PARISH OF ETTRICK
For two centuries and more [written in 1886] Chapelhope (extending
almost directly westward from the head of the Loch of the Lowes) has
been tenanted by a family bearing the honoured Forest name of Laidlaw.
It is said that when Claverhouse first approached Yarrow in the 1670s in
search of conventicle-haunters, Laidlaw's wife asked him and his troop
to Chapelhope where she provided such liberal entertainment as satisfied
them of their host's undoubted loyalty. Yet Chapelhope was quite a noted
refuge for threatened Covenanters, on whose behalf the laidlaws incurred
heavy expenses, to the impairing of their own fortunes. Nor were the
Laidlaws less eminent as farmers. "I wish", says Mr Wright in his survey
of 1777, "to be particular upon Robert Laidlaw, tenant of Chapelhope, a
very young man, extremely industrious, and well educated by his father
in the knowledge of sheep ... His steers, after being wrought in the
plough till 7 years of age, frequently draw Â£18 the pair."
(P 293, The History of Selkirkshire or Chronicles of Ettrick Forest, by
T. Craig Brown. Published Edinburgh, David Douglas, 1886)
... and after being vacant for four and a half years, the parish of
Ettrick once more had an ordained pastor. Thomas Boston, A.M., author of
"The Fourfold State", was ordained minister of Ettrick on May day, 1707,
the same day on which was effected the union between Scotland and
England... It is difficult for the reader to understand the
extraordinary reputation enjoyed by Boston... Such monstrous conceptions
of the Deity could have found a seed bed only amongst people accustomed
to the sternly cruel creed of ultra-Calvanism... One is tempted to
question if Boston ever realised what Christianity is... Witness his
treatment of a dying elder, within five months after his arrival in the
parish. By cruel application of such mental tortures as he could summon
to his aid, this preacher of Christ wrung from his parishioner the
I, W___ L___, in Chapelhope, having fallen into sin, and not having in
the time of my health satisfied the discipline of the church, and being
now under the afflicting hand of God, in such sort that I have little or
no hope that ever I shall be able to satisfy in the usual manner, yet,
being sound in mind, I do hereby, for glorifying of God and edifying of
the congregation, take shame to myself, and with grief and sorry of
heart confess and acknowledge my sin whereby I have provoked the Lord,
grieved His Spirit, offended the congregation of His people, made the
hearts of the godly sad, and hardened the hearts of the wicked. I
confess my sin is attended with aggravating circumstances, for I have
returned with the dog to the vomit and with the sow that was washed to
her wallowing in the mire, ... whereof I am now ashamed. I was honoured
of God to bear office in His house as a ruling elder, of which I never
was worthy, and I acknowledge God would be just if He should, for this
and my other sins of heart and life, exclude me for ever from His
presence, and give me my portion with unclean spirits in that lake that
burns with fire and brimstone. But I desire to flee to the blood, etc.
... And finally I desire that these presents may be publicly intimate
before the congregation of Ettrick. Signed before Thomas Nasmith in
Bowerhope and Walter Welsh, the writer, 17th Sept. 1707.
After hearing this confession, extorted from a man about to appear
before the divine tribunal, the tribunal of the Kirk-session of Ettrick,
anxious to forestall the sentence, deponed their fellow elder and, of
course, "closed with prayer". At next meeting it was represented that
the suffering penitent was earnestly desirous to be absolved; but the
session, by reasoning thereupon, resolved to delay, that the brethren
might deal further with his conscience, as they had opportunity! Next
minutes (October 5) record that "there was no further procedure in W.
L.'s affairs, he being removed by death." Not a word of regret or of
self reproach from any member of the little Inquisition.
(P 274, 275, The History of Selkirkshire or Chronicles of Ettrick
Forest, by T. Craig Brown. Published Edinburgh, David Douglas, 1886)
Walter Laidlaw, elder in parish of Ettrick, died end of September 1707.
1799. Severe winter and spring causing great mortality of lambs. On the
31st May, Mr Laidlaw sent from Bowerhope 168 lambskins, 20 ewe and 19
Circuit Justiciary Court, Selkirk, 4-7 March, 1494 by Lords Drummond,
Glammys and Lile.
* 1 cow stolen from John Laidlaw out of Harethern.
* remission of John Laidlaw in Wynterburn, for the slaughter of John
Laidlaw, his uncle's son, in Wolfhop. Pledge, Robert Scot, son of David.
Similarly, in 1510
* David Laidlaw in Langbank fined 50s for the theftuous destruction
of Ettrick Forest.
* John Laidlaw in Winterburgh (now Crosslee and Newburgh), fined 50s
for destroying woods of Ettrick Forest.
SELKIRK REGISTER 1865
Miss Laidlaw, Girls School, Backbrae Park. Average attendance 60.
Farmers in the Parish of Yarrow - Alexander Laidlaw in Bowerhope.
Robert Laidlaw in Sundhope.
Farmers in the Parish of Ettrick - John Laidlaw in Annelshope
Tailor in Ettrick Bridge-end - John Laidlaw
Galashiels: Thomas Laidlaw was 1 of 2 junior magistrates. He was also
one of 9 commissioners of police.
William Laidlaw was clothier, 5 Bank Street
Ladhope Mill (Spinning only) was run by Laidlaw (formerly Provost of
Burgh of Galashiels) & Fairygrieve.
1649 Valuation Committee
Ettrick Parish - Adam Laidlaw in Chapelhope
- William Laidlaw in Cossarshill (or hall)
1819 The Hammersmen's Deacon (Masons?) in Selkirk was David Laidlaw (my
David Laidlaw would be 28 years old)
1733 Andrew Laidlaw was Deacon of Shoemakers in Selkirk.
1874 William Laidlaw was Deacon of Manufacturers Corporation.
1780 William Laidlaw was born, friend to Sir Walter Scott, at Blackhope,
"Thomas Laidlaw, when about 5 and 20, settled in Yass, New South Wales
where he amassed a fortune and died in 1876 aged 61. To three brothers
and one sister of his mother (Helen Cochrane) in Galashiels or their
families, Mr Laidlaw left about Â£35,000 each beside Â£17,000 in legacies
to churches and to other friends. He was elected to the New South Wales
Legislative Assembly in 1859."
Yarrowfues: William Laidlaw who died at Ashiesteel 16th Oct. 1864, aged
54. Much beloved and deeply regretted.
Janet Johnston, spouse to Alexander Laidlaw, who died at Peell Burn
Foot, Feb 10, 1813, aged 52. Also 2 of their children, James and Hellen.
Also the above named Alexander Laidlaw who died at Selkirk 21st Feb 1825
aged 64 years.
Selkirk: Erected in memory of Adam Laidlaw who died in Newark 17th
August 1861 aged 76 years and Elizabeth Scott his wife who died 29th
June 1839 aged 44 years also William Laidlaw their son who died 26th
March 1882 aged 65 years (this is mine!)