Berwickshire
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Berwickshire

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Berwickshire must be unique in that its former county town, Berwick-on-Tweed, has been in another country, England, for the last 500 years or so.  Indeed, Berwickshire itself was once part of Northumbria and it wasn't until the defeat of the Northumbrian forces by King Malcolm II of Scotland in 1018 that Berwickshire (and, for that matter, much of Lothian) finally came under Scottish control.  In medieval times the former county town, Berwick-on-Tweed, was one of the most important burghs and seaports in Scotland and was one of the first four royal burghs created by David I.  However, its position was always precarious - between 1147 and 1482, when it was finally ceded to England, the burgh changed hands no less than 11 times.   The county, however, stubbornly clung onto its name. 

Even prior to the centuries of Anglo-Scottish warfare the county had seen more than its fair share of violence with the Danes being particularly troublesome.  The beautiful and virtuous St Ebba, for example, founded a unisex monastery at Coldingham in 661, but a few years later she and her community had to face a Danish invasion.  Knowing of the invaders' reputation, St Ebba cut off her nose and upper lip and required all her nuns to do likewise so as to make themselves so unattractive that their chastity would be preserved.  The Danes were not pleased and burnt the unfortunate nuns alive in their monastery.  What happened to the monks is not recorded.

During the Anglo-Scottish wars quarter was seldom given by either side.  The Homes, one of the great border families, built Hume Castle to defend the frontier.  Besieged by superior English forces in 1547, the castle held out under Lady Hume until the English began to hang her young son before her eyes, at which point she capitulated.  Hume Castle was the seat of the Home family until the early 17th century, when they moved to the Hirsel - both castle and house are illustrated on our map.   Other great stately homes in Berwickshire include Mellerstain House, home of the Earl and Countess of Haddington, Manderston with its unique silver staircase and intriguing servants quarters, and Paxton House, designed by John and James Adam as a home for Patrick Home of Billie and his Prussian Princess bride.   Sadly, the wedding never took place, but the house was completed and is probably the best of the Scottish Palladian mansions.  Again, these all appear on our map, as do Dryburgh Abbey (where Sir Walter Scott is buried) and the great Thirlestane Castle.

Family names associated with Berwickshire include Home, Douglas, Cockburn, Swinton, Lumsden and Trotter.

Our map of Berwickshire has a stich count of 197 x 150 and, when stitched on the supplied 27-count Linda evenweave, measures 14 x 11 inches (371 x 282 mm).  It includes 21 buildings, fishing and sailing boats, place names, compass, crest, and 28 shades of thread.

Kit 26.75 UK pounds
Chartpack 12.99 UK pounds



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