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Coming to the oldest industry, grazing and agriculture,
Hawick has long been its centre in the Border counties.
This again has been very greatly owing to the house of
Buccleuch. The lands far around were let on the easiest
terms, and for two centuries, considering the quality of
the soil, at a lower rent than anywhere known. This,
with the security of the tenure, engendered a state of
things which produced wealth, and as wealth grew the
desire arose on the part of the tenants to increase their
acres. Formerly a large number of small farms existed,
but as the stronger grew in intelligence and wealth,
they dispossessed their weaker neighbours, and prin-
ciples of political economy coming in to second those
efforts, the smaller farms were gradually extinguished,
and in the existence of the large and wealthy farms
now, we are brought to see an illustration of the sur-
vival of the fittest. The writer of this article is one
of those who regrets the extinction of so many
small farms, but however this may be, the Duke of
Buccleuch is the most generous of landlords. No-
where will one see better houses or more commodious
steadings than those which are seen in this Border land.
This circumstance, and the situation and prosperity of
the town, have made it a great market of grain, and
especially of live stock. The old fairs for the sale of
stock have long disappeared, and have been succeeded
by the well-known sales in the auction mart. One of
the first originators of these sales in Scotland was the
father of the present Mr Oliver of Thornwood, who has
long been known as one of the most extensive salesmen
by auction of live stock in the kingdom, and at whose
principal sales, attended by breeders from all parts, as
man)' as 25,000 sheep and lambs have been disposed of
in a single day. Besides his principal sales at the mart,
extending to many acres, near the railway station on the
river Haugh, covered with wooden pens, and a large
stone erection for the accommodation of cattle, there is
a weekly auction every Monday. The weekly corn
market is held on Thursday, and hiring, cattle, wool,
and sheep and lamb fairs are held at periods between
springtime and the beginning of winter.
The great public festival of the year is the Common
Riding, and is celebrated at the beginning of June. The
practice of riding the town's marches dates from time im-
memorial. On the morning of the first day the Cornet,
with his mounted troop, all gaily dressed, an d bearing a flag
the facsimile of one which their ancestors captured from a
company of English soldiers in the neighbourhood, after
the battle of Flodden, rides round the municipal lands,
and this part of the ceremony is concluded by their
singing in the town, accompanied by the attending
multitude, the song of The Colour, the rousing martial
Common Riding song ! The music dates from the most
ancient times, and expresses more than any other air
the wild and defiant strain of the war tramp and the
battle shout. The song seems to have been founded in
the invocation of the early Saxon warriors to their chief
deities Thor and Odin before their conversion to the
Christian faith. In the Anglo-Saxon language it is
'Tyr hcebbe us, ye Tyr ye Odin,' which is 'May Tyr
have us, both Tyr and Odin.' The song has been
changed by local poets in its descent to recent times.
One refrain of it once was —
' T for Tiri, for Odin,
H for Hawick, and C for Common.'
One of the older versions, still used, was composed
about a century ago by Arthur Balbirnie. It begins
thus —
* We'll a' hie to the muir a-riding, —
Drurnlanrig gave us for providing —
Our ancestors of martial order,
To drive the English o'er the Border.
■ Up wi' Hawick's rights and common.
Up wi' a' the Border Bowmen :
Teribus and Tcri Odin,
We are up to ride our Common.'
The more popular song, and the one now sung after
the riding of the marches, was composed by James
Hogg nearly seventy years ago. The following are some
of the stanzas —
' Scotia felt thine ire, O Odin !
On the bloody field of Flodden ;
There our fathers fell with honour,
Round their king and country's banner.
' Teribus, ye Teri Odin,
Sons of heroes slain at Flodden,
Imitating Border Bowmen,
Aye defend your rights and Common.
* 'Twas then Drurnlanrig, generous donor,
Gave (immortal be his honour) !
What might soothe Hawick's dire disaster,
Land for tillage, peats, and pasture.'
The song goes on to describe the victory of the Hawick
men over a plundering party of English soldiers below
the town ; and then concludes —
1 " Hawick shall triumph 'mid destruction,"
Was a Druid's dark prediction ;
Strange the issues that unrolled it
Cent'ries after he'd foretold it.
' Peace be thy portion, Hawick, for ever !
Thine arts, thy commerce nourish ever •
"Down to latest ages send it —
" Hawick icas ever independent.' '
The present municipal constitution of the burgh
was established by a special act of parliament in
1861. It is governed
by a provost, 4 bailies,
and 12 councillors, who
also act as Police Com-
missioners. In 1S67 it
acquired the rank of a
parliamentary burgh,
and, united with Gala-
shiels and Selkirk,
returns one member
to parliament. The
electors were fortunate
enough to secure the
services of the Right
Hon. George Otto
Trevelyan, one of
the most energetic
and distinguished of
the younger statesmen on the Liberal side, and between
him and the great body of his constituents there has
always been a harmony of political sentiment. The
annual value of real property rose from £33,652 in
1872 to £57,556 in 1S83. The revenue derived from
the burgh property is £1765. The parliamentary
electors number 2470, the municipal 3013. The popu-
lation of the burgh extended to its present limits was
(1S61) 10,401, (1871) 11,356, (1881) 16,184, and is
rapidly increasing.
The history of Hawick shows that the people have
been distinguished for intelligence, enterprise, courage,
and a love of political freedom. If few have attained to
lasting national distinction, it has always been rich in
humourists, poets, and local historians, who have
sweetened its native air and enrobed its romantic
scenery in the charms of literature. In his valuable
history James Wilson says— that Gawin Douglas, after-
wards Bishop of Dunkeld, was appointed rector of
Hawick in 1496. According to Dr Laing, the late
celebrated antiquary, the reading of the original
MS. is Haiochc, which was the old name of Linton
or Prestonkirk, near Dunbar. It is therefore doubt-
ful at least whether the poet bishop tuned his Virgilian
verse by the banks of the Slitrig. The Rev. William
Fowler, parson of Hawick, was celebrated as a poet and
a scholar. Several of his pieces in MS. are preserved in
the library of the University of Edinburgh. The Rev.
Alexander Orrok, who died in 1711, a profound divine
and one of the leaders of the Church of Scotland, was a
man of warm and extensive charity, and a promoter of
Seal of Hawick.

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