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man of deep religious feelings, and one who retrace his steps and return to Pisania, where he endeavoured to bring up his family in the same arrived after an absence of nineteen months. old paths as those along which he himself had Returning home, Park published an account been guided. He was remarkable for the length of his travels—a work which at once attracted and breadth of “the grace” which he used to much attention from the light it threw upon the ask before partaking of every meal. At the social and domestic life of the negroes, and on annual killing of the “fat beast,” and salting up the botany and meteorology of the regions the beef for the winter use of the family, one of through which he passed. One of these negroes the old man's sons once observed, “I think, Park brought home with him as servant, and it faither, if ye would offer a guid lang grace owre is of this “black man ” that the following the meat in the tub there, ye wouldna' need to incident is related while staying at Selkirk. As say another till next Marti'mas." The hint was some masons were engaged in building a house not taken, however.
there, they used to see from the scaffolding After some private tuition at home, Mungo Park's black servant killing a sheep in the was sent to the Grammar School at Selkirk, courtyard of the house adjoining. Nothing where he continued some years. His father killed by the Selkirk butcher would the negro
From Photo by A. R. Edwards,
MUNGO PARK'S MONUMENT. had destined him for the church, but having no eat, and this Mahomedan prejudice was reliking for that destiny, the boy chose medicine spected by his master. instead, and was apprenticed at the early age of Going home to Fowlshiels, Mungo Park fifteen to Dr. Anderson of Selkirk.
became acquainted with Sir Walter Scott, and Completing his medical course at the the two famous Borderers eventually became University of Edinburgh, Park went to London, much attached to each other. Calling one day where he obtained a situation as Assistant- at Fowlshiels, and not finding Park at home, Surgeon on board a vessel bound for the East Scott set out in search of him along the banks Indies. Returning home in 1793, the “African of the Yarrow. He soon discovered the traveller Association " of London, offered the young standing beside a deep pool pitching one stone surgeon an appointment in their service. after another into the water, and anxiously Gratefully accepting this offer, Park sailed for watching the bubbles as they rose to the surface. Africa, in 1795, and spent some months at the “ This,” said Scott, “appears but an idle English Colony of Pisania, on the Gambia, amusement for one who has seen so much learning the Mandingo language. Starting for stirring adventure." the interior, he eventually reached the Niger, “Not so idle perhaps as you suppose,” replied but meeting with many hindrances he had to Park. “This is the way in which I used to
ascertain the depth of a river in Africa, before I county, and locally, for the town of Shrewsbury, ventured to cross it-judging whether the attempt by the natives, who call themselves “proud would be safe by the time the bubbles of air Salopians.” Like most English counties, Salop took to ascend.”
has since the earliest times been the residenceAfter remaining at Fowlshiels for some time, more or less temporary-of Scotsmen, some of Park went over to Peebles, accompanied by his whom, long since departed, have left behind black servant, and commenced practice as a them surgeon. He had recently married one of the
“Footprints on the sands of Time,” daughters of his old friend, Dr. Anderson of that are worth tracking across the pages of local Selkirk, and was apparently settling down as a history, more especially the footprints of several country doctor. But he soon got tired of the who hailed from the Border Counties of Scotland. long professional visits he was obliged to under- In the Salopian annals of nearly five centuries take, and he declared to Scott on one occasion, ago there occurs a name of great interest to all that he would rather brave Africa, and all its Scotsmen. the Earl of Douglas. " That hot horrors, than wear out his life among the hills termagant Scot” fought with Hotspur at the of Peeblesshire, with an income so precarious as battle of Shrewsbury, in 1403, when, after three hardly enough to keep body and soul together. hours desperate fighting, in which Douglas is
We can scarcely wonder to hear, after this, said to have thrice unhorsed the king, Hotspur that Park eventually arranged to return to Africa. was killed, and his friends fled in confusion, An aged servant of his told the author of leaving six thousand dead on the field ; an old Glimpses of Peebles, that she remembered the writer says, “ of the brave Scots, who were ever parting between Park and his wife. "Ailie, say foremost in the fight, few were left alive.” the word, and I'll stay,” he said. But she,
"Shall it be said Earl Douglas wyll knowing the earnestness of his desire to go, with
Avenge not Hotspur's death ? great self denial restrained the word she certainly
Long as Scots bloode does my veines fyll wished to speak.
