Isabella Thomson(d.1790), usually known by the dialect form of her name Tibbie Tamson, was a Scottish woman who lived in the royal burgh of Selkirk in the Scottish Borders during the 18th century. Her isolated grave is a notable landmark, located on a hillside approximately 1.5 miles north of Selkirk at grid reference .
Few facts are known about Thomson's life. There is a local tradition that Thomson, who lived in the Kirk Wynd in Selkirk, was a poor woman of weak intellectwho was treated with contempt in the town. She is said to have been accused of stealing a length of yarn, and was summoned to the sheriff court to face trial for the crime of petty theft. She took her own life and in common with others judged to have committed the crime of Felo de se her corpse was given to the burgh constable to be buried in unconsecrated ground. At this period in Scotland as in England, suicides were often given a 'profane' burial unless family or friends were able to arrange interment secretly. Accordingly she was placed in a pauper's coffin of deal, which was dragged out of the town while her neighbours threw stones and insults, and was buried on Foulshiels Hill at the point where the Selkirk commonlands joined the estates of Bowhill and Philiphaugh. This practice of the burial of those guilty of Felo de se at the meeting of parish or estate boundaries was found elsewhere in rural Scotland, with a well-known fictional example in James Hogg's Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1823). Amongst other points, burial within boundary areas negated the issue of a community having to get permission from a landowner.
At some point after 1790 a rough stone was placed on the grave with "I H / I THOMSON / FS 1790"or "H.L. I.T. F.S. 1790" carved on it ("Here lies Isabella Thomson for suicide [or 'Felo de se'] 1790"). Thomas Craig-Brown, in his two-volume History of Selkirkshire (1886), stated that the stone had been placed there by Michael Stewart, a dyker in the service of the Duke of Buccleuch, who "reopened the grave that he might repair the indecent haste shown at her burial. In the woman's pocket he found one penny and one farthing."
The 19th century essayist John Brown said that the "grave [was] known and feared the country round",while in more recent times it has been described as "a memorial to the worst excesses of small-town unkindness". Each year as part of their traditional perambulation of Selkirk's commons, members of the Selkirk Common Riding Organisation pass by the place and in modern times place a wreath at the grave in remembrance of her.
The Yarrow Water is a river in the Borders in the south east of Scotland. It is a tributary of the Ettrick Water and renowned for its high quality trout and salmon fishing. The name "Yarrow" may derive from the Celtic word garw meaning "rough" or possibly share a derivation with the English name "Jarrow".
James Hogg was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both Scots and English. As a young man he worked as a shepherd and farmhand, and was largely self-educated through reading. He was a friend of many of the great writers of his day, including Sir Walter Scott, of whom he later wrote an unauthorised biography. He became widely known as the "Ettrick Shepherd", a nickname under which some of his works were published, and the character name he was given in the widely read series Noctes Ambrosianae, published in Blackwood's Magazine. He is best known today for his novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. His other works include the long poem The Queen's Wake (1813), his collection of songs Jacobite Relics (1819), and his two novels The Three Perils of Man (1822), and The Three Perils of Woman (1823).
John Welsh was a Scottish Presbyterian leader. He was born in Dumfriesshire and attended the University of Edinburgh to obtain his MA in 1588. He became a minister in Selkirk and married Elizabeth Knox, a daughter of John and Margaret Knox, before leaving Selkirk. Welsh later ministered at Kirkcudbright and Ayr, the latter of which was where he spent five years. His preaching resulted in his imprisonment by the order of King James VI of Scotland. The lawyer Thomas Hamilton wrote to James VI about Welsh, John Forbes, and others; the case was important because many Scottish subjects of James were devoted to the ministers. In 1606 Welsh was exiled to France, where he continued to preach. John Welsh of Ayr was the father of Josias Welsh and the grandfather of John Welsh of Irongray.
Peebles is a town in the Scottish Borders, Scotland. It was historically a royal burgh and the county town of Peeblesshire. According to the 2011 census, the population was 8,376 and the estimated population in June 2018 was 9,000.
