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stone were placed, and the valley of Lauderdale made once
more a level plain, to be raised subsequently to a height much
higher than our present Lammermoor hills. Again, the
frictional agents of the air, and the powers of heat, cold,
and gravitation began to scoop out the valley, with the
glens, the ravines, and the corries which we see to-day ; and
so vast has been the denudation that nearly the entire Red
Sandstone deposit has been scoured off the Lammermoors.
The vale of the Leader still retains a remnant of the
stupendous deposit, but all the hills surrounding it show
once more the Silurian or older rocks. '

This, roughly, is the general conception of Lauderdale
which geology gives to us. It is evident that the Leader
water, in all its ramifications, has been the principal architect
in laying down the direction of the dale, rounding the sombre
summits of the hills, curving the hollows, planing the crests
of the knolls, and slowly grooving through a bewildering
period, the lovely vale to which it has given both name
and character. The present river is as old, at least, as the
Old Red Sandstone period. From what has been said it will
be seen that the Lauderdale rocks are nearly all of aqueous
formation. Notable exceptions, however, are found in Earl-
ston Black Hill, and the hill north-east of Lauder between
Earnscleuch and Blythe waters. These are known as trap hills
of the species of felspar porphyry.* They are the chief excep-
tions to the almost unvarying graywacke and Old Red Sand-
stone rocks. The former consists generally of an aluminous

* See Bartholomew & Co.'s Geological Map of Scotland, 1892, and Milne's
"Geology of Berwickshire" in Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural
Society, vol. xi., 1837.


or argillaceous sandstone, sometimes of a reddish-brown, but
for most part of a light greenish-blue colour. The gray-
vvacke strata are almost vertical throughout, running about
due east and west. Verification of this can be proved at
Soutra, Dodd's Mill, and Earlston. They seem to be, in
this district, entirely destitute of organic fossil remains ; but
it appears * " a few specimens of graptolites have been found
near Kelphope," and it is possible that many more may exist,
as neither Lauderdale nor the Lammermoors have been
exhaustively explored in this respect.

The Old Red Sandstone rocks completely fill the dale
from side to side, running up into the various glens and lap-
ping the sides of the Silurian hills like waves that had dashed
up the valley and been fixed ere they could again recede.
The village of Oxton, for example, stands on Old Red Sand-
stone, and the whole of Airhouse estate is, generally speak-
ing, composed of this kind of rock. Wherever there is a
hollow in the parish, especially on the edges of the dale, it
is almost certain to be filled with Old Red Sandstone, while
the heights surrounding such a hollow are as likely to be of
graywacke. The Old Red Sandstone generally rests on a bed
of conglomerate which is visible nearly all through Channel-
kirk parish in the bed of the Leader, and again from the
neighbourhood opposite Trabrown, southwards almost to
Carolside. Evidences of it are also seen in the Boon water,
and that of Earnscleuch. There are few fossils of any organic
remains in the Upper Old Red Sandstone.

It is needless to say that at this period to which reference
has been made man had not come upon the earth. Countless
ages must have intervened before human history became
possible in Lauderdale, and numberless geological changes

* James Wilson, Editor, Galashiels.


must also have visited the scene which now looks so peaceful
and habitable and familiar to Borderers, In process of
time, however, the solitary rule of natural forces became
varied by human life, with all its marvellous latencies of
progressive industry, civilised government, and exalted con-
sciousness of immortality. Slowly the human brute began
to apply his savage ingenuity to the capture of his prey,
the destruction of his enemy, and the grinding of his food,
and what we know as the Stone Age dawned upon the world.
Early man discovered that instead of tracking his quarry to
the earth by speed of foot, the well-directed flint arrow
might as well serve his purpose. His foe abroad, and his
family at home, experienced in a similar way this battle of
the brain against resisting circumstances. In Lauderdale,
this phase of mortal existence, as marked by both the Stone
and Bronze Ages, has left a few traces of its presence. Stone
and bronze axes, stone hammers, flint knives, flint arrow-
heads, flint scrapers, bronze ingots, bronze bridle-bits, and
such like found at Hillhouse, Over Howden, Bowerhouse,
Longcroft, Lauder, Lauder Moor, and Earlston, attest the
presence of aboriginal man on the banks of the Leader.
From the fact also that these specimens are generally in
Channelkirk parish found comparatively high up on the slop-
ing sides of the dale, it seems a just inference that these
implements were used at a remote date when the waters of
the Leader flowed at that altitude, and had not eroded them-
selves down to their present level. This consideration, of
itself, conveys a fair conception of the immense lapse of time
that has transpired since man first found a home beneath
the shadow of the Lammermoors.

