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COLDSTREAM, a police burgh of Berwickshire, Scotland. Pop. (1901) 1482. It is situated on the north bank of the Tweed, here spanned by John Smeaton's fine bridge of five arches, erected in 1763-1766, 13 m. south-west of Berwick by the North Eastern railway. The chief public buildings are the town hall, library, mechanics' institute, and cottage hospital. Some brewing is carried on. Owing to its position on the Border and also as the first ford of any consequence above Berwick, the town played a prominent part in Scottish history during many centuries. Here Edward I. crossed the stream in 1296 with his invading host, and Montrose with the Covenanters in 1640. Of the Cistercian priory, founded about 1165 by Cospatric of Dunbar, and destroyed by the 1st earl of Hertford in 1545, which stood a little to the east of the present market-place, no trace remains; but for nearly four hundred years it was a centre of religious fervour. Here it was that the papal legate, in the reign of Henry VIII., published a bull against the printing of the Scriptures; and by the irony of fate its site was occupied in the 19th century by an establishment, under Dr Adam Thomson, for the production of cheap Bibles. At Coldstream General Monk raised in 1659 the celebrated regiment of Foot Guards bearing its name. Like Gretna Green, Coldstream long enjoyed a notoriety as the resort of runaway couples, the old toll-house at the bridge being the usual scene of the marriage ceremony. "Marriage House," as it is called, still exists in good repair. Henry Brougham, afterwards lord chancellor, was married in this clandestine way, though in an inn and not at the bridge, in 1821. Birgham, 3 m. west, was once a place of no small importance, for there in 1188 William the Lion conferred with the bishop of Durham concerning the attempt of the English Church to impose its supremacy upon Scotland; there in 1289 was held the convention to consider the question of the marriage of the Maid of Norway with Prince Edward of England; and there, too, in 1290 was signed the treaty of Birgham, which secured the independence of Scotland. Seven miles below Coldstream on the English side, though 6 m. north-east of it, are the massive ruins of Norham Castle, made famous by Scott's Marmion, and from the time of its building by Ranulph Flambard in 1121 a focus of Border history during four centuries.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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