The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)

"HADDINGTON, a parish, market, and county town, and royal burgh, in the county of Haddington, or East Lothian, Scotland. The parish contains the hamlets of St. Laurence and Abbey, besides the town of Haddington. It has for its boundaries, Aberlady, Athelstaneford, Bolton, Morham, Prestonkirk, Gladsmuir, Salton, and Yester. Its greatest length is 72 miles, and its greatest breadth 61, The area of the parish is about 221, miles. The surface is undulating. The river Tyne flows through a very delightful district, and the whole of the parish is in a high state of cultivation. The Garleton Hills, clothed with beautiful plantations, rise in the N. This parish gives name to a presbytery in the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale. It is a collegiate charge. The stipends of the ministers average from £380 to £400, exclusive of their manses and glebes. The parish church is thought to have been built in the 13th century. There are besides another Established church not at present used, two Free churches, two United Presbyterian churches, Independent, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic chapels. There are borough and parish schools, also a ragged school, and several private establishments. The principal seats in the parish are Lennoxlove, that of Lord Blantyre; Coalstoun, of Lady S. B. Burke; Amisfield, of Earl Wemyss; Clerkington, of Col. Houston; Stevenson, of Sir R. Sinclair; Lethem, Alderston, and Huntington. The town is pleasantly situated on the right bank of the Tyne, and has a station on the Edinburgh and Berwick railway. The High-street is a long, straight thoroughfare, lined with handsome shops and fine buildings. The County buildings, which stand at the W. end of the town, are very imposing. Haddington also contains a townhall (a fine building), gas-works, churches, chapels, a prison, corn exchange, three banks, savings-bank, several insurance agencies, several libraries, a dispensary, benefit societies, and agricultural societies. A bridge of four arches connects the town with its suburb, called Nungate. The .chief trade of the town depends on its extensive market for farm produce. It is one of the principal corn markets in Scotland, and a considerable number of cattle are sold at an auction sale held once a fortnight. Its principal manufacturing establishments are, two breweries, a tannery, distillery, iron-foundries, foundries, and coach factories. It is governed by a provost, three bailies, a treasurer, and a dean of guild, assisted by 25 councillors. Its population in 1861 was 3,897, distributed into 998 families. It is an excise town, and holds a sheriffs court once a week, a small-debt court fortnightly, and a justice of the peace court once a month. Quarter sessions are held here. It unites with Dunbar, Jedburgh, Lauder, and North Berwick, in returning a member to parliament. Constituency in 1854, 199. Haddington has nine incorporated trades, and is a place of high antiquity. The parish was anciently a seat of a deanery, and is supposed to take its name from Haden, a Saxon chief Who settled here. The whole parish, with its churches, chapels, &c., was granted by David I. to the priory of St. Andrew's. It next came into the possession of the Earl of Morton, by whom it was forfeited to the, crown. Esme, Duke of Lennox, held the parish as a lordship by grant of James VI., and it was purchased from the duke's son by Thomas, Earl of Haddington, in 1615. It was afterwards purchased by Charles, first Earl of Hoptoun, in the 18th century, and has since remained in the possession of that family. Haddington as a royal burgh has flourished from a very early period. A charter of James VI. confirms other grants of earlier date. The borough was granted to Ada, daughter of Earl Warren, by David I. on her marriage with Prince Henry of Scotland. In the close of the 12th century it was inherited by William the Lion, whose son, Alexander II., was born here in 1198. During the reign of Alexander II. the town became involved in the wars of the barons, and it was destroyed by fire by King John, and again in 1244 it was reduced to ashes. In 1355 Edward III. burnt the town for a third time, and three years afterwards the flooding of the Tyne did much damage. In 1548 the English fortified and garrisoned the town under Sir John Wilford, but were driven out by the Scots, assisted by a large body of French troops. At the close of the 16th century Haddington was once more destroyed by fire, alleged to have been caused by the carelessness of a servant, and which is said to have given rise to the custom of a bellman warning the inhabitants during the winter months, in some lines commencing

      "A guid men's servants, where'er ye be,      Keep coal and ean'le for charitie !" 
A Franciscan church was founded here about the 12th or 13th centuries, distinguished by the name of Lucerne Laudoniae -i.e. "the lamp of Lothian," from the lamps within being visible at a great distance. The building was nearly demolished by Edward I., but was subsequently restored, and part of it forms the present parish church. The choir and transepts are ruinous, but a very fine square tower still exists in good preservation. It contains monuments to the Lauderdale and other families. At the neighbouring village of Abbey a Cistercian nunnery was founded in 1178 by Ada, daughter-in-law to David I. It was the birth-place of Alexander II., and in 1548 the estates of Scotland held a parliament within its walls. Slight traces of this nunnery now exist. Besides these ecclesiastical edifices, there were four chapels in connection with the old parish church, and another in the barony of Penston, of which there are some remains. It is celebrated as the birth-place of Knox, the great preacher of the Reformation, who was born in Gifford-street. The Hamiltons of Innerwick take title of earl from this place. The parochial fast days are the Thursdays before the first Sunday in March, and the last Sunday in June. Friday is market day. Fairs are held on the Friday after that of Rutherglen, on the second Tuesday in July, 5th of July, and on the Friday before the Hallow fair of Edinburgh."

"ABBEY, a small village in the parish of Haddington and within the liberty and county of Haddington, about 1 mile E. of Haddington, on the banks of the Tyne. Here are the ruins of a Cistercian nunnery founded in 1178 by Ada, mother of Malcolm IV. It was at this spot the parliament met in 1548 to sanction the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots with the Dauphin of France."

"AULDHAM, formerly a separate parish in the county of Haddington, Scotland; now forms part of the parish of Whitekirk."

"GARLETON HILLS, a series of small elevations in the parish and county of Haddington, Scotland. They commence about 2 miles N. of the town of Haddington, and penetrate a few miles in an easterly direction. Upon one of the highest of the hills stands a pillar monument to the Earl of Hopetoun."

"LETHEM, a small place in the parish of Haddington, near Haddington, county Haddington, Scotland."

"LETHINGTON, (or Lennoxlove), an ancient tower in the parish and county of Haddington, Scotland, 3 miles from Haddington. It anciently belonged to the Giffords, but is now the property of Lord Blantyre. It is famed in story for Secretary Lethington's walk. Here is preserved the portrait of Frances, Duchess of Lennox, by Lely, which gave the original idea of "Brittania" on the current coin.

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

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