Online Encyclopedia

HAWICK

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 94 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HAWICK, a municipal and police burgh of Roxburghshire, Scotland. Pop. (1891), 19,204; (1901), 17,303. It is situated at the confluence of the Slitrig (which flows through the town) with the Teviot, To m. S.W. of Jedburgh by road and 524 m. S.E. of Edinburgh by the North British railway. The name has been derived from the 0. Eng. heaih-wic, " the village on the flat meadow," or {raga-wic, " the fenced-in dwelling," the Gadeni being supposed to have had a settlement at this spot. Hawick is a substantial and flourishing town, the prosperity of which dates from the beginning of the 19th century, its enterprise having won for it the designation of " The Glasgow of the Borders." The municipal buildings, which contain the free library and reading-room, stand on the site of the old town hall. The Buccleuch memorial hall, commemorating the sth duke of Buccleuch, contains the Science and Art Institute and a museum rich in exhibits illustrating Border history. The Academy furnishes both secondary and technical education. The only church of historical interest is that of St Mary's, the third of the name, built in 1763. The first church, believed to have been founded by St Cuthbert (d. 687), was succeeded by one dedicated in 1214, which was the scene of the seizure of Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie in 1342 by Sir William Douglas. The modern Episcopal church of St Cuthbert was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott. The Moat or Moot hill at the south end of the town—an earthen mound 30 ft. high and 300 ft. in circumference —is conjectured to have been the place where formerly the court of the manor met; though some authorities think it was a primitive form of fortification. The Baron's Tower, founded in 1155 by the Lovels, lords of Branxholm and Hawick, and after-wards the residence of the Douglases of Drumlanrig, is said to have been the only building that was not burned down duringthe raid of Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd earl of Sussex, in April 1570. At a later date it was the abode of Anne, duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, after the execution of her husband, James, duke of Monmouth in 1585, and finally became the Tower Hotel. Bridges across the Teviot connect Hawick with the suburb of Wilton, in which a public park has been laid out, and St Leonard's Park and race-course are situated on the Common, 2 m. S.W. The town is governed by a provost, bailies and council, and unites with Selkirk and Galashiels (together known as the Border burghs) to send a member to parliament. The leading industries are the manufacture of hosiery, established in 1771, and woollens, dating from 1830, including blankets, shepherd's plaiding and tweeds. There are, besides, tanneries, dye works, oil-works, saw-mills, iron-founding and engineering works, quarries and nursery gardens. The markets for live stock and grain are also important. In 1537 Hawick received from Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig a charter which was confirmed by the infant Queen Mary in 1545, and remained in force until 1861, when the corporation was reconstituted by act of parliament. Owing to its situation Hawick was often imperilled by Border warfare and marauding freebooters. Sir Robert Umfraville (d. 1436), governor of Berwick, burned it about 1417, and in 1562 the regent Moray had to suppress the lawless with a strong hand. Neither of the Jacobite risings aroused enthusiasm. In 1715 the discontented Highlanders mutinied on the Common, 500 of them abandoning their cause, and in 1745 Prince Charles Edward's cavalry passed southward through the town. In 1514, the year after the battle of Flodden, in which the burghers had suffered severely, a number of young men surprised an English force at Hornshole, a spot on the Teviot 2 M. below the town, routed them and bore away their flag. This event is celebrated every June in the ceremony of " Riding the Common "—in which a facsimile of the captured pennon is carried in procession to the accompaniment of a chorus " Teribus, ye Teri Odin," supposed to be an invocation to Thor and Odin—a survival of Northumbrian paganism. Two of the most eminent natives of the burgh were Dr Thomas Somerville (1741–1830), the historian, and James Wilson (1805-1860), founder of the Economist newspaper and the first financial member of the council for India. Minto House, 5 m. N.E., is the seat of the earl of Minto. Denholm, about midway between Hawick and Jedburgh, was the birthplace of John Leyden the poet. The cottage in which Leyden was born is now the property of the Edinburgh Border Counties Association, and a monument to his memory has been erected in the centre of Denholm green. Cavers, nearer Hawick, was once the home of a branch of the Douglases, and it is said that in Cavers House are still preserved the pennon that was borne before the Douglas at the battle of Otterburn (Chevy Chase), and the gauntlets that were then taken from the Percy (1388). Two in. S.W. of Hawick is the massive peel of Goldielands—the " watch-tower of Branxholm," a well-preserved typical Border stronghold. One mile beyond it, occupying a commanding site on the left bank of the Teviot, stands Branxholm Castle, the Branksome Hall of The Lay of the Last Minstrel, once owned by the Lovels, but since the middle of the 15th century the property of the Scotts of Buccleuch, and up to 1756 the chief seat of the duke. It suffered repeatedly in English invasions and was destroyed in 157o. It was rebuilt next year, the peel, finished five years later, forming part of the modern mansion. About 3 m. W. of Hawick, finely situated on high ground above Harden Burn, a left-hand affluent of Borthwick Water, is Harden, the home of Walter Scott (1550-1629), an ancestor of the novelist.
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