I'll weare the sanguine wreathe." Park's main object in returning to Africa was The Scottish Earl was taken prisoner while to discover the course and the source of the attempting to leap a steep crag on Haughmond great river Niger. That object, however, he was Hill, where he was thrown from his horse. The not destined to accomplish. With only four old Salopian writer already quoted says, "the European companions, the party reached the king (Henry IV.) courteously released Douglas Houssa Country, but they got no farther. All without ransom, because he feared that the Scots is conjecture after that point. It is now believed would dreadfully avenge the death of a man so that the party were either murdered by the dear to them.” Haughmond Hill is still a natives, or drowned while attempting to force wooded forest-chase, as it was in the time of their way through a narrow pass in the course of Shakespeare, who speaks of it as “yon bosky the Niger.
hill," and the battle was that in which the valiant Mungo Park has not been forgotten in his Falstaff performed such feats of endurance and native district. Some years ago, a statue was valour, and “ fought a long hour by Shrewsbury erected to his memory in Selkirk, and there it clock." stands not far from that of his friend Sir Walter. Another nobleman
Another nobleman connected with the Borders On the day after the inauguration of the was the ninth Earl of Dundonald, who for a monument, a souter's wife was heard giving vent considerable time carried on large experimental to her ideas of the ceremony in the following works for making coke, and extracting tar, etc., strain :-“Deed was l; I was at the 'nauguration, from coal, on the banks of the Severn, at the and sic a crood o' folk I never saw in Selkirk
Calcutts, near Broseley, about 1775, and later.
Calcutts near Brose afore. I was maist crushed to daith. But what Phe site of the works was close to extensive coal was a' the wark aboot? Whan they lifted up mines, and the mode of manufacture was by the claith, the feent a thing could I see to raise "stew coal ovens," as they were called, which sic a stir aboot. Naething but a stane man !”
were supplied with coal kept burning at the bottom, and the smoke was conveyed by flues
into a capacious funnel built of brick, and Border footprints in Salopia. covered with lead on the top to form a shallow
pool of water. The smoke, condensed by the ALOPIA is the classic name given by the chill of the water, fell to the bottom in the form
Romans to the district now known as the of tar, which was conveyed by pipes to a receiver,
county of Shropshire, and is still preserved and pumped into a large boiler. Here it was in the contraction Salop, used generally for the reduced by heat to a proper consistence for
pitch, the volatile parts being also condensed The Severn valley here may claim to be the into an oil. Great quantities of tar and pitch birthplace and cradle of the iron industry of were sent off in barges down the Severn to the modern times, and among the early pioneers royal dockyards for the use of the navy, and the were several Scotsmen, who by their talents and oil was sold to japanners, the residual coke industry did much to place the manufacture on being disposed of to makers of cold blast pig- a firm basis. Mr. Randall, in his book on the iron. The gas driven off would sometimes Severn valley, referring to Alexander Brodie, collect in the flues, and take fire, blowing up the says, “Dr. Johnson once said, the noblest prosolid brickwork by the explosion. The manu spect a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that facture was successful from a practical and ex- leads him to England, and he might have added, perimental point of view, but not so financially, particularly if there is a coal or iron mine at the and his Lordship sunk many thousands in the end of it.” Alexander Brodie, referred to, was venture. A local historian says, “his lordship born at Traquair, Peeblesshire, in 1733. At the was one of the most experienced chemists, and age of eighteen he went to London, crossing thoroughly understood both the theory and the London Bridge with only a few pence in his practice of the science. Many curious anecdotes pocket, and from 1751 to 1759 was employed of his cheerful and benevolent disposition are partly there, and partly in Huntingdon. In the current in the neighbourhood.” His Lordship latter year he set up for himself in London, and resided in old mansion called The Tuckies, near the year after married Mary Howard of Chiswick, his works. It stands on a rising ground near who died in 1777, and he remained a widower. the Severn, and commands an extensive view. His business was successful, and his inventions When making repairs to the house some years in register grates, ships' stoves, etc., led to his ago, the workmen found a brown paper parcel being patronised by the Government, and some addressed to the Earl of Dundonald, which had of these were supplied to Windsor Castle, and lain there since his time. That famous admiral, several ships