It is with a sense of relief that in the second century of
the Christian era we find ourselves within the purview of


historical human life, and see on even these far horizons the
Celtic tribe of the Otadini populating broad territory, what
is now Berwickshire and East Lothian, and consequently
the vale of the Leader ; and bequeathing to us, as seems
worthy of all credence, not only the name of the river by
which Lauderdale is known, but many a place-name and
river-name on both sides of the Lammermoor range.

This people come before us originally, about 120 A.D., in
the great work of the Roman geographer, Ptolemy, in which
he curiously delineates the coasts of Scotland, marks the
position of towns, describes the tribes in the interior, and
denotes them by their names. Dr W. F. Skene and Professor
Rhys have treated -the subject so fully and learnedly that
to follow them is to obtain the clearest light possible on
these " dreary wastes of the past." The former says * :
" A line drawn from the Solway Firth across the island to
the eastern sea exactly separates the great nation of the
Brigantes from the tribes on the north ; but this is obviously
an artificial line of separation, as it closely follows the course
of the Roman wall, shortly before constructed by the Emperor
Hadrian, otherwise it would imply that the southern boundary
of three barbarian tribes was precisely on the same line
where nature presents no physical line of demarcation.
There is on other grounds reason to think that these tribes,
though apparently separated from the Brigantes by this
artificial line, in reality formed part of that great nation.
These tribes were the Otalini or Otadeni and Gadeni, ex-
tending along the east coast from the Roman wall to the
Firth of Forth." The Brigantes nation seem to have been
a powerful one, and their name, says Rhys,-f- " would seem to
have meant the free men or privileged race, as contrasted

* Celtic Scotland, vol. i., p. 71. f Celtic Britain, p. 283.


with the Goidelic inhabitants." From the Brigantian people,
it appears, who for most part north of the Cheviots were
Otadeni, was derived the name Bernicii^ the Latin form of
the name known to Bede ; which became, when used to de-
nominate their country, Bernicia, the northern part of the
kingdom of Northumbria in the seventh century or, roughly
speaking, Berwickshire and East Lothian. The Otadeni were
Brythons, or those who spoke the language of the people
of Wales and the Bretons,* as distinguished from those who
spoke the Gaelic of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.-f*
" They disappeared early, their country having been seized
in part by the Picts from the other side of the Forth, and
in part by the Germanic invaders from beyond the sea."

Briefly, the peoples who are reputed to have inhabited
Lauderdale from a considerable time beyond the Christian
era, were, first : —

The non-Celtic race that preceded the Goidels or Gaels
and Brythons, who conquered it and probably enslaved it.J
This race is by some called " Iberian " or " Basque," but
there is some dubiety concerning this view. Professor Rhys§
believes that " Ivernian " would be a safer designation, and
that it might be applied || "to the non-Celtic natives of Britain
as well as of the sister island." That this non-Celtic race,
by whatever name known,^! " spread over the whole of both
of the British Isles," there appears to be little reason to doubt,
as well from the expressed convictions of several ancient
writers, as from an examination of prehistoric sepulchral
remains. They are differentiated from succeeding races by
their long cranial development, numerous skulls of this type

* Celtic Britain, p. 3. f Ibid., p. 222.

X Celtic Scotland, i., 164., "Origin of the Aryans," p. 92-101, Dr Isaac Taylor.

§ Celtic Britain, p. 265. || Ibid., p. 266, IT Celtic Scotland, vol. i., p. 169.


being found in long barrows and chambered gallery graves
in our country. They were a people that frequented caves,
and buried their dead in them, and used stone implements.

