Driving to Edinburgh and discovering some history

The weather improved as we headed north and the traffic usually diminishes after north Lancashire. That was not the case today. There were at least half a dozen very large loads heading up the M74 with escort vehicles. We could not identify what they might be components of but they slowed down even more the very heavy traffic. We left the motorway on the A701 and drove through Moffat without stopping. I had driven this road on a February afternoon and thought that I must return just before sunset as there are so many landscape views which would make good photographs in the right light. However today we were still too early for that and at the end of a long week, too tired to hang around waiting for it. Here is a shot from February.
A701 view 6 26 Feb 2016 (1 of 1)
We got stuck behind a campervan and several other cars but were still making a reasonable speed. A few brave souls overtook them without any accidents although it could have very easily been otherwise. There are a number of interesting places to explore, some of which I remember visiting in my first job in these parts. Romannobridge is named after the old bridge which stands in the middle of the hamlet.

A Dr Pennecuik’s history of Peeblesshire gives this account which I found on a website devoted to the history of gypsies in Scotland:
“Upon the 1st of October, 1677, there happened at Romanno, on the very spot where now the dove-cot is built, a remarkable polymachy betwixt two clans of Gipsies, the Pawes and the Shawes, who had come from Haddington fair, and were going to Harestanes, to meet two other clans of these rogues, the Baillies and Browns, with a resolution to fight them. They fell out, at Romanno, among themselves, about dividing the spoil they had got at Haddington, and fought it manfully. Of the Pawes, there were four brethren and a brother’s son; of the Shawes, the father with three sons; and several women on both sides. Old Sandie Fawe, a bold and proper fellow, [It is interesting to notice that the Doctor calls this Gipsy a “bold and proper fellow.” He was, in all probability, a fine specimen of physical manhood—Ed.] with his wife, then with child, were both killed dead upon the place; and his brother George very dangerously wounded. In February, 1678, old Robin Shawe, the Gipsy, and his three sons, were hanged at the Grass-market, for the above-mentioned murder, committed at Romanno; and John Fawe was hanged, the Wednesday following, for another murder. Sir Archibald Primrose was justice general at the time, and Sir George McKenzie king’s advocate.” Contrasting the obstinate ferocity of the Gipsy with the harmless and innocent nature of the dove, Dr. Pennecuik erected on the spot a dove-cot; and, to commemorate the battle, placed upon the lintel of the door the following inscription:
“A. D. 1683. 
The field of Gipsie blood, which here you see, 
A shelter for the harmless dove shall be.”

I think I might search out a copy of the History of Peeblesshire and find out a little more about the area before my next visit.

One thought on “Driving to Edinburgh and discovering some history

  1. That’s quite a gruesome bit of history! Reading that account sounded like the screenplay from a movie…good for you for looking up that website and learning about the fascinating past of the Gipsies etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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