Friday, 25 March 2016

Life in Earlston in the Late 19th Century

                 What was everyday life like in Earlston 
                             in the late 19th century?

We get a sense of this from old newspapers, They are fascinating documents. The reports enable us to "experience" events, as they were recorded in the press of the time. It is not textbook history in the conventional manner, but is full of vigour, recording many varied aspects of the lives of ordinary people.
Take a look at these random snippets of "Headlines on Earlston" drawn from the local press - the first of a regular series.

EARLSTON. The property known as the Thorn House, has been purchased by The Misses Scott, Dunbar, for the purpose of establishing a high class boarding and day school for young ladies. 10 June 1879 - Berwickshire News and General Advertiser.

FOR the SCHOOL of REDPATH, Parish of Earlston. Applicants for the situation must be qualified to Teach thoroughly all the Ordinary Branches of Scottish Education. A Salary is given. The School is at present in a highly prosperous condition. 
15 July 1864 - Kelso Chronicle


EARLSTON.The Kirk Session meeting on Thursday evening resolved to distribute about 35 tons of coal among or poor people in the parish. The coals are to be supplied by Mr William Gray, Coal-Agent, Earlston Station. 

9 November 1878 - Berwickshire News and General Advertiser

EARLSTOUN. Short-Time Movement.— Last week Messrs (Chas. Wilson & Sons intimated to their employees that they should henceforth have one hour each meal instead of three-quarters formerly, thereby reducing the time of labour for the week to fifty-seven.  10 November 1871 - Kelso Chronicle.

Rhymer's Mill 

WEATHER - (Sounds familiar!)
Since the snow disappeared. a  considerable quantity of rain has fallen, which has saturated the soil with moisture and delayed the work of seed sowing. A favourable change, however, set in on Saturday, which was a good drying day,[
09 April 1872 - Berwickshire News and General Advertiser

PAVING THE STREETS A public meeting of the inhabitants of Earlston was held in the Reading Room Hall, on Wednesday evening, to consider the subject of making pathways on each side of the main street of Earlston, 17 January 1871 - Berwickshire News and General Advertiser.

DEATH OF LANCELOT WATSON11th April 1918 - Hawick Advertiser.

But  who was Lancelot Watson, with Earlston, Hawick and American connections?  
More research called for here!

And Finally

There died the other day at East Morriston a man named John Middlemass, at the very advanced age of 93. He was the father of 11 children. He had 70 grandchildren, 138 great-grandchildren, and 4 great, great  grandchildre , making in all 223 descendants. 17 May 1881 - Berwickshire News and General Advertiser.

So John Middlemass must have been born c.1788, just before the time of the French Revolution, and 75 years before the railway reached Earlston in 1863. 


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