Saturday, 29 October 2011

Donald Mitchell

This gravestone is to the side of the Spitalhaugh burial enclosure (about which more in the very near future. The text states:

In Memory of

Donald Mitchell

shepherd Whitfield who died 24th Feb. 1868

aged 30 years



his daughter, wife of Lawrence Forrest

who died at West Linton 28th June 1880

aged 20 years.

Maggie must have been 8 years old when her father died and married early only to die, like him, when very young. There might have been more text at the bottom but there is now no sign of it anymore and moss has taken over. It seems logical to assume Maggie's mother must have been buried there too but sadly we will now never know.

Friday, 28 October 2011

John Paterson and Jean Tweedie

The text reads:


in Memory of

John Paterson

who died the 23 March 1831

aged 84 years


Jean Tweedie his Spouse

who died the 18th Sept. 1821

aged 79 years

William Neil, died at Montreal LC

21st July 1834 aged 55 years

Elisabeth Patterson Neil died at Long Grove

Iowa, US, 2nd December 1866, aged 86 years

Jane Watson Neil, died at Welland, UC

18th January 1865, aged 51 years

Isabella Keel Neil died at Thurald UC

4th February 1861, aged 41

From this I deduce there are 3 generations mentioned here, John Paterson and his wife Jean Tweedie, their daughter Elisabeth Patterson (I presume this is a misspelling and she is a Paterson) Neil and her husband William Neil, and their two daughters Jane and Isabella.

Elisabeth Paterson apparently emigrated to the US as some stage either with her husband or she met her husband there.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Lawson Burial Monument 2

This is another view of the gate into the Lawson Burial building. See my previous blogpost for more pictures of this and the first 2 monuments set into the wall. Here are the other two.

This gravestone seems to vie with that of Margaret's one (see previous blogpost) for who was the most virtuous woman. In fact I'm assuming that Isabella was most likely Margaret's mother although John Lawson (her husband and Margaret's father) was married twice (see his gravesone on the previous blogpost. Here is the text (if you can bear it!!):


to the memory of

Mrs. Isabella Robertson

wife of

John Lawson Esq. of Cairnmuir

writer to the Signet (some sort of senior lawyer)

She died 27th August 1822

aged 42 years

Her husband and children

have inscribed a most Sincere

though imperfect Record

of her Many Virtues.

She was a dutiful daughter

A loving sister

a most affectionate wife

a tender Parent

a Kind Friend

a sincere Christian

Unaffectedly pious, human,

benevolent and charitable.

The price of a virtuous woman is for above rubies

The head of her Husband doth safely trust in her

She stretches out her hand to the poor, yea she

reacheth forth her hands to the needy

Her children arise up, and call her Blessed

Her husband also and he praiseth her

Prov. Chap 51st, verse 10, 11, 20 and 28.

The final grave monument in this small enclosure is the last one on the right hand side as you can see on the picture at the very top of this blog. The text says:

In memory of

Frederick William Watkins R.E

died 17 September 1874

and the

Reverend John Watkins M.A.

died 9 August 1906

successive owners of Medwyn-head

and the

last descendants of the Lawsons of Cairnmuir

to possess any part of the ancient inheritance

of that family.

Requiescant in Pace (May they rest in peace)

These must have been the sons of Margaret Spottiswoods Watkins (see my previous post) who was the daughter of John Lawson (also mentioned in the previous post. Her only brother (the heir, one must presume) died in Canada without any offspring, before she did, so she became the Lawson heir and passed this inheritance on to her sons. Neither of them seems to have had any offspring either.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Lawson Burial Monument

There are two small buildings situated within the walls of West Linton Graveyard. The first one seen above is sited to the right immediately after you enter the graveyard through the gate on the Main street and there are 2 separate compartments with individual gates as seen above.
By the way, shortly after I had taken these pictures someone (more than likely the Council, who is responsible for the upkeep of the graveyard) barred the gates with metal rods. I have the feeling there are Health and Safety issues. I'm so glad I managed to photograph everything inside before that happened!

This is the weapon set into the wall above the left-hand entry. Could it be the coat of arms of the Lawson family? I must investigate that further!.

