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Not to be confused with Whiterigs

Whitriggs (whi’-, whit-rigz) n. farm to the east of Cavers, in Kirkton Parish. Whitriggs Cottages are between Whitriggs and Effledge. It was listed as part of the ancient holdings of Douglas of Cavers in 1509/10, dating back to the time of King David. In about 1541 James Douglas of Cavers and others complained that ‘a peil and hous of stane’ there, valued at £20, had been burned by Scott of Buccleuch. It was also burned by Hertford’s men in 1545. There are deeds in the Douglas of Cavers papers for the years 1527, 1530, 1570 and 1620.

John Douglas(1) is recorded there in the 1580s. William Douglas of Whitriggs is recorded there in 1601 and 1612.   King James VI gave [31st July 1618], granted and conveyed to [the said] Sir William Douglas of Cavers, then styled William Douglas, fiar of Cavers, sheriff of Roxburgh, his heirs and assignees whatsoever heritably, all and whole those five merk lands called the kirk lands of Cavers underwritten, namely: the three merk land of Cruike, one merk land of Whitriggs, called Husie, and other lands.



It was owned by Douglas of Cavers in the 1643 and 1678 county valuations. Douglas of Cavers paid the land tax on £195 there in 1663. It was still in the Barony of Cavers when inherited by Sir William Douglas in 1687 and by his brother Archibald in 1698.

There was additionally a merkland of land there that was part of the kirklands of Cavers, called ‘Housie’ in 1698. 7 individuals are listed there on the Hearth Tax records of 1694. John Douglas was there in 1716, Alexander Davidson in 1718, James Huntly in 1720, John Turnbull was a mason there in 1721, James Buckham was living there in 1722, Robert Scott in 1725, Robert Turnbull in 1727, Robert Temple and Gideon Scott in 1737 and William Veitch in 1761. It was part of the estate of Douglas of Cavers in 1788. Andrew Currer was tenant there in the 1780s and 1790s. Henry Turnbull was farmer there in at least the period 1791–97. James Telfer was there in 1797 and James Dalgleish was a labourer there in 1800.

The residents in 1801 included tenant Thomas Blyth, labourer John Rutherford and servant Andrew Brown. Thomas Blyth was farmer there in the early part of the 19th century, with his nephew William Blyth taking over around the 1850s. There were Shiels and Lockies there in the early 1900s.

It was still part of the estate of Douglas of Cavers in the 1870s. Flints found there are in Hawick Museum, and a flint knife and arrowheads in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (also ‘Whitrick’ etc. in earlier documents; it first appears as ‘Quhitrig’ in 1509/10, is ‘Quhitrik’ in 1511, ‘Quhitrig’ in 1541, ‘Whitrike’ in 1545, ‘Quhitrik’ in the later 16th century, is transcribed ‘Quhytekirk’ in 1589, is ‘Quhitrig’ in 1590, ‘Whyterige’ in 1687, ‘Whytrig’ in 1698, ‘Whitridge’ in 1694, 1716 and 1718, ‘Whitrich’ in 1721, ‘Whitridge’ in 1737, ‘Whitrick’ in 1781 and ‘Whitrig’ in 1797; it is ‘Whitrigg’ on Pont’s c.1590 manuscript map, ‘Whytrig’ on Gordon’s c.1650 map and ‘Whittrigg’ on Blaeu’s 1654 map).


1.  John Douglas of Whitriggs (16th C.) recorded in 1585 when William Douglas of Cavers and Edward Lorraine of Harwood were cautioners for him. His location is recorded as ‘Quhyterig’. He is probably the ‘Johnne Douglas of Quhytekirk’ whose son James was declared a rebel in 1586 for his part in the murder of 6 Grahamslaws of Newton. He is also listed in about 1590 among ‘Landit Men’ of Scotland. It is unclear how he was related to other Douglases of Whitriggs.




Sources for this article include:
  • The Hawick Book of Words; Professor Douglas Scott

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