Selkirk is a town and historic royal burgh in the Scottish Borders council district of southeastern Scotland. It lies on the Ettrick Water, a tributary of the River Tweed.
Selkirkshire or the County of Selkirk is a historic county and registration county of Scotland. It borders Peeblesshire to the west, Midlothian to the north, Roxburghshire to the east, and Dumfriesshire to the south. It derives its name from its county town, the Royal burgh of Selkirk.
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner: Written by Himself: With a detail of curious traditionary facts and other evidence by the editor is a novel by the Scottish author James Hogg, published anonymously in 1824.
A common riding is an equestrian tradition mainly in the Scottish Borders in Scotland. Male and female riders ride out of the town and along its borders to commemorate the practice from 13th and 15th centuries where there were frequent raids on the Anglo-Scottish border known as the Border Reivers and also to commemorate the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Flodden. Today, the common ridings, rideouts, or riding of the marches continue to be annual events celebrated in the summer in the Borders of Scotland. Each town may have many rideouts over their festival week, usually having one on festival day. Some towns re-enact historic 'common ridings' – although many others have well-established 'festival rides' that are cemented within their town's history. The common riding towns are: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Hawick, Selkirk, Langholm, Jedburgh, Coldstream, West Linton, Lanark, Lauder, Edinburgh, Melrose, Musselburgh, Galashiels, Duns, Sanquhar, and Peebles.
Philiphaugh is a village by the Yarrow Water, on the outskirts of Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders.
Rev John Thomson FRSE HonRSA was a Scottish minister of the Church of Scotland and noted amateur landscape painter. He was the minister of Duddingston Kirk from 1805 to 1840.
The West Port is a street in Edinburgh's Old Town, Scotland, located just south of Edinburgh Castle. It runs from Main Point down to the south west corner of the Grassmarket. Its name derives from the fact it sloped up from the town gate named the West Port, which was the only westwards exit from the city when the city walls stood, allowing passage through the Flodden Wall. The port itself was demolished in 1786.
Kirkhope Tower is a Scottish Pele, located in the Ettrick Valley, in the historic county of Selkirkshire, now a division of the Scottish Borders. The tower lies a mile to the north west of Ettrickbridge, and seven miles (11 km) from the Burgh of Selkirk.
Events from the year 1882 in the United Kingdom.
Events from the year 1824 in Scotland.
Janet Colquhoun was a British religious writer. She was a philanthropist who was involved with several good causes. She believed that the "fruits of faith will be evident in good work".
The Three Perils of Woman is a three volume work of one novel and two linked novellas by James Hogg. Following its original publication in 1823, it was omitted from Victorian editions of Hogg’s ‘’Collected Works’’ and re-published only in 2002.
John Pringle, Lord Haining was a Scottish lawyer, politician, and judge. His ownership of a large estate near Selkirk secured him a seat in the Parliament of Scotland from 1702 until the Act of Union in 1707, and then in the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1707 until he became a Lord of Session in 1729.
Tibbie Shiel (1783–1878) was a Scottish figure who ran Tibbie Shiel's Inn on St Mary's Loch in the Scottish Borders and was known to many authors and poets, and the subject of numerous literary works.
Elizabeth Burns, Elizabeth Park or Mrs John Thomson known as Betty Burns, was born in 1791 in Leith, Scotland. She was the illegitimate daughter of Robert Burns and Anna Park who was a barmaid at The Globe in Dumfries. She married John Thomson in 1808 to become Elizabeth Thomson.
Robert Ainslie (1766–1838) was a Scottish lawyer, and one of Robert Burns's long term friends from his Edinburgh days. He was probably the closest confidant of Burns, whom he met first at a Masonic or Crochallan Fencibles event. Ainslie accompanied the poet on the first part of his Border Tour. Robert's father, also Robert, was a lawyer a bailie at Duns and a land-steward on Lord Douglas's Berwickshire estates. Robert married Jean Cunningham on 22 December 1798.