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Haddington

HADDINGTON, a royal, municipal and police burgh, and county town of Haddingtonshire, Scotland. Pop. (1901), 3993. It is situated on the Tyne, 18 m. E. of Edinburgh by the North British railway, being the terminus of a branch line from Longniddry Junction. Five bridges cross the river, on the right bank of which lies the old and somewhat decayed suburb of Nungate, interesting as having contained the Giffordgate, where John Knox was born, and where also are the ruins of the pre- Reformation chapel of St Martin. The principal building in the town is St Mary's church, a cruciform Decorated edifice in red sandstone, probably dating from the 13th century. It is 210 ft. long, and is surmounted by a square tower 90 ft. high. The nave, restored in 1892, is used as the parish church, but the choir and transepts are roofless, though otherwise kept in repair. In a vault is a fine monument in alabaster, consisting of the recumbent figures of John, Lord Maitland of Thirlestane (1545- 1595), chancellor of Scotland, and his wife. The laudatory sonnet composed by James VI. is inscribed on the tomb. In the same vault John, duke of Lauderdale (1616-1682), is buried. In the choir is the tombstone which Carlyle erected over the grave of his wife, Jane Baillie Welsh (1801-1866), a native of the town. Other public edifices include the county buildings in the Tudor style, in front of which stands the monument to George, 8th marquess of Tweeddale (1787-1876), who was such an expert and enthusiastic coachman that he once drove the mail from London to Haddington without taking rest; the corn exchange, next to that of Edinburgh the largest in Scotland; the town house, with a spire 150 ft. high, in front of which is a monument to John Home, the author of Douglas; the district asylum to the north of the burgh; the western district hospital; the Tenterfield home for children; the free library and the Knox Memorial Institute. This last-named building was erected in 1879 to replace the old and famous grammar school, where John Knox, William Dunbar, John Major and possibly George Buchanan and Sir David Lindsay were educated. John Brown (1722-1787), a once celebrated dissenting divine, author of the Self-Interpreting Bible, ministered in the burgh for 36 years and is buried there; his son John the theologian (1754-1832), and his grandson Samuel (1817-1856), the chemist, noted for his inquiries into the atomic theory, were natives. Samuel Smiles (1812-1904), author of Character, Self-Help 'and other works, was also born there, and Edward Irving was for years mathematical master in the grammar school. In Hardgate Street is " Bothwell Castle," the town house of the earl of Bothwell, where Mary Queen of Scots rested on her way to Dunbar. The ancient market cross has been restored. The leading industries are the making of agricultural implements, manufactures of woollens and sacking, brewing, tanning and coachbuilding, besides corn mills and engineering works.

The burgh is the retail centre for a large district, and its grain markets, once the largest in Scotland, are still of considerable importance. Haddington was created a royal burgh by David I. It also received charters from Robert Bruce, Robert II. and James VI. In 1139 it was given as a dowry to Ada, daughter of William de Warenne, earl of Surrey, on her marriage to Prince Henry, the only son of David I. It was occasionally the residence of royalty, and Alexander II. was born there in 1198. Lying in the direct road of the English invaders, the town was often ravaged. It was burned by King John in 1216 and by Henry III. in 1244. Fortified in 1548 by Lord Grey of Wilton, the English commander, it was besieged next year by the Scots and French, who forced the garrison to withdraw. So much slaughter had gone on during that period of storm and stress that it was long impossible to excavate in any direction without coming on human remains. The town has suffered much periodically from floods. One of the most memorable of these occurred on the 4th of October 1775, when the Tyne rose 8 ft. 9 in. above its bed and inundated a great part of the burgh. An inscription in the centre of the town records the event and marks the point to which the water rose.

There are many interesting places within a few miles of Haddington. Five miles E. is Whittingehame House, and 5 m. N.E. is the thriving village of East Linton (pop. 919). About 2 \ m. N. lies Athelstaneford (locally, Eishinford), so named from the victory of Hungus, king of the Picts, in the 8th century over the Northumbrian Athelstane. On a hill near Drem, 3 J m. N. by W., are traces of a Romano-British settlement, and the remains of the priest's house of the Knights Templars, to whom the barony once belonged. On the coast is the pretty village of Aberlady on a fine bay, and in the neighbourhood are some of the finest golf links in Scotland, such as Luff ness, Gullane, Archerfield and Muirfield. On Gosford Bay is Gosford House, an 18th-century mansion, the seat of the earl of Wemyss. At Gladsmuir, 33 m. W. of Haddington, alleged by some to have been the birthplace of George Heriot, Principal Robertson was minister and wrote most of his History of Scotland. Of the old seat of the Douglases at Longniddry few traces remain, and in the chapel, now in ruins, at the eastern end of the village, John Knox is said to have preached occasionally. At Gifford,4m.totheS., John Witherspoon (1722-1794), president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) , and Charles Nisbet (1736-1804), president Of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, were born. A little to the south of Gifford are Yester House, a seat of the marquess of Tweeddale, finely situated in a park of old trees, and the ruins of Yester Castle. The cavern locally known as Hobgoblin Hall is described in Marmion, and is associated with all kinds of manifestations of the black art. Lennoxlove, ij m. to the S., a seat of Lord Blantyre, was originally called Lethington, and for a few centuries was associated with the Maitlands. Amisfield, adjoining Haddington on the N.E., is another seat of the earl of Wemyss.

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

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