Swinnie

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Swinnie, Swinnie Bar, Swinnie Moorfoot

Swinnie (swi-nee) n. hamlet and farm off the A68 on the B6357 towards Hallrule in the Scottish Borders.

Thomas Oliver ‘de Swyne’, who witnessed a sasine in Rulewater in 1436 may have been from here.

Robert Oliver was there in 1502. It was listed along with Clarilee in 1538 among lands in Jedforest that had passed to the Crown, but the lands were ‘claimed by the laird thereof’; at that time they were valued at £4 6s 8d. In 1557 Sir John Kerr of Ferniehirst complained to the Queen that a force led by the Laird of Bedrule had terrorised the tenant, Adam Kirkton; this was presumably part of land dispute. It was owned by the Marquis of Douglas(1) in 1643 and 1678, when valued at £400 (along with Old Jedburgh and ‘Standalane’); the Earl of Lothian owned the teinds. There were 10 separate households listed there on the Hearth Tax Rolls of 1694.

Archibald Douglas of Douglas was recorded as owner in 1788.

John Goodfellow was there in 1797. Richard Davidson was farmer there in the mid-to-late 19th century. There was formerly a toll-bar there. In about 1833 a horn was found here, containing silver coins from the reign of James I of Scotland and around 1845 a set of 300–400 silver coins were ploughed up on the farm, these being from the reigns of Henry VIII and Queen Mary.

There is a linear earthwork to the west of the farm, which runs about a mile and is probably an old agricultural boundary. A plantation about 1 km south of the farmhouse has an interesting jigsaw-piece shape (also written ‘Swinney’ and ‘Swinny’, it is ‘Swynny’ in 1502, ‘Swyne’ and ‘Swynne’ in 1538, ‘Swynnee’ in 1539, ‘Swynne’ in 1557 and ‘Swynie’ in 1694; it is marked on Blaeu’s 1654 map as ‘Sownie’).


Swinnie Moor (swi-nee-moor) n. moorland area between Bonchester and Jedburgh, around the B6357, near the hamlet of Swinnie and Swinnie Plantation. An area called Swinnie Dyke
Nook was once the supposed haunting ground of a ‘bogle’ (the origin of the name is possibly from Old Norse ‘svithningr’, meaning ‘the place cleared by burning’ and first occurs as ‘Swlynny’ in 1528).

 

Notes:

1 William (1589–1660) 1st Marquess of Douglas, was eldest son of William, 10th Earl of Angus, and became 11th Earl of Angus in 1611. He was recorded as owner of Swinnie, Old Jedburgh, Lintalee, etc., as well as ‘his lands of Jed Forrest, being four-score steids’, according to the 1643 valuation rolls.


Source

 

Sources for this article include:
  • A Hawick Word Book; Douglas Scott

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    Last modified: Thursday, 22 February 2024