Roxburghshire, Scotland


ROXBURGHSHIRE, an inland county, in the south of Scotland, bounded on the north by Berwickshire, on the east by Berwickshire and the English county of Northumberland, on the south by Dumfries-shire and the counties of Cumberland and Northumberland, and on the west by Dumfries-shire, Selkirk, and Edinburgh or Mid-Lothian. It lies between 55° 6' 40" and 55° 42' 52" (N. Lat.), and 1° 39' and 2° 36' (W. Long.), and is thirty-eight miles in length and twenty-eight miles in breadth; comprising an area of 696 square miles, or 445,440 acres; and containing 9019 houses, of which number 8661 are inhabited; and a population of 46,025, of whom 21,941 are males and 24,084 females. This county, including Teviotdale and Liddesdale, was originally inhabited by the Gadeni and Ottadini, of whom the former possessed the western portion, and the latter the eastern, which was of inferior extent. Of the numerous fortresses erected by those warlike tribes on the heights, the chief, on the Eildon hills towards the north, was subsequently converted by the Romans into a station near the line of their military road, which passed along the eastern base of these hills to the river Tweed. During the border warfare, the county participated greatly in the frequent hostilities that took place, and was alternately in the possession of the English and the Scots; and the continued battles in which they were engaged appear to have fostered a warlike spirit in the inhabitants, many of whom fought under the banner of David I. in 1138 at the battle of the Standard, in which the men of Teviotdale were distinguished for their valour. The county was anciently included in the diocese of Lindisfarne, and subsequently in that of Glasgow; it is at present mostly in the synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and comprises several presbyteries, and thirty-two parishes. For civil purposes, it is divided into the four districts of Jedburgh, Kelso, Melrose, and Hawick, in each of which the magistrates hold courts quarterly, or oftener, as occasion may require. It contains the royal burgh of Jedburgh, which is the county town; the market-towns of Hawick, Kelso, and Melrose, and part of the town of Galashiels. Under the act of the 2nd William IV., the shire returns a member to the imperial parliament; the number of persons qualified to vote is about 2000.

Transcribed from Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851
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