 

Given at command of the Minister to ane gen- 

tilwoman in grit necessitie, - - -400 

10 Deer. Mair for the subscryving of the Covenant, to the 
Reidar that subscryvit for thes that could not 
subscryve themselffs, i 10 4 




To James Jonson, wryt, for making steps of 
timber about the pulpett, ^3 15 o 

Given to Robert Cuthbertson (the beadle), for 
working at the kirk four dayis, - - -140 

Given to Robert Cuthbertson and ane boy for 
carrying the red out of the kirk, - -080 

(Many " gentilmen from Ireland " and other 
strangers in necessity helped.) 

For hanging the belstring, - - - - o 12 o 

Drinksilver for 5 cairts in Easthouses for bring- 
ing hame timber to the kirk, - - - -too 
5 May Given to ane Hungarian scholler, - - - 2 13 4 

14 July Mair given be the baily out of his own purse 

to two poor women in necessity, at command 
of the minister, - - - - o 16 8 
18 Aug. Given to a daft man, 040 


10 March The whilk day taken out of the poor's box, at 
command of the minister, to pay for glas win- 
dows to the kirk, ,90 oo oo 

(The Wester loft seems to have been built about 

this time.) 
i June Mair to the two fishars wyffes (often entered), - i 13 4 

,, Mair to the Egiptians, o 16 8 

3 Aug. Distribut for John Gillies his wyff, and boy, 

that died first in the visitation, - - - 8 10 o 
(Frequent entries connected with this visitation 

of the Pest.) 
20 Aug. Mair given to William Hamilton for his extra- 

ordinar pains in wryting, - - - -800 
,, Mair given to James Gilchrist for making the 

prese in the Kirk for to keip the Buiks given 
to the Kirk be the richt Nobill William Earle 

of Lothiane, 800 

,, Mair to doctour for visiting James Watson's 

daughter, after her depairting, - - - 6 13 4 
Mair for aill to the seik, - i 13 4 

,, Mair for 200 panther naillis for the prese to 

hold the buiks in, - - i 6 8 

3 gallons aill, - - - i 12 o 

,, 7 fir lots meill, n 4 o 

15 Deer. Nyne gallons aill, 5 dusson breid, for those 

under visitation, - - 6 16 o 

,, Four gallons 4 pynts aill, - 280 

,, Four dusson breed, - i 12 o 

,, Ane boll and 2 peks meill, - 6 15 o 

28 Dec. To Richard Brown, for making seven graves 

to John Cairn's house, 400 

(The Dalkeith communion cups seem to have been borrowed on 
Sacramental occasions previously to the year 1646 : entries occur of 
gratuities to " Dalkeith-belman " for the loan.) 

The printed copy of the Solemn League and Covenant [Edinburgh, 
1643], an d now i n tne Royal Antiquarians' Society's Museum, cost 
Newbattle Parish 4/, and bears the signatures of Leighton, heritors, 
and parishioners, as affixed in October, 1643. 




Some years ago a handsome brass memorial was erected 
in the parish church of Newbattle, beside the ancient black 
oak pulpit from which, during his incumbency of the parish 
(1641-1653), Leighton was wont to preach. The inscription, 
which gives the main events of his life, is as follows : 

To the glory of God, and sacred to the memory of 
Archbishop Leighton. Robert Leighton was born in London, 
1611 : educated at Edinburgh University, and on the Con- 
tinent : ordained pastor of this parish on December i6th, 1641, 
where he ministered faithfully till 1653. Principal of Edin- 
burgh University, 1653-1661 ; Bishop of Dunblane, 1661-1671 ; 
Archbishop of Glasgow, 1671-1674; after which he retired 
into private life, and lived with his sister at Broadhurst, in 
Sussex, for ten years. He died, according to his long cher- 
ished wish, in an Inn (the Bell Inn, Warwick Lane, London), 
by night, during his sleep, June 25th, 1684; and was buried 
in the Parish Church of Horsted Keynes, Sussex. Blessed 
are the Peacemakers. For so He giveth His Beloved Sleep." 

In Horsted Keynes Church, two memorials are raised 
to his memory, 1 and the old farm-house is still pointed out 
where he stayed ; though, curiously, in the diary of Mr Giles, 
who was rector there during Leighton 's residence, there is no 
reference to him. Two memorials stand, one within and the 
other outside the parish church there, and the tradition is still 
fresh there that he would always go to church, especially on 
wet days, as an example to others. The Bell Inn, under the 
shadow of St. Paul's Cathedral, beside Amen Corner, where 
the Cathedral Canons lived, has only within recent years been 
transformed : the memory of Leighton still lingers round the 
place. Newbattle was his first charge, and the following 
are all the traces that can now be gathered up of his presence 
and influence here : 

i. His old Pulpit : a small round oak pulpit with canopy; 
handsomely carved, and originally without a seat. 

' "His remains were deposited in the south chancel of the Church 
of Horsted Keynes, in the county of Sussex, in which parish he had 
resided for several years with his sister and her son, Edward Light- 
maker of Broadhurst. A plain marble slab bears this inscription : 


Leighton by David Laing in the Proceedings of the Society, vol. iv. 
p. 488). 


2. The ancient Hour Glass ; it is still entire, sand and 
everything, and stands about 8 inches high. The wooden 
frame is very rude, as is also the rough iron stand. 

3. The ancient Funeral Bell, which was rung through the 
parish when a funeral was about to take place; the handle is 
an imitation, in iron, of a leg-bone. On the front of the bell, 
i M A 1616. Also the ancient church key of iron, sadly 
worn and rusted. 

4. The Sacramental Vessels 

(a) Communion Cups. Communion cups of solid silver, not 

moulded, but beaten with the hammer ; of an unusually 
graceful shape a large shallow bowl resting on a richly 
carved pedestal. They were all presented to the church dur- 
ing Leighton's incumbency, on May 29, 1646, by Robert Porte- 
ous, younger, Alexander Kaitness, Patrick Ellis of South- 
syde, and Andro Brysson. They are still (with some modern 
additions) the eucharistic vessels of the parish. In 1732, one 
of these massive silver chalices was stolen, and carried off to 
England. In 1733 it was discovered at Newcastle, though 
some say Newbottle (near Feiicehouses, in Durhamshire), 
the old name of Newbattle being Newbottle [the new resid- 
ence], and brought back damaged. The repair of it cost 
6, 6s. Scots, half of which was charged to " James Wilson, 
the beadle." The marks of these repairs are still quite notice- 
able. Round the lip of each chalice are the words " For the 
Kirk of Newbatl " the name being spelt differently on each 
cup. The cups in Dunblane Cathedral are almost identical. 

(b) Baptismal Vessels. A massive silver basin and beautiful ewer, 

hammered and inscribed. They were bought by the Session, 
and bear the inscriptions : " Pereat qui amoverit vel in 
alium usum pervertit.'" [" Perish the man who bears it away, 
or turns it to another use,"] with the Scripture texts : 
According to His mercy, He saved us by the washing of re- 
generation and renewing of the Holy Ghost; and round the 
edge of the basin Re-pent and be ba-ptized every one of you 
for the remission of sins. Though not in actual use during 
Leighton's incumbency, the baptismal vessels belonged to his 
period, and were bought during his lifetime, during the 
second episcopacy, 1680. 

5. Parish and Presbytery Records. There are many re- 
ferences to Leighton, and some in his own writing, in the 
Session Records. In the Presbytery books there is much con- 
cerning him. 

6. Leighton's Newbattle Library. Thirty-one volumes are 
preserved of Leighton's Library, and are handed down from 
incumbent to incumbent, just as at Salton with the library of 
Bishop Burnet. Many of the books are much spoiled with 
damp, but they are as a whole of matchless interest. Some 
of them seem to have been presented to him as minister by 
William, Earl of Lothian, with whom he was on terms of the 
closest friendship, and intended to be handed on to his suc- 



cessors. In the Session Records there is an entry, " List of 
books given by the Earl of Lothian to the Minister of New- 
battle." But the list is gone, only the title-page being left. 
Many of the present books must, from their internal character, 
have been gathered by Leighton himself. All the books, how- 
ever, were acquired by Leighton when minister at Newbattle, 
whether by gift or. purchase, so that the entire collection is 
entitled to the name of " Leighton's Newbattle Library." 
When Leighton left Newbattle for the Edinburgh Principal- 
ship, he left these volumes behind him : 

1. "Clavis Theologica." Folio. "A Key to Theology." A 
thick folio volume of blank pages with printed headings : a religious 
common-place book and theological ledger in which to put down any- 
thing striking in the course of reading. A score of pages are torn 
out from the beginning, and in the pages left there is not a single 
MS. entry. The first remnant page is headed "Whether Christ died 
for all men or not?" The first twenty pages have the general head- 
ing " De Christo," and there are spaces for notes on His Nativity, 
Death, Resurrection, &c. Then the Sacraments, Church, the Com- 
mandments, &c. It is pre-eminently a young man's book and study- 
companion, a methodical help to reading and meditation. Why there 
are no entries it is difficult to say ; perhaps Leighton hit upon some 
better and less laborious method ; but his Theological Lectures and 
Commentaries show deep research, and contain crowds of learned re- 
ferences which could not have been gathered in a day, but must have 
been the savings and accumulations of years of study. This has a 
peculiar interest, as probably one of Leighton's earliest intellectual 

2. " Doctrinale Bibliorum Harmonicum, id est Index dilucidus 
Novus, athore Georgio Vito D. Abbate coenobii Anhusani Wirtem- 
bergici." Winteri, 1613. Folio. A Harmony of the Bible. Each 
book of the Bible is taken separately, and its chief doctrinal points 
are alphabetically arranged. There is thus a doctrinal concordance 
for each book of Scripture, and not for the whole Bible, as in modern 
concordances. This copy bears marks of use, and there are oil stains 
on its pages from the old Scotch cruizies, which were universal in 
Leighton's time. The author of this concordance was George Vitus, 
Lutheran Abbot of Wurtemberg. 

3. "Thesaurus Locorum Communium." Augustinus Marloratus. 
Folio, 1574. A dictionary of common places, or concordance to the 
whole Bible, not taking the books separately, as in the last, but all 
Scripture in a mass. Not only are references given as, e.g., under P 
Pax to all the places where "peace" occurs in the Bible, but illus- 
trations are given in a freer and more general way than is common 
in modern concordances. It is remarkable that, under this word, the 
pages are much worn, and bear marks of much reading which is in 
keeping with the character of the man to whom the book belonged. 
This Biblical Cyclopaedia is by Marloratus, Reformed pastor in Rot- 
terdam. At the beginning of the volume are a number of Latin poems 
laudatory of the learning of this great Biblical Scholar. There is also a 
sentence or two of commendation from the Reformer Beza. It bears 
the imprimatur of Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, given at Lam- 
beth Palace, 1573. 

4. The " Magdeburg Centuries." Folio. Leighton's handbook en 
general Church History, written by Matthew Flacius of Maldeburg, 
and still an authoritative work of reference. The History of the 



Church is traced from the beginning till the dawn of the sixteenth 

5. "Joannis Baptistae Folengii Mantuani, Divi Benedicti monachi, 
in Psalmos aliquot juxta Hebraeam veritatem commentarius." [Title- 
page lost.] Folio. A commentary on certain Psalms according to 
the Hebrew Text, by Spitel of Mantua. The finest volume in the col- 
lection ; it must once have been really a handsome folio. It has richly 
gilded edges, and is bound in particularly fine leather, which also has 
once been gilt. The author's name, " John Spitel," is done in gilt 
on front and back. Spitel was a monk of the. monastery of Mantua, 
and his commentary on the Psalms is richly devotional, many passages 
reminding one of Leighton's own sublime strain of discourse. He may 
have received some of this style from his old devotional commentary, 
which was a standard work in its day. Leighton was accused of har- 
bouring and using ascetical and Roman Catholic books, as Bishop 
Butler was in a later century ; and in this small Newbattle Library, 
there is a good sprinkling of works by Roman Divines. One peculi- 
arity of this book is, that each page is lined and bordered with red 
ink, evidently done by the hand, which must have been an immense 
labour, as there are over 1000 pages. 

6. Osiander's (a) " Summaries of XVIth Century Church His- 
tory." " Epitomes Historian Ecclesiastics centuriae decimae sextae." 
Lucas Osiander, D. Tubingen, 1508. (b) " Summaries of XVth Cen- 
tury Church History." Ditto. Tubingen, 1507. Osiander's " Sum- 
maries of Church History," a well-known standard narrative of the 
Reformation age, with all its wars and controversies. 

7. " D. Hieronymi Osorii Lusitani, Episcopi Sylvensis, de Regis 
Institutionibus et Disciplina, Lib. viii. Olysippone, 1571." Osorius, 
the Spanish Jesuit's treatise on "The Institutions and Discipline of 
a King," published in Portugal in 1571, with the Pope's imprimatur 
printed on it, and dedicated to Sebastian, King of Portugal. This 
work on monarchy, from a very high and "Divine-right" point of 
view, is bound in skin vellum, with rich gilt facings, and it has once, 
been tied with green ribbons, the ends of which still remain. There 
are jottings by "R.L." on the fly-leaf. 

8. Complete Catalogue of the Books in the Bodleian Library, 1620. 
In some respects the most interesting volume in the library a small 
quarto, in vellum, containing a catalogue of all the books and MSS. 
in the Oxford Bodleian Library in 1620 (which is the date on this 
copy), published at Oxford, by John Lichfield and James Short. Pos- 
sibly Leighton may have brought this old catalogue to Newbattle 
from Oxford with his own hand ; but on the fly-leaf there is a faded 
jotting : " 1625, Mr Cheyne, Parson of Kinkell. Aet. 40 yrs." and 
a very striking coincidence is here. The parish of Kinkell, Aberdeen- 
shire, in the first quarter of the seventeenth century had a series of 
mishaps, and hence also probably the name on the book, and its pre- 
sence in Leighton's Newbattle Library. It is very remarkable that 
in this catalogue Shakespeare is not named, and John Knox's works 
are marked " imperfect." It is curious to see who are named and who 
are omitted. 

9. Philosophia digne restituta : libros quatuor praecognitorum 
philosophicorum complectens, a Johanne-Henrico Alstedio, ad illus- 
trissimam Anglorum Academiam quae est Cantabrigias. Herbornas 
Nassoviorum, 1612." John Henry Alsted's " Philosophy." A logical 
and philosophical work a strange mixture of metaphysics, theology, 
logic, and psychology. 

10. Locorum Communium S. Theologia; Institutio per Epitomen, 
Auctore Luca Trelcatio, judice ecclesiae Rom." London, 1608. A 
small volume of theology, logically arranged, from a strongly Pro- 
testant point of view. Published in London, 1608. It is bound in 
vellum, and has a complete index written in Leighton's own hand- 


writing the same handwriting as on other books here, and at Dun- 
blane, where his great library exists. It is an interesting study in 

n. Speculum Pontificum Romanorum in quo imperium, decreta, 
vita, prodigia, interitus, elogia accurate proponuntur, per Stephanum 
Szegedinum Pannonium," 1526. "View of the Roman Pontificate, '' 
by Stephen Szegedinus of Pannonia. "The Roman Pontificate is de- 
scribed with grotesque fulness " Its Rule, Decrees, Life, Wonders, 
Death, and Elegy accurately laid out." It is a strongly Protestant 
handbook, but has nothing else particularly interesting about it. 

12. " Analysis Logica in Epistolam ad Hebraeos, Auctore D. 
Roberto Rolloco Scoto, Ministro Jesu Christi et Rectore Academiae 
Edinburgensis." " Logical Analysis of the Epistle to the Hebrews," 
by Dr Robert Rollock, Principal of Edinburgh University. Edin- 
burgh (R. Charteris, King's Printer, 1605). It was under Principal 
Rollock's rule that Leighton's father was a professor, and not im- 
probably this little commentary on the " Hebrews " may have been 
presented by the Principal and inherited. The most touching thing 
about it is that on the front page, a text written in Latin in the same 
hand as all the rest, is inscribed, and with the faded initials "R.L." 
after it : " God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of 
Jesus Christ." 

13. S. Chrysostom's Works in Latin. Antwerp, 1547. With some 
letters on the fly-leaf in another hand (a sort of shorthand) and the 
word " Jonathan." 

14. Jobi Historiae Docta et catholica explicatio per R. Patrem D. 
Joannem Ferum Metropolitanae Ecclesiae Moguntinensis. Coloniae 
Agrippinae, 1574. A Roman Catholic Exposition of "Job," "not 
only to teach true doctrine, but to heal controversies," by John Ferus, 
Bishop of Mentz. 

15. " Illustrium et clarorum virorum epistolae selectiores." Lug- 
duni Bataviorum, 1617. Elzevir Edition. "The Letters of Famous 
and Illustrious Men," showing the abuses of the Roman Church, &c., 
are well known. 

16. Cornelius Crocus. Philology and Rhetoric. Discussions on 
words and meanings. Partly bound in an old vellum will, beginning 
" Milhelmus." Curious old writing, and rich illuminations, with 
beautiful initial letters. 

17. Calvin's "Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles" (Latin). 
(Much damaged and beardless.) 

18. Claudian's Works, 1612, with Latin commentary on the poet. 
Editor Caspar Barthius. (Much damaged and beardless.) 

19. " De Prima Mundi Aetate," by Lambert Danalus. Four 
books, 1590. " Concerning the First Age of the World." (Beardless.) 

20. Papa Confutatus, sanctae et apostolicae ecclesiae in con- 
futationem papae." London, 1580. Bound in a sheet of vellum il- 
luminated in black and red lettering ; fine initials. Protestant contro- 

21. " De Arcanis Dominationis Arn. Clapmarii," Lib. iii. Arnold 
Clapmarius. " Concerning the Mysteries of Government." And 
bound up with it in thick vellum are Casanbon's Works : " Isaaci 
Casauboni ad Frontonem Ducaeum, S. J. Theologum Epistola, in qua 
de Apologia disseritur communi Jesuitarum nomine ante aliquot 
menses Lutetiae Parisiorum Edita." London, 1611 (vellum and 
strings). The latter treatise is peculiarly interesting as an indication 
of Leighton's affinity with the great scholars of the period who were 
being gradually drawn towards Episcopac} 7 . Casaubon as a Contin- 
ental Presbyterian who was attracted by the Church of England, might 
naturally be a favourite author with Leighton. 

22. Theodore Beza's Works. Geneva, 1588; and bound up with 
it a History of the Reformers, with fine engravings the only book in 



the whole collection which has plates. Fine heads of Huss, Savon- 
arola, Bucer, &c., and a full narrative of the Waldenses, especially 
the burnings of 1559, closing with "Emblems," and pictures with 
descriptive poetry below, like Quarles' " Emblems," &c., e.g. " Life 
a Sea," and a representation of a ship ploughing its way amid " the 
troublesome waves of this present world." 

23. Raymund Lullius' Works. "Ars magna." Treatises on logic, 
rhetoric, astrology, science, a general gazetteer and emporium of 
knowledge. A very fine copy, bound in vellum, with strings, of date 

24. " A Commentary on the Galatians," by Dr Martin Luther. 
London, 1603, printed in black letter. 

25. A volume of loose Tracts and Papers bound together valuable 
but sorely spoiled by damp and mice. One of the tracts is entitled 
" Christ Confessed, or several important questions and cases about the 
Confession of Christ, written by a Preacher of the Gospel, and now a 
Prisoner," written by a Covenanter. Also" The Charge of High 
Treason, Murder, Oppressions, and other Crimes exhibited to the 
Parliament of Scotland, against the Marquis of Argyle and his Accom- 
plices." January 23, 1646. And a large number of other Covenanting 
papers and tracts, including a tract on the persecutions of the Quakers, 
by Alexander Jaffray, Provost of Aberdeen, the great advocate of 
the Quakers, and several times Commissioner to Parliament. Jaffray, 
for several years, lived in an old house in Newbattle, next to the 
manse, now pulled down, having married the daughter of Leighton's 
predecessor, the Rev. Andrew Cant, who afterwards became minister 
at Aberdeen. Leighton's strong advocacy of Peace in the troubled 
times of Episcopal and Presbyterian rivalry arose from (i) His close 
friendship with the Quaker Jaffray, his next door neighbour ; (2) His 
early education in France, where, for nearly ten years, till the age 
of 30, when he was appointed Minister of Newbattle, he associated 
with the French Quietists, of whom Fenelon and Madame Guyon may 
be taken as fair examples, and whose salient doctrine was that where 
religion does not work peace with God, peace with man, and peace in 
the soul, it accomplishes nothing; (3) His own innate spiritual ten- 
dencies, to some extent mystical, fostered too by his study of Roman 
Catholic mystical and spiritual writers ; (4) A reaction from the fierce 
spirit of unrest and storm in the midst of which he lived; (5) To some 
extent the pacifying influence of the calm, beautiful scenery in the 
midst of which his lot was cast, first at Newbattle with its matchless 
woodlands and rich historic associations, and then at Dunblane with 
its noble reposing mass of cathedral masonry. 

26. " The Perpetuall Government of Christ's Church," by the Rev. 
Thomas Bilson, Warden of Winchester College. Bilson was one of 
the first of Anglican High Churchmen. This book on Episcopacy was 
published at London in 1593, by Christopher Baker, Queen's Printer. 
It is an elaborate argument in favour of bishops, written by a strong 
advocate of the Episcopal order. 

27. A little French Catechism (fly-leaf lost) on the Christian 
Faith from the French Reformed point of view. At the end are the 
Ten Commandments put into verse, and a tune given, the music being 
printed. The tune is still a well-known one to us, and goes very well 
with the eight verses into which the Ten Commandments are com- 
pressed. It is strange to read that old music out of this battered old 
book. It was published at Lyons, by Jaques Faure. Bound in vellum, 

28. "A Familiar Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans" in 
French, with one of the boards covered with French writing probably 
the work of some Huguenot Protestant. Leighton spent his youth in 
France, and brought this and other French volumes over with him 
from the Continent to Newbattle. 


29. " A Replye to an answer made of Dr Whitgifte, against the 
Admonition to the Parliament," T. C. (probably Thomas Cartwright), 
Hooker's opponent. The book, at any rate which is a hot one against 
bishops and archbishops, proving them unscriptural to the author's 
complete satisfaction, and treating Archbishop Whitgifte's arguments, 
on their behalf, in the most scornful manner, is thoroughly in Cart- 
wright's style and spirit. 

30. A Work on Astrology, Physiognomy, Cheiromancy, and kin- 
dred arts. This is one of the most curious books in the collection, 
being full of woodcuts and designs of all kinds. The astrological sec- 
tion gives rules for sketching your life-history by the stars on the 
shortest notice, and on the most approved principles; that on Cheiro- 
mancy teaches the reader how to tell fortunes from the palm scores of 
illustrations being given of variously contorted palms. The chapters 
on Physiognomy are particularly rich. The volume really consists of 
two works, of which exact details are appended : 

(1) Johannes Hoflerinus, Justingensis : De Compositione aut Fabrica 

Astrolabii ejusdemque usu multifariisque utilitatibus. 
Moguntise : Petrus Jordan : 1535. Fol. 
Before the title page are 8 leaves : 
(i) Preliminary title with woodcut of Time. 
(2, 3, 4) Dedication by Petrus Jordan to Ferdinand, King of the 

(4-8) Index. 

" Prima Pars, de Fabrica" extends to f. 30, recto. 
"SecundaPars. de Usu" : f. 30 obv. f. 77 obv. The last Prop. 

is No. 45. 

Leaf at the end with emblems of Fortune within an architec- 
tural framework, and the colophon. 

The work appears to have been first published at Oppenheim 
1512-13, fol. 2nd Edition, Oppenheim 1524, fol. 

(2) Johannes ab Indagine : Introductiones apotelesmaticoe in Chyro- 

mantiam, Physiognomiam, &c. : 
Argentorati : Job. Schottus 1541. Fol. 
Title-page with portrait of author, 
p.p. 3-62. Chiromantia : 36 woodcuts of hands, and 6 of planets. 

63-76. Physiognomia : 22 heads. 

77-81. Periaxiomata de faciebus signorum. 

82-89. Canones oegritudinum. 

89-119. Astrologia naturalis. 

119-130. De judicio complexionum. 

Leaf at end, with arms of the author on the front, and of the 
printer (Schottus) at the back. 

The book appears to have been first published in 1522 : at Stras- 
burg in folio, and at Frankfort in i2mo. 3rd Edition, Strasburg 1531, 
folio. There are also later editions. English translation by Fabian 
Withers, London, Purforte, 1575. 

Another relic of Leighton of great interest is preserved in 
the National Museum, and now exhibited. It is a copy of the 
Solemn League and Covenant, in the usual printed form (Edin- 
burgh, 1643), which cost the parish the sum of 4/, and contains 
on the blank leaves at the end the signatures of the minister, 
heritors, and parishioners of Newbattle in October, 1643. 

It may be repeated that the present parish church of 


Newbattle, of date 1727, is built of the old Abbey stones, 
many of which can still be traced in the walls and tower. At 
the dissolution of the monastery, the Abbey Church was pulled 
down, and rebuilt about 200 yards off. This was Leighton's 
church. In 1726 it was again shifted another 200 yards off, and 
the same old Abbey stones were built up again for the third time. 
Though the present church, therefore, is not Leighton's, the 
stones once heard his voice, and the monastic voices of earlier 
days. Part of the present manse of Newbattle is the old 
parsonage of the good Archbishop; his dining-room, bedroom, 
and study are small, quaint rooms, and on the outside stepped 
gable is the inscription, " Evangelic et Posteris." The 
London coaches ran past the end of his house in the olden 
days, and made their first stoppage after leaving Edinburgh at 
the ancient " Sign of the Sun " Inn, which is still standing, 
a most interesting old building facing the gates of New- 
battle House. The window of Leighton's parlour looks out on 
beautiful woodlands, and on the old inn which may have sug- 
gested to him his wish to die in an inn. Shenstone at a later 
day voiced this wish in his well-known verse, scratched on a 
window in the old Red Lion Inn at Henley with a diamond : 

"Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round, 

Where'er his wanderings may have been, 
Will sigh to think he still has found 
His warmest welcome at an inn." 



NEWBATTLE parish has had three successive churches, 
- first, the Abbey; then Archbishop Leighton's 
church, now a burying vault ; and our present fabric, 
which dates from 1727. The earliest mention of the 
communion plate is in connection with Alfred, the 
second Abbot of Newbattle, who in 1159 furnished the mon- 
astery with several silver vessels and a richly-embossed silver 
chest to contain articles of peculiar value and sacredness. 

Then there is a dead silence of two hundred years, during 
which we hear nothing of the altar vessels and plate of the 
great monastery, though it is quite certain that these must have 
been largely augmented from royal and princely sources. It 
was the mediaeval custom to commemorate any great benefit 
or deliverance by a gift to the altar. 

In 1385 Richard II. and his uncle, John of Gaunt, in- 
vaded Scotland, and in their fiery progress northwards wrecked 
the finest abbeys and churches of the country, up to Edin- 
burgh. The old Scottish bard, Wyntoun, in the chapter en- 
titled, " When Richard, King of England, burned abbaies in 
Scotland," describing these ravages, says : 

With all their men the way they took 
To Scotland, and at Melrose lay : 
And there they burnt up that abbey 
Dryburgh and Newbottle, they twa, 
Intil their way they burned also. 
Of Edinburgh The Kirk burnt they. 

Thus Newbattle Abbey and the Cathedral of St. Giles' 
(" The Kirk of Edinburgh," as it was always called) shared 
the same cruel fate from the same ruthless hands. So great, 
indeed, was the havoc done to the latter that the Town Council 
and Guilds of Edinburgh all contributed handsome sums to- 
wards its restoration. Newbattle Abbey was burned to the 
ground, and its lofty towers and spires levelled with the dust ; 
even its farms and granges were fired. Some of the monks 



were taken prisoner, and the few who were allowed to remain 
among the smoking ruins were obliged to sell twenty-nine mas- 
sive chalices, besides all the other silver-plate and sacred altar 
ornaments, in order to get food. Thus the accumulated trea- 
sures of more than two centuries were scattered and irreparably 
lost. In the course of a few years the monastery was rebuilt 
and furnished anew with altar vessels, of less worth and splen- 
dour, however, than of old. 

On the 3oth of September, 1390, five years after the 
dreadful havoc, Sir James Douglas, of Dalkeith, made a will 
bequeathing to the Monastery of Newbattle, amongst other pro- 
perty, " a splendid jewel," twelve silver dishes, and other 
plate, on condition that his body were interred beside that of 
his wife in the monastic cemetery, now the marquessial gar- 
dens, where, besides a host of ecclesiastical dignitaries, sev- 
eral royal personages sleep. 

In 1479 Abbot John, desirous of perpetuating his memory, 
adorned the conventual buildings and furnished the altars with 
several rich chalices and ornaments. 

Again the old place had trial of fire ; the English destroyer 
came up once more in his bands in 1550, under the Earl of 
Hertford, and wrecked the Abbey ; but history is altogether 
silent as to the fate of the gold and silver vessels. Although 
even then the Church was growing corrupt, and ripening for 
the great upheaval of the Reformation, there were still those 
who took pleasure in the old Abbey stones, blackened with 
English smoke, and to whom her very dust was dear ; and with 
loving hands the old pile was reared again, and the voice of 
devotion was heard once more in the land. And then the Re- 
formation came, and Mark Ker, the last Abbot, became the 
first Baron of Newbattle; the monks, old and young, were 
driven away, and their home was transformed into the mansion- 

And here all traces of the plate are lost; in the troubles 
of the time many of the Scottish priests and monks fled to 
France, and to-day, in the Scots College at Paris, there are 
several of the ancient Scottish communion vessels, amongst 
others, some of those of Glasgow Cathedral. 

After the Reformed Church of Scotland was fairly organ- 
ised, laws were enacted requiring every church to furnish itself 
with " large silver cups " for the communion wine, and large 


plates for the bread. Almost all the old parish churches of 
the land possess these original vessels still, which are all of 
the same general pattern, large bowls on carved pedestals. 
They are, as a rule, of the purest silver, and are not moulded, 
but hammered into shape, the marks of the hammer being still 
quite distinct. Such churches as Trinity College, Old Grey- 
friars', and St. Giles', in Edinburgh, still possess these original 
Reformation cups. Our cups and other sacramental plate are 
not of so early a date. Up till 1646 the Dalkeith plate was 
borrowed for sacramental occasions, and in the old session 
records are frequent entries of gratuities to the " Dalkeith 
belman," evidently for carriage. But in that year our New- 
battle parishioners made a gift of plate to the Church. 

The following is the entry in the Session Records regard- 
ing the gift of communion plate to Newbattle in 1646 : " Re- 
cord of wescheles (vessels) and such like that pertain to the 
parosch of Newbattle, 1646. 29 May. The whilk day was 
given by Robert Porteous younger a silver cup for service to 
the Kirk. Likewise by Alexander Kaitnes, another of the 
same faschion. Likewise by Patrick Ileis (Ellis) of South- 

These are the vessels which the parish now possesses. They 
are of chaste and beautiful pattern; the marks of the hammer 
are quite distinct on the bowl, and on each of them are in- 
scribed the words, " For the Kirk of Newbotl," the proper 
name being spelt differently on each of them. 

For more than a century these four cups and other vessels 
were in constant use, when, in 1732, one of the cups was lost. 
There was a mystery about its disappearance, and for a whole 
year its fate and whereabouts were unknown. In 1733 it was 
found at Newcastle, and brought back damaged. The repair 
of it cost 6, 6s., half of which was charged to " James Wil- 
son, the beadle." The marks of these repairs are still quite 

Ever since, these chalices have been used at every sacra- 
ment regularly, all through two centuries, up to Nov- 
ember, 1885. Their beautiful pattern has been much admired, 
and copies of them have been executed. Their money value 
is very great, the silver being of the purest ; a point on which 
our pious forefathers were most scrupulous, that only the 
best should be given to God. At present they are worth more 
than their weight in shillings. 



At a meeting of the Royal Scottish Society of Antiquaries, 
held in Edinburgh some years ago, a paper was read by Sher- 
iff Macpherson on " Certain Communion Cups from Duirinish, 
Skye." A large collection of communion chalices, about a 
hundred in all, were on exhibition to illustrate the subject. 
It was a strange and touching sight. Cups from the Orkney 
Islands, from the distant Western Isles, from town and country 
all stood together, probably for the first time in their history, 
and very likely for the last, as the trouble of procuring the 
vessels iust have been enormous. One Orkney minister carried 
his plate with his own hands over land and water until the 
Scottish mainland was reached, when he delivered it up into 
responsible hands. Many of the cups were similar in shape 
to the Newbattle type, which was the prevalent shape of the 
period, and is seen in the cups of St. Giles', St. Cuthbert's, 
&c. Others were more of the wine-glass shape. Others were 
set on tall, tapering pedestals, richly adorned, these being as 
a rule pre- Reformation vessels. Two or three were just big 
silver tumblers; while some from the far north were made of 
horn, with a narrow silver edging. The Newbattle cups re- 
ceived special mention as next in historical interest after a 
magnificent silver-gilt chalice, three hundred years old. Their 
association with Leighton was specially referred to. 

A word may here be said about the Newbattle baptismal 
plate, which consists of a massive solid silver jug and basin. 
They were bought on March 20, 1681, the basin weighing " 36 
oz. 14 drops, at ^3, 123. Scots the oz." Round the edge of 
the jug are the words, '" Repent and be baptised every one 
of you, for the remission of sins." 

On October 12, 1679, four flagons of two pint apiece 
were bought, costing nine pounds Scots each. 

These sacramental vessels were all used in that older New- 
battle church which succeeded the Abbey as a parish sanctuary, 
but which is now almost obliterated, save for the small part 
of it used as a vault for the house of Lothian. It will ever be 
something to remember and be proud of, that they were 
handled and drunk out of by Leighton, according to Principal 
Tulloch and Professor Flint, " the greatest saint that Scotland 
has had since the Reformation." 

These ancient chalices are thus not without a history of 
their own ; when rubbed, like Aladdin's lamp, the spirit of the 


past comes out and stands face to face with us. They were 
touched by the ' lips of Leighton ; out of them the forefathers 
of the present families of Newbattle tasted the wine in which, 
year by year, they anew pledged themselves to Christ; they 
were probably out on the moors at the Covenanting communions 
on the Pentlands, so vividly pourtrayed in the well-known en- 
graving. In 1888 a fifth cup was added as a memorial from 
the Newbattle congregation to the late Rev. Dr Thomas Gordon 
(minister of Newbattle). A sixth cup was recently presented 
by Mr and Mrs Ebenezer Dawson of Glenesk, Dalkeith, uni- 
form in pattern, style, silver, and weight with the ancient ves- 
sels which have stood the wear and tear of time so wonderfully. 




FROM 1140 A.D., when the Abbey of St. Mary, New- 
bottle, was founded, until 1560, there were 36 abbots, 
the chronicle of whose doings is briefly recorded in 
the Chartulary of the Abbey, preserved in the Advo- 
cates' Library in Edinburgh. From 1560, the year 
of the Reformation, until to-day, there have been 28 parish 
clergymen, and the full list is here given, with a few historical 
notes under each name. 
RALPH, 1140 or 1141. A youth from Melrose. A legendary vision of 

the Evil One is recorded of him. 

ALFRED, 1159. Who greatly improved the Abbey, and died i7th Octo- 
ber, 1179. 

HUGH, 1179. Famous throughout Scotland as a "settler of contro- 
versies." Resigned 1201. 

ADAM, 1201. " Master of Converts." Resigned 1213. 
ALAN, 1213. Formerly sub-prior of Melrose. 
RICHARD, 1214. Formerly cellarer of the house. 
ADAM DE HALCARRES, 1216. Formerly cellarer, afterwards Abbot of 


RICHARD, 1218. Master of Converts. 
RICHARD, 1220. Received Alexander II. on igth May, 1223; his Queen 

lies buried at Newbattle, as well as that of David II. 
CONSTANTINE, 1230. Resigned 1236. 
RODGER, 1236. From Melrose; cellarer there; afterwards went to 


WILLIAM, 1256. Acquired for Abbey properties in Leith and Greenside. 
ADAM, 1259. From Melrose ; afterwards Abbot of Melrose. 
GUIDO, 1261. The porter. 
PATRICK, 1269-72. 
WALTER, 1272. 

WALDEVE, 1273. Cellarer at Melrose; " He departed to the Lord, leav- 
ing his house in full peace, and excellent condition." 
JOHN, 1275. Did homage to Edward I. in prison. His seal is in 

Westminster Abbey Chapter-house. 

GERVASE, 1312. Sat in Scotch Parliament at Cambuskenneth 1314, and 
Ayr, 1315 ; present at Bannockburn, where several churchmen 
fought, and the Abbot of Inchaffray blessed Bruce and the Scot- 
tish army. 

WILLIAM, 1328. Got privileges from Melville. 
ANDREW, 1330. Commissioner for Pope. 

WILLIAM, 1350. Commissioner for Pope regarding Paisley Abbey. 
HUGH, 1360. Monastery burned by English under Richard II. and 

John of Gaunt. 

NICHOLAS, 1390. Abbey restored. 80 monks and 70 lay brethren. 
JOHN GUGY, 1402. 




PATRICK MEADOW, B.D., 1460. Royal Commissioner for holding and 
continuing Parliament. 

JOHN CRECHTOUNE, 1470. Abbey at height of its magnificence. In 
Glasgow University records he is referred to (1474) " A venerable 
father in Christ, John Crechtune, Abbot of the Monastery of Neu- 
botil " ; and, in the same year, " Patrick Sluthman, a monk, of 
his convent." 

JOHN, 1479. Greatly adorned Abbey. In his reign America was dis- 

ANDREW, 1494. 

JOHN, 1512. (Entertained James V. 22nd April, 1526.) The King 
granted the monks Prestongrange, where they shipped their coals. 
Morison's Haven is their old port, as the " Salters' Road" is their 
old highway to the sea. 

EDWARD SHEWILL, 1526. Grants feu-charter for Craighouse lands to 
Hugh Douglas. 

JAMES, 1531. Developed coal working at Newbattle. Contracts with 
Dunfermline monks regarding Prestongrange workings. The 
Newbattle abbots' residences at Inveresk are still standing, now 
called Halkston House and Inveresk Lodge, containing crypts, 
chambers, and subterranean passages. Prestongrange Salt Works 
and Salters' Road. 

JOHN, 1540. 

JOHN HASWELL, 1542. Abbey burned by the English under Earl of 
Hertford. The Abbey was never quite rebuilt again. Remained 
Abbot till 1547. 

MARK KER, 1547. (Son of Sir Andrew Ker of Cessford.) Reformation, 
1560. Mark Ker made Commendator. 

After the dissolution of the monastery, a period of ir- 
regularity seems to have set in, and, as all over Scotland, 
worship was neglected, morals deteriorated, and religion lan- 
guished. In many cases the doors of the Parish Churches 
remained closed for years. In Knox's " First Book of Dis- 
cipline," it was laid down, " To the churches where no mini- 
ster can be had presently, must be appointed the most apt men 
that distinctly can read the common prayers and the Scriptures, 
to -exercise themselves and the church till they grow to greater 
perfection ; and in process of time, he who is but a reader may 
attain to a further degree, and by consent of the church and 
discreet ministers, may be permitted to minister the Sacraments, 
but not before he is able somewhat to persuade by wholesome 
doctrine besides his reading, and be admitted to the ministry " 
(iv. 5). As showing the difficulty of obtaining suitable clergy- 
men after the Reformation, it is interesting to note that in 1567 
the Rev. William Knox, nephew of John Knox, the Reformer, 
was appointed to minister at Cockpen, in the old church now 
ruined, and at the same time to have pastoral charge of Car- 
rington, Temple, and Clerkington (now part of Temple) par- 
ishes. The first settled minister after the Reformation of 1560 
was ADAM FOULIS, who in 1570 was translated to Newbattle 



from Heriot. In 1573 ROBERT WILSON was translated from 
Dalkeith to Newbattle. In 1583 JOHN HEREIS was translated 
from Ormiston to Newbattle. In 1606 ALEXANDER AMBROSE, 
M.A., was minister. In 1615 JOHN AIRD, M.A., became mini- 
ster, having been translated from Newton. The old part of 
the present manse was built in 1625. During his incumbency 
there were eight or nine hundred communicants in the church, 
though, of course, then the parish was without quoad sacra 
churches, and the Newbattle sacrament was a great occasion, 
not only for the parish, but the district. The "Tent" was 
erected in the old historic churchyard, and immense gatherings 
of people assembled from all parts to participate in the sol- 
emnities. In these days neighbouring churches were closed 
when a Sacrament was celebrated, and the ministers and people 
of their churches journeyed to the place where the Communion 
was dispensed, many people taking Communion on suc- 
cessive Sundays in different churches. Doubtless a good deal 
of what Burns wrote sarcastically regarding the " Holy Fair " 
was true, and farm servants in those days of few holidays 
used to stipulate, on taking arles, for the "Dalkeith Fair ; ' 
and " Newbattle Sacrament " as days of freedom. The large 
table-shaped tombstone in the churchyard which covers the 
ashes of the Welshes (Carlyle's relations) is still pointed out 
as having been used on these occasions as a table for refresh- 
ments. These traditions may be taken for what they are worth. 
This Mr Aird did much in Newbattle in his time for the cause 
of education, there being at his induction " no satled schole " 
in the parish. Through his exertions, Knox's great idea of a 
school in every parish as well as a church, was carried out in 
Newbattle. He was a man "eminent for grace and gifts, 
faithfulness and success." As showing the social state of 
Scotland at the time, it has come down in writing that he had 
" six silver spoons, twa silver tassis, and some broken silver 
work." Mark Carse, the famous "Laird of Cockpen," was 
his intimate friend, and also the Rev. John Knox, minister of 
Cockpen, grand-nephew of the Reformer and son of the first 
reformed parson of Cockpen. The " funeral bell," with its 
iron bone-shaped handle, which used to summon Newbattle 
parishioners to funerals, still exists, and bears the initials, 
"1616. M.J.A.'" Minister, John Aird." The Rev. AN- 
DREW CANT, M.A., succeeded Mr Aird in 1639 : he was trans- 



lated from Pitsligo, but remained at Newbattle only three 
years. He was one of the most uncompromising of the Coven- 
anters, and forms a notable figure during the reigns of Charles 
I. and II. It was he who was sent by the " tables " (as the 
Convention of the National Party was designated, in opposition 
to the Royalists) to Aberdeen to induce the inhabitants to sign 
the Covenant, and, along with a few others, zealously promoted 
the Covenanting cause in the north, where Episcopacy was 
strong. On August 3oth, 1640, he was with the army when 
the Scots obtained possession of Newcastle, and by request of 
the army preached in one of the churches of that city. He 
loved nothing better than to declaim from the pulpit against 
kings and magistrates, and though often taken to task both by 
civil and ecclesiastical courts, they had in the end to give in 
to this determined, dogged Presbyterian minister, who feared 
and cared for nobody. In 1640 he was appointed one of the 
ministers of Aberdeen, and left Newbattle, and while in the 
northern metropolis he ruled the church with a rod of iron. 
Many amusing stories are told of him. The Aberdeen people 
(never very keen for the Covenant) disliked him very much, 
and would not come out to church in the afternoon to hear him, 
contenting themselves with "half -day hearing." As a retalia- 
tion, and in order to compel them to come out a second time, 
he abstained from giving the congregation the blessing at the 
close of morning worship, and so, in order to receive the bene- 
diction, they were forced to appear at the afternoon service. 
It is also related that one Sunday afternoon during the sermon, 
a number of children made a considerable noise outside the 
old church of St. Nicholas where he was preaching, and Mr 
Cant, getting at last exasperated, rushed out of the pulpit and 
so through the congregation into the open-air, where he engaged 
in a vigorous chase after the ingenuous youth of the city where 
Jews cannot flourish, and having dispersed them, returned to 
the pulpit, and taking up the thread of his discourse where 
he had stopped it, finished his sermon. It is related that the 
people " marvelled greatly." He was strongly opposed to both 
Charles I. and II., and often preached before the Scots Par- 
liament. At the Restoration in 1660 he was charged with 
sedition, and was obliged to resign his ministry at Aberdeen. 
Addison in the " Spectator " says (No. 147) that the word 
" cant " was derived from this minister's name, whom he de- 



scribes as an " illiterate man." Cant's son became afterwards 
(1772) Episcopalian Bishop at Edinburgh, a repetition of the 
Leighton incident, where the Presbyterian father and martyr 
gave his son as a bishop. 

In 1641, after Mr Cant's translation to Aberdeen, ROBERT 
LEIGHTON was ordained minister of Newbattle, December i6th. 
On that day " Mr Jhone Knox," nephew of the Reformer, 
preached before a large congregation gathered within the old 
church (of which only a fragment remains in the " Lothian 
Vault") a sermon on Hebrews xiii. 17, "Obey them that 
have the rule over you and submit yourselves : for they watch 
for your souls as they that must give account : that they may 
do it with joy and not with grief." The ecclesiastical steps 
connected with Leighton's election are recorded in the records 
of the Presbytery of Dalkeith, as follows : 

"Dec. 2, 1641. Compeared ye parishioners of Newbottle and 
testified their accepting Mr Robert Lichtoune to be their minister." 

"Dec. 7, 1641. Returned Mr Robert Lichtoune his two theses 
[i.e. trial sermons] : endorsed. Compeared ye parishioners of New- 
bottle and accepted." 

" Dec. 16. Admission Mr Robert Lichtoune. Whilk day (being 
appointed for ye admission of Mr Robert Lichtoune) preached Mr 
Johne Knox : Hebrews 13, 17. Whilk day after sermon, Mr Johne 
Knox put to Mr Robert Lichtoune and ye parishioners of Newbottle, 
sundry questions, competent to ye occasion, and after imposition of 
hands and ye solemne prayer, was admitted minister at Newbottle. 
Absent Mr James Porteous, elder. Mr Robert Rodger to intimate on 
Sunday next ye translation.' 

The following list of some of the members of Dalkeith 
Presbytery, while Leighton was at Newbattle, has been gather- 
ed together out of the dim and faded pages of the Presbytery 
Records, written in curious twisted hands, and the ink faded 
away with two and a half centuries of age : 

Rev. Andro Cant. 

Rev. Oliver Colt (Inveresk). 

Rev. Hew Campbell. 

Rev. John Knox. 

Rev. Wm. Calderwood. 

Rev. Patrick Sibbald. 

Rev. J. Gillies (previously Bishop of Argyle), Lasswade. 
Revs. Adam and Gideon Penman ; Mr Robert Couper ; Mr James 
Porteous, elder at Newbattle (this James Porteous was a bailie in 
Newbattle, and presented one of the four silver Communion cups 
gifted to the church during Leighton's ministry. He was the ances 
tor of the famous Dr Beilby Porteous, Bishop of London, whose 
work on Christian evidences is still a standard one. It is believed 
his family came to this district originally from Jamaica) ; John 
Logan ; James and Alexander Rotson, elders. 

Archbishop Leighton's family motto was "Light on"; 
and the life-principle of this old Newbattle minister was (to 



quote a few of his own sentences which deserve to be written 
in letters of gold), " Print in thine heart the image of Jesus 
Christ crucified, the impression of His humility, poverty, 
mildness, and all His holy virtues. Let thy thoughts of Him 
turn into affection and thy knowledge into love." " Good 
words do more than hard speeches, as the sunbeams without 
any noise will make the traveller cast off his cloak, which all 
the blustering winds could not do, but only make him bind it 
closer to him." " It is not the gilded paper and good writing 
of a petition that prevails with a king, but the moving sense of 
it. And to that King who discerns the heart, heart-sense is 
the sense of all, and that which He only regards; He listens 
to hear what that speaks, and takes all as nothing where that 
is silent. All other excellence in prayer is but the outside and 
fashion of it; this is the life of it." 

A full life of the good Archbishop is given elsewhere ; 
and here we only give a few extracts from the session-records 
of the parish, written during his incumbency : 

" 1643. 2 8 May. Mair to Robert Porteous to buy ane cave, to 
keip our Communion wyne in ^13 : IDS. 

" For carrying cave from Edinburgh 6s. 

" 24 Septr. Given out of the collections for ane psalme-book to 
serve the kirk, and for binding the Bybill ^3 : 153. 

" 22 Oct. Given for the Covenant 43. 

" 10 Dec. Mair for the subscryving (subscribing) of the Cove- 
nant, to the Reidar that subscryvit for thes that could not subscryve 
themselffs i : IDS : 4. 

" 1664. May 5. Given to ane Hungarian scholler 2 : 13 : 4." 

[This must have been some poor student from Hungary whom 
Leighton took by the hand and helped.] 

" 18 Aug. Given to a daft man 43. 

" 1645. 10 March. Glas windows for the kirk go. 

" i June. Mair to the fishars' wyffes (often entered) i : 13 : 4. 

" i June. Mair to the Egyptians (gipsies) i6s. 8d. 

" 20 Aug. Mair for aill to the seik i : 13 : 4." 

