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Charles B. Balfour, Esq.,
OF NEWTON DON, KELSO.
BY JAMES HERRIOT, DUNS.
the son of Charles Balfour of Balgonie medal and clasp and the Khedive's bronze star.
and Newton Don, and the Hon. Adelaide Mr. Balfour's health had suffered in Egypt, Barrington, daughter of the sixth Viscount and in November 1886, he obtained six months' Barrington, was born at Newton Don on leave of absence, in order to visit the Australian February 20, 1862. His boyhood was spent Colonies and New Zealand. He spent some mainly at Newton Don ; but his acquaintance time in Adelaide and Melbourne, and travelled with other countries than his own began early, with the Governor, Sir Henry Loch, through as his father's health compelled the family to parts of Victoria. He travelled through New spend the winter abroad. Mr. Balfour's mother Zealand with the Chief-Justice of South Australia, died on February 23, 1862. His father married and, after a visit to New South Wales, he reagain, his second wife being Minnie Georgiana, turned home in May 1887. Mr. Balfour's daughter of the Hon. Augustus Liddell, of travels were thus not only extensive, but they were Holly Grove, which residence he occupied as conducted in circumstances which afforded the Deputy Ranger of Windsor Park. Here Charles highest opportunities of seeing all that is best, Balfour died in 1872, and here Mr. Balfour : and learning all that is most deserving of study, lived during the intervals of his school life. in these great Colonies..
In 1870 Mr. Balfour entered the preparatory Mr. Balfour's political life began in 1885. In school of the Rev. J. Hawtrey, near Slough, that year, owing to the sudden death of Sir where he remained for five years. In 1875 he George Douglas, Bart, of Springwood Park, the went to Eton College, where he spent five years, Conservative party in Roxburghshire had to and underwent the training required for the find a representative; and Mr. Balfour accepted military examination. In 1880 he gave proof their invitation to contest the county. He of his diligence and abilities by passing second entered upon the work with vigour, and met in this examination. At the Royal Military with a large measure of success. He spoke College, Sandhurst, he maintained his high place, often, and boldly, and well; he grudged no and passed out in 1881 third of all competitors. trouble, and spared no pains; he won the respect He was- gazetted to the Scots Guards, and of his opponents, and he laid his supporters under joined that regiment in Dublin at Christmas a debt of gratitude which they will never forget. 1881. He served with his regiment in the Mr. Balfour's value as a politician had been Egyptian campaign in 1882. He was present so well proved that in 1889 he was gladly
adopted as Unionist candidate for Berwickshire parts of Scotland unanimously chose Mr. In 1890 he was elected to the Berwickshire Balfour President for the year 1894-95, and his County Council for Nenthorn and Hume. He term of office having expired he has since been found the duties of these positions so engrossing unanimously appointed Chairman of the Eastern that he considered it right to resign his com- Divisional Council of the Union. mission in the Scots Guards, thus sacrificing, in Mr. Balfour takes his full share of county the interests of the public life of the country, his work. In 1890 he was apointed chairman of the part in a profession to which he was suited, and Finance Committee of the County Council, and in which his advancement was certain.
was re-elected without opposition in 1892. He Mr. Balfour is widely known to the electors was besides, for a considerable period, captain of his county as a man of high ability and strong of the Earlston Company of the Berwickshire commonsense; a speaker of bold address and Volunteers, his commission in which he resigned clear and convincing argument ; a source of in 1895. He is also a J.P. for Roxburghshire, strength and confidence to his supporters, and a and Berwickshire, and D.L. for Berwickshire. fair and generous adversary to his political He is also this year, Master of the Kelso (No.
opponents. This popularity is in proportion to 58) Lodge of Free Masons, and substitute P.G. his personal qualities. In 1885 the Liberal M. of Roxburgh, Selkirk, and Peebles provinces. majority in Berwickshire was 2,533. In 1886 it In 1888 Mr. Balfour married Lady Nina was reduced to 1,601. In 1892 when Mr. M'Donnell, youngest daughter of the late Earl Balfour first contested the Seat it was reduced of Antrim. There are three sons of this marriage to 748, and he further reduced it in 1894 to -Charles-James, born February, 1889: Duncan, 565, and in 1895 to 507. The Unionists of the born April, 1891: and John, born May, 1894. county are now taking the necessary steps for Popular as Mr. Balfour is in Berwickshire and presenting him with a testimonial in recognition Roxburghshire, his popularity does not surpass of his services.
that of Lady Nina in these Counties particularly At the Annual Conference of the National in Berwickshire where she is well known to the Union of Conservative Associations of Scotland, whole Constituency, every part of which she had in Edinburgh, November 1894, a large and repeatedly visited with her husband during representative gathering of delegates from all Election Contests.
