Friday, February 26, 2010

Border Woolen Industry - Kelso

On February 26, 1672, Philip van der Straten from Bruges was naturalized as a Scottish citizen.  He established the first mill for dressing and refining wool in Scotland.  The mill was situated in the Borderlands town of Kelso, which is a significant location for Walter Scott.

Scott lived in Kelso at the time he was collecting the border ballads that were published in "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border" (1802).  As pointed out in Edinburgh University's pamphlet (by David Kilpatrick) on Scott and Kelso, Scott frequently summered at his uncle's house "Rosebank", inheriting the estate in 1804.  In 1783, while living in Kelso to improve his health,  Scott attended Kelso Grammar School. Here he met his future publisher and printer; John and James Ballantyne.  Kelso was a part of the Scott family's life for generations.  Scott's father and grandfather had owned substantial property in Kelso as well.

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