ALEXANDER DICKSON, M.A., succeeded Leighton in 1653, 
after the latter had left Newbattle to become Principal of 
Edinburgh University. He was the son of Dr David Dickson, 
Professor of Divinity in Edinburgh University, and after a few 
years' service in the holy ministry at Newbattle, he himself 
was called to be Professor of Hebrew in the same University 
as his father, in 1657. His father was a remarkable figure 
in Scottish history, having been a persecuted Covenanter, ban- 
ished and deprived, and having also taken a leading part in 
the famous Glasgow Assembly of 1638. He, along with Hen- 
derson and Calderwood, prepared the " Directory for Public 



Worship," and "The Sum of Saving Knowledge." He is 
more especially famous as the author of the beautiful hymn, 
" O mother dear, Jerusalem !" which may have been an echo 
of the Elizabethan priest's poem, " Jerusalem, my happy 
home." At any rate, both of these and all the other hymns 
of this type (and there are several) are begotten of an ancient 
Latin hymn of the eighth century which appeared during the 
pontificate of Urban VIII., the hymn for the dedication of 
a church, " Urbs beata Jerusalem," or " Caelestis urbs Jer- 
usalem," a grand old rugged hymn of the early Latin Church, 
of which Dr Dickson gave the following general rendering : - 

" O mother dear, Jerusalem ! 

When shall I come to thee? 
When shall my sorrows have an end, 

Thy joys when shall I see? 
O happy harbour of God's saints ! 

O sweet and pleasant soil ! 
In thee no sorrow may be found, 

No grief, no care, no toil ! 

" In thee no sickness is at all, 

No hurt nor any sore; 
There is no death, or ugly sight, 

But life for evermore. 
No dimmish clouds o'ershadow thee, 

No dull nor darksome night ; 
But every soul shines as the sun, 

For God himself gives light. 

" There lust nor lucre cannot dwell, 

There envy bears no sway ; 
There is no hunger, thirst, nor heat, 

But pleasure every way. 
Jerusalem ! Jerusalem ! 

Would God I were in thee, 
O that my sorrows had an end, 

Thy joys that I might see. 

" No pains, no pangs, no grieving grief, 

No woeful sight is there, 
No sigh, no sob, no cry is heard, 

No well-away ! no fear ! 
Jerusalem the city is 

Of God our King alone, 
The Lamb of God, the light thereof, 

Sits there upon His throne ! 

" O God, that I Jerusalem 

With speed may so behold ; 
For why? The pleasures there abound 

With tongue cannot be told. 
Thy turrets and thy pinnacles 

With carbuncles do shine; 
With jasper, pearl and chrysolite 

Surpassing pure and fine. 


" Thy houses are of ivory, 

Thy windows crystal clear, 
Thy streets are laid with beaten gold, 

Where angels do appear ; 
Thy walls are made of precious stones, 

Thy bulwarks diamond square, 
Thy gates are made of Orient pearl. 

O God ! if I were there ! 

" There David sings with harp in hand, 

As master of the queir ; 
A thousand times that man were blest 

That might his music hear ; 
There Mary sings Magnificat 

With tunes surpassing sweet, 
And all the virgins bear their part, 

Singing about her feet. 

" There love and charity doth reign, 

And Christ is all in all ; 
Whom they most perfectly behold 

In glory spiritual. 
They love, they praise, they praise, they love, 

They ' Holy, holy ' cry ; 
They neither toil nor faint nor end, 

But laud continually. 

" O passing happy were my state 

Might I be worthy found 
To wait upon my God and King 

His praises there to sound ! 
With cherubims and seraphims 

And holy souls of men, 
To sing Thy praise, O God of hosts, 

For ever and amen." 

It is interesting to think that Leighton's first act on going 
to be Principal of Edinburgh University, was to send the pro- 
mising son of his colleague in the University Chair of Divinity 
to be his successor at Newbattle. Doubtless he got the ap- 
pointment through Leighton's influence. 

1657. During a period of national confusion, when the Covenant- 
ing struggle was at its height, calls were made to several ministers 
to fill Mr Dickson's office amongst others to HEW ARCHIBALD, 
who, however, was rejected for vitiating his testimonial. He 
however served the cure for some time. 

1660. GEORGE JOHNSTON, A.M., was translated from the parish of 
Lochrutton to Newbattle. His was, however, a most troubled 
ministry owing to the fierce contest between Covenanters and 
Episcopalians. On nth June, 1662, he was deprived of his 
office by Parliament and ceased to be minister, being a deter- 
mined Covenanter. In 1679 he was seized for preaching at 
Covenanting conventicles, and oh refusing to desist was con- 
fined to the parish of Borthwick. 

1663. ARCHIBALD CHEISHOLM, M.A., son of Walter C. Cheisholm, 
bailie of Dunblane, was appointed curate or minister of New- 
battle, the Church of Scotland being Episcopal since the Restora- 
tion of the Stuarts in 1660. Leighton was at this time Bishop of 
Dunblane, and probably through his great influence, this son of 


the Dunblane bailie was made incumbent of Newbattle. From 
this date the " Book of Common Prayer " was regularly used in 
the church. Cheisholm was in 1667 translated to Corstorphine. 
1667. ALEXANDER MALCOLM succeeded him, having been translated 
from the Edinburgh Tolbooth Parish. In 1681 he was translated 
to Greyfriars', Edinburgh (Episcopalian). During his incumb- 
ency a disastrous fire took place at Newbattle. In the Session 
Records of Cockpen this sentence occurs : " 1675, December 26th. 
This day a collection intimate for the people who had their 
houses burnt at Newbottle, and the people exhorted to have it in 
readiness against Friday next, and the elders would come to 
their several houses to receive it." 

1681. ARCHIBALD DOUGLAS, M.A., was translated from Newton to 
succeed Mr Malcolm. (Episcopalian.) 

1682. ANDREW AUCHINLECK, M.A., was translated from the parish of 
Denino to succeed Mr Douglas. (Episcopalian.) 

1687. GEORGE JOHNSTON, A.M., (above-mentioned), returned to 
Newbattle on the overthrow of Episcopacy, and was, after the 
" rabbling of the curates," restored as minister of Newbattle, the 
Church of Scotland having then adopted Presbytery as its church 
polity. Liberty was given to Presbyters who had been ousted 
by the Stuart bishops to return to their old charges, and, after 
all his vicissitudes, Johnston came back to his former incumbency 
at Newbattle. Shortly after he was translated to Edinburgh. 

The Covenanters have left an indelible mark in this dis- 
trict. The martyred Argyle lay in the Newbattle vault for 
two months after his execution, under the care of the Earl of 
Lothian, whose sympathies were so strongly with the Coven- 
ant. The George Johnston referred to was minister of New- 
battle in 1660, was deprived by Parliament in 1662, and in 
1679 restored to Newbattle : seized again for preaching at Con- 
venticles and confined in BortEwick Castle in 1670 : after his 
liberation, he was several times arrested during the Covenant- 
ing struggle. In 1687 he was restored to Newbattle and re- 
turned thither on liberty being given to Presbyterianism. He 
was afterwards translated to Greyfriars, Edinburgh, and the 
life of this strong. Covenanting leader forms an interesting 
chapter in history. In 1684, Mr Macgeorge, minister of 
Heriot, was imprisoned for his Covenanting views. Rullion 
Green has its vivid memories of battle and blood, and of Hugh 
M'Kail and James Renwick, the last martyr of the Covenant. 
James Guthrie spent a night in Newbattle manse on his way 
to his execution in Edinburgh. Away up in the Pentlands at 
" Roger's Kirk " a wounded refugee from the battle of Rul- 
lion Green, belonging to Ayrshire, finding refuge at Blackhill 
House, expressed a wish to die " within sight of the Ayrshire 
hills." He was taken up the glen of the west water, and died 
within sight of his native county. A tombstone stands to his 
memory with this inscription, " Sacred to the memory of a 
o (209) 


Covenanter who fought and was wounded at Rullion Green, 
November 28, 1666, and who died at Oaken Bush the day 
after the battle, and was buried here by Adam Sanderson of 

The records of the Presbytery of Dalkeith are very in- 
complete during the quarter of a century of the Covenanting 
struggle, as are also those of the kirk-sessions of the district. 
An original copy of the " Solemn League and Covenant " 
hangs in Newbattle House, and the Earl of Lothian, like 
Argyle, was a keen Covenanter, and his name is adhibited to it. 

At Rullion Green the late Lord President Inglis of Wood- 
houselee, close by, had the memorial to the Covenanting mar- 
tyrs, who fell in the " Pentland Rising," restored. The in- 
scription is as follows : 

"A cloud of witnesses lie here, 
Who for Christ's interests did appear, 
For to restore true liberty 
O'er turned them by tyranny ; 
These heroes fought with great renown, 
By falling got the martyr's crown." 

Hugh M'Kail was the most prominent of the leaders, and 
took refuge at Goodtrees, now Moredun, where a party of dra- 
goons followed him up. He was apprehended on the Braid 
Hills, and hanged at Edinburgh Cross, amid the tears of the 
Scottish people, after addressing the assembly with touching 
affection and rapturous confidence. 

Andrew Gillon, a Covenanter who suffered at the Edin- 
burgh gallows in 1683, is buried near St. Andrews. He was 
accused of complicity in the murder of Archbishop Sharp, and 
took refuge in the Bilston glen with Mrs Umpherston. Gillon 
was first imprisoned in Dalkeith prison, and then in the Edin- 
burgh Tolbooth, and chained to a thick bar of iron still to be 
seen in the Antiquarian Museum, Edinburgh. He was hanged 
at Edinburgh Cross on Friday, 2oth July, 1683. His brother, 
Robert, married a Maggie Marr, and her name still survives 
in the designation of a field on Hardengreen Farm in Cockpen 
parish, which is still called "Maggie Marr's field." ["Andrew 
Gillon : a Tale of the Scottish Covenanters," by John Strath- 

1688. JOHN MOSMAN succeeded him. He seems to have been a Pres- 
byterian minister very much after the bigoted, vicious type, satir- 
ized in " Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence Displayed." Indeed, in 
that book of terrible stories, prefixed by the most laughable 
satirical picture ever drawn, Mosman several times is held up to 


ridicule. A good story is there told of him how at his induction 
sermon he gave out as his text, " I am the Good Shepherd," 
and from that motto drew an edifying picture of the relations 
which ought and were to subsist between pastor and people. 
"Now, brethren," said this Boanerges, "I am going to be the 
shepherd and you are to be the sheep " ; " and this Bible," he said, 
holding up the bulky pulpit volume, "will be my tar-bottle, for 
I'll mark you all with it." Then, bending over the edge of his 
preaching-tub, he touched the precentor on the head and said, 
" Thomas, you'll be the dowg." " Deil a bit of your dowg will I 
be, minister," cried the offended chief-musician looking up indig- 
nantly out of his singing-barrel. " O Thomas," said the divine 
in his most soothing accents, "I spake mystically." "Ah but, 
sir, retorted the unabashed son of Asaph, "ye spake mischiev- 
ously !" Several good stories are told of this estimable divine, 
who spoke of David in the pulpit as "a wee mannikin, who with 
a slingie and a stonie broucht that grate muckle giant Goliath to 
the ground." He refused to pray for the King and Queen ; order- 
ed to appear before the Estates. 

1695. ROBERT SANDILANDS succeeded. 

1705. CHARLES CAMPBELL succeeded. 

1721. ANDREW MITCHELL succeeded. During his incumbency the 
present parish church was re-built (1727), the same old Abbey 
stones being used for the second time + 

1739. WILLIAM CREECH succeeded. 

1746. JAMES WATSON. Relatives still living. 

1754. GEORGE SHEPHERD. Relatives still living. 

1779. WILLIAM PAUL. Went to St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh. 

1786. JAMES BROWN. "Who greatly excelled as a preacher, and in 
1794 built the beautiful village of Eskbank." (Hew Scott's 

1813. JOHN THOMSON. Published "The constraining Power of the 
Love of Christ " (1839), which was greatly admired. Memorial 
in Church. 

1841. DR VEITCH. Translated to St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh. 

1843. THOMAS GORDON, D.D. Memorial in Church. 

i All that remains of the second church is a portion of a doorway 
and a vault known as the Lothian vault, in which the last Abbot is 
buried and many of his descendants, as the quaint inscription on the 
front shows " Jean Marchioness of Lothian built this Isle in the year 
of our Lord 1705," a statement which probably must be interpreted as 
re-building, for in all probability, after the dissolution of the mon- 
astery, when the old Abbey stones, blackened with English fire, and 
ruined even unto death, were removed from the old site, marked out in 
gravel, beside the present dwelling-house, and re-built into the church 
a stone-throw off as the parish church of Newbotle, a vault was pre- 
pared underneath the chancel of the re-built church, the orientation of 
which is exactly the same as in the old site beside the cloisters, and 
in it were intended to be deposited the mortal remains of the commen- 
dator's family, which was now by allowance of the Crown in tempor- 
ary custody of the entire monastic property and revenues. The 
" building " of 1705 could only have been a " re-building," and in 
1727 the entire church was moved to the other side of the road and 
re-built a second time, the old Leighton pulpit being removed along 
with the church and all the other ecclesiastical belongings. 




THE first edition of Burns' poems was published at Kil- 
marnock in 1786, under the title of " Poems chiefly 
in the Scottish Dialect." The second appeared at 
Edinburgh in 1788 from the press of William Creech, 
afterwards Lord Provost of Edinburgh. He pur- 
chased the copyright of the poems, and all along proved him- 
self so warm and true a friend to the poet, that some account 
of him needs no apology. 

Creech's father was minister of the parish of Newbattle 
in Prince Charlie's time, and saw all the rebellions and striv- 
ings of that memorable epoch. He entered the incumbency 
in 1739, succeeding the Rev. Andrew Mitchell, and died in 
the year of the battle of Prestonpans. There are those living 
in Newbattle to-day whose immediate ancestors of three gener- 
ations back travelled up the brow of the hill in the upland part 
of the parish above the Roman Camp, and seawards towards 

In the previous editions of " William Creech " the following note 
was prefixed : " Though he had misfortunes great and small, Robert 
Burns had also many kind friends, who took the young ploughman by 
the hand, and acknowledging the fire of his genius, helped with the 
material fuel. Dr Laurie, minister of Loudon, one of the poet's 
earliest benefactors, introduced him to Dr Blacklock, the blind poet 
and divine, whom Dr Johnson ' beheld with reverence,' and who was 
practically the first to reveal to Scotland the greatness of her gift. 
The Earl of Glencairn, the last to hold the title, by his generous 
patronage of an Ayrshire peasant, gilded his coronet with imperish- 
able glory, and shed a parting ray of light on the dying honours of 
his house. Dugald Stewart not only graced the chair of moral philos- 
ophy, but stretched out a warm hand to the author of the ' Cottar's 
Saturday Night.' But probably the most practical and useful friend 
Burns ever had was ' Willie Creech,' who in song and letter is often 
referred to by him. It is fitting that, after nearly a century of forget- 
fulness, he and his father should be commemorated in the place where 
the former was born, and where the latter offered the sacrifice of 
praise. The simple sketch appended is intended to revive some of the 
Creech memories and traditions lingering around Newbattle and Dal- 
keith, and as an apology, if such were needed, for the erection of 
a brass memorial to them both in the ancient sanctuary where the 
father ministered, and the repair and improvement of the tombstone 
in the churchyard where so many generations rest quietly after the 



Fawside Castle, to get a view of the battle while it was in 
progress. So that brings things up pretty close to the present 
day. We do not know on which side Mr Creech's sympathies 
were, but there was great excitement in the big village of New- 
battle, which clustered round the old church, when the news 
of Prestonpans spread like wildfire. 

William Creech was the son of a respectable farmer in 
Fife, where the name is not uncommon. He was probably re- 
lated to the great Cambridge scholar, Thomas Creech, who 
died towards the close of the seventeenth century, and who 
translated Lucretius into verse. Creech certainly had con- 
siderable connection with England and the English. 

After studying at the University of Edinburgh, where he 
distinguished himself very highly, and carried off many hon- 
ours, he became tutor to Mr George Cranstoun, and on August 
ist, 1733, ne was licensed as a preacher of the Gospel by the 
Presbytery of Jedburgh. The reason of his being there was 
that he had taken to teaching in the Grammar School of Jed- 
burgh, then one of the first educational institutions of the time, 
the old grammar schools of Scotland being splendid institu- 
tions of their kind, and real nurseries of learning and genius. 

The headmastership of Jedburgh Grammar School fell 
vacant, and he applied for it in 1734, but failed. After about 
four years of teaching (teaching clergymen being then quite 
common, for indeed the schoolmaster was then regarded as a 
semi-cleric, as he still is in the North of Scotland, where many 
of the schoolmasters are in Orders, and preach occasionally, 
religion and education being then more closely allied, as in 
the older civilisation, when the school was part of the monastic 
buildings, and was taught by lay brothers), he received a call 
to Newbattle parish on the 22nd September, 1738, and was 
presented to the living by the then Marquess of Lothian. After 
all the preliminary stages had been taken, he was ordained in 
the church by the reverend fathers of the Presbytery of Dal- 
keith, who set him apart to the holy ministry of the Church 
of Scotland, and to the special pastoral charge of Newbattle 
parish. The Rev. Mr Cavers, of Fala, preached the sermon, 
and addressed the newly-ordained clergyman. 

He married Mary Buley, an English lady, related to Mr 
Quarmes, of a very old Devonshire family, several of whom 
held the office of Black Rod in the House of Lords, and they 



had one son, William, the famous Edinburgh bookseller, and 
two daughters, Margaret and Marjory, who died almost in 
infancy, and are buried in the old churchyard. 

Mr Creech died at the early age of forty, but in his short 
incumbency of about seven years he was eminent for gifts and 
graces, and as an eloquent preacher, a faithful pastor, and a 
highly accomplished scholar. The tombstone in the old church- 
yard, now very defaced, and built into the wall, gives a hint or 
two of his faithfulness. 

A few entries in the old session-books about this date are 
interesting : 

" X 739> J un e I 3- The session applied 6 shillings (Scots) sterling,, 
to be paid to Win. Stephenson for 3 stools made by him for 
setting the plates on at collections. Likewise they appointed 
him to make two chairs for the elders to sit on when collecting." 
[Probably a quaint old chair still in the church porch is the 
very one, and is thus a curious antiquarian relic. Possibly the 
collecting stools are also the ones still in use.] 

" 1742. The session, considering the many abuses that happen 
on the Lord's Day, came to a resolution that the elders who 
collect shall go through the town," [Newbattle being then a 
town with two bailies, several mills, inns, and public-houses, 
and a large population], "each Sabbath in time of public 
worship, and observe what irregularities are in the place." 
" 1743, May 8. The Marquis of Lothian ordained an elder." 
" 1745, August ii. Mr Creech presided at a meeting of session." 
"August 21. Mr Wm. Creech, our minister, having this day 
deceased, the session could not have their quarterly meeting as 

Almost no particulars have come down to us of this once 
famous man, but he distinguished himself highly in church 
courts, the Presbytery and Synod books testifying to this, and 
he was a fine classical scholar. 

The same high literary qualifications come out in his only 
son, William, who afterwards rose to a high position in Edin- 
burgh, and eventually became Lord Provost. The materials 
regarding the son are so numerous and varied that some notice 
of William Creech, jun., will not be out of place. 

The minister died on August 21, 1745, aged forty, and in 
the seventh year of his able and brilliant ministry, and Mrs 
Creech, with her son, retired from Newbattle to an old house 
in Dalkeith, probably one still standing at the entrance to the 
town. The Marquess and Marchioness of Lothian showed her 
much kindness in her bereavement. William received an ex- 
cellent education at the High School under Mr Barclay, an 
accomplished educationist, one of the ablest and most suc- 
cessful teachers in Scotland at the time, who in early life had 



been tutor to Lord Charles Loughborough, and Lord Leven 
and Melville; and so close was the tie formed at Dalkeith 
Academy among the boys, that for long years after " Barclay's 
scholars " used to meet and dine together and talk over youth- 
ful exploits of long ago. To show how excellent a teacher be 
was, after he had been dead forty years, no less than twenty 
gentlemen who had been taught by him met together, presided 
over t>y Lord Melville, to drink a toast to his memory. " These 
meetings," says the biographer of Creech, " are still con- 
tinued, though the hand of death has struck many of them 
down, so that now few are left." 

Young Creech was also taught there by Dr Robertson, 
afterwards minister of Kilmaurs, who was then tutor to the 
sons of Lord Glencairn, all of them boarded at Mrs Creech's 
house at Dalkeith ; and a great friendship was struck up be- 
tween the two young noblemen and young Creech, which lasted 
till the very end of life, and continued afterwards even among 
other branches of the respective families. 

While at Dalkeith young William Creech showed great ap- 
titude for conversation, and much zeal in his studies, and fine 
literary tastes, just like his father. Next we find him going 
with his mother to Edinburgh, where he was received with 
great kindness by many of the late Mr Creech's friends, and 
especially by some of the family of Kincaid. Alex. Kincaid, 
a highly cultured man, was then His Majesty's printer for 
Scotland, and Lord Provost in 1777, in which office he died. 
Booksellers then in Edinburgh ranked next to the aristocracy, 
for it was in the old days of clubs and coffee-houses, and the 
bookseller's shop was the great rendezvous for talent of every 
kind. Mrs Kincaid was granddaughter of Robert, fourth Earl' 
of Lothian, and daughter of Lord Charles Ker, and she con- 
tinued and transferred the friendship of the noble family which 
had previously been given so generously to the widow and son 
of their favourite clergyman, whose ministrations they regularly 
attended, sitting in the gallery still known as the " Marquis' 

Mrs Creech was acknowledged to be a woman of sound 
culture, having received a very high-class education in Devon- 
shire, but what was far better, a woman of true goodness 
and piety and deeds ; and she made it her life-work to bring 
her son William to follow in his father's footsteps. She was ab- 



solutely successful, and Lord Provost Creech was, we are told, 
just the Rev. William Creech reproduced. So like was he in 
face and height and appearance and voice and disposition that 
people who saw the son said the father was back again to life. 
He imbibed, too, his religious and ecclesiastical and theological 
tastes, and took a great part in religious controversy, but al- 
ways with good taste and modesty of bearing. Neither father 
nor son were ever known to do a mean or dishonourable thing 
in their every-day spheres. 

Young Creech in his leisure hours as a boy used often to 
write sermons, and tried to imitate his father's gestures in 
preaching, and had quite a collection of Scripture texts written 
down, with notes and parallel passages and the like. From 
the first he was an abnormally clever boy. 

At Edinburgh University he completed his studies and 
got great fame. Being pressed to become a doctor, he studied 
medicine for a time ; but Mr Kincaid, the famous bookseller, 
had him in his eye for his business, and at last Creech became 
an apprentice in his bookshop, which was then the firm of 
Kincaid & Bell, both excellent men, moving in the highest 
circles of Edinburgh society. While in their service his ex- 
cellent mother died, July, 1764, and young Creech was taken 
home by the Kincaids to live with them for altogether, and 
was treated with warmest regard and affection. In 1766, 
still in their service, he visited London, and pushed the busi- 
ness, and spending a year there, qualified himself as a profici- 
ent publisher and bookseller. At the same time he cultivated 
the acquaintance of his relative, Mr Quarmes, one of whose 
house was then master of the Black Rod in the House cf 
Lords, and thence he passed to Holland and Paris, where 
he stayed a few months, returning to Edinburgh in January, 
1768. In 1770, along with his old playmate, Lord Kilmaurs, 
the second son of Lord Glencairn (Burns' patron also), he had 
a tour in Holland, Switzerland, and Germany, thus enriching 
his mind and fitting himself for the high station in life he was 
afterwards to occupy. In May, 1771, the firm of Kincaid & 
Bell, the most celebrated Scotch publishing firm of that cen- 
tury, was dissolved, and Kincaid took young Creech into part- 
nership, and thereafter the firm became " Kincaid & Creech," 
a name to be seen on scores of old Edinburgh books. This 
firm existed till May, 1733, when Mr Kincaid, whose duty as 



Lord Provost and as King's printer engaged him very much, 
left the business entirely to Creech, permitting the first name 
to stand as before; but henceforth it was Creech's firm in the 
High Street of Edinburgh, in a shop built against St. Giles' 
Cathedral on the High Street side, the most central and con- 
venient part in Edinburgh. Some ill-natured people used to 
say that Creech owed a great deal of his success to the position 
of his shop, which was always before the public eye, and in 
the most convenient point in Edinburgh. Lord Cockburn even 
.said so, and that it was because he was in the very thick of 
business and attached literally to the old cathedral, that it 
became a resort of all the authors and literary men of the time. 
It was a big house of five storeys, and one of the many built 
round St. Giles' Cathedral, thus ruining its stately proportions. 
Pictures of the fine old pile with the " booths " built up 
against its outside walls are still preserved in the Cathedral. 

Creech, from 1773 onwards, became one of the leading 
citizens of Edinburgh, and his shop the great meeting-place of 
literary men. Lord Kames was his closest friend. He was 
the original publisher of the sermons of Dr Blair, the eloquent 
minister of St. Giles', of which Creech was a leading and 
interested elder, and all through a zealous and able defender 
of the ancient Church of Scotland, of which his father had 
been so distinguished a minister. Some other famous habitues 
of Creech's shop were Dr Beattie, the polished writer; Dr 
Cullen, and Dr Gregory, the physician; Mackenzie, the author 
of " The Man of Feeling "; Lord Woodhouselee ; Fergusson, 
the poet; Reid and Dugald Stewart, the philosophers; Dr 
Adam of the High School; Robert Burns, and many others. 
He published two well-known papers, " The Mirror," one of 
the best magazines ever conducted, the last number of which 
appeared 23rd January, 1779; and "The Lounger," short 
essays and papers on current topics, after the model of Addi- 
son's " Spectator." So much society gathered around his 
shop that it came to be called " The Mirror Club," and it 
consisted chiefly of Lord Gray, Mackenzie, Low, Cullen, Lord 
Bannage, George Howe, Ogilvie, &c. Mr Creech formed the 
Edinburgh Speculative Society, which still exists, and he gave 
weekly breakfasts in his room above the shop, at which all the 
celebrities attended, and which came to be known as Ct Creech's 



He took a great interest in Edinburgh as a citizen, and 
rfter serving in various municipal capacities, he was, on Pro- 
vost Kincaid's death, elected Lord Provost of the City, amid 
the congratulations of the citizens. 

All through these stirring times, and all through what was 
a very varied and full life, he tarried his father's spirit. Amid 
innumerable society engagements with all the literati and noble- 
men of Scotland, of whom he was the respected centre, cheer- 
ing them all with his address and delightful conversation and 
genial happy presence, he never suffered anything to interfere 
with reading and reflection, and above all, with the regular 
study of the Bible and morning and evening prayers. He took 
a warm interest in the various religious questions of the day, 
and always took a reasonable, sensible, and unbiassed view. 
He was on very close terms of intimacy with all the Edinburgh 
clergy, and especially with his own distinguished minister, Dr 
Hugh Blair, the author of some of the most polished sermons 
that have ever been written. His personality was so attractive 
that it was this that drew so many of Scotland's cleverest sons 
around him. He was an inimitable story-teller, and as Provost 
used to keep scores of diners-out in fits of laughter with his 
humour, and suddenly he would change to the most pathetic 
and touching strain. 

Burns was introduced to Creech through the Earl of Glen- 
cairn, his old mate, who recommended to him the publication 
of the second edition of Burns' poems, which Creech under- 
took, and carried to a successful issue. Burns and Creech at 
once became close and warm-hearted cronies, and " mony a 
canty day and nicht they had wi' ane anither." There are a 
good many of Burns' letters to Creech preserved in Cromek's 
" Reliques of Burns. " Here is one : 

" May 13, 1787. 

" MY HONOURED FRIEND, The enclosed I have just wrote nearly 
extempore in a solitary inn in Selkirk after a miserable wet day's rid- 
ing. I have been over most of East Lothian, Berwick, Roxburgh, 
and Selkirk shires, and next week I begin a tour through the north of 
England. Yesterday I dined with Lady Hariet (Lady Hariet Dunn, 
sister of the Earl of Glencairn's wife), sister to my noble patron. 
' Quern deus conservet !' I could write till I would tire you as much 
with dull prose as I daresay by this time you are with wretched verse. 
But I am jaded to death, so with a grateful farewell, I have the 
honour to be, Good Sir, Yours Sincerely, 


Here is the special poem to Creech, which Burns addres- 


sed to him. The occasion was Mr Creech's journey to London 
for a few months, and Burns' grief at his departure : 

"Auld chuckle Reekie's sair distrest, 
Doon droops her ance well-burnished crest, 
Nae joy her bonnie buskit nest 

Can yield ava ; 
Her darling bird that she loe's best 

Willie's awa' ! 

" Oh, Willie was a witty wight, 
And had o' things an unco slight, 
Auld Reekie aye he keepit tight 
And trig and braw; 

But now they'll busk her like a fright 
Willie's awa' ! 

" The stiff est o' them a' he bowed ; 
The bauldest o' them a' he cowed ; 
They durst nae mair than he allowed, 

That was a law ; 
We've lost a birkie weel worth gowd 

Willie's awa' ! 

" Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks and fools, 
Frae colleges and boarding-schools, 
May sprout like simmer puddock stools 

In glen or shaw; 
He who could brush them doun to mools 

Willie's awa' ! 

" The brethren o' the commerce chaumer 
May mourn their loss wi' doulfu' clamour : 
He was a dictionar and grammar 

Among them a' ; 
I fear they'll now mak' mony a stammer 

Willie's awa' ! 

"Nae mair we see his levee door 
Philosophers and poets pour, 
And toothy critics by the score, 

In bloody raw ; 
The adjutant o' a' the corps 
Willie's awa' ! 

" Now worthy G s' latin face, 

T s' and G s' modest grace, 

M e, S 1, such a brace 

As Rome ne'er saw ; 
They a' maun meet some ither place 

Willie's awa' ! 

" Poor Burns, even Scotch drink canna quicken; 
He cheeps like some bewildered chicken 
Scar'd frae its minnie and the cleckin 

By hoodie craw ; 
Grief's gi'en his heart an unco kickin' 

Willie's awa' ! 

" Now every sour mou'd girnin' bellum 
And Calvin's folk are fit to fell him; 
Ilk self-conceived critic skellum 

His quill may draw; 

He wha cou'd brawly ward their bellum 
Willie's awa' ! 


" Up wimpling stately Tweed I've sped, 
And Eden's scenes on crystal Jed, 
And Ettrick banks now roaring red, 

While tempests blaw; 
But every joy and pleasure's fled 

Willie's awa' ! 

"May I be slander's common speech; 
A text for infamy to preach; 
And lastly, streekit out to bleach 

In winter snaw ; 
When I forget thee, Willie Creech, 

Tho' far awa' ! 

" May never wicked fortune towzle him ! 
May never wicked men bamboozle him ! 
Until a pow as auld's Methusalem 

He canty claw ! 
Then to the blessed New Jerusalem 

Fleet wing awa' ! ! !" 

This fine song shows a really close friendship, and yet 
Burns and Creech had a disagreement as to money. Creech 
delayed in gathering in the profits of Burns' poems, and Burns 
being hard up, this annoyed him, and there was a coolness 
for a time. However, when all was settled, Burns said " he 
had been quite amicable and fair." As showing, however, 
that there was a coolness, during the temporary estrangement 
Burns wrote of him as 

" A little, upright, pert, tart-tripping wight, 
And still his precious self, his dear delight." 

Creech had another very close friend in Baron Voght of 
Hamburg, who resided for some winters in Edinburgh, and in 
a " Journal of a Traveller," written in Germany many years 
after, he describes Mr Creech among the remarkable men of 
Scotland. " It would be a pity," says the great German, " if 
he should die without recovering that fund of literary anecdote 
which long intimacy with all the learned men of his country 
had furnished him with." 

The chief work of Creech himself is entitled " Fugitive 
Pieces," a collection of sketches of different events and doings 
in the course of his life, some of them giving very curious 
sidelights on the days and manners of Scotland a century and 
a half ago. For example, in one paper he draws a contrast 
between the state of a Scotch parish forty miles from Edin- 
burgh in 1763 and 1783, a period of twenty years. 

" Land in 1763 at 6s. an acre in that parish. In 1783 at 
i8s. In 1763 oxen used to plough the field; in 1783 horses. 
In 1763 several acres at ^3 per acre; in 1783, ^7 and &. In 



1763 no English cloth worn but by the minister and a Quaker. 
In 1783 ' there are few who do not wear English cloth, and 
several the best superfine.' In 1763 there were only 2 hats 
worn in the parish, the men wore cloth bonnets; in 1783 these 
wore all hats and almost no bonnets. In 1763 one eight-day 
clock in the parish, 6 watches, and 2 tea-kettles; in 1783, 
21 clocks, about 100 watches, and above 80 tea-kettles. In 
1763 the people in the parish never visited each other but at 
times ; the entertainment was broth and beef ; the visits out 
to an ale-house for 5 or 6 pints of ale, even many doing it 
without ceremony. In 1783 people visited each other oftener; 
a few neighbours are invited to a house to dinner ; six or seven 
dishes are set on the table elegantly dressed; after dinner a 
large bowl of rum punch is drunk ; then tea, and another bowl ; 
after that supper, and what is called the great drunk. In 1763 
all persons in the parish attended divine worship on Sundays; 
there were only 4 Seceders in the parish ; Sunday was regularly 
and religiously observed. In 1783 there is such a disregard 
of public worship and ordinances that few attend divine wor- 
ship with that attention which was formerly given. The decay 
of religion and growth of vice in this parish is very remarkable 
within these twenty years." 

Here is another of his delightful little tit-bits : 
" Abridgement of a sermon which took up an hour in de- 
livering, from the words, ' Man is born to trouble.' ' My 
friends, the subject naturally falls to be divided into three 
heads: i, Man's entrance into the world; 2, His progress 
through the world ; 3, His exit from the world ; and 4, Practi- 
cal reflections from which may be said : First, then, man 
came into the world naked and bare. Second, His progress 
through it is trouble and care. Third, His exit from it none 
can tell where. Fourth, But if he does well here, he will do 
well there. Now I can say no more, my brethren dear, should 
I preach on the subject from this time till next year. Amen.' " 
He also tells how a lady can furnish a dinner at 7d for 
two : 

"At the top, 2 herrings I( i. 

Middle dish i ounce and of butter melted Ad. 

Bottom dish 3 mutton chops, cut thin 2 d. 

One side i Ib. of small potatoes d. 

On other side pickled cabbage ... ' |d! 

Fish removed 2 larks, plenty of crumbs iJ-d. 

Mutton removed French roll boiled for pudding Id 

Parsley for garnish '.. |<j' 


" This dinner was served up on china, looked light, tasty, 
and pretty on the table, and the dishes well proportioned. We 
hope each lady will keep this as a lesson. It is worth knowing 
how to serve up dishes consisting of fish, joint of mutton, 
couple of fowls, pudding, vegetables, and sauce, for seven- 
pence !" 

Judging from the pictures, which are still in his descend- 
ants' possession, Mr Creech seems to have dined at a higher 
figure, and to have had a less slender appetite than for stewed 
lark or a boiled French roll. 

On one occasion Creech received a blank letter from a 
Mr H. on April ist. This was his reply : 

" I pardon, sir, the trick you've played me, 
When an April fool you've made me ; 
Since one day only I appear 
That you, alas ! do all the year .'" 

A very pretty little poem by him is entitled : 

" Travel the world and go from pole to pole, 

So far as winds can blow or waters roll, 

So all is vanity beneath this sun ; 

To silent ocean through headless paths we run. 
" See the pale miser poring o'er his gold, 

See the false patriot who his country sold ; 

Ambition's votary groans beneath the weight, 

A splendid victim to the toils of state. 
" Even in the mantling bowl sweet poisons glow, 

And love's pursuit oft terminates in woe. 

Proud learning ends her great career in doubt, 

And, puzzled still, makes nothing clearly out. 
"Where, then, is earthly bliss? where does it grow? 

Know, mortal, happiness dwells not below. 

Look up to heaven, for heaven is daily care, 

Spurn the vile earth and seek thy treasure there. 

Nothing but God, and God alone, you'll find 

Can fill a boundless and infinite mind." 

To a gentleman who complained of having lost his gold 
watch, he rather quaintly wrote : 

" Fret not, my friend, or peevish say 

Your fate is worse than common, 

For gold takes wings and flies away, 

And Time will stay for no man." 

Here is a curious little local sidelight about the coaches 
of the day : 

" In 1763 there were 2 stage coaches and three horses, a 
coachman and postilion to each coach, which went to the Port 
of Leith (i mile and a half distant) every hour, from 8 in the 
morning till 8 at night, and consumed a full hour on the road. 
There were no other stage coaches in all Scotland, except one, 



which set out once a month for London, and it took from 12 
to 16 days upon the journey. In 1763 there were 5 or 6 stage 
coaches, which took only J an hour to Leith." 

" J. Dunn, who opened the magnificent hotel in the New 
Town, was the first person who attempted a stage coach to 
Dalkeith, a village 6 miles distant. There are now coaches 
and flies all over." 

A public masquerade was first attempted in Edinburgh 
in March, 1786, in the following advertisement: 


" J. Dunn begs to inform the nobility and gentry that there 
is to be a Masquerade in his rooms on Thursday, 2nd March 
next. The prices of tickets are i guinea to Gentlemen, and | 
guinea to Ladies. 

" N.B. Rooms in Hotel will be set apart, and refresh- 
ments and wines, sweetmeats, &c., in the large room. A band 
of musicians will attend, and the whole will be conducted with 
the strictest regularity and decorum. No admittance on any 
account into the Halls, no servants into the lower part of the 

Mr Creech wrote a paper making fun of it all, and raised 
a great laugh about it. 

Creech gives fine pictures of the young mashers of his 
day, with doublets and coloured finery, and swords and buckles 
and embroidered waistcoats and " tonish dress." 

It was at this time that the great row took place as to 
clergymen going to theatres and encouraging the drama. The 
Rev. Mr Home had written his tragedy of " Douglas," a most 
moral and correct play, and many clergymen went to see it 
acted, including " Jupiter Carlyle " of Inveresk. Thereupon 
the General Assembly pulled them up, and forbade clergymen 
to countenance the stage in any way; but in 1783 a great 
change had come over public feeling, and it was quite common 
to see the black surtout and the roll of white muslin round the 
neck, in a theatre stall. The whole story of the controversy 
regarding clerical play- writing and theatre-going is given at 
full length in the Autobiography of " Jupiter Carlyle," the 
great minister of Inveresk, who stood by Home in his diffi- 
culty, and suffered along with him. 

It was in May, 1784, that Mrs Siddons first visited Edin- 


burgh. A few citizens subscribed the money and invited her 
to come, which she did. There was, however, a fearful row, 
as the subscribers very naturally insisted on front seats, and 
the mob of 2000 people swelled in and crushed them all up. 
There were 2557 applicants for 630 seats. The weather was 
warm, and the house exceedingly crowded, and this gave occa- 
sion for the servants of the theatre introducing a variety of re- 
freshments into the pit and gallery. Creech wrote a humorous 
poem on it : 



" Each evening the playhouse exhibits a mob, 

And the right of admission's turned into a job. 

By five the whole pit used to fill with subscribers, 

And those who had money enough to be bribers ; 

But the public took fire and began a loud jar, 

And I thought we'd have had a Siddonian war. 

The Committee met, and the lawyers' hot mettle 

Began very soon to cool and to settle. 

Of public resentment to blunt the keen edge 

In a coop they consented that sixty they'd wedge, 

And the coop's now so crammed it will scarce hold a woman, 

And the rest of the pit's turned a true public-bouse, 

With porters and pathos, with whisky and whining, 

They quickly all look as if long they'd been dining. 

As for Siddons herself, her features so tragic 

Have caught the whole town with the force of her magic. 

Her action is varied, her vision extensive, 

Her eye very fine, but somewhat too pensive. 

I quickly return, and am just on the wing, 

And some things I'm sure that you'll like I will bring 

The sweet Siddons cap and the latest dear ogle. 

Farewell till we meet, 

" Your true friend, 

" June 7, 1784." 

After a long and useful life, and receiving every honour 
which Edinburgh, and indeed Scotland, and all literature could 
give him, he laid him down to die. In 1815 he was suddenly 
seized with illness, and he sank and passed away in January, 
1815, aged 70 years. 

The " Edinburgh Courant " of i2th January said of him : 
" His conversational talents, whether the subject was gay or 
serious or learned, his universal good humour and pleasantry, 
and his unrivalled talent in describing to a social party the 
peculiarities of eccentric characters,, will be long remembered 
by the numerous circle to whom his many pleasing qualities so 
long endeared him, and who so sincerely regret that he is lost 
to them for ever." 



He greatly resembled his father in face, figure, and dis- 
position, and fine Raeburn paintings of him are still preserved 
in the family, the chief representatives of which are the Wat- 
sons. In Kay's " Edinburgh Portraits," there are many re- 
ferences to Creech. 

.The ravages of time have very nearly destroyed the last 
remains of his father's monument in Newbattle Churchyard. 
All that remains of it is a headpiece built into the south 
wall, with an open book and the text, Job xix., 25, and a small 
piece of broken sandstone below, with the words, " M.S.D. 
Gulielmi Creech, Ecclesiae apud Newbattle fidelissimi . . . 
pietate, prudentia ma . . . hominem or . . . " 

Provost Creech is buried in the Greyfriars Churchyard in 
Edinburgh, and a great monument, erected by the city, is 
to-day rotting to decay. 

Creech briefly sums up his life-philosophy in these words : 

" A languid, leaden iteration reigns, 
And ever must o'er those whose joys are joys 
Of sense. 

On lightened minds that bask in virtue's beams 
Nothing hangs tedious. 
Each rising morning sees them higher rise, 
Each bounteous dawn its novelty presents 
To work returning. 

While nature's circle like a chariot wheel 
Rolls beneath their elevated aims, 
Makes their fair prospect fairer every hour, 
Advancing virtue in a line to bliss, 
Virtue which Christian motives best inspire, 
And Bliss which Christian schemes alone ensure ! " 

The brass in Newbattle Church and the new stone in the 
churchyard commemorate both father and son. 





WHEN Sir Walter, after his apprenticeship to the 
law, settled down with his young French wife, 
Charlotte Margaret Carpenter, in December, 1797, 
the daughter of a gentleman of Lyons, whom he 
had accidentally met on an excursion to Gilsland 
Wells in Cumberland, in the cottage now known as Scott's 
Cottage, Lasswade, he was only a rising young lawyer of 
Edinburgh. He had already published several works, trans- 
lations of Burger's Ballads, but in December, 1799, he was 
appointed, through the influence of the Duke of Buccleuch, 
whose distant kinsman he was, Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire, 
at a salary of ^300 a year. He dedicated the " Lay of the 
Last Minstrel " to the young Duchess of Buccleuch, and al- 
most every part of the district around Dalkeith has been cele- 
brated by him in verse. The Esk valleys, he often said, were 
the most beautiful in Scotland, and certainly it was from the 
noble family of Dalkeith that he received his greatest encour- 
agement and inspiration. 

Scott's nearness to the Buccleuch family, when in Lass- 
wade, helped him greatly in his work in many ways, and he 
was on terms of the closest intimacy with the fourth Duke. 
He was also on intimate terms with Robert Dundas, the second 
Viscount Melville, and was never out of Melville Castle, which 
stands quite near Lasswade. There are piles of Scott's un- 
published letters preserved in the library of Melville Castle. 
He also was a frequent visitor at Dalhousie Castle, the Earl 
being a school and college companion; and, generally, Scott's 
connection with Lasswade and the neighbourhood was intimate, 
and he introduces almost every historic incident and picturesque 
feature or landscape of the entire Esk valley into novel or 
poem : 



Sweet are the paths, O passing sweet ! 

By Eske's fair streams that run, 
O'er airy steep, through copsewood deep, 

Impervious to the sun. 

There the rapt poet's step may rove, 

And yield the muse the day ; 
There Beauty, led by timid Love, 

May shun the tell-tale ray. 

From that fair dome, where suit is paid, 

By blast of bugle free, 
To Auchendinny's hazel shade, 

And haunted Woodhouselea. 

Who knows not Melville's beechy grove 

And Roslin's rocky glen, 
Dalkeith, which all the virtues love, 

And classic- Hawthornden. 

But so far as Newbattle is concerned, besides often visit- 
ing its churchyard, famous through Old Mortality, the Resur- 
rectionists, and others, "The Gray Brother: a Fragment" 
is the finest remnant of his connection with and attachment to 
the place. It is only a fragment descriptive of the vision 
which was seen in the old valley, and may be quoted in full : 

The Pope he was saying the high, high mass, 

All on saint Peter's day, 
With the power to him given, by the saints in heaven, 

To wash men's sins away. 

The Pope he was saying the blessed mass, 

And the people kneeled around, 
And from each man's soul his sins did pass, 

As he kissed the holy ground. 

And all, among the crowded throng, 

Was still, both limb and tongue, 
While through vaulted roof, and aisles aloof, 

The holy accents rung. 

At the holiest word, he quivered for fear, 

And faltered in the sound 
And, when he would the chalice rear, 

He dropped it on the ground. 

"The breath of one of evil deed 

Pollutes our sacred day ; 
He has no portion in our creed, 
No part in what I say. 

" A being, whom no blessed word 

To ghostly peace can bring ; 
A wretch, at whose approach abhorred, 
Recoils each holy thing. 

" Up ! up ! unhappy ! haste, arise ! 

My adjuration fear ! 
I charge thee not to stop my voice, 
Nor longer tarry here ! " 



Amid them all a pilgrim kneeled, 

In gown of sackcloth grey ; 
Far journeying from his native field, 

He first saw Rome that day. 

For forty days and nights, so drear, 

I ween, he had not spoke, 
And, save with bread and water clear, 

His fast he ne'er had broke. 

Amid the penitential flock, 

Seemed none more bent to pray; 
But, when the Holy Father spoke, 

He rose, and went his way. 

Again unto his native land, 

His weary course he drew, 
To Lothian's fair and fertile strand, 

And Pentland's mountains blue. 

His unblest feet his native seat, 

Mid Eske's fair woods, regain ; 
Through woods more fair, no stream more sweet, 

Rolls to the eastern main. 

And lords to meet the Pilgrim came, 

And vassals bent the knee ; 
For all mid Scotland's chiefs of fame, 

Was none more famed than he. 

And boldly for his country, still, 

In battle he had stood, 
Aye, even when, on the banks of Till, 

Her noblest poured their blood. 

Yet never a path, from day to day, 

The Pilgrim's footsteps range, 
Save but the solitary way 

To Burndale's ruined Grange. 

A woeful place was that, I ween, 

As sorrow could desire ; 
For, nodding to the fall was each crumbling wall, 

And the roof was scathed with fire. 

It fell upon a summer's eve, 

While, on Carnethy's head, 
The last faint gleams of the sun's low beams 

Had streaked the gray with red ; 

And the convent bell did vespers tell, 

Newbottle's oaks among, 
And mingling with the solemn knell 

Our Ladye's evening song : 

The heavy knell, the choir's faint swell, 

Came slowly down the wind, 
And on the Pilgrim's ear they fell, 

As his wonted path he did find. 

Deep sunk in thought, I ween, he was, 

Nor ever raised nis eye, 
Until he came to that dreary place, 

Which did all in ruins lie. 



He gazed on the walls, so scathed with fire, 

With many a bitter groan 
And there was aware of a Gray Friar, 

Resting him on a stone. 

" Now, Christ thee save !" said the Gray Brother ; 

" Some pilgrim thou seemest to be." 
But in sore amaze did Lord Albert gaze, 
Nor answer again made he. 

" O come ye from east, or come ye from west, 

Or bring reliques from over the sea, 
Or come ye from the shrine of St James the divine, 
Or of St John of Beverley? " 

<c I come not from the shrine of St James the divine, 

Nor bring reliques from over the sea : 
I bring but a curse from our father, the Pope, 
Which for ever will cling to me." 

" Now, woeful Pilgrim say not so ! 

But kneel thee down by me, 
And shrive thee so clean of thy deadly sin, 
That absolved thou mayest be." 

"And who art thou, thou Gray Brother, 

That I should shrive to thee, 

When he, to whom are given the keys of earth and heaven, 
Has no power to pardon me? " 

" O I am sent from a distant clime, 

Five thousand miles away, 
And all to Absolve a foul, foul crime, 
Done here 'twixt night and day." 

The Pilgrim kneeled him on the sand, 

And thus began his saye 
When on his neck an ice-cold hand 

Did that Gray Brother lave. 


