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AR from the maddening crowd, in the Sweethope, near Kelso. Prominent landmarks
sequestered parish of Cavers, this worthy in the vicinity are Hume Castle, Smailholm
son of the Borderland was born on the Tower, Sweethope crags, and the loch where 5th April, 1845, at North House, Teviothead, phantastic shadows cast by the huge masses of where his father was land steward. At that time stone lent terror to the imaginative childhood the Rev. Henry Scott Riddell was minister at of Sir Walter Scott. Teviothead, and the laddies looked upon the The elementary education, interrupted at author of "Scotland Yet” and “The Hames o' Teviothead, was continued at Stitchel and oor ain folk” with fear and trembling. There Nenthorn schools until the age of thirteen, when our young Borderer had his ABC licked into him William Robertson was apprenticed to Messrs. in the good old way by Dominie Little, and J. & J. H. Rutherfurd, well known publishers doubtless imbibed in that classic ground some- and booksellers in Kelso, whose Border Almanac thing of the old Border spirit, love of freedom and meets with an annual welcome far beyond the manly independence; for in this parish of bounds of the Borderland. Cavers, of which Denholm is the chief town, Local tradition says that Mr. Rutherfurd preresided the lineal descendents of the hero of dicted, on observing how the young apprentice Otterburn; and on its southern side lies Liddes. set to his work the first day, that this one would dale, the old Debatable Land, home of the rise to something yet. However, the lad did Elliots, the Armstrongs, Lord Soulis of Hermi- not remain long, though he gives Mr. James tage, and other Border chiefs celebrated in Rutherfurd the credit of founding in him the olden ballad and story.
basis of a good commercial training, but reIn these degenerate days when we are almost linquished that pursuit of literature for a more altogether made in Germany, when the rural general calling, and entered the firm of Redpopulation must leave the pastoral vale for the path & Son, at that time one of the largest great centres of trade and commerce, and people hardware houses in the south of Scotland. are more eager in getting riches than under- After completing an apprenticeship he eventually standing, the Borderland, with its heroic past rose to a partnership on a re-organisation of the and reflective and energetic present, is a good firm as Redpath & Company, and continued soil for implanting hardihood and courage in in that position until the Glasgow business young hearts to be shown in after years.
was opened. He still regards the late Mr. From Teviothead the family removed to James Redpath as the best friend he ever had.
Mackintosh & Co Kelso.
From Photo by
FREE CHURCH, KELSO, Improvement Association, started under the considerable number connected with the local auspices of the First U.P. Church, was one of press, teachers in schools in and about the the most successful movements; and lads from district, and others who had a leaning to literary fourteen years of age were amongst the foremost taste. Mr. Robertson asserts that in these he in promoting its success. All young men were got his education rather than at school, and this in a measure explains the pleasure he mani. self in Glasgow Central Arcade, and with fests in encouraging such societies for young characteristic energy and courage went to the men of the present day. But while developing London Fisheries Exhibition the same year, his mind in this kind of school, he was also 1883, gaining two Diplomas. receiving instruction in the tender passion from Unknown and knowing no one in Glasgow, the bright eyes of a Kelso lassie, with whom one of his first acquaintances was the late Mr. he entered the bonds of matrimony in the Wm. Forsyth, a man of culture, wide reading, year '69.
full of the glamour of Border poesy and tale, In church affairs likewise Mr. Robertson and as leal a Borderer as ever lived. He fulfilled his part, and was an office-bearer in was a leading promoter of the Glasgow Border Kelso Free Church, the church of Dr. Horatius Counties Association, and soon brought Mr. Bonar. He was one of the deputation appointed Robertson into the conclave. Moreover, a keen to hear Dr. Robertson Nicoll, then a young angler, and associated with the brethren of the man just beginning his career in the ministry; angle throughout the west, his was no mere and the report of the deputation, which was lukewarm friendship. Let it be said, the new the means of bringing to Kelso that now world enterprise grew and grew, and now Mr. Willie
esteemed critic and litterateur, is a valued possession of Mr. Robertson's, it having been written out by his own hand.
In order to expand the Fishing Tackle De partment of his firm, which was gaining distinc tion throughout the country and still enjoys a good reputation, Mr. Robertson travelled in the north of Scotland for several years, taking up his residence first in Edinburgh, and afterwards in the Kingdom of Fife. It was during his sojourn among the people of the kingdom that his shadow began to grow to those ample dimensions that hid our young Kelso contemporary for a time from our eyes.
At the expiry of the term of co-partnery he retired from the firm, started business for him
Robertson is guide, counsellor and friend to followers of the gentle art the wide world over.
A keen and wily angler now, Kelso folks say he never handled a rod with success when a dweller on Tweedside. Every stream, loch, and burn in Scotland he knows, and with suitable lures he can “bate a'.” . For some years past a Director of the Loch Leven Angling Association, Ltd., President of Glasgow Wanderers' Angling Club for six years, Chairman of Committee of Upper Ward of Lanark Clyde Angling Protection Association, Member of Committee of Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association, his enthusiasm is unbounded. He was chief in promoting the Clyde Hatchery started at Abing. ton some years ago, the first promoted by