in the navy. At that time he had the tenth Earl of Dundonald, “the last and about a hundred men employed in his workshops most daring of our old sea-kings,” resided here in London. In 1786 he came to Shropshire, for a short time when a boy, with his father, and and bought the mines, stock, and houses, etc., is said to have studied chemistry sufficiently to at the Calcutts—where the Earl of Dundonald have acquired a sound knowledge of it. More had his tar works-and carried on the ironworks about both these Earls is to be found in Dr. successfully. It is also said that he had a share Pennecuik's and Chambers' Histories of Peebles- in a foundry at Manchester. At the Calcutts he shire. Also in the statistical account of that made iron of the best quality, castings, etc., for county ; the Dundonald family having at one his own trade, and cannon for the Government. time been resident on the estate of Lamancha, An old writer says “he could boast of having the in the parish of Newlands, Peeblesshire. After best and most complete boring machine for the Earl ceased to carry on his experiments, the cannon in Europe.” The Prince of Orange buildings and site were converted into an Iron visited the works and inspected, with approval, Foundry by Alexander Brodie of Traquair, of some 18 and 32 pounders, which were fired in whom more anon.
his honour. Once Mr. Brodie had some of his It may be a surprise to some of the Tweedside guns rejected, it is said, through refusing to pay folk to learn that there is a village called some Government officials the usual fees, but he Tweeddale, in Salop. This is a small hamlet, ultimately sold them to some merchants for consisting of a few houses, with, until about shipment to India. During the Sikh and Burthree years ago, “ The Tweeddale Inn.” The mese wars some of the soldiers who had been inhabitants are mostly miners and ironworkers. workmen at the Calcutts, recognised them again The place has a background of huge pit-mounds, when captured from the enemy. Other ironand a sluggish canal in front, all so unlike the works in the vicinity made cannon also, and one wavy Peeblesshire hills, and the murmuring of Mr. Brodie's neighbour's workmen had a song waters of the Tweed. The origin of the name in praise of their employer and his cannon, part seems to have been lost sight of, but the sug
have been lost sight of. but the sug of which is as follows gestion is offered that a native of the Scottish “That the wood of old England would fail did appear, Tweeddale-an ironmaster of the vicinity-may
And tough iron was scarce, because charcoal was dear. have named it after his native county, and this
By puddling and stamping he cured that evil,
So the Swedes and the Russians may go to the devil. seems reasonable, as only about a mile distant in the Severn valley is the site of the old iron
“Our thundering cannon too frequently burst,
A mischief so great he prevented the first, works where Alexander brodie 0 Iraquant And now it's well known they never miscarry, made his fortune.
But drive all our foes, with a blast, to Old Harry.”
According to a local history "in 1803 Alexander Alexander Brodie the second, with his wife, Brodie & Co. at the Calcutts had 2 furnaces in and a Thomas Cochran with his wife and family blast, one making 20 and the other 15 tons per (probably the manager referred to) all lie buried week, chiefly of gun iron, which was used upon near each other beside the Red Church at Jackthe premises for guns, mortars and shells for field, on the top of the hill above the Calcutts. Government contracts. A 36 single power Close to their graves is another, covered by a engine worked the furnaces, and a 24 single large slab, inscribed as follows:power engine was in erection at that date to “To the memory of Mr. James Burns of Hamilton, blow a third. The last furnace, of which there North Britain, Manager of the British Tar Comwere subsequently four, was blown out in 1828." pany's works, at Muirkirk, in the country of Ayr. Another writer, describing a visit to ice Calcutts This plate is fixed here by the Company, to remain as a in 1836, when it was being dismantled, speaks
Testimony of the regard they have for the De
ceased, and of the loss they have suffered by the of “the great Iron Foundry where so many
death of so faithful a servant, and so worthy a cannon were cast by Mr. Brodie during the late
young man. war, two of which, now on the premises, are to
He died March ye 21st, 1788. be devoted to the furnace as old metal.” The
Aged 31 years." manager of the works was a nephew named Probably he was connected with the tar works Cochrane, who along with other twelve nephews of the Earl of Dundonald. and nieces, received a legacy of £15,000. Mr. A neighbouring ironmaster named John Brodie was succeeded at the Calcutts by another Wilkinson (known as “the father of the iron nephew, Alexander Brodie the second, but local trade”), whose works were about two miles from historians only mention his name, and he died Mr. Brodie's, was in the habit of issuing tokens in 1830, aged 90.