The little cottage where De Quincey lived with his girls 
is still standing on the declivity of the steep hill at Polton. 
The De Quinceys were of Norwegian descent, and came over 
with William the Conqueror. The family, however, in course 
of time dropped the " De," but the great author, with his 
taste for romance and antiquity, revived the ancient prefix. 
His father was a literary man, and in 1775 published a book 
on a tour through the Midlands. He married Miss Penson, 
and there were four sons and four daughters of the marriage, 
Thomas being the fifth child and second son, born August 15, 
1785. It was probably at Manchester that he first saw the 



light, but he spent his early childhood at Greenhay, a little 
way out of Manchester, a fine residence which his father built 
in 1792, at a cost of ^6000. He early began to show a dis- 
position for dreaming and reverie. His mother was a very 
intelligent woman, and her letters rival Lady Montagu's. His 
father having died in 1796, his mother went to Bath, and 
Thomas was sent to Bath Grammar School ; later on to Wink- 
field School in Wiltshire, where he formed a close intimacy 
with young Lord Westport, with whom he spent several vaca- 
tions in Ireland. Next he was sent to Manchester Grammar 
School, from which he ran away and began a course of vag- 
rancy on his own account, wandering over North Wales, the 
Lakes, and London. He took lodgings in Greek Street, Lon- 
don. He was very shy and timorous, and wonderfully ec- 
centric ; he could not do anything like any other body. Carlyle, 
seeing him at the age of eighteen, was struck with the oldness 
of the expression on the boyish face, and his gentle 
demeanour and wonderful gift of delivery and, melli- 
fluous speech. In 1803 he entered himself at Ox- 
ford as an undergraduate at Worcester College, where 
he got the name of being a very strange, studious, kind, 
but eccentric man. When he went up for B.A. his examiners 
said he was the cleverest man they had ever had to do with. 
Next, leaving the University, he took a cottage at the English 
lakes, Townend Cottage, Grasmere, in November, 1809, and 
was thenceforth to be enrolled as one of the English Lakists, 
of whom Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, Bishop, Watson, 
and Charles Lloyd were all there at the time. Here he amas- 
sed a great library and lived on books, hills, lakes, and opium. 
Partly to relieve the weariness of a weak and fragile physique, 
partly to open the doors into the other world, the unseen uni- 
verse of imagination and mysticism, he took the ruby fluid 
which was to him the key into that world, " liquid damnation," 
as Professor Masson calls it. While there, busily writing for 
the magazines, and preparing his " Confessions of an opium- 
eater," and other works, he married Margaret Simpson, the 
daughter of a neighbour, she being eighteen and De Quincey 
thirty-one. Just before marriage he managed to reduce his 
daily allowance of opium from 8000 drops a day to 1000 drops 
or 40 grains. His description of the delicious sensation and 
the glorious visions vouchsafed to the opium-eater, is a thril- 



ling picture, were it not for the awful portrait given of the 
victim after paradise had been lost and the grey work-a-day 
world reappeared. Next we see him editor of " The West- 
moreland Herald," and more busy than ever writing to "Black- 
wood." And then he comes to Edinburgh and lives at 42 
Lothian Street, under the shadow of the University, in the old 
town. Next his eldest daughter, Margaret, induced him to 
take the cottage of Mavis Bush, between Lasswade and Polton, 
now called " De Quincey Villa," to be a home for the family, 
for Thomas, himself, could settle nowhere, but was always on 
the move and always in dreamland. He, however, kept on 
his house in Lothian Street, and divided his time between 
Lasswade and Edinburgh, often lying out in the open-air 
with the constellations for a canopy, often being lost to his 
family of young children for weeks at a time. He was a 
well-known figure in the Grange, Lasswade, Dalkeith, and the 
district round for twenty years prior to his death in the autumn 
of 1859. There are many in this district who remember him 
well, and his odd and eccentric ways and his habits of fearful 
confusion and disorder. A well-known lady in Eskbank re- 
cently deceased, used to relate how her housemaid turned the 
dreamer from the door under the impression that he was a 
vendor of stationery, with the remark, " we don't require any 
to-day." There are also traditions of love-letters having been 
frequently carried by those still living when small boys, be- 
tween Prestonholm and the young Misses De Quincey at Polton 
during their father's absence. Those who arranged his rooms 
after his death are still living, and declare that such a con- 
fusion of paper-scraps never was seen before, a perfect snow- 
storm of pamphlets and books. He is buried in St. Cuthbert's 
Churchyard, Edinburgh, and a plain stone marks the spot. 
[See Professor Masson's " De Quincey."] 


Early last century the widowed Countess of Haddington 
married Captain Hay, and resided at Woodburn, the finely- 
situated, beautifully-wooded mansion overhanging the South 
Esk. She was one of " Camp Meg's " kindest friends. In 



1824, Mr James Wilson, a well-known traveller and naturalist, 
married Miss Isabella Keith, also a naturalist, and settled 
down at Woodburn, where they enjoyed a singularly happy life 
in congenial pursuits and studies. Together they composed 
almost all the articles on Natural History in the " Encyclo- 
paedia Britannica," and wrote countless articles on the same 
subject to the " Quarterly Review," " Blackwood's Magazine," 
&c. Wilson's diary is delightful reading, especially the ac- 
counts of his rambles in Sutherlandshire. in search of rare 
eggs and birds. His studies solaced him for many years after 
his wife's decease in 1837, also the visits of his brother, Pro- 
fessor John Wilson, better known as " Christopher North," 
who is still remembered as a sojourner at Woodburn. After 
the burial of the genial author of the " Noctes Ambrosianae " 
in the Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh, James lived for two years, 
and died on Sunday morning, i8th May, 1856, at Woodburn, 
with the words of the 23rd Psalm on his lips, and full of 
triumphant Christian faith and love. His life forms one of 
the "Favourite Christian Biographies." [Edinburgh: Gall 
& Inglis.] General Lord Ralph Kerr now resides in the 
beautiful old mansion. 

Thomas Carlyle's visit of a week to Newbattle Abbey is 
still remembered in the valley. The high opinion he enter- 
tained of his host and hostess, the Marquess and Marchioness 
of Lothian, is referred to in another chapter. The Chelsea 
sage seems to have fairly revelled in the host of Cromwell and 
other letters of which the house is full, as well as in the count- 
less treasures and pictures for which the stately historic resi- 
dence is famous. 


In an old house now pulled down, which used to stand 
beside Newbattle Church, on the other side from the manse, 
lived the famous Quaker, Alexander Jaffray, whose " Diary >? 
is a rich and full story of the Covenanting period. It was 
edited and published by John Barclay in 1856 (Aberdeen : 
George & Robert King), and is in two parts, the first being 
a religious diary giving a day by day account of J affray's s'pir- 



itual condition. Carlyle said that if Jaffray had said less 
about his soul and more about Oliver Cromwell he would have 
done the world a greater service. In an age of religious con- 
tention and fighting, like Leighton, who was his friend, he 
sought peace in an inward spiritual life of individual walking 
with God. The second part of the Diary gives " memoirs of 
his contemporaries and companions in the profession of fhe 
same Christian principles." He was one of the very earliest 
Scottish Quakers, and, curiously, ever since his residence in 
Newbattle, there has always been a small representation of 
the body in the district. Jaffray was Provost of Aberdeen, 
one of the Commissioners to King Charles II., and a member 
of Cromwell's Parliament. He married the daughter of the 
Rev. Andrew Cant, who left Newbattle to be minister of Aber- 
deen. When Jaffray was appointed by the judges at Edin- 
burgh to be Director of the Chancellery, in March, 1652, he 
removed from Aberdeen, and through his wife's connection 
with Newbattle, he took up residence in the old house beside 
Newbattle Church (now demolished) on i5th November, 1656. 
He records in his diary the goodness of God in arranging all 
the details of the journey from Aberdeen to Leith, " we were 
carried as it were on eagles' wings, without the least trouble 
to the mother or to the young ones that were with her, though 
the season of the year was not very convenient for such to 
travel in; yet by the good hand of our God with us, were all 
brought safely to Newbattell." 

Leighton had resigned the charge three years earlier, and 
Alexander Dickson was minister, the son of Professor David 
Dickson, the Covenanting martyr and hymn-writer, who wrote 
the hymn, "O mother dear, Jerusalem." The relationship 
between Jaffray and Leighton and Cant was thus a very close 
one. In 1657 he left Newbattle to reside in a house near 
Holyrood Abbey, at Abbeyhill. It is said that James Guthrie, 
the Covenanting martyr, spent some of his last days at New- 
battle, in company with sympathising friends, including the Earl 
of Lothian. At any rate, when Guthrie and the other Covenanters 
were imprisoned in the Tolbooth in Edinburgh, Jaffray often 
visited them and had conversations with them as to the causes 
of God's wrath against Scotland. He was on intimate terms 
with George Fox, the Quaker, who wrote several Encyclical 
letters to the Quakers in Scotland through him. When the 



Restoration took place in 1660 Cant left Aberdeen and came 
to Liberton, where his son was minister, and thus J affray came 
again into close contact with his father-in-law. Both of the 
Cants, father and son, were summoned in 1662 before the 
Privy Council, but suffered nothing, and indeed the son con- 
formed to Episcopacy. Jaffray was all through a zealous 
member of the Society of Friends, and was driven, like Leigh - 
ton, to seek an inner spiritual and hidden life by the troubles 
and disputes and controversies of the times. 


In 1870 Miss Ellen C. Miller, a quakeress who had con- 
nection with Newbattle, joined a party of Friends in a pil- 
grimage to the East, and has summed up her impressions, 
which are very interesting, in a volume entitled, " Eastern 
Sketches," in which she gives a devout and interesting account 
of the journey which she made in the Orient in company with 
Eli and Sytsil Tones, Quakers, who felt drawn to go to the East 
and proclaim Christ. The poet Whittier, of America, had at one 
time thought of joining the party, being of a Quaker tendency 
himself, but circumstances prevented him, and he sent the fol- 
lowing verses as an apology : 

" As one who watches from the strand 
The life-boat go to seek and save, 
And all too weak to lend a hand 

Sends his faint cheer across the wave ; 

So, powerless at my hearth to-day 

Unmeet your holy work to share, 
I can but speed you on your way 

Dear friends, with my unworthy prayer. 

Go, angel-guarded, duty-sent 

Our thoughts go with you o'er the foam; 

Where'er you pitch your pilgrim tent 
Our hearts shall be and make it home. 

And we will watch, if so He wills 
Who ordereth all things well, your ways, 

Where Zion lifts her olive hills 
And Jordan ripples to His praise. 

Oh ! sweet to tread where Jesus taught, 
And tread with Him Gennesaret's strand ; 

But whereso'er His work is wrought, 
Dear hearts, shall be your Holy Land ! " 




There are no memories of Robert Burns having ever been 
in the Newbattle valley, though he, during his visits to Edin- 
burgh, must surely have visited some of the interesting places 
in the district. Liberton has an interesting connection with 
Robert Burns. Near Southfield, at the hamlet of Greenend, 
there lived for some time the Rev. John Clunie, who is taken 
notice of in Connolly's " Eminent men of Fife." He was the 
author of the well-known Scotch song, " I lo'e nae a laddie but 
ane." Born about 1757, he was educated for the ministry of 
the Church of Scotland, and after being licensed to preach the 
Gospel he became schoolmaster at Markinch, Fife, and having 
an excellent voice, he also acted as precentor. He was after- 
wards, about 1790, ordained minister of the parish of Borth- 
wick, in Mid-Lothian. Burns, in one of his letters, dated 
September, 1794, thus celebrates him for his vocal skill : 
" I am flattered at your adopting ' Ca' the Yowes to the 
Knowes,' as it was owing to me that it saw the light. About 
seven years ago T was well acquainted with a worthy little fel- 
low of a clergyman, a Mr Clunie, who sang it charmingly, and 
at my request Mr Clark (Stephen Clark, the composer) took ifr. 
down from his singing." He was minister of Borthwick for 
twenty-seven years, and died at Greenend, Liberton, in 1819. 

One of Burns' songs, " Sae far awa'," is set to the air of 
" Dalkeith's Maiden Brig," probably the old Roman Bridge 
in Newbattle grounds, and is as follows : 

Oh sad and heavy should I part, 

But for her sake sae far awa' ; 
Unknowing what my way may thwart 

My native land sae far awa'. 
Thou that of a' things Maker art, 

That form'd this fair sae far awa' ; 
Gi'e body strength, then I'll ne'er start 

At this my way sae far awa'. 

How true is love to pure desert, 

So love to her, sas far awa' : 
An' nocht can heal my bosom's smart, 

While, oh ! she is sae far awa'. 
Nane other love, nane other dart, 

I feel but hers, sae far awa, ; 
But fairer never touch'd a heart 

Than hers, the fair sae far awa'. 

The other literary associations of Newbattle are rich and 
varied, and form a deeply interesting chapter in its history. 





NOW that the discussions on "How Long" and the 
causes of non-church-going have died down, it may 
be interesting, especially at this time, to take a 
glance at the quaint and capacious church of St. 
Michael, Inveresk, which, owing to its magnificent 
Situation, has for generations borne the local name of " The 
Visible Kirk." Visible, indeed, it is from land and sea for a 
dozen miles and more, itself commanding one of the richest 
and most far- stretching views in Scotland, with the loamy 
lands of the Lothians around it, the Pentlands, Moorfoots, and 
Lammermuirs in the distance, Arthur's Seat couching on the 
west, and away far to the Highland gates the masses of Ben 
Ledi, Ben Cruachan, and the other giants which bar the way 
between the lowlands and the North. The Lomond Hills of 
Fife, with their rounded tops and dropping slopes, gleam 
across the Firth, with its never-ceasing life of steamer and of 
fishing craft. 

This was the spot chosen by the Roman soldiers for one 
of their greatest camps and stations, and the remains of their 
presence are numerous, altars and coins and earthenware having 
been recovered, while in the grounds of Inveresk House and 
of the modern mansion of St Michael's there are many relics 
of the presence of the legionaries. Probably the old bridge 
of Musselburgh, " the honest toun," which boasts three shells 
as its crest, was built by these wonderful military engineers, 
who brought with them to Britain that marvellous skill in 
building and organising material forces of which the vast aque- 
ducts and cyclopaean walls of Italy are still eloquent. From 
this great central camp the Romans carried roads inland. It 
was joined to the great " Watling Street," which passes from 
the south through the Channelkirk moorlands and across the 
Soutra Hill to Borthwick. A road was carried up the Esk valley 



to Newbattle, where the picturesque "Maiden Bridge," which in 
its ivy-covered beauty no mean rival of the "auld brig o'Doon" 
still spans the sweetly flowing Esk, bears striking testimony 
in its massive sides and triple-ribbed arch to the lasting char- 
acter of their engineering work. From this point inland the 
whole neighbourhood is reminiscent of the Roman Eagles 
Campend, in Newton; Dalhousie Chesters (castra), in Cock- 
pen ; Borthwick and Heriot have all their memories of the 
vanquishers of Caledonia. 

After the departure of the legionaries from Scotland, the 
camp at Inveresk changed its character and its mission, and the 
stones in all probability were used to build the first Christian 
church on the historic hill-top. Instead of the golden eagle, 
the symbol of the place was to be an Agnus Dei. Nothing is 
known of this earliest ecclesiastical foundation, but the old 
church of St Michael, which was pulled down in 1804, was 
a large Gothic structure, which probably, as in the case of 
other ancient churches built on the sites of Roman camps and 
temples, was partially built of the old heathen stones. It was 
with peculiar appropriateness that the church on Inveresk hill 
was dedicated to St Michael and All Angels. It was on a 
hill-top that the archangel wrestled over the body of Moses, 
and almost all the churches with this dedication are built on 
lofty sites, overlooking wide stretches of country, the most 
remarkable example being the French fortress-church, bearing 
that name, which towers over the Gulf of Brittany. Both 
England and Scotland are dotted over with churches dedicated 
to the conquering angel, while there are four Scottish parishes 
of the same name, with the word " kirk" as a prefix. The 
beautifully restored church of St Michael's, Linlithgow, has a 
sculptured image of the angel, whose form is also carved in 
stone at Dallas, painted on the Aberdeen Episcopal " Regist- 
rum," while it glows in the magnificent transept window of 
Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford, .as a memorial to that great 
and distinguished Scotsman, William, eighth Marquess of 
Lothian, who was reputed to be the most brilliant student ever 
sent out from under the shadow of Big Ben. 

There is no tradition as to whether this old St Michael's 
on Inveresk hill had a spire or steeple or saddle-back tower, 
but at any rate it must have, like its successor, formed a con- 
spicuous object in the landscape, whether viewed from land or 



sea not unlike the stately church of Notre Dame de la Garde, 
which in the .bay of Marseilles lifts from a lofty rock its ma- 
jestic tower, crowned like its Avignon neighbour with a colossal 
golden statute of the Virgin and Child, the latter holding out 
his infant hands in blessing over the blue waters of the Medi- 

The Reformation had one of its centres in Scotland at 
Musselburgh, the reputed miracle of the curing of the blind 
urchin being a factor in the stormy movements of the time. 
"Our Lady of Loretto " was a famous shrine, and when the 
historic church in the low-lying part of the town was pulled 
down and re-erected into the Town Hall a quaint old build- 
ing still doing good service the Pope gave his ban to Mussel- 
burgh. Nothing is known of what happened during these 
stirring times to St Michael on the hill, but the storm passed, 
as>d the reformed faith and worship were established and 
settled in the place of the old. 

" The grandest demi-god I ever saw," said Sir Walter 
Scott, " was Dr Carlyle, minister of Muselburgh, commonly 
called Jupiter Carlyle, from having sat more than once for the 
King of Gods to Gavin Hamilton; and a shrewd, clever old 
carle was he, no doubt, but no more a poet than his precentor." 
The great figure of Jupiter Carlyle fills up the history of In- 
veresk during the latter half of the eighteenth century ; indeed, 
so powerful was his influence that " scarcely a Primate of the 
proud church of England could over-top in social position and 
influence the Presbyterian minister of Inveresk." His person- 
ality was the gathering-point for the literary and social forces 
of the day ; his influence was felt all over the south of Scot- 
land, and the story of his life as told by himself in his auto- 
biography is the most valuable record we possess of the social 
and religious state of Scotland in the eighteenth century. 

A splendid example he was of an independent, spirited 
Scottish minister, who feared God and knew no other fear, 
and who hated all shams, whether social or religious, with a 
perfect hatred. " I must confess," is one of his memorable 
sentiments addressed to those who cynically observed as to th& 
Church of Scotland, with its comparatively small endowments, 
that " a poor Church makes a pure Church " " I must con- 
fess that I do not love to hear this Church called a poor 
Church, or the poorest Church in Christendom. I doubt very 
much that if it were minutely inquired into this is really the 



fact. But, independent of that, I dislike the language of 
whining and complaint. We are rich in the best goods a 
Church can have the learning, the manners, and the char- 
acter of its members. There are few branches of literature 
in which the ministers of this Church have not excelled. There 
are few subjects of fine writing in which they do not stand 
foremost in the rank of authors, which is a prouder boast than 
all the pomp of the hierarchy." The sentiments of the min- 
ister by the Esk strangely harmonise with those of the plough- 
man by the Doon ; the one voice in the Church, and the other 
in the world, spoke for that generation the best sentiments of 
independent, freedom- loving Scotland. 

At this time of day merry thoughts possess the mind as 
one thinks of the Jupiter-like divine of St Michael's having 
been condemned by his Presbytery for aiding, abetting, and 
encouraging John Home, minister of the East Lothian parish 
of Athelstaneford, in the production of his very mild dramatic 
effort "Douglas: a tragedy." He came out victorious at 
the General Assembly, escaping with a mild advice from the 
Moderator neither to deal with plays nor frequent theatres 
any more. 

In 1745 Carlyle watched the battle of Prestonpans being 
fought between the Royalists from the quaint round tower of 
Prestonpans Church, still standing. He was always a loyal 
son of the house of Hanover, and was all through his life a 
persona grata at Court, as well as an unmistakable ornament 
in every way to the society of his time. In his autobiography, 
he gives many interesting incidents in the career of Prince 
Charlie his crossing of the old bridge at Musselburgh with 
his Highland troops, the Royal levee and review at Holyrood 
(at which he himself was present), the very appearance of the 
" Bonnie Prince," with his fine features and sad expression. 

For long the old church where he ministered was found 
too small and inconvenient for the growing town at the Esk 
estuary, and in 1804 the present building was begun, to take 
the place of the ancient edifice, the stones of which are incor- 
porated in the present church. The old man hoped to have 
had the gratification of opening it on the first Sunday of Aug- 
ust 1805, " were it only with a brief prayer," but his wishes 
were not to be gratified, for illness so pressed upon him that 
he could not be present, and he died on the 25th of that 



His two sucessors in the ministerial office of Inveresk, Mr 
Moodie and Mr Beveridge, with him cover a period of a century 
and a half, a remarkable record, hard to beat in any Scottish 
parish. The new church was typical of the time, the style of 
architecture called " Heritors' Gothic," now happily a thing 
of the past so far as both churches and heritors are concerned. 
The building consisted at first of a great square teacaddy-look- 
ing building, with no adornments or spire, or anything to 
divert the mind from the unseen beauties of the Faith. It was 
suggested to the Duke of Buccleuch that a spire would be an im- 
provement, though " a very little one; " to which suggestion his 
Grace, who was a patron and heritor, replied that there should 
be a spire at each corner a suggestion which happily was not 
acted on, as the edifice might to the wit-loving folks of the 
honest town have suggested a dirty and weather-beaten brides- 
cake on the hill-top. One steeple was subsequently added to 
the quaint edifice, and forms a landmark for all the country 
and the sea, over which it towers in dignified simplicity. The 
fine restoration of twelve years ago, instigated and carried out 
with so much enthusiasm by minister and people, has made the 
historic place, especially internally, worthy of divine worship, 
and of its dedication to those whose motto written to-day in 
letters of gold on the archway above the magnificent organ is, 
" Praise ye the Lord." 

One other personage connected with this interesting " vis- 
ible kirk," one among many who have worshipped in and 
laboured on the side of the angels on this hill-top, cannot be 
passed over without a grateful recollection. The beloved 
physician-poet of Musselburgh, " Delta Moir," had in church 
and town the joyful sphere of his literary labours. The 
humorous author of " Mansie Wauch," the pathetic writer of 
" Elegiac Effusions," the learned minstrel who sang of the 
memories of Seton, and Hawthornden, and Newbattle, and the 
rest, lies in the churchyard taking his last sleep. His "con- 
tentions " with the bodies and souls of those to whom he min- 
istered will never be forgotten. Straying one day through the 
autumn-tinted woods which clothe the Inveresk hill, he wrote 
these words : 

'In gazing o'er a scene so fair 
Well may the wondering mind compare 
Majestic nature with the strife 
And littleness of human life ! 


Within the rank and narow span 
Where man contends with brother man, 
And where, a few brief seasons past, 
Death is the common doom at last." 

Standing on the time-honoured old hill, with its countless mem- 
ories, and looking around on the historic scenes and active 
life and silent death around it, St. Michael's vision comes 
before the eyes. " The chariots of God are twenty thousand, 
even thousands of angels. The Lord is among them, as in 
Sinai, in the Holy Place." 


The view from Soutrahill is one of the very finest in 
Scotland, embracing the Lothians and all the lands around the 
Forth. The ancient " Domus de Soltre " or the Soutra mon 
astery was a monastery, hospital, and sanctuary. Pilgrims 
from the South of Scotland to Edinburgh made it their resting- 
place, so that on that bleak, storm-swept, lonely hill-top of 
the Lammermuirs it served something of the same purpose as 
the Great St. Bernard in the Alps for pilgrims from France to 
Italy. The ancient Roman military road, " Watling Street," 
crossed the Borders at Carter Fell and onward to Channel- 
kirk and Soutrahill, and thence to Borthwick, this ancient 
road being distinctly traceable in the different colour of the 
grass and the solid stone foundation beneath it. Quite poss- 
ibly the Roman soldiers may have had a camp at this hill-top, 
as they had at Channelkirk, and the church and monastery, as 
in so many other cases, may have superseded the military 
station. The House of Soutra, the " St. Bernard's " of the 
Lammermuirs, was founded in 1164, by King Malcolm, " for 
the entertainment of pilgrims." Possibly the foundation 
of Soutra monastery may have been a year or two earlier. 
[See Rev. James Hunter's valuable work on Fala and Soutra.] 
Chalmers, in his " Caledonia," says it was " the best en- 
dowed house in Scotland," and the Chartulary, preserved, like 
the Newbattle one, in the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh, 
proves it to have been one of the wealthiest religious houses in 
the land, possessing properties all around, in Channelkirk, 
Elphinston, Ormiston, Haddington, Cranston, Kirkurd, 
Temple, Mount Lothian, Earlston, Lauder, Edinburgh, and 
elsewhere. By the charter of Malcolm the Maiden, the house 
Q (240 


was recognised as a hospital for pilgrims, a shelter for the 
destitute, and a sanctuary for the oppressed and persecuted. 
The charter of Pope. Gregory IX. says, " If in future any 
person, ecclesiastic or layman, aware of this writing of con- 
firmation shall do anything contrary to the tenor thereof, let 
him know that he thereby renders himself liable to divine pun- 
ishment, and becomes alienated from the Most Holy Body and 
Blood of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ; but upon all 
who keep these laws may the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ 
descend, and may they have the reward of everlasting peace." 
(A.D. 1236.) This charter is the first indication of the house 
having come under the rule of Rome. The house all through 
the middle ages was a hospice for the lonely traveller crossing 
the bleak Lammermuirs, as well as a wealthy place of enter- 
tainment for distinguished visitors. The fathers exercised 
medical and surgical skill on all who came, while the " Trinity 
Well," or " Ternity Well," as it is called, a spring of bright 
pure water still bubbling on the steep roadside, was a favour- 
ite place of pilgrimage for sick folks, who declared its miracu- 
lous powers. Like all great monasteries, " Trinity College," 
Soutra, had the right of sanctuary, and a chain marked the 
sacred place, which no one dare invade without permission, as 
at Newbattle, and, until quite recent times, at Holyrood. 

In its earlier days Soutra Hospital seems to have been uiv 
attached to any particular order, but in course of time the Pope, 
at the desire of the Master and Brethren, put them under 
the rule of the Augustinians, Canons Regular or Black Friars. 
Their dress was a black cloak over a black cassock, and 
reminiscences of their presence and appearance still exist in 
the names of the district, Blackshiels, Brothershiels, Brother- 
stane, &c. The Brothers had a mill, as usual, on the Lin- 
dean burn, a mile and a half from the monastery, the road 
passing near Woodcot, by the side of which still bubbles the 
" Friar's " or " Prior's " well. The brethren, like the great 
St. Bernard monks of the high Alps, were great travellers, and 
Alexander I., in 1182, gave them a special safe-conduct and 
protection. The master was always a man of high position in 
the church. 

In 1462, Mary of Gueldres, the widow of James II., 
(who was killed by the bursting of a cannon at Roxburgh 
Castle), with the consent of Archbishop Kennedy of St. An- 



drews, founded Trinity College and Hospital in Edinburgh, 
at the foot of the Calton Hill, now covered by the Waverley 
Station, and transferred the princely revenues of Soutra to this 
new collegiate institution, which, in its rebuilt form, rises above 
the Waverley Station on the opposite side from the Calton 
Hill, and is called "Trinity College Church." The original 
revenues of Trinity College of Soutrahill were divided in 
perpetuity between the provost and eight prebendaries of the 
new Edinburgh house, the master, who received the rents of 
Falahill, Strathmartin, &c. ; the sacristan, who received those 
of Gilston, Brotherstane, Balerno, &c. ; the other prebendaries 
having the old lands and livings apportioned to them, and they 
themselves took the names of the lands from which they drew 
their livings, being called the prebendaries of Brotherstane, 
Gilston, Strathmartin, Ormiston Hill, Newlands, &c., although 
serving in the new Edinburgh house. Henceforward the church 
of Soutra was served by a vicar, and the provost and chapter 
of the new Trinity College in Edinburgh became patrons of 
the various livings held by the old house. At the Reformation 
the Lord Provost and magistrates were acknowledged by Queen 
Mary as proprietors both of the old house and lands on Soutra- 
hill and of the new Trinity College and all its revenues in Edin- 

In 1542 James V. gathered an army of 30,000 men at 
Soutrahill. Somewhere about this time the King lost himself 
in the moors and woods which surround the monastery on every 
side, and came at last to a shepherd's house, that of John 
Pringle, shepherd to Sir William Borthwick, who held the 
lands of Soutra from the Edinburgh Trinity College, the in- 
stitution having been removed a hundred years before. King 
James never revealed his identity, but the shepherd suspected 
high rank in his guest, and had the best hen in the yard 
roasted for the supper. In the morning, as a token of his 
appreciation of the shepherd's hospitality and the bird's ap- 
petising qualities, though, doubtless, the splendid clear hill 
air did something to sharpen the royal appetite, he made 
Pringle a gift of the lands of the " Beadsman's Acres," which 
remained in the family till early in the nineteenth century, 
when the Laird of Soutra Mains bought it. The Pringles are 
buried in the transept on Soutrahill, called the " Aisle," 
the only portion left of the great building, though the founda- 



tions can be traced all over the hill-top. On one of the stone 
doors of the aisle there is an inscription to several Pringles, 
renewed as lately as 1827. The lonely aisle forms a promi- 
nent object in the landscape, breaking the evenness of the bare 
hill and descried from the farthest distances. When the house 
was in its glory the great building must have been a conspicu- 
ous landmark from every side, towering above the brown moors. 
The old ballad, sung by wandering strollers in days gone by, 
"The Guidwife of Soutra," tells the story of the shepherd 
and the King t 

" Hae ye no heard o' the guid auld times 

When Pringle was sae luckie 
To get a lump o' Soutrahill 
Just for a roasted chuckle." 

Pringle had good reason to bless his poultry-yard and his 

After the Reformation the vicarage and parish of Soutra 
were united with those of Fala (" Faulawe " : cf Falkirk or 
Fa-kirk), or the sloping declivity, the parish church of which 
was dedicated to St. Modan, and which had, like Soutra, been 
under the Edinburgh Trinity College. The Trinity College 
in Edinburgh consisted of nine clergy, two clerks or choristers, 
and thirteen alms-men, who wore blue gowns. Matins were 
said daily at 5 a.m from Pentecost to Michaelmas, and at 6 
a.m. during the other six months. After service the canons 
every day visited the tomb of the foundress, Queen Mary, 
who was buried there on November 16, 1463, sprinkling it 
with hyssop and reciting the " De Profundis." The revenues 
amounted to .362, 6s 3d. The nave was never completed, 
but the present aged structure is very fine, and makes a strik- 
ing feature in the interesting church which has had so many 
vicissitudes, the stones having lain out on the Calton Hill for 
years, numbered and marked, after the removal from the old 
site at Leith Wynd and prior to their re-erection at the present 
site. The present charities known as " Trinity Hospital," 
Edinburgh, and " Trinity House," Leith, derive their funds 
from the ancient establishment. 

At Burghlee, at the foot of Soutrahill, James Logan was 
born and bred, and possibly it may have been here that he 
wrote or got the idea of the second and other 'paraphrases. 
At any rate, the wild Lammermuir, stretching across from 
the old monastery to Channelkirk and Carfraemill, with its 



dreary, bleak road, marked with snow - posts, is suggestive 
enough of "each perplexing path of life" and "this 
weary pilgrimage." In the old days the monastery hill-top 
was the token of rest, shelter, guidance, and comfort; but 
to Logan this sight of the long weary winding road, with its 
snow - posts, and exposure, suggested the need of a divine 

Whether the " domestic hymn-prayer " of Scotland, 
sung so often on occasions of parting, or when, wreathed with 
veil and orange-blossom, the youthful bride bids farewell at 
the altar to her father's house and her mother's loving care, 
was inspired by the wild loneliness of the Lammermuir with 
the old God's House as its only landmark, save the snow-posts 
and the shepherd's hut at Huntershall marking the place where 
Edinburghshire, Haddingtonshire, and Berwickshire meet, 
whether that is an historical fact or not, at any rate the 
scenery of the place is suggested in almost every line : " O 
God of Bethel," the lonely pilgrim house on the hill-top over- 
looking moorlands, rich pastures and fields, far- stretching sea 
and distant islands ; "by whose hand Thy people still are 
fed " suggestive of the hand- feeding of the sheep on those 
bleak slopes where sounding rushes and brown peat are more 
frequent than the grass and the clover ; ' ' who through this 
weary pilgrimage hast all our fathers led," the long three 
miles and more of road with its guiding snow-posts and foot- 
sore travellers ; ' ' our vows our prayers we now present before 
Thy throne of grace," pointing upwards to the once spacious 
and magnificent House of Prayer, dedicated to the Holy Trin- 
ity, where day and night of old the sacrifice was offered and 
the prayer was made ; ' ' God of our fathers be the God of their 
succeeding race," the fathers are asleep, but the stream of 
pilgrims still passes across the hill of life and needs the old 
guide and pilot ; ' ' through each perplexing path of life our 
wandering footsteps guide," the mists on the moor and the 
snow-drifts often in this very place causing the traveller to 
lose his way, and the moorlands around Soutra have many 
traditions of such incidents; "give us this day our daily 
bread and raiment fit provide," suggestive of the food and 
fresh clothing given at the House of Soutra to the way-worn, 
travel-stained pilgrim; " O spread Thy covering wings around, 
till all our wanderings cease," reminiscent of the wide 



broad pinions of some of the large moorland birds as they 
swoop across the blue with an ever-keen eye on the nest of 
young among the rushes; "and at our Father's loved abode 
our souls arrive in peace," the safe arrival of the pilgrim at 
the House which crowns the hill and ends the weary journey ; 
the closing verse of the paraphrase gathers up the pilgrim-idea 
of the place and the rest of the House that is on high. 
The whole pilgrim-idea of the paraphrase and the place is 
identical with Archbishop Leighton's idea of life and his 
wish to die in an inn, " so like a pilgrim going home who 
was weary of the turmoil and dustiness of the road," an idea 
as old as St. Paul who besought his hearers " as strangers and 
pilgrims," as old as Egypt and the Vedic age of India, as 
old as Jacob who leant upon his staff and worshipped, sleep- 
ing on the rude stones of Bethel, which, in his vision, became 
the first steps of the radiant angel-thronged heavenly stair- 

Soutrahill is literally the hill of the shoemaker (cf the 
" Souter Johnnie " of Burns, and the song, " Up wi' the 
Souters o' Selkirk "), and this adds to the vividness of the 
pilgrim-idea, the weary sole of the traveller and the rest to 
the footsore. So the past generations weaved their life-web 
and are asleep : 

" He dropped the shuttle, the loom stood still, 

The weaver slept in the twilight grey : 
Dear heart, he will weave his beautiful web 
In the golden light of a longer day." 

The weary soul gets rest and the life-web gets finished. 


The most interesting memories and the most varied of the 
Tyne district surround Crichton Castle and its collegiate 
Church of St. Mary and St. Mungo. Mainly through the 
generous dealings of the present laird of Prestonhall, the old 
church has lately been restored from a condition of filth, ruin, 
decay, and desolation, in which it had remained for genera- 
tions, into a stately, inspiring house of prayer. The church 
consists only of a beautiful chancel, transepts, and saddle-back 
tower, for the nave was never finished. It was founded on 
pth December, 1449, by the great Lord Chancellor, Sir William 
Crichton, whose stately and historic castle, in ruins, rises be- 



side the church. The clergy consisted of a provost and eight 
prebendaries or chaplains, two singing boys, and a sacristan. 
There were four special stalls in the gift of the Archbishop 
of St. Andrews, those of Vogrie, Arniston, Middleton, and 
Locherworth (Loquhariot), small villages round about the 
church, which still exist, the second of them having, through the 
great development of the mining industry, commenced by the 
monks of Newbattle in the fifteenth century, who, Father Hay 
says, gave the poor "black stones" (coals) instead of bread, be- 
come a prosperous town, better known as Gorebridge. 

The situation of this church on the face of a lonely veldt- 
like hill, far from all human habitations, and originally simply 
the private chapel of the great Crichton, is in keeping with 
the architecture, which, though stately and impressive, is ex- 
tremely plain Gothic, with little or no ornamentation save a 
wreath of stone flower-work on the outside chancel walls and 
a few carved heads above the windows, representing monastic 
faces in all conditions of sadness and gladness, humour and 
misery. The six inside pillars are garlanded at the top. The 
tower has a low bell-gable. Crichton grew in course of time 
into a wealthy and powerful ecclesiastical institution, and un- 
fortunately, before the Reformation, became, like Melrose and 
other abbeys, from various causes, lax and careless. Father 
Hay describes " the voluptuous life of the canons," and the 
monk of Cambuskenneth describes their " fidgetting in the 
stalls, the lawsuits in church, the payment of Easter dues and 
tithes within the sanctuary, the eating, drinking, and sleeping 
permitted when workmen gave up work at an hour too late for 
their return home or people came from far, and the binding of 
sick pilgrims to the pillars in the hope of being healed." The 
revenues of the establishment amounted to ,133, 6s 8d, and 
on the dissolution of the religious orders at the Reformation 
the forfeitures were granted to Patrick, Lord Hales, who by 
James VI. was created Lord Creyghton. The last provost, 
Sir Gideon Murray, had the church lands of Crichton created 
into a temporal estate, just as in the case of Newbattle, where 
the last abbot was made commendator of the entire property. 

The great Sir William Crichton, who, "out of thankful- 
ness and gratitude to Almighty God for all the manifold 
deliverances he had vouchsafed to him," founded this interest- 
ing college, one of some forty scattered over Scotland, 



dedicated, like Borthwick, Penicuik, and other Mid-Lothian 
sanctuaries, to St. Mungo the Beloved, was a man of ancient 
family and immense power. The barony of Crichton goes 
back to the reign of Malcolm III., and in the foundation char- 
ter of Holyrood by David L, Thurstanes de Creichton is a 
witness. In 1240, William de Crichton is mentioned as " lord 
of Crichton," while his son was one of the barons who in 1296 
swore allegiance to Edward I. The great chancellor was the 
guardian of James I., and had many strange experiences in 
connection with the boy-king, being besieged in Edinburgh 
Castle, but at last, in the full enjoyment of the royal favour, 
he died in 1454. Many great Crichtons adorn the page of 
Scottish history, notably the "Admirable Crichton" of the 
sixteenth century, who was one of the moving spirits of Scot- 
land during the reigns of Queen Mary and James VI. Bishop 
Crichton of Dunkeld was the Prelate who in 1539, on the ex- 
amination of Dean .Thomas Forrest, Vicar of Dollar, for 
heresy, (burned for his Reformation principles), declared 
that he was glad he " never knew what either Old or New 
Testament meant, for as for him he would know nothing but 
his breviary and pontifical." Another Crichton, of Brunstane 
in Mid-Lothian, was banished by the Regent Arran at the Re- 
formation for his reformed views. Crichton Castle, the seat 
of this ancient family, is described by Sir Walter Scott in 
" Marmion " as the place where that hero lodged, but which, 
he declares, is now the resting-place of miry cattle. 
" That castle rises on the steep 

Of the green vale of Tyne; 

And far beneath, where slow they creep 

From pool to eddy, dark and deep, 

Where alders moist and willows weep, 

You hear her streams repine." 

All these alders and willows are now away, used 
to make gunpowder-charcoal during the Napoleonic wars and 
scares, and now the valley is a veldt. But the castle still 
stands in its picturesque and lonely watch, with its graceful 
portico and beautiful grand hall; 

"The towers in different ages rose; 

Their various architecture shows 

The builders' various hands;" 

and the old church is there, with its mingled memories and its 
restored beauty and risen hopes. Queen Mary stayed at 
Crichton Castle with Darnley, as she stayed at Borthwick 
Castle with Bothwell. 



Ancient and venerable as these buildings are, they are 
juveniles compared with the pre-historic Picts' House in the 
neighbouring farm of Crichton Mains, discovered some fifteen 
years ago, with its underground dwelling and human remains. 
It is almost the only underground dwelling of early man dis- 
covered in Mid-Lothian, and is undoubtedly the oldest habit- 
ation in the neighbourhood, and makes even the old castle and 
college young and recent. 

Exactly opposite Crichton Church, on the other side of 
the veldt-like valley, stands the ancient farm of Hagbrae, 
which got its name from the fact that it was the favourite place 
for the burning of Mid-Lothian witches or "hags" for two 
hundred years after the Reformation. To-day it is a large 
red-tiled establishment, in full view of Crichton College 
Church, so that the expiring hag might through the flames of 
her pyre catch sight of the holy place, whose God she had 

Crichton Castle was far more splendid than the usual 
Scottish castles of the period. Its twisted stone cordage, ros- 
ettes, and ornaments tell of fine taste. Its magnificent stair- 
case and gallery are the admiration of every visitor, and though 
the " miry kine " sometimes have their home there, as Sir 
Walter Scott poetically observes, the castle still strikes one by 
its grandeur and proportion. The horrible dungeon called 
" Massie More," a foreign name used of the same oubliettes, 
dungeons in Moorish castles in Spain, and doubtless brought 
to Scotland by foreign travellers, is there still, as terrible as 
the bottle- dungeon in the Castle of St. Andrews or the awful 
oubliette in the Castle of Chillon on the shore of the blue lake 
of Geneva. Sir Walter Scott's poetic pictures of Crichton 
Castle in " Marmion " are among his very finest efforts. 

The hut of " Camp Meg," the famous Newbattle witch- 
doctor of the first quarter of the nineteenth century, away up 
on the top of the Roman Camp Hill, overlooked Hagbrae on 
the other side. Had " Camp Meg " lived a century earlier 
she would doubtless have been sacrificed like hundreds of other 
uncanny folks of these dark days. At Longfaugh there are 
very perfect remains of a Roman camp ; while in Crichton glen 
the summer display of glow-worms is wonderful. An old 
minister of Crichton, writing of this feature, says that the late 
visitor to the glen " will find himself amply rewarded in the 
brilliant display of shining lamps which the little illuminati 



of the glen are ever and anon beaming out around him. They 
are best in July and August, and at the beginning of Sep- 
tember are extinguished for the season." The beautiful seat 
of Costerton, with its sweet primrose glen, was in 1840 the 
residence of the Very Rev. Francis Nicoll, D.D., principal of 
the United College, St. Andrews. 


The proper name of this beautiful and historical parish is 
" Gowkpen " or the "Cuckoo-hill." The presence in the 
early spring of the cuckoo in the richly-wooded Esk valleys 
is recorded in the names of other places in the vicinity. Gowks- 
hill on the opposite hill is the " hill of the cuckoo," while 
Penicuik, further up the Esk, means exactly the same as Cock- 
pen, with the distinctive parts of the word transposed, " the 
hill of the cuckoo " : between "gowk-pen" and "pen-i-gowk" 
there is no great difference. The old Scottish farce of April 
ist, " huntigowk," gives an idea of the date when the bird 
of spring appears in the lands around the Esks, with the 1 
corncrake as its companion spring visitant, although, in fact, 
it is May before the voice of either is heard in the land. 

Old Cockpen Church, the ivy-clad ruins of which ar6 
still standing at the Butlerfield end of the parish, was a 
chapel under Newbattle Abbey, and was served from thence. 
It is a simple nave, strongly reminiscent of Alloway Kirk, and 
contains, among many interesting memorials, the monument 
to the great Marquess of Dalhousie, Viceroy of India, who 
guided the destinies of millions of the human race. 

William Knox, nephew of John Knox the Reformer, was 
minister of Cockpen, and took a strong part in the movement 
initiated by the Presbytery of Dalkeith to remove the images 
and altars of the neighbouring Roslin Chapel. As at Cross- 
raguel under the patronage of the Kennedys, so at Roslin under 
the patronage of the St. Clairs, great difficulty was experienced 
in accomplishing the removal of the superstitious elements in 
the church and worship. John Knox's family is closely linked 
with this part of Mid-Lothian. It was probably at Gifford- 
gate, Haddington, that the Reformer was born, a scion of 
the Gifford branch of the Knox family, which originally be- 
longed to Ranfurlie, Renfrewshire, and of which the foremost 



living representation is Uchter John Mark Knox, fifth Earl 
of Ranfurlie, and until recently Governor- General of New 
Zealand. William Knox, son of the Reformer's brother, suc- 
ceeded his father as minister of Cockpen, and his son John was 
minister of Carrington from 1619-61. It was he who in 1641 
preached in Newbattle Church at the ordination of Robert 
Leighton, afterwards the saintly Archbishop. Mr John Knox, 
a son of this Carrington minister, was his father's colleague 
and successor from 1653-1659. Cockpen, therefore, had two 
generations of Knox in its pulpit, the Reformer's nephew and 
grand-nephew, while Carrington had also two, the Reformer's 
great-grand-nephew and great-great-grand-nephew. On the occa- 
sion of a great fire in the then extensive village of Newbottle, 
a collection was made in Cockpen for the distressed folks in the 
neighbouring valley, and is still recorded in the minutes. Roman 
remains exist in Cockpen, and the very name of " Dalhousie 
Chesters " signifies the camp (" castra ") at Dalhousie. Cock- 
pen was originally a chapel under and served by Newbattle 
Abbey, and part of the lands of Cockpen still belong through 
commendatorship to the House of Newbattle. 

The old bell of Cockpen, now included in the new bell 
recently erected in the beautiful church tower, was originally 
the bell in Kinkell parish in the north. That parish became 
bankrupt, and the minister was hanged for a crime, and on the 
head of these troubles the precentor drowned himself. Fin- 
ally, all the church's moveables were sold to pay debts, in- 
cluding the bell, which was bought by Cockpen, and one of 
the minister's books (Catalogue of the Oxford Bodleian Li- 
brary, 1620), which came to Newbattle and is still included 
in the Leighton library there, and bears the inscription : 
" 1625. Mr J. Cheyn, parson of Kinkell, Act 40." The 
writing is very faded, and the volume, bound in vellum, does 
not even mention Shakespeare in the list of works in the great 
Oxford library. A rhyme as to these disasters used to be 
current both at Kinkell and Cockpen : 

O what a parish is that of Kinkell, 
Hanged the minister, 
Drooned the precentor, 
And fuddled the bell, 

the last line referring to the manner in which the liquid assets 
of the church were to some extent disposed of. 




The town of Dalkeith, which stretches from the ducal 
gates southwards in a long High Street, has as its most out- 
standing antiquity the fine old parish church of St. Nicholas, 
the choir of which, containing 'the recumbent figures of the 
Douglases, the burial-place of the successive families who 
lived in the castle, is now in ruins. It is very interesting to 
know that up till 1377 Dalkeith was neither a parish nor had 
it a place of worship. The district was included in Lasswade, 
and the people worshipped either in Lasswade Church or in 
Newbattle Abbey. It was Sir James Douglas of the castle 
who, in 1377, built a chapel, and in 1386 a small hospital for 
six poor men, very much akin to those of Greenside, St. Leo- 
nard's, Cambuslang Spital, Cavers Spital, Govan, Glasgow, 
and elsewhere, where aged poor persons lived in peace at life's 
close, and had the privileges of daily worship in the hospital 
chapel. This was the nucleus of the Dalkeith ecclesiastical estab- 
lishment, which afterwards became the collegiate church of 
St. Nicholas, and a parish of Dalkeith was marked out sub- 
sequently. The apse of the present church is octagonal, and 
is ruined, but the general effect is of a worshipful, stately, 
and imposing ecclesiastical building, with excellent pillars, 
arches, carvings, and faces. The spire, some ninety-six feet 
in height, is modern, a great fire having burned the old spire 
and much of the church a number of years ago, when the old 
bell fell and was shivered to pieces. Pieces of this bell, and 
of the ancient bell of Newbattle Abbey, which also fell, in 
1547, in the fire of the monastery, are still in existence. In 
later times, - - during the last half of the fifteenth and 
first sixty years of the sixteenth century, Dalkeith Church 
was a college, like Roslin, Crichton, Restalrig, and Seton, 
in the immediate neighbourhood, having a provost and 
canons, who performed their ministry in Dalkeith and 
round about. The livings connected with the collegiate church 
of St. Nicholas, Dalkeith, were in the patronage of Dunfernn 
line Abbey, as were also those of St. Giles (Edinburgh), Inver- 
esk, Cousland, Lasswade, Newton, and many others. When 
in 1650 Cromwell visited Scotland, he made Dalkeith his 
headquarters, and used the church to house his English Guards 
and horses, at which the minister, Mr Hew Campbell, was so 
affrighted, that "neither sermone-nor session could be kept." 
General Monk and the English Commissioners and troopers 
arrived at Dalkeith in 1652, and remained there five years, 



and though at first their advent occasioned great anxiety, in 
course of time the people became used to them, especially as 
they conducted themselves in a conciliatory and friendly 



The Church of St. Edwin, Lasswade, was served by a 
curate from Restalrig Collegiate Church in pre- Reformation 
days, when the village was called " Leswalt " or " Leswolt." 
Among the many possessions of Restalrig, was Lasswade in 
one direction, and St. Mary's, Rothesay, in the other. Lass- 
wade seems, in course of time, to have become an independent 
and far-stretching parish. There was also a chapel at Mel- 
ville, and traces of chapels to St. Leonard and St. Anne are 
still in evidence. A beautiful fragment of the old Church of 
St. Edwin still stands in the churchyard covered with ivy. 
The belfry fell some years ago, but two square corner towers 
are still standing. In the old days the church had no seats, 
but each worshipper brought his stool. The lower part of the 
belfry was for long used as a watch-house in Resurrectionist 
days. Bishop Fairlie, the ousted Bishop of Argyll and the 
Isles, was, on the restoration of Presbytery, at his own piteous 
request, made minister of Lasswade, his distresses having 
brought him to abject poverty. He appealed to the Church 
for relief. The Rev. John Paton, some time minister of Lass- 
wade, held the office of King's Almoner for Scotland, an 
office which involved his preaching every King's birthday be- 
fore the Canongate bailies and the King's blue-gown bedes- 
men, and at the close giving each bedesmen as many shillings 
as the King was years old, and a blue great-coat to the men, 
a cloak to the women, with a leaden badge, inscribed, " Pass 
and repass," which gave them the right to beg. Forty to fifty 
bedesfolk enjoyed these annual privileges, not very different 
from the ceremony in Westminster Abbey on Maundy Thursday, 
and when the King's " maundy money " is distributed at the 
altar by two almoners bearing towels, a reminiscence of 
Christ's foot - washing, to the aged poor of Westminister. 
These bedesmen, like most Scottish institutions of the kind, 
gradually died out, and the office of King's Almoner, held by 
Mr Paton, lapsed into the Scottish Exchequer. 