Second, the Celts, who may have come at two distinct
periods.* "The Goidels" (Gaels) "were undoubtedly the
first Celts to come to Britain." "They had probably
been in the island for centuries when the Brythons, or Gauls,
came and drove them westward." The Iberians were dis-
placed or enslaved by the Gaels, and the Gaels in turn were
subdued or routed by a branch of their own Celtic race, the
Brythons.f It is these last that Caesar is supposed to have
seen and described. According to him, and writers such as
Strabo, Tacitus, and Pomponius Mela, they were expert
fighters, combining celerity with weight in their attacks, and
the quick movements of cavalry with the compactness of
infantry. They were adepts in the management of the
chariot and hurling the dart. They stained themselves blue
with woad, and were horrible in appearance. The hair was
worn flowing, and they were clean shaven except the upper
lip and the head. Parties of ten or twelve had wives in
common. The tribes, under rule of kings, or say patriarchal
chiefs, were continually at war one with the other. Their
idea of a town or fortress was an enclosure with a tangled
wood surrounding it, protected by a rampart and ditch.
They built their huts inside this defence, and collected also
their cattle there, but not for purposes of permanent, but
only temporary, residence.

Third, the Brythons were in turn conquered by the Picts,
who were of the Celtic branch known as Gaels. | They
superseded the Brythonic Otadini, and formed the population
of the Otadini district during the fifth and sixth centuries.

* Celtic Britain^ p. 4. t Und., p. 53. % Celtic Scotland^ vol. i., p. 2 18.


Doubtless the Otadini would be partly exterminated and
partly enslaved, according to the usual customs of barbaric
war. Speaking of the Picti, Picts, or painted men, as applied
to the nations beyond the Northern Wall, and of the people
on the Solway called Atecotti who were probably included
in the same name, Rhys says, " Now, all these Picts were
natives of Britain,* and the word Picti is found applied to
them for the first time, in a panegyric by Eumenius, in the
year 296 ; but in the year 360 another painted people ap-
peared on the scene. They came from Ireland, and to dis-
tinguish these two sets of painted foes from one another, Latin
historians left the painted natives to be called Picti, as had
been the custom before, and for the painted invaders from
Ireland they retained, untranslated, a Celtic word of the
same (or nearly the same) meaning, namely, Scotti. Neither
the Picts nor the Scotti probably owned these names, the
former of which is to be traced to Roman authors, while the
latter was probably given the invaders from Ireland by the
Brythons, whose country they crossed the sea to ravage."

Gildas writing, it is assumed, in the sixth century, gives
us a sad account of the state of the country under the
attacks of Picts and Scots.*|- He says the Brythons were
forced to crave help from the Romans to expel them.| They
were oppressed and enslaved under nameless tortures. But
when the Romans had left, never more to return, the Picts
and Scots came again in their canoes,§ " differing one from
another in manners, but inspired with the same avidity for
blood, and all the more eager to shroud their villainous faces
in bushy hair than to cover with decent clothing those parts
of their body which required it." He seems to point directly

* Celtic Britain, p. 238.

t Six Old English Chronicles, Dr Giles, 1896. J Sec. 15. § Sec. 19.


to the district of which Berwickshire is now a part, when he
further says, " Moreover, having heard of the departure of
our friends " (viz., the Romans), " and their resolution never
to return, they seized with greater boldness than before on all
the country towards the extreme north as far as the Wall."
Dr Skene says,* " this probably refers to the districts after-
wards comprised under the general name of ' Lodonea,' or
Lothian, in its extended sense, comprising the counties of
Berwick, Roxburgh, and the Lothians."

Nothing, according to Gildas, could equal the horrors of
the time. The Brythons he despises, yet deeply pities as
sheep eaten up of wolves. They took to the heights and
garrisoned them with men, who, he says sarcastically, were
slow to fight, and hardly fit to run away. He pictures them
(and the scenes may have been all exampled on the " camp "
heights of Lauderdale), as sleeping on their watch, so useless
were they, and the wily enemy stealing up the slopes to hook
them off the walls, and dash them to death on the ground.
However, he consoles himself, it saved them from seeing the
horrors that overtook their brothers and sisters. Unrelent-
ing, remorseless cruelty reigned over all. They were
butchered like sheep, " so that their habitations were like
those of savage beasts." The whole country was rent also
by internal feuds, and provisions could not be procured.
They sent in despair to the Romans for assistance. "The
barbarians drive us to the sea ; the sea throws us back on
the barbarians." But the Romans could not help ; and so
the discomfited people wandered among mountains, in caves
and in the woods, a homeless life, with persecution, famine,
and torture lurking in ambush for them. But the cup of
their anguish was not yet full. When they were unequal to