This monument is on your immediate left as you enter the enclosure and it's as full of text as it's possible to fit onto it. Here it is in full:


Sacred to the memory of

Margaret Spottiswood Watkins

wife of

Francis Wilmer Watkins E.S.O., H.E. I.C.S.

and daughter of

the late John Lawson Esq.

of Cairnmuir

who departed this life at Conchieton in Galloway

on 11st June 1849

in the thirty-fourth year of her age

and was interred in this place.

Dearly loved and loving

as a wife, a mother, a sister and a friend

in the prime of life

she resigned all in humble faith

in the mercy of her God

through the atonement of her redeemer.

Our High affliction which is but for a

moment, worketh for us

a far more exceeding and eternal

weight of glory

While we look not at the things which are

seen but at the things

which are not seen for the things which

are seen are temporal

but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor.IV - 17 - 18

Sacred also

to the memory of

William Lawson

her only and beloved brother

who departed this life

at Cairnmuir Zorra, Upper Canada

on the same 11th day of June, 1847

in the thirty-sixth year of his age.

Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan

him, but weep sorg for him

that goeth away for he shall return

no more, nor see, his native country (Jeremiah XXII. 10)

Wherefore let them that suffer age according to the will of God commit the

keeping of their souls to him in well

doing as unto a faithful Creator

I Peter IV. 19

This is the grave monument of Margaret and William's father, set into the wall directly opposite the entrance to this little enclosure. It's difficult to read but here is what I think it says:

John Lawson Esq of Cairnmuir

who died June 1st 1834

aged 57

This stone is erected by

his affectionate widow

Janet, second daughter of

James Brown Esq. of Edmonston

Lanarkshire and relict of the

above John Lawson of Cairnmuir


21st may 1852

aged 54 years

More gravestones from this enclosure will follow in the next blogpost.

Friday, 21 October 2011

James Melrose and Bessie Purdie

I spend the morning in West Linton Graveyard where I now feel very much at home. But despite that I still haven't seen all the gravestones in detail and today I discovered this very old stone, dating back to 1707 and decorated beautifully with symbols of mortality such as skull, crossbones and Memento Mori text. Also on the other side of the stone, the pillars at the side (think "theatre of life"), as well as the winged soul at the top of this side, a symbol of immortality.

On the other side of the stone is the actual information about who was buried here. And to make it extra clear what the occupation of James Melrose was there is a carved shoemaker's knife at the top of the gravestone The text on this gravestone is now barely legible and I have Sheila A Scott's book Peeblesshire Monumental Inscriptions pre 1855 to thank for the additional information on the text that no longer could be read.

Here it is:




Hear lyes

James Melrose


...........died.... 1709

and also Bessie

Purdie his spouse

who died 11th Sept 1725 (??)

aged 79 (?)

There are more words and they look as if they were added at a later date but try as I may, I can't make any sense of them.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Thomas Weir and family

As you can see this gravestone is located closed to the church building. The text reads:

In loving memory


Maggie Jack

wife of Thomas Weir, Robinsland

who died at Edinburgh

25th Sept. 1894, aged 30 years

also Maggie Gibson

wife of Thomas Weir, Robinsland

who died 12th August 1903

aged 28 years


James Weir, their son

who died 20th July 1902

aged 7 months

also Maggie McKerrow

mother of the above Maggie Jack

who died 12th March 1903

aged 73 years

Also James Weir, late farmer

in Robinsland who died

at West Linton, 2nd Feby 1907

aged 87 years

Also the above Thomas Weir

Robinsland, who died 22nd April

1928, aged 78 years.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

John Ireland

This gravestone is almost leaning against the wall at the side of the Lower Green and it won't be long now before the text will be disappearing from sight. As it is, it's very difficult to read and I'm far from sure I have it all down correctly. But here is what I think it says with the occasional question mark.

In Memory of

John Ireland

who died at

West Linton

18th June 1835

aged 74 years


his son

who died 10th May 1855

aged 28 years

Jane Reid

his wife who died 30(?)th June 189(?)6

aged 85 years ????

Friday, 14 October 2011

Robert Graham

Another gravestone located close to the wall bordering the Lower Green in West Linton.

The text reads:

In memory of

Robert Graham who died at Alderhope

15th Dec 1847, aged 82 years


Janet Purdie his wife who died at Glints

15th Nov 1840, aged 77 years

erected by John and James Graham

their sons

Thursday, 13 October 2011

William Balfour

Stone is located close to the wall separating the graveyard from the Lower Green.