Pentland Parish dates from a very early period, and be- 
longed to Holyrood Abbey (1128). In 1296, Stephen de Kyn- 
gorn, the parson of Pentland, " swore fealty to Edward I., 
and had his forfeited goods restored." Old Roslin village 
stood quite close to Pentland Church, the parish of which in- 
cluded the Barony of Roslin. The present village of Roslin 
was built by Henry St. Clair to accommodate the masons and 
artificers employed by him in building Roslin Chapel. Old 
Roslin stood, according to Father Hay, at Bilsdone (Bilston) 
Burn. The old parish of Pentland was mainly owned by the 
St. Clairs of Roslin, but in 1633 the barony of Pentland 
passed into the hands of the Gibson family. The foundations 
of the old church can still be traced, and three monumental 
slabs, probably pavements of -the old church, are in existence. 

The Pentland pastor at the Reformation, Sir David 
Hutchesone, was a pronounced Reformer, and in 1540 he 
was denounced for heresy and his goods gifted to Sir Oliver 
St. Clair of Roslin. The next Pentland incumbent was Sir 
John St. Clair, the fourth son of the latter, who became Dean 
of Restalrig, Bishop of Brechin, and Lord President of the 
Court of Session. He performed the marriage ceremony in 
Holyrood Abbey between Mary Queen of Scots and Darnley, 
in July, 1565. When the Reformation came, Pentland was 
put under the charge of a reader from Lasswade until 1590, 
when a duly ordained minister was appointed in George Lundy, 
who, however, was so harassed by the St. Clairs of Roslin and 
Dryden, and even threatened with his life, that he finally 
sickened and died in 1592, after which date Pentland ceased 
to be a parish, and worship was no longer held. 


The original name of Liberton was probably Lepertown, 
or the town of lepers, for the reason that in the middle ages 
when leprosy was common in Scotland, the stricken were con- 
fined to this village and were forbidden to approach the city. 
Each leper carried a pair of clappers to give warning of their 
approach. The existing name in the parish, " Clapperfield," 
and other kindred names, recall the life of the men who stood 
afar off, and from the summit of the hill gazed with wistful 
eyes on the city which they could not enter. It has not been 



recorded whether there was a " leper window " in the old 
Liberton Church, as was usual and as can be seen in Bamburgh 
Church and elsewhere, through which the unfortunate stricken 
received the elements of the sacrament standing outside. The 
derivation of Liberton from " Lepertown " has been challenged 
on the ground that there is no record of any plague till 1282, 
and the name " Liberton " was applied to the village on the 
hill 139 years before. In a charter of David I. the name 
occurs, and the king farmed a large portion of the land, and 
the men who worked it were called " Libertines " or freedmen. 
Whatever the origin of the name, Liberton became, at any rate, 
the concentration camp for the lepers of the Lothians. The 
name " Spittletown " is also frequently met with in old re- 
cords, and is a reminiscence of the leper hospital. The bell of 
the old church of Liberton was a heavy and magnificent one, 
and could be heard at Soutrahill, 16 miles off, on a calm day, 
just as the great bourdon bell of Kirkwall Cathedral could, 
with still water and air, be heard across the sea on the main- 
land of Caithness. 

Liberton, however, was not an hospital for lepers, but 
possessed a striking attraction for all afflicted with leprosy or 
any other skin diseases in the famous " Balm well of Liber- 
ton," which is still in existence, carefully arched over and 
guarded by iron gates. It stands in the grounds of the small 
property called " St. Catherine's," on the highway to Loan- 
head. The water is clotted with black oil patches, and is a 
most interesting study in physical science, the presence of these 
masses of oil being due to the shale- formation so famous in 
the district where the Clippens Oil Company have their work- 
ings. It is really a deep bath of the shale oil produced natur- 
ally in the district, and is still used by some of the farmers 
in the neighbourhood to cure horse-sores and the like. Hector 
Boece says of St. Catherine's Well : " About two miles from 
this town (Edinburgh), a spring on which drops of oil float, 
gushes out with such force that if you draw nothing from it 
the flow is no greater, and however much you take away no less 
remains. It is said to have arisen from some of the oil of St. 
Catherine which was being brought from Mount Sinai to St. 
Margaret, having been spilt at that spot." Matthew Mackail, 
a surgeon, in 1664 describes it fully, arid tells how James VI. 
visited it in 1617, and ordered it to be built from the bottom 
with stairs up and a cover erected over it. Cromwell destroyed 



this erection, which again was rebuilt at the Restoration. A 
chapel used to stand near it in the lands of St. Catherine's. 
The tradition was that a vessel of the oil of St. Catherine was 
being brought from Mount Sinai (St. Catherine's shrine) to 
Queen Margaret, and the bearer stumbled and spilt some of 
it, hence the holy oil or balm well began its career of healing. 
The proximity of the Straiten oil-fields is a more probable 
origin, though as with another matter, you can take your choice 
of explanations. 

The convent of St. Catherine's, corrupted now into " The 
Sciennes " (St. Catherine of Sienna) on the south side of Edin- 
burgh, which stood in the district now called " Sciennes," 
had its origin from one of the Rosslyn St. Clairs, who pro- 
bably also built the chapel of St. Catherine near the well, dedi- 
cating the former to the saintly Catherine of Sienna, who in the 
fourteenth century roused Europe with her powerful person- 
ality, life and work, and the latter to the great Alexandrian 
saint and martyr who met her death on the wheel, still called 
" The St. Catherine's wheel," and whose exiled refuge was 
at the foot of Mount Sinai, where the famous monastery of 
St. Catherine's commemorates her exile, martyrdom, and legen- 
dary entombment by the angels. The sisters of the Sciennes 
house came out in procession once a year and visited the Balm 
Well and the chapel. On the lintel of the well are the letters 
" A. P." Near St. Catherine's is a rising called Grace Mount, 
formerly Priesthill, probably connected with the chapel. The 
Roslin St. Clairs seem to have been enamoured of the St. 
Catherine's of the Church, five in number of its hagiology. 
for in addition to the Church of St. Catherine of Sienna in 
Edinburgh, and the Chapel of St. Catherine of Mount Sinai 
at Liberton, they built a third St. Catherine's among the Pent- 
lands as a thank-offering for victory in a coursing match be- 
tween the greyhounds of St. Clair and those of Robert Bruce, 
a chapel dedicated to the youthful martyr of Mount Sinai 
and now covered over, save in times of great drought, by the 
waters of the reservoir. The Sciennes house was the last mon- 
astic establishment founded in Scotland before the Reforma- 
tion, and was the special home of the unmarried daughters of 
the Crown. 




The proper name of Roslin Chapel is the " College of 
St. Matthew," originally a collegiate church like St. Giles', 
which afterwards, in Episcopal times, developed into a cath- 
edral; Restalrig, originally a great minster, out of the stones 
of which the Nether Bow of Edinburgh was chiefly built, leav- 
ing only the tiny fragment of the chancel as a place of modern 
worship; Crichton, of which only the chancel was built, and 
(not to give further particulars of any) the ancient churches of 
Dalkeith, Corstorphine, Craill, Foulis, Kirkheugh, Methven, 
St. Salvador, St. Leonard, Tullibardine, Aberdeen, Cullen, 
Kinnethmonth, Kilmun, Guthrie, Gullane, Dunglas, Dunbar, 
Trinity College (Edinburgh), Seton, Stirling, Yester, Lin- 
cluden, Biggar, Bothwell, Carnwath, Dumbarton, Hamilton, 
Kilwinning, Maybole, Peebles, Abernethy, Tain, Kilmaurs, 

The idea of a " college " or " collegiate church " with its 
provost and canons was that in any town which from its size, 
position, or history, seemed entitled to have more than an 
ordinary parish church, there should be an ecclesiastical estab- 
lishment, with a full body of clergy attached, which might 
form a religious centre for a district. Beautifully situated 
amongst the woods of Hawthornden, with the Pentland Hills 
as a background, and surrounded by scenery of altogether 
unique beauty, Roslin College still, rises, the perfection of 
architecture planted in the midst of the perfection of natural 
beauty, a pocket cathedral in an earthly paradise, - 
William de St. Clair, Earl of Orkney, founded it on Sept- 
ember 21, 1450 (St. Matthew's Day), and had it dedicated 
to the apostle who obeyed Christ's command, " Follow 
Me." The present chapel was intended only for the choir, 
the rest of the building, as in the case of Crichton College, 
never arriving at completion. But though only a fragment, 
it is altogether unique in the richness of its decoration and 

Its founder, determined to build " a church of extraordin- 
ary glory and magnificence, "an architectural gem in the 
midst of scenic beauties which could not be surpassed, drew 
on the resources of all lands to carry out his design. Perhaps 
St. Clair remembered the legend of the richly-decorated Burgos 
Cathedral in Spain, that angels built its roof; at any rate, 
R (257) 


there are resemblances in its style to that wonderful cathedral 
pile, and the model of the thirteen pillars of Roslin Chapel 
was the nave of the Cathedral of Seguenza in Spain, one 
special feature of the former being, however, the horizontal 
arches over the side aisles, which, however, though quite 
straight and roof -like, are supported by safety- arches concealed 
by a face ornament on each side. The riches of almost every 
phase of Gothic architecture were gathered together by the 
princely St. Clair, except that which was at the time in vogue 
in England, and with the minute decorations of the Tudor 
Gothic is combined the solidity of the Norman style. 

Roslin to a great extent is a repetition of Glasgow Cath- 
edral on a smaller scale, but with infinitely greater elabora- 
tion and ornamentation. Each is built on a sloping hill, hence 
the opportunity for a crypt, as was also intended at Crichton, 
the naves being cryptless. The styles, however, of all countries, 
Moorish arabesques, enrichments which could only have been 
copied from Burgos and Ovie"do and other Spanish minsters; 
the vault of tunnel shape has its transverse ribs incrusted with 
stars, pendants, and clusters of every conceivable description, 
after the French form. At Plougasnou, in Brittany, there are 
the same Gothic " barrel roofs " and identical pendants hang- 
ing down from the crown of the vault, and curiously-moulded 
shafts with flat carving in the caps, ideas which could only 
have been derived from the French architects, what is called 
the style of " Breton renaissance"; while Italian architecture 
is also represented, the master-mason himself having spent 
many months in Rome to conceive the idea of a fresh pillar. 

The reason of the international character of the Roslin 
architecture is not far to seek. Lord St. Clair was master - 
mason of all Scotland, and desiring to mark his sense of the 
honour done to him and the trust reposed in him in committing 
to his keeping the highest secrets of the mystic brotherhood, he 
founded the church not only to eclipse the construction of other 
noble founders, but also to embody and petrify the ideas, mys- 
teries, and symbolism of that Freemasonry of which he was 
the arch-custodier, Jachin and Boaz glorified, with the lily- 
work and much else besides. 'And so, to initiated eyes, every 
flower and leaf, every arch and pillar and fluting has a Masonic 
meaning. The whole theory of human life, the mysteries of earth- 
ly existence and of the Divine government, are all carved out, 



idea after idea, symbol after symbol, so that Roslin Chapel 
is literally a sermon in stone on the mysteries of Freemasonry. 
Freemasonry is understood all over the world, and its signs are 
international, and so it was suitable that the architects of this 
Cathedral of Freemasonry should come from the north of 
Spain, that the roofs should be copied from the old churches 
in the south of France, that some of the pillars should be liter- 
ally the other halves of shafts still standing in some of the 
Italian churches, that even Saracenic and Moorish ideas should 
mingle with those of the Normans and Goths. 

Every one knows the story of the " Prentice Pillar," how, 
in the absence of the architect in Rome to get new ideas for 
the great work, a young apprentice tried his hand at original 
architecture, and carved out this beautiful column, with its 
wreath of leaves springing out of the base ; and how the master 
in his wrath killed the youth who had been so presumptuous. 
Even that pillar, however, has a symbolical meaning, for at 
the foot of it a worm is represented eating away the vitals of 
the clinging plant, with the result that only leaves are found 
upon it, possibly a parable on the social and religious cor- 
ruptions of the day, " nothing but leaves." Similar traditions 
cling round similar " Prentice Pillars " in Rouen and in other 
ancient minsters. One lovely carving represents satan drag- 
ging a girl from her mother's care, with an angel holding a 
cross beckoning in front, a stone sermon on good and evil 
influence. The virtues, the seven deadly sins, the star of 
Bethlehem, the instruments of the Passion are all carefully 

Twelve barons of St. Clair lie in the vaults below the 
chapel clad in armour, and when the crypt was last opened 
the breastplates were found lying as they had been left, and 
a little dust beneath each. Who has not heard of the lurid 
redness which is said to light up the chapel on the eve of a St. 
Glair's death, to which Sir Walter Scott refers in the " Lay of 
the Last Minstrel " : 

O'er Roslin all that dreary night 

A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam ; 
'Twas broader than the watch-fire's light, 

And redder than the bright moon-beam. 
It glared on Roslin's castled rock, 

It ruddied all the copse-wood glen; 
'Twas seen from Dryden's groves of oak, 

And seen from cavern'd Hawthornden. 




Very few of the thousands who, on the thin iron line of 
civilization, rush past the little village and church of Restalrig, 
under the shadows of Arthur's Seat, are aware of the unique 
interest which clusters round that ancient and picturesque shrine 
Its story is to a great extent buried in the forgotten past, whose 
long dim aisles house the forgotten dead. But, just as the 
stone which we carelessly kick out of our path, when picked 
up by the naturalist and examined, brings forth a new discov- 
ery for all time, so in these stones there are sermons, and you 
have but to rub them like the magician of old, to have the 
spirit of the past come out and meet you : and glancing from 
to-day's watch-towers out on the dim, misty, looming past, 
tombed figures take shape, and old dusts begin to speak. 

Tradition says that along with St. Rule, who was wrecked 
in St. Andrew's Bay, there came several other pioneers of the 
Gospel, among whom was a certain woman, Triduana. She 
is to-day little more than a name, but she seems to have been 
one of those who, swallow-like, heralded the coming of the 
Gospel-spring in Scotland. The starlight that caught your 
eye last night was light that left the stars a thousand years 
ago; your eye caught a thousand arrivals from journeys of 
thousands of years ; and the Christian light which floods Scot- 
land to-day started thirteen hundred years ago, with those holy 
men and women, who themselves, like the stars, are unseen and 
unknown, but the waves and influences of whose lives are still 
felt and realised. 

One tradition has it that Triduana was a Greek lady of 
royal blood, to whom, after a sight of the Cross, this world 
became very small ; the sentiment of Mary, Queen of Scots, 
was hers : 

" Foes to my greatness, let your envy rest, 
In me no taste for grandeur now is found !" 

After a life of missionary labour in Scotland, she died, 
and was buried, and Restalrig [or Restalric, or Lestalric] 
Church covers her remains. 

It was once a large and stately edifice. The little bit 
remaining is only a portion of the chancel, all the transepts and 
nave having been swept away. It was founded by James III., 
and was a rich and powerful corporation, a collegiate church, 
consisting of a dean, eight prebendaries, three chaplains, and 



two singing boys. It held the Church of Lasswade, the rector 
of that town having a stall there, also St. Mary's Rothesay, 
besides valuable property in Bute, Leith, &c. The octagonal 
chapter-house, with a fine central pillar and groining, was built 
by Sir Robert Logan, who died in 1539. Originally dedicated 
to the Holy Trinity and to SS. Mary and Margaret, its chief 
interest lay in the fact that it contained the tomb and shrine of 
St. Triduana, St. Rule's companion. That shrine was one of 
the most renowned places of pilgrimage in the middle ages : 
it was supposed to work miracles, especially in diseases of 
the eye, one of the earliest recorded instances of such cure? 
being that of John, Bishop of Caithness, who in 1200 jour- 
neyed from Scrabster, blinded and with his tongue cut out by 
Earl Harold of Orkney (as the old Saga relates); and it is 
said he was cured by his pilgrimage hither. Many other such 
pilgrimages are on record, and the place got not only great 
fame, but also considerable wealth in consequence. St. Tri- 
duana's chapel in that noble church was served by a prebend- 
ary who ministered at her altar, and also acted as organist in 
the church. 

Restalrig Church, for this reason, attracted the attention 
of the first Reformers in 1560, and it is almost the only case 
in which Knox and his colleagues actually demolished a sacred 
edifice. It is one of the earliest entries in the transactions of 
the first reformed assembly of the Church of Scotland, "That 
Restalrig Church be utterly demolished as a monument of 
idolatry." In 1559-60, Lord Gray, Commander of the Eng- 
lish forces, during the siege of Leith, threw up trenches round 
the church, and lodged himself with his horsemen within its 
walls. In December, 1560, it was demolished by the Pro- 
testant throng and utterly razed, save only for the little piece 
of the east end, which was left in ruins. The great masses 
of stone were carted off to build the Nether Bow of Edinburgh, 
which was almost entirely drawn from this rich quarry ; and 
even so late as 1571, one Alexander Clark found stones enough 
left at the old site to build his house. For many years the 
small remnant of the church, with its three pillared bays and 
fine east window, remained an utter ruin, and to a great extent 
roofless; but within recent years it has been worthily restored, 
and is now appropriately used as a chapel of the Church of 
Scotland. Several notable people are buried in the pretty 



churchyard which spreads around it, and was for long a fav- 
ourite place of sepulture for Episcopalians. The ruin of St. 
Anthony's Chapel, on a spur of Arthur's Seat, looks down 
upon it, perched up there among the flocks of the Holyrood 
monks, because St. Anthony -was the guardian of the brute 
creation, and is said to have made the lambs and the birds, 
and even the fishes his companions. The stately towers of 
Hale-rude-house (Holyrood) rose up at the other end of the 
meadow, and it is to be hoped will very soon be restored, with' 
the Auld Brig o' Ayr, the Scots Greys, the Ben Nevis Observa- 
tory, and other Scottish interests which have too long been 

One cannot look at the little chapel without wishing that 
those who professed to cure blindness there, had not been, in 
later days at any rate, such blind leaders of the blind, and 
that their spiritual cataract had not become so dense, that the 
offending eye had so ruthlessly to be plucked out. 

But all such spiritual developments are in the hands of 
Him who of old touched the eyes of blind Bartimeus on the 
wayside; and though such spiritual blindness cannot, alas, be 
numbered as one of the extinct diseases, but has only taken 
other forms, yet the Church of God can never sigh, " Oh 
for the touch of a vanished hand," for Christ's touch has still 
its ancient power. At best in life we see " men as trees walk- 
ing," as they did long ago : but now as then, " The Lord God 
walks among the trees of the garden." And a broad charity 
like that of the Lord Jesus, whose mission was to open the 
blind eyes, and who looks with larger, other eyes than ours, 
to make allowance for us all, bids us gaze back through the 
dim mist of the past on that earlier faith with a forgiving eye, 
and forward to a still more perfect day when we shall no 
longer see through a glass darkly, but face to face, 
" Waiting for the end 

Of all misunderstandings and soul-hunger, 
When lack of love shall trouble us no longer ; 
When a white shroud shall cover up our faces 
And better people fill our vacant places !" 


Newton, or Neaton, Church was granted to the monks of 
Dunfermline (like St. Giles') in the twelfth century, and the 
ruins of the old church stand beside the Buccleuch woodlands, 



within sight of the railway, a tall square tower rising above the 
holy place. There was another church and parish, that of 
Woolmet or Wymet, which was probably the chapel of the fine 
old house of Woolmet, famous as the retreat of Francis Stew- 
art, the second Earl of Bothwell, in James VI. 's reign, after 
the battle of Craigmillar. The house is still a stately baronial 
mansion, and has interesting historical memories. David I. 
granted the church of Woolmet, which is still standing in the 
village of Edmonstone, to the monks of Dunfermline, like the 
church of Newton. At the Reformation the two chaplaincies 
and parishes were united, and a new church built in the centre 
of the parish, the church lands being given to Lord Thirle- 
stane by James VI., from whose descendants they passed to 
the Wauchopes, while the Newton portions eventually fell in 
to Buccleuch. The church of Newton to-day has interesting 
memorials on its walls of those whose life it was to " win " 
the coal, and is an ideal country church and churchyard, 
echoed in some of Mr Martin Hardie's paintings. The old 
estate of Sheriffhall has interesting memories, while the 
" Kaim " (hence " Campend " or " Kaim-end ") a round 
earth-heap surmounted by trees, is supposed to cover the 
remains of those who fell in some of the early battles of prehis- 
toric Scottish history. 

Monkton House, between Newton and Inveresk, was the 
favourite residence of General Monk, and near it is the " Rout- 
ing Well," so called from a noise which it is supposed to make 
predicting a coming storm. This well, dug many fathoms 
deep through a rock in order to get below the coal-strata, com- 
municates with the coal-seams below, which occasions a rumbl- 
ing noise, " which does not precede but accompanies a high 
wind." The gardens of Monkton were among the earliest in 
Britain, and in the books of Dalkeith Palace it is entered that 
fruit and vegetables came thence in more excellent quantity 
and quality two and a half centuries ago than from any other 
quarter. The house was originally built by the monks of New- 
battle, to whom the property belonged, and the west side of 
the courtyard is the work of the monks. It stands two storeys 
high, and has the usual hall and other rooms on the ground 
floor, and bedrooms above, while the turret staircase and the 
fine mullioned dormers of the upper floor are unique. A 
branch of the Hays of Yester succeeded to the property, which 



came into the hands of the Falconars, and finally into those 
of the Hopes of Pinkie. [" Castellated and Domestic Archi- 
tecture of Scotland," iv.] 

Monkton Hall, a little nearer Musselburgh, is also an 
interesting old residence full of antiquarian memories. New- 
ton House is a large, commodious and massive mansion-house 
dating far back, quite of the same style as Monkton House, 
Woolmet, &c., close by, and in all probability the laird of 
Newton or Neaton was the originator, patron, and protector 
of Neaton Kirk close by. To-day only the church tower 
stands, surrounded by trees, and with about half-a-dozen table- 
tombstones around it. The entrance to the tower is a round 
arch, and the marks of presses, doors, fireplaces, and roofs 
are quite traceable. The sweet old tower, standing out on the 
ploughed field, with its castellated top and many memories, 
is romantic to a degree, and in early spring, when the fresh 
olive-green is on the old churchyard trees, is beautiful and 
suggestive beyond words. 


The picturesque ruined church of Carrington stands in 
an isolated field half-a-mile from the present village and 
church, now called Carrington, but once called Primrose, 
an indication of the old connection between the house of Rose- 
bery (Primrose) and this district, which up to the Moorfoots 
is the property of the Lord of Dalmeny. The church of Car- 
rington or Kerrington has a very curious history. In a docu- 
ment of the chartulary of Scone Abbey, dated February, 1356, 
it is stated that the Abbot of Scone is to get the church of 
Blair, with its pertinents, in exchange for the parish of Car- 
rington. Blair had belonged to William, Bishop of St. And- 
rews, Carrington to the Abbey of Scone. It was a matter of 
arrangement between the two, and was apparently amicably 
settled. But in Scone Chartulary there is another document, 
a bull of Pope Gregory the XI., dated 1373. In 1356 the 
Bishop of St. Andrews had apparently given up all claim to 
Blair Church in exchange for that of Carrington. The Abbot 
of Scone seems, however, to have had his doubts about the 
binding character of the transaction. He appears to have 
dreaded that he might lose Carrington and fail to get Blair. 



And so he sought the good offices of Robert II., who had been 
crowned at Scone, to secure a bull from Pope Gregory con- 
firming the exchange. This bull is an interesting document. 
It narrates that Carrington " abounded in revenues," but was 
so distant from Scone, and the way to it was beset with so 
many difficulties that it would be more suitable to transfer it 
to the Archdeacon of Lothian. The revenues of Blair were 
very poor, but that church was close by Scone. The vicar 
at the time of the exchange was paid the stipend of 10 merks 
or ;6, 145. 3d. Carrington income could easily have been far 
more, and yet not so very much. To-day the rental of Car- 
rington is ^4000, of Blairgowrie, ^27,000. 

After the Reformation the charge of Carrington was held 
by John Knox (1619-61), grandson of the second minister 
of Cockpen, and, therefore, great-grand-nephew of the Re- 
former, and he ordained Robert Leighton to Newbattle. He 
was succeeded by his son, John (1653-9), tne great-great-grand- 
nephew of the Reformer. 


The valley of the Tyne stretches from the hillfoots around 
Borthwick, on through Crichton, and out through Haddington- 
shire. Borthwick Castle, recently restored, is one of the very 
finest peel-towers in Scotland, standing on a tongue of rocky 
land, and the roof of the grand hall is so lofty that it was 
almost a proverb that a knight on horseback could swing his 
spear without touching wall ot wood. That roof is still in ad- 
mirable preservation, and in one of the panels there is the in- 
scription, " Ye Temple of Honor." The fireplace is carved 
and gilded. Queen Mary's room is still pointed out, and the 
nailmarks of the ancient tapestries which hung on its walls are 
traceable. The two great towers are very striking. It is said 
that something like half-a-century ago a foolhardy student 
jumped from one to the other, a tempting of Providence al- 
most as great as that of the Italian mason, who, when Durham 
Cathedral was finished, swung a rope from tower to tower and 
walked across it, performing a somersault in the middle. The 
roofs of the towers are saddleback and covered with stone- 
slates, as at Corstorphine, Crichton, St. Margaret's Chapel in 
Edinburgh Castle, &c. There is an excellent spring well in a 



vault on the left side. The original home of the illustrious Borth- 
wicks was Catcune Castle, famous as the residence of the great: 
Sir William Borthwick, who had to do with the strong national 
movements of his age. It is said that the founder of the noble 
house was a Livonian knight called Burtick, who came with 
Edward Atheling and his sister Margaret (afterwards Malcolm 
Canmore's wife) to Scotland in 1067, and settled here. Then 
Sir James Borthwick, who made the fame of the house, re- 
ceived permission on 2nd June, 1430, to erect a castle at Loch- 
warret (Locherworth or Loquhariot) to take the place of the 
old Catcune Castle. From Currie glen, close by, the stones 
were brought, and while it was building Sir James was created 
Lord Borthwick, in recognition of his great services to the 
nation. He died in 1458, and was buried in the Church of 
Borthwick (St. Mungo's), where his recumbent figure, along 
with that of his wife, is still to be seen, one of the few per- 
fect recumbent tombs in Scotland. He lies in full armour, 
and the sleeping pair form a very beautiful piece of sculpture. 
This ancient portion of Borthwick Church, now at the rear of 
the beautiful parish church, is a fine relic of the age, and the 
piscina and other features are still in good preservation. The 
carved flowers on the outside walls below the stone roof are 
copied, as at Roslin, from the flora of the valley, which, doubt- 
less, the sculptor held in his hand as he carved. The faces, 
which alternate with the flowers, represent jo'y, grief, mockery, 
surprise, cunning, singing (the trumpet-like carving represent- 
ing the music issuing forth as in the S. transept of St. Giles', 
Edinburgh, beside the organ), resignation, merriment, death. 
The faces are almost identical with those on the outside of 
Crichton choir, and are probably the work of the same hand. 
The massive roof of paving-stones is identical with that of 
Corstorphine. The church was in all probability built about 
the same time as the castle, and was in all likelihood originally 
simply the chapel of the house of Borthwick. It was dedi- 
cated to St. Mungo, whose influence was widely felt in this 
part of Mid-Lothian. Glasgow Cathedral is St. Mungo's or 
St. Kentigern's Church, and still retains his well and tomb in 
the beautiful crypt. It was at Glasgow (" the dark forest ") 
that St. Mungo and St. Columba met, with their missionary 
bands. St. Mungo has given his name to a Dumfriesshire 
parish. The old friary of the Observant Friars, also, at 



Lanark, founded in 1314 by King Robert, bears his name. 
Alloway's haunted kirk is St. Mungo's, and Burns has sung 
of the thorn hard by, " where Mungo's mither hanged hersel'." 
Besides giving his name to the churches of Penicuik, Borth- 
wick, and Crichton, the name and influence of this early mis- 
sionary can still be traced all over Lanarkshire and eastern 
Mid-Lothian, and it is singular that " Mungo " should still 
be a favourite Christian name in Mid-Lothian, and also that it 
should have been the name of the great modern traveller, 
Mungo Park, who did so much to open up Africa to light and 
civilization. St. Mungo's mother was St. Thenaw, whose cor- 
rupted name appears still in Glasgow in " St. Enoch's " Sta- 
tion, just as " St. Rollox " in the same city is properly " St. 
Roche," from a chapel on the hill there, and " Manuel " on 
the North British Railway is properly " Immanuel," from the 
ancient church dedicated to " Christ Immanuel," which 
has almost entirely disappeared. The Penicuik Lodge of Free- 
masons is called " St. Mungo's." His influence in the upper 
ward of Lanarkshire and the Esk valleys was almost as great 
as in Clydesdale, all of which he made his own by missionary 
effort. His proper name was Kentigern, and he was born at 
Culross, and flourished in the last half of the sixth century. 
" Mungo " or "Beloved" was a name of endearment given 
him by his devoted disciples, and so deep was the affection of 
Scotland for him that the new name very nearly ousted the old. 
It is interesting to remember that St. Mungo was grandson to 
the famous King Loth, whose name survives in the title of the 
lands over which he ruled, " Lothian." King Loth's regal 
residence was at the foot of Traprain Law. 

From the death of the first Lord Borthwick in 1458, son 
succeeded father, until the ninth lord, who died without issue, 
and the title expired. Descendants of the house of Borthwick, 
however, still live at Crookston (and in the Castle), while one 
is the respected chief of the Mid-Lothian constabulary. 

The sixth Lord Borthwick was the staunch friend of Mary 
Queen of Scots, who lived with Bothwell within the walls of 
the grim fortalice in the valley. It was her last home of 
liberty, for when she fled from Borthwick Castle she very 
soon passed on to her captivity. The memories of Queen Mary 
cluster very thickly around the grand old keep, which keeps 
silent guard over the lovely valley, through which the express 



trains rush in their mad progress to the south. James, the 
ninth lord, was a warm-hearted partisan of the Stuarts, and 
in the interests of Charles I. he for a time defied Oliver 
Cromwell. Cromwell bombarded the castle, and the marks 
of his shot and shell can still be traced on the walls, as well 
as in the earth-mounds in the vicinity, raised for his cannon. 
The record of the house of Borthwick is a noble one, as no 
atrocious or brutal crime such as characterised most houses of 
medisevalism, can be imputed to Borthwick, but, on the con- 
trary, there is a fine tradition of patriotic work well done. 
.The nephew of the ninth lord, Lord Dundas of Harvieston, 
succeeded to the castle and estate, but the title lapsed. In 
1692 he sold the property to Sir James Dalrymple, progenitor 
of the house of Stair. In 1760, Mitchelson of Middleton 
bought it, and in 1812 it was bought by Mr John Borthwick 
of Crookston. Lengthy litigations have taken place over the 
revival of the title, claimed both by the Crookston and the 
Nenthorn branches of the Borthwick family, and in 1870 the 
House of Lords gave the title to the Nenthorn branch, 
descendants of the third lord, and the present peer is the 

The beautiful new church of Borthwick was a gift to the 
parish from the Kidd family (1850), and the old portion of 
the church is the hall and vestry. The great historian, Prin- 
cipal Robertson, was born in the old manse in 1721. His 
father, the Rev. William Robertson, was minister of Borth- 
wick, and afterwards of Lady Yester's and Old Greyfriars', 
Edinburgh. He was the author of the 25th, 42nd, and 43rd 
paraphrases, three of the finest in the collection. 

Beautiful Currie Glen, with Currie House, is close by, 
while interesting Roman remains in the way of roads and 
camps are on the hillsides, the great Roman road, " Watling 
Street," passing through the parish. A Roman camp is on 
the summit of one of the Heriot Hills close by. 

A very striking feature is to be observed in the glen from 
Borthwick to Crichton on summer evenings, in the presence 
of multitudes of glow-worms, which seem to have a special 
affection for this locality. The " lampyris noctiluca " or 
glow-worm, is a short little worm, thick and ugly by daylight, 
but at night its light-emissions are wonderful and mystic. It 
can extinguish its light at will when frightened, and on misty 



warm summer evenings during June, July, and August, thou- 
sands of these marvellous night-lights can be seen in rapid 
motion in the Crichton Glen. The glow-worms close their 
" feast of lights " about 11-12. If one of them is caught and 
put in a glass case it will keep shining on for weeks till the 
phosphorescent deposit or luminary matter is exhausted, when 
it dies. 


The remains of a small Roman camp are on the hill above 
the Heriot valley. The old chapel of Heriot or Herieth was 
under Newbattle Abbey, and was a vicarage worth .19, 75 
lod scots. It served the hill district of the Moorfoots to the 
east, as the chapel and house of Moorfoot, the ruins of 
which are still standing at the foot of the Powbate Glen, did 
the western portion of the rich green pastoral mountainsides 
and moors, which are still as beautiful and refreshing to 
soul and body as ever. 

Walcott, in his " Scoti-monasticon," says that Gawin or 
Gavin Douglas (1516), the renowned Scottish poet and bishop, 
was at first rector of Heriot. Other authorities say he began 
his clerical life as rector of Hawick, which has more evidence 
in its favour than the other statement. He was afterwards 
Provost of St. Giles', Edinburgh, and Bishop of Dunkeld. 
He played an important part both in Church and State, and 
added great lustre to St. Giles and Dunkeld alike. He was 
a poet and a scholar, and translated into Scottish, Virgil's 
" JEneid," and Ovid's "Remedy of Love," besides writing 
the " Palace of Honour," an apologue for the conduct of 
the king, in which, in a vision, the vanity of earthly greatness 
is beautifully depicted. He was the friend of Polydore 
Virgil, and presented him with a commentary of the history 
of Scotland, in which the Scottish -race is traced back to Athens. 
He was Provost of St. Giles when the fatal news of Flodden 
reached Edinburgh, and the women crowded into the old 
minster to pray for " the Flowers of the Forest." Owing 
to the enmity of the Earl of Angus, an unjust sentence of 
proscription was issued against him ,by the king : the Pope 
cited him to Rome : on his way he sickened in London of the 
plague and died there in 1522, and was buried in the Savoy 



Chapel. It is interesting to trace the great career of this dis- 
tinguished Scotsman back to the green hills and sweet valley 
of Heriot, where his poetic gifts may have received their 
earliest impulses, as Robertson received his, centuries later, 
at Borthwick, on the other side of the same swelling Moor- 




THERE are many places of deep historic interest in 
Newbattle parish regarding which much could be said. 
The fine old mansion-house of Southside once a 
dower-house of the Lothian family, and, within liv- 
ing memory, ornamented on the top with fine battle- 
ments, has interesting traditions. One laird, Patrick Ellis, 
gave in 1646 a communion cup to the church, which, with the 
other three, given in that year* by Alexander Caithness, Robert 
Porteous, and Andrew Bryson, are still in use, and were gifted 
to the church in the sixth year of Leighton's ministry at New- 
battle, the cups for the sacrament having, previous to that 
donation, been borrowed from Dalkeith. 

D'Arcy Farm and its picturesque lands on the hillside 
above the ancient village of Easthouses (referred to frequently 
along with Westhouses in the charters of Newbattle Abbey), 
got their name from the Lady Caroline D'Arcy, who, in 1735, 
married William Henry, the fourth Marquess, just as the 
" Talbot Park " received its name from the matrimonial alli- 
ance of the House of Lothian with the Talbots, the " Camp- 
bell Park " with the Argylls, and the " Fortescue Park " with 
the Fortescues. The village of Westhouses used to stretch 
extensively round the hillfoot beneath the Roman Camp, where 
" Camp Meg " lived. It formerly contained a school, and 
old coins of the Stuart period have been found among the 
stones. The Cock-houlet Wood beside it is reminiscent of the 
old farm and village which stood there half a century ago. 
A somewhat famous well, St. Helen's Well, used to be 
popular as a place of resort for the healing of diseases, just 
like the St. Catherine Balm Well at Liberton. Maisterton 
Tower is another old castle in the parish, forming a not- 
able landmark in the landscape, seen from afar by sailors 
in the Forth. It is a thoroughly mediaeval keep, and was the 
residence of the Baron of Maisterton, which of old was also a 



separate parish, the chapel being at Bryans or Brien as it is 
called in the Newbattle chartulary. The fine old trees round 
Bryans farm are probably indications of where the Churchyard 
stood, and a portion of the byre was many years ago largely 
paved with the gravestones. One tree is still called " The 
Lady Tree," and possibly the " Lady's Road " may have got 
its name from the Virgin, who was the special patroness 
of Newbattle. The farm called Mansfield may have been 
the glebe of Bryans chapel, standing as it does half-way 
between the Maisterton Tower and Bryans. Fordel, in the 
eastern portion of the parish, so-called from the ford over the 
river Tyne, which passes through the Oxenfoord and Preston- 
holm valley, giving its name to Ford, famous as the place 
where iron ploughs were first made in Scotland, is to-day 
famous as the finest strawberry-producing district in Scot- 

Lothian Bridge, with its striking railway arches, over 
which of old the horse-trains were dragged to Newington from 
Newbattle, but over which now-a-days the Flying Scotsman 
every night rushes with its ripple of lighted windows and 
sounding din, till the Borthwick hills surround it, and all is 
still, was, until recent years, the seat of the great paper in- 
dustry, begun and continued for several generations by the 
Craig family. The village, indeed, rose around that in- 
dustry, which owed so much to the genius and personality of 
Mr Robert Craig, a man as gifted as he was attractive and 
loveable. This world-famed industry was in 1890 transferred 
to the neighbourhood of Airdrie, where, at Moffat and Calder- 
cruix, great works provide employment for hundreds of people, 
the company being known as Messrs Robert Craig & Sons, 
Limited. Newton Grange House occupies the site of the old 
monastic farm mill, and Mr John Romans, the present vener- 
able laird, can lay claim for his family to three centuries of 
settlement in the historic place. 

At what is now known as Barondale House, on the Esk 
shore at Newbattle, the scene is laid of the " Laird of Cock- 
pen." Tradition declares that Mark Carse was the veritable laird 
of Cockpen, who wandered down the riverside from Old Cock- 
pen House, a mile higher up the South Esk from Newbattle, 
down to Barondale House, which stands still, though renovated, 
by the waterside, near the Newbattle bridge. " Doun by the 



dyke-side a lady did dwell." The "dyke" was the old Monk- 
land wall still standing in Newbattle village, and " Clavers- 
ha-Lea " (Barondale House) was by the water amid the beau- 
tiful scenery of the romantic Newbattle valley. Mrs Jean 
was brewing the " elder-flower wine," one of the dear old 
drinks of long ago, and the Newbattle valley is full of these 
old-fashioned trees and shrubs. The laird walked down the 
Esk side by a path still traceable through the river brushwood, 
and, arriving at his destination, asked the lady's hand. His 
actions seem to have been too sudden, for flat-footed Jean 
refused him with a lofty disdain not uncommon on such occa- 
sions, we are informed. She thought better of it, however, 
and, having evidently arrived at the stage of " where is he?" 
took him, and thus the Cockpen and Barondale estates were 
united under Laird Mark Carse, who thus had an estate in 
Newbattle. What is termed by scholars " the poultry verse " 
in the old song, is a modern addition and is seldom sung, save 
by those who have not confined themselves to the mild New- 
battle stimulant termed by the song, " elder-flower wine." In 
1722 this small Newbattle estate of Mark Carse fell into the 
hands of Lord Lothian. 

Reference has already been made to the charming estate 
and mansion of Woodburn, with its recent memories of 
Christopher North. The distinguished general, Lord Ralph 
Kerr, C.B., brother of the late Marquess, is now the occu- 
pant of the mansion. Quite near it, and in a haugh by the 
river, stands the large thatched house of Newmilns, for many 
years a prosperous corn-mill. Robert the Bruce is said to 
have owned a field in the parish, and his son David II. buried 
his mistress, Catherine Mortimer, in the Abbey. 

The old school and schoolhouse of Newbattle, founded 
mainly through the influence of the Rev. James Aird, about 
1620, are still standing near the now demolished village of 
Crawlees. The late Mr David Dunlop, a fine type of the old 
Scottish parochial schoolmaster, for a generation adorned his 
position and sent many excellent scholars out into the world. 
His diary, still extant, is an interesting and intellectual record 
of the times in which he lived, and reveals a disposition and 
nature at once enlightened and progressive. The adjacent 
village of Crawlees has altogether disappeared, save for an old 
well and a hole leading down to the coal, by which women 
5 (273) 


led up the coals to the surface. Blackcot, close by, was once 
a flourishing farm, and under the surveillance of the Burtons, 
one of whom was drowned in the " Captain," was an im- 
portant element in the parochial life. Lawfield Farm and 
Tower, Blinkbonny Farm, Billhead, and Lingerwood are also 
to be named as important factors in the old Newbattle days, 
as they are still at the present time. 





THERE are few districts in Scotland so rich in 
historic memories as the Tyne valley in Eastern 
Mid-Lothian. The Scottish Reformation had practi- 
cally its beginning at the foot of it, when at Ormiston 
Knox, as tutor to the Cockburn family, embraced 
and declared the doctrines of the reformed faith. It was 
Thomas Gwilliam, the provincial of the Black Friars in Scot- 
land, born at Athelstaneford, who " was the first man from 
whom Mr Knoxe receaved anie taste of truth." Moffat, the 
African missionary, was bom in Ormiston. Possibly at 
Burghlee, at the foot of Soutra Hill, where he was born, 
James Logan wrote the second and other paraphrases. At 
any rate, the wild Lammermuir, stretching across from the 
old Soutra Monastery of the " Holy Trinity," the revenues 

* The following preface introduced the story of "Camp Meg" in 
its earlier editions: "The narrative of Camp Meg's life has been 
gathered together, throughout the years, from many different sources, 
persons, and places, and every endeavour has been made to ensure accur- 
acy and fulness. Francis Rigby's little book, published many years ago, 
and now very scarce, is the basis of the story, which was corroborated, 
told over again and enlarged upon with endless variety to the 
writer by the late Mr Abram Douglas, of Mayfield, whose father and 
his family were Meg's kindest friends. Many others, including Mr 
John Romans, J.P., and C.C. for Newbattle, of Newton Grange House, 
Miss Margaret Noble, Easthouses, Miss Jane Clyde, Newbattle, and 
many more, both living and deceased, have kindly contributed to the 
storehouse of her biography; while Mr George Douglas, J.P., Dal- 
keith, has not only corroborated what is here written and greatly 
added to it, but himself knew the heroine of the Camp intimately; 
and to him, therefore, with deepest respect, I venture to dedicate this 
little volume, gratefully thanking him and the other contributors to 
the work, and wishing my six octogenarian friends, who are still 
living and remember Camp Meg, and who have generously helped me, 
continued health, peace, and blessing." 

Alas ! since this was written Mr George Douglas has passed away, 
also Mrs M'Culloch and Mr Robb, who all knew the heroine well. 
The Misses Donaldson at Newtonloan House, who are still alive, re- 
member seeing Camp Meg often in their father's farm kitchen at 
Gowkshill, where she was a frequent visitor. 



of which were transferred by Queen Mary of Gueldres to 
endow Trinity College, Edinburgh, to Channelkirk and 
Carfraemill, with its dreary, bleak road marked with snow 
posts, is suggestive enough of " each perplexing path of life" 
and " the weary pilgrimage." But we must say no more, or 
the everlasting " Bruce-Logan controversy," almost as im- 
mortal and unending as that of the " Casket Letters," will 
be on us. Prestonhall, with its rich wooded valley, is for 
ever associated with that famous Duchess of Gordon who died 
there in October, 1760, and whose husband proclaimed Prince 
Charlie King at Castle Gordon, fought for him at Sheriffmuir, 
and was imprisoned for his conduct in Edinburgh Castle. 
The Duchess had bought this fine mansion and estate at a 
judicial sale in 1738 for ^8877, and at her death left it to 
her fourth son, Lord Adam. Oxenfoord Castle, close by, 
and the House of Stair form an essential part of the history 
of Scotland. The upper end of the Tyne valley touches 
Borthwick, with its ancient collegiate Church of St. Mungo, 
covering one of the few perfect recumbent-figure tombs in 
Scotland, a parish of which the finest tradition probably is 
that the great historian Robertson was born within the manse, 
where his father wrote three of the " paraphrases." Logan 
at one end of the Tyne valley and Robertson at the other 
are thus accountable for a considerable share of what the 
Anglican humorist calls "the Caledonian poets." 

The most interesting memories and the most varied of 
the district, however, surround Crichton Castle and its col- 
legiate Church of St. Mary and St. Mungo.* Mainly through 
the generous dealings of the present laird of Prestonhall, 
the old church has latelv been restored from a condition of 

* ST. MUNGO. Glasgow Cathedral is St. Mungo's or St. Kentigern's 
Church, and still retains his well and tomb in the beautiful crypt. 
It was at Glasgow ("the dark forest") that St. Mungo and St. Colomba 
met, with their missionary bands. St. Mungo has given his name to 
a Dumfriesshire parish. The old friary of the Observant Friars, 
also, at Lanark, founded in 1314 by King Robert, bears his name. 
Alloway's haunted kirk is St. Mungo's, and Burns has sung of the 
thorn hard by " where Mungo's mither hanged hersel'." Besides, 
giving his name to the churches of Penicuik, Borthwick, and Crichton, 
the name and influence of this early missionary can still be traced 
all over Lanarkshire and Eastern Mid-Lothian, and it is singular that 
" Mungo" should still be a favourite Christian name in Mid-Lothian, 
and also that it should have been the name of the great modern tra- 
veller, Mungo Park, who did so much to open up Africa to light and 



filth, ruin, decay, and desolation, in which it had remained 
for generations, into a stately, inspiring house of prayer. The 
church consisted only of a beautiful chancel, transepts, and 
saddle-back tower, for the nave was never finished. It was 
founded on pth December, 1449, by the great Lord Chancellor, 
Sir William Crichton, whose stately and historic castle, in 
ruins, now overshadows the church. The clergy consisted of 
a provost and eight prebendaries or chaplains, two singing 
boys, and a sacristan. There were four special stalls in the 
gift of the Archbishop of St. Andrews, those of Vogrie, 
Arniston, Middleton, and Locherworth, small villages round 
about the church, which still exist, the second of them having, 
through the great development of the mining industry, com- 
menced by the monks of Newbattle in the fifteenth century, 
who, Father Hay says, gave the poor " black stones " (coals) 
instead of bread, become a large town, better known as 

The situation of this church on the face of a lonely veldt- 
like hill, far from all human habitations, and originally simply 
the private chapel of the great Crichton, is in keeping 
with the architecture, which, though stately and impressive, 
is extremely plain Gothic, with little or no ornamentation save 
a wreath of stone flower-work on the outside chancel walls and 
a few carved heads above the windows, representing monastic 
faces in all conditions of sadness and gladness, humour and 
misery. The four inside pillars are garlanded at the top. 
The tower has a low bell-gable. It grew in course of time 
into a wealthy and powerful ecclesiastical institution, and 
unfortunately, before the Reformation, became, like Melrose 
and other abbeys, from various causes, lax and careless. 

civilization. St. Mungo's mother was St. Thenaw, whose corrupted 
name appears still in Glasgow in " St. Enoch's Station," just as " St. 
Rollox" in the same city is properly "St. Roche," from a chapel 
on the hill there, and "Manuel" on the North British Railway is 
properly " Immanuel," from the ancient church dedicated to " Christ 
Immanuel," which has almost entirely disappeared. The 
Penicuik Lodge of Freemasons is called " St. Mungo's." His influ- 
ence in the upper ward of Lanarkshire and the Esk valleys was almost 
as great as in Clydesdale, all of which he made his own by missionary 
effort. His proper name was Kentigern, and he was born at Culross, 
and flourished in the last half of the sixth century. "Mungo" or 
" Beloved " was a name of endearment given him by his devoted dis- 
ciples, and so deep was the affection of Scotland for him that the new 
name very nearly ousted. the old. 



Father Hay describes " the voluptuous life of the canons," 
and the monk of Cambuskenneth describes their " fidgetting 
in the stalls, the lawsuits in church, the payment of Easter 
dues and tithes within the sanctuary, the eating, drinking, and 
sleeping permitted when workmen gave up work at an hour 
too late for their return home or people came from far, and 
the binding of sick pilgrims to the pillars in the hope of being 
healed." The revenues of the establishment amounted to 
^133, 6s 8d, and on the dissolution of the religious orders at 
the Reformation the forfeitures were granted to Patrick, Lord 
Hales, who by James VI. was created Lord Creyghton. The 
last provost, Sir Gideon Murray, had the church lands of 
Crichton created into a temporal estate, just as in the case 
of Newbattle, where the last abbot was made commendator 
of the entire property. 

