THE Shire of Peebles, or Tweedale, is so call’d from the river Tweed, which runs east, the whole length of the Shire, and for the most part with a swift stream. It is bounded on the east with Etrick forest; on the south with part of the forest of St. Mary Lough, and Annandale; on the west with the overward of Clidesdale; and on the north with part of Caldermoor, the head of North-Esk, and Mid-Lothian. In length it is twenty six miles, and where broadest does not exceed sixteen. In which compass are seventeen Parish-Churches, that make up a Presbytery, call’d The Presbytery of Pebles. The Country is generally swell’d with hills, many of which are green and grassy, with pleasant and fertil valleys between, well watered and adorned with Gentlemen’s houses. Their grain is generally oats and barley; and as for planting, they have little of it, except about the houses of the Gentry.⌉
TweedTweedale. aforesaid ⌈as hath been observ’d⌉ runs through the middle of this Valley or Dale, which takes its name from it; abounding in sheep, whose Wool is much priz’d. This is a very noble River; which, having † † At Tweed’s Cross.its source among the hills more inwardly to the West, runs in a streight Chanel by Drimlar-Castle; and by Pebles,Pebles. a Market-Town, ⌈a Burrough Royal, and the head Burrough of the County; seated in a pleasant plain on the side of the river, with a stately bridge of five arches over the Tweed, and a fine Church.⌉ It had ¦ ¦ Hath, C.for its Sheriff Baron Yester, ⌈Earl of Tweedale, who sold his Estate in that Shire, and the Sheriffship, to his Grace the Duke of Queensbury. As to Antiquity; the place called Randall’s-trenchesRandall’s trenches. seems to have been a Roman Camp; and there is a Causey leads from it, for half a mile together, to the town of Lyne. In this shire, Sir John Stewart, Laird of Traquair, was by K. Charles the first created Lord Stewart of Traquair, and in the year 1633. was advanced to the higher honour of Earl of Traquair.⌉
Next to Pebles is Selkirk,Selkirk. a Sheriffdom, called otherwise The Sheriffdom of Etrick forest, because formerly it was wholly covered with Woods, which were well furnish’d with Harts, Hinds, and Fallow-Deer, but now they are in great measure destroyed. On the north, it is bounded partly by Tweedale, and partly by the Regality of Stow in Mid-Lothian; on the east and south by Teviotdale; and on the west, partly by Teviotdale, and partly by Annandale. It is very near Quadrangular, and the Diameter every way about sixteen miles. The Inhabitants have generally strong bodies, being sober and frugal in their diet; and living mostly by feeding of Cattle: whereby they do not only support themselves, but maintain a good Trade in England with their Wooll, Sheep, Cows, &c. The chief Town of this Sheriffdom is⌉ Selkirk ⌈which hath a weekly market, and several Fairs. It is the head Burgh of the Shire, and the Seat of the Sheriff and Commissary Courts; it is also a Burgh-Royal, and⌉ hath a Sheriff out of the Family of Murray of Falahill, ⌈an ancient Family designed of Philippaugh, famous for the defeat of the Army of the great Marquis of Montross. In the year 1646. the Lord William Douglas, Son to the Marquis of Douglas, was created Earl of Selkirk, and having marry’d Anna Dutchess and Heiress of Hamilton, he was advanc’d to the dignity of Duke of Hamilton by King Charles the second; and did also, in his life-time, by the favour of King James the seventh, convey the title of Earl of Selkirk to Charles his second son, now Earl of Selkirk.
At some distance from hence, to the north-west, is Bucleugh,Bucleugh. which, in the reign of King James the sixth, gave the title of Baron, and afterwards of Earl, to the ancient family of Scot; and, in the reign of King Charles the second, the title of Dutchess, to Anna daughter of Francis the last Earl, who was marry’d to James Duke of Monmouth (natural son to King Charles the second,) and also Duke of Bucleugh; whose second son, Lord Henry Scot, was in the fifth year of Queen Anne, advanc’d to the honour of Earl of Delorain.⌉
The Twede receives the little river Lawder, upon which is Lauder,Lauder. ⌈a Royal Burgh and the seat of a Bailliary, belonging to the Family of Lauderdale, within the Sheriffdom of Berwick. Here, the late Duke of Lauderdale built a well-contrived handsom Church, consisting of four Isles, and a large Steeple in the middle.⌉ Near it is Thirlestan,Thirlestan. where John Maitland, * * Not long since, C.Chancellor of Scotland (for his singular prudence and wisdom, created by King James the sixth Baron of Thirlestan,) † † Hath, C.had a very beautiful seat; ⌈adorned, of late years, with Avenues, Pavilions, Out-Courts, and other beauties required to the making of a compleat seat, by his Grace the Duke of Lauderdale. John his son was created Viscount of Lauderdale, and afterwards Earl of Lauderdale by King James the sixth; whose son, John, being Secretary of State to King Charles the second, was in the year 1672. created Duke of Lauderdale; with whom the title of Duke being extinct, his brother Charles Maitland succeeded in the dignity of Earl of Lauderdale.⌉
Then the Tweed, increased by the accession of the River Teviot beneath Roxburgh, watereth the Sheriffdom of Berwick, which is most of it the Estate of the Humes, wherein the Head of that Family now exerciseth the Jurisdiction of a Sheriff: and then running under Berwick, the * * So said, ann. 1607.best fortified Town in Britain (of which I have already spoken) with a prodigious plenty of Salmon, it emptieth itself into the Sea. ⌈Of which family of Hume, Sir Patrick, in consideration of his own great merit, and eminent Services to the Protestant Cause against the attempts of Popery, was advanced by King William and Queen Mary to the honour of Lord Polwarth of Polwarth, an ancient Barony in this Tract; and, a few years after, to the higher honour of Earl of Marchmont.
In the year 1646. John Hay, Lord Yester, was created Earl of Twedale: whose Son of the same name was Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, and in the year 1694. was advanced to the higher honour of Marquis of Twedale.⌉
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52