The text reads as follows:

Sacred to the memory

of William Balfour

who died 14th March 1850

aged 47 years


his son, William Balfour

who died 4th February 1850

aged 18 years


his father Robert Balfour

who died 14th February 1844

aged 95 years.

It might be fanciful of me but perhaps William Balfour senior died of a broken heart after the premature death of his young son.

Strangely this gravestone doesn't get a mention in Sheila A Scott's book Peeblesshire Monumental Inscriptions despite being well within the pre-1855 period.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Skull and crossbones

Not one specific grave today but simply a view in West Linton graveyard which caught my eye today as I was wandering around photographing graves and writing down what I can read of the engraved text for this blog.

John stayed in the car while I clambered around, handbag over my shoulder, umbrella clutched in my hand, notebook in my other hand while trying to decipher and then write down the text on various stones. All this while the rain came streaming down, it was dark, damp and very, very wet underfoot. I kept slipping and losing my footing (crocs really weren't the right thing to wear today!) and still I enjoyed myself hugely.

I feel so at home in this graveyard now, the gravestones are becoming old, familiar friends and it gives me a lot of satisfaction that I'm capturing their images and text for posterity on this blog. Perhaps I'm becoming just that little bit (or maybe very!) weird in my more mature days here on earth.

Friday, 7 October 2011

George Graham and family

This is a large pillar shaped grave obelisk dedicated to George Graham and his family. There are inscriptions on all 4 sides of the pillar and it wasn't easy to establish the right order in which to read them, but here is what I think is all of it from the beginning. The pillar is close to the side of the graveyard facing the village green.


to the memory


George Graham who

died 10th April 1848, aged

15 years


James Graham who

died 20th June 1855 aged

33 years and

Margaret Graham

who died 23rd August 1862

aged 34 years

Also Margaret Smith

wife of Thomas Graham

who died at Fountainside

10th April 1924

aged 85 years

Also Isabella Roy

daughter of Thomas Graham

who died at Fountainside

29th March 1926

aged 65 years.

Also the memory of

Margaret Kidd

wife of

Thomas Graham

farmer Kersewell Mains

who died 25th June 1876

aged 38 years

also James Graham

their son who died at Fountainside 6th March

1903 (or 5) aged 34 years

Also the above Thomas Graham

who died

at Fountainside 13th Nov 1908

aged 84 years


to the memory

of George Graham

their father

late tenant South Mains

who died 27th Feb 1878

aged 87 years

and Elisabeth Thomson

his wife

who died 3rd Februrary 1863

aged 65 years

Also Marion Graham

their daughter died at Fountainside

20th February 1887

aged 55 years.

At the bottom is the name of the architect of this monument Michael Calvert.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Willian and John Brown

The text on this gravestone can be read clearly at the top and it says:

In Memory of

William Brown

late tenant in Ingraston who died 11th

January 1830 aged 58 years

Psalm XVI.9.

John Brown
farmer in Auchencorth who died
March 7th 1841 aged 62 years.

But according to the book Peeblesshire Monumental Inscriptions - pre 1855, compiled by Sheila A Scott, originally published in 1971 there was more text on this gravestone and it tells us that the following persons were also buried here:

Gilbert Ray, shepherd Harleymuir, died Castlelaw 20th June 1855, aged 82, his wife Mary Brown died 26th February 1856, aged 83. Also Helen Rae (their daughter) died Rutherford on the 16th April 1850 (as an infant), James Rae mert (?) Gilmerton 5th November 1887 aged 77 and his wife Rachel Martin died Gilmerton 28th May 18??, aged 63.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Janet and Edward Wilson

This quite impressive gravestone which features dividers at the very top as well as the D.O.M. was erected in honour of one small child and also Edward Wilson, although it isn't clear anymore how they were related. The dividers can only refer to him. The date (1778) should qualify it amply for inclusion in Sheila A. Scott's book Peeblesshire Monumental Inscriptions pre 1855 but it's not there. The text is almost completely gone now but this can still be read:

Erected in memory of

Janet Wilson, who

died Feb. 23 1778

aged 3 years. Al

so Edward Wilson

who died Nov. 9..........

Here is a detailed view of the dividers as well as the other decorative elements of the gravestone which is one of the first you'll find if you come in through the gate along the Main Street and turn right. The D.O.M. stands for Deo Optimo Maximo which translates from the Latin as To God, the Best, the Greatest.