The great Sir William Crichton, who, " out of thank- 
fulness and gratitude to Almighty God for all the manifold 
deliverances he had vouchsafed to him," founded this inter- 
esting college, one of some forty scattered over Scotland, 
dedicated, like Borthwick, Penicuik, and other Mid-Lothian 
sanctuaries, to St. Mungo the Beloved, was a man of ancient 
family and immense power. The barony of Crichton goes 
back to the reign of Malcolm III., and in the foundation- 
charter of Holy rood by David I., Thurstanes de Creichton 
is a witness. In 1240 William de Crichton is mentioned as 
" lord of Crichton," while his son was one of the barons 
who in 1296 swore allegiance to Edward I. The great 
Chancellor was the guardian of James I., and had many 
strange experiences in connection with the boy-king, being 
besieged in Edinburgh Castle, but at last, in the full enjoy- 
ment of the royal favour, he died in 1454. Many great 
Crichtons adorn the page of Scottish history, notably the 
" Admirable Crichton " of the sixteenth century, who was 
one of the moving spirits of Scotland during the reigns of 
Queen Mary and James VI. Bishop Crichton of Dunkeld 
was the Prelate who in 1539, on the examination of Dean 
Thomas Forrest, Vicar of Dollar, for heresy, burned for his 
Reformation principles, declared that he was glad he " never 
knew what either Old or New Testament meant, for as for 
him he would know nothing but his breviary and pontifical." 
Another Crichton, of Brunstane in Mid-Lothian, was banished 



by the Regent Arran at the Reformation for his reformed 
views. Crichton Castle, the seat of this ancient family, is 
described by Sir Walter Scott in " Marmion " as the place 
where that hero lodged, but which, he declares, is now the 
resting-place of miry cattle. 

" That castle rises on the steep, 
Of the green vale of Tyne ; 
And far beneath, where slow they creep 
From pool to eddy, dark and deep, 
Where alders moist and willows weep, 
You hear her streams repine." 

All these alders and willows are now away, used to make 
gunpowder-charcoal during the Napoleonic wars and scares, 
and now the valley is a veldt. But the castle still stands in 
its picturesque and lonely watch, with its graceful portico 
and beautiful grand hall ; 

"The towers in different ages rose; 
Their various architecture shows 
The builders' various hands;" 

and the old church is there, with its mingled memories and its 
restored beauty and risen hopes. Queen Mary stayed at 
Crichton Castle with Darnley, as she stayed at Borthwick 
Castle with Bothweli. 

Ancient and venerable as these buildings are, they are 
juveniles compared with the pre-historic Picts' House in the 
neighbouring farm of Crichton House discovered some fifteen 
years ago, with its underground dwelling and human remains. 
It is almost the only underground dwelling of early man 
discovered in Mid-Lothian, and is undoubtedly the oldest 
habitation in the neighbourhood, and makes even the old castle 
and college young and recent. 

Exactly opposite Crichton Church, on the other side of 
the veldt-like valley, stands the ancient farm of Hagbrae, 
which got its name from the fact that it was the favourite 
place for the burning of Mid-Lothian witches or " hags " for 
two hundred years after the Reformation. To-day it is a 
large red-tiled establishment, in full view of Crichton College 
Church, so that the expiring hag might through the flames of 
her pyre catch sight of the holy place, whose God she had 

Wonderful indeed was the witch-craze which seized hold 
both of England and Scotland after the Reformation. Perse- 
cution, torture, and burning were transferred from one sphere 



to another, but the spirit was much the same. The statutes 
of Henry VIII., Elizabeth, and James I., all require death 
as a penalty, and the last statute against witches was only 
repealed in 1736, amid almost universal lamentation on the 
part of the religious world. Old Zachary Gray, the editor 
of " Hudibras," says : 

" Some only for not being drowned, 
And some for sitting above ground 
Whole nights and days upon their breeches 
And feeling pain were hanged for witches." 

He adds that during the Long Parliament over three thousand 
wretched women were burned in different parts of England 
for supposed illegal dealings with Satan. 

The case of the " Lancashire witches " is the most 
terrible on record, for the three women burned were not 
" hags," but beautiful girls, burned at the stake as witches 
mainly through the villainy of the imposter Robinson, whose 
wretched life has been dramatised by Heywood and Shadwell. 
Usher and Hales are the constantly- quoted authorities in our 
old Bibles on questions of sacred and secular chronology. The 
latter, Sir Matthew Hales, the finest lawyer of his day, and 
a man of clear reason and sound common-sense and religious 
feeling, condemned two women to death in 1664 Amy Duny 
and Rose Cullender on evidence of witchcraft which is an 
insult to human intelligence; and yet Sir Thomas Browne, 
the author of the " Religio Medici," and one of the finest 
ornaments of English literature, corroborates Hales' view, and 
vouches entirely for the truth and validity of all the charges. 

Under Lord-Chief-Justice Holt in 1694 a turn came in 
affairs; in that year Mother Munnings was charged with being 
a witch. She was a wizened old hag, and was supposed to 
have satan's marks on her body. But Holt gave the jury such 
a common-sense and firm charge that for almost the first time 
on record the witch escaped death, and from 1694 until 1701 
no witch was burned in England, chiefly through his stern 
opposition to the superstition. 

In 1711 an Englishwoman named Wenham was charged 
with witchcraft, and Chief- Justice Powell asked the jury 
" Do you find her guilty upon the indictment of conversing 
with the devil in the shape of a cat?" to which the foreman 
replied, " We find her guilty of that." She however escaped 
with her life. But in 1716 the old rage against witches 



revived, and at Huntingdon a Mrs Hicks and her little 
daughter of nine were burned to death for having sold their 
souls to the devil and for raising a violent hurricane " through 
pulling off their stockings and making a lather of soap !" 
This was the last case of witch-burning in England, for in 
1736 the law, which owed its origin to the Puritans, who 
took as their motto the Old Testament texts, " Thou shalt 
not suffer a witch to live," and " There shall not be among 
you a witch," was repealed, and the punishment for witch- 
craft was changed to the pillory or imprisonment. 

Writing on the twentieth statute of Henry VIII. regard- 
ing witchcraft, the great legal authority Barrington says that 
altogether 30,000 witches were burned in England since the 
Reformation. The Act repealing witch-burning is IX., George 
I., cap. V. 

Though foisted upon Scotland by Cromwell, Puritanism 
took firmer root there than in England, and not only expelled 
the old Reformed confessions and practices and forms of John 
Knox, but introduced a fiercer persecution of witches than had 
ever been known before, a persecution compared with which 
all previous persecutions either Roman or Protestant were mild- 
ness itself. 

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, under strong 
Puritan influence, the Presbyteries of Scotland burned the 
witches by the thousand, and Hagbrae was a favourite altar 
for the dreadful immolation. Hardly a session-record in Scot- 
land but has its dreadful entries regarding witches and witch- 
burning. In the Kirkcaldy books under date 1633 there is 
this entry : 

For 10 loads of coals to burn yem - - ^3 6 8 

For a tar barrell - - o 14 o 

For harden to be jumps to them - - o 3 10 

For making of ym - -008 

The Session records of Spott in Haddingtonshire, close by, 
contain these entries: " 1698. The session, after a long 
examination of witnesses, refer the case of Marion Lillie, for 
imprecations and supposed witchcraft, to the Presbytery, who 
refer her for trial to the civil magistrate. The said Marion 
generally called the Rigwoody witch." " Oct. 1705. Many 
witches burned on the top of the Spott Loan." North Ber- 
wick has its humorous traditions of how the Fife witches 
crossed the Forth on their broomsticks, and gathered in St. 



Baldred's Chapel by the harbour to hear satan expound his 
views to them. The less said of the concluding act of homage 
to the eloquent pulpiteer the better. 

From the quaint old diary of Robert Birrell the following 
extracts are culled: "25 June, 1591. Euphemia M'Kalzen 
was burnt for witchcraft." "21 July, 1603. James Reid 
burnt for confessing, consulting, and using with satan and 
witches, and who was notably known to be ane counsellor with 
witches." " 24 July, 1605. Henry Lowrie burnt on the 
Castle Hill for witchcraft done and committed by him in Kyle, 
in the parish." 

The minister at Gladsmuir in 1705, Mr John Bell, wrote 
a " Discourse on Witchcraft," one chapter of which is entitled 
" Symptoms of a witch, particularly the witch's mark, mala 
fama, inability to shed tears, &c., all of them providential dis- 
coveries of so dark a crime, and which like avenues lead us to 
the secret of it." 

It is notorious that John Knox believed in witchcraft, as 
well as in visions and special spiritualistic interpositions. In 
his " History of the Reformation," and other works, there are 
frequent references to the hags ; and in thorough Old Testa- 
ment spirit, he held with most of the Reformers that only one 
punishment was possible for them. The witch of Endor, 
Manasseh's trafficking with the black arts, Jezebel's " many 
witchcrafts," and even St. Paul's summary of the works of 
the flesh, including " idolatry, witchcraft," stood luridly in 
front of the Reformer's eyes, and made them energetic in deal- 
ing with the evil. 

At the close of the seventeenth century, the wife of a, 
distinguished Edinburgh lawyer was strangled and burned for 
witchcraft, which she herself owned to and confessed. In the 
eighteenth century Captain Weir and his sister, aristocrats 
residing in the best part of Edinburgh, in the fashionable High 
Street, were both publicly burned at the cross for the same 
offence. One of the witch's marks was if the supposed "hag" 
had a little brown mark on the back or shoulders, and if a pin 
were driven in and no pain were felt, that was proof positive 
that the person was a veritable witch. 

The witches' death-list is a long one. Witch-burning be- 
came the new superstition of the Reformed Churches, and a 
much more disastrous one than any of the old death-deserving 



offences. England sacrificed 30,000 hags ; Geneva burned 500 
over Calvin's grave; at Como, in Switzerland, 1000 were de- 
stroyed in one year; while in Scotland during the sitting of 
one Parliament alone 600 unfortunate women were destroyed 
like night-moths in a paraffin lamp ! 

The earliest Scottish Act against witches was in 1563, by 
the first Reformed Parliament. Probably no witch had ever 
been burned in Scotland before. That fate was reserved for 
other offenders. After the Reformation thousands were de- 
stroyed, thu& testifying to the mistaken zeal of the Reformed 
Church to live up to the strict letter of the newly-discovered 
elder scripture, and not to " suffer a witch to live." 

The procedure in connection with a witch was methodical 
and highly organised. After a Session and Presbytery had 
searched out a case and became convinced that " the devil 
was in it," the witch passed out of ecclesiastical hands and was 
passed over " to the civil magistrate to be dealt with." She 
was then conveyed to Edinburgh and tried in the High Court 
of Justiciary. Seated in their scarlet robes and crosses, on 
chairs covered with scarlet cloth, each wearing a black cap on 
his head, the fifteen Lords of Session listen to the case. The 
bench is raised on a dai's, and the business begins at eight in 
the morning, the Lord President seated in the middle and seven- 
judges on each side. Ten advocates in gowns of Paris stand 
around. A tall wax candle painted over with religious em- 
blems burns on the President's right hand and a gold cross 
hangs on his breast. In the horse-shoe form the judges sit 
and listen. 

And now comes the awful part of the scene; a rack 
covered with black cloth stands in front of the Lord Presi- 
dent, the rack being used in Court up to William III.'s 
reign, and still in use in various foreign countries. No wit- 
nesses are allowed for the defence, only the evidence of the 
Session of her parish, and of the Presbytery who handed her 
over to be dealt with. The hag is stripped in court to the 
waist, and if the devil's marks are seen, that is proof that 
satan had nipped her person. Next, a needle, so contrived 
that when pressed against anything it glides up into its own 
handle with the very slightest pressure, without pricking at 
all, is applied to one of the marks. The witch naturally 
feels no pain, though the witch-pricker has the instrument 



against her body, for the needle is not piercing her but is up 
in the handle, and therefore she does not utter the slightest 
cry or murmur. This is proof positive of her guilt, for a witch 
is insensible to pain. The needle was supposed to go into 
her body, but really the point; slightly blunted, never pierced 
her at all. 

Her guilt is now amply proved, for the witch- pricker, 
clad in scarlet doublet, leathern apron, and with bare arms, 
has wounded her, but she has not felt the pain. The judge 
puts on the black cap again, blows out the candle, and gives 
doom after trial by racking. Stretched on the rack, the poor 
creature gives way and faints. She is then taken out, dressed 
in sackcloth with white cord, a white cross and skull sewn on 
the back and breast, and carried off either to the City Cross 
of Edinburgh, or preferably to Hagbrae, or some other fav- 
ourite witch-pyre, to be burned in sight of all those whom she 
is supposed to have wronged, and cursed, and blighted. Awful 
memories cling round Hagbrae, facing the sweet College of 
St. Mary and St. Mungo the Beloved ! Many a time doubt- 
less the old bell, " founded in 1619," and re-cast in 1702 by 
Sir James Justice of East Crichton, rang out across the valley, 
as the flames roared up at Hagbrae opposite, and divine anger 
was appeased. Might not the dreadful old symbols of death- 
torches, white tongues of flame on a black background, which 
used to cover the walls of one of the Crichton Church tran- 
septs, used as a tomb, be a reminiscence of the horrible witch- 
nightmares of Hagbrae? 

Undoubtedly, it was a remnant of mediaeval superstition, 
a remnant indeed of the earlier devil-worship of Druidical 
and later times, when as at the Callernish stone circle in Lewis, 
and as at Stonehenge, the hot red blood of human victims 
hurried from the stone of immolation down the drain and into 
the thirsty earth. 

The same thing is to be met with to-day fifty miles in- 
land from some civilised towns in British West Africa, where 
the only religion is witchcraft, and the only priest the magic- 
man, who conducts dealings with the unseen devildom, with 
cannibalism as an addition. The American Indian chief, 
who was treated by the missionary to a strong dose of the 
sternest Jonathan Edwards Calvinism, with its extremest 
threats and most awful horrors proceeding from the Divine, 



replied that he and the missionary adored the same deity; 
" only," he added " your God is our devil !" One thinks 
of that story in connection with the horrors of Hagbrae. The 
first witch was burned in Scotland in 1563; the last, Maggie 
Osborne, a beautiful young girl who was driven stupid by 
" Adair, the saviour of Ayr," into confessing herself a witch, 

was burned in 1722, and is buried in the Fort Churchyard 

in Ayr, under the shadow of the church tower of St. John's, 
all that remains of a great ecclesiastical edifice, which Crom- 
well first used as a stable and then demolished to build his 
wall round Ayr, and to fortify the town of Wallace, Bruce, 
and Burns. 

The Act against witches was not repealed in England 
until 1736, and in Ireland not till 1821. When it was re- 
pealed in Scotland a national fast and day of humiliation 
were held, just as when the act of Catholic Emancipation was 
passed, and just as was threatened when the great scourge of 
cholera raged, had not Sir Robert Peel given the very sage, 
practical advice, " Rather clean your drains." 

Even during the middle of the eighteenth century, and 
towards its close, belief in witchcraft lingered in Scotland. 
Dr Chalmers, while in the Tron Church of Glasgow, used 
every Sunday to visit an old lady at Bogleshole, between Camp- 
sie and Glasgow, Mrs Elizabeth Drew, who, when Prince 
Charlie swooped down suddenly from the Highlands and quar- 
tered his men on her father's farm there, remembered vividly 
how his Highland soldiers cut up the farm cheeses with their 
swords and roasted the junks at the kitchen fire. She was 
only a little fair-haired girl at the time, and Prince Charlie, 
seeing her sitting by the kitchen fire, frightened and anxious, 
went up to her and stroked her gold hair, and told her not to be 
afraid, for no harm would come to her. That touch became 
the glory of her life, and she told the tale often to Dr Chal- 
mers and other Glasgow citizens, who visited her regularly 
until she died in 1821, at the great age of 104. An oil-paint- 
ing of her is still in existence. As a little child she was be- 
witched by a passing vagrant, who cast on her " the evil eye " 
as she was playing in the farmyard. For long she " dwined 
away " and was ill and sickly, until, through the exertions of 
the minister, the witch was discovered and forced to undo the 
harm. This was about the year 1730, just after the repeal 
of the witch-burning laws in Scotland. 



In 1775 n ^ ne ld women were burned at Kalish, in 
Poland, " charged with having bewitched and rendered un- 
fruitful the land belonging to a gentleman in this district." 
Such is an extract from the "Gentleman's Magazine" of 
1775. Even into the nineteenth century, more especially in 
the Highlands and islands of Scotland, the belief in "un- 
canny folks " prevailed, and, indeed, still prevails to some 
small extent in lonely Highland glens beneath the awful 
shadows of the great Inverness-shire and Sutherland bens. 
All hill-peoples are superstitious, and England still thinks that 
the Scotch are full of superstitions, and of strange notions 
about the unseen and spiritualistic communications and in- 
fluences. When one recalls the popularity in the south of 
" Planchette," even in the highest places, and the strange 
doings of " the souls," and the sober statements of Mr Alfred 
Wallace and other scientific spiritualists regarding their com- 
munications with the unseen, and the almost universal super- 
stitions as to lucky horse-shoes, May weddings, and Friday 
sailings, one can readily forgive the simple crofter and the 
lonely Lewisman fisher for kindred beliefs, surrounded as 
they are with the steep frowning glories of dark Highland 
mountain-chains and the weird loneliness of the brown moor 
and desolate ocean. 

Verily Hagbrae has its lurid memories, as Crichton Church" 
and Castle have their sacred and festive ones. The old spots 
where the Scottish witch-fires were lighted are not few and 
far between. The Cross of Edinburgh, the Cross of Dalkeith, 
the Cross of Musselburgh, were all famous burning-places. 
The Knock of Crieff has still its old tree to mark where the 
spot was for the passing of the witches. The Spott of Hadding- 
tonshire has its terrible memories. But for a lonely business- 
like burning-place, in full view of the sanctuary whose God 
had been profaned, there is no place to equal Hagbrae. It 
was a good thing that " Camp Meg," who lived early last 
century in witch-like solitude and eccentricity on the summit 
of the Roman Camp Hill, overlooking Newbattle on the one 
side, and Crichton and Hagbrae on the other, was mercifully 
born after the witch-burning Acts were repealed, or, judging 
from her strong supernatural reputation, which still lingers 
all over Eastern Mid-Lothian, she would have added a fresh 
victim to the witch-fires of Hagbrae. 



(b) CAMP MEG. 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the whole of 
Great Britain was in terror lest the great Napoleon, who had 
advanced across Europe, conquering and to conquer, should 
steal across the narrow silver streak of sea which separates our 
little group of rocky islands from the north-west of Europe, 
and annex our patch of land. Beacon-houses and watch-towers 
were hurriedly raised, so that on any alarm being given of 
the approach of the French flat-bottomed boats, signals could 
be flashed from one post to another along the miles of shore. 
Indeed, in these anxious months, the appearance at night of 
the country must often have borne a striking resemblance to 
the scene on the memorable Diamond Jubilee night, when Ber- 
wick Law answered Lammer Law, and the Lammer flashed 
its signal to Carnethy and Arthur's Seat. One of these beacon- 
houses was raised on the now wooded hill known as the Roman 
Camp, from which a magnificent view is to be had of fourteen 
counties, and of the sea from Leith to the desolate Isle of May. 
That there was once a Roman Camp on that hill, above historic 
Newbattle, is undoubted. There are still remains of mounds 
and trenches, and the marks of a stone circle, where probably 
the General's tent was pitched. The neighbourhood is rich 
in Roman remains. The village of Edgehead, on the far side 
of the Camp Hill, was formerly called Chesterhill (Camp 
Hill). Dalhousie Chesters, the Chesters, and other place- 
names of to-day all point back to the Roman occupation. 
There are small camps near Borthwick and in Heriot, while 
Roman bridges still stand in the district, notably the Maiden 
Bridge of Newbattle, afterwards adopted by the Cistercian 
Monks there as the abbey bridge, near which the great gates 
were raised. Inveresk hill, crowned with the "Visible 
Church" of St. Michael's (as Newbattle was the "invisible 
church," so called from its low-lying site, not from any special 
grace or celestial worth), is rich in Roman remains, and altars, 
mosaics, antiques, and even a well remain to testify that there 
the Roman Eagles were gathered together. Recently some 
fresh coins were unearthed on the hill. 

It was, then, on the boldest point of the Roman Camp 
Hill that a beacon-house was built, one of a chain along the 
entire east coast ; and the picture rises before one of fire-flash 
answering fire-flash through the dreary nights of anxious wait- 



ing, relieved for other people in towns and country by in- 
cessant drills and military exercise, in preparation for the 
invader. When the scare came to an end in 1815, and Waterloo 
ended Napoleon's career, the lights went out and the beacon- 
houses fell into decay ; and in the deserted watch-house on the 
Roman Camp Hill, commanding the grandest and most wide- 
spread view probably in Scotland, " Camp Meg " finally took 
up her residence. Without question, her figure, so grotesque 
and unearthly, flitting across the first quarter of the last century, 
forms one of the most curious and out-of-the-way subjects' of 
investigation ; and the generations which knew her or had 
heard directly of her, from fathers and mothers, are rapidly 
disappearing. There are still some few remaining in the 
ancient parish, while some have gone to lands far distant, and 
others, now white and frail, are glad to hear again of the 
weird old witch-doctor, who combined veterinary skill with 
catechetical instruction. From about a score of these the facts 
and traditions of this paper have been carefully gathered and 
preserved, ere these, too, pass away. 

The consistent tradition of all the old folks is that Camp 
Meg's real name was Margaret Hawthorn, and that she came 
from Galloway, where the name is still quite common. And 
the story usually told of her is that she occupied there an 
excellent social position, and was married to a man of high 
position and considerable fortune. He was cut off early in 
life, leaving her a widow, with one little son, and considerable 
means and landed property. She had not been long widowed 
when a gentleman who lived near her in Galloway came and 
claimed part of the property as his, a claim which Margaret 
Hawthorn knew to be groundless, as her young husband had 
left everything to herself and her babe. The bully, however, 
tried to terrorise her, and at last, maddened with his insults 
and injustice, her spirit broke, and, seeing her evil genius 
walking through the grounds of which she was proprietrix, she 
walked up to him and demanded by what right he trespassed 
there. His reply was a fresh insult; and, stung with passion, 
she drew a pistol, which for some time she had been carrying 
for fear of him, and shot him. Looking at his bloody form 
lying on the grass, she awoke to the fact that she was a mur- 
deress and self -condemned to death, and, like Cain of old, 
she became a fugitive. Leaving all her property behind her, 



and her little son, who she knew would be well cared for by 
her many friends in Galloway, she ran for her life, not know- 
ing whether her victim was absolutely dead or only dying. 
Travelling by night and day, she sought a lonely spot in which 
to pass her days in hiding from a world whose laws she felt 
she had outraged. But, as with Eugene Aram, the livid 
figure rose up and mocked her hopes of peace and happiness. 
After many a strange and footsore wandering, she at last 
reached Edinburgh, and then, drifting through the Lothians, 
she finally came to the Newbattle valley, with its old oaks 
and big straggling village, " a' to the tae side," and, climb- 
ing the hill, which gradually rises up to the Roman Camp, 
she lighted upon a deserted cottage, which had locally come 
to bear the name of the " Wartstone House," and somewhere 
about 1815 or 1816 she made this bleak, isolated cottage her 
refuge. The London mail coaches, with their scarlet-coated 
drivers, made their first stop from Edinburgh at the " Sign of 
the Sun " (the Lothian Crest) Inn in Newbattle, which still 
stands, with its old orifice, through which hot drinks were 
handed out to the travellers. It is now no longer a hostel, 
since, instead of the crack of the whip and the dust-cloud, the 
thin iron line of civilisation stretches behind the trees, and, 
with a ripple of lighted windows, the Flying Scotsman roars 
southwards on its eight-hours' rush. But, far away up in the 
loneliness of the Camp, the poor fugitive felt secure from 
message or messenger of doom which any stage-coach might 
bring, although sometimes her courage failed her, when, par- 
tially disguised in male dress, she saw a strange face on the 

Her appearance at the Roman Camp, and her manner of 
life were mysteries to everyone. It is said that she told her 
story to one person and one only, and it was never divulged. 
Except that she came from Galloway, that her family name 
was Hawthorn, that she was a widow, her husband's name 
being lost, no one knew anything. After living for some time 
a hermit life on this isolated spur of the Moorfoots, she began 
to increase in confidence, and sought for something to do. Mr 
Hope, farmer at Blinkbonny, on the far-off side of the hill, 
employed her in cutting whins, casting drains, and the like, 
It was then that she adopted the extraordinary costume which 
she ever afterwards affected, a man's hat, vest and coat, and 
T (289) 


an antiquated pair of Wellington boots, everything masculine 
save that garment which is the symbol of man's supremacy, 
the transference of which to the other side of the house can 
only be described as a domestic calamity. Her visage was 
decidedly masculine, adorned .as it was with a slight beard and 
whiskers. Many indeed who saw her and lived in terror of 
her, swore she was a man. It seemed really to have been her 
ambition to look as unfeminine as possible, probably to avoid 
detection and to prevent awkward inquiries as to her past and 
the dark crime which lay across her path. 

After living at the Wartstone Cottage for some little time, 
the watch-house where the sentry had resided became finally 
abandoned, and as it was on the very summit of the hill and 
more lonely, she moved thither and spent twelve years or so in 
it, in fact, till her death in 1827 ; and from her residence 
there, she received the name for which she became famous all 
over Mid-Lothian and Haddingtonshire, of " Camp Meg." 

Though so peculiar and eccentric, she was a shrewd, clever, 
active woman, and, both in speech and behaviour, showed 
marks of high breeding. Once good-looking, grief, anxiety, 
and hard usage had made her wizened, queer, and odd, and 
her isolated, lonely life at the Camp had increased her oddity, 
and finally the entire district lived in some slight fear of her, 
regarding her as somewhat of the nature of a witch. It must 
be remembered that witchcraft was still believed in, in her 
age, by many, and Maggie Osborne, the last witch burned in 
Scotland, and buried in the Fort Churchyard at Ayr, where her 
stone still remains, had not met her doom so long before. Many 
pious people, indeed, early in the last century, regretted the 
abolition of the penal laws against witchcraft, and indeed held 
that several disasters which came to Scotland were the result 
of their removal. Camp Meg, however, was no witch, though 
a more witch -like figure never was seen, either on land or in 
the illustrious regiment of uncanny ones, who, after satan's 
sermon to them at North Berwick, hurried across the Forth on 
their broomsticks to their several homes. 

The furniture of her little hut was of the rudest descrip- 
tion, not much superior, indeed, to that of the pre-historic 
inhabitants of the underground dwelling at Crichton, a few 
miles away. The seats were stumps of trees and stones, not 
carved stone tables and chairs, as in Alexander Paterson's re- 



nowned cave at Gilmerton, probably the original of Way- 
land's cave, but rough, primitive arrangements. Her bed 
consisted of young fir trees, cut from the adjoining woods, 
which then flanked the beautiful hillj the curtains were sack- 
cloth bags. Her fame spread gradually all over the Lothians, 
and she was visited by many. Her bull-dog, " Help," was 
kept always chained behind the door, " my trusty freend," 
as she called the mangy quadruped, whose Johnsonese temper 
and vicious snaps were the terror of the visitor. She was a 
famous rider, and, in an age when "vets." were unknown, 
was recognised all over the Lothians as a first-class horse 
doctor. She herself was sole proprietrix of a white horse bear- 
ing the historic name of " Skewball." He was a fairly well- 
bred stallion, but lame in one leg. She had got him out of 
the Duke of Buccleuch's kennel park to cure or kill, and she 
so doctored the apocalyptic beast that he made a very passable 
steed indeed. She sometimes had quite a gathering of invalid 
horses to undergo the fresh-air treatment in her hill hydro- 

The accommodation for the sickly Rozinantes which were 
put under her charge was in her own sleeping apartment, be- 
hind the bed, under which her fine, well-favoured pig enjoyed 
life, a family group of peace and goodwill, ruled kindly but 
firmly by the greatest character of the century in the district. 
Mr Brown, of Currie, whose descendant contributes some inter- 
esting reminiscences, gave her a very fine grey mare, which 
had been his favourite hunter, but which he thought was in- 
curable. The equine ^Esculapius was, however, to score an- 
other triumph, and having brought the mare up to her hill hos- 
pital, hung her in slings from the roof, so that her feet might 
not touch the ground, and after a few weeks in that constrained 
position, so suggestive of ecclesiastical minority parties, the 
mare's pulse grew regular, and she stepped down strong and 
well, to be a fresh jewel in Camp Meg's equestrian crown. 
This trophy she then sold to Mr Lees of Mountskip for ^7, 
and he afterwards sold it to Colonel Maclean of East Lothian, 
for ^22, who called it " Camp Meg," after its deliverer, and 
it is said that this mare's offspring became known as one of 
the finest breeds in East Lothian. She had often quite a little 
stud of horses in her keeping, and took the greatest pride in 
curing them of their various ailments, though whether she re- 



peated the " Absalom Treatment " (with the positions of man 
and mare reversed) history declareth not. With a view of keep- 
ing her horse-academy before the world of farmers, she at- 
tended the various weekly markets, issuing handbills to inform 
the farmers where she was to be found for consultations : 
"Tuesdays, Penicuik; Thursdays, Dalkeith; Fridays, Had- 
dington." She always went to these markets in full equestrian 
state, in that riding-habit which was her own particular make, 
over which she wore either a man's greatcoat or the military 
cloak which Mr Brown, of Currie, had given her. As she 
scampered along the Dalkeith streets she was for all the world 
like a Waterloo veteran, with her big Wellingtons and martial 
greatcoat. And after a good day's business, she might be seen 
rushing home to the Camp in high spirits. " Skewball might 
toddle down from D'Arcy on three legs, but he always used 
all fours at night, and his ears cowered and his tail stuck out 
like a bottle-brush on the homeward journey." 

At the Dalkeith races Skewball almost always was allowed 
to ride in victorious; it was part of the fun of the fair, but 
besides that, Meg was a capital horsewoman. The race-course 
was then at the west of Dalkeith, from the head of the Crofts 
Park (near Croft Street) round by Gallowshall and Newbattle 
tolls, and came in at the foot of the park by Benbught. On 
that historic arena Meg and Skewball had many a hard race. 
One memorable contest has been described by John Rigby, 
an invalid stone-mason, who in 1860 wrote a booklet on our 
heroine, freely interspersed with incidental verses, and to which 
we are indebted for a number of the incidents described in this 
paper. It was the Dalkeith Fair, and Camp Meg entered 
Skewball for a race, her opponent being Mr Cossar, innkeeper 
at Dalkeith, who owned a fine grey mare. After a dispute as 
to whether Meg's white horse should be allowed to enter the 
lists, it was decided by a majority that Meg should be allowed 
to compete. Having secured an urchin to ride Skewball, the 
race began, and in order to make victory a certainty, Meg kept 
running after her mount, encouraging Skewball in his exertions, 
with the result that the gallant steed won the race by two heads. 
She is said to have uttered a witch's cry, " Talla, talla, tall, 
ada, daum, daa !" which bewitched her rival's mare, and 
which we can quite believe. When Meg was fairly victorious, 
clean Dalkeith trembled with excitement, and amidst the plaud- 



its of the crowd Meg received her prize, and then dashed off 
for the Camp to her old solitariness. Referring to her mount, 
which, like Job's war horse, is historical in the district, she 
is said to have sung the following rhyme, which Dalkeith 
schoolboys long ago loved to repeat : 

'' There's flint in his nose. 
There's fire in his tail, 
His back is of whalebone, 
His legs are of steel ! 

Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 

Here's a health unto Cossar, 
Tho' he is the loser ! 
I'll run him next year 
On the very same ground ! 
Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 

A splendid horsewoman, she was often to be seen tearing 
across the D'Arcy hill at a breakneck speed, and at every mar- 
ket and race in the district her presence was indispensable. In 
later days the Dalkeith races fell away, but in 1860 some lead- 
ing inhabitants tried to revive them on the first Saturday 
afternoon after the October fair, when good horses and gaily- 
dressed riders were to be seen. Two leading gentlemen of the 
district, now, alas ! deceased, and from whose well-stored 
memories many of these incidents have been culled, remem- 
bered Meg and her race, and delighted to describe it to the 

The farmer of Southside (a fine architectural and histori- 
cal building, where a former Marchioness of Lothian resided) 
was a staunch friend to Meg, and employed her regularly to 
cure his cattle. " Hielan' Donald," the cattleman, was, how- 
ever, Meg's pet aversion. Often the two came to blows, and 
once, at any rate, she felled him. Running into the farm 
kitchen after one of these encounters, Meg made the poker red- 
hot, and when the irate Sandy came after her, she generously 
offered him the poker, which he first grasped and then re- 
linquished, probably on the principle of ' ' blessed is he that 
sitteth down on a wasp's nest, for he shall rise again." For 
this barbarous offence she was forbidden to draw near to South- 
side, and she had to encounter the snell north wind of the 
master's displeasure. The Highland cattleman declared he 
would always have a burning recollection of his game of poker 
with Margaret. 

Mr Hope of Blinkbonny had a fine bull which died. She 


begged the carcase, and running it up to the Camp, made fine 
hams of him, for which the faithful soul always blessed Mr 
Hope's charity. 

One memorable day a rap came to her door in the Roman 
Camp, and a fine-looking young man asked if Margaret Haw- 
thorn lived there. She replied " Yes, and what do you want 
with her?" His reply was that he did not know much about 
her, but that he had travelled many a mile trying to find her, 
and that if she lived there he would like to see her. Asked 
where he came from, he replied, " From Galloway." Being 
further interrogated as to his motive in searching for Margaret 
Hawthorn, he replied, " Oh, she has been missing these many 
years and no clue has ever been got, till lately, when a gentle- 
man told me that she would be found in Newbattle Parish, 
living at the Roman Camp." Meg then asked him what he 
wanted with her. " Because," was his reply, " I am her son; 
she left me when I was a child, and I have never seen her 
since." Meg turned upon him a strange unearthly face, and 
scanning his features fiercely, she detected the traits of his 
dead father. " Then," said she, " I am your mother " ; and 
overcome with emotion, she dropped into a swoon. Her son 
nursed her tenderly back to consciousness, and when she revived 
he was in tears, and another illustration was added to the swol- 
len roll of the past, how " one touch of Nature makes the 
whole world kin." For three days he remained at the Camp, 
during which he urged his mother to return to Galloway with 
him; but the Camp was now dearer to her than many Gallo- 
ways, and her son had to go off with a heavy heart, and he 
never saw her again. 

The gentleman who had given her address to her son had 
been at the " Caledonian Hunt," a famous hare-hunt held 
twice a year in the Dalkeith district, once in autumn and 
once in spring. He had there met Meg at the Camp, and 
going afterwards to Galloway on business, he met a person of 
the name of Hawthorn, and told him about a woman of that 
name whom he had met at Newbattle at the Hunt, with the 
touching result that a long- lost mother found a long- lost son. 

Meg was a notable figure at the Caledonian Hunt, and 
received the greatest attention from all the distinguished mem- 
bers. When the scarlet-coated huntsmen rattled across the 
Camp Hill in hot pursuit of the hare, Meg either joined in 



the sport or meditatively regarded the chase from her doorstep. 
At the close of the day the hat was invariably sent round, and 
a handsome offertory was handed to Meg. It is related that 
once she saw a hare hotly pursued by " Diddles," a fine dog 
belonging to Captain D. of Woodburn, and by another belong- 
ing to Dewar of Vogrie, the two swiftest dogs ever seen by 
Meg on the Camp; Meg watched the chase and saw the hare 
flash across the fields to Newlandrigg and Vogrie, and thence 
up to the Camp, where, opening her hospitable door, she was 
good enough to receive the hare as a paying guest. The pay- 
ment was made in blood. 

The poachers of the district had no sterner foe than Meg 
of the hills. She always kept a gun and a horn to alarm them, 
and to keep the game on the Camp from being disturbed. One 
night she pursued some poachers hotly and roared after them 
to the gamekeeper where he would find them, a story which 
greatly amused the then Marquess of Lothian, who used often 
to go up and pay Meg a visit. Sometimes she made mistakes ; 
one night she fired at what she thought was a poacher; but it 
was only a tree-stump, which must have been considerably sur- 
prised at Meg's delicate attentions. 

Fear was absolutely unknown to the strange woman who 
lived in the lonely bit above Blinkbonny. Living absolutely 
alone, she disliked all strangers, and, to protect herself from 
attack, kept a sickle and scythe and also a bayonet, which 
passed into the hands of the Newbattle forester after her death. 

Many have recorded the way in which she received and 
treated them. One day a stranger came to her door, and was 
asked very sharply by her as to his intentions. Dumb-stricken at 
her appearance, her masculine visage, costume, and bearing, he 
hesitated in his reply. Not to be trifled with, Meg took down 
her scythe, and put it affectionately round his neck, and lug- 
ged him into her hut, and, causing him to be seated, went to 
the cupboard, not to get the poor man a bone, but to bring 
down the Mother's Catechism or Shorter Catechism, " for those 
of weaker capacity," as the Westminster divines, in a moment 
of grim, sardonic humour, described it on the fly-leaf. Her 
dog, " Help " (who, however, showed no disposition to assist 
the wayfarer, but rather the contrary) stood waiting on, an- 
ticipating an order for dental operations. But the wanderer 
rose to the occasion, and managed to scramble through his 



answers, meriting, at any rate, a labour certificate. Meg then 
asked him where he came from, if he was married, whether 
he had olive-branches or not, while the pupil sat on the edge of 
a tree - stump, trembling with fear, and anxiously awaiting 
developments. So poor an appearance, on the whole, did the 
stranger make in the way of replies, that Meg, bidding him 
farewell, added that she trusted, when next he came to see 
her, he would show greater preparation and proficiency in the 
Catechism. She then let him go, and showed him the road 
over the Camp, a path which he was only too glad to see. 

One very stormy night a wanderer came to her door. 
" Margaret," cried a voice. " Well, what is it?" answered 
a hoarse bass from within, sounding a deep pedal note, coupled 
with the trumpet and clarionet. Turning on the full swell, 
the wanderer cried, " For God's sake, Margaret, open the door 
and let me in or else this very night I will perish." " I will," 
quoth she, and, taking him by the hand, set him down on a 
tree-stump at the fire. " Stop," said the visitor, in a repentant 
mood, " I think, on consideration, I will rather try to find 
my way home, if you will show me the road." " No, no," 
replied the old witch, " ye shall bide where ye are, noo ye are 
here." And, scythe in hand, she threatened him if he breathed. 
In a vain endeavour to get into her good graces, the wanderer 
tried the personal and family card, and asked, simply and 
sympathetically, "But, Meg, how do you live at all?" "Oh," 
she replied, " I eat when I'm hungry and I drink when I'm 
thirsty, and I sleep when I'm sleepy," which virtually meant, 
" Ask no questions, and you'll be told no lies." She locked 
the door, and went to bed, putting the key under her pillow, 
and left her visitor alone all night beside the red ingle to medi- 
tate. In the morning, when the scarlet bars were stretching 
themselves across the sky above the German Ocean, she hoarse- 
ly ordered him to prepare for his departure. Offering him 
tea (then a great delicacy, "that new China drink," as 
Pepys calls it), he declined it, and after thanking her, with a 
lump in his throat, he said he would never forget her kindness, 
and offered to do anything he could for her by way of recom- 
pense. "All the return I want," was her reply, "is to be 
left alone." But the stranger did not forget, and ever after 
sent her a cart of coal at regular intervals, the carter being 
strictly enjoined never to divulge the identity of the sender; 



but one day she discovered her benefactor, and mounting Skew- 
ball, strideways as usual, she rode off in state to thank him. 

She had a curious love of catechising old and young, and 
no one escaped. Many people went to her, to see herself, her 
bull-dog, her horses, and all the other inhabitants of her hut, 
all living comfortably under one roof, but every one who came 
had to answer the "mother's questions," even the Marquess 
of Lothian in his occasional visits being put through his fac- 
ings. She knew her Bible and Catechism thoroughly, and was 
actuated by a strong desire to make others have the same ac- 
quirements. Indeed, she kept a kind of Sunday School in 
days when that institution was almost unknown in Scotland, 
and many of the old folks in the parish owed part of their 
religious training to Meg. The writer has frequently heard 
from the late Mr James Rutherford, Easthouses, one of her 
pupils, who died in 1886 at the age of ninety-two, graphic 
accounts of her dame-school, while Mr John Romans, of New- 
ton Grange House, who is so well versed in all parish mem- 
ories, his sister, and Miss Noble, Easthouses, the respected 
daughter of the late respected schoolmaster, and Mrs M'Cul- 
loch, Dalkeith, and a few others, have many a story to tell 
of Meg's relations to their several families. The late Mr 
Deans, Mr Robert King, and Mr Joseph Nelson had also 
many traditions of Meg's academy. Though her very name 
used to strike terror into the youthful bosom long ago, her 
treatment was kindly in a way, although it was rather an un- 
propitious inauguration to a course of theological studies to 
be introduced into the witch's divinity hall with the assistance 
of a sickle round your neck. 

One day a company of students came out from Edinburgh, 
as hundreds did, to see her. They were going to play a trick 
upon her, but she played a trick on them. Her door did not go 
down to the ground quite close, and so, getting ropes, the 
young sparks tied her door, but she, sharper than any of them, 
thrust her scythe-hook underneath, and caught one of the ad- 
venturers by the leg, and did not let him go until he had given 
her five shillings, which he was only too glad to do. The 
schoolboys of Cranstoun, over the hill, and of Newbattle, used 
often to play truant from school in order to go up and pay 
Meg a visit, and multitudes of stories are still in circulation 
among the old families of the district, but there is a family 



resemblance among them all, the masculine, bearded dame, 
the scythe or sickle as a neck-companion, " Help," and the 
white pony, being common to almost all the traditional pic- 

Old Mr Douglas, the well-known farmer of D'Arcy, was 
one of her kindest friends, his house standing only a few hun- 
dred yards from Meg's oratory, and the deceased gentleman's 
two sons, both of them, alas ! gathered to their fathers, 
amid the regrets of a wide district, having occupied posi- 
tions of high estimation in Dalkeith, were Meg's constant 
benefactors. The money gathered at the Caledonian Hunt 
for Meg was kept by old Mr Douglas, and dispensed to her 
in weekly half-crowns, in case of any sudden and extravagant 
thirst on the old lady's part, which might result in the entire 
sum being melted in a night. Mr Bertram, farmer at Law- 
field, adjoining D'Arcy, collected the dole one year, and 
handed the capital over bodily to Meg, and she forgot herself 
and lay out all night. De Quincey, it is true, did the same 
in the neighbourhood, dreaming his dreams, and was even in- 
formed by a maid-servant in Dr Thomson's house in Dalkeith, 
who mistook the gentle seer for a tramp selling smallwares, 
that "none were required to-day." But the cause of poor 
Meg's outdoor rests was not so elevated, though certainly much 
more elevating. The night she spent under the stars was the 
evening of the memorable day when a youth of twenty-six was 
hanged in Dalkeith for having robbed Mr Dickson, of Cous- 
land, on his road home from Dalkeith, the only execution 
ever held in the clean town. Meg was carried home in great 
distress, and the boys from D'Arcy went over next day to pay 
her a visit. Getting a teaspoon, they gave her some bread- 
berry, but she rejected it. Their father then suggested dipping 
the warm mouthful in whisky, and that fetched her. 

Poor Meg often came across to D'Arcy Farm to die. She 
made her will, leaving Mr Douglas' elder son her guinea pigs, 
the horse to his younger, and the sticks of her hut to himself, 
to build up his stacks with. One Sunday she said to the same 
boys, " I wish I had some chicken brae," and at once secur- 
ing a hen, the lads cut its head off, and put it bodily into a 
pot, feathers and all. When the cooking was over, they took 
the ill-fated bird out of the cauldron, when the feathers and 
upper skin all came away in a piece, like a dress suit, but the 
soup was declared by Meg to be an admirable compound. 



Though really only an eccentric and peculiar character, 
in her day and generation she was regarded largely as uncanny. 
Some people declared she had intimate dealings with satan, 
and had she lived a few years earlier, when a day of humilia- 
tion was held in Scotland over the abolition of the penal laws 
against witchcraft, she would undoubtedly have made the ac- 
quaintance of the witch-pricker and witch-burner. Some said 
she was to be seen gathering sticks on the Camp, and at the 
self-same moment she was to be observed inside her house work- 
ing her spinning-wheel, the witch-gift of being seen in two 
places at once. Meg said herself that she frequently heard 
a heavy footstep behind her in the wood, and that she occasion- 
ally saw satan there with " a face as old- looking as the Pent- 
land Hills opposite her home, and wearing a cap lowin' red, 
trimmed with blue," but that she had always power to keep 
him off. Mr Romans interestingly narrates how she used to 
smoke in his mother's kitchen, and how she worshipped the 
goddess Nicotine. One night she called at D'Arcy Farm, 
and said she was going for tobacco, when she met the Evil 
One, and had a long discussion with him. She described his 
costume, neat, but not gaudy, " long gaiters, elongated 
horns, and a red hat." On this occasion he seemingly omitted 
the blue trimming or passementerie which he usually affected. 
After having had enough of his company, she turned to him 
and said, " Ye are the ugliest beast I ever saw in the Camp, 
but I'm awa' for ma 'baccy." She enjoyed nothing better 
than to sit and smoke in Mr Douglas's hospitable kitchen at 
D'Arcy, smoking like a colliery chimney, and telling creepy 
tales to the young ones and the gaping circle, of her interviews 
with satan, " that birsey buddy." 

If her life was that of a witch, her death was doubly so. 
There is an old superstition that when a fearful hurricane 
blows it marks the passing on that night of a witch's spirit 
into the Unseen. In spring 1827 Meg took ill, and "dwined" 
for three weeks, though she never took to her bed. The night 
before her death a terrific and most memorable snowstorm came 
on, and so tremendous were the snows that the hills and valleys 
were wreathed and blocked, and the hedges and roads were 
level. In many parts the snow was twenty feet deep, and the 
storm was dismal. Next morning a man named Darling (whose 
descendants are still parishioners, and slightly related to the 



illustrious Grace) bethought himself of Meg, and in a kindly 
spirit wondered how she had fared that dreadful night on the 
storm-swept hill. With enormous difficulty the kind-hearted 
man climbed the Camp Hill, and found Meg lying a lifeless 
corpse on her own doorstep, half covered with snow. It was 
thought she had risen during the night to see the storm-fiends 
at work among the Moorfoots, Pentlands, and Lammermuir 
hills, and overcome with cold, she perished at her own door. 

During her illness, Dr Otto, of Pathhead, visited her sev- 
eral times, and old Mr Douglas and others showed her every 
kindness. Next day a few farm-servants dressed and shrouded 
her ; not a woman was near. Eight men, servants of Mr 
Bagrie, of Southside, conducted the funeral. Two of them, 
yoked like horses, drew in front, with a rope attached to the 
coffin ; another held on by a rope behind lest the coffin should 
run down the two pullers as they struggled down the frosty, 
slippery, snow-blocked hill-side; while, to steady it, James 
Baillie, the Southside hind, sat stridelegs over the coffin, and 
so they slid down the hill, over hedges and ditches and every- 
thing, James Baillie all the time holding refreshments in his 
hand, and dispensing them at convenient intervals, as with 
many a halloa and hooroo they proceeded towards the venerable 
churchyard in the valley. 

As they passed the " Sign of the Sun " Inn, the Rev. Mr 
Thomson, minister of the parish, met the weird cortege, and, 
the weather being so Alpine in its severity, suggested that the 
farm-servants who had conducted the funeral should be re- 
freshed, and indicated a bottle of whisky as a not unsuitable 
way of carrying out his wishes. In the party went to the old 
inn, still standing near Newbattle Church, and very quickly 
the mistress waited on them. Mr Thomson, whose much- 
respected son, the late Mr Charles Wodrow Thomson, C.A., 
was a well-known Edinburgh citizen in later years, had omit- 
ted, however, in the usual ministerial, unbusiness-like way, to 
mention what kind of bottle the Church would provide for 
her plucky sons ; but the farm-servants took a generous view of 
the situation, and, assuming that the minister meant the largest, 
ordered a jar; and the entry for this and other expenses con- 
nected with Camp Meg's sickness, death, and burial, is still 
to be seen in the kirk-session records of Newbattle : 

" October 2, 1825. By Margaret Hawthorn^ in straits - os. 6d. 



December 18, 1825. By Margaret Hawthorn, in straits os. 6d. 

January 15, 1826. By Margaret Hawthorn, in straits 6s. od. 
February 5, 1826. By Margaret Hawthorn, in straits 

and for lodging - 8s. od. 

February 26, 1826. By Margaret Hawthorn, straits, 

Ad., - 4S- od. 

March n, 1827. Margaret Hawthorn, - 4 s - od. 

May 13, 1827. By the church officer for bread, &c., 

for Margaret Hawthorn's funeral, - - is. gd. 

Do., do., for digging ditto's grave, - is. 6d." 

" Bread, &c." is rather a good one, reminding one of the 
humorist's caustic account of Scottish New Year customs, and 
the inch of shortbread and a quart of something else, and the 
invitation to " taste my New Year bannock." 

During the progress of the events detailed in the above 
extract with such fine reticence and self -repression, the coffin 
stood outside on the road with its ropes loose. Coming out 
of the inn evidently refreshed not a little, the men resumed 
their work of mercy and pulled the coffin past the church and 
up the hill, and entered the churchyard, burying Meg near the 
wall which overhangs the road, the old thorn tree which grew 
near her grave being now away. No stone marks her grave, 
but, then, Creech, Robert Burns' friend, patron, and benefactor, 
until recently lay there too, unhonoured and unmemorialised. 

Mr Romans, Newton Grange House, has the account for 
her burial expenses, and remembers the funeral, as also do 
several other veterans in the neighbourhood. Meg herself had 
during her lifetime sold her body to Dr Otto, Pathhead, when 
bodies were scarce and resurrectionists active, for the munificent 
sum of ;i. The resurrectionist scare is borne evidence to 
in Newbattle Churchyard by ever-recurring coffin irons to hold 
the coffin to the grave-bottom, and by the old resurrection- 
house, which was lately removed. Meg's body was to be, 
therefore, a special favour to her kind doctor; but she stipu- 
lated that after he was done with her, she was to be buried up 
in the dear old Camp, which had so long sheltered her Hagar- 
like life, with a hawthorn tree at her head, as an emblem of 
her name. But she lies buried still in the pine-encircled old 
churchyard, where so many generations peacefully sleep. 