* Celtic Scotlatid, vol. i., p. 131.


repelling the barbarian Picts and Scots, and could find no
hope in Roman interference, they took counsel and resolved
to invite the Saxons to their aid. This policy sealed their

Fourth, the barbarian Saxons were "a race hateful both
to God and men,"* impious and fierce. From being pro-
fessedly friends, the Saxons soon became exacting and
aggressive in their demands. Open rupture followed, and
the entire realm, which now we name Scotland, became an
arena of contending peoples. The Brythons, the Picts, the
Scots, and Angles engaged in open struggle for the mastery.
From the circumstance of the Lothians being central ground
lying between Pictland north of the Forth, and the land of
the Brythons south of it, with the Scotti breaking in from
Ireland on the east coast, and the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes
pressing from the south, we may reasonably infer that the
forces of war raged across Berwickshire interminably during
this clashing of these races throughout the latter half of the
fifth century. It is at this period, however, that the great
personality of Arthur moves across the historic stage as
championing the cause of the oppressed Brythons against
the Saxons, and that tradition sees him so near the confines
of Upper Lauderdale as the vale of the Gala, victorious over
his foes, in the fastnesses of Guinnion, and working such ruin
among the Anglic forces there as to perpetuate their disaster
in the name of Wedale.

A hundred years before Cuthbert is said to have been
brought to Channelkirk, Lowland Scotland was thus the
stormy theatre of those illustrious deeds which in later ages
fascinated the highest genius. It was in 537, at the battle of
Camlan, that the Lothian Medrand slew in battle the heroic

* Gildas, Sec. 23.


Arthur, and so to all appearance neutralised the advantages
which ha!d been achieved by that warrior's victories from Loch
Lomond to the Lammermoors. And when that strong arm
could no longer resist the aggressive intruders, and the
kingdom was not yet fated to be consolidated under one
crown, his triumphant opponents were then free to portion
out the land as they listed. The boundaries of the kingdom
of Bernicia came into existence under Ida, its first king, in
the year 547, and extended from the Tees to the Forth,
thus embracing what is now Berwickshire ; and as a conse-
quence, Lauderdale thus early was put under the domination
of the Angles. Twelve years later, in 559, this kingdom
seems to have been submerged as a province within the
greater kingdom of Northumbria, which stretched from the
Forth to the H umber, and which as one regal organisation
held sway over all that district with substantial appearance
of unified power. Such changes do not happen without
great bloodshed and terrible sufferings among the common
people. Serfdom in its fiercest forms must have prevailed
throughout all the conquered districts, if the wretched people,
indeed, were always fortunate to escape total extermination.
As the restraints of war were then limited only by the
appetites of the conquerors, and the Saxon nature was then
but in its semi-savage development, the condition of life of
the people who then inhabited Lauderdale under the Anglic
government can be better imagined than described. But,
as might be expected, the Saxon did not retain his spoils un-
challenged. The Britons of Strathclyde, the boundaries of
which, on its eastern side, ran down from the Lammermoor
Hills by Gala Water to the Pennine Range, were incessant
in their attacks upon them, as were also the Scots of Dal-
riada, and it was not till the great battle of Degsastane, in


603, that the mastery was decisively declared for the Angles.
This battle decided much and was fateful for the future.
It is described in the following account *: " Bede tells us
that Aidan came against Aedilfrid with a large and powerful
army. It consisted, no doubt, of a combined force of Scots
and Britons, at whose head Aidan was placed as Guledic, and
he appears also to have had the aid of Irish Picts. He
advanced against the Bernician kingdom, and entered
Aedilfrid's territories by the vale of the Liddel, from the
upper end of which a pass opens to the vale of the Teviot,
and another to that of North Tyne. The great rampart
called the Catrail, which separated the Anglic kingdom from
that of the Strathclyde Britons, crosses the upper part of the
vale of the Liddel. Its remains appear at Dawstaneburn,
whence it goes on to Dawstanerig, and here, before he could
cross the mountain range which separates Liddesdale from
these valleys, Aidan was encountered by Aedilfrid and com-
pletely defeated, his army being cut to pieces at a place
called by Bede ' Degsastan,' in which we can recognise the
name of Dawstane, still known there. Bede adds that this
battle was fought in the year 603, and the eleventh year of
the reign of Aedilfrid, which lasted for twenty-four years, and
that from this time forth till his own day (that is, till 731),
none of the kings of the Scots ventured to come in battle
against the nation of the Angles ; and thus terminated the
contest between these tribes for the possession of the
northern province, substantially in favour of the latter
people, who, under Aedilfrid, now retained possession of
the eastern districts from the Humber to the Firth of Forth,
as far west as the river Esk."

