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Trading took place between England and Scotland for centuries before the records begin. Border farmers reared sheep and cattle, while border reivers stole such stock and sold it for profit. The main outlet for this commerce, and related wool and leather products, was Berwick, which attracted enormous trade because it had a lower customs duty than other northern ports. Sea trading was also established on the west coast, where English ports such as Carlisle and Workington dealt in a variety of goods including linen, wool, herring, hops, sea coal and copper.

During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Berwick was claimed by both countries and often changed hands. It was finally recovered for England in 1482, during a campaign under Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III). Today it remains in England, but is also the county town of the Scottish county of Berwickshire, despite five centuries in English hands.

By the 1590s the massive defences of Berwick and other border forts were in disrepair, leaving the region vulnerable to Scottish raiders. Berwick relied for food on Scottish suppliers, and by the mid-sixteenth century border officials were becoming increasingly alarmed at this dependence. In 1592 the mayor of Berwick complained that Scottish merchants were undercutting the English in the town and removing English coin into Scotland. The following year all Scottish servants were barred from the town, and English soldiers with Scottish wives were dismissed. However, hundreds of Scottish people were still living in Berwick in 1597.

Douglas families in Berwick -research requests received

Douglas Family 
Daniel Douglas was born 1857, son of John Douglas, a shoemaker. Daniel married Isabella Hay Purves at Berwick in 1880. Her father was John Purves who was also a shoemaker. Daniel and Isabella moved to Sunderland, County Durham shortly after 1881.

Douglas/ Isabella Hay Purves
[I have an] Isabella Hay Purves, father John Purves, shoemaker, mother Margaret ?living in Berwick on 1871 census. Can't seem to find Margaret's maiden name Could be Hay? Isabella married ? Douglas.

Andrew Douglas, born 1814, enlisted 8 March 1831 in Berwick in the reserve battalion of the 71st regiment of foot; 5?8? tall; served in Bermuda, Canada and the West Indies. Information of him or his family welcome.

Where are you John Douglass?
Looking for John Douglass, possibly father of Robert (1814-1847) Robert's eldest son called John suggests that this may be Robert's father's name. I cannot find any parents or siblings for Robert but his second daughter called Isabella Skelly Douglass suggests that Robert's mother may have been Isabella Skelly. I am relying heavily on the naming pattern used extensively in this and the Skelly family.
I speculate that Robert's father John may have been born 1790.

Patrick/Nicholson families
Looking for info on both Patricks and Nicholsons. George Patrick, Salmon Fisherman, born abt 1787 in Berwick, married Alice Nicholson. They moved to Fort William, where their children were born. Robert, Alice, Thomas, Alexander and, maybe Eleanor. After Alice's death, George returned to Berwick between 1841 and 1851. 1851 census shows him living with Elizabeth Aitcheson (pauper), Robert Nicholson (sailor) and Jane Douglas (sholar), in Berwick.

Ogle boys
On 1861 census for Westgate area Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the household 5 members all born Berwick-upon-Tweed. Two young boys are described as lodgers and who are John OGLE aged 13 (c1848) and Thomas OGLE aged 11 (c 1850) Who are these boys - some distant relatives / friends' children from Berwick? Widow Elizabeth DOUGLASS is head of the house and widow El-? REID Elizabeth's sister together with Alexander DOUGLASS son of Elizabeth are the other occupants. Who are the OGLEs?

Desperately searching for relatives to an Alexander Douglas born 1854/1856 possibly from Newcastle upon Tyne or Berwick upon Tweed. He immigrated to Australia (year unknown) and married Mary Jane Arthur in 1886. He died in Mt Gambier, South Australia, 15 July 1914.

His father was said to be Robert (born 1811?) around the same area. Robert possibly married an Elizabeth (Atcheson or Atchisson), other children could be Elizabeth 1837?, Isabella 1840?, John 1841?, Jane 1843?, Reubena (Robina) 1847? Jane married a William McGall Skelly and died 1927.

NAME: George Douglas
SPOUSE: Mary Douglas
BIRTH: abt 1821 - Berwick Upon Tweed
RESIDENCE: 1881 - Berwick Upon Tweed, Northumberland, England

See also:
  • The Treaties of Berwick, 1357, 1560 and 1586
  • Berwick Castle

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    Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024