A local bard has thus " dropped into poetry " over poor 
Meg and her " passing," although the style is strongly re- 
miniscent of the " spring poets " : 

" Caledonia's huntsmen now safely may scamp, 
Since their heroine's gone, the pride of the camp : 
Her hones are at rest, but her soul's on the tramp 



In the valley of death, through yon dreary swamp ! 
Safe thither may she be led by a lamp 
The Lamp of Glory !" 

The Camp House has long since been levelled, only one 
stone being left as a memorial of Meg, and a sweet-wreathed 
hawthorn tree. The generation that knew her is fast passing 
away, and the quaint old witch-figure is fading away gradu- 
ally into the dimness of oblivion. And yet the light of other 
days brings a tenderness to the heart, and, perhaps, even a 
moistness to the eyes ; and if not, at any rate, a moment's look 
at the weird vision flitting betwixt the old order and the new 
is a relief and refreshment amid the prosaic commonplace of 
ordinary life. 


Mr JOHN ROMANS, J.P., C.C. for Newbattle, &c., very 
kindly contributes the following : " I was only between seven 
and eight years old when Camp Meg died, but my sister, Mrs 
Duncan, who is five years my senior, remembers her personality 
better than I do. Camp Meg was no witch or palmist, as any 
discreet, educated person would have certified after five min- 
utes' conversation with her. She was a regular visitor to my 
father's house and workshop, at Newbattle, either on Monday, 
the meal market day in Dalkeith, or on Thursday, the corn 
market day. She possessed emphatic argumentative abilities, 
especially on doctrinal religious questions, which was also a 
characteristic feature in my father's nature, and I have seen 
the two nearly quarrelling over opinions expressed in ' Boston's 
Fourfold State.' Nevertheless she had a high opinion of my 
father. She was a tall, muscular woman, not fat, but wiry, 
deeply bronzed, with deep lines set in the entire visage, bushy 
eyebrows, and a prominent chin and nose. She walked as if 
she considered herself born to command, and expressed herself 
after the same manner. She was peculiar in several of the 
ordinary habits of social life. In riding, which she invariably 
did when visiting in her professional vocation, she always 
rode astride the horse. Her dress was something between that 
of a male and a female. She wore an ordinary low-crowned 
man's hat, which was tied under the chin with a good thick 



cord or thong. She on most occasions wore long leather-legged 
boots, which covered the knees, but I have seen her with her 
legs wrapped in straw or hay ropes from her ankles to above 
the knees. She wore a thick greyish woollen skirt, a little 
longer than a Highlander's kilt. Usually she wore a kind of 
waistcoat made from the skin of an animal, probably a calf 
or a dog, and over all she wore what now appears to have 
been a huntsman's or a military officer's coat. It had brass 
buttons, and was of the swallow-tailed shape. I don't think 
she used stirrups, at least I do not remember seeing any, and 
I was frequently privileged to be elevated on to the saddle, 
a very comfortable one, that was fixed on the back of ' Skew- 
ball ' (that was the name of Meg's horse), but she never per- 
mitted me to be my own horseman, just leading it round my 
father's close a few times, and then lifting me carefully down. 
She 'generally had some little requirements she wanted from 
my father, such as a piece of board and a few nails, and while 
these were being prepared, she took a seat by our kitchen fire, 
where my mother would serve her with such food as was con- 
venient ; and as the kail-pot was in use every day, a visitor 
could never come wrong. In those days, now seventy-five 
years ago, all roads were bad, and those in Newbattle parish 
especially so, and badly fenced. In descending from Meg's 
residence on the Roman Camp, Skewball used to arrive in our 
close pretty well covered with mud, especially if the Esk was 
in flood, as Meg never used the bridge if the river was ford- 
able, in which case Skewball received a thorough washing; 
but if compelled to use the bridge, I well remember how Meg 
and I mopped the horse all over, which he seemed to enjoy. 
At the time I am writing about, the veterinary profession was 
scarcely known, and Meg was then the acknowledged horse and 
cow doctor in the neighbourhood, about which I had facilities 
of knowing something special, as my grandmother, the Lady 
of Newton Grange, as she was styled, kept five or six cows, 
and her only ' veterinarian ' was Meg, whose services were 
frequently required. On occasions I have known her sit an 
entire night in the house watching the invalid cow, and invari- 
ably passing much of her time in perusing the Bible. This 
was not the act of a witch or vagrant. It has been reported 
that Camp Meg, or Margaret Hawthorn, as that appears to 
be her real name, belonged to Gallowayshire, and was of 



gentle blood, and because of some domestic troubles she fled 
from her native place and adopted this Gipsy sort of life. As 
for the truth of this, I can say nothing, but thirty years ago 
when visiting Whithorn I found there was a landed proprietor, 
a Major Hawthorn, of Castle Wigg, in that neighbourhood. 
I ventured to make enquiries in connection with our heroine, 
but the Major was reticent, and I failed to elicit reliable in- 
formation, although it still strikes me forcibly that the family 
I refer to is the clan to whom Camp Meg belonged originally. 
The mansion-house is about two miles from Whithorn. I have 
now only to relate what I remember about Meg's death and 
burial. In the month of February, 1827, there was a severe 
snowstorm, and the roads were blocked up for days. Meg was 
missed from Cock Houlet, a southern suburb of Westhouses, 
but long since wiped off, where she frequently visited. Affec- 
tionate curiosity led Willie Darling, of Cock Houlet, to pilot 
himself up the hill to Meg's cabin, when on forcing the door 
poor Meg was found dead, lying in front of what had been a 
fire, but now burned out. My father was then the wright and 
undertaker in Newbattle, and Willie called upon him. The 
two proceeded to the manse and reported the case to Rev. John 
Thomson, who authorised my father to attend to the necessary 
interment of Meg, and after a visit to the Camp a coffin was 
carried up by my father and two of his workmen, when the 
body of the deceased was solemnly deposited in it, and two 
strong bars of wood were transversely fixed on the bottom and 
two longitudinal ones nailed under them, to which ropes were 
attached, and some eight or ten men dragged it over the snow 
down to Blackcot, where a cart was procured and conveyed 
it to the Churchyard of Newbattle, where, near the centre, 
poor Meg was buried. I may here state there is no truth in 
the current reports that there was much drunkenness at Meg's 
obsequies. Sure am I that where my father had control, no 
drunkenness would be tolerated, for he was rigidly a tem- 
perate man, although not an abstainer. Of course, where there 
were a dozen men to regale, and possibly some of them tumb- 
ling amongst the snow, an extra dram might be given, but that 
is not drunken revelry. It has been stated to me by respon- 
sible parties that after the funeral the men who assisted had 
liquor ad libitum in the ' Sign of the Sun ' hostelry, paid for 
by the Marquis. This, like several others, is fabulous, as the 



1 Sun ' Inn was deprived of its licence in 1825, two years 
before Meg's death, and the only public-house in the village 
was the ' Dambrig ' Inn, kept by Mr William Stephenson, a 
man who was an elder of the kirk-session for upwards of thirty 
years, and who would permit no drunkenness. The inn stood 
opposite to the present clock tower of the Marquis's stables. 
Before closing this time-worn reminiscence (it is seventy-five 
years since Meg died) I may state that in those days that 
piece of country between Meg's cabin and Mansfield was in 
a state of prairie, growing only whins, brooms, sloe-bushes, 
briars, and heather, a fertile region during the breeding 
season for grey Unties, and the boys of Newbattle made good 
use of netting them. Meg more than once presented me with 
a bird of this description, and I remember presenting her, with 
my father's permission, with a few hundred young leeks for 
her garden. In conclusion, you may take it from me that 
Camp Meg, though a recluse, was a God-fearing, well-meaning 

Mr GEORGE DOUGLAS, J.P., Dalkeith, who remembers 
Camp Meg well, kindly furnishes the following note : ''Camp 
Meg's horse's name was Skewball ; she bought it from a Mr 
Cossar. At that time there used to be what were called 
Carters' Plays. People who had horses got them decked with 
ribbons, &c., and, after walking about for some time, had 
races. Meg's horse won a race, and she was so delighted she 
wrote a poem about it. I only recollect one verse; it was 

{ Here's to Mr Cossar, though he be the loser, 

And may no ill-fortune attend him at all : 
May good health and blessings always attend him, 
For it was from him I bought my Skewball.' 

Many people called on Meg, and she used to question them. 
She did not take her questions from any question book. Here 
is one ' What is it that God ordered to be done, but was 
never done, but was well done ?' This was when Abraham was 
ordered to offer up his son as a sacrifice. She was a notable 
person in the district. Young servant women on what was 
called the ' churning week,' if the churn did not ' get,' blamed 
Meg for witching it, and some of them believed it. Of course, 
this was nonsense ; she had no dark power. Meg used to keep 
hens, and to prevent them going into the corn fields, she put 
strings about their legs and tethered them to the ground. Her 


house was on the corner of a field farmed by my father. The 
day Meg died she had been in Dalkeith to see a man hanged 
for robbing a farmer going home from Dalkeith market. On 
the afternoon of that day an awful storm came on. A very 
heavy snow fell, and was accompanied with hard frost and a 
strong wind. Meg managed to reach the Camp, but died from 
starvation either out or inside of her own door. The roads 
were so blocked that no conveyance could be utilised, so a rope 
was tied round the coffin, on which was seated a man to 
steady it, and drawn down to Newbattle Churchyard." 

Mr F. P. DEANS, cashier of the Lothian Coal Co., Ld., 
writes : " What has appeared in ' The Scotsman ' is sub- 
stantially the story told us by our father, who knew Meg well. 
As you know, the Parish School in those days was located at 
Westhouses, and it used to be a common practice for the boys 
to visit Margaret at the top of the brae. She was of very 
masculine appearance, and although the boys stood in great 
awe of her, still they were drawn to her by, as it were, some 
magnetic influence. She used to put them through their exer- 
cises with regard to the ' Carritches,' as the Shorter Catechism 
was called, and should they unfortunately not come up to 
Meg's standard of accuracy in repeating the particular question 
asked them, she, as a punishment, would not let them away 
until they learned it, and this they had to do forthwith. 
They also helped (or thought they helped) her in her garden 
sometimes, by way of earning her goodwill. Her influence 
with the boys on the whole was of a healthy nature." 

Miss MARGARET NOBLE, residing at Easthouses, has at- 
tained the long age of eighty-seven, and remembers Camp Meg 
well. Her father, as is well known to the neighbourhood, 
was schoolmaster and elder in Newbattle, and enjoyed the 
respect of everyone. The school presided over by Mr Thomas 
Noble was at first in Westhouses and afterwards at Easthouses. 
When at Westhouses, Mr Noble's son John was a great favour- 
ite with the heroine of the Camp, and was often caught up 
by her and conveyed on Skewball to her lonely cottage. On 
one occasion Meg brought him and locked him in with herself 
in the cottage in order to ask him his questions, but the child 
fainted with fear, and ever after spoke of his instructress with 
dread and misgiving. Miss Noble, when at Easthouses, re- 
members seeing Camp Meg ride daily through the village, 



dressed in a man's brown coat, with a wisp of straw round her 
waist and a sickle stuck in it for self-protection. The village 
children followed her, addressing her by name. On one occa- 
sion, Miss Noble relates, Meg was desirous of having a brood 
of chickens, and, taking a number of eggs, she put them in a 
pot and placed it on her fire for a time ; and in due season the 
eggs broke and the chickens were hatched and afterwards 
reared by her. Meg made linen thread in her hut, and Mrs 
Noble used to buy it from her in the Westhouses Schoolhouse. 
The Baigries, of Southside, were very kind to Meg, and their 
governess used often to come up to the Camp and talk with 
her. On one occasion the governess asked Meg why she lived 
as and where she did, and suggested " Surely there is some- 
thing wrong." Whereupon Meg took down her Bible and 
made the governess swear with her hand on the book that if 
she told her she would never divulge the tale. She then told 
her story, which, however, was for ever kept a profound secret 
by her visitor. In Miss Noble's early days Mrs Hunter occu- 
pied the stone house in Westhouses. Every Sunday afternoon 
the children of the hillside went up to Meg's cottage to go 
through their Catechism. In those days Sunday Schools were 
few and far between, the only one in the parish being held 
on Sunday mornings by the minister's sister, Miss Thomson, 
in the old church in the valley. The baptism of Miss Noble 
is entered opposite " yth March, 1819 : born 2pth January, 
1819. John Grainger, elder, and Alexander Wilson, wit- 

Miss JANE CLYDE, now residing in Newbattle village, is 
one of four parishioners who have lived under five British 
Sovereigns and remember four coronations. She remembers 
Camp Meg quite well, and was impressed with her su- 
perior bearing, fine features, and generally commanding 
personality. She can recall her riding through Dalkeith 
stridelegs on Skewball, with all the children of the town 
after her, tugging her cloak. Her father, James Clyde, 
was second forester on the Marquess of Lothian's estate, and 
to him was allotted the task of planting the trees on the Roman 
Camp Hill, which form the present beautiful and picturesque 
plantation. Previous to this, the Camp hills were covered with 
heather, brushwood, brackens, &c., and formed good cover 
for all kinds of game. Hence the " Caledonian Hunt " paid 



this hillside frequent visits, visits which ceased altogether 
after the plantations appeared. While engaged in planting 
these trees, James Clyde took his mid-day meal regularly in 
Camp Meg's house, and was treated by her with the greatest 
civility. Often in the evening, however, round his own cheer-, 
ful ingle, he used to say to his children, " How would you 
like to live in a house like Meg's, which has neither tables nor 
chairs, nor yet a bed?" At one time Miss Clyde's father had 
been in the army, and when stationed at Ayr, remembered 
how an officer of the name of Hawthorn in the barracks there 
used to pay regular visits to Galloway to visit relations,- 
relations whom he associated in later years with Margaret Haw- 
thorn of the Newbattle Camp. Miss Clyde thinks that the 
Rev. J. Thomson, minister of Newbattle, was the recipient of 
all Camp Meg's confidences and history, but that no one else 
ever knew the truth about her. Mr Thomson, who is mem- 
orialised in Newbattle Church by his son, the late Mr Charles 
Wodrow Thomson, C.A., Edinburgh, was the author of a 
sermon on " The Constraining Power of the Love of Christ," 
which was much admired in his generation (1813-1841). Miss 
Clyde remembers how Captain Dalrymple, of Woodburn, mar- 
ried the widowed Countess of Haddington, who came to reside 
there with her husband, an early friend, before her marriage 
to the Earl of Haddington, and of the kindness of the Count- 
ess to Camp Meg, who delighted to recite poetry and the like 
to her affable and warm-hearted patroness. Miss Clyde also 
remembers that after the coronation of George IV. (who 
visited Newbattle, and in whose honour the "King's Gate" was 
erected), the Countess brought home from London to all her 
Newbattle friends some souvenir of the memorable occasion. 
Miss Jane Clyde for long preserved the memento given to her, 
a spectroscopic opera-glass, which, by turning a handle, 
revealed the coronation procession going to and returning from 
Westminster Abbey. In the days when her father was en- 
gaged in planting the Roman Camp woods, the bare hill had 
at its foot the large village of Westhous"es, then extending in 
several long rows at the foot of Cock Houlet Farm, now wiped 
away, but remembered still through the wood which bears its 
name to-day. The village had a school, still standing, 
and in the midst of " the toun " rose a large stone double- 
storied house, built by Miss Thomson, who had a small holding 



of land at Westhouses. Many years ago, when one of the old 
houses was being demolished, a large quantity of Mary Queen 
of Scots coins, gold, silver, and bronze, was discovered in 
the " found " of the house. Westhouses, like Easthouses, is 
one of the ancient settlements of the parish, and both names 
appear in the Chartulary of Newbattle Abbey. It is averred 
that Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism in America, 
had a direct family connection with Westhouses, just as Quak- 
erism had one of its earliest homes and advocates in Newbattle 
village in the person of Alexander Jaffray (Leighton's friend 
and next-door neighbour), whose diary is a work of great inter- 
est as showing the early difficulties and struggles of the Society 
of Friends in Scotland. [" Diary of Alexander Jaffray, Pro- 
vost of Aberdeen, one of the Scottish Commissioners to King 
Charles II., and a member of Cromwell's Parliament," edited 
by John Barclay : published at Aberdeen, 1856, by G. & R. 
King. Alexander Cant, minister of Newbattle about 1639-41, 
Leighton's immediate predecessor, was Jaffray's father-in- 
law. Cant afterwards became minister of Aberdeen, and his 
son-in-law, Jaffray, followed him thither and became Provost. 
Jaffray's old house, next his father-in-law's manse, on the 
other side of the church, is now wiped away, and was for 
long associated with the Misses Lumsden, who kept a market- 
garden on the west side of the church.] 

The late Mr JAMES RUTHERFORD, Easthouses, was one 
of Camp Meg's pupils, and often told the writer of her strange 
sayings and doings. Mr Rutherford died in the year 1888 
at the ripe age of ninety-two, and was so hale and hearty that 
only four days before his decease he walked from Easthouses 
to Leith and back, a distance of six or seven miles. On one 
occasion Camp Meg had to endure the ill-will of one of Lord 
Lothian's gamekeepers, who reported her to the Marquess for 
poaching. Mr James Rutherford wrote a letter to the Mar- 
quess, to Camp Meg's dictation, pleading her innocence and 
begging an audience. The Marquess granted her an audience, 
and not only absolved her of all blame, but allowed her to 
remain at the Camp unmolested. Mr Rutherford was largely 
taught by Meg, and remembered her instructions to his dying 

Mr THOMAS FALCONER, for most of his life resident at 
Newbattle, who died at Fala at an advanced age beyond eighty- 



five, remembers Camp Meg's funeral, and also knew her well 
in her lifetime, and often experienced her somewhat sharp 
and cutting welcome, when, with her sickle round his neck, she 
led him into her hill-seminary to answer his questions and say . 
his " carritch." 

Mrs ALLAN, Oakmount, Lasswade, whose father, the late 
Mr David Dunlop, was teacher of Newbattle School, and held 
in highest respect by everyone, kindly records some additional 
memories handed down to her : " Mrs B., in Bonnyrigg, used 
to live at Maisterton Mains, cottages above Maisterton House, 
near Billhead. Her father was Edward Japp. When their 
water supply ran short in summer, she used to go to where 
Meg's house had been to get water at her spring. Like the 
rest of us, she pretended Camp Meg was chasing her, and ran 
so fast with her pitchers or ' stoups ' (carried on a yoke) that 
nearly all the water was ' skailed ' before she got out of the 
Camp. This did not hinder her taking gooseberries off a bush 
of Camp Meg's. She got the ' berries ' first before she fled. 
A man lived in Camp Meg's house after she died, and I saw 
his son once ; the baby was born in the hut. I saw old John 
Wilson, who, the day he was born, sat on Camp Meg's knee. 
His father, Charles, had a shop in Easthouses, and Meg 
chanced to come, and during her visitation took the baby on her 
knee. John Wilson went to her Sunday School afterwards. 
His father helped Camp Meg to teach in it." 

The late Mr JOHN GORDON, whose widow still resides in 
Mansefield, died in 1884, at the age of seventy-three. He 
used to herd the cattle of Mr Stephenson, the farmer of Manse- 
field, and often went up and had tea with Camp Meg, being 
a very special favourite of hers. He too had to answer his 
questions like the rest. He used to tell how Camp Meg was 
called upon to attend to calving cases at Brothershiels and 
Nettleflat, and when her work was done the people at both of 
these farms on Tyneside used to be glad to get her off, such 
was their fear of her and her strange ways. John Gordon 
began life as " herd " to Mr Stephenson, of Mansefield, and 
latterly with Mr Douglas, of D'Arcy, whose son in time farmed 
Mansefield also, so that his long life was spent on the one hill- 
side, faithfully and honourably. 

Mrs TORRANCE, who resided at Dewartown, at the foot of 
the Camp Hill, on the east side of the range, dying at the age of 



eighty-five, was a sister of John Baillie, who, with his uncle, 
James Baillie, James Lindsay, and Darling, conveyed Meg's 
body from her hut to Newbattle. She knew Meg well. An- 
other of her brothers, William Baillie, was the man who found 
Meg dying at her door in the snowstorm: " He had been 
going to Edgehead from Southside for snuff for our father, 
and thought he would take a turn up the hill a little farther 
and see how Meg had fared in the storm. He found her lying 
on the threshold of her door nearly dead, and carried her into 
her hut and laid her on her bed, when almost immediately she 
expired. Meg held a capital school on Sunday afternoons, 
and kept the children in terror. She would have come over 
their head in a moment. She was a small, thick-set woman, 
and had a witch-reputation, and was a splendid rider and 
horse-doctor. She quarrelled once with an Easthouses woman, 
and it is said, and it was believed, bewitched her cow in re- 
venge, and had to be got back again to undo the evil. My 
sister had a baby, and we took it up to see Meg, and she held it 
in her lap. From that day to this my sister never knew the 
fact that Meg had embraced her bairn, or she would have been 
afraid of the consequences. The general idea was that she 
had murdered some one in Galloway, and it is a fact that her 
son came to see her. I can vouch for all these facts." 

Mr PETER HENDERSON (aged eighty-two), who resided 
with his nephew at Carfraemill, near Lauder, remembers well 
the London stage-coaches running past, and has also a large 
store of recollections of witch-stories of the neighbourhood, 
but strangely cannot recall Camp Meg or anything at all about 

In an age when superstitious beliefs had not altogether 
died out, it was hardly to be wondered at that something of 
the supernatural surrounds Camp Meg, when the legend of 
"The Gray Brother of Newbattle," celebrated in verse by Sir 
Walter Scott, recalls the spiritualistic belief of former days, 
that " Gray Brother " said to have been seen on certain nights 
of the year in the oak-forests of Newbattle, just as Ralph, the 
first Abbot of Newbattle, was said by the chronicler to have 
seen the Evil One in the woods around " with a face as black 
as pitch." (See Newbattle Chartulary.) 

One of Camp Meg's favourite Scripture posers is still 
quoted by the older generation of Newbattle and Dalkeith 



people, " What act in Scripture did God command to be 
done, and it was not done, and yet it was well done?" The 
answer is, " Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, which God re- 
quired, and which was not accomplished, and yet it was coun- 
ted unto Abraham for righteousness." Many of her other 
questions and sayings are still among the floating traditions 
of Eastern Mid-Lothian. Her old pupils are now few and 
far between, but the traditions and stories die hard, and the 
old families of the parish, some of them tracing back almost 
to the Reformation (as can be vouched for by the old colliery 
account-books and other parish records), cherish the memory 
that their fathers knew and had their earliest religious lessons 
at the feet of this strange yet pious fugitive, whose only library 
was her Bible and her Catechism. 

The " Royal Caledonian Hunt," founded in 1777, is still 
in existence, the patron being the King and the president the 
Earl of Eglinton and Winton. A distinguished committee- 
list appears in Oliver & Boyd's Almanack. One of the joint- 
secretaries, Sir Kenneth J. Mackenzie, writes that " the records 
of the Caledonian Hunt, as far as I can ascertain, have no 
mention of Camp Meg." When the Camp Hill was, however, 
suitable for the chase, the bright-coated huntsmen were re- 
gularly to be seen, until the plantation made hunting imprac- 
ticable, and the society sought new ground west of Edinburgh. 

The name of Hawthorn is well known still in Galloway, 
and in Whithorn there are several families bearing that desig- 
nation, and these have been communicated with, with respect 
and courtesy. No reply has been vouchsafed, from which the 
reader will form his own conclusions as to the strangeness and 
mystery surrounding the whole affair. It is said that Nathaniel 
Hawthorne, the brilliant American essayist, hailed from the 
same neighbourhood and belonged to the same clan : but of this 
and of other statements connected with the original home and 
connections of Camp Meg there is no absolute certitude. 

Similar cases to that of Camp Meg are not unknown even 
at the present day. The Hermit of Ardnamurchan is fresh 
in the public recollection. Until quite recently, in one of the 
many caves on the west coast of Arran, near the King's Cave, 
where Robert the Bruce hid, protected by the spider's web, 
a strange man lived, possibly still lives, who had never 
spoken to any of the people in the neighbourhood, and lived 



a hermit life, stealing potatoes, trapping rabbits, and catching 
fish. There is a similar case in a lonely part of Lewis, near 
the Butt, but the hermit spends his time exclusively in reading, 
and his solitary hut is papered entirely with illustrated papers 
of a generation ago. Even in more intellectual spheres, the 
poet Chatterton, " the marvellous boy who perished in his 
pride," belonged to the same class. Pride, grief, disappoint- 
ment, the sense of unfitness for the battle of life, and other 
occult causes, produce similar effects in our own time, leading 
some to look out on life either figuratively or actually "through 
the loop-holes of retreat." The same tendency accentuated, 
leads the disappointed girl to the convent and the life-sick man 
to the monastery, there to learn in time the mistake of shutting 
oneself off from life's ennobling and helpful influences in order 
to escape its heartbreaks. The Trappist life is seldom a saintly 
one. Zimmermann on " Solitude " makes excellent reading, 
but it is a very one-sided statement of the case. Divine Pro- 
vidence has arranged all things well, and solitude and society 
are both alike angels from above. The forgotten poet Parnell 
of more than two centuries ago gives the best commentary on 
the life of the coenobite and the hermit : 

"The silent heart which grief assails 
Treads soft and lonesome o'er the vales, 
Sees daisies open, rivers run, 
And seeks (as I have vainly done) 
Amusing thought, but learns to know 
That solitude's the nurse of woe." 

Note on Newbattle Churchyard, Restirrection-House, &c. 

In the days of Burke and Hare, the famous resurrection- 
ists who, at the close of the eighteenth and during early years 
of the past century, rifled the graveyards of Scotland for bodies 
for the surgeons of Edinburgh to dissect, in days when it was 
difficult to acquire corpses for anatomical purposes, the friends 
of any person just buried watched in turns in the churchyard 
lest the dreadful resurrectionists should put in their appearance 



and dig up the body. In the churchyards round about Edin- 
burgh special precautions were always taken, and the coffin 
was fastened to the bottom of the grave, always deep, by 
heavy iron rivets, some of which are still to be seen, while 
round watch-houses were built "either in the middle or against 
one of the walls of the graveyard. In all the ancient church- 
yards round about Edinburgh the watch-house is to be seen, 
or was to be found at any rate till lately. A very fine speci- 
men is standing in the old churchyard of Dalkeith. The 
watch-house was really a small fort with narrow openings 
round and round, through which the watchers could in safety 
keep guard over the churchyard by night, and fire upon any 
night-prowler in search of bodies. The old folks in all the 
villages and hamlets round about Edinburgh can tell many 
blood-curdling stories of churchyard fights over the dead, in 
the days of Burke and Hare. In Newbattle churchyard 
several people involved in these skirmishes lost their lives. As 
Newbattle, anciently Newbottle (new residence), is one of 
the most historical parishes in Scotland, in whose venerable 
Abbey the Queens of both Alexander II. and David II. are 
buried, though unhonoured by any memorial, so its churchyard, 
famous in resurrectionist days, was the favourite Saturday 
haunt of Sir Walter Scott when living as a young man in the 
thatched house at Lasswade, a few miles off (which is still 
occupied), and is believed to be the original of the churchyard 
in " Old Mortality." Sir Walter Scott constantly wandered 
among its quaint tombstones, which include a splendid table- 
monument, richly carved in bone-pattern, to the Welshes, one 
branch of whom gave Thomas Carlyle his wife; and De Quin- 
cey, who used to reside with his girls at Polton, four miles 
off, used often to wander by starlight among these gaunt 
memorials of the past, sleeping sometimes under the shadow 
of the great Abbey wall, still standing in front of the parish 
church, and built by William the Lion. Christopher North is 
remembered still at Newbattle as wandering among the ancient 
trees and retreats. William Creech, the Edinburgh publisher and 
provost, who put Robert Burns on his feet, and to whom the Ayr- 
shire ploughman bard, in gratitude for publishing his songs, in- 
scribed several pieces, including the well-known " Willie's 
awa'," was born in the old manse near the churchyard, his 
father being the parish minister in 1745. A small bit of broken 


sandstone is all that remains in the churchyard of the original 
memorial either to the father or to the son, whose kindness 
to and sympathy with the lonely Ayrshire genius gave Scotland 
her greatest poet, and the world the printed Edinburgh edition 
of his songs and satires. Archbishop Leighton was minister of 
Newbattle from 1641-1653, and in the church his pulpit and 
sacramental plate are still in use, while his old house forms 
part of the present manse, under the roof of which his library, 
hour-glass, and other time-worn relics are carefully preserved. 
The largest beech tree in the world grows at Newbattle. 




THE district lies 'between the Pentland and Moor foot 
hills, and the North and South Esks are the main 
arteries of the fertile lands which lie between these 
hills. The Moorfoots, at their greatest height are 
some 1800-1900 feet, and the highest summits of the 
Pentlands measure between 1500 and 1800 feet. A magnifi- 
cent coal formation, the fossilized forests of prehistoric times, 
'fills the whole valley. In the hilly south-east district the 
rocks are of grey-wacke and clay-slate, while quartz, spar, and 
steatite, are found in small quantities. The Moorfoot hills 
are of grey - wacke, while the Pentlands are mainly of 
porphyry. Occasionally whinstone, granite, syenite, and 
other primitive rocks are met with. Coal, limestone, and 
sandstone are everywhere and extensively worked. It is 
undoubted that, like Arthur's Seat and Berwick Law, Car- 
nethy and other Pentland peaks are old volcanoes, their 
very shape, the soft, regular, cone-shaped peaks, even recent 
records in earthquake disturbances, being strongly reminiscent 
of Vesuvius and other burning mountains. The splendid al- 
luvial soils of the district, with the sand and gravel and rounded 
dunes, carry one back to the ice age, when glaciers glided down 
to the low levels, leaving in their train the broken fragments 
and debris of former worlds. 

The Newbattle monks were the earliest workers of coal in 
Scotland, and worked into the sides of the river and the hill, 
bringing out their "black stones." The exposed surface of 
the coal can often be seen in the banks of the Esk, and even 
in the course of the Roman Camp Hill. Some of the coal 
seams are broken, evidently by some of the volcanic eruptions 
of which Carnethy and Arthur's Seat tell the tale. The 
general order of the coal-seams, beginning from the basis lime- 
stone, and going upwards is as follows : (i) The " Parrot " 



seam (3 ft. 3 ins. thick) a cannal coal, dry, and used for 
enriching gas; (2) the " Kaleblades " seam (4 ft. 5 ins. thick) 
with a band of fireclay in its midst; (3) the " Splint " seam 
(4 ft. thick); (4) the " Coronation " seam (3 ft. 6 ins. thick); 
(5) the "Siller Willie" seam (2 ft. 6 ins. to 4 ft. 
thick); (6) the "Diamond" seam (i ft. 10 ins. thick); (7) 
the " Great " seam (7 ft. 6 ins. thick); (8) the " Mavis "'seam 
(2 ft. 3 ins. thick) a stony coal of little value. The fossils 
of the great coal-seams in this " carboniferous limestone for- 
mation," are very interesting and varied, and it is quite easy 
to reproduce the entire prehistoric scene of the great primeval 
forest, with its animals and reptiles, all now far beneath the 
surface and fossilized. The flowers and plants of the district 
to-day are accurately summarized in a valuable little book, 
" A pocket Flora of Edinburgh and the surrounding district," 
by C. A. Sonntag [London : Williams & Norgate, 1894]. 
Many of the plants, trees, and vegetables now quite common 
in the neighbourhood were introduced by the Newbattle monks, 
who brought them over from the Continent and naturalized 
them. The beautiful plantations which clothe the Esk valleys 
and the hillsides are nearly all artificial, and indeed, tree- 
planting was one of the special features of monastic industry. 
The wonderful beeches and other trees which have for centuries 
been the glory of this district, were planted to take the place 
of the rugged brushwood and Caledonian oak-forest which 
covered the entire region with a virgin stunted growth. The 
same primeval growths, of the simple uncultivated trees and 
brushwoods of early times, can be seen all over America, 
where the hand of man has not been moving. Only fragments 
of that old stunted forest are remaining in the Dalkeith Palace 
grounds, and a few straggling primeval oaks in Newbattle. 
The birds of the district have been summarized and classified 
by Mr Tom Speedy, in his valuable work on " Craigmillar 
and its environs " [Selkirk : Lewis]. In the banks of the Esks 
the heron and the water-hen are frequent visitors; while some 
of the rarer visitors include the spotted crake, peregrine falcon, 
osprey, greylag goose, bullfinch, buzzard, crossbill, dipper, 
hawfinch, jay, kestrel, merlin, quail, raven, siskea, tufted 
duck, chough, dotteril, goldfinch, kingfisher, owl (barn, long- 
eared, short-eared, and tawny), great spotted woodpecker, eider 
duck, great-crested grebe, common sea-gull, mallard, oyster 



catcher, ringed and golden plover, pochard, sheld duck, shovel- 
ler, skylark, snipe, teal, tern (common, little, and sandwich), 
widgeon, woodcock, lapwing. Grouse used to be common on 
the Roman Camp Hill, but are now rarely seen. The cuckoo 
is heard early in the Spring in the Esk valleys, witness the 
place-names, " Gowkshill," " Gowkpen " (Cockpen), "Peni- 
gowk " (Penicuik), of the district. Starlings hibernate in 
the Newbattle valley in tens of thousands, and blacken the sky 
every winter evening. Swallows build their nests in abund- 
ance, and many northern bird's make the soft warm-aired New- 
battle valley their winter quarters. Owls are found in large 
numbers, and at night make the valley weird enough, while 
bats are numerous. An occasional kingfisher is to be seen in 
the river, which, with recent efforts to cleanse and purify it, 
is now fairly well stocked with small trout. The monks' fish- 
pond is now occupied by the new Lothian burial-ground. The 
Newbattle fathers were careful pisciculturists, and cultivated 
trout, &c., in their large pond, and where they kept their oy- 
sters, besides plying the rod in the adjoining river, which even 
still has good fishing. Of wild animals, the only rare ones 
now seen are the badger and fox, while hares, rabbits, hedge- 
hogs, squirrels, weasels, &c., are quite common. All sorts of 
sea-birds are to be seen inland, especially in stormy weather, 
feeding in the fields, and an occasional rare ocean-wanderer 
can be spotted. 

For the cultivation of flowers and fruit, the district has 
been justly famous for centuries. At Parduvin (French " par 
du vin ") a simple country wine seems to have been made, 
while Newbattle had its " Elder-flower wine." A famous 
" Floral Club " used to meet thirty years ago and more at 
Newbattle manse, its membership including many distinguished 
clergymen and others, who enjoyed the Rev. Dr Gordon's re- 
fined hospitality. Principal Tulloch, Drs Caird, Crombie (St. 
Andrews), Smith (South Leith), Arnott, and others met regu- 
larly at Newbattle for flower-study, and their transactions were 
valuable. The " Musselburgh leek " was undoubtedly intro- 
duced into Mid-Lothian from abroad by the Newbattle monks. 

The magnificenf woods of the Newbattle valley are famous 
all over the world. The hoary churchyard trees which gather 
at the corner of the road near the church, beside the old church, 
with its memories of Leighton and Argyll, are beautiful beyond 


all words, and have often been painted by eminent artists. 
The resting-place of Argyll is beautiful in spring beyond all 
description. The Abbey park is full of splendid oaks, beeches, 
and plane trees, many of them planted by the monks, and many 
others by the Countess Anne and her successors. But from an 
arboricultural point of view, the great glory of Newbattle is the 
" Great Beech Tree," which sends its branches thrice down 
to the earth only to grow up again. There used to be two of 
them, but half-a-century ago one was blown down, leaving its 
dependent children to flourish on their own account, as they 
are doing. When this great tree was blown down, great quan- 
tities of bones, coins, &c., were found around its roots. 

The famous Sir Alexander Christison, and his son, Dr 
Christison, for some sixty years in succession have measured 
the great beech tree of Newbattle, and their marks are renewed 
every year on the trunk some six feet from the base. The 
measurements are as follows : 

Girth at the Ground 

about i ft. above Ground 
2^ ft. 


43 ft. 
37 ft. 
27 ft. 
25 ft. 
23 ft. 


8 in. 

9 in. 
i in. 

21 ft. ii in. 
20 ft. 3 in. 
19 ft. 7 in. 

The ground measurement was taken by allowing the tape to lie on 
the roots as near to the uprising of the buttresses as possible, and is 
necessarily vague. 

The measurement at 6 ft. to 6^ ft. above the ground is the most 
correct, being taken on a line marked at intervals with white paint 
for future comparison. 

The circumference of the foliage is fully 400 feet; its diameter 
averages 130 to 140 ft. ; and its total height reaches 112 feet. 

The branches hanging down to the ground have taken root, and 
are growing upwards, and this in some cases is thrice repeated. 

I append the girths of a few of the main branches, as well as of 
those growing up from said branches, but with their own roots attached 
to the ground. 

No. i Branch, girth i ft. 10 in., with 2 branches springing up from 

it, 4 ft. 5 in. each in girth. 
No. 2 Branch, girth i ft. 8 in., with 3 branches springing up from 

it, one 5 ft. 5 in., one 5 ft. i in., one i ft. ii in. in girth. 
No. 3 Branch, girth 12^ in., with 3 branches springing up from 

it, one 4 ft. 7^ in., one 24^ in., one 4 ft. 4 in. in girth. 
No. 4 Branch, girth 12 in., with 2 branches springing up from it, 

one 2 ft. 8^ in., one 12 in. in girth. 

No. 5 Branch, girth i ft. 7 in., with 3 branches springing up 
from it, one 2 ft. 4^ in., one 12 in., one i ft. 6 in. in 

No. 6 Branch, girth 2 ft. 4 in., with 5 branches springing up from 
it, one 4 ft. 4 in., one 3 ft. 8 in., one 4 ft., one 3 ft. 4 in., 
one i ft. ii in. in girth. 

Dr Christison says it is " a marvel of vigorous physical life." 


Another interesting growth in the Newbattle grounds is the 
" Evergreen Oak." Six fine specimens of Spanish or Ever- 
green Oaks (quercus ilex) were raised from acorns brought home 
from Spain by a member of the Lothian family, who took part 
in the brilliant victory of Wellington at Salamanca in 1812. 
He rested with his comrades, the night after the battle, under 
one of the evergreen oaks of the place, and found the ground 
covered with the acorns that had fallen from it. He put a few 
of them in one of his saddle-bags and had them sent home to 
Newbattle, where they have grown readily. One of the New- 
battle ilices is six feet ten inches in girth six feet from the 
ground before it breaks into branches, after the habit of its 

In the rich arboretum behind the church there is a mag- 
nificent collection of all kinds of rare shrubs, trees, and bushes 
brought from every part of the world. So sheltered and mild 
is this grove that often in winter tens of thousands of starlings 
hibernate there, driving away the smaller birds for the season. 
One can well understand how in olden days, when travelling 
facilities were few, the richly wooded Newbattle valley was the 
great resort for consumptives from " east- windy, west-endy 

(3 2 ) 



TN the year 1660, after a terrible time of national con- 
fusion, George Johnston, A.M., was called by the people 
of Newbattle to be their minister. His immediate pre- 
decessors in that office had been Alexander Dickson, 
whose father, Dr David Dickson, a strong and unbending 
Covenanter, wrote the hymn, " O, Mother, dear Jerusalem, 
when shall I come to Thee ' ' ; and previous to him, Robert 
Leighton, who was now Principal of Edinburgh University and 
the coming Bishop of Dunblane. Johnston came from Loch- 
rutton, in the very heart of the Covenanting country, and was 
probably brought to Newbattle by the Earl of Lothian, a 
staunch ally of that cause, who might wish to strengthen his 
cause by bringing to the Esk Valley one of the true-blue 
followers of " Christ's Crown and Covenant " from the moun- 
tainous country where the mists often, as if by a miracle, 
descended and covered the Conventicle just as the watchman 
had descried afar off the red-coated soldiery, and had raised 
the alarm. Whatever views one may hold regarding these 
scenes and men, they are eminently picturesque and striking, 
and the wonderful spell of that great national movement still 
rests over the green rolling hills of Dumfriesshire and the 
hundred old kirkyards where the grey old stones, with their 
matchless lichens and dim old-world colours, still record the 
names and the doings of the men, regarding whom Robert 
Burns declared that they "sealed freedom's noble cause; if 
thou'rt a slave indulge thy sneers." 

George Johnston was a stalwart indeed, and to the Earl 
of Lothian a man entirely after his own heart. That third 
Earl of Lothian, William Ker, joined the Covenanters in 
1638, and after the pacification of Berwick in that year he 
waited on the King there. The Scottish army invaded Eng- 



land in 1640, and the Earl of Lothian commanded a regiment. 
At Newburn the Royalists were defeated, and Newcastle was 
taken possession of, the Earl being appointed governor. 

In 1642 a rebellion broke out in Ireland, and he had 
command of a regiment dispatched thither to quell the rising. 
In the following year he was sent to France by Charles I. and 
the Privy Council to arrange with the French Court as to 
Scottish rights and privileges. Returning from France, he met 
the King at Oxford, and being suspected of treachery, was 
confined as a prisoner in Bristol for several months. Having 
at last been released, we find him in 1644 along with the 
Marquess of Argyll commanding the forces sent against Mon- 
trose, who was obliged to retreat. When he delivered up his 
commission to the Committee of Estates, he was warmly 
thanked for his services. In December, 1646, he was president 
of the Committee dispatched by Parliament to the King with 
their final propositions, which were refused. In 1648 he 
entered his protest against the " Engagement," and when it 
was declared unlawful by Parliament in January, 1649, he 
was made Secretary of State in place of the Earl of Lanark, 
who was deprived. He was appointed one of the commis 
sioners to go to England and remonstrate against any violence 
or indignity being used against the King, in name of the 
Scottish nation. Being again suspected, he was arrested and 
sent to Gravesend, in order to be sent home to Scotland. The 
Scottish Estates thanked him on his return for his services. 
In 1649, along with the Earl of Cassilis, he was sent to Breda 
to invite Charles II. to Scotland. His life all through was 
that of a great Scottish patriot, who, though a stern Coven- 
anter, was loyal to King and country. 

George Johnston was minister in 1660 to this Covenanting 
leader, who had previously declared of Leighton that he got 
" more good from him than from any that did ever stand in a 
pulpit." Johnston was, however, a very different man from 
Leighton, and through thick and thin defended the Covenant 
and the Covenanters against all comers, and in 1662, on the 
nth of June, he was deprived of his ministry at Newbattle by 
Parliament. He was succeeded by two Episcopal curates, 
Chisholm and Malcolm, and recalled to Newbattle in 1679. 
Again he was seized for preaching at Conventicles and confined 
in Borthwick Castle. During the Covenanting struggle he 



was arrested and imprisoned several times. After his second 
deposition from his ministry at Newbattle, he was succeeded 
in the charge by Archibald Douglas and Andrew Auchinleck, 
when a change came in his tide of fortune, and in 1687 for 
the third time he was called to Newbattle, on liberty being 
given to Presbyterianism, where he remained until he was 
translated to Greyfriars, Edinburgh, in which charge he died. 

These two Covenanters, the Earl of Lothian and George 
Johnston, stood firm in the critical year of the Restoration, 
and the Newbattle Valley became a sort of home for sym- 
pathising spirits. Leighton had left Newbattle in 1653, and 
Alexander Jaffray, the Quaker, who lived in the old house, 
now demolished, beside the present church, had gone to 
reside at Abbeyhill, near Holyrood. Jaffray and Leighton 
were kindred spirits, and in a period of bitter religious strife 
sighed for peace. But Johnston, who was now in possession 
of the charge, was a fighting Covenanter, and, as such, drew 
towards him the more strenuous and energetic spirits of the 
Covenant. He felt, too, that he had behind him a strong 
kindred spirit in the Earl of Lothian, whose portrait hangs 
to-day in Newbattle House, the tall, dignified, armour-clad 
figure of a purpose- like, firm, determined man, who was not 
afraid to call his soul his own, who feared God and knew no 
other fear. James Guthrie, the son of the laird of Guthrie, 
was in 1661 a man of forty-four, and while he had been 
brought up as an Episcopalian, his converse at St Andrews 
with Samuel Rutherford changed his views, and he became 
minister of Lauder and afterwards of Stirling. He had 
drawn forth the wrath of the Earl of Middleton, chiefly 
through his warm adherence to the Covenant, but also through 
denouncing that nobleman for his connection with an unsuc- 
cessful rising in the north in favour of the King, in 1650. 
Guthrie proposed to the Commission of the General Assembly 
that Middleton should be excommunicated, and, this being 
agreed to, Guthrie was appointed to pronounce the sentence 
at Stirling on the following Sunday. On the morning of that 
day he received a letter asking him to delay the sentence, but 
the sentence was given. On January 2nd, 1651, the Commis- 
sion of the General Assembly released Middleton from it; 
nevertheless, Guthrie was the inveterate object of his hatred, 
and it was, indeed, chiefly owing to Middleton that he was 

(3 2 3) 


finally put to death on June ist, 1661. Guthrie openly and 
vehemently preached against the resolutions of the more moder- 
ate clergy agreed upon at Perth, December i4th, 1650, in 
favour of Charles II., and became the leader of the opposing 
party called the Protesters, the leaders of which, including 
Guthrie, Patrick Gillespie, and James Simpson, were deposed 
by the Dundee Assembly. They protested against the sentence 
and went on preaching as usual. 

In course of time Guthrie suffered death for his attitude 
to Charles II., but it must be remembered that even during the 
protectorate of Oliver Cromwell he did not spare that man 
of iron, but wrote several papers criticising his actions, and 
in consequence he was subjected to some hardships from the 
Commonwealth Government. He took an independent and 
original position, along with a few others, in his views as 
to protector and king, and in his " Causes of the Lord's 
wrath against Scotland," and " Some considerations concerning 
the dangers which threaten religion, and the work of the Re- 
formation in Scotland " the latter published in i(56o he 
took the true-blue Covenanting stand, instilled into him by 
Samuel Rutherford, that the Head of the Church was above 
the head of the nation, whose vassal the latter was in every 
particular. The views of Rutherford, Guthrie, and their 
school as to spiritual independence were not far removed from 
ultramontanism. Between Rutherford's " Lex Rex " and 
the visible illustration of the principle of the subordination of 
princes to the spiritual power given at Canossa, when Hilde- 
brand flogged the German Emperor, and through him the 
empire so thoroughly, that centuries later Bismarck, still feel- 
ing the smart of the papal tawse, declared that " Germany 
is not going back to Canossa," between the two there is not 
much to choose, except that in the latter case the supreme 
spiritual power was represented by a human being invested 
with the highest divine authority. Certainly Guthrie took no 
pains to hide his views that protector and king were only 
subjects and vassals of the great Head of the Church. 

A tremendous change came over the scene in 1660, when 
the Restoration came, and Charles II. was crowned at Scone. 
Then Middleton knew that his hour had come, and prepared 
to execute vengeance on the original thinker of the Covenanters 
Samuel Rutherford, on James Guthrie, the intrepid, out- 



spoken preacher of these independent principles of Church and 
State, as well as on Argyll and other smaller men. Guthrie 
took alarm and thought it best to make his peace with the new 
Sovereign. He journeyed from Stirling to Edinburgh and 
called a meeting of his followers, one of whom was Alexander 
Jaffray, the Quaker, formerly of Newbattle, but now residing 
at Abbeyhill. In the course of his arrangements for this 
historic gathering, Guthrie came out to Newbattle to confer 
with the Earl of Lothian and the redoubtable Covenanting 
minister, George Johnston. This meeting must have been 
somewhere in August, 1660, and in all probability lasted a few 

Guthrie slept in a room in the old manse still standing 
the back portion next the historic road, along which the 
London stage-coaches hurried to the south, and which is lined 
on one side by the monastic " Monkland Wall," " The Dyke- 
side " of the Laird of Cockpen's song. The old manse was a 
plain, modest building of two storeys, with a stepped gable 
and thatched. Underneath that gable the inscription still 
stands " Evangelio et Posteris." The little house was built 
in 1620, during the ministry of Mr James Aird, who founded 
the first school in the parish a few paces from the present 
church, and whose funeral bell with date and initials still 
survives, used to summon the parishioners in days of old to 
the obsequies of the dead. In the parlour, an oak-lined, camp- 
ceiled room, with one small window looking out on the beauti- 
ful woodlands and the old " Sign of the Sun " inn, where the 
stage-coaches made their first stop after leaving Edinburgh, 
Robert Leighton wrote many of his spiritual works and held 
communion with kindred spirits, from the Earl of Lothian 
downwards. It was probably in the small guest-chamber next 
his room that James Guthrie slept his last sleep at Newbattle. 
In the parlour one can picture the anxious consultations be- 
tween Johnston, the strong Covenanting pastor of Newbattle; 
the martial Earl of Lothian, whose name still appears in the 
copy of the Covenant hanging in Newbattle House to-day, for 
the writing of which the parish kirk-session paid four shillings ; 
probably Alexander Jaffray, the Quaker, whose home a few 
years previously had been in an old house on the other side 
of the present church, beside the old school. It must have 
been an anxious night of consultation and debate as to what 



was best to be done for Scotland in the emergency, and what 
the end of these things would be. In the morning Johnston 
and other sympathisers conveyed Guthrie along the old road, 
past the old church, in the vault of which a few months later 
Argyll's headless body was to be laid under the Earl of 
Lothian's sympathetic protection, past the beautiful old church- 
yard trees which surround the vault still, with the matchless 
golden colouring of their trunks and leaves, and the sigh of 
the autumn wind passing through them as if in prophetic 
mourning. Where the last Abbot of Newbattle lay in dignified 
repose with his children and children's children, Argyll was 
to take his rest, to be executed only four days before the youth- 
ful Guthrie, who now passed the calm retreat, the silent shade 
on his way to his sacrifice. 

