Author Topic: Borders Blacksmithing 18th Century  (Read 887 times)

Offline USCRx

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Borders Blacksmithing 18th Century
« on: Friday 30 June 17 03:23 BST (UK) »
My "Jeffrey" male ancestors comprised at least 5 generations of blacksmiths in the Borders area from  1675 - 1810 - Polwarth, Fogo, Riselaw, Chirnside, Foulden. Needless to say, I'm very interested in what this life might've looked like in these small villages. Any suggestions of what I might read descriptive of the life of a Borders blacksmith in the 17th & 18th century? Thanks for your thoughts!

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Offline hdw

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Re: Borders Blacksmithing 18th Century
« Reply #1 on: Friday 30 June 17 14:08 BST (UK) »
The blacksmith's forge comes across in lots of accounts as a warm, convivial place where men and small boys gathered for a "crack" with the smith. I doubt if women and girls were often found there though. Some smiths seem to have been great "worthies" with a keen intelligence and an individual outlook on the world. John Younger, the shoemaker of St. Boswell's in Roxburghshire, devotes some space in his autobiography to describing Robert Wight, the local blacksmith of his boyhood days in Ellieston:-

"The blacksmith's shop next door was a winter rendezvous, where I sometimes warmed on the forge hearth, and heard him (who was a young man) talk to the ploughmen and others as they occasionally came in with their horses to shoe, or ploughshares and coulters to repair. This blacksmith was a clever fellow in his own line, as well as ingenious in other respects: one who had sucked in a considerable stock of general information, and could have twisted an argument into any fold with the same address as he could twist a hot nailstring. ... Though in religious profession he was a strict sectarian, yet he was loose in his walk, and unboundedly so in his conversation, indulging in a tissue of intrigue scarcely possible to be unravelled."

I had a 4 x great-grandfather called Robert Richardson who was a blacksmith at Maxton in Roxburghshire and also an elder of the parish church, so he must have been a respected member of the community.

Harry


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Offline elinga

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Re: Borders Blacksmithing 18th Century
« Reply #2 on: Friday 30 June 17 15:21 BST (UK) »
Gretna Green not so far from the english border has a history of Anvil weddings, which were performed by blacksmiths !
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/for-200-years-secret-anvil-weddings-were-performed-by-blacksmiths-in-the-uk
Everyday is a school day !!!!

McCrory/McCrorie Orr and McCafferty , Northern Ireland
Orr, Adair, McCafferty,McCrorie and McCrory, Millar,Strachan, Lewis,Linn, Arnott, Scott,Kerr,McKinnon , Jeffrey or Jaffrey,Lambie, Findlay and Meechan Ayrshire Scotland.

Online Ruskie

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Re: Borders Blacksmithing 18th Century
« Reply #3 on: Friday 30 June 17 15:48 BST (UK) »
The Laings performed huge numbers of marriages in Gretna and they were not blacksmiths. :)
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/gretna/chapter214.htm