When we remember that religion and war, beyond all

* Celtic Scotland^ vol. i., p. 162,


other influences, have, in all ages, swayed the destinies of
nations, we are not surprised to find these powerful elements
in the ascendant at this early stage of Scotland's develop-
ment. And while the forces of battle were thus forging
into shape the four kingdoms of the Picts, the Scots, the
Britons, and the Angles, the moral powers were not less
industrious in changing the wide realms of superstition and
pagan belief into those of spiritual enlightenment and
Christian faith. As of old, when the chaos of nature obeyed
the divine order which marshalled all into use and beauty,
so while armies raged around boundaries and territorial
sovereignty, the voices of the Christian missionaries were
heard above the storm, directing the path of kings and
peoples towards a loftier civilisation and a nobler humanity.
It is true that both political and moral movements expanded
far beyond the district which is our immediate concern in
this place, but as the motions of the smallest planet are only
understood when their relations to the solar system are
comprehended, so it seems to us that the condition of
Lauderdale when Cuthbert first crossed its boundaries can
only be grasped when we have sufHciently realised the state
of the country at large.

Only four years before Northumbria had formed itself
into the kingdom of that name under King Ida, and Lauder-
dale had thus become not only a part of Bernicia but of the
Northumbrian dominion which included it, Columba, of re-
nowned memory, was leaving the shores of Ireland to carry
the Christian Evangel to the benighted regions of the
Western Isles of Scotland. " In the year 563," says
Adamnan, "and in the forty-second of his age, Columba,
resolving to seek a foreign country for the love of Christ,
sailed from Scotia, or Ireland, to Britain." With his presence


and influence, the whole north of Pictland soon underwent a
speedy transformation. Only two years elapsed before he
had converted King Brude, the monarch of the northern
Picts. And consonant with the religious modes of national
conversion of those days, the enlightenment of the king was
the sign to the people to conform to the same belief
Columba's power was as effective as it was comprehensive.
The north and west soon stood subservient to his will. On
the river Ness he directs one king and creates another at
lona. Brude and Aidan .seem to have been deeply devoted
to the interests which Columba had at heart, and while the
one approves and assists at the founding of monasteries and
the spread of the Gospel, the other girds on his armour, as
we have seen at Dawstane, to expel the pagan and infidel
Angles of Northumbria, And although the latter remained
conquerors in arms in that great encounter, the power of
Christian truth was greater than the force of war, for
Northumbria also, as well as the north and the west, fell to the
Christian religion not long afterwards. This notable event
occurred in 627. The probable birth-year of St Cuthbert has
been placed by one of the best authorities in the year 626,
so that the future Apostle of Southern Scotland and Patron
Saint of Channelkirk would be just a twelvemonth old when,
for the first time, the whole of what we now call Scotland
professedly confessed the sway of the Christian religion.
This result was mainly brought to pass by the conversion of
King Edwin of Northumbria, whom Paulinus, ably supported
by the queen and the urgent counsels of Pope Boniface,
brought to a knowledge and confession of the faith. " King
Edwin,* therefore, with all the nobility of the nation and a
large number of the common sort, received the faith and the

* Bede's Ecclesiastical History, chap. xiv.


washing of regeneration in the eleventh year of his reign,
which is the year of the incarnation of our Lord 627, and
about one hundred and eighty after the coming of the English
into Britain." Bede further says, " So great was then the
fervour of the faith, as is reported, and the desire of the
washing of salvation among the nation of the Northumbrians,
that Paulinus, at a certain coming with the king and queen
to the royal country-seat, which is called Adgefrin (Yeverin

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