Guthrie 's gathering in Edinburgh was summoned to draw 
up a supplication to Charles II., and all his chief Covenanting 
sympathisers were present. By a quick stroke of policy they 
were at once arrested and imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle. 
Thence Guthrie, who seems to have been regarded as the ring- 
leader, was removed to Dundee, where he remained until 
immediately before his trial, which took place in Edinburgh 
on 2Oth February, 1661. The others who were arrested at 
this historic Edinburgh convention included Robert Trail, John 
Stirling, Gilbert Hall, Alexander Moncrieff, and Alexander 
Jaffray, the old time-tried Quaker, friend of Leighton and 
Guthrie. On the i6th January, the Earl of Middleton moved 
that Jaffray, on account of his health and his services to the 
State, should be allowed the liberty of the city and suburbs, 
including Liberton, where his father-in-law, the famous Rev. 
Alexander Cant, once of Newbattle, and latterly of Aberdeen, 
now resided with his relatives. This liberty was granted the 
following day on a bond of ^20,000 to appear when called 

On March 8th, 1661, Jaffray visited Guthrie in the Tol- 
booth prison, quite near to his own residence at Abbeyhill, and 
discussed the causes of God's wrath against Scotland. 
Guthrie 's trial proceeded the chief charges being his having 
written the " Western Remonstrance," " The Causes of the 
Lord's Wrath," and " Humble Petition," of August 23rd, 
1660, also for disowning the King's authority in ecclesiastical 
matters, and for some alleged treasonable expressions uttered 

in 1650 and 1651. He made a brave and learned defence, 



and asked Middleton (who hated him) and his judges, what 
profit there was in his blood. "It is not," he declared, with 
boldness, " the extinguishing of me or many others that will 
extinguish the Covenant and work of reformation since the 
year 1638. My blood, bondage, or banishment will contribute 
more for the propagation of these things than my life or liberty 
could do, though I should live many years." 

Condemned to death for high treason, he spent his last 
night in the Tolbooth prison with some of the old kindred 
spirits Alexander Jaffray, and others, in perfect serenity and 
composure. He was even merry and hearty at this last supper, 
and " called for cheese," of which he was extremely fond, 
but which he had not used for many years, " having been 
forbidden it by his physicians on account of the gravel, to 
which he was subject; and jocularly said he was now beyond 
the hazard of that complaint." 

John, second Earl of Tweeddale, had opposed this sen- 
tence of death in Parliament, the only member of Parliament 
who did so, for doing which his words being misrepresented 
to the King he was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle on Sep- 
tember 1 4th. Guthrie was executed on the ist of June, four 
days after the Marquess of Argyll, and his head was fixed on 
the Nether Bow, where is remained for twenty-seven years as a 
warning to the people against treason, when, in 1688, a divinity 
student in Edinburgh University, at the hazard of his life, 
took it down and buried it. His name was Alexander Hamil- 
ton, and very curiously, in course of time, he became 
Guthrie's successor as minister of Stirling. Argyll's body was 
taken to Newbattle, but no honours were prepared for Guthrie, 
whose fate, had not death intervened, was also intended by 
Middleton to have been the fate of Samuel Rutherford, his 
master. It was a strange meeting that August night two hun- 
dred and forty-six years ago, and fraught with momentous 
results for Scotland was James Guthrie's last sleep at New- 

Lord Guthrie, who is James Guthrie's lineal descendant, 
kindly writes corroborating and appreciating this sketch of the 
martyr, and " in token of common interests and sympathies " 
sends his ' ' Scots Reformers and Covenanters : their humanity 
and humour," in which fuller reference is made to the martyr's 
humour, as well as to the playful wit of his own father, the phil- 
anthropic founder of Scottish ragged schools. 




THE soft, rolling slopes of the Moorfoot hills are very 
familiar to the Edinburgh citizen, who views them 
from Arthur's Seat or the Calton Hill or the Castle 
Rock, the glens and corries filled in winter with 
wreaths of snow, which linger sometimes far into June. Only 
those who have visited the Gladhouse Reservoir and the 
Yarrow-like hills, with their soft, mellow green and wonderful 
lights and shadows, can have any idea what a beautiful High- 
land district is within easy reach of the dusty, noisy city which 
gets its refreshment from the plashing, artificial lake at their 
feet. A few years ago the state of the Gladhouse Reservoir 
and the smaller Rosebery and Edgeley lochs was a subject of 
anxious interest to the capital, when drought reduced the first 
by some thirty feet, the second to an empty, gaunt valley of 
death, with a lonely pool at the bottom, as if to show what 
had once been a generous storehouse of water; and the third 
to such an extent that its scenery was absolutely changed. 
To-day all three resources are full to overflowing, and even 
were they not, Talla comes in to give the anxious Water Com- 
missioners an easy pillow and a righteous sleep. 

The Gladhouse Reservoir, with its two tree-clad islands and 
pleasant fishing, is an artificial loch formed by the flow of the 
Bowbate or Powbate burn a swiftly flowing stream which 
issues out of the picturesque Moorfoot glen bearing that name, 
as well as by other little streams which run among the hills, 
and by day and night keep feeding the great blue pool on which 
so much depends. The whole of the rolling green hillside 
was in the old days the property of the Newbattle monks, who 
used it for pasturage, and in the glens and upper moorlands 
hunted game of all kinds, including the wild boar and fox, 
besides fur and feather of every description. The present 
farm of Moorfoot bears evidences of having once been an 



extensive ecclesiastical residence, large trees still growing in 
quantities, while carved stones are numerous and betoken wide- 
spread foundations. This was the hill-country residence of 
the Newbattle fathers, whose domains stretched from their 
house of St. Mary on the Esk up through Cockpen and 
Carrington to the hills, and the remains of their chapel can 
still be traced on a low-lying haugh beside the present farm, 
which seems to have been largely a reconstruction of the 
ancient monastic Grange. A thick grove of trees grows round 
the ruins, past which the Bowbate burn rushes with crystal 
clearness on its way to the reservoir. The old shepherd, Alves, 
who for fifty-three years has trod these hillsides, and is still 
vigorous and alert, is full of stories regarding the fine old 
place ; and nothing delights him more than when the Earl of 
Rosebery, who owns Moorfoot to-day as a portion of the Rose- 
bery estates which give him his title the quaint old residence 
of Rosebery, with its great trees and rich grass parks, being 
only a couple of miles off, on the north side of the reservoir 
calls upon him, as he often does, to hear the old tales of which 
the place is full. In all probability the Newbattle fathers 
would go up by turns to their Moorfoot house for business, 
health, and recreation. 

The Bowbate glen, a deep cut in the hills, which here rise 
to some fifteen hundred feet is an ideal place for the geologist 
to study the action of the glaciers, the dunes and rounded 
stones and smooth hills all carrying one back to the great ice 
age. A small glen, also with a stream, unites with the Bow- 
bate water the parent of the South Esk, which passes New- 
battle Abbey between the rounded hills known as the Kipps, 
and bears the name of the Herondean or Hirendean, from 
the fact that it then was and still is the favourite haunt of 
herons, which sought for the minnow in the two sweet streams 
flowing from the two glens, and uniting at the foot. Some 
have derived the name from Earndean the water of the eagle 
and in all probability eagles at one time were common among 
these hills, although now, like many another creature once to 
be seen there, unknown. 

The old castle, which stands on a grassy mound between 
the two streams, has within living memory been inhabited, and 
several interesting memories cling around its walls. The 
arches of the roofs, stair-cases, and barred doors can still be 
traced, although the hand of Time has dealt roughly with what 



was once a strong keep, well guarded on every side. An old 
story has come down how one fine summer evening in the 
middle of the fifteenth century a beautiful young woman came 
running to the laird, and begged protection and home. The 
circumstances were so pathetic that the old laird took pity 
upon her, and engaged her as a shepherdess on the hills. She 
was pensive and melancholy, and nobody could make her 
divulge the story of how she came to that lonely hill-country. 
The mystery surrounding her was akin to that which, three- 
and-a-half centuries later, surrounded " Camp Meg," the 
lonely horse-doctor, who, having committed some misdeed in 
the far south, took refuge on the Roman Camp Hill above 
Newbattle, and through her strange eccentric conduct earned 
for herself the reputation of a witch. This woman, however, 
it transpired, took flight from her home in Peeblesshire owing 
to her father having disapproved of her lover, who was only 
an ordinary ploughman at their farm. The story came out 
in a very curious way. The old laird of Herondean Castle 
had a son serving as a soldier in Flanders. Quite accident- 
ally, while there he fell in with a young Scotsman, and the 
two, becoming friendly, journeyed home together, and finally 
on the last night of the old year, 1463, they arrived at Heron- 
dean Castle, in the Bowbate glen, where a great merry-making 
took place for the arrival of the laird's son. When it came 
round to the young shepherdess to sing, she told, in ballad 
form, the story of how she had fallen in love with her father's 
ploughman, and her father, resenting his presumption, sent 
some armed men to interrupt their intrigue, and there was a 
free fight between her lover and his would-be assassins. Blood 
was shed, and the girl fainted. When she came to herself, in 
desperation and anger she took flight, and after many wander- 
ings at last arrived at Moorfoot, where she became a shepherd- 
ess. And then the stranger, the soldier friend of the laird's 
son, broke in, and told how he was her lover, and how, escap- 
ing the assassins, he went to sea and finally to the wars, and 
falling in in Flanders with the Herondean laird's son, he 
struck up a friendship, and so they came home together. And 
so the two long-lost lovers met again, and finally became man 
and wife, and inherited the Peeblesshire lands. The story 
bears a strong resemblance to the romantic tale of Camp Meg, 
and is one of the mediaeval romances of the old castle of the 
heron or the eagle. 



The lights and shadows on these hills above the castle and 
the old monastery are charming at all times, and on a beautiful 
summer day you could almost feel that Yarrow, not so far off, 
was reproduced the green, rolling hills and the still, peaceful 
lake. The view all around is rich historically. The low-lying 
portions of the landscape are reminiscent of peaceful religious 
life Newbattle, Cockpen, Roslin, Mount Lothian, Borthwick, 
Heriot; but the hills speak of times of religious strife and 
struggle and unrest. Straight opposite is Rullion Green, and 
at the far west end of the Pentlands the Covenanter's grave- 
stone, raised to the memory of a refugee from Rullion Green, 
who wished to be buried within sight of his well-beloved Ayr- 
shire hills. And here at the top of the Bowbate glen, in a 
curious hollow on the hilltop, called the Lang Cleuch Head, 
once assembled a large Covenanting conventicle, at which the 
celebrated Alexander Peden " the Prophet " who foretold 
so much that came true in the history of Scotland took the 
leading part. All the green hillsides were being watched, 
and a young woman coming from Innerleithen, on the other 
side of the Moorfoots, on her way to the gathering, was met 
by a party of red-coated dragoons under Dewar and rudely 
asked where she was going, whether to a conventicle or where 
else. With very considerable ingenuity she replied, " Na, na, 
sirs; but I ha'e a friend deid o'er here that's left a great 
legacy, an' I'm just gaun away tae see if I can get a pairt o't." 
She was allowed to go and participate in the memorial to the 
crucified Nazarene, a portion of whose legacy of love she 
claimed as her own. 

The Bowbate glen, which makes a great rift in the Moor- 
foot hills, and gives rise to the bright, sparkling waters which 
refresh Edinburgh, has a curious mediaeval legend attaching to 
it. Thomas the Rhymer of Ercildoune wandered up from 
Melrose and the Borders, and put into verse the ancient float- 
ing legend that the Bowbate hill was filled with water a 
reference no doubt to the innumerable streams which gush 
among the hills and that some day the mountain would burst 
and break out and flood all the country around, drowning lands 
and granges and churches : 

" Powbate an' ye break, 

Tak' the Moorfoot in yer gate, 

Moorfoot and Mauldslie, 

Huntleycote, a' three, 

Five kirks and an abbacie." 


The five kirks are Temple, Carrington, Borthwick, Cockpen, 
and Dalkeith, the abbacy being Newbattle, and the other places 

Straight over the green hills, on the other slope, you 
reach the vale of Leithen, with the ruins of the chapel, and 
Leithen Hopes, and finally the prosperous town of Inner- 
leithen. That whole valley and countryside belonged also to 
Newbattle Abbey, and came into its possession in a way which 
is one of the most striking romances of Scottish history. The 
hills and valleys were gifted to the Newbattle fathers by 
Alexander II., King of Scots, as a return for the privilege 
of having his Queen, Marie de Couci, buried in the Abbey. 
King Alexander II., who died at Gylen Castle, in Kerrara 
island, opposite Oban, was the Abbey's chief Royal patron, 
and bestowed upon it many gifts and privileges. On igth 
May, 1223, he visited Newbattle Abbey, and ever afterwards 
entertained the warmest affection for the great Cistercian 
house, which all through the centuries has been a favourite 
resort of Royalty. Marie de Couci was his second wife, and 
he married her in 1239. In 1241 the young Queen said that 
in the event of her death she would greatly like to be buried 
in the church of Holy Mary at Newbattle, whose name-child 
she was proud to be. Her husband, King Alexander II., died 
before her, and was buried in Melrose Abbey the Cistercian 
mother of Newbattle, and a favourite Royal burying-place for 
centuries. The widowed Queen married again, her second 
match being John de Brienne, son of the Emperor of the East. 
It is supposed that she died in France, and in deference to her 
desires her body was brought to Scotland, and she was buried 
in the Abbey, which her first husband dearly loved, and which 
both he and she enriched with princely benefactions. In what 
part of Newbattle Abbey she was buried is a vexed question. 
A mediaeval writer quoted by Father Hay, says : " In the 
middle of the church was seen the tomb of the Queen of Alex- 
ander, of marble, supported on six lions of marble. A human 
figure was placed reclining on the tomb, surrounded with an 
iron grating." Mr Innes, in his preface to the Bannatyne 
Club's " Chartulary of Newbottle," says she was buried in 
what is now the flower garden, where many a distinguished 
knight and ecclesiastical dignitary sleeps, within hearing of 
the gentle murmur of the Esk. In all probability she was 



buried inside the church near the high altar. The princely gift 
of the vale of Leithen was the offering of Alexander to the 
religious house which was to guard his Queen's remains. Prac- 
tically the gift consisted of the other side of the Moorfoot hills, 
including the Leithen valley, where even yet the ruins of the 
little monastic chapel are traceable. Thus these beautiful 
green mountains came under the pastoral care of the Newbattle 
Abbot, who not only looked well after the material interests 
of the district, but saw that the spiritual interests of the shep- 
herds and other labourers were not neglected, for at the one 
end of the hills, in the Heriot valley, a chapel was raised, at 
the Bowbate a small convent and church stood, and over the 
hills at Leithen a sanctuary was provided. Probably St 
Ronan's Well, quite close to the Leithen valley, and still 
brightly sparkling in the clear exhilarating mountain air, was 
a holy well under the fathers' charge. 

The name Moorfoot is spelt in various ways in charters 
and books, although these variations are not so numerous as 
in the case of Newbattle, which is found in thirty- four different 
spellings. Probably the original name was Morthwayte, and 
a common form is Morfit, which is also the local pronunciation. 
The writer accidentally met a few weeks ago two tall, stalwart 
Scottish farmers, who after an absence of over half a century, 
sold off twenty-five thousand Canterbury sheep clearing their 
wide pasturages and came from New Zealand to the home 
country for a holiday. The frozen army of sheep disappeared 
in the London meat market, and the two farmers made their 
way to lonely Moorfoot, where they had been born and reared. 
The same old shepherd they found still there, in the same 
cottage as in the days of long ago. " Are you aware," one 
of them asked, " that the architect of the beautiful Scott 
Monument in Princes Street was born in the cottage next to 
ours?" I found it to be the case that in one of the hinds' 
houses, Kemp, the genius who raised the glorious cenotaph 
over Scott's statue, which ought to have a companion to Burns 
in the gardens at the other end, was born, something like a 
century ago, though his father, who was a ploughman on the 
Moorfoot farm, removed to Peeblesshire three days after the 
birth. If Lord Rosebery, on whose monastic property that 
genius was born, took the matter up, another Kemp might be 
found to raise a worthy companion pile to Burns. 





THERE is a beautiful green mist on the hedges and 
trees this May morning on the Inveresk Hill, and a 
sweet breath of spring flowers and a quickened earth, 
and once more the old tower of what a former Lord 
Stair called " the visible kirk " looks down on a refreshed and 
awakened world. It is a visible kirk, and from land and sea 
is descried afar off the hill-top church of St Michael and All 
Angels. Looking down as I am this morning on the old town 
of the three mussel-shells, with its busy life in street and har- 
bour, on the green stretches of the Links and the blue, many- 
twinkling waters, which stretch away back till they meet the 
sky, I think of the friendly voice which some weeks ago spoke 
out from the town, about the great desirability of having one 
great united church a visible kirk of unity and charity and 
brotherliness, as in the early days when the persecuting fires 
of Roman Emperors drove the first Christians info the closest 
unity. That is as yet in Scotland an invisible kirk, but the 
wave of interest raised all over the land by the bare suggestion 
from the altar-stone of St Peter's, Musselburgh, that such a 
thing might yet be, if we made our charity more visible and our 
differences more invisible, gives hope to Scottish churchmen 
and patriots. 

To-day, however, looking up at the old steeple and the 
grey stones of the quaint God's-house, a great invisible kirk 
rises before me from around the walls, where many of those 
who ministered, and multitudes of those who for close on a 
thousand years have been ministered to, on that commanding 
site, where of old the Roman soldiers raised their eagles, lie 
asleep. The mailed legionaries, some of whom may have 
heard the world-thrilling story of the Nazarene, Who conquered 



where they were defeated, people the hill-top in one's imagin- 
ation and pass away to make room for the Dunfermline fathers, 
who crossed the Firth and on the hill-top where the soldiers 
had their camp, the remains of which still survived, planted 
the Cross where the eagle once had gleamed. Dunfermline 
Abbey in the mediaeval centuries was the Royal place of 
worship. In England the place of a Sovereign's coronation 
and the place of his sepulture were one and the same West- 
minster Abbey. In Scotland Scone and Stirling gave Royal 
heads their crown, but Dunfermline the shrine of St Margaret 
gave them their last pillow. Rich in possessions and fav- 
oured by Royalty above all other seats of religion in Scotland, 
Dunfermline Abbey had churches all over Fife and the 
Lothians. St Giles' Cathedral itself was to begin with a cell 
from Dunfermline, and in Midlothian the churches over which 
she held the patronage included Dalkeith, Melville or Lass- 
wade, Newton, Cousland, Colinton, Woolmet, and Inveresk, 
the value of this last living, on the eve of the Reformation, 
being estimated (along with the chapel of St Mary of Loretto 
at the foot of the hill) at ^9, 6/8. Inveresk Church under its 
Dunfermline patronage never attaiued to the fame of Loretto, 
which as the old gazeteer says, " was affected by ladies who 
loved their lords " whatever that might mean and which 
James V. visited in 1530, fourteen years before it was de- 
stroyed by the English. 

That old kirk with all its churchmen, great and small, is 
to-day an invisible kirk, though the old stones, like the stones 
of the Roman camp, can still be traced in the walls of the 
present sacred edifice. And yet the throng of that great in- 
visible kirk, of those who for several centuries joined their 
voices with those of the angels on the hill, did its work in its 
day and generation, and kept its lights burning on the altar 
by day and night, as a witness to the Higher Life and to the 
Son of Mary. 

When changes came at the Reformation, the worship still 
went on, though the outward dress was changed. John Burne, 
the first reformed minister of Inveresk, entered upon the charge 
in 1567, with the bountiful stipend of ;n, 2/2 Scots, which 
that thrifty and kindly bishop or " superintendent " as the 

first reformed overseers of the Church were generally called 

thought as " support " insufficient, and that the pastor, especi- 



ally if married, could only exist on such a sum in the same way 
as the parish widow who received eighteenpence a week, and 
declared to a living Moderator of the Church, now a Principal 
in the thrifty north, that while she managed to wrestle through, 
it could not be called " riotous living." That kindly superin- 
tendent, whose father was one of the slain at Flodden, and 
who with marked energy rose to eminence, and to be first over- 
seer of Lothian, placed the crown on the Royal baby's head 
at Stirling, in the very year in which Inveresk's first reformed 
minister received his charge. Over and over again poor Spot- 
tiswoode complained to the General Assembly that he received 
no stipend, and had a difficulty in going on, consequently his 
sympathy with the Inveresk brother on the hill, who was 
" passing rich " on two hundred merks, was all the greater, 
and by his orders " a glebe of four aikers was designed for 
him, which he got two years after his induction." 

The troubles and uncertainties of the time and the general 
desire of everyone to become " caretakers " of the Church's 
properties and lands excellent caretakers many of them proved 
to be led to these financial difficulties, and had not John Knox 
vigorously fought what he called " the merciless devourers of 
the patrimony of the Church," nothing would have been left 
at all for the Reformed Church to live on. Things seem to 
have improved greatly in 1574, when Burne was succeeded 
by Andrew Blackball, who came from Ormiston, and who so 
great was the scarcity of ministers and even of "readers" had 
also to take charge of Newton (Natoun) and Cranstoun, at a sti- 
pend of ,126, 13/4 Scots. He seems to have had a difficulty, 
still experienced by all pastors, and likely to continue, of being 
everywhere at once. Invisible on week-days and incompre- 
hensible on Sundays was a caustic resum of a pastor's divine 
attributes, and Blackball was accused in 1580 before the 
General Assembly for admitting " an unqualified person as 
exhorter an office which the Assembly acknowledgeth not." 
It is a mistake to suppose that the Reformers were careless 
and slack as to ministerial orders, and over and over again 
unauthorised exhorters are brought to book in the records. Not 
that they went so far as to declare that no good could ever 
be done in a church, the orientation of which was wrong, or 
that all gifts and graces were confined to those who were 
ordained, but irregular ministers were studiously discouraged. 



Probably Blackball had sent to one of his satellite parishes 
some inexperienced, raw pulpiteer, in place of a reader duly 
qualified, with the result that he was brought to book, the 
people declaring that he was " no pleasin'." 

On the twenty-second of July, 1582, he and his son 
Andrew had confirmation given them of a pension made " by 
the commendator and convent of Halecroce at Edinburgh of 
40 pounds yearly from the twa part of the teind sheaves of 
Falkirk " a solid addition to the living. This stroke of luck 
had not been long sent to the Inveresk minister when he got 
into serious difficulties. He was in 1584 summoned before 
the Privy Council for refusing obedience to Parliament and 
Crown, in their claim that they had all power over all estates, 
temporal and spiritual. That great and mighty Prince James, 
the fulsome flattery of whose Royal person still affords a little 
secular diversion to a tired worshipper on a hot summer day, 
as he turns over the early pages of his Bible, was strong in 
self-assertion and rejoiced when he could humiliate the Church. 
He rolled himself in convulsive laughter for three hours on 
the green island of Inchkeith, when news reached him of how 
he had dodged and " done " the General Assembly. He even 
ventured to guide the divine praises of the Scottish nation, and 
published a metrical version of the Psalms for the use of 
churches, on the frontispiece of which, bearing up the title, 
are pictures of two sovereigns, one of them himself and the 
other King David, who holds in his hand, with reverential 
affection, a book, presumably the British Solomon's poetic 
effort. Blackball had ventured to whisper that blessed word 
" spiritual independence," and been a little free in his 
statements regarding King James, who, he declared, was only 
one of the kings of Scotland, the other being the unseen 
Governor of Church and State, before whom James was only 
a mean vassal. He got over his difficulties, however, and in 
1586 we find him a commissioner for trying the offences of the 
ministry in Lothian. 

His successor, -Philip Hislop, was admitted as " helper " 
to Blackball in November, 1593. He had been a regent in 
Edinburgh University, and had travelled in Germany, and 
became first "helper" and then minister of Inveresk. That 
dear old word "helper!" The Moderator of the Church of 
Scotland, still happily living, and as active as ever, who at 



a busy season was urgently summoned to see an old woman 
near her end, sent his young, ruddy-faced assistant to take his 
place. The old lady had listened to every footfall on the 
stair, and counted the hours till her loved minister should 
arrive. At last one footfall specially caught her ear. " This 
is the Doctor at last," quoth she in the fulness of her joy. 
The door opened and the youthful divine smilingly entered, 
anxious to be pleasant and to do his best. The octogenarian 
looked at him grimly from head to foot, and said, " Oh, dear 
me ! it's only the helper !" and, Hezekiah-like, turned her face 
to the wall and expired. The disappointment of " only the 
helper " was too much for her. One seems to think one has 
heard the same expression from escaping congregations on a 
Sunday when he was not there "himself." "Only the 
helper." He must have been an acceptable one, however, for 
in 1595 ne succeeded to the entire charge, which he held for 
less than a year, dying in 1596, at the early age of twenty- 
eight. Shortly before his death, in 1591, the parish of Inver- 
esk was transferred from the Presbytery of Edinburgh to the 
Presbytery of Dalkeith, of which it still is a component and 
most important and illustrious part. 

A prolonged ministry of father and son followed in the 
persons of Adam and Oliver Colt a ministry extending over 
eighty -three years, thus beginning that remarkable record of 
long ministries for which Inveresk has been famed. Adam 
Colt, A.M., was translated from Borthwick in 1597. He 
seems to have been very strong in his views on Presbytery, 
almost as strong indeed as the Covenanting Divine who de- 
clared that even the devil had his Presbyterian Church govern- 
ment, the minister being the Pope and the ruling elder the 
King of France. He, too, crossed swords with the High and 
Mighty Prince James regarding the transportation in 1601 of 
three ministers from the City of Edinburgh, who had called 
their Sovereign hard names, and Colt was described by James 
as "a seditious knave." He does not seem to have been a 
strong man physically, like his friend and neighbour, Robert 
Leighton at Newbattle. The story is still current that on one 
occasion when Colt was complaining of his heavy ministerial 
duties in Inveresk and Musselburgh, the gentle Leighton with 
his quiet, subdued, pawky humour, said it was " too bad to 
lay such a burden upon a colt;" to which Adam Colt replied 



"To the minister of Newbattle it would be a light'un (Leighton 
or Lichtoune, as the name is generally spelt in Presbytery 
records). Like his friend Leighton, and probably suggested 
by him, the gentle pilgrim, who wished to die in an inn, and 
did so in the Bell Inn, London, under the shadow of the half- 
built dome of St Paul's he had a strong desire to die in 
harness, and he got his wish, for he passed away very soon 
after preaching his last sermon 24th March, 1643. 

Colt felt the weight of his work so great that on 5th 
December, 1632, his son, Oliver Colt, A.M., was made his 
"helper." His name appears in the memorable General 
Assembly of 1638. In 1641 he was presented to the full 
charge on 4th June - - the same year as Robert Leighton 
to Newbattle, only six months earlier. His name appears in 
the records of the Dalkeith Presbytery along with that of the 
famous Andrew Cant, Leighton 's immediate predecessor, who, 
Addison says, gave a new word to the English language 
" cant " by his droning, artificial, unreal ways, and who having 
gone to Aberdeen found the people half-day hearers, and 
corrected their bad habit by refraining from giving the bene- 
diction until the close of the afternoon service, thus compelling 
their return to the second diet, of which they had had already 
quite a sufficiency in the forenoon. Cant was quite the opposite 
of his successor, Leighton, of whom the Covenanting Earl of 
Lothian, who sheltered Argyll's beheaded body in his own vault 
at Newbattle, declared that he " received more good from his 
ministry than from any that ever stood in a pulpit." Some of 
the other pastors who laid their hands on young Robert Leigh- 
ton, afterwards Principal of Edinburgh University, Bishop 
of Dunblane, and Archbishop of Glasgow, on that dark, dreary 
winter afternoon December i8th, 1641 in the old church 
beneath which lay the ashes of the last Abbot of Newbattle 
and many a scion of the noble house of Lothian were besides 
Oliver Colt (whose father does not seem to have been able to 
be present) Hew Campbell, William Calderwood, Patrick 
Sibbald, Adam and Gideon Penman (Crichton), James 
Porteous, elder of Newbattle, the ancestor of the famous Beilby 
Porteous, Bishop of London, the author of the learned " Chris- 
tian Evidences," and, besides many more, the Rev. John 
Knox, minister of Carrington, and great-grandnephew of the 
Reformer, whose nephew for many years was minister of Cock- 



Those were troublous times both for Colt and for Leigh- 
ton. They seem to have been very friendly, and were both 
men of peace and piety. On 2oth August, 1651, Colt took 
shelter in Dundee, when East and Mid Lothian were overrun 
by the English, and very curiously his daughter, Margaret, 
married the Episcopal incumbent of Newbattle Alexander 
Chisholm, son of Bailie Chisholm of Dunblane, and probably 
sent to Newbattle through the influence of Leighton, then 
Bishop of that diocese. Chisholm's descendants are still to 
the fore, notably Sir Samuel Chisholm, until recently Lord 
Provost of Glasgow ; while Colt's became a titled family in 
Lanarkshire, giving their name to Coltness. 

The regime of the Colts passed away, and in 1680, when 
the great religious struggle was at its height in Scotland, Arthur 
Millar succeeded, being translated from Dumbarton and pre- 
sented to Inveresk by John, Duke of Lauderdale. When the 
pendulum swung again in favour of Presbytery, he refused to 
conform, and on 3rd May, 1689, he was deprived for not 
obeying the Proclamation of Estates of i3th April, and for 
not praying for King William and Queen Mary as appointed. 
After his deprivation he became minister to the Episcopal con- 
gregation in Leith, and was made a bishop on October 22nd, 
1718, and Bishop of Edinburgh in 1727, but he died on the 
ninth of October of that same year, at the age of seventy-eight. 
After a lapse of a few years, Richard Howison from Cockpen 
was admitted on the eighteenth of September, 1694, and died 
in November, 1700, at the age of sixty-eight. In 1702, John 
Williamson, son of David Williamson, minister of St Cuth- 
bert's, Edinburgh, was appointed, " a man of clear head, 
ready wit, very forward, and emiently successful in debates." 
He was one of the " twelve apostles," who approved of the 
" marrow-men," and in a petition to the General Assembly 
of nth May, 1721, declared against the Act of the General 
Assembly which condemned " The Marrow of Modern 
Divinity." He was a prolific writer, producing a " Parent's 
Catechism," ; ' The Gospel Method of Conquering Sinners," 
and many other volumes savouring of the " Marrow " doctrine. 
He was succeeded by Frederick Carmichael, who, in 1741, 
came from Monimail, being presented to the parish by the Duke 
of Buccleuch, and afterwards going to New Greyfriars, Edin- 
burgh. After him comes that wonderful succession, " Jupiter 



Carlyle," ordained to Inveresk in 1748, succeeded by Leslie 
Moodie from Kelso, in 1806, just when the present church 
was finished, who, in 1836, had as his "helper" John Gardiner 
Beveridge, admitted as ordained assistant in 1832, and minister 
of Inveresk for over fifty years. Carlyle, Moodie, and Beve- 
ridge covered a century-and-half in their ministry a wonderful 
record seldom rivalled. There was a second charge for a time, 
when William Dunn, in 1709, and Robert Bonally, in 1719, 
were ministers, but about the latter year it lapsed, as there was 
no legal stipend, and other difficulties stood in the way. 

I am looking round this fair May morning on that invisible 
church which surrounds and encloses and overshadows Inver- 
esk's " visible church." There have been many changes, 
strange and striking, since these long ministries ended. One 
has gone within hearing of the long wash of the Australasian 
wave ; others to the land beyond the horizon, where the in- 
numerable dwell the great invisible church. I am looking 
around this beautiful spring morning, with the fresh young green 
on the lands and the light upon the sea, and another voice comes 
to me from the invisible kirk, that of " Delta Moir," who in 
his spring poem, " The Birth of the Flowers," sings : 

" Fair was the landscape, very fair, 
Yet something still was wanting there ; 
Something as 'twere, to lend the whole 
Material world a type of soul. 
The Dreamer wist not what might be 
The thing alacking ; but while he 
Pondered in heart the matter over, 
Floating between him and the ray 
Of the now warm refulgent day, 

What is it that his eyes discover? 
As through the fields of air it flew, 
Larger it loom'd, and fairer grew, 
That form of beauty and of grace, 
Which bore of grosser worlds no trace, 
Until, as Earth's green plains it near'd, 
Confest an Angel's self appeared." 

At St Michael's, Inveresk, the visible and the invisible 
kirks are not so very far separated after all, and this spring 
morning I see the golden footpath on the sea, leading from 
the one to the other, and from the temporal to the eternal. 




EARLY in September, 1907, a large and beautiful 
addition was made to the fine public school which 
stands on the hillside above Newbattle, commanding 
a splendid view of Midlothian as far as Edinburgh. 
On that occasion I gave the following brief sketch of the 
history of education in Newbattle : 

" Before calling on Lord Ralph Kerr, as the representative 
of the largest and oldest interest in Newbattle parish, he 
trusted they would not consider it out of place or wearisome 
if, in a sentence or two, he called to the mind of the older 
people there, and told it over to the younger generation, some- 
thing of the story of the school of Newbattle. The 
oldest school in Newbattle parish was a part of New- 
battle Abbey, and one of the Cistercian fathers of Newbattle 
was specially appointed to train the children of the whole 
valley. This went on for several centuries, until the Refor- 
mation came in 1650, and for sixty years onward there was 
no school of any kind in the parish. One could hardly under- 
stand at this time of day how dark and how ignorant the 
people must have been. It was only ninety years ago, as one 
in the audience that afternoon had told him, since a farmer 
over the hill at Crichton one who was very much esteemed 
in his day and generation was making his will on his death- 
bed. There were ten labourers on his farm, and he asked that 
two of those should come and be witnesses of his will, but it 
was found there was only one of the ten men who was able 
to sign his name. At the present day, as he could testify, of 
all those who in that district were married, he had only in the 
course of twenty-five years come across two cases where people 
could not sign their names. It was in 1615 that the Rev. John 
Aird, the minister of that parish, was grieved to see the ignor- 



ance and the darkness that prevailed, and he set his mind to 
build a school, which he did in the Newbattle Valley, on the 
west side of what is now the Parish Church. There was no 
settled school at all till then. In 1700 it was removed from 
the bottom of the valley up to Westhouses, where it remained 
for many years. In 1831 it was removed from Westhouses 
to Easthouses, Mr Thomas Noble being then its teacher. 
In 1835, finding that there was need of additional 
instruction, the old school at Crawlees was built, and 
the first schoolmaster of it was the Rev. Mr Currie, who after- 
wards was appointed minister of Toryburn. He was succeeded 
by Mr David Dunlop, whose name was still fragrant in that 
parish, and whose daughter was with them that day. It was 
a small and a very primitive school in the old days, but it 
sent out many excellent scholars into the world in fact, one 
of the most important magnates that Australia had had was 
educated under Mr Dunlop at the parish school. He referred 
to Mr Charles Russell, who was born at Galadean Cottage, 
which once was a school as well. In 1845, Mr Dunlop came 
to that parish as schoolmaster, and the small colliery school, 
which was built a little before then, was ably and admirably 
managed for many years, first by Mr Robert Noble. 
It was pleasant to think that Miss Munro, one of 
the staff of the old colliery school, was with them 
that day, as fresh as her old schoolmaster, Mr Andrew 
Young, the author of the hymn, " There is a Happy Land," 
and of whom she was the first pupil. In 1892 that school and 
the Newtongrange one were amalgamated, and now in 1907 
it had been beautifully enlarged, and that day the older and 
the younger of them were sending the new ship down the slip 
into the water with all their good wishes for its future. On 
that beautiful Italian day, for it was nothing else, he recalled 
that morning in the early hours a scene of which he was witness 
some years ago when travelling on the Mediterranean on the 
way to the Holy Land. They had not very long left Marseilles 
when he saw on a pile of baggage on the steamer a lark and a 
wren. The birds went with them all the voyage, flitting about 
from place to place all over the ship for a week, till finally 
they reached the shores of the Holy Land. He trusted that 
in the beautiful new ship which they were launching that day 
there would be a similar visitation, and that the wren and the 



lark would be with them with all the pleasantness and kindli- 
ness and love of which he and they were capable, and that 
homely good-will and good-feeling would wren-like be gathered 
together under that roof between teachers and children and 
parents ; and also, for some of the boys, he trusted the lark 
might be with them also with its aspiration, with its upward 
tendency and movement, and that they all might finally, 
through God's blessing and help, reach the shore of the Holy 



NOTE to page 74 on LEITHEN. 

Edinburgh, formerly minister of Innerleithen, kindly adds the 
following : 

I regret that I can throw no light upon the " Piper's Grave." 
So far as I am aware, it is not mentioned in any books about the 
county. All I know about it is the tradition that a piper once but 
when I cannot say boasted that he would walk from Peebles to 
Lauder, playing the pipes without cessation from beginning to end of 
his journey. He missed the road and wandered ; fell exhausted, died, 
and was buried at a spot near what is called the "Gill Hole" a 
corruption of " Ghyll." I have not been at the place for many years, 
but I believe there is a stone marking his grave. I must have seen 
it but I forget its exact position. If I remember aright, it is just 
where the parishes of Innerleithen and Heriot meet. There are a 
great many stories of a similar kind ; e.g. I have noticed three stones 
on the track to the Larig Ghree at the base of Ben Muick Dhui 
where three fiddlers dropped dead, under circumstances not unlike 
those which brought about the end of the piper. 

As to the " Leithen Chapel," I am not quite sure what you refer 
to. There is a tradition that an oratory or a chapel existed at 
Colquhar, on the Leithenhopes property about two miles from Inner- 
leithen. And if it is correct that "Col" is a corruption of " Kil," 
then there may be some foundation for it. As you are aware, the 
estate belonged to the monks of Newbattle, and they may have had a 
religious house in connection with the tower which undoubtedly once 
was at Colquhar. But there is no mention of it in any local history. 
There was a Roman Catholic church, for the district, situated in a 
field at the foot of the Lee Pen just above the garden of Innerleithen 
manse. Long ago, an old man told me that he remembered the walls 
of the church standing, though, of course, in a ruined condition, and 
also a good many tombstones. Not a vestige now remains. The 
church was dedicated according to Hew Scott to St Mungo, but it 
is more probable that it was to St Calistus, because a fair was held 
regularly on his day in what was, till a few years ago, the Parish 
Churchyard, close by the manse. Besides the " fortalice " at Colqu- 
har, or "Kil"quhar, or "Con"quhar, there were peel houses at Craig- 
hope and Huthope (beside which the " King's Road " from Newbattle 
to Innerleithen passes), and also at Whithope, Blakehope, and Glen- 
tress. I think that there was one at " Woolaurlee " " Willinslee," 
a% it is popularly called. 

The church at Innerleithen was that to which the body of Mal- 
colm's son was carried by the monks. He was drowned near the junc- 
tion of the Tweed and the Leithen. 




Tradition declares that the present picturesque churchyard was 
gifted to the parish as a place of burial for the Reformed Church by 
two old ladies who were, in the i7th century, in possession of Maister- 
ton estate and tower, and that the tombstones of the older churchyard 
were carted thither and set up again. Parishioners objected to bury 
in the new churchyard, because the old Scottish idea was that 
the first person buried in a new churchyard became the property of 
the evil one. Accordingly, it is said, the first laid to rest there was a 
young French girl from Newbattle House, probably a governess, who 
had no friends in Scotland, and whose ultimate destination did not 
very much concern anybody. This, of course, is only a floating tradi- 



NOTE to page 144. 

Mr WILLIAM OFFICER, W.S., Edinburgh, kindly furnishes 
the following valuable note on " The Laird of Cockpen " :- 

From the enquiries I have made I find that the Carses became 
lairds of Cockpen about the year 1640, having acquired the property 
from a person named Thomas Meggit. In 1644, 1646-47, " Mark 
Carse of Cockpen" was on the "Committee of War for Edinburgh." 
It is stated that he fought for King Charles at the battle of Worcester 
in 1651, and that he escaped to Holland with the King, and remained 
there with him until (1660) his restoration. I have grave doubts as to 
the accuracy of this statement. Possibly Carse may have been at 
the battle of Worcester, but I find that the Act of Indemnity passed by 
the Crown in 1662, sets forth that " considering the troubles, 
&c., and rebellious courses, which have subjected great loss 
to loyalists, his Majesty has excepted some whose guiltyness 
has rendered them obnoxious to law, and their lives and 
fortunes at his Majesty's disposal." Fines were in consequence im- 
posed on a great many gentlemen, and among others Carse was fined 
;6ooo. It would thus appear that he was taking an active part in the 
troubles of the period between 1651 and 1660 against the Royalists, 
otherwise he would never have been fined. The story, therefore, which 
you give in your book, that he was very intimate with the King, and 
that in the Chapel Royal after the Restoration he played the tune, 
" Brose and Butter," and directed his Majesty's attention, so that in 
consequence thereof Carse was able to secure the restoration of his 
estate, appears to be unfounded. I have little doubt that the song, 
" The Laird o' Cockpen," had reference to the laird of 1662, as it 
sets forth that "his mind was ta'en up wi' the affairs o' the state." 
None of his successors to the property appear to have done so. This 
laird, from a book recently published by the Scottish History Society, 
being the Account Books of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston, appears to 
have died on loth January, 1681. I think the last laird had been his 
grandson. The marriage of the laird with Marion Linton was pro- 
claimed on the 2oth July, 1679. The last laird fought at the battle of 
Preston, and was taken prisoner by the Hanoverians. He joined the 
Royal Company of Archers on 6th August, 1717, and he became a Free- 
mason at Rome on 2ist September, 1735, which is the last I have heard 
of him. Cockpen and Barondale were sold in 1720. His father, Sir 
Mark Carse, was a Commissioner of Supply for the County of Mid- 
lothian (1678-1688), and in 1690 he was appointed a " Commissioner 
for the Malatia." 




page 146. 

Kilmun, where the body of the late Duke now reposes, possesses 
all the interest attaching to great antiquity and historical associations. 
It was one of the first places in Scotland associated with the early 
pioneers of Christianity. A Columban Church was founded there, 
at the close of the sixth century, by St Fintan Munnu, of Teach 
Munnu, in Ireland, from whom the village derived its name. The 
lands of Kilmun were held later by " the Great Lament of Cowal," 
but now only a trifling portion of the former heritage of that family 
remains in their possession. Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow, the 
first to assume the title of Argyll, founded a collegiate church at 
Kilmun in 1442, and within that church the founder was buried in 
1453. Tradition relates that the Black Knight of Lochow received 
permission from the Great Lament to bury at Kilmun a son who had 
died suddenly during a snowy winter, and whose body could not be 
taken home. It was in this way that Kilmun became the burying-place 
of the Campbells. A notable funeral took place in June, 1703, when 
three successive chieftains were together laid to rest in the historic 
burying-place. These were Archibald, first Duke of Argyll, who died 
at Newcastle on his way to Scotland ; and his grandfather and father 
Archibald, the great Marquess of Argyll, and Archibald, the ninth 
Earl. The bodies of the latter had been lying in the family vault 
of the Marquess of Lothian at Newbattle Abbey since their execution 
in 1661 and 1685 respectively. The three dead chieftains were escorted 
by an imposing pageant, the retainers of the households allied to the 
Campbell family, clad in the garb of Old Gaul, accompanying the 
funeral procession. Here also lie the bodies of Sir Duncan, second 
laird of Glenorchy, and his cousin, the Earl of Argyll, who were 
both killed at Flodden on gih September, 1513. The plain mausoleum 
of the Argyll family contains nine coffins, with inscriptions, beginning 
with that of Duke Archibald, who died in London in 1761, at the age 
of 79. 



NOTE to page 250. 

Mr CHARLES BOOG WATSON, who witfi Sir Patrick Heron 
Watson is a lineal descendant of Creech, kindly writes as 
follows : 

Edinburgh, 3oth November, 1907. I hope I trouble you only when 
I have reason and I now write in the hope that this letter may give 
you a morsel of interesting information. If so, I am only too glad to 
send it. I got a large bundle of family papers put into my hands the 
other day, among which I find one which seems to have been the 
original draft of the Rev. William Creech's epitaph, as also of his 
wife, with jottings by the mason of the cost of same. I know that 
the epitaph is now sadly mutilated vide your paper on the Church- 
yard Monuments of Newbattle but this draft tallies with what is 
still legible. One line alone is doubtful a fold of the paper, with 
a crossfold, has sorely obliterated it the first word seems to me 
almost certain, the second somewhat conjectured. I give you the 
whole as follows : 

M. S. 


Ecclesiae apud Newbottle ministri fidelissimi 

pietate, prudentia, modestia et aliis quae hominem ornant virtutibus 



matronae (?) beatissimae (??) 

Duorum ille mense Augusti 1745 

Haec Maii 1764 decesserunt 
Juxta quos siti sunt illorum liberti tres 
Gul. Henricus qui obiit 24 Maii 1744 

eodem mense annoque Septr. nempe 1749 defuncta 

It is quite a romance the discovery of the entire inscription 
in its first draft, after 160 years of silence. The decease, so 
near one another, of the two brothers of this old Newbattle 
family in January, 1908, lends a pathetic interest to this letter 
by their nephew. In Sir P. H. Watson's house, in Charlotte 
Square, the original Raeburn portraits of Creech, father and 
son, are hanging. * 

* Since this was written alas Sir Patrick has passed away. 



AS a general rule, the monastic establishment grew up 
under the shadow of, and protected by, the Baron's 
powerful castle. Newbattle Abbey was no ex- 
ception, and all through the ages the Abbot 
and monks looked to the Lord of Dalkeith 
Castle for protection in time of assault and danger. Most of 
the people of Dalkeith in the middle ages, until the baron 
provided them with a chapel and hospital of their own in 
1377, worshipped in Newbattle Abbey, no other church exist- 
ing in the district, and the lords of Dalkeith not only generous- 
ly enriched the Abbey, but many of them lie buried in the 
ground around, within the sanctuary. Some account therefore 
of the ancient castle of Dalkeith, now enlarged into the 
spacious palace of the Buccleuchs, seems to be called for. 

Dalkeith Palace is a large, plain, square building, covered 
with dense ivy and with a Greek front, designed by Sir John 
Vanburgh, and overlooks the North and South Esks, a short 
way above the place where they unite before making their 
final united journey to the sea at Musselburgh. The name 
" Dalkeith " is probably of Celtic origin, and signifies " the 
narrow or contracted dale," although some believe the original 
name to have been in Gaelic, " Dailchata," or " a field of 
battle." In the twelfth century the castle of Dalkeith, which 
forms the basis and ground-work of the palace, was in possess- 
ion of the Graham family, and in 1128 the name of " William 
de Graham " is found as a witness of the charter of the 
foundation of Holyrood Abbey. He seems to have been a 
personage of considerable importance in the court of David I. 
(1124-53). The very earliest mention in history of Dalkeith 
is in a charter of David I. to Holyrood Abbey " David 
King of Scots, &c., know that I have given to God and to 



Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, 52 acres of the land of Dolchet 
(Dalkeith) between the woods and the open land in the estate 
Ruchale, which I gave to the monks of Newbotle in perpetual 
gift. John Bishop of Glasgow, Edward, Chancellor, &c., 
being witnesses." This charter therefore is probably of date 
1143-4. This William de Graham had twa sons, Peter, who 
is believed to have been the founder of the Dalkeith family, 
and John, who became the founder of the house of Montrose. 
" Graham " or Graeme " probably means " stern " or "grim" 
and warlike in countenance, " grym " in British signifying 
"strength." The root appears in "Graham's Dyke" (the 
Antonine wall across Scotland), Grimsby, Grimsthrope, while 
one of the Orkney Islands is called " Graham." 

The manor and lordship of Dalkeith remained in the 
hands of the Grahams for two hundred years, and these shone 
in the military and social life of Scotland, but no traces of 
their presence remain in the place. Even the two recumbent 
statues in the ruined choir of St Nicholas Church in Dalkeith, 
representing a knight in chain armour lying cross-legged, and 
his lady with the lion rampant of Scotland, which fading 
traditions declare to be memorials of the gallant Grahams, 
have been clearly proved to be monuments of the Douglases, 
probably James, first Earl of Morton, who married one of the 
daughters of the Royal Family of Scotland, most likely Jean 
Stewart, daughter of James I. 

Dalkeith Castle, on the rock overlooking the winding 
Esks, is doubtless one of the oldest residences in Mid-Lothian, 
though not so old as Dalhousie Castle, in the hall of which 
Blind Harry, the minstrel, struck his harp and sang his 
ballad. Yet the earliest historical reference to it is in the 
"Chronicles" of Froissart, who visited Dalkeith about 1360-3, 
and describes all he saw there, as well as other incidents and 
places in North Britain. He says " When the King of 
England (Edward III., 1327-77) had run over and scoured 
the plains of Scotland, and had remained there for three 
months, not seeing any come to oppose him, he garrisoned many 
castles which he had taken, and thought by these means to 
make war upon all that remained. He then made a handsome 
retreat towards Berwick, and in his way he took the castle of 
Dalkeith, which was the patrimony of the Earl of Douglas, 
situate five miles from Edinburgh. He appointed a governor 



and a good garrison." This was about the year 1339, and 
probably the Grahams were still in possession of the castle. 