of silver and bronze--instead of money-bearing Alexander Brodie seems to have had a warm his name and sundry devices, such as a forge, a side to his native place, and his benefactions to hammer, etc. Some of these have found their Innerleithen, with his purchase of an estate near way to Kelso and Dunbar, and likely to other Peebles, are recorded in the local annals and the Scottish towns as well, taken there it may be Histories of Peeblesshire. Probably the sug- by Scotsmen who had been employed in Salop, gestion is correct that he gave the name of and returned home to end their days among Tweeddale to the Salopian hamlet in remember familiar scenes. ance of his native county, and sometimes when Contemporary with Alexander Brodie was the gazing on the muddy Severn and its wooded famous engineer, Thomas Telford, who in the banks, his mind would be far away to the clear early part of his career was County Surveyor of sparkling Tweed, and the bush aboon Traquair, Shropshire, and had charge of all the county where he
roads and bridges. Samuel Smiles has given “ Heard the cushies croon
his biography in such detail that it might be Through the gowden afternoon,
sufficient almost to merely mention his name as And the Quair burn singin' doon
a distinguished son of the Borderland. He seems To the Vale o' the Tweed.”
to have been well acquainted with Mr. Brodie. When Alexander Brodie the second retired from During his surveyorship he built 42 bridges, and the works, they passed into the hands of Mr. five of these were constructed of iron. Iron William Hazeldine, of Shrewsbury, who carried bridges were then a novelty, as the first bridge them on for some years, " but such was the un- in iron had been erected in 1777 near Coalbrookpropitiousness of the period, that even his master dale, and the success of this structure decided talents could not succeed, he consequently lost him some years after to employ iron when some thousands of pounds in the adventure." opportunity presented itself. This occurred in Mr. Hazeldine had another foundry at Coleham, 1795, when a flood washed away a stone bridge near Shrewsbury, and was associated with another over the Severn at Buildwas, about two miles Borderer, Thomas Telford, the famous engineer, farther up from the site of the first bridge. In as contractor for the Menai Suspension Bridge, 1800 he contributed a paper to “ Plymley's the Chirk, and Pont-Cysylltau Aqueducts, and Survey of Shropshire ” on the River Severn and other important works. After he left, the Cal canal navigation, and in this he describes Buildcutts was finally cleared of all the buildings was Bridge as follows :-“At a place called formerly used as a foundry, and since then the Buildwas there was formerly a stone bridge, consite has been occupied by brick, tile, and en sisting of narrow arches which was a great caustic works, and the place which once knew obstruction to the navigation. This bridge was Alexander Brodie and his works now knows him carried away by the high flood in 1795, and has no more.