Since 1890 Mr. Balfour has resided at Newton be otherwise ; the English had ample time to Don, where considerable improvements have take steady aim, while the Scots were there since been carried out. The mansion-house has simply as targets to the foe, and having no been added to, and electric light installed. archers, were slaughtered without resistance. Cottages have been rebuilt, the gardeners' The English trumpets and nakers, sounding accommodation and the stables have been vigorously, mingled strangely with the groans of remodelled. In 1887, there was a considerable their suffering and dying opponents. Struggling development of the coal-field on Balgonie Estate, and plunging in the marsh, with their comrades and the remodelling of most of the farm-houses, falling on every side, the task of reaching the and a large scheme of water-supply to the farms enemy seemed so forlorn and hopeless that many in need of this, have also been carried out
of the Scots began to flee. The greater part It is interesting to know that in 1893 Mr. of the army, led by the nobility, at length Balfour reacquired for his family the estate and extricated themselves from the marsh. Tired mansion-house of Balfour, which Estate was and breathless, with a trail of dead behind, and surrounded on three sides by his Estate of a compact mass of English steel above, they Balgonie. This was the original birthplace of climbed the steep and rugged hill and assailed the family, and had passed by intermarriage, in the English spearmen and men-at-arms with 1370, to the family of Bethune, during whose great fury. Once within sword's length of their possession it was the birthplace of Cardinal Southern opponents, the Scots, with all their Bethune. The mansion-house of Balfour now native courage and daring, rushed madly against forms a mansion house for both Estates.. the solid front of Edward's host. Soon the
It is well known that Mr. Balfour is a near English line was broken and big gaps appeared relation of the distinguished statesman of his in their ranks. The rallying cry of * Douglas !” name. His father, Charles Balfour, was brother “Douglas !” gave strength to every arm, and of James Maitland Balfour, of Whittinghame, inspired with fresh courage the noble fellows the father of the Right Hon. Arthur James who had already struggled against overwhelming Balfour.
difficulties. They were placed at great disMr. Balfour is a keen sportsman, and his advantage, however, compared with their ideal of happiness is not a political platform but opponents, who were fresh, well posted, and a good gallop on a good horse with a good fox under excellent discipline. in front, and a good scent, with a good pack on Exhausted and thinned by the English arrows, his line. But he considers, perhaps, equal to this their cause was rendered almost hopeless ere is a stalk on the Highland hills on some of they had well begun the fight. Still they rallied these perfect days we had last Autumn, and the and fiercely maintained the contest in face of previous season, although, even in the worst of perhaps the most fearful difficulties that ever weather that particular form of sport is most Scottish host encountered. Those who were acceptable if there is a chance of a shot. He is foremost were borne back and thrown against an excellent shot both with the rifle and fowling their struggling comrades behind so that further piece, as well as a keen Angler and Curler, and advance was almost impossible. With courage both he and Lady Nina are expert Cyclists, and and tenacity of purpose they resolutely continued have enjoyed many a good run together.
the fight, though their efforts were unconnected A subject of great interest to Mr. Balfour is owing to the confusion which prevailed in their Archæology and its kindred subjects of local ranks. and family interest, and old manners and customs Baliol had command of one division of the generally, and he confesses that he often finds English army, and this the Earl of Ross, at the these more interesting than contemporary head of the Scottish reserve, attacked with such politics.
spirit and vigour that, at the first shock, the
enemy wavered. Ultimately, however, he was Border Battles and Battlefields : driven back and slain. Soon after this, Douglas BY JAMES ROBSON,
fighting bravely, and seeking to inspire his men Author of "Churches and Churchyards of Tevioidale," etc.
with like courage receive a mortal wound, being NO. 1.—BATTLE OF HALIDON HILL.
struck through with a spear, and was made Fought 19th July, 1333.
prisoner. Other Scottish nobles, amongst them (Continued).
the Earls of Lennox, Athole, Carrick and (A Nancient manuscript states that “the arrows Sutherland, together with James and Simon X flew as thick as motes on the sunbeam, Fraser, were struck down in the unequal strife.
and that their enemies (the Scots), fell to Such fatalities were but the precursor to a general the ground by thousands.” It could not well rout. The English with their long spears,