About the middle of the fourteenth century, Marjory 
Graham married William Douglas of Lugton, and thus Dal- 
keith passed into the hands" of the house of Douglas, the 
progenitors of the Morton family, and remained in their 
possession for 300 years. Froissart's famous visit to Dalkeith, 
and Scotland generally, took place most likely about 1361. 
At the battle of Otterborne (of which Froissart gives an 
account as an historian, not as an eye-witness) James, second 
Earl of Douglas, was slain. He was nephew of the preceding 
William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale, and became first Lord 
of Dalkeith, receiving from David II. a charter of the 
barony and castle of Dalkeith to himself and his heirs " on 
giving anually to the King at the Castle of Dalkeith, if 
sought, a pair of white gloves or a silver penny at the feast of 
Pentecost." He was present at the Coronation of Robert II. 
at Scone on 26th March, 1371, and put his name to the solemn 
deed, which still exists, by which John, Earl of Carrick, the 
King's eldest son, was declared heir to the throne. He gave 
" the lands of Quylt and Fethan, in the county of Peebles, 
for the support of a chaplain in the chapel of Dalkeith, 
which was confirmed by Robert II. at Irvine on the 25th 
October, 1377," and in 1386 founded and endowed beside the 
chapel (the nucleus of the present beautiful parish church of 
St Nicholas) a hospital consisting of two bedeshouses (sold in 
1752 for the benefit of the poor) for the maintenance of six 
poor folks. The dedication to St Nicholas the patron saint of 
children the "Santa Claus " of Christmastide was a fav- 
ourite one in that age, Newcastle Cathedral and Aberdeen 
Church being dedicated to the gentle fifth-century Archbishop 
of Myra. 

James Douglas, fourth Lord of Dalkeith, was a special 
favourite of James II., who created him Earl of Morton on 
1 4th March, 1457, deriving his title from the lands of Morton, 
in the territory of Calderclear, not of Nithsdale. 

During the rule of John Douglas, second Earl of Morton, 
the famous Royal visit of Princess Margaret, eldest daughter 
of Henry VII. of England, to Newbattle took place. She 
was then affianced to the Scottish King James IV. (1488-1513), 
and in 1503 she, with a gorgeous retinue, set out for Edin- 



burgh. At Lamberton Kirk, on the Borders, the Archbishop 
of Glasgow and the Scottish nobles, including the Earl of 
Morton, met the princess, and, the marriage contract having 
been signed, accepted custody of her person. The journey 
proceeded by Fast Castle, on the German Ocean, where a 
night's stoppage was made, then through Dunbar to the church 
of Haddington, thence to Newbattle by the Salter's Road and 
the Maiden Bridge, which possibly got its name from this 
fact, that the maiden princess, who was in due season to be 
queen of Scotland, passed over its lumpy, ridged arch on her 
way to Newbattle Abbey, the great gates of the Abbey being 
then to the east of the old bridge, in the direction of Woodburn 
House. Tradition, however, rather points to what is still 
known as Queen Margaret's Gate, the road from the east pass- 
ing through it down to the ford of the Esk just opposite the 
Abbey. This marriage laid the foundation for the future 
union of the two crowns, and by the marriage treaty a peace 
was concluded with England, which remained unbroken until 
Flodden, when the Scottish King and the flower of the 
nobility and army fell on the field. This famous Royal visit 
of the Princess Margaret to Newbatle Abbey has been made the 
subject of a most beautiful modern Italian painting in bright 
colours, framed in golden ecclesiastical work, as a mantelpiece 
in the present mansion of Newbattle, representing the arrival 
of the princess with her retinue and richly-caparisoned horses 
at the Abbey door, at which the Abbot and fathers, in their 
white flannel Cistercian habits, stand waiting to welcome her to 
a house to which royalty was always attracted, and where two 
Scottish royalties still lie buried the queen of Alexander II. 
and the paramour of David II. The Abbot has his hand 
raised in blessing, and the scene altogether is a most charming 
imaginative painting of a great historical occasion, the imagina- 
tion coming out most strongly in the delineation of the Pentland 
Hills, which, instead of being low in the distant horizon, are 
represented as towering in blue masses above the very 
monasteiy door, the princess herself reining her horse in, as 
she descends the imaginary declivity, for all around the Abbey 
there is flat, plain, grass land. On the corresponding mantel- 
piece in the beautiful drawing room of the present Newbattle 
House, it may be mentioned, that there is a similar painting, 
similarly treated in every way, of the laying of the foundation 



stones of the Abbey, 1140 or 1141 A.D. both beautiful 
specimens of the modern florid Italian style of painting. 

In September 1519, the scare got abroad that the plague 
was in Edinburgh ; accordingly the Earl of Arran removed 
King James V. from Edinburgh Castle to Dalkeith Castle, 
where for a month the court was held. 

In 1542, after James V.'s death, the English King, 
Henry VIII., endeavoured to obtain the infant Scottish 
princess in marriage for his son, hoping thus to get Scotland 
under his heel. Cardinal Beaton opposed this projected 
alliance, and was, on aoth January, 1542, arrested, and im- 
prisoned in Dalkeith Castle, and taken thence to the Castle of 
St Andrews. He, however, recovered his liberty, and frustrat- 
ed the proposed alliance, and Henry VIII. resolved to invade 
Scotland, and by force bring her into subjection. Morton 
sided with Henry and the English, and Dalkeith Castle was 
besieged and taken by the Earl of Arran. 

After the disastrous defeat of the Scottish army at Pinkie 
in 1547, crowds of fugitives fled to Dalkeith, multitudes being 
slain in the intervening fields, but the Master of Morton, as 
the Lord of Dalkeith was titled, reached the castle in safety, 
and awaited a siege, which, however, never took place, as the 
English army suddenly departed from Scotland without any 
fruit of their mission. 

In February 1547, Dalkeith Castle was besieged by the 
English under Lord Grey. The garrison, under Sir George 
Douglas, made a strenuous resistance, but had at last to suc- 

James Douglas, the renowned Regent Morton, the fourth 
Earl, was son-in-law of the third Earl of Morton. His history 
is so well known that it needs no recapitulation, his experi- 
ences with Queen Mary, and his execution on 2nd June, 1581. 
His estates and honours were accordingly forfeited by the 
crown, and his accuser, Aubigny, receiving the estates, was 
created Lord Dalkeith, and soon after Duke of Lennox. For 
a brief period he resided at Dalkeith, but incurring the dis- 
pleasure of the nobility he went to France, and died in 1583 
probably by poisoning. Finally, the attainder being reversed, 
the lands of Dalkeith reverted to the house of Douglas in 1584, 
when young Lennox succeeded. The Earldom of Morton had, 
however, been given to John, Lord Maxwell, grandson of the 



third Earl of Morton, in 1581, and the estates and honours of 
Morton finally devolved on the Regent's nephew, Archibald, 
eighth Earl of Angus, who now became sixth Earl of Morton. 
He died at Smeaton, near Dalkeith, in 1588, and his decease 
was ascribed to sorcery and witchcraft, though on his death-bed 
he refused the proffered help of witches, " but referred the 
event to God." 

During all this time Dalkeith Castle was the frequent 
residence of royalty. James VI., in 1617, on his return to 
Scotland visited it on i2th June, and Mr Archibald Simpson, 
the minister of Dalkeith, dropped into poetry on the subject, 
making an unfortunate reference to Anglican orders, which 
resulted in his banishment for six months, until having express- 
ed regret he was, on zoth December, allowed to return to the 
parish and people of Dalkeith. 

Charles I. spent a night at the Castle in his progress to 
Edinburgh in June 1633, and was magnificently entertained 
by the Earl of Morton. In 1642 the castle and manor at last 
changed ownership, and by sale passed into the hands of the 
Buccleuch family, in whose possession they have remained ever 
since. It is now, however, a very different place from the old 
castle of mediaeval feudal times. The old keep was made the 
foundation of a spacious square mansion-house, with a fine 
fa9ade, designed by Sir John Vanburgh. 

Another great castle stood on the other side of Newbattle 
Abbey, sheltering the chapel of Cockpen, and giving strength 
and confidence to the Abbey ministers and toilers. The 
fine old castle of Dalhousie standing on the bank of 
the South Esk is probably the oldest inhabited castle in Mid- 
Lothian, and tradition says that Blind Harry struck his harp 
in its ancient halls during his minstrel wanderings in the 
fifteenth century, and he probably sang under its roof as he did 
in so many of the ancient halls of Scotland of his favourite 
theme, Sir William Wallace and his exploits. The name of 
" Dalhousie " signifies the " vale of wool," or " Dal Wolsey," 
and it is striking that the family name of the house should be 
" Ramsay." Wolsey or Woolsey, the island of wool, is very 
similar in signification to Ramsay or Ramsea, the island of 
rams. The earliest mention of the Dalhousie family is in the 
Ramsays, a family of German origin, the first of whom, Simon 
de Ramsay, settled in the Lothians in the reign of David I., 



who founded Newbattle Abbey. The Ramsays in their various 
branches have played a conspicuous part in Scottish history. 
William de Ramsay fought on Bruce's side against England, 
and was one of those who signed the ever memorable letter 
written by Abbot Bernard of Arbroath, Bruce's chancellor, in 
which king, chancellor, and nobles of Scotland informed the 
Pope that Scotland was an independent kingdom, and that 
King Robert was its sole sovereign. That message from 
Arbroath Abbey to Rome was the turning-point of Scottish 
history. Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, a descendant of 
Simon, who lived in the fourteenth century, was a great 
warrior and was appointed warden of the middle marches, and 
in 1342 constable of Roxburgh Castle, which he took by 
escalade. He was starved to death in Hermitage Castle. Sir 
Alexander Ramsay, the second baron of that name, fell at 
Halidon Hill in 1402, and his descendant died with his king 
at Flodden. Sir John Ramsay, for his services in the " Raid 
of Ruthven " and his loyalty to James VI., was made Lord 
Ramsay, Viscount Haddington, and at the union Earl Holder- 
nesse. The Ramsays of Whitehill, near Rosewell, are descend- 
ed from the same stock. The title of Dalhousie was first 
given to the Ramsay family in 1629, when William, second 
Lord Ramsay, was created Earl Dalhousie of Dalhousie 
Castle and Lord Ramsay of Kerrington (Carrington) in Mid- 
Lothian by Charles I., on June 2pth, 1633, to himself and his 
heirs male. In 1648 he was appointed Colonel of the Horse 
for Mid-Lothian in the " engagement " in the Duke of Hamil- 
ton's hastily-levied army for the relief of Charles I. When 
Cromwell succeeded he was fined .1500, and died in February 
1674. His successors all distinguished themselves in arms. 
The second son of George, the eighth Earl of Dalhousie, the 
Hon. William Ramsay, succeeded at his father's death to the 
large possessions of the Panmure family and asumed the name, 
titles, and arms of Maule of Panmure, and in 1831 he was 
created Lord Panmure of Brechin and Navar. George, the 
ninth Earl, was a school companion and fellow-student of Sir 
Walter Scott, and fought under Sir Ralph Abercromby at 
Rosetta, Aboukir, and elsewhere. James Andrew Broun, 
tenth Earl of Dalhousie and first Marquis, born in 1821, was 
Governor General of India from August 1847 to July 1855, 
and was, in all probability, the greatest Indian Viceroy which 



the East has ever seen. He is buried in the old Cockpen 
Church, and thus quietly sleeps, among the ivy-covered ruins, 
one who ruled the East. He was created Marquis of Dal- 
housie Castle and the Punjaub, and was made a Peer of the 
United Kingdom in 1849. 

In the grounds of Dalhousie Castle, on the edge of a fine 
spring is the famous Edgewell oak. Sir Walter Scott in his 
"Journal" under date May i3th, 1829, writes: "Went to 
dine at Dalhousie Castle where we were very kindly received. 
I saw the Edgewell Tree, too fatal, says Allan Ramsay, to the 
family from which he was himself descended." According to 
a belief in the district, a branch fell from this tree before the 
death of a member of the family. 

Borthwick Castle, further up the valley, sheltered the 
collegiate church of S. Mungo there, as Crichton Castle 
sheltered Crichton College, and Roslin Castle the College of 
S. Matthew, Roslin. Catcune Castle was an additional 
source of strength and safety to the church in the Borthwick 
Valley, while Fawside Castle, overlooking the rich, broad lands 
around Musselburgh and Prestonpans guarded the many sacred 
houses of that district. Wherever the baronial castle rose, 
there the Church had her settlement and safety. Indeed in 
many cases the Parish Church was originally the chapel of the 
baron. The close relationship between the strong castle of 
Dalkeith and the Abbey of Newbattle is deeply interesting, for 
as the one protected the other, so the other gave worship, 
service and sepulture to the lord and his retainers in the 
feudal village which gathered near to where the two Esks join 
their waters. 




TEMPLE parish consists of the ancient parish of 
Temple, together with the two chaplaincies of Moor- 
foot and Clerkington. As usual, it was David I. who 
in 1153, gave to the military order of the Knights 
Templar " the manor and chapelry of Balantradoch," and 
this became the chief house of this interesting order in Scot- 
land, which had houses at Aboyne and Tulloch, in Aberdeen- 
shire ; in Aberdeen itself ; at Adamton, in Kyle, where James 
IV. made his offerings ; at Holymount in Edinburgh, and St. 
Anthony's, Leith; at Inchinnan, one mile from Renfrew; at 
Marycutler, in Lanarkshire ; at Oggerstone, in Stirlingshire ; at 
Redabbeystead, near Newstead, in Roxburghshire; at St Ger- 
mains, near Seton, a short distance from Prestonpans; at 
Stanhouse, and Turriff. There were other military orders in 
Scotland. The Hospitallers or Knights of St John of 
Jerusalem or Malta, had houses at Ancrum, Kinkell, Bothwell, 
Torphichen, and St John's Hill, near Edinburgh. Their 
special function was to protect pilgrims on their way to Jerusa- 
lem, and they wore over their armour a long tabbard, furred 
inside with a cross pattee of white on the heart, and a cloak 
with a cross on the left shoulder. The knights were tonsured. 
The Lazarites, the military order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem 
(1119) for the relief of poor members of other military orders, 
had two houses in Scotland, one in Linlithgow, and another at 
Harehope in Eddleston, called " Holme St Lazarus." The 
Knights Templar, however, who had their chief seat in Scot- 
land at, and gave their very name to Temple, were the most 
powerful of the military orders in Scotland. The old name 
Balantradoch appears in various forms " Balintrodo," 
"Baltroddo," " Tempill Balintrodo." The beautiful little 
church in the deep hollow beside the wooded South Esk, em- 



bosomed in the rich verdure of Arniston, is an early English 
oblong, 54 feet 7 inches long, by 17 feet 4 inches, and contains 
the old ablution drain (for the rinsings of the sacramental cup 
and running straight into the wall-enclosed earth, so that pro- 
fanation was impossible), and the "Easter Sepulchre" in which, 
at Easter, the dead Christ was laid in effigy, surrounded by 
flowers and angels. The small door on the North side belongs 
to the fourteenth century ; also the double sedilia or seats on 
each side of the altar. The old cross, the distinctive form of 
the " Templars' Cross," stands at the present churchyard- 
gate, and was probably originally on the gable of the church. 
In 1312, Pope Clement V. suppressed the Order of the 
Knights Templar, and, along with the other houses of the 
order, the Temple Preceptery was handed over to 'the other 
large military order the Knights Hospitaller or Knights of 
St John, so that Temple has been the home of both orders. 
On the front gable of the old chapel below the belfry is an 
inscription, "VJESACMIHM," which has baffled all antiquarians. 
The upper part of Temple parish belonged to Newbattle 
Abbey and was gifted to it by David II. [see " Newbattle 
Chartulary."] The property was called Moorfoot (variously 
spelt), and the ruins of Moorfoot chapel still stand. The pro- 
perty included the beautiful green swelling hills which surround 
the charming Gladhouse reservoir, with its pine-covered island 
and rippled bosom, and on which the capital of Scotland is 
largely dependent for its water supply. 

The other part of the parish Clerkington (Clerks' Town 
or Priests' Town) was originally granted by David II. to the 
collegiate church of Corstorphine, and at the Reformation it 
fell into the hands of the Newbattle Kerrs who called it "New 
Ancrum." It was afterwards called " Nicolson," then 
" Clerkington " again, and now Rosebery. In 1618, Temple, 
Moorfoot, and Clerkington were united in one parish called 
" Temple." About a century ago a medal of Oliver Cromwell 
was unearthed in Rosebery. 




TN 1586 the Presbytery of Edinburgh included the following 
churches and parishes : St Cuthbert's, Castle of Edin- 
burgh, Holyrood, Corstorphine, Leith, Duddingston, 
Hales, Restalrig, Cramond, Ratho, Gogar, Currie, St 
Catherine-in- Hopes, Musselburgh, Newton, Liberton, 
Dalkeith, Lasswade, Glencorse, Melville, Newbattle, Cockpen, 
Pentland, Penicuik, Mount-Lothian, Borthwick, Carrington, 
Clerkington, Crichton, Ormiston, Fala, Cranston, Fintra. 
Melville was thus included as a separate parish in that year. 
In time Dalkeith Presbytery was separated from Edinburgh. 
The fact is scarcely, if at all, known that Dalkeith 
not only gave a birthplace to David Calderwood, 
styled by our greatest authority on Scottish literature 
and antiquities, " a very learned divine, and most 
industrious and faithful historian;" but, moreover by the faith- 
ful preaching and testifying of her first ministers, Andrew and 
Archibald Symsone, gave that healthy and decisive training 
that in after years resulted in such magnificent and honourable 
fruit. The fact of Calderwood, the great historian of the 
Scottish Reformation, being born in Dalkeith is amply proved 
by Dr Laing in his preface to the eighth volume of " The 
History of the Kirk," but the circumstance had been little 
noticed, and, most certainly, the important bearing it had on 
his future career, has never once been referred to. 

There is an old charter still extant at Perth, dated July 
22nd, 1554, made in favour of Master Andrew Symson, bur- 
gess of Perth, and rector of the Grammar School, and of his 
wife, Violet Adamson, a sister of Patrick, afterwards Arch- 
bishop of St Andrews, investing them in the property of a 
house and garden on the south side of the south street of 



Perth. Such is the earliest authentic notice we have of Andrew 
Symson. One Sabbath during Lent, a friar in the end of his ser- 
mon began to inveigh bitterly against the new Huguenot preach- 
ers, as he called them. " But," says the annalist who relates, 
" when the frier was most vehement in his invection, all the 
schollers of the grammar school, to the number of 300 and 
above, gave out such a hissing and crying agains the frier, 
that he in great feard ran out of the pulpit, and went away 
nor did he return. The frier, who came to occupy his place 
next Sabbath, complained of the matter to the magistrates, and 
they ordered the master to make strict inquisition after the 
offender and have him severely punished." Being then a 
zealous advocate for the old faith, Symson was nothing loth to 
do as he was directed. He found one of his scholars had Sir 
David Lindesay's " Satire of the three Estates," which he 
was in the habit of reading to his fellows. This was sufficient 
to condemn him, but the lad denied that the book was heretical 
or false, and offered to submit willingly to whatever punish- 
ment might be appointed, if his master, after reading the book, 
was of the same opinion. This challenge the master accepted, 
read and was convinced ; and so returned answer to the magis- 
trates that he could not discover the offender; but that if the 
friers " would leave off their invectives against the new 
preachers, the bairns would be quyet enough." The second 
friar was a sensible man, and closed his sermon thus: " I 
will speak nothing aganis thir new preachers, but I will speak 
aganis ourselves : If we had done our duetie in our calling 
faithfullie, and made yow God's people, to know God's trueth, 
as we should have done, thir new teachers had not done as 
they doe ; for what shall porre sillie sheep doe that are poyndit 
in a fauld where there is no meat, but breake the dyke and go 
to their meat where they may have it? So we cannot find 
fault with yow that are God's people to run and have God's 
word taught yow, wherever ye may get it." " Which speeches 
made the people glade, and, confirmed the master of the school, 
and all those that had any knowledge of the trueth griatumlie. " 
When Perth, in 1559, embraced the Protestant faith, 
Andrew Symson openly adhered to the same cause, and ex- 
pounded its doctrines publicly as a preacher. After serving a 
few years as minister of Dunning and Cargill, he was 
removed to Dunbar, where he not only exercised 



the vocation of preacher, but also that of master of the 
Grammar School. Those double duties Symson seems to have 
discharged with zeal and efficiency. David Hume, of Gods- 
croft, the historian and poet, got his early training at Dunbar, 
and in after years gratefully inscribed one of his elegies to his 
old master. The five sons of Andrew Symson all became 
ministers of the Reformed faith, while his three daughters all 
married members of the same vocation. He published a Latin 
textbook, commonly known as the Dunbar Rudiments, which 
continued to be used in almost all the schools of Scotland, 
from its first publication in 1587, down to 1714, when Ruddi- 
man's Rudiments took its place. 

An incident of his pastorate in Dunbar is related by his 
son Archibald, and is quoted in the session records of Dunbar, 
under date July 27, 1712. "A fearefull judgement of God 
fell forth at Dunbar, aboute the yeare of God, 1577, whereof 
I was an eye-witnesse. My father, Andrew Symson, of good 
memorie, being minister there, who, going to church, saw a 
thousand boates setting their netts on the Sabbath. He 
weeped, and feared that God would not suffer such contempt, 
it being a most calme day as ever was seene at that season; at 
midnight, when they went forth to draw their nets, the wind 
arose so fearfully that it drowned eight score and ten boates, 
so that there were reckoned in the coastside fourteen score of 

A place to the west of Dunbar, called Khockenhair, is 
traditionally associated with the tragedy of 1577, as the spot 
where the fishermen's widows gathered together and lamented. 

Andrew Symson was translated to the charge of Dalkeith 
in 1582, but it is not known whether he also took charge of the 
school or not. He took part in the opposition to the endea- 
vours of King James VI. and his ministers to establish state 
control over the clergy by means of bishops or otherwise, and 
about 1587 was deprived of his stipend, which was assigned 
to Newbattle. He died about the year 1591, and his son 
Archibald was collated to the benefice on the third of June of 
that year. 

The following lines are translated from David Hume's 
elegy : 



" Oft, when thy brow with lowering clouds grew dread, 
And stern hands shook the quiv'ring birch o'erhead, 
The Muse would all these clouds and storms allay, 
Take from thy rigid hands the birch away. 

" Or, when assiduous study wrought distaste, 
And too much labour formed a dreary waste, 
The Muse gave help the Aonian bonds to break, 
From the black yoke our livid necks to take; 
In turn, to spend in sport the alternate hours, 
And take the yielded play 'mid smiling flowers. 
Meanwhile, the day with gold and green was bright; 
The tree, with beauteous robe, was fair to sight ; 
The gentle Muse her soothing numbers sung, 
And smoothed thy yielding breast with pleading tongue ; 
So thus, the fields we roved with loosened rein, 
A whole day passed free from toil of brain." 

His son, Archibald Symson, was born in 1564, the year in 
which his father Andrew was transported from Dunning to Dun- 
bar. He was a distinguished scholar, and ere he reached his 
23rd year, had attracted the notice of Sir John Maitland, 
Chancellor of Scotland, whose influence afterwards, in 1592, 
procured an Act of Parliament to separate Dalkeith from the 
deanery of Restalrig and erect it into a district parsonage. 

Archibald Symson became assistant to his father in Dal- 
keith in 1586, and was appointed presbytery clerk in 1588. 
The first entry in that year's minutes is an ordinance " that 
every minister within the bounds . . . sail intimate to 
their parochinars, that nane gaes to marcats upon the Sabbath 
days." There was need, apparently, for such an intimation, 
if we may judge from the keenness with which ordinary avoca- 
tions were carried on on the day of rest. " John Sandie, 
millar in furde," confesses " that he was a common profaner 
of ye Saboth, be grinding at his myl, be ditching and drying 
corne." And more suggestive still, on Sep. 21, 1592, we find 
a complaint before the Presbytery, that " the bailie and sum of 
the eldaris and neibours of ye toun of Dalkeith, on Sunday 
last, led yer comes in tyme of sermon." The Presbytery find 
the complaint proven ; and the offenders confess ' ' their fault 
to be doublie griter nor ony other ... in respect of their 
office, alledging they were forcit yairto, sair against yair wills," 
by the badness of the weather. They are appointed " to mak 
yair publick repentance on Sunday nixt, standing within ye 
pillar, in ye publick sight of ye hail people, and the most 
pointed rebukes are to be directed to the elders, as the worst 



offenders." This, years afterwards, bore appropriate fruit; as 
we find the elders complaining on David Brown for abusing 
them by calling them " drunken leemyers, thay were no worthie 
yair calling, he suld have them deposed." David adheres 
stoutly to his assertion both in word and writing. A visitation 
of Dalkeith is held ; and Brown found to be a slanderer ; and 
ordered to do public penance. This he refuses twice, but the 
fear of excommunication at last induces him to submit. 

The discipline of the early Reformed Church of Scotland 
was powerful, very much because of its impartiality and uni- 
versal application. Certificates of church membership, then 
called, testificates or testimonials, were indispensible evidences 
of outward propriety of conduct, to those moving from one 
parish to another. There was really need for all this strict- 
ness, and those who sneer at it, do so in ignorance of the real 
state of Scotland. Well might Archibald Symson, in the 
pulpit of Dalkeith, while lecturing on the 6th Psalm, cry out : 
" Woe to this sinfull generation, who make no conscience, but 
doe all manner of injuries to whom they may, and doe not 
spare either fatherlesse or widdow, or strangers, or the gray 
hairs, or pupils, or orphans, and yet vant of their religion. I 
wish rather they would professe Papistry or Paganisme, that 
their confession and profession might be answerable, and that 
they would either professe as they live, or live as they professe, 
for it is a shame that a good faith (though but pretended) 
should be backed with bad work." Again, 

" I wish to God from mine heart, that pastors of God's 
word leave ostentation, words of humane eloquence and shew 
of learning, and laboure more to work upon the hearts of the 
people a remorse for sinne, and an assurance of mercy." 

Such were the matured impressions of Archibald Symson 
regarding the age in which he lived. The Presbytery Record 
contains ample evidence that these impressions were well found- 
ed. The very month after that which witnessed the edifying 
spectacle of the bailie and elders of Dalkeith standing in the 
pillar of repentance for leading " their cornes in tyme of 
sermon " on Sunday, Archibald Symson is ordained to " sum- 
mon ye lady Morton before ye sessione of Dalkeith, to answer 
concerning ye counterfeitting off a testimonial of witnessing ye 
Erie Argyle's marriage." The progress of this case , which 
arose from a more or less clandestine match arranged by Lady 



Morton for one of her daughters, during her husband's absence, 
is shown by the following minutes of Presbytery : 

Sep 26, 1592 " Mr Archibald Symson reported ye lady 
morton as disobedient unto their session . . . She was 
ordained to be summoned to compeir before ye presbyterie 
this day aucht days, by ye bedall of ye session of Dalkeith. 

Nov. 2 " Agnes Lesly, countess of morton, ordainit to 
be summoned, pro secundo, under pain of disobedience. 

Nov. 9 " Agnes lesly not compeiring, appoyntit to be 
summoned, pro tertio, under ye paine of excommunication. 

Nov. 16 " Agnes lesly, countess of morton, not compeir- 
ing, it wes thot best, be ye advyse of her husband and sur 
robert welsh being present, ye proceedings agaynst her suld be 
delayit for ane certaine tyme, before when ye Lorde will move 
hir heart to yield obedience ; and in ye mean tyme, disyrit ye 
brethrene maist familiar and of grittist weight with her, to 
travell and to seiv with her anent ye matter." 

Dec. 14 " Comperit ye Erie of Morton declaring ye 
strong love he had to ye brethren." 

A more humble offender is referred to in the following 
minute: 1593, May 24 " Compeired Johne gemmell, pyper, 
and fand Johne gemmell, belman in Dalkeith, caution to ye 
bailzie of dalkeith, yat ye said Johne ye pyper, sail in tyme 
coming, nether play privatelie nor publictlie, betwix ye sun 
rysing and sun setting, upon ye Sunday, under paine of twenty 

" Johne the pyper " seems to have thought that he was 
found only as regarded Dalkeith, and that he might safely 
ply his vocation, even on Sabbath, in Pennycuick and Lass- 
wade, as witness : 

1593, June 19 " Compeirs gemmell ye pyper, desyring 
his band of marriage to be solemnizit ; and being convict of ye 
profanation of ye Sunday in pennycuik and lasswaid, was 
ordained to satisfie publictlie ye day of his mariage. " This 
sentence enraged 'Johne' terribly ; and, quite in keeping with 
the spirit of the times, he avenged himself by threatening the 
life of Wm. Knox, one of the ministers of the Presbytery, who 
apparently had been specially prominent in passing sentence. 
The minister reports the matter to the Presbytery and claims 
their protection. Gemmell has to give public satisfaction for his 
unruly tongue. 



Unruly tongues seem to have caused trouble to some of 
the members of Presbytery themselves. George Ramsay was 
minister of Dalkeith before the Symsons came. He removed 
from Dalkeith in 1581, and took special charge of Lasswade, 
having Glencorse also under his care. He seems to have been 
a man of violent temper, and especially rash in speech. 1588, 
Feb. 17 " The quhilk day, Maister Adam Johnstoun, minister 
at crichtoun, was absolvit frae the things that maister George 
Ramsay, minister at Less w aid, layed to his charge, and 
decernit innocent in yat mater. And the said maister George 
was decernit to confess and acknowledge that he spak against 
Maister adam unadvisedly in choler only. 

" The quhilk day, ye brethren ordains yat gif ony brother, 
in tyme coming, sail speik unadvisedly against all or ony ane of 
his brethren, to ye dishonor or deffamation of him or them 
that he sail sit down on his kneis before ye hail presbyterie, 
and aske first quha are next him, or quha yat is offendit and 
sclanderit, forgivness. gyf he sail be contumax or disobedient, 
to the conclusione of the presbyterie yat sail be chairgit 
before the assemblie synodal, quhar the rest of the brethren 
sail chairge ye fact accordingly." 

This seems to have been effectual with Ramsay, so far as 
the Presbytery was concerned; but it did not cure him of the 
habit of rash speaking. Five years after, in 1593, he had to 
appear before the Lords of Session, for charging them with 
the sale of justice; saying they sold it in the tolbuithe, and 
took payment in their chambers at home ; and that the place of 
their judgment was justly called tol-buith, because there they 
took toll of the subjects. Whether it were that the Lords felt 
the charge was true, or that Ramsay was known as a privileged 
snarler, he was dismissed without punishment. 

It is told of another minister of Dalkeith, Mr Alexander 
Heriot, that when the announcement came, in 1688, of the 
ratifying of the " Revolution Settlement," and the triumph of 
the Prince of Orange, that he " danced round a bonfire in the 
town " in excess of joy, though it is not stated in the Presby- 
tery records that he suffered any of the penalties of the " danc- 
ing elder of gloomy Lochcarron ; whose Terpsichorean display 
albeit in a very quiet way made him, a few years ago, almost as 
renowned as the " Boxing Kangaroo." 

The late distinguished Professor Tait (Physical Science, 


Edinburgh University), and the joint author, with Lord Kelvin, 
of the world-famous treatise on Natural Philosophy, known to 
students as " Thomson & Tait," was born in Dalkeith, his 
father being baron-bailie, and " Tait St." is named after him. 
Other famous names connected with Dalkeith are John Kay, 
author of " Edinburgh Portraits;" John Holland, Sir William 
Calderwood (afterwards Lord Polton), Robert Mushet of the 
Royal Mint, William Creech the patron of Burns, Dr Norman 
Macleod and others. " Delta Moir's " famous story of 
" Mansie Waugh " has Dalkeith as its scene. Bishop Beilby 
Porteous, of London, belonged to the historic little town, and 
many others famous in literature and history. The late Duke 
of Buccleuch was the first to introduce cigarettes into England 
from the court of St Petersburg. 




THE wonderful collection of monastic and other charters 
gathered by the late Dr David Laing, the distin- 
guished antiquary, who died in 1878, and bequeathed 
by him to Edinburgh University, to the number of 
some 3000, and ranging in date from 854 A.D. to 
1837, includes some of the charters relating to the Newbattle 
Abbot's properties in the two Monklands of Lanarkshire, al- 
ready referred to. Briefly summarised and translated from the 
Latin, they are as follows : 


Charter by James (Haswell) Abbot of Newbotle (dated 
after 2nd July, 1550) confirming a. charter (dated at Edinburgh 
25th June, 1550) by John Hamilton of Haggs, in terms of a 
contract between himself on one part, and Robert, Lord 
Elphinstone, and Dame Katherine Erskine, his mother, on the 
other part, for a marriage between James Hamilton, the 
granter's son and heir-apparent, and Isabella Elphinstone, 
daughter of Dame Katherine, and sister of Lord Robert, 
granting to the said Isabella in her virginity in liferent the 
lands of Riding and Riding mure, extending to ten merks of 
land, in the barony of Monkland and shire of Lanark, between 
the lands of Drumgray on the east, Gayne, as far as the 
" aqueductum " on the west, Rouchsolis and Bradenhill on 
the south, Blairlyn and the burn thereof on the north ; To be 
held to the said Isabella Elphinstone for her life, of the Abbot 
and convent of Newbotle, for 13 merks 6s 8d yearly in name 
of feu-farm. Witnesses to charter, John Thomson, Gavin 
Hamiltoun, Sir David Cristesoun, Vicar of Innerkip, John 
Mosman and Alexander Young, Notaries public. Charter of 
confirmation given at the monastery of Newbotle, date not 



stated; c. 1550. Signed "Jacobus Abbas," also by eight 
monks. Seal attached, partly broken the Virgin with the 
Child in her arms, seated under a canopied niche in upper part 
of seal ; below a saint with ragged staff in right hand. On 
each side of centre niche is a shield of arms; that on dexter 
side is defaced, but the shield on sinister bears a boar's head, 
and on a chief indented three mullets. The arms are those of 
Haswell, which is probably the true surname of this Abbot, 
which has been hitherto doubtful. 


Charter by Mark (Ker), Abbot or Commendator of the 
monastery of Newbottill, granting to John Crawfurd, in Both- 
kennar, and Elizabeth Livingstone, his wife, in conjunct fee, 
and their heirs, &c., the five-merk lands of Gartmillan, with 
commonty in the moor called Ryding Mure, in the Barony of 
Monkland and shire of Lanark, extending in rental yearly 
to five merks Scots; To be held in feu-farm for a yearly feu- 
duty of five merks 6s 8d Scots with duplicand at entry of heirs, 
and three suits of court at the head pleas of the Barony of 
Monkland. Dated at Newbottill, 23rd June, 1559. Signed 
by the commendator and by fourteen monks. Seal appended, 
in good condition, on the dexter side showing the lion of Scot- 
land, and the shield on sinister, on a chevron, three mullets, 
with a unicorn's head erased in base. Dated 23rd June, 1559. 

Notarial Instrument narrating that, in terms of letters of 
procuratory, dated at Falkirk, 26th April, 1574, Alexander 
Crawfurd, son of and procurator for John Crawfurd, in 
Grange of Bothkennar, and Elizabeth Livingstone, his spouse, 
resigned into the hands of Mark Ker, commendator of New- 
botle, the five-merk land of Gartmillan, with the common moor 
of Rydingmure, as of date 23rd June, 1559, for new infeft- 
ment to John Livingstone of Abercorn and Elizabeth Car- 
michael, his spouse. Done in Edinburgh, in the merchant 
booth of Robert Ker, senior, burgess of Edinburgh, 3ist May, 
1574, in presence of Thomas Hamilton, of Priestfield, and 
Mark Ker, son of the commendator. Notary, John Foulis, 
of St Andrews diocese. Dated 3ist May, 1574. 

Charter following on the above resignation, by Mark 
(Ker), commendator of Newbottill, granting the lands of Gart- 



millan and others, to John Livingstone of Abercorn and Eliza- 
beth Carmichael, his spouse, in feu-farm for a yearly feu-duty 
of five merks 6s 8d, and other dues, as of date 23rd June, 
1559. The pleas of court to be held at Kippischapel for the 
barony of Monkland. Charter dated at Newbottill, ist June, 
1574. Signed by the commendator and by four monks. 

Instrument following on a precept of sasine in a charter 
(dated at Linlithgow, iyth May, 1578) by John Livingstone 
of Abircorn and Elizabeth Carmychell, his spouse, granting to 
James Hamilton, of Haggs, the lands of Easter Craigs at 
Glasgow, in the barony of Glasgow, in warrandice of the alien- 
ation of the lands of Gartmillan, in the barony of Monkland 
and shire of Lanark. Witnesses to precept, John Forrest of 
Magdalens, Archibald Levingstone, rector of Cultir, Nicholas 
Towms, notary and David Hamyltoun, minister of Mounkland, 
notary. Sasine given, i5th June, 1578, by David Hamiltoun 
in Dundyvane, as baillie, at the principal messuage of Easter 
Craigs. Witnesses, David Forsyth of Dykis, John Hamilton 
of Wodhall, younger, William Peter and Alexander Wod. 
Notary, David Hamyltoun, of Glasgow diocese. Dated i5th 
June, 1578. 

Charter by Mark (Ker), commendator of Newbothill, 
granting to James Hamilton of Haggs, his heirs, &c., the five- 
merk land of Gartmillan and common moor of Rydingmure, 
as resigned by John Levingstone and Elizabeth Carmichael. 
Feu-duty 5 merks 6s 8d yearly, and other dues. Precept of 
sasine directed to John Crawfurd, of Rouchsollo. No wit- 
nesses. Signed by the Commendator only. Seal of convent 
attached, in good condition. Dated 25th May, 1584. 

Instrument of Sasine of the lands of Gartmillan in favour 
of James Hamilton, of Haggs, following on precept in the 
preceding charter. Sasine given 3oth May, 1584. Witnesses, 
John Woddell, in Gartmillan, Robert Woddell, his brother, 
and John Hamiltoun, servant of said James. Notary, David 
Hamyltoun. Dated 3Oth May, 1584. 

Precept of Clare Constat by Mark Ker, commendator of 
Newbattle for infefting Alexander Hamilton, now of Haggs, 
as nearest and lawful heir of his father, the late James Hamil- 
ton of Haggs, in the said lands of Gartmillan, as of date 25th 
May, 1584, occupied by John and William Woddell. Signed 
by the granter only. Witnesses, Patrick Creichton of Lugton, 



David, his son and apparent-heir, Mr Robert Hamilton, brother 
of Alexander, and John Kirkpatrick, the granter's chamberlain. 
Seal attached, somewhat broken. Dated 22nd September, 

Instrument of Sasine, following on the preceding precept 
in favour of Alexander Hamilton in the lands of Gartmillan. 
Sasine given by John Crawfurd of Dundyvane, Gavin Bell in 
Schawheid, John Moir, William Geichan in Ryding, Matthew 
Geichan and John Finlay there. Notary, David Hamyltoun. 
Dated yth October, 1586. 


Charter by Sir William Livingstone of Kilsyth, knight, 
selling and alienating to Alexander Hamilton of Haggs, the 
lands of Blacklands and of Crumlat, with the pendicle called 
" Palice," and free commonty on Rydene, in the barony of 
Monkland, regality of Newbattle, of the sheriffdom of Lanark ; 
To be held from the granter in blench and of the Abbey of 
Newbattle in feu-farm, paying a yearly feu-duty of two merks 
for Blacklands, and for Crumlat, 403 money, six poultry, at 
six pennies each, and one boll, two pecks of oats, price of each 
boll 53 3d, also 323 3d in augmentation of rental, in all 8 merks 
8s 6d. Witnesses, William Callander, of Bancloche, Mr 
James Stewart, pedagogue of the granters' son, and John 
Livingstone. Dated at Edinburgh, 26th May, 1590. 




TT is a curious- looking old book lying in the August sun- 
shine which gleams on the old table standing in the 
window where Robert Leighton wrote his noblest works, 

looking out to the " Sign of the Sun " inn, which gave 
him the idea, when he ministered at Newbattle, that he would 
like to die in an inn, to be free of formal attentions and to 
pass like a weary pilgrim home. He often had the book in 
his hands, and it is one of some thirty which his warm and 
trusty friend the Covenanting Earl of Lothian gave to the 
minister to be handed down to his successors, as they have 
been through many vicissitudes, to the present moment. It was 
on March i7th, 1646, that the stalwart Earl, evidently seeing 
the poverty of Leighton's youthful library, gave the little 
library, and, stimulated by his generosity, two months later, the 
smaller proprietors in the parish presented the four solid beaten- 
silver communion cups, which are still in use, one of them the 
gift of Robert Porteous, the ancestor of the famous Beilby 
Porteous, Bishop of London, who wrote the celebrated volume 
on " Christian Evidences," the arguments of which are even 
yet by no means contemptible. 

The little ragged library is a curious gathering of Roman 
and Reformed books, concordances, commentaries, fathers, 
catechisms, devotional books, and a curious volume much worm- 
eaten on astrology, hand-reading, physiognomy, with astro- 
logical rules for sketching your life-history by the stars on the 
shortest notice and on the most approved principles of the day. 
The hints on hand-reading and face-discrimination are rich to 
a degree, while there are dark hints on crystal-gazing and 
fortune-telling, which must have strangely arrested the atten- 
tion of the old ministers of long ago, who, in the Presbytery of 
Dalkeith, would not suffer a witch or fortune-teller to live, 



but publicly burned them on the lonely hillside of Hagbrae 
opposite Crichton collegiate church, whose God they had so 
impiously offended. It must have been a stirring sight in 
those days to behold the witch fires blazing on the lonely hill- 
side, with the stern fathers of the Church looking on at' what 
no doubt they believed to be a repetition of the expiation of 
Jephthae's daughter. The Dalkeith Presbytery records of the 
seventeenth century are full of entries of this kind, indeed all 
through that age there is an ominious scent of burning. And 
yet the fortune-telling, crystal-gazing, uncanny volume lay in 
the quiet stillness of the little thatched manse by the Esk, 
which then as now bears upon its stepped gable the gentle 
words in Latin, " For the Gospel and Posterity." 

But the volume of all others in the little collection given 
to Leighton and his successors by the Earl of Lothian, who 
declared that he got more good from the saintly Robert's 
ministrations " than from any other that did ever stand in a 
pulpit," is no book of controversy, or devotion, or exposition, 
or occultism, but a square catalogue of the books in the Bod- 
leian Library, Oxford, dated 1620, bound in a bit of sheep- 
skin and tied with strings, the ends of which alone remain. 
It is all in Latin save the titles of books in English, and bears 
on the front page the title, " A universal catalogue of the 
Books in the Bodleian Library, and also in other libraries all 
over Europe : Oxford, printed by John Lichfield and James 
Short, 1620." In faded yellow handwriting on the fly-leaf 
there is written in a neat scholarly hand, " 1625 : Mr J. 
Cheyn, Parson of Kinkell, aged 40 years." That is where 
the romance comes in, and a striking one it is. In the second 
quarter of the seventeenth century Mr John Cheyne was parson 
of Kinkell in the North, and having committed a crime was 
hanged for it. On the head of this the precentor drowned 
himself, and the church became bankrupt. In order to carry 
things on and to pay debts, all the movables connected with the 
charge and the church were put to the hammer and sold. The 
bell of Kinkell Church was bought by Cockpen parish, and 
hung in the belfry of the sweet, ivy-covered church, the ruins 
of which still stand near Dalhousie Castl-e, around the obelisk 
to the great Marquis of Dalhousie's memory. When the 
handsome new church of Cockpen was built, the bell was 
removed and hung in the stately tower, so visible a landmark 



in all this beautiful woodland district of Midlothian, and bore 
the inscription, " For Kinkell Kirk, 1618." A few years 
ago it was recast and still hangs in the church tower. Curi- 
ously another bit of the flotsam and jetsam of Kinkell was 
washed down to Midlothian, and Mr Cheyne's Bodleian cata- 
logue was bought by the Earl of Lothian for Leighton's library. 
This is the vellum-covered, brown, mouldy volume which lies 
before me to-day in the sunshine of Leighton's window, with 
the woodlands in their fresh glory and beauty, and the Esk 
hastening past as it did two hundred and sixty 
years ago, when Leighton wrote of St Peter and 
his Master, and listened to the ripple of the water 
and the hush of the great old trees. The bell at Cockpen 
and the book at Newbattle, a curious instance of the vicissi- 
tudes of things, typical of the vicissitudes of the people who 
went before and who came after Leighton, the white Cistercian 
fathers who a few years before had been expelled from their 
picturesque old monastery by the Esk river, and the Covenant- 
ing stalwarts with Lothian and Argyll at their head, the latter 
of whom, the martyred Marquess and his son, both of them 
beheaded in Edinburgh, rested in the vault beneath Leighton's 
church a quarter of a century later. The man and the book 
and the bell all tell the same story of earthly vicissitude. 

A rhyme as to the Kinkell disasters used to be current 
both in the North and in Cockpen : 

" O what a parish is that of Kinkell ; 

Hanged the minister, 

Drooned the precentor, 
And fuddled the bell," 

the last line indicating the manner in which the liquid assets of 
the church were to some extent disposed of. 

This Bodleian catalogue of 1620 is not unique : there are 
several copies of it to-day in the library which Bodley founded 
and called after himself, though it was really due to his wife's 
benevolence and public spirit that a great library was founded 
in Oxford to take the place of the rich collections scattered 
at the Reformation. The catalogue is dedicated after the 
manner of our Bibles, " To the most serene and potent King 
James, monarch of Great Britain, &c., defender of the Faith, 
Vindicator of Truth, Patron and Judge of Letters, &c.," and 
also to the principals and heads of colleges in the city of the 
Isis and the Cherwell. The catalogue is for the most part a 



list of classical, patriotic, mediaeval and reformed works, with 
the titles of works in English interspersed. When it was pub- 
lished, Shakespeare had been dead for four years, but his name 
is never mentioned. The omission is as remarkable as the 
silence of Eusebius. Chaucer, Spenser, Drayton, and other 
fathers of English literature are there, but not a word of the 
world's greatest dramatist, who no doubt was then considered 
only the butcher's son of Stratford-on-Avon. John Knox is in 
the list with his book, " Against the Adversaries of God's 
Predestination," 1560. It is marked " imperfect," and no 
doubt, like most works of man, it was so. Samuel Page has 
opposite his name, " The Allegiance of the Cleargie," with 
divers sermons of his, including " God be thanked " and 
" Divine sea-service," 1616. A curious entry is " The Dreame 
of Pilgrimage of the Soule. MS. translated out of French 
anno 1400 with some additions," and " The Spiritual Pilgrim- 
age of Jerusalem," works which seem anticipatory of the 
dream of the Bedford tinker and of " Christian's Journey to 
the Celestial City." Closely following this in the catalogue 
is " A Treatise on the use of the globe celestiall and terrestrial. 
London 1616," and a set of little books, evidently a series, 
" The Treasurie of Ancient and Moderne Times." London 
1613, " The Treasurie of Tranquillities," " The Treasurie of 
Poore Men," and " The Treasurie of Health." 

It is a small volume for a catalogue, only some 560 
pages, a great deal smaller than the volume of Church reports 
under the weight of which the valetudinarian country minister 
the other day staggered perspiring from station to manse, 
and it can only be a skimming of the contents of the Bodleian 
library even then. To-day on great tables thirty-four giant 
folio volumes lie spread in the Bodleian Library, the catalogue 
almost up-to-date, although daily being added to. What a 
change from the old days when the library was only recovering 
from the ravages of the Reformation, when all books and 
MSS. having a tendency to Rome were burned or sold. When 
Sir Thomas Bodley in 1597 refounded the library, which had 
originally been founded in 1320 in a room of St. Mary-the- 
Virgin Church, by Roger de Lisle, Dean of York, it was on a 
microscopic scale as this old catalogue proves. " And thus," 
he said, " I concluded at last to set up my staff at the Library 
door in Oxon, being thoroughly persuaded that in my solitude 



and surcease from the Commonwealth affairs, I could not busy 
myself to any better purpose than by converting the place to 
the public use of students." The worthy man took all the 
credit to himself, whereas it was the spouse's jointure which 
gave Oxford its library, a reversal of an old policy which 
goes back to the gates of Eden. 

And so the old catalogue before me this bright day lying 
in Leighton's window on Leighton's table has its story and 
romance : from Oxford to Kinkell, from Kinkell to Newbattle, 
and nearly 300 years of readers, including Leighton, and Cant, 
and Dickson, and Creech, the father of Burns' publisher. On 
one page there is a large oil-mark : it tells the tale of the upset 
cruizie-lamp, the same mark as on all the old family Bibles 
of Scotland and the great tomes of Matthew Henry's Comment- 
aries, which used to be read on the Sabbath nights of long ago, 
when the evening light failed and the quiet, earnest souls of 
Scotland searched from the inspired and uninspired volume 
for the light beyond, and the glory which streams through the 
letters of the sacred page from Emmanuel's Land. And so 
" When it was dark " became " When it was Light !" 


DA oyu 




BBK-8246 (MCAB)