been rebuilt of iron, at the expense of the county, from a plan given by me as county surveyor. And no doubt there are many unknown Scottish It was erected in a masterly manner by the Coal- graves in that part of Salop which has been the brookdale Company, and finished in 1796. The scene of the rise of modern iron industries, and span of the arch is 130 feet, and the rise is 24 there may they rest in peace. feet.” The paper is illustrated with a plan and
A LINTON LAD. elevation of the bridge, and Samuel Smiles also gives a view of it in his biography. The editor, in introducing the paper, says, “The interesting
Border Aotes and Queries. section that follows is furnished by Mr. TELFORD,
NOTES. so well known in many parts of England and
-HE golden wedding of Lord and Lady Napier Scotland as an engineer and an architect, and and Ettrick was celebrated at Selkirk on to whose general merit I am happy in this
the sixth of May last, by the presentation to opportunity of bearing testimony." The bridge
Lady Napier of the portrait of her husband, was the second iron bridge built, and both it and of a replica to the County of Selkirk. Lord and the first are still standing, and carry the local
Polwarth presided, and Lord Dalkeith, in pre
senting the portrait to Lady Napier, asked her traffic. About three years ago the Buildwas
acceptance of it in testiinony of the great personal Bridge received a thorough overhaul and repair admiration in which both she and her husband are at the hands of Sir Benjamin Baker, the distin- held in the Border Counties. guished engineer of the Forth Bridge. The site Lady Napier, in acknowledging the gift, said it is quite rural, and about 200 yards from the was with a full and thankful heart and the deepest ruins of an old Cistercian Abbey, whose massive
sense and appreciation of their friendship and pillars and arches combine with the bridge to
generosity that she received, at the hands of the
eldest son of the honoured chief of their clan, make a pleasing picture. At the one end of the
the portrait of her husband, painted by Scotland's bridge stands Buildwas Inn, an old English half
most eminent artist, who was also, she was proud to timbered house, with high gables, a resting place say, their personai friend. No more precious gift well known to Salopians. And the sign on the could be bestowed upon one who for more than front was a pleasant surprise to any Scottish fifty years had been Lord Napier's happy wife. He, stranger, as it read. " The Abbey Hotel. by a Scott of Thirlestane, born within sight of the Robert Burns," this being the late worthy
ruined tower which once sheltered his Border
ancestors, brought her to her future home in the host's name. To return to Mr. Telford, besides
first golden days of married life. He taught her to building bridges he was also an architect, love and to admire their pastoral hills and wooded and St. Mary's at Bridgenorth stands as an glens, green haughs and rushing streams, and to evidence of his taste and skill. After leaving value the warm hearts which gave her, an EnglishShropshire for London, he had an extensive woman and a stranger, a cordial welcome amongst practice, and the great Holyhead Road, the
them. In Ettrick, her happiest hours had been Menai Suspension Bridge, and canals, etc., in
spent ; in Ettrick, if it pleased God she hoped to
die. During a long and varied existence she had various parts of the country testify to his success.
dwelt in many a beautiful and hospitable land and For these, reference can be made to Mr. Smiles' tasted many joys, but Ettrick Forest, the poetic land and other books. He seems to have kept up of Scott, must ever seen the fairest to her eyes, and friendship with Mr. Brodie, for in an extract its inhabitants the nearest and dearest to her heart. from a letter dated February, 1799, Mr. Smiles DEATH OF A PROMINENT BORDER FARMER.says that " at London he is often with old Mr. George Torrance, tenant of Leetside, in the
parish of Whitsome, died there on the uth May Brodie and Black, each the first in his profes
last, after a prolonged illness. For upwards of sion, though they walked up together to the
forty years Mr. Torrance had been widely known great city on foot, now more than half a century and respected on the Borders. A native of Midago. Gloria !”
Lothian, he, in 1851, became tenant of Chalkielaw, Such are a few of the Border footprints to be Duns, which he farmed for nineteen years, and then tracked in the local histories of Salop. It should
ud removed to Sisterpath, Fogo, which he occupied for
another lease. There he founded a flock of Border be remembered that while a few names stand
Leicester sheep, the shearling rams from which out prominently over their fellows, there have have for many years taken a foremost place at the been many who each worked as diligently in his Kelso ram sales, and commanded high prices. own sphere, and now rest in obscurity, like the When the City of Glasgow Bank failed, of which old Scottish Chevalier, whose wish, as expressed
Mr. Torrance was a shareholder, he sustained a by the minstrel, was
heavy financial loss, but he lived to overcome it.
For some years he had been tenant of Leetside, “Oh! bury me by the bracken bush,
Crossrig, and Langtonlees. From Crossrig he was Beneath the blooming brier ;
retiring at the approaching term, and was also Let never living mortal ken
parting with his Leicester flock. · He was in his That a kindly Scot lies here !”