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Information on the village of Morebattle, near Kelso in Scotland.
James Thomson - This name appears in so many different parishes that you would think that there was more than one of him. It is the same James Thomson, the Ednam Poet. His parents may have lived at Ednam, where his father was minister, but just prior to his birth, his mother went back to stay at Wideopen, near Morebattle with her own mother. So it is that he was born in Morebattle Parish. With his grandparents living there, he was a frequent visitor to their home throughout his childhood, no matter to which area his parents had moved. He was also friendly with the Bennets of Grubbit, near Eckford.
Robert Davidson - A man of the land, he had little schooling, but a local farmer made the world of books and literature available to him, and as a result he became a poet, following the example of Robert Burns. He composed his verses as he followed the plough during his daily grind. Nothing was recorded until later, when, after his marriage, he had the privacy to commit his work to paper, in a home of his own. In 1811, his income from day-labouring was so diminished by a series of particularly inclement seasons, and with prices having risen due to shortages, he wrote and published his work to add to the family income. His work, like Burns', is a record of the social history of the times. He published another volume in 1824. His most famous volume is entitled 'Leaves from a Peasant's Cottage Drawer'.
Sir Walter Leitch - Son of a local farmworker, Walter was educated at Morebattle, where he was, first, a pupil teacher before taking a correspondence course to qualify him for entry to the Civil Service. A London business man, who was visiting the area, took a liking to him and found him employment with the General Post Office in London. Later, given the chance to join Baker's firm as a representative, he was sent to Australia to set up a new branch of the firm. There he settled, married and remained for thirty years. Returning to Britain, he became a Director of the firm, eventually being knighted. Throughout, he never forgot his home area, and in his will be set up a Bursary prize fund in Kelso High School, and left monies for the benefit the young people of Morebattle.
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